Amazon feedback vs reviews
Did you know that there are still people who don’t know the difference between Amazon feedback and reviews?
You might even be one of them. If so, don’t fret!
Our customer success team at eComEngine still sees a lot of confusion about this topic – even from experienced sellers.
In short, feedback relates to you (the seller) and reviews are related to the products that you sell.
With all of this in mind, should you focus more effort on feedback, reviews – or both? The answer to this question depends on your business model. In this post, we’ll explore a few situations that might help you develop an effective Amazon reputation management strategy.
The “Feedback-Focused” Model
Third-party sellers (especially those involved with wholesale and arbitrage) tend to focus more effort on Amazon seller feedback. In fact, some merchants only focus on feedback – stating that reviews have little impact on their businesses. I’ll circle back to this perspective on reviews in a moment, but let’s first examine why sellers love feedback so much.
Having helped thousands of merchants manage over 45 million positive Amazon feedbacks, we’ve found that sellers consistently tell us that:
- Feedback impacts their share of the Buy Box.
- Negative feedback can lead to suspension (or expulsion) from the Amazon marketplace.
- Feedback influences the number of orders received from a listing’s “Other Sellers on Amazon” section.
- You need a strong seller reputation to be considered for the Seller-Fulfilled Prime program.
By increasing positive feedback and decreasing negative feedback, a seller can create a solid track record that resonates with both customers and Amazon.com, Inc. (“Amazon”). To achieve this positive seller reputation, some merchants manually solicit and track their ratings. Others will turn to automated tools, such as our FeedbackFive platform. Either way, maintaining a proactive approach to feedback is both allowed and encouraged by Amazon.
The “Review-Focused” Model
Historically, many third-party merchants have viewed product reviews as interesting – but not nearly as important as feedback. There’s certainly merit for this perspective, especially for merchants who primarily sell household brands sold by dozens of competitors.
In recent years, however, some sellers have begun developing their own private-label brands and product bundles. This has caused a dramatic shift in how merchants allocate their reputation management resources. After all, for those manually soliciting, there are only so many hours in the day. Shifting the focus from feedback to reviews can have a measurable ROI for new brands. This is especially true if the seller is successful at boosting an item’s visibility in a high-traffic category or subcategory.
And, of course, we can’t talk about customer reviews without mentioning another group of Amazon stakeholders: vendors. We’ll save the vendor discussion for another article, but there’s arguably no group more focused on reviews (except Amazon itself) than vendors.
The “All-of-the-Above” Model
So, is it possible to have the best of both worlds? In today’s busy eCommerce landscape, can merchants realistically solicit and manage both feedback and reviews?
If you’re set on a manual approach, the answer might be “no.” That is unless you plan to staff up with an army of administrative assistants and data analysts. Scaling your reputation management team can get expensive, even if you’re relying on contract labor and freelancers. As you grow your business, each new order creates additional busywork for someone to do, making it difficult to stay focused on the big picture.
The only viable path for an “all-of-the-above” model involves the use of automation. Amazon actually offers its MWS (Amazon Marketplace Web Service ) API for the specific purpose of enabling “…high levels of selling automation, which can help sellers grow their business.” To leverage the MWS API, you essentially have two options:
- Build your own reputation management tool
- Sign up for one that’s already built for Amazon merchants
Personally, I prefer option number two (but I realize that I’m probably biased on this topic). Whichever path you choose, you’ll at least want to automate the following tasks:
- Soliciting of feedback & reviews
- Monitoring and reporting
- Alerting of negative ratings
- Data modeling
- Managing opt-out requests
What Will You Focus On?
So, should you spend more time focusing on feedback or reviews? The short answer is that most third-party sellers still focus on feedback first. However, a growing number of them are taking a serious interest in customer reviews.
Spend time and map out your Amazon reputation management strategy. You may find that both feedback and reviews are equally important to the future health of your business!
Author Bio: As the Business Development Lead for eComEngine, Liz Fickenscher is committed to providing valuable information to Amazon Sellers through blog posts and informational webinars. Liz is the affiliate ambassador, engaging with customers and strategic partners to build relationships between eComEngine and the eCommerce industry.