Not all Amazon product reviews are created equal. Some are more trustworthy and more valuable than others.
These are Verified Purchase reviews, and they are worth their weight in gold (figuratively speaking). They do more for your product and generate more trust for you and your product (which will result in more conversions).
Read on to learn all about Amazon Verified Purchase reviews, and why these few small words are so important for Amazon sellers.
What is an Amazon Verified Purchase Review?
A Verified Purchase review is one that Amazon has confirmed to have come from a real purchase, and has not been manipulated or influenced at all.
Verified reviews are visible by this tag on the product review, indicating the customer purchased the product on Amazon.com:
Customers can also filter by “Verified purchase only” when searching through product reviews.
To get a Verified Purchase tag, first of all, the review needs to come from an Amazon account that has previously purchased this product.
You can actually review products on Amazon that you didn’t actually buy on the Amazon marketplace. For example, you may have purchased the item on another marketplace, or in a physical store. These reviews will not have the Verified Purchase tag though.
Secondly, the purchase can’t be a heavily discounted one. If a customer leaves a review on a purchase made with a large discount, Amazon considers this to be influenced somewhat (even if it’s not identified as an incentivized review). Thus, these products can receive reviews, but they will not be Verified.
The actual cutoff for discounts to allow the Verified Purchase tag is unknown. Until not long ago, the consensus threshold was 50% off. Nowadays, it’s believed to be 20-30%.
Why Are Verified Reviews Important?
There’s a variety of reasons why Verified purchase reviews are much more powerful. First of all, is trust.
Product reviews are there to deliver social proof to potential customers. Evidence that people have bought your product before, and that it was up to the standard they expected.
Social proof isn’t binary – it comes in varying levels. A review carrying the Verified Purchase tag brings more social proof, since it’s less likely to be a fake review. Thus, for convincing customers to buy your product, one Verified review may be more powerful than 5 unverified ones.
Verified product reviews are also weighted more heavily by Amazon. The average star rating on a product isn’t an exact average of all your reviews. Amazon uses machine learning to calculate this, using a number of factors, including giving more power to Verified Purchase reviews.
Finally, Verified reviews are more likely to stick around long term. At a time when many reviews are being deleted (sometimes automatically deleted by Amazon’s bots), unverified reviews are first on the chopping block. Plus, too many unverified reviews in a short of space of time can trigger a temporary review block for your product – something that can cost you big time.
Unverified vs Fake Reviews
Not all unverified reviews on Amazon are fake. And they aren’t worthless – it’s perfectly fine to have a few of these (just as long as they aren’t the majority).
It’s important to make the distinction between unverified reviews and fake or incentivized reviews (such as giving free products in exchange for a review). The latter is serious, and extremely illegal on Amazon. If you do something like buy reviews, Amazon will come down on you hard.
Getting a few that are unverified, however, is fine. You might get this if you’re running external traffic campaigns with high discounts, or if you’re selling products outside of the Amazon platform. Don’t panic if you get a few reviews from these purchases (and don’t automatically assume they are fake).
Helpfulness votes are another small thing that can go a long way to providing more trust with your customers.
Customers on Amazon can basically “upvote” reviews, based on whether or not they found the review helpful. Those with more helpfulness votes will be shown higher up, and may also carry more weight in the overall star rating.
This 2017 meta-analysis on online reviews presents some factors that make it more likely for people to find a review helpful or not. It determined that length (longer = more helpful) and age (older = more helpful) are two key factors. However, star rating (positive reviews vs negative reviews) did not make one more helpful.
How to Get More Verified Purchase Reviews
There’s no quick fix to get Verified Purchase reviews. The idea of the Verified Purchase tag on Amazon is to identify natural reviews, not influenced in any way.
This post has a number of safe, effective ways to get more reviews. The best way is to just focus on selling a high-quality product that customers are going to love. You can supplement this with a few touchpoints to encourage your customers to leave reviews, such as review requests on a product insert, and by using the “request a review” button for all your orders.
Even better, focus on building a list, regularly engaging with that list, and build a loyal following. Then, when it comes time for these people to purchase, they’ll often be willing to write a review without any extra prompt.
Ultimately, to get a lot of reviews, you need a lot of sales. If you need to boost your review count, run PPC campaigns and drive traffic with keyword-targeted URLs to boost your visibility in the Amazon search results. This will help you make more sales, a percentage of which will translate into real, trustworthy reviews.
Amazon Verified Purchase Reviews – In Summary
A key focus for Amazon as a company is trust. That’s why Amazon Verified Purchase reviews exist. They want their customers to trust that a product on Amazon is what it says it is, and that this customer is going to go away happy. And as an Amazon seller, you should want the same thing.
By focusing your efforts towards getting these reviews, rather than low-quality or untrustworthy ones, your products will get more visibility and you’ll see your conversion rate go up due to the increased trust.
The key to getting real reviews is to keep things as organic as possible. Drive traffic to your Amazon products from external channels or PPC, make sure your product is high quality, and use product inserts to ask for reviews. If customers love your product, they will come.