The Early Reviewer Program was an Amazon incentive for customers that sellers and vendors could opt-in to. The idea was that those who had purchased a product would review it and share their authentic experience with potential customers. In return, those who were asked to write a review were compensated with a small reward, regardless of the review was positive or negative. On 10 March 2021, Amazon stopped allowing new enrollments in the Early Reviewer Program, and stopped offering the service on 25 April 2021. On their FAQ page, Amazon stated the reason for the closure.
"Amazon continuously innovates to improve the shopping and selling experience. Over the past several years, we have made numerous improvements to encourage purchasers to review products on Amazon. These initiatives, such as One Tap Reviews and Global Review Sharing, have proven more effective in generating reviews than the Early Reviewer Program."
The loss of the Early Reviewer Program means it may be more difficult for sellers and vendors to get reviews on their products that hadn’t yet received any feedback. This especially affects new products, which benefit from reviews to climb the rankings.
Amazon shoppers certainly depend on reviews to learn more about products. If you are a seller or vendor on Amazon in any locale, it’s important to encourage your customers to leave a review. Now that the Early Reviewer Program has ended, alternatives like Amazon Vine or using a service such as FeedbackFive can help you obtain those all-important product reviews.
What is Amazon Vine?
Amazon Vine is an invitation-only programme created for the most trusted reviewers on Amazon. To be a member of Vine Voices, customers must write truthful and reliable reviews that other customers find helpful, and it helps if they have a niche that they specialise in. A solid reputation as a regarded reviewer can earn them an invitation.
To enrol products in this service, sellers and vendors must meet certain requirements. First, Amazon Vine is only available to brand owners that are registered via the Amazon Brand Registry. Once registered, businesses can sign up to have certain products from FBA inventory set aside. These products are available for free to Vine Voices, with the caveat that in return, they will write a detailed review.
Once the review is posted, it will display with a badge to let customers know it is a review from the programme.
While Amazon Vine is a great way to get legitimate reviews, there are a few things to think about before jumping in. First, consider your price point and how many units it makes sense to give away for free. Obviously, for lower-cost or low-priced items, this will be an easier decision and you may wish to place more units into Amazon Vine. The self-service enrolment tool recommends you put in a minimum of five units and a maximum of 30. Items enroled must have fewer than 30 reviews when you sign them up, so time this wisely.
Bottom line, Amazon Vine will be your go-to programme for early reviews and ramping up sales when you launch a new product, especially now that the Early Reviewer Program has gone away.
What is FeedbackFive?
FeedbackFive is an external software tool that automatically follows up with buyers to request feedback and reviews on a seller's behalf. The tool links to your Seller Central account and automates a process you can do manually. This may be worth the subscription if you have a large number of products or sales, and are not getting review traction that you're hoping for. Read more about the benefits of FeedbackFive in our blog post. As a full-service agency specialising in Amazon, we frequently recommend this type of tool to clients, who find it a valuable way to request legitimate reviews and ensure they are within Amazon's stringent communication standards. Used alongside Amazon Vine after launching a product, it can help increase reviews and boost sales.
If you’re a seller or vendor and would like information on other ways to help boost customer engagement, contact our team at eCommerce Nurse to find out how we can assist.