How to Delete an Amazon Review (Plus 6 More Crucial Review Questions)
Over 90% of Amazon users trust reviews when shopping. If you’ve been listening to Amazon coaches or simply engaged in the bustling e-commerce community via social media, you’ve probably heard this same “checklist for a successful launch.”
- Put in the keyword research to rank on Amazon
- Meticulously assemble a product listing with stellar product photos
- Write sparkling sales copy for that listing
- Learn how to advertise on Amazon with PPC
Make no mistake, you should be doing all these things. The harsh reality is: Amazon Prime shoppers often need more to make that final purchase decision. They need proof.
In a marketplace where customers have grown used to the perfect Amazon listing (if such a thing exists), you need to prove to future customers that your past customers are happy with your product.
Am I allowed to delete negative Amazon reviews? How do you get Amazon reviews as a new Amazon seller? How dependent do I have to be on the whims of an unhappy customer?
You’ve got questions, and we’ve got answers. Whether you are an experienced Amazon seller or the new kid on the block, positive feedback and proactive customer service give you a valuable gift as an entrepreneur. The gift of longevity.
Can You Ask People to Leave a Review for Your Product?
Let’s start with a question we get perhaps more than any other.
While you can’t request a positive review from a customer, you can request that they leave an honest one. Requesting feedback from customers is a great way to add a personal touch to your brand, start a dialogue with your customers, and include further instructions to get the best use out of your product.
To streamline this process, we suggest taking advantage of a new Helium 10 feature called Seller Assistant. Included in our free Amazon seller chrome extension (and accessed once you’ve already logged in to Seller Central), Seller Assistant gives you the ability to request multiple reviews with the click of a single button.
We designed this Amazon request a review tool as a must-have dashboard for sellers who like their data easy to reach and simplified.
Seller Assistant allows sellers to:
- Engage with dozens of customers in seconds
- Ensure those who receive your request are only customers who have not already received an external request
- Have access to review requests anywhere, since Seller Assistant lives within our chrome extension. You can access this feature directly from your Seller Central Account.
- Customize how you send reviews. Only your most recent order? All orders from the past 30 days? No problem.
- Remain fully compliant with Amazon guidelines. Seller Assistant uses Amazon’s pre-generated templates, so you never have to worry about what color hat you’re wearing.
What are the Best Ways to Get Amazon Reviews on a New Product?
It can be difficult to generate sales for a brand new product. It can be downright impossible to generate sales for a brand new product without at least a handful of five star reviews.
UPDATE: Previously, The Amazon Early Reviewer Program was a viable option for new sellers to the Amazon platform. The program encouraged buyers of your new product to leave honest customer feedback with the incentive of a $1-$3 Amazon gift card. However, you’ll notice we are referring to this program in the past tense. As of March 2021, Amazon has shut down the Early Review Program in favor of other expanded review features, like one-tap ratings (the ability to leave a simple, star rating without writing a review).
The idea is that, for customers, it’s far easier to leave a star rating on a product than to spend time going through the previous review process. Amazon believes this will lead to a higher influx of valuable feedback for sellers. You’ll also notice that Amazon is steering away from the term “reviews,” instead opting for “ratings.”
Do it for the (Amazon) Vine
Amazon Vine is a relatively recent initiative that invites sellers to leverage some of Amazon’s most prolific product reviewers to give their feedback on their new product.
Just who are these “Vine Voices?”
The reviewers in the Vine program are chosen based on their Reviewer Rank, a metric that Amazon uses to “reflect the quality and helpfulness of their reviews as judged by other Amazon customers.”
How does it work?
After you enroll in the Amazon Vine program (again, through the Advertising menu of Seller Central), you give your product away (yes, for free) to a Vine Reviewer, who will give your product an honest review. Keep in mind, Vine Voices are known for their honesty, so make sure your product lives up to the hype!
It is also important to note that sellers can only use the Vine review program for up to a maximum of 30 reviews and sellers must be Brand Registered to participate.
You can explore more Amazon Vine FAQs here.
Product inserts are paper marketing cards, anywhere from business card to postcard-sized, that encourage customers who have already purchased your product to leave an honest review.
It is of the utmost importance that we stress this – the goal of product inserts is to promote honest, authentic reviews, whether they be positive or negative. It is strictly against Amazon’s Terms of Service to ask for positive reviews or engage in incentivized reviews with unofficial discounts or other “prizes.”
However, when done correctly, product inserts give you the opportunity to politely remind customers that you are a business that thrives on positive reviews, increase brand awareness, and include any other pertinent information about your product (such as tips and instructions).
Not sure where to get started with Amazon product inserts? Using Portals, a new Amazon product insert creator, sellers have the ability to create custom product inserts using a variety of safe-for-Amazon templates.
Come Sale Away: Giveaways and Discounts
I mentioned earlier, that Amazon does not take kindly to unofficial discount incentives in exchange for reviews. They do however give sellers the ability to run proper discounts and giveaways through Seller Central. This is a great way to build momentum for your product while playing within the lines of Amazon’s rules.
