Mom was right. Cheaters do not prosper in the long run.
There will always be those people who take advantage of the system and cut corners to take what seems like the easy route to do something we do not want to do, or to make a quick buck. It might work out in the short term, but in relationships and in business it will burn you. This is again proved with this latest article from Fortune Magazine written by Eric Anderson discussing how Amazon just filed a lawsuit against 1,000 people who allegedly offered to hire themselves out as fake reviewers. There are over 30 variables that I have identified in the Amazon Algorithm and Reviews are one of the highest weighted. The more reviews, the more your product shows up on the top of the page. Resulting in an exponential increase in sales. Companies and people have been taking advantage of this knowledge and giving away product to get reviews, or paying people to review the product who have never purchased or used it.
Obviously this is not good for anyone but the seller, Amazon has identified this and is allocating a bunch more resources to solve this problem.
Eric says it perfect here, “While weeding out suspected fake reviews and putting a stop to those posting favorably for a fee is a good start, these steps don’t go far enough. In order to harness the participatory potential of social media, retailers need to encourage more authentic consumer conversations.
Bogus reviews are not only inherently untruthful, but they undermine the credibility of reviews in general. An avalanche of paid hype can bury comments from unbiased shoppers who tried a product and freely offer a star-ranking (one through five) and a review in their own words.”
The simple but difficult solution is to put in effort building a relationship with your customers, asking them questions, getting honest feedback, and if you do that, they will be happy to give you positive reviews, even if the product is not perfect. I have found, being honest, available and open to hear and address the concerns of your customers will do wonders. They understand that things go wrong, shit, a lot of people I have sold to have been business owners themselves. It is an amazing thing when you have a customer with an issue, and you pick up the phone, care enough to listen to their concerns, take responsibility and do your best to make it right. This and other many small things done right over time is what I believe helps me sleep good at night and build a sustainable successful business and I think Eric agrees with me, “Cracking down on fake reviews will help assure consumers that opinions are those of fellow shoppers and not just hype for hire. But, to me, the larger issue is increased participation, which will help to drown out the noise from fake reviews and their undue influence on consumer purchases.”
But doing things right takes a little longer and is initially more difficult.
If you are looking to do things the right way on Amazon we would love to help. We are the Amazon Optimization Experts, we help companies create a strategic road map and action plan to streamline their product offering and mitigate risk and exposure when expanding on Amazon. You can think of us as the SEO for Amazon, we partner exclusively with manufacturers and help them get their product in front of more people while increasing their profits.