21st century shoppers are busy people. When cousin Susie is looking for a new can opener, she would much rather order one off of Amazon than make a trip to her local department store.
Because of this market shift, customers have to rely on a community of online reviewers to tell them whether a product is worthy of their purchase. In fact, 61% of online shoppers say that they read reviews before making a purchase decision.
While it’s clear that reviews are important, many sellers have a tough time not only generating reviews but also finding the time to keep track of managing them.
Across the Amazon platform, an average of 1-2% of customers will leave product reviews. At that rate, you would need to sell 10,000 products just to get 100 product reviews.
One way to generate more reviews is to set up an email follow up campaign. This will not only exponentially increase the amount of product reviews you see, but also open up channels of communication to hopefully prevent customers from posting negative product reviews.
Email Follow Up Campaigns
When it comes to email follow up campaigns, the most important thing to remember is not to be too intrusive into your customers’ lives. Make sure to be respectful and send no more than 2-3 emails per product purchase.
Email #1 – Wait a few days for the customer to receive the product
Your first email should be purely a customer service email. Make sure their product got there in one piece, is in working order, and was received in a timely manner.
Don’t ask for any reviews yet, since they more than likely have not had time to fully enjoy your product.
Email #2 – Wait another few days for the customer to use the product
You’ll want to wait for your customer to be able to give an honest evaluation, and then you may ask for unbiased feedback.
Be sure to keep in mind that the time period may differ from product to product.
Quality vs. Quantity
One question that we often get from sellers is whether it is more important to have a high quantity of reviews or to have less reviews that are all glowing assessments of your product.
The short answer is that it depends on your category as well as your competition. Depending on how competitive your category is, sometimes you only need a few dozen reviews to really get things started, or sometimes you need hundreds or even thousands.
If products on page one of Amazon’s search results have 200 reviews, aim for that number or higher.
You always need high quality reviews, but depending on your category, you could certainly need a volume of them as well.
Amazon Terms of Service Updates
With Amazon’s newest TOS update, there is some gray area that you’ll want to make sure to steer clear of when corresponding with customers. It’s extremely important that you refrain from attempting to influence the review in any way.
This includes the star rating as well as the content of the review. You can’t say things like, “If you’re going to leave less than a 4 or 5 star review, or if you’re unhappy with your order, please contact us in advance so we can fix the problem.”
If you have any doubts whether or not your correspondence is in compliance with Amazon’s TOS, the best advice is to refrain from pushing the envelope. Sellers that get caught violating Amazon’s TOS are subject to getting their product, or even their whole store, suspended for days or weeks at a time.
Handling Negative Reviews
Keep Your Cool
The first step for handling negative reviews is to keep your cool and remain calm. While it’s perfectly normal to have a sense of pride for your products, it’s important to remain professional.
The fact is that you can’t please everybody. Even if a customer leaves a 1 or 2 star review on your product because of the color, as a seller you need to remember that customers have a right to express their opinion.
Negative reviews aren’t the end of your business. MIT did a study that actually shows a small amount of well-written, negative reviews can be good for sales. One reason is that buyers gain confidence that “if this is the worst this product will throw at me, it must be pretty good.”
Show Customers That You Care
Respond to negative reviews in a way that will put you in a positive light. This shows not only that particular customer that you care, but also any potential future customers that may be looking through your negative product reviews.
Think of your correspondence with customers as a representation of your brand.
Use Negative Reviews as Constructive Criticism
The most important takeaway regarding negative reviews is to use them as constructive criticism for future product development.
We sat down with Keith O’Brien, the CEO of iLoveToReview, who spoke to us about one of their clients who was getting some less than favorable feedback regarding their packaging for a new product line.
They listened to the feedback and changed their packaging based on the responses they were getting from consumers. In the end, it saved them tens of thousands of dollars of recall on the retail market from catching that early.
We understand that when sellers have a broad portfolio of products, it can be hard to keep track of all of the reviews for each SKU. At Teikametrics, we’ve developed a tool that helps sellers monitor their reviews in order to spot trends. If you would like to find out more about this tool, please email us at email@example.com.