Once you get more customers to purchase your product, you can quickly and easily request reviews with the Amazon Request Review tool mentioned above.
From Seller Central, you’ll want to visit the Advertising menu, then Coupons, then Create a New Coupon. Here you’ll be able to create either one-off coupons or discounts in bulk ranging from 5% to 80% off.
These coupons are a perfect way to help your product listing jump off the search results page entice shoppers to give you their click instead of your competition.
Learn more about creating coupons on Amazon here!
Use follow-up emails to extend the relationship with your customers past the checkout cart. It’s important to stay in touch with your buyers beyond the sale, so you can be aware of concerns, questions, or praise. Use this valuable feedback to:
- Reinforce customer bonds. Do you want someone to forget about your product after buying it once, or do you want them to return to your listing?
- Address legitimate and unforeseen issues with your new product launch.
- Continue to optimize your product to gather more positive feedback and therefore, promote more sales.
If you’re a little hesitant to dip your toes into the email marketing pool, don’t fret. Helium 10’s Amazon email tool, Follow-Up, is the perfect place to start. Follow-Up gives Amazon sellers full control over how involved they want to be in customer outreach. We built this tool with the busy entrepreneur in mind. Our approach was three-pronged:
- Automate the existing (and antiquated) method of manually sending emails to each customer. Create email sequences that only kick in on specific event triggers such as order delivery.
- Give sellers a user-friendly interface to organize custom email templates, set automations, and manage products.
- Get Amazon customer feedback as soon as possible and improve seller reputation. This ultimately leads to more sales.
We have a very timely write-up on The State of Amazon Reviews in 2021 if you’re looking for the big picture.
Is Taking an Initial Hit on Profits to Get Reviews Worth it?
Now when we suggest discounting or giving away your products, your first thought is most likely, “Wait. I’m supposed to be making money, not spending it.”
That’s true, but not always at first. The fact of the matter is, a positive product review will ultimately boost your product ranking on Amazon. Amazon likes to see well-reviewed products at the top of their search results. Their ranking algorithm will reflect that.
If you are giving away a $20 product using the Amazon Vine Program (a max of 30 times), you’re essentially forgoing $600 in sales, but securing dozens of reviews in the process. In the grand scheme of your product’s lifespan and profit margins, this is a small price to pay to clear the most difficult hurdle for every new Amazon FBA seller: starting momentum.
At the end of the day, programs like Amazon Vine are an investment expense for your business with short and long-term payoffs.
Positive reviews breed positive reviews (which breed boosted rankings). Invest now, then let word-of-mouth do the rest.
How do You Manage Negative Amazon Reviews?
Death, taxes, and negative Amazon reviews– they’re all inevitable.
You may have created a product that effectively solves world hunger, but there’s always going to be someone still hungry, sporting a 2-star review.
As a seller on the world’s busiest online shopping marketplace, how are you supposed to stay afloat in a sea of potential picky buyers?
How to Delete an Amazon Review
Wondering how to remove a review on Amazon? In a nutshell, you usually can’t – except for very unique circumstances.
“Any press is good press” is a nice sentiment for billion-dollar brands who can shrug off poor publicity like a 24-hour cold. It is not, however, true for Amazon entrepreneurs. A negative product review can drastically affect your seller reputation.
If commenting publicly isn’t yielding the results you want, you may want to look into requesting Amazon’s help to delete a negative or fake review. Remember, the chances of Amazon removing a product review are extremely low.
There are several ways to attempt this:
- Go to your product details page in Seller Central and click “report abuse” under the bad review in question.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org detailing the nature of the product review (date/time, name of reviewer, product ASIN, link to review)
- Go to your Performance Tab in Seller Central and click Feedback. In that tab, it will list recent reviews of your company and allow you to request removal or post a public reply from here. This mostly concerns your feedback score and affects your seller feedback rating, not the individual product.
- Click on the “Get Support” link at the bottom of any Seller Central page to open a new case and inquire about the review in question (over email or over the phone).
To increase your chances of prevailing, make sure to include how the review violates Amazon’s review guidelines.
Inappropriate seller feedback (something many confuse with reviews) can be more easily removed. For example, if someone leaves a product review in seller feedback, that’s one of the many instant ways you can delete that feedback.
Just because you don’t like a customer’s bad review doesn’t give you the right to resort to feedback removal. The customer review must be breaking the rules Amazon laid out for shoppers.
Some of Amazon’s guidelines include:
- The bad review cannot be from a direct competitor
- Reviews or URLs attempting to promote something else
- Obscene, lewd, or sexually explicit content
- Reviews that disclose personal information (email addresses or phone numbers)
- Inflammatory or threatening speech (this includes hate speech)
- Fake reviews or reviews for a different product entirely
How do Amazon Reviews Give Your Product Credibility?
