Customer reviews are essential doe every business, especially e-commerce ones. They represent the feedback from the customers who have bought a specific product, tried it, and share their thoughts with the audience. In other words, they tell people interested in a certain product whether it is good or not. Also, products’ rating is based on them. That’s why sellers try to get as many reviews on their product listing(s) as possible.
But, what happens when your Amazon reviews aren’t showing up?
There are various reasons why this happens and we are going to explore them all in this article. Let’s get started!
Amazon Reviews: What They Are and Why Are They Important?
1. Help You Better Understand Your Audience and Improve Your Customer Service
By leaving honest reviews, your customers give you feedback on whether your product is good or not. They also judge your communication with them, i.e. your customer service. By reading their reviews, you will know what you need to change about your products, maybe add a new one or stop selling an existing one, and improve your customer service to keep them satisfied. After all, if your customers are satisfied, you will get more positive reviews, which leads to more sales in the long run.
2. Create a Social Proof and Credibility for Your Product
Now that e-commerce is one of the most common ways of buying products, customer reviews are more important than ever. They tell the audience about your product, whether it’s good or not, which tells if it’s worth buying or not. Also, they serve as a friendly recommendation from those who already tried it which is very important since we can’t actually visit the Amazon store(s) and see the product live.
3. Help New Stores Gain Exposure and Generate More Sales
Reviews are important for every e-commerce business, especially the new ones. They help them be seen by the audience and grow. If a store sells great products, it will grow fast because one positive review leads to another and that one to another, and so on. In this way, new stores offering quality products stand shoulder to shoulder with more established stores without putting too much effort into marketing. After all, would you rather buy from an established store with 700 3-star reviews or a new store with 70 5-star reviews? The new one, of course, because no one wants to take a risk buying from a store with lower than 5 and 4-star reviews.
4. Improve Your Rankings
Yes, customer reviews are directly related to your rankings. The more high-star reviews you have, the higher you rank on Google. Namely, Google takes reviews as a ranking factor because “it’s hard to spam and the most problematic type of abuse is illegal”.
5. Create Customer Loyalty
Taking the time to leave a detailed, honest review suggests that the customer(s) is loyal to your brand and keeps returning. It’s because reviews help establish a relationship between customers and a business. Plus, they give customers the voice to share their thoughts about a specific product they bought.
6. Free Marketing
Reviews are a free way to market your business and get more exposure on the market. If you sell quality products and customers leave positive feedback, your business will grow very fast and become recognizable in the market. All that for free!
7. Generate More Reviews
Reviews generate more reviews, that’s a fact. It’s because they attract new customers and encourage all those who have bought the product to leave a review. In that way, the number of reviews grows more and more, and more reviews bring more sales and reviews!
Amazon Reviews Not Showing Up? – The Reasons Behind This Issue
Have you noticed Amazon reviews from customers not showing up? There are several reasons for that.
It May Take Some Time
Sometimes, your Amazon reviews may not show up right away. While it usually takes 1-3 days for reviews to show up, in rare cases, it may take up to two weeks. This is because Amazon takes reviews very seriously and does a lot of checkups before it publishes them.
Amazon Doesn’t Allow Users to Leave a Review
There are cases when Amazon doesn’t allow users to leave a review. This happens for reasons only Amazon knows about, but these blocks are usually temporary and go away after some time. However, some blocks are permanent for several reasons.
Reviews Violate Amazon’s Policy
As mentioned above, some review blocks are permanent. It’s because they violate Amazon’s policy in one way or another. As you probably know, Amazon has a very strict policy and any deviation from it is punished.
Here are some of the reasons for reviews that violate Amazon’s policy.
Any review that contains suspicious wording, inappropriate words, offensive, threatening, and refers to some type of violence is blocked/automatically removed. The same goes for reviews that contain inappropriate images.
If Amazon can’t confirm that a customer has actually bought the product they want to leave a review for, it will block/remove their review once posted.
If a review doesn’t actually review a product but talks about something else (e.g. shipping, sales, packaging), it may be removed. It’s because Amazon takes these reviews as seller feedback, not a product review.
Reviews from Family and Friends
If you have sent review requests to your family and/or friends, Amazon will detect them and will remove them. It’s because they are considered misleading since the reviewer has a personal interest.
