Amazon is, without a doubt, one of the largest retailers out there. To give you a better idea, hundreds of millions of individuals use the site worldwide—it’s that big! Not only is it great for shopping, but it’s great for selling as well. Haven’t you heard of Amazon Marketplace? It’s a service that allows third-party sellers to sell products on their site. As you can imagine, there are many perks that come with this.
For one thing, it exposes your products to a wide audience (anyone who’s on the site can easily search for the item). If anything, it’s much easier than trying to run your own online store; you won’t need to “attract” the customers—there are already millions of them on the site. All that’s left for you to do is to make your listing stand out.
Another benefit of using Amazon is that it’s incredibly easy to use. Essentially, all you have to register for an account. From there, you’ll be able to add products to their catalog. Unlike other e-commerce platforms, Amazon does not charge a fee for listing items either. Instead, it takes a percentage of the revenue.
Last but not least, there are different fulfillment options. What does this mean? It means that you can deliver your products in a number of ways. For instance, you can ship the items directly to your customers. Don’t want to deal with the hassle? No problem—Amazon can take care of the fulfillment for you. Simply send your products to one of their fulfillment centers (there are dozens of them across the U.S.) and they’ll take care of the picking, packaging, and shipping for you.
The Importance of Customer Reviews on Amazon
Amazon reviews are important if you want to run a successful business. They build trust, loyalty, and sets your products apart from others. Who would you rather buy from? A seller who has hundreds of five-star reviews or someone who has two three-star reviews? I’m guessing most of us would go for the former option.
After all, shoppers want to be reassured by previous customers that the product that they’re getting is worth the money. In a way, it helps to convince them that they’re making the right decision. Sure, they can learn more about the product by reading the description, but that’s just the objective stuff. At the end of the day, they want to know how well the item works and whether or not there are any flaws with it—things that you can only find in the review section.
Other Benefits of Amazon Reviews:
- They will increase your store’s online presence (reviews and their keywords will show up on Google and other search engines)
- Customers can share their reviews on social media, which will create more exposure for your products
- Great opportunity for you to better understand your products
- They help increase sales (the more positive reviews you have, the higher your conversion rate)
Keep in mind, however, that while they help, product reviews are not the sole deciding factor for your product’s ranking on the site (i.e. where it will appear on the site). As it is, their algorithm considers many other things that are not disclosed to the public.
How to Handle Negative Amazon Reviews
Let’s face it—nobody likes getting bad reviews. Still, they’re inevitable; you will run into them if you’re selling on Amazon. After all, it’s impossible to please everyone. The sooner you accept that fact, the quicker you’ll be able to get on with your business.
Why Negative Reviews Can Be Good
Believe it or not but having negative reviews can actually be a good thing—it makes your listing more real and authentic. The last thing that you want is for your reviews to appear “artificial”. Think about it—people are probably going to get suspicious if they see nothing but 5-star reviews for a product. After all, phony reviews are a thing. If anything, that will only drive away potential sales.
Don’t get me wrong, you definitely don’t want to accumulate negative reviews, but a few 1- or 2- star reviews here and there won’t hurt. So don’t worry about it too much if you’ve got some of those—it’s all part of the business process.
On top of that, negative reviews allow you to better understand your products (we mentioned this earlier). For instance, a customer might write about an issue that you otherwise might not have known about. In doing so, you’ll be given a chance to remedy the problem so that it won’t happen with future orders.
Reasons Why People Write Negative Reviews
Several things can drive a customer to write a negative review. Want to encourage them to change their opinion? If so, you’ll want to understand why they wrote what they did. Here are a few common reasons that you might want to familiarize yourself with.
They Want to Help Others
One of the main reasons why customers write reviews is that they want to share their experience with others. In doing so, they’re able to paint a picture of what the product is really like, which can be helpful for those who are on the fence on whether or not to make the purchase. Wouldn’t you want to let others know if you bought a detective or broken product?
Product Didn’t Meet Their Expectations
If a customer feels disappointed about a product, chances are, they will write about it. For instance, the item might not have met the expectations that they had when they made the purchase. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this from happening. For one thing, it’s crucial that you include as much information as possible about the product on the listing—that way, they will know exactly what to expect (i.e. they’ll be able to set realistic expectations).
They Want to Provide Feedback
Some customers write reviews because they want to provide the company with feedback. Ultimately, this is a good thing; you can use the information that they provide to improve upon yourself. In some cases, you might even want to ask for more details—that way, you’ll have more to work off of. In the long run, this only helps your business.
How to Convert Negative Amazon Reviews to Positive Reviews
As mentioned earlier, negative reviews can make your listing more authentic. At the same time, however, you don’t want to have too many as it can affect your product’s standing on the site. While it’s not possible to remove negative reviews*, you can try to convert them to positive reviews. Obviously, this would take some effort on your part—if done correctly, however, it can have a big impact on your sales!
*Note: There’s an exception to this—Amazon will remove reviews if they deem them unauthentic. As a seller, however, there isn’t anything that you can do.
1. Respond to the Review Quickly
Once a customer leaves negative feedback, it turns into a waiting game. The longer you wait to reply, the more it will strain their nerves. Given that, it only makes sense to reply as soon as possible (Amazon recommends replying within 24 hours). Ultimately, your goal is to better their impression of you; you want them to see that you do care. Think of it this way—they’d be much more likely to change their review if they feel valued as a customer.
2. Acknowledge Their Issue
The last thing that you want to do is to gloss over your customer’s issue. What you want to do instead, is to acknowledge it; let them know that you’re aware of the problem and that you will do your best to resolve it. Offer some sort of solution or recommendation—leaving the issue as is won’t do anyone any good. Remember, it’s not uncommon for customers to change their initial review if their problem is solved. Assuming that they include that in the edit, the review will also let others know that you do, indeed, value customer feedback.
3. Contact the Customer Directly
Not all customers will respond to your reply on the review page. In cases like this, you might want to contact them directly—that is, it might be a good idea to send them an email. The key is to be courteous; you don’t want their impression of the company to worsen. Ask them for clarification on the issue (they might be more willing to provide you with details via email) and try your best to resolve it. Keep in mind, however, that you never want to spam them with messages. You can send a follow-up email, but any more than that would fall into the spam category.
4. Include a Handwritten Note
Consider including a handwritten note with the product. If anything, it personalizes the order; it shows them that there is someone behind the company who cares. For instance, you can use it as an opportunity to thank them for the order. On top of that, you can include a short blurb on how they can contact you at any time if there are any issues. Let them know that you’d be happy to help. Don’t forget to include different contact methods—that way, they’ll be able to get ahold of you if the need arises.
Asking Amazon to Remove Negative Reviews
As mentioned earlier, Amazon only removes reviews that violate their guidelines; they won’t remove a review from the site just because it’s “unfair.” With that said, there is an option that lets you request the removal of a review.
It’s quite straightforward—first things first, you want to go to the product page. Find the questionable review and click on the “report abuse” button on the bottom left. Once you do that, a pop-up window will come up and you’ll be prompted to type in the reason for your request. Alternatively, you can send Amazon a direct email (make sure to include the product’s ASIN, name of the reviewer, or better yet, a link to the review). Remember to indicate clearly how they are violating the review guidelines—that will increase your chances of success.
Note: Never test your luck when it comes to reporting reviews. In other words, don’t report a bunch of reviews, hoping that Amazon will take some of them down. If anything, that will only lower your reputation as a seller in their eyes. Only report a review if it blatantly violates the site’s review guidelines.