The Why, When and How of Monitoring Amazon Product Reviews


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If you’re familiar with Seller’s Suite by now, you’ll already be aware of the importance we place on a good review management strategy. Reviews are a fundamental part of any product on Amazon, so knowing how to get great reviews and how to deal with your negative reviews appropriately is a vital component for successfully selling a product on Amazon’s platform.

In short, Amazon product review monitoring can turn your good business into a great business.

But managing reviews isn’t easy - particularly if your products are getting a lot of them. The process of reaching out to customers to gain more reviews is timely, and dealing with negative reviews can be a delicate and lengthy PR operation.

Luckily, there are tools out there designed to help you. Seller's Suite is an example of one of these tools. Using them properly is what separates the elite Amazon sellers from the vast majority, which is why we've decided to commit a whole article to show you how to do exactly that.

In this guide, you’ll learn the common strategies applied by the experts when using review monitoring tools and how to incorporate them into your business.

Why Bother With Amazon Product Review Monitoring in the First Place?

You might be wondering why staying on top of your reviews is so important. Aren’t they the one part of your product that you’re unable to influence or change?

If you are asking yourself this question, check out our comprehensive guide to Removing Negative Reviews right here. Just because reviews are customer-generated, doesn’t mean you can’t have a significant impact on them. You can even get in some free promotional marketing.

Remember, every review needs a response of some sort.

Responding quickly to an angry and upset customer gives you the best chances of having that review removed/revised. A tool like Seller’s Suite will notify you the moment you get a review to give you the best chances of success.

But you said "every review"?

That's right, every review should be responded to. A lot of new sellers don't realize it, but Amazon provides tools in the review commenting section to promote other Amazon products. So if you get a glowing review, you better take the 2 minutes it takes to promote another one of your products. It's FREE advertising

Mitigating negative reviews and capitalizing on positive reviews isn't the only reason to monitor your Amazon reviews. Product review monitoring tools can also be used to monitor your competitors reviews.

Why would I want to monitor my competitors reviews?!

There's actually a number of reasons to monitor your competitors reviews and they include:

  • Know what customers are saying about competing products - their weakness could be your gain
  • Make sure your customer isn't buying reviews - more on this later
  • Grab more market share by promoting YOUR products on THEIR page

In an ideal world, successful Amazon sellers would be able to monitor the reviews on every single product they sell at all times, but even using the most affordable tools (ahem, Seller’s Suite), this can become costly. Instead, we need to be a bit more selective when using Amazon review monitoring tools.

When to use Amazon Review Monitoring Tools

Given that Seller’s Suite offers users a product review monitoring service, it would be really easy for us to insist that a seller needs to be monitoring all of their products around the clock. But we’re not in the business of deceiving our audience. 24/7 monitoring isn’t really necessary for most products, so knowing exactly when to monitor your reviews (and when to leave them be) is a vital skill that will save you both time and money.

Stop while you're ahead... way ahead.

For example, if your product has 200 reviews and 95% of them are 5-star reviews, you can probably afford to allow a few negative reviews through the net before you're at risk of dropping an overall star rating.

Don't lose that 4 star review!

Of course, if your product is on the precipice of dropping an overall star rating, it makes good sense to monitor reviews incredibly closely. As we reminded readers in our Removing Negative Reviews guide, anything less than a 4 star review is considered “negative” by Amazon, and negatively reviewed products are a lot less likely to appear at the top of Amazon’s search rankings. This could be a big problem, given that 30% of Amazon users click the first search result they come across and over 80% never even venture to the 2nd page of search results.

Competition is Fierce

Equally, if your product exists within an incredibly competitive market, you’ll likely need to operate on an “every review counts” policy. A singular review could be the difference between the first and second ranks for a popular search term, so if you and a competitor are vying for more visibility, monitoring your reviews can be a fantastic way to gain an edge.

You got a new product

New products also present a pertinent time to keep a close eye on those reviews. The fewer reviews you have, the more impactful each one will be. As such, any negative reviews could be catastrophic for the growth of your new product. A product review monitoring tool will enable you to stay firmly on top of your reviews, so you're perfectly poised to deal with anything negative as soon as possible.

