Whether you’re just starting as a new seller on Amazon or launching a new product, one of the biggest challenges is getting reviews for your item. Without them, it’s hard to gain new customers, visibility, and ultimately the Buy Box.
In an attempt to help sellers grow their business and make the marketplace more competitive, Amazon introduced the Early Reviewer Program a few years ago.
In this article, we’re going to tell you what it is, how to join, and if it’s really worth it for your business.
We also know of a few alternatives, so read on to find out more about them.
The Early Reviewer Program is an Amazon initiative developed to encourage customers to share an authentic review of a product they have bought.
This program is not intended as a way for sellers to get positive reviews, but rather as a way for buyers to share their good or bad experiences.
However, because this program is also designed to help new sellers build a reputation, the program only applies to those sellers who have just joined the platform or who are launching a new product.
When buying a product from such a seller, Amazon may ask the customer to write a review for a small reward, usually a gift card of no more than $3.
Now, before rushing to enroll, there are a few things you should know about this program:
- You won’t be able to contact the customers for the review; Amazon will select the reviewers randomly.
- Reviewers are asked to share their real experience, so you’ll have no power to avoid a negative review.
- Any customer who has bought your product can be asked to share a review, as long as they don’t have a bad reputation for leaving dishonest reviews.
- If you choose to participate, you will be prohibited from communicating with your buyers about the reviews.
- Amazon will not change or remove any review received through the Early Reviewer Program if they comply with the guidelines.
With all this in mind, it’s easy to understand that the Early Reviewer Program is a great way for creating a competitive marketplace but that it could be very detrimental to your business if Amazon asks an unhappy buyer to share their experience.
You should also know that participating is not free. Sellers will be charged a fee for each enrolled product.
Update: Unfortunately, we have received news that Amazon will retire this program on April, 20th, 2021. Sellers won’t be able to enroll in this program at that time and get official reviews anymore.
But there are still alternatives to it. Kepp reading!
Another well-known initiative to create a competitive marketplace is the Amazon Vine Program. But how do the two compare and what are their similarities?
To be honest, the two programs are quite different and were created for different purposes.
- Amazon Vine: It is an invite-only program developed to generate honest reviews for vendors. You can’t enroll unless you are registered as a vendor, and if you are one, you will have to wait for Amazon to invite you to participate.
- Amazon Early Reviewer: It is a program developed for all sellers registered in the Brand Registry and who wish to enroll. You can choose what products to use in the program and will have to pay a fee to join in. This program is ideal for new sellers or for newly launched products.
The only similarities between the two programs refer to how Amazon selects the reviewers.
While the process is slightly different, it is still the marketplace to decide who will get to write a review.
In both cases, you will have no control whatsoever over who gets to write an opinion; you’ll also be prohibited from communicating with your customers about reviews.
When getting a review through either program, you won’t be able to change or remove it, as long as the review complies with Amazon’s guidelines.
If you’re still eager to join this program, know that you can access it from your seller central dashboard, under the advertising tab.
Amazon Early Reviewer is available to all sellers registered with the Amazon Brand Registry.
Once you have registered, follow the steps below to enroll in the review program.
- Download the CVS template and update it with the SKUs you want to enroll in the program. You can upload up to 100 SKUs at once, either stand-alone or parent-level.
- Upload the template onto your seller central, agree to the terms, and also agree to be charged $60 for each SKU you enrolled.
- Check the submission status within the portal to see which products have been approved and any errors you have to fix. Once approved, your SKUs will be part of the program for a year or until they gathered five reviews.
While the Amazon Early Reviewer offers you a way to gather reviews for your products, you should weigh in your decision before enrolling.
Here are a few rules that may make or break the deal, and that you should definitely know before joining:
- You can’t join unless you’re registered in the Amazon Brand Registry. To get there, you have to register a trademark, which is a lengthy and expensive process.
- You can’t enroll in products that cost less than $15. Since buyers are more exigent when it comes to more expensive products, asking them for reviews through this program may or may not be a good idea.
- Your products must have no or very few reviews.
- You can choose what products to enroll in but will have no control over who will review them.
- You will have to pay $60 for each SKU enrolled. The costs could sum up quickly if you want to register more SKUs.
- Buyers will receive an incentive for their honest review, usually a gift card between $1 and $3.
- You won’t be able to get more than 5 reviews for each SKU through this program.
With this in mind, perhaps you might want to know what alternatives you have to gather reviews and get your hands on the Buy Box without risking your reputation.
Here are the best two alternatives.
1.AMZDiscover: Find Reviewers in Batches
The AMZDiscover is a phenomenal tool that can help you find reviewers in batches.
It acts as an online search engine that links you to potential customers and reviewers.
This tool gives you all the information you need to contact these potential reviewers directly via email or social media profiles, so you can ask them to buy your product and only write a review if they liked it.
2. AMZFinder: Get Amazon Reviews by Sending Feedback Request Emails
Another outstanding tool you can use if you want to increase your chances of gathering positive reviews is AMZFinder.
This tool lets you create feedback request sequence emails to send to your customers after they have bought your product.
Through these emails, you can also prevent unhappy buyers from leaving a negative comment, by offering to solve the issue and satisfy their expectations.
The Amazon Early Reviewer program is indeed exceptional if you aim to maintain Amazon a competitive marketplace. If you want to enhance your business though, there are better options.
Since it is hard to keep all customers happy even if your product is phenomenal, enrolling might result in getting a negative review you won’t be able to change or remove.
You will also be prohibited to contact any of your customers regarding the feedback, so won’t have a chance to address their concerns.
If you want to gain positive reviews and grow your chances of winning the Buy Box, sending feedback and review requests or contacting shoppers directly could be much more lucrative. And now you even know which are some of the best tools to use.