In the storied history of Amazon product reviews, we can break the timeline into BVP (before verified purchaser) and AVP (after verified purchaser). In the BVP times, anyone could leave a product review. This worked for a while – that is, until fake reviews started becoming a serious problem. In 2016, Amazon introduced the “verified purchaser” badge with the aim of restoring credibility and helping to weed out those artificial stars from unverified reviews.
As long as a customer hasn’t bought your product on a more-than-50% discount and they’ve spent at least $50 on their Amazon accounts, they can leave a verified review.
Four years later and consumers are more skeptical than ever – when it comes to interpreting both a negative or positive review. So much so, that having an abundance of positive reviews may be just as suspicious as having too many negative ones. The “Verified Purchaser” badge adds credibility to your listing by telling shoppers, “Don’t worry, this person paid full (or close to) full price.” It’s not a guarantee, but it certainly helps restore significant trust in the consumer community.
More importantly, positive customer feedback from a reviewer helps you leverage an already quality product, taking it from useful to useful and profitable.
Having your reviewer give positive feedback also shows a level of customer satisfaction to future shoppers.
Positive Amazon reviews:
- Bolster conversion rates, which in turn…
- Increase your organic product ranking
- Provide hesitant shoppers with additional (and practical) information they may not have gotten from your listing.
Reviews are a critical component of all Amazon stores. Whether you are selling wholesale on Amazon or you’re just offering a few products, reviews can either make or break your online business. Think about how many times you’ve been shopping for a product and scroll straight to the customer review section to verify something. It could be checking to see how a color looks “in person” rather than just the product photo. You may check to see if any other people have used the product in the unorthodox way you are wanting to use it.
Your product reviews act as an extension of your product listing.
Put in the work to ensure a positive customer experience and your reviews will work for you in return.
Can You Solicit Five Star Reviews from Your Customers?
We’ll make this one easy…
Selling with Amazon FBA can be complicated to understand. With different Amazon FBA fees and requirements, it can be difficult to navigate when you begin to sell. Fortunately, they make their stance on review manipulation abundantly clear.
Amazon’s rules state that sellers cannot offer third-party rewards, discounts, or incentives in exchange for positive customer feedback. Additionally, sellers cannot offer a refund in exchange for a customer modifying or removing their negative reviews.
Other review-related violations include:
- Using services that sell Amazon customer reviews
- Using a family member or employee to post reviews of your product
- Redirecting negative reviews to a different platform, rather than your product listing
- Inserting requests for positive reviews in product shipments
- Using a separate Amazon account to write fake reviews for your own product
We are entrepreneurs. Much of what attracts us to this lifestyle is independence. The ability to make our own rules and make a living on our own terms. That being said, it’s important to stay compliant with Amazon’s terms of service. These rules are put in place to both ensure a level playing field for all sellers and preserve the integrity of e-commerce at its core.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, Amazon’s repercussions for breaking the rules are enough to scare most sellers straight.
“Amazon has a zero-tolerance policy towards any customer reviews violations. If we detect any attempts to manipulate customer reviews, we take immediate actions that include, but are not limited to:
Immediate and permanent withdrawal of the seller’s selling privileges on Amazon and withholding of funds.”
We encourage you to read through Amazon’s full product review policy page.
Why Should You Care About Getting Amazon Reviews?
Shoppers are willing to spend 31% more dealing with a business holding favorable reviews. Keep in mind, you are a digital business. You face hurdles that your brick-and-mortar counterparts do not. As an Amazon FBA seller, you don’t have the luxury of stunning shoppers at the front door of your shop with that dazzling personality and wit. You cannot shake their hand after doing business with them. You can not look them in the eye and apologize for a product defect.
Your product reviews effectively hand the reins to your reputation over to your customers.
The Proactive Seller Always Wins
If you’ve been scouring the internet trying to find out how to avoid negative amazon reviews, you will most likely find either long-shot half measures or aggressively black hat strategies.
Don’t go down this path with Amazon feedback removal. The only thing worse than negative reviews is getting suspended by Amazon altogether for trying to cheat the system. The best way to defeat negative reviews is to keep them from happening altogether.
Stay proactive with your Amazon research with Helium 10’s Black Box to:
- Conduct competitor product research with a fine-toothed comb (including filters for review count and review rating).
- Turn what would be hours of manual research (and headaches) into seconds of efficient searches.
- Obtain the market data points necessary to pick a winning Amazon product from the starting line.
You can also make use of Review Insights (in the Helium 10 Chrome Extension) to download your competitor’s negative reviews. Note the ways you can fix issues and improve on an existing product so that you boost your chances of positive reviews simply by offering a higher quality product.
If nothing else, negative feedback helps us to perfect a product we had previously thought perfect. Selling with Amazon FBA is if nothing else, a learning experience. Try your best to take negative reviews on the chin, address them head-on with stellar customer service, and eventually leverage customer feedback to catch that 5-star dragon every entrepreneur chases.
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