Amazon Editorial Reviews: How To Leverage These To Build Your Brand

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Jack Bijou is the Head of Growth at Riverbend Consulting, a consulting company that helps Amazon sellers with account reinstatements and protection, FBA reimbursements, and editorial reviews.

Prior to joining Riverbend Consulting, Jack was the Head of Sales at PRIMEXCHANGE and the Head of Growth at Project Retail. He studied Business Management and Marketing at the City University of New York’s Brooklyn College.



Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Jack Bijou explains the benefits of Amazon’s editorial review program for e-commerce brands
  • How brands can become eligible for Amazon’s editorial reviews and find publications to review them
  • Jack describes how Amazon determines which reviews to publish
  • How long does a review article remain on Amazon and what is the typical cost and timeline of coverage?
  • The different types of products shown under editorial review banners
  • What Jack has learned from participating in Amazon’s editorial review program
  • How the editorial review program has been modified over the last year and Jack’s thoughts on how to improve it
  • Jack shares an example of a brand that saw positive changes thanks to editorial reviews
  • The ideal number of product listings to have reviewed

In this episode…

As an Amazon seller, do you know how Amazon’s editorial review program works? Is your e-commerce brand eligible to join the program, and if so, what are the benefits of having your products reviewed on the platform?

In his role at Riverbend Consulting, Jack Bijou has been working with e-commerce brands to help them drive traffic and increase conversions on Amazon through editorial review articles. He has seen the impact these articles have on generating sales and revenue for brands. Now he’s here to share how you can start taking advantage of this great marketing initiative today.

In this episode of the Buy Box Experts podcast, James Thomson interviews Jack Bijou, the Head of Growth at Riverbend Consulting, about Amazon’s editorial review program. They discuss how the program works, talk about its requirements for brands, and explain how it benefits Amazon sellers. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

Buy Box Experts applies decades of e-commerce experience to successfully manage their clients’ marketplace accounts. The Buy Box account managers specialize in combining an understanding of their clients’ business fundamentals and their in-depth expertise in the Amazon Marketplace.

The team works with marketplace technicians using a system of processes, proprietary software, and extensive channel experience to ensure your Amazon presence captures the opportunity in the marketplace — not only producing greater revenue and profits but also reducing or eliminating your business’ workload.

Buy Box Experts prides itself on being one of the few agencies with an SMB (small to medium-sized business) division and an Enterprise division. Buy Box does not commingle clients among divisions as each has unique needs and requirements for proper account management.

Learn more about Buy Box Experts at BuyBoxExperts.com.

Podcast Episode Transcripts:

Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.

Intro 0:09

Welcome to the Buy Box Experts Podcast. We bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e-commerce world.

James Thomson 0:18

I am James Thomson, one of the hosts of the Buy Box Experts Podcast. I’m a partner with Buy Box Experts and the former business head of the selling on Amazon team at Amazon, as well as the first account manager for the Fulfillment by Amazon program. I’m the co author of a couple of books on Amazon including the recent book, Controlling Your Brand in the Age of Amazon. Today’s episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts. Buy Box Experts takes ambitious brands and makes them unbeatable. When you hire Buy Box Experts, you receive the strategy optimization and marketing performance to succeed on Amazon. We also provide investors with due diligence services go to buyboxexperts.com to learn more. Before I introduce our guest today, I want to send a big shout out to the team at GETIDA, a global leader in Amazon FBA auditing and reimbursements. GETIDA analyzes your Amazon data, reconciles your FBA inventory and files claims for reimbursements on your behalf. To learn more, check out getida.com. Our guest today is Jack Bijou, Head of Growth from Riverbend Consulting, a firm that helps Amazon sellers with seller performance appeals, account management reimbursements and today’s topic, editorial reviews. Jack, welcome. And thank you for joining us today on the Buy Box Experts Podcast.

Jack Bijou 1:38

James James, thanks for having me. You know, I’m happy to be on the podcast. I know this has been sort of a hot topic lately. So I’m excited to get into it.

James Thomson 1:48

Well, let’s talk about Amazon’s newly launched editorial review program. I want to start by asking you, what is this program? What does it do for Amazon customers? Why is Amazon doing this? Tell us more?

