The New ERP Update is Predictability in it’s Finest Form… and Why That’s a GOOD THING!
Amazon has officially launched their “Early Reviewer Program”… and it’s no surprise.
If you’ll remember, I made the call on this way back in October.
October 3rd, 2016 to be exact. The day that shall live in infamy… the day Amazon officially killed off incentivized reviews.
I predicted that Amazon, being mostly about Amazon, would realize the untapped money making potential behind owning the review process, and eventually begin their own service to help sellers gather new (note: verified) reviews.
Likely charging for it in the process… which, my friend, is exactly what they’ve done.
(not to mention they allude to it – literally – within their updated terms)
That said, the Early Reviewer program the Early Reviewer Program “[Encourages] customers who have already purchased a product to share their authentic experience about that product, regardless of whether it is a 1-star or 5-star review,” According to Amazon.
Amazon goes on to answer a few more carefully crafted questions:
- Can I trust these reviews?
Yes. We are not giving free products or discounts to these reviewers. We only ask customers who have already purchased the product to share their authentic experience, regardless of whether it is a 1-star or 5-star review. This program is not limited to elite reviewers – we want to hear from all of our customers as long as they have no history of abusive or dishonest reviews.
- How are reviewers selected for this program?
We want authentic reviews, and we want them from all of our customers, not just a select few. We select at random from all customers who have purchased products participating in this program, as long as they have no history of abusive or dishonest reviews and meet our eligibility criteria. We do not disclose at the time of purchase whether a product is participating in the program because we want to hear from customers who have authentically chosen to buy that product without any knowledge of a future reward. Not all products are participating in this program and not all buyers of participating products will receive reward offers to write a review. We want this program to generate enough reviews to help shoppers make smarter buying decisions; this is not a rewards program intended to encourage purchases. Amazon employees, participating sellers and their friends and family are not eligible to participate in this program.
- How are reviews rewarded.
Reviewers will receive a small reward (e.g., a $1-$3 Amazon.com Gift Card) after they have submitted an authentic review within the offer period which meets our community guidelines. This small reward is given to thank reviewers for sharing their authentic experience, regardless of whether it is a 1-star or 5-star review. The nature of the review does not affect the reward or the chance of getting future rewards.
- How will I know if a product has a review from Early Reviewer Program?
Early Reviewer Program reviews are identified with an orange badge that reads “Early Reviewer Rewards”.
- Can sellers influence these reviews or reviewers participating in this program?
No. Sellers can select products to participate in this program but they do not have any influence over which customers are selected to receive the reward offers or the content of the customer reviews. Sellers are also prohibited from communicating with customers about their reviews. Amazon does not modify or remove reviews from the Early Reviewer Program, as long as they comply with our community guidelines.
What interests me most however, is how we choose to partake in the newest service. Because all the advice in the world won’t mean much without real testing and data to report.
Now, in a thread on the seller forums, Amazon officially announced that only a “few select sellers through a limited beta program.”
And at the time, the ERP (Early Reviewer Program) was not available to me either.
However, after a few… how shall we say… “persistent” phone calls to Amazon, our account miraculously was awarded with the ability to join the Early Reviewer Program!
Now, I’m not saying that my persistent nature is the reason we were granted access, but as all things Amazon… the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
And I’ll tell you the exact same thing taught (and still teach) each & every one of my students;
Call, email, call, email… over and over. You’ll inevitably get the response you need – in almost every situation.
That said – we are currently in the process of testing the ERP and I will report back in a “part 2” of this post as soon as I have some more definitive answers on the subject, however, I am hopeful here.
I see it as a positive change for Sellers like you and I, and more, it shows that Amazon is not completely ignoring us 3p’s by making moves to serve themselves… by serving us.
As always, please leave any comments or questions you have below & I’ll personally answer each one!