Rapid Increase in Review Velocity
While it’s great for sellers to have a lot of reviews, it’s not good if those reviews start appearing very fast one after another or at the same time. This doesn’t refer to seasonal products, for which is normal to have a ton of reviews in their peak selling period. We are referring to products that have a sudden increase, i.e. an artificial increase in reviews that can’t be explained.
A lot of Amazon sellers, especially the new ones, who want to get more reviews for their product(s), use third-party sites to buy their products. Since paying for reviews is strictly prohibited by Amazon, they remove such reviews. Moreover, these reviews are usually non-verified, which makes them easy to detect and removed.
You had some reviews for quite some time and then they started disappearing?! It’s very frustrating since you haven’t violated any of the Amazon rules.
There are two reasons for that. The first one is the user has deleted their Amazon account. The second one is Amazon has blocked/deleted the user’s account because they have been involved in illegal reviewer activities. Although those users have really bought your product and left an honest review without you paying for it or violating Amazon’s policy, Amazon will ban and delete their account if they have done that with other sellers. This will remove all the reviews they have left, including yours.
How to Get More Reviews Without Going Against Amazon’s Policy?
Reviews are essential for every business, especially the ones operating online. They bring a lot of benefits to the sellers, but also to the buyers. Positive or negative, they tell the audience whether or not a product is good or not, so other users can decide if they will buy it or not. For sellers, the reviews boost their visibility, create their rating, and, if good, increase their sales. And, while many sellers try to get fictive reviews by paying people to review a product they have or haven’t bought, the only way to stay in business and not get banned on Amazon is by getting honest reviews without breaking Amazon’s policy.
How to Ask Safely for Reviews?
While it’s not allowed to “force” reviews by giving your product for free to the customers, there are many ways to ask them properly without violating Amazon’s policy.
Ask Them Politely
After a customer buys your product, ask them politely if they’d like to share their honest opinion about the product. Don’t force them, just ask them and let them know how valuable their review is for your and other potential buyers.
Offer a Free Gift
Giving the product being reviewed for free is NOT ALLOWED. However, offering a free gift is totally okay. So, use this to get more reviews. Offer buyers a free gift, alongside the product they already bought, as a “thank you” for sharing their honest reviews about your product.
Offer a Discount
No, you can’t offer a discount for the product they review just to get a review! However, you can offer them a discount code for their next purchase in your store as a “thank you” for leaving a review. Everyone likes to get something in return for their favor. So, if you offer something to your customers, they will be more likely to leave a review.
Use the Buyer-Seller Messaging to Ask for an Honest Review
You are allowed to use the Buyer-Seller messaging to ask your customers for an honest review. You can do this by asking one buyer at a time or use one of the review automation tools available on the market.
What to Keep in Mind When Asking for Reviews?
- Don’t ask buyers for a positive review or imply the review must be positive. You can only ask them for a review. Whether it will be a positive or a negative one, it’s up to them.
- Don’t offer a free product, discount, reimbursement, or any kind of compensation in turn for a review. But, you can offer a discount code/voucher for their next shopping in your store.
- Don’t ask customers to change their negative reviews. Deal with it and use it to improve the quality of your product(s) and/or services.
- Don’t ask your family or friends to leave positive reviews on your store or negative on your competitors’ stores.
Not sure about Amazon’s policy?
Read the guidelines thoroughly or ask an Amazon representative.
How to Protect Your Reviews?
You have got reviews and now you want to make sure they don’t vanish from your listings. Here are several practices you need to follow to do that.
- Follow Amazon’s policy – Play by Amazon’s rules and you will stay safe.
- Participate in the Amazon Early Reviewer Program – This program offers small incentives to buyers who leave reviews for products they’ve bought. It’s not free to enter and you must be a Brand Registered seller.
- Complete review requests at regular intervals – Don’t complete them all at once as it will be seen as a rapid increase in review velocity and Amazon may misunderstand those reviews as fake or forced ones and ban/remove them. Instead, complete them over a period of time.
- Market your products on social media and practice email marketing – This will bring you more traffic to your Amazon store and generate more reviews safely.