Why Amazon Customer Reviews Should Be Your eCommerce Secret Sauce

March 11, 2022 Chuck Kessler

Why Amazon Customer Reviews Should Be Your eCommerce Secret Sauce

Amazon Customer Reviews Give You eCommerce X-Ray Vision Allowing You to Know What Buyers are Thinking. Here's a FREE Way to Take Advantage!

I don’t know about you, but it seems to be a trend that after interactions with businesses, I receive notice that a review request will shortly headed my way. 

That’s because with the recent trend of companies cutting off access to their third-party data, customer reviews allow you to take a closer look INSIDE of the purchasing process to understand your prospective buyer a little better. 

This post is going to focus on two main points. First, how to use Amazon reviews to get your product to the top of Amazon’s first page. And second, how you can use a free version of a popular Amazon sellers tool to do all the heavy lifting to help make that possible.  

To begin, we unfortunately need to address fake reviews. 

After typing in “Amazon reviews” to Google’s search bar, less than a second later I had 2.5 billion results. 

Of course, the first results were Google ads placed there by companies offering assistance in getting reviews from Amazon customers. Conversely, the first organic results were from companies offering ways to identify less than authentic Amazon reviews. 

With one Google search query, and in less than a second, we’ve gotten right to the heart of the problem. 

But first, what’s the big deal about Amazon product reviews? 

Why Amazon Reviews are a Key Part of an eCommerce Seller’s Success 

If you’re an Amazon seller, Amazon reviews are one of the most overlooked ways to build your eCommerce brand. Amazon reviews offer valuable information that give you a clear understanding of what really matters to your prospective customers. 

Just think! These are customers in your selling niche that have stopped what they’re doing to write about an Amazon product. That is pure gold to an Amazon seller. 

Doing final research on a new Amazon product? Taking the time to look through Amazon product reviews for similar products will tell you where your competitors have failed or succeeded. Amazon reviews pointing out serial breakage problems for a similar product will help you understand the need for additional packing steps. 

Amazon reviews allow you to see all of this. 

But there’s a catch, you can’t always count on the authenticity of Amazon reviews.  

You Mean That All Those Amazon Reviews Aren’t Authentic? 

Fake Amazon reviews are all over the news right now. Amazon themselves have admitted to a fake review problem. That’s because in the early wild west days of Amazon, paying for positive reviews wasn’t frowned upon, it was just good eCommerce business. Amazon reviews create social proof, and establish immediate traction for Amazon sellers. They also have a LOT to do with making Amazon’s A9 algorithm VERY happy. 

The problems with fake reviews were many, beginning with the wholesale corruption of Amazon’s image as an honest place to do business. Now, Amazon has cracked down to the extent that when it comes to reviews, sellers are very careful where they put their feet. 

Even authentic reviews are getting flagged these days. The pendulum has definitely swung the other way. Still, you want to look closely at Amazon reviews to make sure that they’re the real thing. 

Here are a few tips:

  • To start, look at the percentage of one and five star reviews. If an Amazon account consistently reviews multiple products each week with the vast majority one or five stars, that’s a big red flag. It’s often the sign of someone hired to create fake reviews.
  • Many sellers who “purchase” fake reviews will contract for them all at the same time. If you see a batch of 5-star reviews within a narrow window of time, look very closely.
  • Any review that mentions a competitor’s product is a red flag
  • Let common sense be your guide. If a relatively unknown product has a great number of reviews, that’s another red flag.
  • This is a tricky one, but many fake reviews use a generic tone. If the language used makes it feel as if they could be written about either a USB hub, or a child’s play toy, that’s another place where you’ll want to treat the review with a healthy amount of suspicion.

Why is it worth it to put all this effort into untangling the deceit of unscrupulous eCommerce weasels? 

Because reviews function as a super power for Amazon sellers. 

Don’t Overlook the Hidden eCommerce Benefits of Google’s Chrome Extensions

Here’s a little secret. Many of the very best eCommerce software companies that specialize on tools for Amazon sellers offer basic versions of their suites of software tools for FREE. 