Malicious Competitors

Some Amazon sellers just don't play by the rules and this can be very damaging to your business. It could even ruin your business. This is why it's important to keep any eye on your competitors and any new competitors. For instance, if you notice that your sales are dipping and a new competitor has joined the scene, you might want to monitor their product. Often times, when a malicious seller enters the scene they'll buy tons of fake reviews over a very short period of time.

Amazon is spending a lot of money and time on combating fake reviews, so if you do spot suspicious reviews from a competing seller. Do yourself, your customers and Amazon a favor and report them. As most veteran sellers will tell you, Amazon has started to really crack down on fake reviews and they're serving out account suspensions like they're going out of style.

Archiving and Marketing

If you want to archive your product reviews, then you shouldn't count on Amazon to do it for you, as Amazon reviews disappear once a users account has been deleted or suspended.

But why would you want to archive your product reviews in the first place?

Well some sellers use their Amazon reviews on their personal sites and for marketing campaigns.

So now you know when you should use product review monitoring tools, but simply having a product review monitoring tool isn’t enough. You’re going to need to know how to use it effectively.

How to Monitor Amazon Product Reviews

If you're using Seller's Suite's highly recommended product review monitoring tool, you can find a thorough tutorial on how to use it here. In this section, we’re going to be talking about product review monitoring tools more generally.

The premise that governs every Amazon review monitoring tool is simple. It goes something like this:

  • The user selects the product they want to keep track of. This can be done by punching in the ASIN number.
  • The user then configures their notification settings. Does the seller want to know when they get any reviews at all? No problem. Maybe the seller only wants to be informed when a negative review is posted? That's easy too.

  • Users can also choose how they want to receive their notifications. They’ll usually have the option to receive a daily email with a round-up of reviewing activity, or they can get immediate, individual notifications for each review.
  • The user is then poised to monitor their reviews.

The problem arises when sellers assume that’s all there is to it. Trust us - if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it. To get the most out of Amazon product review monitoring tools, users need to take the information gleaned from the monitoring and use it to influence and shape the reviews they’re receiving.

As we’ve already mentioned, if you do receive a negative review, you need to act fast and execute the following steps in this order to ensure they’re appropriately dealt with:

  • See if the review has violated any of Amazon’s review guidelines. If it has, request Amazon to remove it - detailed instructions here().
  • If that doesn’t work, try to contact the buyer via Amazon’s buyer-seller messaging system. This will require some detective work - detailed instructions here()
  • If all else fails, leave a public comment below their review - detailed instructions here ().

By acting on the Amazon review monitoring tool notifications, you've already given yourself a far better chance of lessening the damage caused by the negative review.

Equally, if you feel you're not receiving enough reviews or one of your products is getting significantly more reviews than another product, you can implement some tried and tested methods to attain more reviews. Check out our in-depth guide to getting more reviews to learn how to do this.

Finally, remember to respond to positive reviews as well as negative reviews. Responding to a positive review is a fantastic opportunity to upsell one of your other products you think the customer might like. “Oh, you liked that? You’re going to LOVE this then!”.

Upselling is not against Amazon's Terms of Service and given that 88% of Amazon users check out the reviews before buying a product, it could be seen by a huge number of people who are already interested in your brand. Don't waste the chance to connect with bigger audiences.

Conclusion

So Amazon product review monitoring tools are pretty handy to have around. Until we live in a weird, Amazon dystopia in which every product can be monitored around the clock for free, most sellers need to be selective about what products they decide to monitor and when.

That’s going to differ from product to product. There is no “one-size-fits-all” rule of thumb here, but generally speaking, if your product is new, competing closely with a similar product or on the verge of losing or gaining an extra star rating, it’s probably going to be worth monitoring your Amazon reviews closely.

But simply watching the reviews come in is never going to be enough. Anyone with a refresh button and time on their hands can do that. To be a truly effective Amazon seller, you’re going to need to respond to the fruits of your monitoring, whether that means dealing with negative reviews, soliciting more reviews or responding to the positive reviews.

Doing so could be the difference between a long and profitable career on Amazon and a costly foray you’d rather forget.

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