Selling on Amazon is easy, but there are many things involved in scaling an AMZ business. Product research, keyword research, and listing optimization are the most talked-about processes. The amount of sales you can make is determined by all three processes.
But there is one other aspect that’s largely neglected—customer reviews. Reviews also play a crucial role in determining how many sales you make. Getting them can be difficult, but the Amazon Vine program can help with this. Unfortunately, many sellers do not realize this program exists. So, what is Amazon Vine?
In this post, you will learn all about the Amazon Vine Program. But first, let’s see how important ratings are.
- People trust reviews more than personal recommendations 91% of the time.
- Buyers read reviews before making a purchase decision in 95% of cases.
- 72% of customers won’t make a purchase until they read reviews
- A minimum of five reviews can increase sales by 270%
Ratings are extremely important. But getting them is not as easy as you would expect. There are several ways to get ratings on AMZ. But the Vine program is one of the easiest. If you’ve asked this “what is Amazon Vine?” question, then you should read this to the end.
In this post, we will explain what the Vine program is, its pros and cons, and how to enroll. We will also provide information on what it costs to enroll and whether it’s worth signing up for.
The vine program is AMZ’s way of helping sellers get credible reviews. AMZ invites its most trusted reviewers to try out products for free in exchange for ratings. Reviewers under this program are usually referred to as “Vine Voices”. The program creates a win-win situation for both the seller and the reviewer.
As straightforward as this program may seem, the fact remains that Amazon doesn’t just let anyone in. The majority of reviewers have been selected based on their review records. So “Vine Voices” comprises customers who leave helpful reviews regularly.
How Does the Amazon Vine Program Work?
- First, you’ll have to enroll to join the Vine program.
- As soon as you sign up, a reviewer will request to review your product.
- In exchange for a vine customer review, you will provide the product free of charge.
Vine reviewers are usually very thorough. Sometimes, they even go as far as including product images.
Do The Reviewers Get Any Extra Incentives?
Vine reviewers get free products in exchange for feedback. But apart from this, there are no extra incentives. Contrary to what you may have thought, reviewers do not get paid to review products.
According to AMZ, Reviewers are not paid to take part in the program. The Vine Voices are chosen according to the ratings their reviews get. Vendors submit Vine products to Amazon, it is then distributed to reviewers. Also, Vine Voices have no contact with vendors. Vendors also do not have any influence over who reviews their products.
Vine reviewers are encouraged to provide objective feedback while following Amazon’s posting guidelines.
How To Enroll In The Amazon Vine Program And Cost Of Enrollment
Before 2019, only first-party sellers could take part in the vine program. The cost of enrollment was also very high, ranging from about $2500-$7500 per ASIN.
Later on, third-party sellers could enroll in the program for free. Now, the program is no longer free. Amazon now charges a $200 fee per ASIN. Sellers will also cover the cost of the free products to be given to reviewers.
Amazon Vine Program Requirements
- You must be a brand-registered seller. So, if you aren’t one already, you should sign up for the Amazon brand registry program.
- You must be willing to provide your products for free if you want them to be reviewed.
- The number of ratings on your listing must be less than 30. For instance, sellers who already have about 20 reviews, can only get 10 from the program.
- Your products must be “brand new” and sold under FBA.
- Products must be “non-adult”.
- Your product must have already been launched at the time of enrollment.
- You need to ensure that your product is available for sale.
- Your listings should contain product images, titles, and descriptions.
How To Join The Amazon Vine Program
If you have read the above requirements and still want to join the program, here’s how to go about it.
- Log in to your Amazon Seller Central account.
- Click ‘Vine’ under the advertising tab.
- You must be enrolled in the Amazon brand registry program. If you are, the ‘Enroll in Amazon Vine’ button should pop up on your screen.
- On the next screen, enter your ASIN.
- Click “Begin Enrollment”.
What Happens After Joining The Program?
As soon as you enroll, you will send samples of your products to AMZ. Amazon will then let the reviewers know that your product is available for testing. There is currently a limit of five ASINs per person.
A reviewer’s previous purchases/reviews determine what Amazon offers them. In other words, if a Vine Voice mostly reviews or buys gadgets, they get to review products in that category.
In the first 28 days, Amazon will only show your product to Vine Voices who buy in your niche. In the event that there is leftover inventory after 28 days, the remaining products to all Vine reviewers.
Do Vine Reviewers Have To Leave Reviews?
The truth is that reviewers do not have to leave you feedback. It is important to remember that reviewers do not have to actually leave ratings. and are not required to write only positive feedback.
A Vine Voice review can take anywhere from 4–8 weeks after receiving the product. Reviewers need time to use products and give unbiased reviews.
What If I Get A Negative Review From A Reviewer?
A Vine reviewer and a seller cannot contact each other in the Amazon Vine program. This is because the system runs anonymously. A vine reviewer shouldn’t bother you, and you shouldn’t try to reach them. If you violate Amazon’s terms, you may face severe consequences, so don’t do it!
You cannot delete negative feedback if it meets Amazon’s product review guidelines. Vine Voices are selected based on the depth and honesty of their feedback. Enrolling your products in Amazon Vine does not mean that you’ll only get positive ratings.