Jack Bijou 2:02

Yeah, so basically, about a few years ago, Amazon handpicked about 200 or so publishers to write articles about the few Amazon listings within each category. Most often it’s the top and most successful listings in brands. And the reason why is because Amazon incentivizes these publishers through affiliate commissions for these sales that come directly from the articles that they create. So naturally, what we’ve been seeing over the past few years are the top brands, the top listings with the most reviews are dominating these these articles. And you know, in terms of you know, the article and where it shows up, and what it does, it’s, it’s usually between, I would say the third and fourth row, always on the first page. Okay, third, fourth row from the top, usually right above or below sponsored video as placement. So like I said, it’s always ranked on the first page. Again, in terms of keywords and placement, it gets a little tricky, in which words, but it’s always on the first page. And it’s right there in the middle with a full article written up about usually three listings.

James Thomson 3:14

So why would brands be interested in having their products placed as one of those three, those three different types of brands? And there was going to be a dumb question. But is it something beyond just more visibility?

Jack Bijou 3:28

No, it’s a great question. I think what the editorial article does for these brands is it gives them an opportunity to be seen in a completely different light than what they’re used to. Right. So almost every Amazon buyer today, I would say and I would wonder if you would agree is they all know that the first page is made up of organic listings, a few sponsored listings that people paid for, and then Amazon’s choice and Amazon’s already things. And it’s a combination of that, right? So the editorials come in, and they give these brands an entirely new perceived value that they can’t get from one of those standard placements that buyers are most useful.

James Thomson 4:07

So let’s talk about the mechanics of how these editorial reviews work. If I’m a brand and I want to participate or seek to participate in this program, what do I need to do to be eligible to participate in having my brand reviewed and potentially included in the editorial reviews?

Jack Bijou 4:26

Yeah, so it’s, most importantly, you know, besides we’ll go through the requirements, you know, a few requirements that’s needed. But the most important thing that I tell all clients and all sellers, if they asked about the editorial program is you got to submit good listings, right? You have to submit listings that you’re constantly in stock, you’re reordering you’re pushing through deals through coupons through PPC, through video ads, off market tools, anything you can do and you’re pushing the listing, it has 1000s of reviews ranked really well. Those are the listings that will do well now. We have To make a line somewhere, right? Because we want the ability to get our clients into these spots, or have the publishers choose, right. So the basic requirements are 100 reviews, a four star rating, and we highly recommend less than a 50,000 rank in your main category. So home and kitchen clothing, shoes and jewelry, health and household. Yes, working outdoors, under 50,000.

James Thomson 5:25

So I think of PPC as a tool where anybody can participate if they’re willing to spend enough money. It sounds like the editorial review program, you already have to be reasonably well established on Amazon to be considered even if in fact, your brand has long history outside of Amazon. None of that’s going to help you unless you’ve already established yourself on Amazon.

Jack Bijou 5:47

Yeah, exactly that. And it’s a very different you know, it’s a very different play, then PPC, or anything in that in that world where you can pay per click, you can choose the keywords, you can set your budget, you could turn it on, you could turn it off, you can go after your competitors, you know, we have Ace and targeting campaigns you can do there’s all different types of PPC campaigns, video ads, right. But editorial is, is that the publisher has discretion, right? You really can’t do much in, besides making sure your listing is up to par, doing the right things, having the amount of reviews and just getting on their radar enough for them to say, Hey, this is a good listing. Let’s add it.

James Thomson 6:29

So let’s say I am a brand that has these requirements, you’ve talked about how do I access these 200 or so organizations that are writing these reviews? How do I tap into that?

Jack Bijou 6:44

Yeah, so obviously, you know, Riverbend, we have a relationship that we built with these publishers and with this network of publishers, so we’re able to offer clients and sellers the opportunity to get in front of these publishers through us right now just for a second, if you don’t use Riverbend, right, and you just try and, you know, research, some publishers that you see on Amazon writing articles, and you try and get in touch with them, it’s usually extremely difficult. And even if you do, it might be one publisher that might not even be so relevant to your category. It’s a tough play. But obviously, there are big sellers that have relationships with certain publishers, and you know, share them the listings that they have, and see if they can get them in. But what we do is, we’ll take a listing, you know, we have to vet it out, obviously, and qualify the listing, make sure it’s good enough to even submit. Once we do that, it’s basically putting it in front of the publishers and asking them listen, take a look at this list of listings, right? Do you want to pick it up? If you want, let us know that you did, we’ll let our client know. And that’s the whole relationship. So we’re not telling them, hey, you must take this article up, or you must pick this pick this listing up, which some people think that it’s, here’s a list of listings. If you choose to edit, let us know. And we’ll monitor it.

