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Why is this important?
Back in the later part of 2016, Amazon made a major change in the Amazon seller space: no more incentivized reviews! This was a BIG DEAL for all private label sellers. Yes, everyone! For those who actively pursued incentivized reviews, it meant that you no longer could (and comply with TOS), and for those who didn’t pursue incentivized reviews.. well, it meant that you might have more of a chance to compete.
What is the Amazon Early Reviewer Program
Essentially, Amazon has recognized that getting reviews is not easy (no, kidding!). So, several months ago, Amazon actually sent out an email mentioning that this program would be coming. With the Amazon Early Reviewer Program, Amazon allows registered brand owners to submit their products that have less than 5 reviews to the reviewer program. Once submitted, Amazon will actually go out and email customers who have bought your product and ask if they would leave a review. Now, the way that Amazon gets these customers to leave the review (or “incentivizes” them), is that they offer a gift card for a small amount of money if a review is left (like $2 or $3).
Isn’t Amazon Encouraging Incentivized Reviews?
Initially, it can seem like Amazon is encouraging the very thing they banned in 2016 with incentivized reviews. However, there is a key difference to the way that the Amazon Early Reviewer Program works. Foremost, customers do not know prior to purchasing your product that they are going to be offered this chance for a ‘reward’ for leaving a review. When the customer is actually buying the product, they have no incentive to buy the product because they are going to get this offer. The offer happens post-purchase. The customer has no more incentive to leave a positive review then a negative review because 1) they have already purchased the product, and 2) they ‘reward’ is relatively small.
How Does The Program Work?
The following are some of the main things to know about the Amazon Early Reviewer Program:
- $60 cost per listing to get started with the program
- Your product has to have a sales price of at least $15 on Amazon
- Your product has to have less than 5 reviews
“The Early Reviewer Program is a new program that encourages buyers who have already purchased a product to share their authentic experience through reviews. The program’s goal is to help brand owners acquire early reviews, which helps shoppers make smarter buying decisions and can lead to an increase in page views, search click-throughs, and sales.”
How Do Listings With Variations Work?
If you have variations, you are always submitting the parent SKU. So if you submit a parent SKU that has multiple child variations (such as different color or size), you are only paying that one time. Reviews on listings with variations display for the entire listing.
“SKUs must be parent level or stand-alone. No variations can be enrolled. Child SKUs are automatically enrolled with the parent.”
When Do You Pay?
One of the best parts of the program is that you are guaranteed at least one review (or you don’t pay!). Once you receive your first review from the program, you will automatically be charged $60 per SKU enrolled. Never get that first review? You don’t pay! And for most private label sellers, just having that first product review is typically worth $60.
How Long Does The Program Run For?
Amazon will continue to solicit reviews for up to 1 year from time of enrollment, or until 5 reviews are received through the program, whichever is sooner. Pretty cool!
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