Vine reviewers will review your products in the best way possible. But you may get some negative feedback. Before putting up your products for review, provide accurate details in your listings.
Related: How Does Amazon FBA Work?
Is the Vine Program Worth It?
Joining the Vine program comes with its pros and cons. Before deciding to join the program, you should consider both sides of the coin. To help you decide whether the program is worth it, we will discuss the pros and cons.
- A Great Way To Get More Ratings
You can receive as many as 30 ratings on the Amazon Vine program. Some reviewers may not leave reviews, so it is likely that you don’t get up to 30 reviews on some products. Still, this review strategy is better than having to wait for 30 customers to buy your products. As a matter of fact, not all customers leave feedback. So, the vine program is a more reliable approach to getting convincing reviews.
- Detailed, high-quality, and unbiased reviews
Vine Voices are selected based on their reviewer rank. A reviewer’s rank depends on how often they leave reviews. It also depends on how helpful other customers find their reviews. You can expect detailed and well-structured reviews. Some reviewers even go as far as including images and creating a pros and cons list.
- More practical feedback
Due to the comprehensive nature of vine reviews, customers can get a more detailed idea of how the product works. In contrast to regular customer reviews, vine reviews can help convince buyers better.
- Drives traffic and conversions
Customer reviews are among the most important factors that impact sales and conversions. Your bestseller ranking will increase if you have many reviews on your product. If other reasons do not make the program worth a trial for you, this should.
- The Program doesn’t guarantee reviews, especially positive ones
Vine reviewers do leave genuine feedback about products. But there is no guarantee of getting only positive reviews, and in some cases, you may not get any reviews. You also cannot influence the kind of reviews you get, or who reviews your product. In addition, sellers cannot contact vine voices. So if you do not get any reviews on your product, you have to let it go, and that’s one free product gone to waste.
- Only brand-registered sellers can take part in the program.
The program is not open to every seller. Hence, only a limited number of sellers can take part. If you are enrolled in the Amazon brand registry in a niche where the majority of sellers aren’t, you can take advantage of this. If you fall on the other side of the spectrum, you will be unable to sign up for the program.
- Entry Cost
The program used to be free for third-party sellers, but it is no longer so. Now, there is a $200 enrollment fee. New sellers may consider this to be too expensive. So, if you’re trying to come to a conclusion, be sure you do not mind risking this fee (just in case you do not get a review).
Regardless of the cons involved, the Vine program does have countless benefits. So if you can afford to go for it, you should.
If the cons outweigh the pros for you, then look out for other ways to get reviews on AMZ. The Amazon vine program is not the only review strategy available to sellers. You can still get reviews for your listings even if you do not get vine reviews. Here are a few other ways to get reviews on AMZ.
3 Other Easy Ways to Get Reviews on Amazon
Use the ‘Request a Review’ Button
AMZN understands the value of ratings and feedback. As a result, they offer a “request a review” button. Buyers don’t always remember to leave feedback, so with this button, you can remind them to. But, reviews can only be requested within 4 to 30 days after the sale.
There is no dramatic increase in ratings due to this feature. So you should not expect your reviews to skyrocket. The feature can however help you increase your review count. You should use it if you want to increase your ratings.
Also, the message you send when you use the request a review button cannot be customized. But the button can be accessed on your seller dashboard. All you have to do is click ‘manage orders’ on your dashboard.
Contact Buyers Who Left A Seller Feedback
In some cases, buyers leave feedback instead of reviews. Most people don’t realize the difference. Still, you can convert this feedback into reviews. All you have to do is send an email to customers who have left positive feedback. Then ask them to leave product reviews. You should explain in your email how they can leave a review. This is to increase their chances of doing so.
Use Automatic Email Responders
AMZN has its own automated response system. Although sellers can also use third-party responders, AMZ has imposed restrictions on the types of messages that can be sent. You can only send a limited number of messages.
It is only permissible for sellers to send proactive messages to resolve issues. For example, if the buyer requests more information to complete an order, verification of customer designs and appointments for home services also fall under this.
Use An Email List
AMZN’s messaging system is limited, so you should consider communicating with customers via other platforms. You are at AMZ’s mercy if you limit your communication with customers on the platform. Maintain a line of communication with your customers. Consider building a solid brand reputation outside of AMZ.
In this way, you can still sell your products off the platform. A mailing list is a great way to reach your customers without restriction. You can build a list in several ways.
Create a blog and ask people to subscribe via social media. Or you can put a request on social media asking people to join your email list. Another option is to include product inserts with the products you already sell.
Create an email list. Then send personalized emails to existing customers, asking them to leave you reviews. You can also include direct links to your listings. This way, it will be easier for them to leave you reviews.
In 2021, you can easily get reviews on Amazon if you follow AMZN’s guidelines. If you have struggled with this, it should no longer be an issue. The Vine program is worth a trial, and now that we have answered the “what is Amazon vine?” question, we hope you’re able to get the most out of the program. If it doesn’t work for you, don’t hesitate to try other methods.
Good luck on your journey.