James Thomson 8:03

So let’s imagine I sell tents. And every tech company out there, every big tech company says they want to participate in this program. And you’ve got some editorial review organization with 10 submissions of different tents. How does Amazon figure out which ones they’re going to take? Which ones they’re not going to take? How does that those mechanics work?

Jack Bijou 8:28

Yeah, again, that’s a really good question. So before it even gets to Amazon, right, it has to go through the publisher. So if the publishers write up the article, they’re responsible to send it to Amazon. Now Amazon can also decline an article. So there’s really two levels, right has to go through the publishers and then through Amazon, because they’re ultimately the ones posting it. Now, if you have a situation where there’s multiple articles in Amazon system for the same product type, even the same keyword, right, because Amazon indexes the articles based on the keywords, what Amazon will do is they will evaluate each article and say, Okay, which one deserves to be shown more, you know, so let’s say you have a keyword tense, and there’s 100,000 searches a month pretense? Yeah. And there’s 10 articles that were submitted for 10th. So Amazon will basically say, Okay, this article did really well, we’ll show it 40% of the time, this article was up for a few months didn’t do much, we’re going to take it down. And that’s how Amazon’s algorithm runs with these articles.

James Thomson 9:29

So let’s talk about what does it mean, it doesn’t do much or does much. Are we looking at the number of reads, number of clicks? Like how do we evaluate the success of one of these articles? if people aren’t looking to have comparisons and reviews on certain classes of products, it may still be a top selling item in that category. But if people don’t click on the reviews, these editorial reviews that something must be going on. So take take us through how that works.

Jack Bijou 9:58

Yeah, so at And that’s also one of the things that, you know, Amazon evaluates for how long an article will stay up also, right? So it really all depends on the performance of the listings that are in the article. And the performance is usually based off sales, velocity conversions, you know, the clicks, that the articles get an overall health of each listing, right, if one of the listings in the article just runs out of stock one day, and obviously, Amazon is not incentivized to keep showing that article with no stock, you don’t want to the listing. So overall, that’s that’s what they look at, to continue to keep an article live for months on it.

James Thomson 10:38

So in a matter of months, a lot can change within a category, I think of some of the electronic categories I’ve seen where practically every day you go in, there’s a different set of top selling items. Well, while you may have many dozens of brands that meet the minimum requirements to be eligible for editorial review, the fact that an article and editorial review article can stay up for months on end. How does that work, when all the organic search results are changing out? Much more often than than the review articles?

Jack Bijou 11:12

Yeah, so another another important point about these articles is that there can be let’s use electronics, right? There should be 100 articles that exists for a specific electronic product, take a phone charger, right. But there’s so many variation of different keywords around the phone charger, where different articles can live. So it is very keyword specific, right? So the organic ranks the sponsor ranks, all the ranks are constantly moving, of course, based off of keywords, and the articles play right into that. So most of the time you go on Amazon search, and you type in a word, and you add another word, a simple word to the end of that keyword. And all sudden, you’ll see a completely new article. Yeah, right. So there can be many articles that live within a specific product. But it’s very, it’s, it goes based off the keywords.

James Thomson 12:07

So let’s say I do get my article to be posted on Amazon. What what are you seeing in terms of the typical length of time that an article will remain on Amazon? Assuming it is in stock, assuming people are clicking on the article and so on?

Jack Bijou 12:24

Yeah, so a lot, a lot of what we’ve seen is a lot of what we know, just just to be fully transparent is based off of averages, right? Because and what the publishers communicate to us, because again, just to be clear, we are not the ones turning on the article or turning off the article. So we can just speak to our experience and our knowledge of the program. But we’ve seen and we’ve been told articles usually last close to six to 12 months. Okay, now, obviously, that’s a pretty wide range from six to 12 months. And that’s where all the variables that I mentioned earlier, come into play.

James Thomson 12:58

So what am I as a brand going to be paying? Have my article show up for six to 12 months, who’s being paid? And how do I think about the economics of that as a brand to figure out whether it’s even worth my spending that kind of money to have that editorial review coverage?

