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The Amazon Effect: How to Drive Sales with Online Reviews

Purchased anything from Amazon lately? If you have, you most certainly have received a follow-up email from the vendor asking, sometimes pleading, for a product review. It’s the single most important step in an Amazon seller’s sales cycle. A quality, 5-star review can push a product to the top of the marketplace, increasing sales.

We are all aware of how impactful a product review can be, but as product marketers and business owners we often set our goal at the transaction when, in fact, our finish line should be set when our newly-acquired customer completes a review. Amazon has an organic and algorithmic reward system for sellers that pursue reviews, but the “Amazon Effect” can be applied to any website to the benefit of product companies.

Keep in mind that nearly 90% of online consumers consult online reviews before making a purchase. Here are a few quick strategies to put the Amazon Effect to work for improved online sales:

Step 1 - Create your review destination. Focus on providing a way for customers to leave a review on your website. Most major e-commerce platforms offer an integrated review system - use it. If not available, create a simple page for customer testimonials.This page should be more than your featured testimonials, it should include a form or process that allows any customer to submit a review. The goal is to create an environment that enables authentic, user-generated responses.

Step 2 - Create a Follow-Up Process. The timeline for follow up can vary based on the type of product you have. A few things to consider are shipping time and reasonable usage time. If you have a product that requires some time to learn or integrate into a routine, you should allow ample time for the customer to fully experience your product. Be sure to build out an internal timeline and a way to trigger these review requests from customers. The best way to get the most reviews is to create and stick to your follow up process.

Step 3 - Create Purpose & Incentive. A standard request for reviews works very well if you can connect on a personal level and explain how valuable feedback is to your business. The angle I like to take is the “common good.” The appeal with the common good is to urge golfers to help other golfers by sharing how your product has impacted their game. Some customers need a little nudge to provide feedback. The best way to engage these golfers is to provide a discount on future purchases [best for sites with multiple products] or to provide a win/sweepstakes opportunity. The incentive push should be a secondary follow up and be used to ramp up reviews from time to time.

Step 4 - Leverage. The best way to earn new business is to promote your best reviews. Sometimes the best sales pitch you can find will come from your customers. Be certain to circulate your reviews through social media, include them in ads and email campaigns and feature the best reviews on your home or landing page. Great companies find a way to make testimonials accessible!

Need some advice on writing your product review script? Email me directly at - I’ll also give you a few tips on how to really increase your reviews over the next 30 days!


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