Let’s take Helium 10 for example. As one of the premium Amazon seller tools out there, if you want (or need) to spend a significant amount of money, they have a product tier for you. Admittedly, these are high-performing tools used by some of the biggest companies and most successful Amazon sellers out there. But, there’s also a free version. 

That brings up another eCommerce tool hidden in plain sight, Google Chrome extensions. 

As you can see, more than a few different eCommerce software companies offer Chrome extensions. 

Let’s look at how Helium 10’s Chrome extension can help Amazon sellers filter through product reviews to do everything from Amazon product research to determining the best way to differentiate their existing Amazon product. That’s possible because Amazon product review tools also highlight the most common keywords (both positive and negative) from Amazon customers’ comments. 

How to Sign Up for a Free Helium 10 Account

I started this process by signing up for a free Helium 10 account.  

During the signup process, Helium 10 will hint (vigorously) that it’s in your best interest to sign up for a paid plan. Depending on where you are in your Amazon-selling journey, that may very well be the case. 

However, this post is about how you can use the free plan to filter through reviews and a lot more. (The free version of Helium 10’s plan supports 50 launches of the Chrome extension) 

Once I’ve politely declined Helium 10’s offer, I’ll sign up for the free plan, and log in. 

Now, I’ll navigate over to the Amazon site and take a look at a product or two. Let’s imagine that I was interested in selling a premium metal dog bowl. I’m going to look on Amazon and see if I can’t find a product that matches what I’m thinking about. 

I’ve chosen a metal dog bowl that has an overall four star rating with Amazon reviewers. But, let’s see if there is anything in the reviews that jumps out at us. 

Once I’m at the Amazon product listing, I’ll open the Helium 10 Chrome extension and select Review Insights. 

Drill Down to Get the Data You Need with Filters

Before we start, Helium 10 asks us to make adjustments to the filters in Review Insights. I want to see what buyers DON’T like about the product to see if I can’t use the reviewers’ concerns to make improvements to the product. 

I guess there’s a reason that they call it the big “C.” Obviously, a cancer warning will get a pet-loving buyer’s attention. If I was starting from scratch, I might look at other materials (metals included) that didn’t require that warning. 

Let’s flip the script and I will show you a way that we can use positive Amazon product reviews to help Amazon sellers do a better job of optimizing their own listings for similar products. 

In this case, I’ll look at a piece of electronics, specifically a USB hub from Anker. 

Now, after making sure that I’m logged into my Helium 10 account, I’ll open the Helium 10 Chrome extension, choose Review Insights and filter for verified, five star reviews. 

Finding Keyword Opportunities for Amazon Product Optimization

This shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone who uses an Apple MacBook, but the most used keyword phrase in customer reviews has nothing to do with the product itself. Instead, the keyword phrase concerns WHY a customer would need the Amazon product in the first place. 

In their quest for the thinnest and lightest laptops, many computer manufacturers (I’m looking at you Apple) have left USB (and other) ports off of their computers. 

It’s clear from the screenshot above that if you’re selling a similar product on Amazon, you will want to make sure to optimize your Amazon listing to include variations of the keyword, “MacBook.” 

Selling on Amazon can be challenging. Make sure that you have as many resources as possible in your quest for Amazon’s Buy Box. Customer reviews are one resource you don’t want to overlook! 

CANOPY Management leverages our experience from across all corners of the Amazon industry to help you scale your business, and gain market share. This partnership allows you exacting control of your Amazon business. At the same time you will benefit from the wealth of experience and expertise of the CANOPY Management team.

It’s a new year and with the growth of eCommerce, this rising online-selling tide is going to lift a lot of boats. Now is a great time to reap some benefits yourself!

Ready to Grow Your Amazon Business?

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Chuck Kessler

I'm a western Colorado based trail runner, climber, surfer, and adventurer who loves to write. My focus is on eCommerce and technology as the Content Manager and SEO Strategist at CANOPY Management.