Jack Bijou 13:16

Yeah, so the details of the process is pretty simple. Okay, so we like to lay it out like this, the client is only paying Riverbend in the case that the article goes live. Okay, so let’s just take, for example, you had a product, you know, you had a listing has 1000 reviews, four star rating, and it’s ranked 3000 in your attic. Sure, okay. You say, Jack, I want to submit this listing, we take that listing, we send it to the publishers, okay, nothing is charged to you yet, you can submit whatever you’d like. There’s no charge yet. What we do is we ask the publishers, we put it in front of them. Now that listing is on their radar, we monitor the listing. And with the publisher, if they choose to write the article, we know it was picked up. No, we still wait for Amazon to load the article on their first page. And once they do that, then we collect the fee from the client for a broke sort of like a PR firm a broker’s fee Sure, middleman. You’re sure hang. I’m sorry. Please continue. You’re basically paying for our relationship. And to get you in front of those publishers. The publishers are not you’re not paying the publishers to write your articles. Because again, they could simply say no, right? They have a choice.

James Thomson 14:34

So what’s in it for the publisher as part of this process?

Jack Bijou 14:38

So back so in the beginning, right, we’ve mentioned that Amazon gives these publishers commissions for all the sales that come from these articles, right? Yep. So they’re always looking for quality listings. That’s what their agenda is right? They want commission so they’re going to go after good listings, which is why like I said earlier, the positions are usually filled with top brands with a lot of listings A lot of reviews and good ranking. So what we’re doing is we’re giving we’re broadening their reach, right? So instead of them relying on their team to search for listings on Amazon, we’re searching for them and saying, Hey, this is a great listing. Why don’t you edit? You know, and if they edit, they know that they’re getting affiliate commissions from Amazon.

James Thomson 15:19

So the brand is not paying that affiliate commission, Amazon pays that commission, the brand would only be paying your fee for having brokered the deal in the first place.

Jack Bijou 15:28

Exactly, exactly. And and if anyone who sees an editorial article, there’s actually a button right next to editorial article that says, earns commissions. And if you click that, Amazon clearly states, they pay these publishers affiliate commissions for the sales in these spots.

James Thomson 15:47

What is your experience around how long it typically takes from the time that you put forward a skew to an editorial review writer? How long does it typically take to learn whether you’re in or not? Or at least, whether whether they’re going to write an article and send it on to Amazon for the next step of evaluation?

Jack Bijou 16:07

Yeah, so the full timeline, to get a product live on Amazon through the article, assuming everything was approved, is about four to eight weeks, okay? Now the breakdown is, it usually takes about one to two weeks for the publishers to let us know that they’re writing the article, which means that they brought it in and they approved it. And then the bulk of the time, another three to six weeks or so it’s in Amazon’s hands, and we’re just waiting for them to upload it.

James Thomson 16:37

So if you’ve got articles that are staying on the site for six to 12 months, it feels to me like it, it’s gonna be hard to fight, who might already have an article in place,

Jack Bijou 16:50

saying if there’s an existing article, sure, in

James Thomson 16:53

same keywords, and so on and so forth.

Jack Bijou 16:57

Yeah, so again, it’s a good question. If it’s keyword specific, and Amazon matches up the new article to an existing article for the same keyword or keywords. Again, they would just share the space, right, so I think filming is the highest search keyword, there’s a lot of searches to go around. So this article will be a certain percent of the time for that keyword. And this article will be a certain percent of that time for that keyword as well.

James Thomson 17:22

So you may search as a customer, you may search the same terms over a period of a couple days over a week, and you could see different editorial reviews for different products, even though it’s an exactly the same category, exactly the same search terms.

Jack Bijou 17:38

Yeah, well, it’ll all be the same product type, it’ll be completely different articles. Now, there’s some times certain products do overlap on multiple articles. So the beauty about the program is that you submit your listing with us and we give that listing to the publishers. So we did two things. One, hopefully, we get you one article which you submitted for us. But the best case scenario, which happens a lot is now this listing is on the publishers radar. So we don’t need to continue to send it to them for them to pick you up organically, which we don’t charge for. Obviously, that’s a benefit. But like I said, the listing is on their radar. So in another three months, you might see three organic articles for your product that you were never displayed for before.

