Amazon is the world's largest online marketplace, not only because of the products that it sources and sells itself but for products which are sold on the platform by third-party retailers. Amazon Marketplace is a way for merchants to access millions of customers worldwide, and a way for Amazon to supply products to its customers without investing in and storing new inventory.
If you're selling on Amazon then you know all about the benefits, and drawbacks, of accessing more customers. On the one hand, you're paying 10-15% commission for every sale you make, but on the other, you may not have made those sales by relying solely on your physical premises or online store.
Regardless of the benefits and disadvantages of selling on Amazon, for some businesses it's a must. Those businesses need to find ways to compete not only with other Marketplace sellers, but with Amazon itself.
Amazon's Buy Box is a single place on a product page where users can add a product to their basket and make a purchase. For products fulfilled by merchants (FBM), they Buy Box is an automatically-placed purchasing option for items sold by Amazon merchants.
Whenever a product page is displayed, an auction takes place behind the scenes between merchants, based on a variety of factors, and whichever merchant wins becomes the one who gets the sale.
Here's an example product page.
You can see the Buy Box on the right hand side of the screen. If you make a purchase of this TV, you'll be purchasing it from a third party merchant.
It's quite obvious that the implications of winning the Buy Box are profound.
That's a very good question, which leads me right up to stating that the presence of merchant reviews is one of the factors which influences whether a merchant wins the Buy Box. You also need to respond to your customers' emails and generally maintain a great level of service.
You might have seen that Amazon actually request reviews for products you've purchased automatically, so you might be wondering why we're writing a blog post about it. Well, cast your mind back to the last time you made a purchase from Amazon. When did you get the email asking to write a review? Did you even get the email?
Amazon takes around 28 days, rising to 56 days in some cases, to send out a review request email. There are two things wrong with this approach, as far as Merchants go. Firstly, 28-56 days is far, far too long to ask for a product review. The product will be almost 2 months out of a customer's mind by the time they're asked to review it, so most people simply won't bother.
Secondly, Amazon only send product reviews out - they don't request reviews on Merchants. So this causes you another problem. If you can't collect more reviews for your store on Amazon then you can't influence the Buy Box, reducing your chances of winning it.
By using Reviews.io to manage review collection for your business, you'll be able to accelerate the review request process and increase your response rate dramatically. You can create and send fully branded emails which resonate with your customers (making them far more likely to click), and choose to send them at a time convenient to you. If you know a product is likely to arrive within 5 days, then why not ask for a review 7 days after shipping?
You'll find that you'll get a much better response when your review invitations are a) relevant and b) timely.
Reviews.io is able to collect reviews for your business on Amazon by directing a proportion of your review invitations there. We're also a Google-licensed review partner, meaning all the reviews that you collect for your business from other online sources (such as your own e-commerce site) get fed to Google to give you seller ratings and organic stars in Google search.
It means that you can boost the visibility on Google of your own website and, in time, perhaps become less reliant on third-party marketplaces. This means more money in your pocket for every sale made.
Reviews.io is also able to direct your customers to write reviews on Facebook, Google Local, Tripadvisor, Yelp, Yell, Check-a-trade and a whole range of local sites, as well as our own platform. This means you can get a consistent reputation across the entire web, not just on one site.
Having your own company page on Reviews.io also gets you great visibility and more web traffic to your online store. We have plugins for any e-commerce store so whether you're using Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce or any other package, we can help get you set up with minimal fuss.
Watch this for an idea of how Reviews can help.
If you'd like to find out more about how review collection can help your business, just sign up for a free trial or give us a call today.