TAS 267 : The Future of Reviews and Amazon Sellers (Round Table)

As you’ve probably heard by now Amazon has changed its policies regarding whether or not you as a private label seller can ask for a review on your product in exchange for a discount on the product. What Amazon has said is, “No, you can’t.” that’s going to be a problem for many private label sellers because they have centered their entire product launch sequence around the allowance of reviews for a discount. So how does this impact the way we go about launching a new private label product on Amazon? That’s what this roundtable discussion with Scott Voelker, Chris Shaffer, and Dom Sugar is all about. The guys chat about the actual policy change, what it means for product launches, and why in some ways, it’s a better thing for the private label community overall. You can hear the entire conversation on this episode of the Amazing Seller podcast.

The recent Amazon review changes actually level the playing field for all private label sellers.

It’s important to look at the recent changes to Amazon’s review policies from the perspective of a brand new seller. Before this change the climb to a successful product launch was made very difficult because competitors with bigger budgets were able to invest lots of cash in building reviews through giving huge discounts to potential customers in exchange for a review. But now, Amazon has removed that possibility so everyone is required to launch their product without the benefit of huge discounts in exchange for a review. In short, the big boys in any niche now have to deal with the same limits as the little guys. You can hear more insights into the ways the little guy seller benefits from the recent Amazon review changes, on this episode.

“I don’t care about reviews, I care about sales!”

The strategy of getting lots of reviews on Amazon for your products is meant to build the social proof for the value and quality of your products. That way more people will possibly feel comfortable buying your product because others have done so, and are happy with it. But that’s all assuming that more reviews equal more sales. But it’s not always the case. Scott has interviewed plenty of sellers who have launched and gotten a huge jump on product sales without any reviews. On this episode, both Chris and Dom agree that sales are much more important than reviews, not only because sales put cash in your pocket but also because sales are what causes your product to rank higher in the Amazon search results. Reviews don’t do either of those things for you. Find out more about how the guys view this Amazon policy change, on this episode.

Why did Amazon make its change to the review policies?

Everything Amazon does is to increase the ability of sellers to sell quality products. That’s how Amazon makes its money, through sales of truly helpful, high-quality products. The recent changes to the “review in exchange for a discount” policy is aimed at making sure that the reviews given for products actually reflect the product quality, instead of being done in exchange for a personal benefit to the reviewer. That should enable the reviews on any product listing to be more honest, giving potential buyers more assurance that the products they buy from Amazon are something they will be happy with. Amazon will have fewer return issues and the platform itself will become better trusted and more effective. But the change will require sellers to come up with new ways to launch their products and use reviews effectively. You can hear how Scott, Chris, and Dom are thinking about the issue at this point, on this episode of The Amazing Seller.

If you’re going to run your own private label business, you’ve got to learn how to flex with the changes.

As with any business, Amazon private label sellers have to learn how to adjust to the market and selling platform changes. Amazon will never be a static sales platform, meaning that Amazon will always be tweaking its algorithm and policies to increase sales and make their business more trusted and secure. As a seller on Amazon, you’re going to have to learn how to deal with those changes each time they are made in order for YOUR business to remain viable and healthy. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott’s hosting a roundtable discussion with a couple of guys who have been working in private label sales for a long time. They’re discussing the recent changes and the types of pivots sellers will have to make as a result. Be sure you listen. You’re sure to hear things that you hadn’t thought of yet.

OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER

  • [0:03] Scott’s introduction to the podcast and his buddies Chris and Dom!
  • [2:47] What did Amazon do to change their review policies?
  • [6:05] Dom’s thoughts about the news once he had time to think it through.
  • [9:00] How this change levels the playing field.
  • [11:43] Why Chris and Dom don’t care about reviews and the impact this change has.
  • [23:35] Why Amazon made this change: to stop people from abusing the system.
  • [28:15] This change is going to help you do more accurate product research.
  • [32:10] Why you’ll have to change email follow up sequences as a result of this change.
  • [36:30] Scott’s idea about how to change his approach to his own review club.
  • [41:51] Why this change is not as dramatic as it first appears.
  • [47:00] Why an email list is the single biggest asset in your business.
  • [49:00] The vine program: What is it and how to do you get into it?

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TRANSCRIPT TAS 267

TAS 267 : The Future of Reviews and Amazon Sellers (Round Table)

[INTRODUCTION]

[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey what’s up everyone? Welcome back to another episode of The Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 267 and today we’re going to talk once again about the future of Amazon reviews and I am joined by my good friends…

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