When shopping on Amazon, 79% of consumers are influenced by products with the highest ratings and reviews. This makes getting a high number of reviews a key driver of long-term success for Amazon sellers, who in turn need to understand why consumers leave reviews in the first place.
The pursuit of high review counts provides sellers with a 22nd rule: lots of reviews can skyrocket revenue, but it's often hard to accumulate them. This is especially true in the first few months of a product's launch, where potential customers may be apprehensive about buying a product with a special rating if there are too few reviews to support it.
Sellers know the conventional wisdom about what drives customers to leave reviews: They either love or hate a product enough to take the time to write about it. But the whole story tends to be much more complicated.
The Q1 2022 Consumer Trends Report reveals the top reasons consumers are expressing their opinions through product reviews, providing important guidance for online sellers trying to understand customer feedback. These insights can help e-commerce entrepreneurs optimize every stage of selling products online, from research to sourcing to fulfillment. It even provides insights into how sellers can get more reviews.
7 reasons why consumers leave reviews
Some online reviews have clear motives. Others are incredible at best. To get some answers about the types of reviews Amazon sellers can expect — and which ones can serve as opportunities to grow their business — we surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers about their motivations for leaving product reviews. Here are the top seven reasons, in order of popularity.
Rank Reason Consumer Percentage
1 This product is very good 56%
2 Product unsatisfactory due to reasons other than arrival breakage 41%
3 I want to help other buyers understand the size or other relevant features of the product 38%
4 products arrive damaged 29%
5 I got incentivized to leave a review 29%
6 This product is 22% more expensive than I thought it was worth
7 I have ideas on how to improve the product 20%
1. The product is very good
For every Amazon seller who values product ratings, this should be a relief: the desire to praise a great product is the number one motivation for customers who leave product reviews.
56% of consumers say they would leave a review if the product they purchased was really good — the main reason.
Amazon customers have the option to leave reviews, good or bad. That's what makes these the absolute best reads for sellers – someone who goes out of their way to communicate how your product has improved their life. Every Amazon seller dreams of getting a review like this to buy a cat-sized bunny suit.
2. The product is in good condition, but not satisfied
The second biggest driver of product reviews prompts 41% of consumers to reach for their keyboard: the product is unsatisfactory (for reasons other than damage).
The good news is that this criticism gives sellers a fresh look at their products, allowing them to identify areas of improvement for their products that they may have missed during supplier sample evaluations.
Of course, personal preference affects satisfaction, so don't be too disappointed with yourself if negative feedback can seem subjective at times. For example, this review of teddy bears first pointed out quality-related issues before becoming personal.
3. Consumers want to help other buyers understand the product
38% of consumers leave reviews to inform other customers about a product's size, fit, performance or other useful features. Depending on the angle, such reviewers can be a blessing or a curse for online sellers.
For example, customers who share expert tips on how to use your product can help convince others to buy. Take, for example, this review on a moisturizer, where a client explains the science behind its effectiveness.
Remember, the academic approach that customers take to demystify your product isn't guaranteed to help you, as this review of supplemental gummies attests.
4. The product is damaged when it arrives
29% of consumers would say it in a review if their product was broken . Sellers should monitor the frequency of damage complaints upon arrival. While ecommerce product packaging should be memorable, make sure it's for the right reasons – it should look great while protecting what's inside in the first place.
This lava lamp listing has generated 29 Amazon reviews containing the word "broken," resulting in at least one afternoon being destroyed.
Recurring issues like this require a conversation with the supplier about protective packaging.
5. Leaving comments is motivated
Nearly a third (29%) of consumers would leave a review if promised rewards in return . Amazon sellers can no longer run their own incentivized review campaigns — which Amazon banned in 2016, along with other questionable review-related tactics such as writing glowing endorsements for their own products and being featured on competitors’ product listings Send the "Report Abuse" feature. (For a complete list of Amazon seller review dos and don'ts, see our guide.)
However, Amazon itself can incentivize reviewers on behalf of third-party sellers through its own programs such as Amazon Vine, Editor's Picks, or the Early Reviewer Program. That way, sellers can still benefit from the fact that consumers love to exchange testimonials — they just have to let Amazon handle the logistics.
As we mentioned in a previous article, Vine Voices and Early Reviewers are under no obligation to provide positive feedback (or any feedback). There is also no requirement for incentive reviews to be particularly thorough. Exhibit A: This Early Reviewer Program Shout Out to "Simple and Cost-Effective" Cake Pops/Lollipop Molds (Early Reviewer Program Has Been discontinued).
Still, painfully honest reviews can help sellers nip production issues in the bud, like these disappointing look bugs on these Vine Voice review slippers.
6. Products are more valuable than consumers think
22% of consumers would say they feel they are overpaying for a product. While Amazon strives to provide customers with engaging product descriptions and live product demonstrations, the reality of not being able to see, touch, or try a product in real life before purchasing can lead to dramatic moments of expectation versus reality when a customer order finally arrives.
Fortunately, some shoppers can easily identify that they are dissatisfied with the quality of the redemption of their purchase. Take this bizarre pet lover, for example.
Not every enthusiast will be so charitable, so don't skimp on due diligence during product development.
7. Customers have ideas on how to improve the product
The cousin of the disgruntled connoisseur is an uninvited advisor who is almost as active in the comments section. One in five (20%) consumers will post a review as a form of constructive criticism—too many when you factor in the likelihood of a high rate of useless versus helpful.
For example, let's say you decide to leave metal choking hazard debris in a children's board game. You might be unwittingly incurring the wrath of adult collectors with their own ideas about how many cubic centimeters of pewter should be for $19.99 these days.
Thankfully, it seems like most target customers can ignore this niche complaint. For example, this 36-count Crayola colored pencil case (non-toxic and popular with teachers!) has enjoyed high ratings despite some sad shortcomings being brought up to the public by a representative of the adult coloring community .
Take comments like this in stride – you're not going to please everyone with your final product. But you can minimize dissatisfaction with meticulous product research: focus on the winning and losing characteristics of competing products, and let critical feedback guide your product development. This way, you can avoid listing items worth complaining about.
How to Get More Product Reviews Online
Our experts have written about the importance of product reviews, published comprehensive guides on how to get reviews, and provided pro tips on understanding Amazon's customer communication rules. We've even developed tools to automate the review request process to save sellers time. At this point, we've identified several preferred techniques for increasing the number of reviews.
Here are our top strategies for getting more product reviews:
l Automate review requests in batches to save time and maximize review potential
l Pay attention to changes in Amazon's terms of service and abide by the rules
l Use features such as alerts to monitor customer reactions to your products
l Prevent negative reviews by creating well-researched products from quality suppliers
l You can also take advantage of the incentive review program mentioned earlier. Amazon Vine and editorial recommendations provide benefits that can drive product sales beyond what sellers can do on their own:
l Reviewers meet Amazon's "eligibility criteria," such as verified history, honesty, and helpful reviews
l Amazon marks these reviews with an official badge indicating reliability
l Editor's Picks make your product more prominent on the search results page than your competitors' products
l Low registration fee
These proven strategies will help address all the reasons consumers leave reviews — from bad to good.
Start getting better product reviews today
If you're having trouble dealing with sparse or negative customer feedback, statistics show you're not alone. Don't let the difficulty of getting product reviews get in the way of your success on Amazon – understand why consumers leave reviews, try new tactics, and see how customers are reacting.