James Thomson 18:21

Talk to me a little bit about the different types of products that are shown on the same editorial review banner, you talked about there being at least three products that we visually see, take me through those and take me through the the parts that we don’t even see.

Jack Bijou 18:36

Yeah, so I would say on average, a full article is usually about five listing. Okay, now there’s three that we see on the front end. Okay, so the ones that land on Amazon’s first page, that big box in the middle of the page called editorial recommendations. Now, there’ll be three products. First, second, third, usually a different title, or different banner for each listing, it could be, you know, best for ages, less than five best for teens and best for adults or whatever the product is. Now, the other listings, can be seen in one of two ways. One, there’s usually an arrow at the end of the article. And you could click it and it’ll show you the other two. Or there’s a button on the bottom of the article on Amazon’s page where it says read the full article. And you click that button and it takes you to the actual article that was written about the price. So the full article, there’s pictures, there’s write ups, and then you’ll see all the listings. Now I do want to mention, if we onboard a client and we get them into an article, if they are displayed in any of the positions outside of the main three, we don’t even consider that a successful listing. And we will either try again or request the publishers edit that existing article.

James Thomson 19:55

So let’s spend a minute and talk about how unbiased are these editorials. There are different people making money along the way. If I were to compare this to say a Consumer Reports, evaluation that looks at products within a category, how, how do Amazon editorial reviews compare with? You know, the Consumer Reports versus the blackhat techniques that some of us unfortunately have had to deal with? Where does it fit in? And how should consumers be thinking about the quality? And the unbiasness of the information that’s being presented in those articles?

Jack Bijou 20:31

Yeah, and and honestly, you know, that’s, that’s a dumb, happy you asked that, because a lot of people have concerns about that question. And the basic understanding is, it is completely unbiased, right? As much as that might be surprising to hear that Amazon offers these publishers, commissions for the sales that get into that spot. Now, yes, obviously, they’re incentivized to choose better listings. Okay. So that is the incentive. Now, in terms of being biased or unbiased through using Riverbend, let’s say, getting into this program. Yep. Again, all all Riverbend is doing is broadening the reach for listings for these publishers, is their choice. At the end of the day, we have multiple clients who have submitted who have gotten declined. And obviously some that submitted that do get through. But again, it’s completely up to the publishers, we have no influence over the content over what they choose to write, you know, these publishers, write pros and cons about certain listings, they do their own research that were totally outside of any decision whatsoever. And again, we only charge for the relationship that we have.

James Thomson 21:41

So do we know if the companies that are doing these writing these reviews? Do we know if they’re actually doing the comprehensive reviews of the products? As in they’re buying the product? They’re checking out how the product works and doesn’t work? Or do you know anything about how that process works?

Jack Bijou 22:00

So I’ve been told that so one of the requirements for a client to submit with us is not to send a sample, right? So we don’t send a sample to the publishers, however, we’ve been told that the publisher is on their own, can choose to buy the product, and use that as part of their review. But most of the times, I believe, that these publishers are analyzing and researching the brand, either on Amazon and off Amazon. So they’ll read the reviews that they have, they’ll analyze the content that the client chose to put in his title and his bullet point in his description, look at his a plus content, and they’ll get a feel for the product and and the brand. And then they’ll or they’ll write their own write up on it.

James Thomson 22:43

So you’ve talked about what Riverbend is doing in terms of building the relationship with these different review organizations, submitting pre qualified pre curated products for them to evaluate. Take me through in the time that you’ve participated in in editorial reviews. What have you learned, the surprised you the most about how this program is or isn’t helping brands to sell more products?

Jack Bijou 23:08

Yeah, I think I think the the most important thing we’ve learned or at least I’ve learned over the course of being in the program is in the beginning, we were under the impression that as long as listings, meet those requirements that we and the publisher set in place, you know, the review, count the rating, right, and so on, as long as they hit that they all had the same chance of doing well, because obviously, you know, they’re on the first page and they’re getting a lot of clicks, and everyone should do awesome. Right? We found out very quickly that listings for listings to do well in the program, not only do they need to meet the requirements, but like I mentioned earlier, it needs to be a high quality listing needs to be a listing that you’re always pushing on off Amazon deals coupons, PPC editorial should not be used as a substitute to any other marketing initiatives that a seller has going on. It should be an edited it’s a catalyst to growing your business. Okay, and especially in ways that you might not be able to access through Seller Central or through anything else.

