There’s a good chance you may have noticed that Amazon’s Seller Central platform has seen some changes over the past few weeks. New features. New policies. And even a complete revision of their communications protocol. And while many of these changes seemed to be designed to ensure transparency in seller marketing and buyer interactions, there’s also an even better chance that you’re left wondering just how these new features affect you.
One of the biggest questions we’ve received has been about Amazon’s new “Request a Review” button. At first, it seems pretty straight forward. Almost deceptively so. But if you’re assuming that this is an easy way to bypass Seller Central guidelines, you may want to think again
What is Amazon’s “Request a Review” Button?
You may have noticed the ‘Request a Review’ button at the top right of each specific “Order Details” page in your Seller Central account. What it allows you to do is, quite literally, request a customer to leave you feedback or a review with a single-click, as the following message indicates:
“We don’t require you to request reviews because our systems already do that at no cost to you. However, if you prefer to request a review for this order, please use this feature instead of asking the customer via email or buyer-seller messaging. When you use this feature, we will send the customer an email requesting product and seller reviews for this order. We automatically translate review requests to the customer’s preferred language.”
It can actually be a pretty useful tool for sellers. It replaces your outside messaging and email contact options by sending an order specific email in lieu of a general request for feedback. What that means for you is that you no longer have to manually send an email reminding customers to leave you a review (something that even seasoned Amazon sellers will forget about from time to time), even if you’re already using an Amazon review template. And what it means for both Amazon and your customers is the elimination of spamming feedback requests (which we in no way recommend—even if it wasn’t already against Amazon Seller policies.)
Restrictions to Amazon’s “Request a Review” Feature
Amazon prohibits you from sending any follow up request for a customer after each order-specific request has been initialized.
All sellers must follow Amazon’s new Communication Guidelines.
All review and feedback requests must be made no later than 30 days after the order has been delivered.
Each review request must be made manually and can not be automated or followed by a personalized request.
Right now, the “Request a Review” button appears only in limited markets—primarily U.S. based sellers and a select number of retailers based in China and the U.K..
Isn’t Amazon Already Sending Out Request Reviews?
Yes, but not through Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging Services. And the likelihood of an automated review or feedback request winding up in a customer’s spam filter is much higher without it. What the “Request a Review” button allows you is a more order-specific service experience with your customer base, as evidenced by the following email:
“Did your recent Amazon order meet your expectations? Review it on Amazon
Your opinion matters!
___________ requests you to share your experience for your recent order with other Amazon shoppers. Please take a moment to review your recent Amazon purchase.”
On the other hand, what this also means is reducing any personalized service request. In order to meet Amazon’s new buyer-seller guidelines, requests only contain general information: your name, the title of the product and a link to the customer’s purchase.
What Does “Request a Review” Mean for Me?
It enables you to automatically adhere to the new communication guidelines in Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging Services, for one. You don’t have to worry about the potential for using what could be flagged as persuasive or manipulative language—historically, a perpetually grey area in Seller Central.
It could also wind up increasing your Amazon sales. Customers rely on Amazon for objective, unbiased reviews. They’ve come to expect neutrality. And once they receive a request directly from Amazon as opposed to a seller, they might feel a bit more comfortable leaving a completely honest and unsolicited review.
I Prefer to Make my Requests Manually!
So will thousands of other sellers! “Request a Review” isn’t mandatory. And in all honesty, it’s too early to tell when—or more importantly, if—it will catch on.
But even if you’re using a standard template, just how neutrally are you phrasing your review requests? Are you unknowingly including any restricted items in your request, such as outside links or images? Do you actually have the time to manually submit and personalize each review request?
“Request a Review” isn’t going to be for everyone. But it just may be a feature that can add both value to your order fulfillment while freeing up your time.
But what you do with the additional time, however, may be an even bigger question.
Color More Lines provides white glove, global account management of your ecommerce platforms so mission-driven companies can focus on new product development, branding and growth strategies. Find out more at www.colormorelines.com.