What is the Amazon Vine Program and How Can It Help Your Brand?

On Amazon product reviews have a huge impact on a product's rankings traffic and conversions. But this can pose a problem when you launch a new listing. A product needs sales in order to receive reviews but without reviews it will struggle to make any sales. It's a vicious circle but the Amazon Vine Program can help. Here's everything you need to know.

What is the Amazon Vine Program?

The Amazon Vine Program is designed to help brands increase the number of product reviews they receive on new listings.

To take part you'll need to send your products to Amazon's trusted reviewers and pay a fee. Each Amazon product tester - or 'Vine Voice' - will then share their thoughts on your product page. Each Amazon product tester is recruited because they have a history of writing informative reviews so you should receive detailed feedback.

The Amazon Vine Program has been helping brands capture reviews for years. But thanks to recent updates as well as the wind down of Amazon'sEarly Review Program it has become more important than ever.

Now that Amazon has bannedincentivisedreviews taking part in the Amazon Vine Program is one of the few ways brands can boost their reviews without ignoring Amazon'sever-changing guidelines.

Eligibility requirements to join Amazon Vine

The Amazon Vine Program is only available to brand owners who are members of theAmazon Brand Registry. The products you submit also need to meet certain criteria:

  • They must have less than 30 reviews
  • They must be available through Fulfillment by Amazon
  • Their condition must be new
  • Stock must be available at the time of enrolment

It's also worth noting that adult products bulky items and products that require an accompanying item to work aren't eligible.

Benefits of the Amazon Vine Program

Tons of benefits come with receivingretailer product reviews- especially if they are positive. Below we explore just four of the advantages of building up reviews with the Amazon Vine Program.

1. Greater visibility

Brand new Amazon listings don't have any reviews or sales but both of these things impact a product's search rankings.

That's a problem because70% of Amazon shoppersnever look beyond the first page of search results. Luckily tools like the Amazon Vine Program andSponsored Adscan kickstart your listings and build visibility for your products.

2. Positive reviews boost trust and sales

Online shoppers rely heavily on reviews when deciding what to buy. In fact91% of themread at least one review before making a purchase.

Reviews bring trust and credibility to a product listing. They often provide the extra information and reassurance a shopper needs to convert. Of course positive reviews are most effective forincreasing Amazon sales. Statistics show that when a product's star rating goes up from three to five conversionsrise by 12%.

3. You'll receive in-depth feedback

Each Amazon reviewer is hand-picked because they have a history of writing high quality feedback. This means each Amazon product tester will provide you with clear detailed and insightful reviews.

When shoppers can gather extra information through reviews they're more likely to be satisfied with their purchase and your brand will have less returns to deal with. This detailed feedback can also be used by marketing and product departments to improve product descriptions targeting and future designs.

4. Shoppers know the reviews are genuine

67% of consumersworry about review fraud. That's why Amazon has been working so hard to clamp down on fake andincentivisedreviews.

With the Amazon Vine Program every piece of feedback left by an official Amazon reviewer features a distinctive green stripe. This lets shoppers know the review is genuine.

How to get started with Amazon Vine

To gain access to the Amazon Vine Program your products need to be part of Amazon's Brand Registry. If you have a registered or pending trademark you can sign up through theBrand Services website.

Once your brand is a member you can access the Vine Program under the 'Advertising' section of your Seller Central account. Then you simply choose the parent ASIN you'd like toenrol as well as the number of units you want to make available to reviewers.

Once you've enrolled reviewers will be able to request your products. Brands can opt to make product variations available. This is a good idea because if each Amazon reviewer can choose theirfavouritecolouror design this could improve your chances of receiving positive feedback.

When you receive your first review you'll be charged an enrolment fee. This costs $200 in the US or �140 in the UK. It is only charged once for each parent ASIN enrolled. However Amazon waives the fee if your product doesn't receive any reviews within 90 days.

What are the downsides of joining Amazon Vine?

The biggest drawback of the Amazon Vine Program is that brands can receive negative feedback.

Reviewers are under no obligation to highlight the positive aspects of your product. In fact every Amazon reviewer is encouraged to be honest and unbiased. This means you could end up paying forunfavourablefeedback.

This can be annoying especially since brands have no control over which reviewers receive their products. So make sure your product images and descriptions appeal to the right target audience before youenrola product. Reviewers will only request items that appeal to them.

Another disadvantage is that it can take a long time for reviews to come through. Indeed there is no guarantee that you'll receive any at all. While Amazon vets and monitors its reviewers they don't have any deadlines. If an Amazon product tester isn't actively reviewing their products they will probably lose their position. But they won't have to send their products back.

It's also worth noting that you can onlyenrola product in the Amazon Vine Program once.

3 other ways to get more Amazon reviews

While the Amazon Vine Program is a useful tool for launching new listings there are lots of alternative methods forgetting more reviews on Amazon.

1. Use the 'Request a Review' button

Amazon's 'Request a Review' feature allows brands to send review requests to customers within a month of delivery. Brands can manually send requests from their Seller Central account with just one click. Alternatively they can buy software to automate the process.

2. Actively monitor reviews

If you want to increase positive reviews it's a good idea to closely monitor the feedback you already have. This allows you to understand any issues that past customers have had. Adigital shelf toolthat monitors ratings and reviews will automaticallyanalysefeedback and gather granular data for you.

Your brand can then take action to improve theconsumer journeyfor future prospects. Simple changes like updating product descriptions for accuracy or using more protective packaging can make a big difference.

3. Provide top class customer service

If your customer service agents can wow shoppers they will be much more likely to leave a positive review. So every time a prospect or a customer contacts your brand be sure to charm them with an excellent customer experience.

Final thoughts

Simply put more reviews mean more sales. So brands need to do everything in their power to generate feedback. This Amazon review program is just one tactic that works.

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