Amazon continues to be in the headlines today when they announced a huge change in their policies that affects every seller and vendor. They are now no longer allowing reviews in exchange for free or discounted product. This has been abused by many sellers as product reviews and ratings are one of the highest weighted variables when determining who shows up first when searched, as well as one of the biggest influencing factors in helping customers make their final purchasing decision.
On average consumers (including myself) feel more comfortable buying a product that has 1000 5 star reviews then one with 500 4.5 star reviews. A recent study ( validated common sense) when they found that reviews left by someone who received the product for free or at a discount gave .38 higher star rating and were 12 times less likely to leave a 1 star. Put simply they used data to validate that giving discounts or products for free implies almost a qid pro quo and thus not an accurate depiction of the product and customers have voiced their opinion enough to cause a change in the system.
Amazon has been cracking down hard on this issue and other involving shady / paid for reviews and “has taken a zero-tolerance stance to outfits found violating its rules before, suing companies that directly pay for fake reviews, and in some cases even suing the individuals that write them.”
Violations range from suspension of your seller account, holding funds, terminating your account and in some cases even lead to legal action.
This is another of many examples that prove, cutting corners might pay off short term but it will not last. I believe there is no substitute for ethical, consistent customer service, improvement and follow up. It might take longer to get results, but you will be able to sleep easy at night knowing you are building and growing your company and brand correctly and will be around for many years to come.
Selling Season is almost here, ARE YOU READY? If you or someone you know are looking to expand and capture more market share on Amazon we offer a free analysis of your Amazon Seller or Vendor account.