James Thomson 24:17

In what ways do you believe these reviews are worth the effort for brands to submit their products to get considered? Is it just is it just a sales play?

Jack Bijou 24:30

It’s a good question. I honestly it is not I think sales is I wouldn’t even consider the main benefit to the program. I think brand recognition, you know, building brand equity. Like I mentioned earlier, that perceived value that you just can’t get from an organic response or listing. Lawyers today are too smart to know that, you know, you could have giveaway you could have given away product or you could have, you know, paid a ridiculous amount of money on PPC to be there. You know, they’re smart these days, right? So, editorial, yes, you’re on the first page, you’re going to get sales, okay. But that’s not the only benefit your brand is being seen next to the biggest brands in the category, you’re being seen in a different light, and the halo effect to that specific listing, and just your overall brand can be, you know, extremely, extremely, you know, overwhelming and successful.

James Thomson 25:25

Take me through since the start of this program, how is Amazon modified the program?

Jack Bijou 25:33

So, so it’s funny because we’ve, we’re always looking at, you know, the search page and seeing if editorials come up in a different way in a different position. Over the past year and few months, we’ve seen a few interesting things that we think Amazon has been testing, okay, we don’t know if it’s going to be something permanent. But like, for example, I’ve came across multiple articles being the first position on the first page. Okay, so ahead of sponsored, it’ll be the first banner you see on the first page, I’ve also seen it in the middle of the page, where instead of having one row of three listings, it had two full rows, right under each other showing six listings. So again, I also think that, besides placement, I think Amazon is going to figure out a way to leverage these publishers a little bit more than they’re currently doing. You know, people today are running after influencers and off Amazon, where, you know, things and now Amazon live like these things are coming. And I think Amazon has a very big opportunity with these publishers to sort of cater to those needs of sellers.

James Thomson 26:45

If you’re in charge of this program at Amazon, what would you differently?

Jack Bijou 26:50

That’s a good question. I would do a few things differently, the first thing I would I would change, or at least add would be data. Okay? Because one of the most frustrating things on Amazon is if you don’t see the data, and you don’t see what’s happening, right to your investment. So you know, and I can relate to our clients, because the only thing that we show them, which obviously is great is sales. So we actually have a dashboard that we give all our clients, and it shows them direct sales from the article. But it doesn’t show clicks, it doesn’t show impressions, conversion rates, click through rates, anything like your standard Business Report on Amazon would show you. And I think, and I think that would add a lot to the program, in my opinion.

James Thomson 27:38

So this, this makes it challenging for a brand that’s your clients seeing that you’re telling them? Well, you sold 100 units, and you owe us this much because we helped you sell 100 units versus we helped you sell 1000 units. Amazon is tracking exactly how many sales come through the editorial review versus PPC versus organic.

Jack Bijou 27:59

Yeah, so that Yeah, and that’s another thing, it’s only the direct sales, right? You can’t well that that the client would analyze on their own, you know, the halo effect. If they can’t, right, it’s not easy, because they’re doing so many things, during six months to help the sales, you can always attribute the increase in organic sales, just editorial, even though I believe that it does affect it in a big way. And then, and then honestly, besides from data. Another thing that I would say is the frequency that these articles show up for a given keyword. You know, it also, sometimes you’ll have somewhat, you’ll type in a keyword and you’ll type in that same keyword Two hours later, and the article won’t be there, you know, and just people were like, you know, what’s happening is my article down. And so I think they’re still learning how the editorial article fits in within their algorithm. And I think things will only get better in my opinion, because of how well it’s been doing for them.

James Thomson 28:55

Will you take us through an example, you know, redacted brandings example of a company that was pleasantly surprised by what they found in this program. As I think about any new program on Amazon, we all go into it saying, Okay, I’ll try something out. But I don’t really know what’s on the other side of this trial. What can you share with us have a have a client experience that worked well worked out well for everyone?

