Early Reviewer Program being removed. What options do we have?
One of the most useful feature to obtain reviews for sellers launching a new product will be discontinued. This is the latest statement available in every Amazon seller central account :
“The Early Reviewer Program is being removed. We will not allow any new enrollments beginning March 10, 2021.”
Introduced in 2018, the Early Reviewer Program was set up by Amazon in order to help sellers get the first five authentic reviews for newly launched products, for a fee of $60.00.
The Program was inviting the buyers to share their feedback and rewarding them for this after they made the purchase. In this way, this program worked as 100% Amazon TOS compliant and was not intended to drive in sales. Within this program, Amazon randomly sent review request and invited only a selection of buyers that meet a couple of requirements in order to be eligible.
How Amazon Early Reviewer Program worked from Seller perspective.
Every seller that meets the requirement to be the brand owner for the product sold on Amazon could have enrolled in the program if the following product criteria was met:
– product available on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk
– have less than 5 reviews on enroll date
– costs at least $15 (this price needed to be more or $15 while product was enrolled in the program)
– have a stand-alone or parent SKU
The good part of this program was the opportunity to get the first reviews for a newly launched product and to drastically increase the conversion rate for a newly launched product listing.
As a downside, as for any honest feedback request on products, sellers could have not influenced the customer actual review. This program could have brought in five stars reviews or even one-star reviews depending on the quality of the product as well as the overall buyer experience with the product.
The feedback generated via this Early Reviewer Program was trustworthy and influenced a lot the other potential buyer’s opinion as it was marked with an orange label and as ‘verified purchase’ tag. These two tags together assure other shoppers that the review is 100% genuine.
How can we still get Reviews on Amazon after this change?
Now, that one of the most useful tools to get reviews is being discontinued, the sellers still have a few programs and features in place to get the most desired reviews while still staying compliant with Amazon’s Terms of Service.
The most recommended one is the Amazon’s automated follow-up system in which automatic emails are being sent to encourage the shoppers to leave a feedback in regards to their personal experience with the products they buy.
Moreover, the sellers have on their side the option to request a review from each buyer via the Request a Review Button. This button is available on each order id and can be used within 5-30 days period after the purchase was completed. Amazon will allow sellers to use only once the request review button for each order.
The downside of this request review button feature is the fact that going through each and every order id and can be very time consuming for sellers.
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Similar but different programs still running.
One of the other programs that is still available and is running successfully to help sellers increase their reviews number is the Amazon Vine Program.
This program is available to sellers for products with less than 30 reviews live and sellers can enroll up to 30 units within the program.
Unlike the Early Reviewer Program, where the buyers were randomly contacted, asked for their opinion and rewarded after they organically bought the product, in this Vine Program the Vine reviewers will receive the product for free, test the product and write their honest opinion about it.
In terms of payment, currently Vine is free for third-party sellers and as Amazon says that 99% of the reviews out of the Vine Program will be posted within 35days after the orders were completed.
The downside of this Program is that as well as the discontinued Early Reviewer Program, Amazon Vine Program can bring five-star reviews as well as one-star reviews- depending on each particular buyer experience of the Vine reviewers.
It’s always recommended to stay TOS compliant with all your Amazon’s request for reviews practices.
With all these still available Amazon TOS compliant ways to get reviews, we encourage every seller to decide which method suits best their brand strategy and needs, and to follow Amazon’s rules in order not to jeopardize their seller accounts.
In order to learn more about Amazon’s terms of service every seller needs to read the latest version of these terms available directly on Amazon and to stay up to date with the latest updates as Amazon is a marketplace in a continual growing and changes can happen every day.