How Product Reviews Influence Sales Performance on the Amazon Marketplace
You might think that having a good amount of product reviews is just a general ecommerce best practice, and this is true, but product reviews on the Amazon Marketplace – an ecommerce sales channel with its own unique set of rules – play a significant and multifaceted role in overall sales performance.
In the scope of Amazon selling strategy, feedback management is going to be an area where you can differentiate yourself on the ultra-competitive Marketplace. In this case, product reviews will affect both your productDiscoverability and product Buyability.
Let’s dive into the greater impact of Amazon product reviews on Marketplace selling performance and how you should be thinking about Amazon product feedback management as a significant aspect of overall strategy:
Product Feedback Affects Listing Discoverability
Search filters are an integral part of product Discoverability on Amazon, and one of the most prominently placed filters for any given search is “Avg. Customer Review” (a.k.a. product feedback). Any Amazon customer will attest that one of Amazon’s best value props is that it’s a hub for many unbiased customer reviews, and so they’ll often search using this filter.
If you think of product Discoverability as “Amazon SEO,” the goal is for your products to receive better exposure on the Amazon SERP and show up for relevant search queries. And so a given ASIN will become less discoverable if it A) does not have any product reviews and B) if it doesn’t have a positive review rating.
Product Feedback Affects Listing Buyability
Amazon product pages are no exception to the conversion rate optimization (CRO) best practice of including a lot of product reviews on an ecommerce product page. Social proof is a powerful purchase decision influence and customer reviews often contain information not covered in the product features or description.
On a given Amazon product detail page, you can implement your own CRO best practices through investing in optimizing your product content and/or attaining product reviews. Both will allow the shopper to better make an informed purchase decision.
So while product reviews affect both the Amazon SERP and the Amazon detail page, it doesn’t always make sense for a seller to prioritize feedback management.
When to Invest Resources into Product Feedback Management
Whether you’re focusing on increasing the Discoverability of a given ASIN (increase sessions) or driving more conversions on a product detail page (increase orders), there’s really only 2 very similar scenarios where it makes sense to invest resources into accumulating product reviews (of course, with the hopes that these reviews will be positive):
1)You’re the only seller for an ASIN, presumably because you’re the manufacturer
2)You have very high Buy Box ownership share for a given ASIN
In both cases, your Buy Box ownership share will be 100% or close to it. This means that your offer will be front and center when a shopper transfers from the SERP to the product detail page. You can see how it would be illogical to pay a feedback management company to accumulate reviews for you if your offer isn’t the one showing up most of the time, even if that product is one of your top-performers. You don’t want to implement CRO best practices for your competitor.
All things said, product feedback management is almost a secondary aspect of “Amazon optimization,” meaning it shouldn’t be the first thing you focus on when implementing a sophisticated, professional seller strategy. For a better understanding of this idea, the white paper Product Discoverability on Amazondives into how sellers can formulate a comprehensive strategy around driving sessions while the white paper Product Buyability on Amazon dives into driving orders via improving Buy Box share.
Posted by Jon Gregoire on August 18, 2014 in Amazon Marketplace