Dear Amazon Sellers,

What are you doing with your reviews?

Sincerely,

A concerned consultant

Amazon sellers, I beg you to ask yourself this question: What are you doing with your reviews? Not how are you getting reviews, or even why you’re getting reviews, but how are you using your reviews to improve your Amazon listings?

Your Amazon Reviews Are More Than Reviews—They’re Valuable Market Research Data

I work as a consultant for Buy Box Experts, and so I get to talk with and help dozens of Amazon sellers each week. The answers I get from these long-time business professionals are usually along these lines:

“We try to make sure that we don’t get any bad ones.”

 

“We are quick to respond to any negative reviews.”

 

“We have a perfect response rate.”

 

“We send out product inserts to mitigate bad reviews and direct traffic to recent purchases using a QR code provided by Amazon.”

(Whoa, that last one was pretty specific.)

My point is not that you shouldn’t be doing these things, but rather that you should already be doing all of these things. These things are standard. These strategies are all defense. But they’re not enough.

Are you prepared to start playing some offense?

Because let me spoil something for you: your product’s messaging is a reflection of your customers. They define your voice, they determine what is important and unimportant, and on Amazon they algorithmically determine the fate of how your listings rank for every single keyword that they are indexing for.

Let me break it down for you. Let’s say you sell a line of vinyl sticker sets and individual custom-designed stickers, and you list them on Amazon. You write up a title that says something like:

Vinyl Sticker Set Pack of 30 – Great for Laptop | Water Bottle | Decoration Flamingo Custom

You start running some ads, and you make a few sales. People review your products and love what you have, giving raving unsolicited reviews, and making your life on Amazon better than it’s ever been. They use adjectives like super cute! And adorable! And even perfect!

Pop quiz: What do you do when a customer uses an adjective?

Answer: You use it.

Now adjust the title, or at least create an advertising campaign that uses the words your customers are using. Probably best to do both.

Cute Vinyl Sticker Set Pack of 30 – Perfect for Laptop | Water Bottle | Adorable Decoration Flamingo Custom

If someone comments that the product is “enormous,” your product is enormous. If someone leaves a review saying your product is “so fluffy,” your product is fluffy. It doesn’t matter if the former is a backpack and the latter is sandbox sand—your customers have spoken.

So why make a big deal out of this? Two reasons:

  1. Search engine optimization (SEO)
  2. Listing salesmanship (What?)

Hear me out here.

The SEO Benefit of Using Customers’ Language in Your Listings

The SEO implications of using customers’ terms in your listings are pretty straightforward: Customers search for the “why” in their mind, not the how or the what. Think about it. If I ask you right now to tell me why you bought the last thing you bought, you will say you needed it because it was:

  • Functional
  • Bright
  • Fun
  • Enormous
  • Fluffy
  • Cute

All of these are descriptive words that, more than likely, would appear in a user’s initial search phrases:

  • Functional fitness bands [18,000 searches/month]
  • Bright living room decor [2,200/mo]
  • Fun alarm clocks [51,900/mo]
  • Enormous backpack [2,000/mo]
  • Fluffy Pineapple [2,700/mo]
  • Cute Sticker [284,000/mo]

People search for why they buy things. Make sure you are describing your products the way your customers do to ensure that you are showing up for those searches. Simply include the words and phrases they use in the language of your listings, either in the title, bullet points, description, or search terms. Shoot, put it in the back-end metadata of the pictures in your A+ page. Every descriptive word is gold for you. Cherish and nurture them like a child, and then test and manipulate them like a marketer.

On to the second point.

Using Your Customers’ Language is Good Listing Salesmanship

Traditionally, marketing people call this conversion rate optimization. How do I get more of the people seeing my listing to buy from me? On Amazon we track unit session percentage. Call it what you want—I call it good salesmanship.

Here is something to consider: If you as the owner or VP in a business are responsible for running a trade show for your company, how many sales could you get out of a hundred people walking by, assuming that they are actually potential buyers? Ten percent? Twenty? How good are you?

From what I have seen, business owners are great at selling their products in person, but not always as great when it comes to letting their online listings do their selling for them. They have all of this information in their head about features and benefits, and their Amazon listings have one main photo and maybe a picture of the label, and that is it. That doesn’t make anyone want to buy. I can’t always read your label, and it’s not going to sway me, anyway. You need to SELL ME.

(And by the way, good bullet points are fine too, but they’re not going to sell a potential customer on your product either. You also need to make sure your listings have great graphics and lifestyle photos if you want to make the sale.)

At the end of the day, the entire point of getting reviews is to tell the Amazon robot where you want to be in the list of products for the various keywords you are showing up for. (We call it “indexing.”) The more consistently you are able to drive favorable experiences for your customers, the more valuable the algorithm will consider your listing to be for the keywords for which you’re making sales. Consistency is key.

Next time you get a review, check your best seller rank (BSR). It can be found using a myriad of off-the-shelf tools, or you can run a report in Seller Central that gives you the details of how your product is performing in the SKU report.

Take the Seat of Your Amazon Customers

Again, I beg you to ask yourself these questions: How are you using your reviews to improve your Amazon listings? Are you playing offense, or are you still playing defense like everyone else? Are you sending out automatic review emails? Do you have product inserts with QR codes? Do your listings set the right expectations with your customers?

At Buy Box Experts, we have a team of consultants and strategists who have been trained by Amazon and our internal team to uncover the secret to using reviews for your brand. Get in touch with one of our consultants to learn what you need to do to improve your Amazon listings and dominate on Amazon with a great reviews strategy.

Take the seat of the customer, and happy selling.

Eric Stopper is an enterprise account executive at Buy Box Experts.