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Storming the Castle: How Newer Sellers Can Use AI to Get Past Amazon’s ‘Review Moat’

Massive review counts have kept entrenched brands safe from newer competitors for years. Now Amazon is using AI to give the newer brand a fighting chance

  • June 15, 2023
  • /
  • Brian Burt
A large castle surrounded by a moat

It’s hard to do just about anything these days and not have the phrase “artificial intelligence” come up. Is it going to take your job, overrule your doctor, cause a nuclear war, or maybe just help your child get their homework done? 

While much of the conversation is negative, for Amazon sellers, there’s one big way that advances in AI might just help get past the review “moat” that entrenched brands use to ward off healthy competition from newer sellers.

What’s All This Talk of an Amazon Review Moat? 

Experienced Amazon sellers know that one of the biggest challenges when entering a new niche is the sometimes insurmountable sum of reviews that existing sellers have accumulated. That advantage is often exaggerated by unethical sellers building that massive review total using black-hat tactics. 

Marketers refer to a huge competitive advantage that makes it possible for a company to monopolize a marketplace and maintain profitability well into the future as a “moat.”

That’s one of the main reasons that during any new product launch, Amazon sellers are pulling their hair out trying to figure out how to quickly get enough reviews to make their way across that treacherous moat. 

This is where Amazon sellers might just imagine AI handing them a nice big paddle. 

Amazon Has Begun Summarizing Reviews with AI

Legacy products that have had the time to accumulate large numbers of reviews now have a reason to keep their collective eyes on the rearview mirror. 

One of the biggest benefits (to both shoppers and sellers of an Amazon product), is that a large number of reviews makes it much more likely that a shopper will be able to sift through that list of reviews to identify the one or two deciding factors that really matter to them. 

Over the years, there have been a series of conversations about limiting the number of reviews shown on the search results page to reduce the advantage towards long-term, entrenched sellers, often in the face of superior products. 

Now, Amazon is using the power of generative AI to possibly shrink that advantage. As recently reported by CNBC, Amazon has begun testing a feature in its shopping app that uses AI to summarize reviews left by customers on some products. The AI-generated summary provides a brief overview of the shoppers’ likes and dislikes as well as a disclaimer that the summary is “AI-generated from the text of customer reviews.”

Amazon Confirms AI Review Assistance 

Amazon confirmed only that it’s testing the feature, with a spokesperson saying that, “We are significantly investing in generative AI across all of our businesses.” 

Sellers (and shoppers) are used to seeing the results of AI and machine learning in Amazon advertising’s targeted ads and personalized recommendations. Now, the unexpected success and popularity of ChatGPT has caused pretty much everyone to recalibrate their focus on the technology.

Over the last years, Amazon has been an agent for positive change in the ecommerce marketplace. However, trust has been one area in which they receive negative marks. 

Inauthentic reviews are often the cause of that. This may be one of those opportunities to both improve the experience for Amazon customers and help level the playing field for entrepreneurs taking advantage of the ecommerce giant’s massive marketplace. 

How Canopy Management Can Help

Canopy Management is a Full-Service Amazon Management Agency. That means that in addition to Amazon Advertising, Listing Optimization, Amazon Account Management, and Creative Services, we also have a dedicated team with over 10 years of experience dealing specifically with Amazon Reviews. 

If you want to understand exactly how to take advantage of Amazon’s frequent changes, such as these affecting Amazon Reviews, reach out to a Canopy expert for help

When you consider the many ways that Canopy Management can help you grow your business, you’ll see why selling on Amazon is much easier “under the Canopy.”

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