Relying Only On Amazon Reviews to Market Your Product is Risky Business!
Stop Thinking Small
When it comes to marketing, most Amazon Sellers think small. They concentrate all of their marketing on getting as many product reviews as they can for their products. To do that, they promote their products using review services or trying to find reviewers themselves and offering them discount or free product codes to purchase their products. They do this in exchange for the reviewer leaving them an honest review. This used to work well to boost BSR but in the last year there have been several major setbacks. These setbacks make using Amazon product reviews as your sole source of marketing very risky!
Bringing The Hammer Down
Last year Amazon discovered thousands and thousands of fake reviews by people who were paid to leave 5 star reviews for sellers on products they had never even touched. They were found on sites like Fiverr. Amazon caught wind and the reviews were wiped and the whole debacle cause Amazon to crack down on fake reviews. Legitimate review services took note and checked to make sure they complied with all of Amazon’s Terms of Service (TOS) while others continued to feel they were above the rules and the same can be said for the sellers.
Over the course of the last few months a staggering number of reviewers have had their accounts wiped. Some for good reason and some for no reason at all. There is a lot of speculation and yet no one really understands it all. It is said it is a bot using Amazon software that searches for algorithms that seem off and then wipes the accounts clean. A very slim number of accounts have been restored through an appeals process but most are gone for good. Now some reviewers go on and open new accounts with proxy IP addresses, new emails, names, mailing addresses and more. Usually it is only a few months and those accounts are found and wiped. Everyday Amazon is wiping more accounts and no review account is truly safe, even top reviewers are logging in to find their reviewing privileges revoked and their reviews gone.
Sellers are feeling it too because some of their best video and photo reviews of their products disappear overnight. If they spent a substantial amount of money with a review service it is now wasted and they are back to ground zero. With more and more reviewers being wiped it is becoming a vendetta. Several review groups that operate exclusively on Facebook are bursting at the seams with drama. It truly seems like immature, high school drama has infiltrated these groups to the point they are a detriment to sellers.
Fights between the groups, admins leaving and new ones taking their place faster than you can blink is making things worse. Reports of vindictive reviewers reporting others out of spite or planning huge down votes on their reviews are rampant. These kind of vicious attacks are part of the reason many lost their reviewer accounts. When one of the players in these petty games loses their account they seem to plan an all out attack to take down as many as they can as revenge. All of this unprofessional behavior is spiraling downward and leaving a trail of frustrated sellers and wiped reviewers in its path.
No More Verified Reviews
Beyond this, Amazon removed the verified review tag on items that were given away free or deeply discounted to reviewers in exchange for leaving a product review. Now sellers are struggling to understand if these unverified reviews are even going to count to boost their BSR and many are so frustrated. Seller forums are filled with sellers asking questions and trying to understand what all of this means.
Rumors vs Facts
In the wake of all that there are rumors circulating that Amazon is not done with this systematic cleansing of reviewers accounts and many reviewers are doing their best to try to fly under the radar. Each new day brings with it tales of more review accounts that were stripped bare. Some say Amazon will wipe every single account in order to offer sellers their own review service and have no competition. At this point there are more rumors than facts and it truly seems like a battlefield where every reviewer hopes at the end of the day they can retire with their account still in tact.
Sellers are equally frazzled. Many are being proactive and turning to social media, bloggers and other means to promote their products. This is wise, to rely on any one thing is foolish and we are seeing right now the reason why. When sellers engage in promotions with experienced bloggers they can get huge exposure for their product. The bloggers can include links that will direct the readers to Amazon to purchase the product. Their blogs have connected social media accounts so their products are blasted out to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and if they also do video reviews to YouTube. Speaking of YouTube, many sellers are turning to video reviews on YouTube to promote their products and it works very well.
So there are options for Amazon Sellers beyond what was thought of as the-be-all, end-all in Amazon product marketing. Wise sellers will start now to expand their reach and get the most exposure they can for their product. It is not easy being an entrepreneur, that is why not everyone is. The ability to fail and get up and change direction and try again is not something everyone has the ability to do. Those that do dust themselves off and navigate a new course may find they are headed in the direction of success.
Turn To Professionals
If you are looking to expand your Amazon product marketing, we can help. We have thousands of bloggers and social media influences in our data base as well as providing YouTube reviews and much more to take your product marketing to the next level. Contact us today and register on our order services page so we can help guide you in your new marketing direction.