Jack Bijou 29:18

Yeah. You know, we actually had a client who did exactly that one of our first client, and honestly, I advise all clients to do this. So they tested the program with a few listings, you know, about two or three listings. There are large seller, they do a lot of business. Their listings that they submitted, had a nice many reviews, it was ranked pretty well and I believe that they were doing a decent size business. After about two months into the program, the following month, they started doing around $100,000 a month for each of their listings in just direct sales from the article. What that did was besides for the sales, right, which obviously, that’s a very big number, but besides from the sales we on our own, because I was just curious, I analyzed their rank. Okay, so I went into their listing, obviously, using an expansion, looking at their rank over the time, you know, that we had the article live. And it went from a little over 4000 in the category, to at a point, it was under 800. In the category, okay, so it was a significant range drop. And it didn’t stay at the 800 consistently for the next five months. But it leveled out at about 1500 to 2000. Right. So that so the net return was from about 4000, to 2000. But they had about once two months, where there were 800. And that’s why obviously the sales, you know, were coming in were just tremendous.

James Thomson 30:53

Do you find that the conversion that comes from traffic on editorials is meaningfully different than conversion that comes from organic traffic?

Jack Bijou 31:03

So it’s tough to answer because we don’t, you know, we don’t really get any access to conversion rates. However, in my in my opinion, I would say, the click right and the end, the buyer who’s entering into that article, and entering into that listing from the article already joined, already got into the listing thinking that this is a quality product, you know, the publisher, BuzzFeed, or Forbes, or, you know, new health or, you know, whatever these publishers are, they published about this product and said it was a good product, and I’m clicking in, and I’m sort of already sold. So I can imagine that the conversion rates, which is why I really would love Amazon to give us the conversion rates, but I can’t assume that they’re much higher than an organic or, and, of course, a sponsored placement.

James Thomson 31:56

So if I’m a brand that has products that meet the minimum criteria that we’re talking about, can you give me reasons why I shouldn’t be trying out this program today?

Jack Bijou 32:07

So, you know, the salesman in me is gonna say, No, of course, but the truth is, listen, if if you have a listing or listings that are there, you know, in terms of reviews in terms of rank, in terms of, you know, what you’re doing for that listing on a day to day basis? Yes. I always, I always like to analyze things risk and reward, right. So the fees that we charge to test the program, Okay, first of all, you don’t pay anything unless it actually is successful. Okay, so that’s the first thing. Okay, the next thing is the setup fee that we charge is usually recovered within the first few months, if not sooner in the program. And then the and then the rest of the fees is just a rev share, right? So there’s no out of pocket expense. Yep. So so the risk of being on an editorial, right and paying and being there for about six to 12 months, in my opinion, is at worst, breakeven, at worst. And the potential reward, I think, is obvious, you know, you found a program, which you were never even willing to try. But you could you could give out to to all your listings.

James Thomson 33:14

So I want to finish with with one one more question around. Let’s say I have 100 products that meet the requirements. Realistically, do you want clients coming to you with hundreds of products all to have articles written on?

Jack Bijou 33:31

It depends, I would say, you know, if you have 100 products, and it’s really two different product types, and you’re just a seller who constantly makes new variations of the same product, but instead of putting it in the same listing, you’re creating new listings, you know, to try and capitalize the market share for the first page of that product or something like that. I wouldn’t advise doing all 100 Okay, because you won’t, you won’t be giving each listing the best chance to succeed because you’re spreading yourself too thin. If you got 100 products and you cover 100 different categories. And by all means, you’re as if you’re 100 different clients at 100 different products. So there would be no no reason not to. There would only be if you’re overlapping and you wouldn’t want to spread yourself that.

James Thomson 34:18

Jack, I want to thank you for joining us today on the Buy Box Experts Podcast. For those of you interested in learning more about Riverbend Consulting, please visit riverbendconsulting.com Join us again next time on the Buy Box Experts Podcast. Today’s episode is brought to you by GETIDA. GETIDA is a global leader in Amazon FBA auditing and reimbursements. GETIDA analyzes your Amazon data, reconciles your FBA inventory, and files claims reimbursements on your behalf. No obligations, no hidden fees, just GETIDA recovering your money. GETIDA helps you get your money back into your pockets so you can focus on investing in more inventory and growing your business. To learn more, check out getida.com. That’s getida.com.

Outro 35:05

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Meet the Speakers

Jack Bijou

Jack Bijou

Head of Growth at Riverbend Consulting

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