What Does Amazon's Ban on Incentivized Reviews Mean For You

Amazon reaches over 97 million U.S. consumers monthly and prides itself on having an active community that shares authentic feedback about the products and services available on their site. The integrity of this community is taken very seriously and the recent policy change speaks to that commitment to community and to the greater good of consumers flocking to the mega-site to research and shop.   Amazon is the starting point for 44% of consumers searching for products and customer reviews are one of the most valuable tools available to make informed purchase decisions.

“Our community guidelines have always prohibited compensation for reviews, with an exception – reviewers could post a review in exchange for a free or discounted product as long as they disclosed that fact. These so-called ‘incentivized reviews’ make up only a tiny fraction of the tens of millions of reviews on Amazon, and when done carefully, they can be helpful to customers by providing a foundation of reviews for new or less well-known products.” – Chee Chew, VP Customer Experience – Amazon

The recent update to the community guidelines now prohibits incentivized reviews, unless facilitated by Amazon’s internally run Vine Program, will require sellers to reevaluate the best way to market and launch their products. For us at gen.video, authenticity and transparency has always been paramount to our business and for years, we have collaborated with and abided by both the community guidelines and any creative guidance given to us by the community, merchant and media teams at Amazon.

Now, I am sure the recent shift in policy will require brands to reconsider how to hit the ground running when launching a new product and to drive sales over time.  At gen.video, we continue to believe that ‘conversion content’ plays a critical role in driving awareness, building your brand and lifting sales.  Working with YouTube content creators is one way to create quality, high-impact video that, when properly managed, fit perfectly on ecommerce product pages and deliver results.

We don’t know for sure what the full implications of banning incentivized reviews will be for brands.  So for now, here are a few reasons why influencer video programs through the gen.video platform are a great investment for your product pages:

#1 Peer to Peer:

92% of consumers trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) more than brands.

#2 Proper Disclosure:

Transparency is key and every video published as a marketing asset to a product detail page has the ‘sponsored content’ disclaimer.

#3 Appropriate Placement:

We’ve never considered what we do to be part of the ‘community’ on Amazon and so all retail impact reels are featured within the image block.

#4 YouTube Publishing:

73% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching a video and so let influencers help build social proof.

#5 Drive Traffic:

When working with influencers, a quality video can drive consideration for your product on Amazon by requesting a product link included in the description.

To learn more about the Amazon community guideline changes you can read this article on TechCrunch. As we learn more as it relates to the world of conversion content and influencer video we’ll be sure to update you on the gen.video blog.

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