Amazon Sellers, Say Goodbye To Incentivized Reviews
In their latest efforts to curb fake reviews and reestablish trust in the Amazon Review system, Amazon has updated their review guidelines. This is the third change in the last 2 months, and this change will likely have the biggest impact of what we have seen so far.
Most notably, they REMOVED this line.
The sole exception to this rule is when a free or discounted copy of a physical product is provided to a customer up front. In this case, if you offer a free or discounted product in exchange for a review, you must clearly state that you welcome both positive and negative feedback. If you receive a free or discounted product in exchange for your review, you must clearly and conspicuously disclose that fact.
Meaning? We’re going to see a lot less, “I received this product at a discount in exchange for my honest review” on Amazon.
The new policy is pretty clear that you can’t offer a free or discounted product in exchange for a review.
What should you do?
- Stop giving away free or discounted product in exchange for reviews.
- Look into PPC ads to promote your product, instead of review clubs.
- Focus your digital marketing efforts (and budget) off of Amazon. Think
- Social Media
- Paid Advertising
- Influencer marketing
- Content Marketing
- Affiliate Markting
In order to preserve the integrity of Community content, content and activities consisting of advertising, promotion, or solicitation (whether direct or indirect) is not allowed, including:
- Creating, modifying, or posting content regarding your (or your relative’s, close friend’s, business associate’s, or employer’s) products or services.
- Creating, modifying, or posting content regarding your competitors’ products or services.
- Creating, modifying, or posting content in exchange for compensation of any kind (including free or discounted products) or on behalf of anyone else.
- Offering compensation or requesting compensation (including free or discounted products) in exchange for creating, modifying, or posting content.
- Posting advertisements or solicitations, including URLs with referrer tags or affiliate codes.
This is in addition to the changes made earlier this year. The eligibility requirement was originally added on August 2, 2016 at $5, then upped to $50 on September 23, 2016.
Sellers also received a headline in Seller Central announcing an update to Prohibited Seller Activities and Actions:
Additionally, you may not provide compensation (including free or discounted products) for a review. Review solicitations that ask for only positive reviews or that offer compensation are prohibited.
So what does all this mean for sellers? It means you can not give people free or discounted products in exchange for a review. It means that the review system may retrieve its integrity and consumer trust.
Leah has over 7 years of ecommerce experience, as an operations manager and then ecommerce consultant. She co-created the Amazon Appeal course with Chris McCabe and they are currently working together on a new one (or two).
She takes full advantage of working online by living as a digital nomad. If you see her in a co-working space, come and say hi.