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Product ratings are a decisive success factor on Amazon - products without ratings or with only poor ratings (anything below 3.5 stars) have a very difficult time generating sales on Amazon. All successful sellers on Amazon know this. 

The problem lies not in the realization that product reviews are needed, but in the implementation of how product reviews are generated. Since only a fraction of shoppers bother to write positive product reviews (as opposed to negative product reviews), new sellers in particular suffer from not receiving reviews for products. A product without reviews will have a poor conversion rate compared to products with reviews, which ultimately leads to limited organic discoverability in search results pages. However, the number of reviews also has a direct impact on paid advertising campaigns and their efficiency, as the lower the conversion rate, the higher the cost per sale (AcoS) will be.

RemarkIn some customer examples, we were able to cut advertising costs in thirds by generating positive product reviews.

Participants in the Amazon Vendor Program have long had the opportunity to generate product reviews by participating in Amazon Vine. For this reason, the Amazon Vine program was a competitive advantage for participants in the vendor program over merchants who listed their products on Amazon Vine via Seller Central. Sell on Amazon. Since December 15, 2019, Marketplace retailers have also been able to participate in the Amazon Vine program and generate product reviews for their own products, subject to certain conditions. Find out below what Amazon Vine is and how you can use Amazon Vine to give your products the push they need.

What is Amazon Vine?

Amazon Vine is a program in which selected reviewers rate products. Only the most trustworthy and helpful customers are invited to take part in Amazon Vine. It is not possible to apply. Reviewers receive free products from participating Amazon sellers who have registered for Amazon Vine. After receiving the products, the reviewers then write product reviews. The sellers have no influence on the rating and also no possibility to contact the reviewers. The dispatch of the goods and communication with the reviewers is carried out exclusively by Amazon.

RemarkReviewers are not obliged to write a product review. It is therefore possible that you may not receive a product review from every reviewer.

What requirements do I have to fulfill to be able to use Amazon Vine by sellers?

In order to participate in the Amazon Vine program through sellers, you and your offer must meet the following requirements:

  • Products must belong to a brand for which the Amazon Brand Registry has been successfully completed
  • The product to be pushed via Amazon Vine must contain fewer than 30 product reviews
  • Only "new" products may be offered
  • Shipping must be carried out via Amazon FBA be carried out
  • Erotic articles are not permitted 
  • Only products for which no additional product is required (e.g. offer print cartridges, but the customer still needs the right printer)
  • Products must have images, titles, bullet points and a description)

What are the advantages of Amazon Vine?

The obvious advantage is the simple generation of new product reviews. The program is specially tailored to products with few reviews and therefore helps new products in particular to gain a foothold on the marketplace.

In addition, Amazon's Vine program now offers a way to generate additional reviews without violating the guidelines. In this post some options for generating reviews were listed and it became clear that there are numerous measures that do not comply with Amazon's guidelines and can have far-reaching consequences. With Amazon Vine, additional reviews can now be gained without risking penalties.

Another advantage is that not every customer has access to Amazon Vine. Only selected customers who have written particularly helpful reviews in the past are invited to join the program. This increases the likelihood of receiving detailed and high-quality product reviews for a participating product.

If the brand of the product with which you would like to participate in Amazon Vine is already registered with Amazon, participation in the program is also not complicated. Below you will find instructions on how to register a product for participation in the Amazon Vine program. If your brand is not yet registered with the Amazon Brand Registry, you will receive this contribution provides detailed assistance.

What are the disadvantages of Amazon Vine?

The only disadvantage that the program has for retailers is that there is no guarantee that all reviewers will actually write a product review. As the recipients of the product are not obliged to do so, there will probably always be a certain percentage who choose not to publish a review of the product. In this case, goods are given away for nothing in return. How serious this disadvantage is naturally also depends on the value of the product.

In addition, reviews from the Vine program are not automatically positive. If participation generates predominantly negative reviews, not much is gained. However, this exceptional situation clearly indicates a low-quality product. In this case, the negative reviews should be used as feedback to improve the product.

How can I get started with Amazon Vine?

To start with Amazon Vine, we select the menu item "Amazon Advertising" in Seller Central and click on "Vine" in the drop-down menu.

Once we have arrived on the Vine page, we first click on register. The following page then opens, where we enter the ASIN of the respective product in order to start the review process.

If we have now registered the product, we can next enter the total number of products available for Amazon Vine, the maximum number here is 30. Then we just have to click on "Register" at the bottom right and the product will be accepted by Amazon. 

Conclusion on Amazon Vine

While the Vine program was long reserved for vendors only, sellers of brands registered with the Amazon Brand Registry can now also benefit from the additional product reviews. New products in particular can receive initial reviews in this way, which can increase confidence in the product. However, participation in the Vine program is no guarantee of positive reviews. Reviewers are not obliged to write a review, nor does it always have to be positive. Care should therefore be taken to ensure that the products provided are of a certain quality. Ideally, some additional, positive product reviews can be gained in this way.

Frequently asked questions about Amazon Vine:

Can I have negative product reviews removed?

Amazon does not guarantee positive reviews or that every reviewer will write a review. For this reason, if you receive a negative product review, you should write a comment below the product review to resolve any possible misunderstandings.

How can I track Amazon Vine product reviews?

To do this, we click on Advertising -> Amazon Vine again and search for the respective SKU / ASIN in the Vine key figures monitor. In the "Vine reviews" tab, we then get an overview of the current number of Amazon Vine reviews.

Is there a deadline for when I can expect the product reviews?

No, Amazon does not set a deadline for reviewers. Amazon itself says that about 25% of reviewers write a review 5 days after ordering and 99% of reviewers write a review 35 days after ordering.

Do customers see that these are Amazon Vine reviews?

Product reviews that have been generated via Amazon Vine receive the addition.

What does closed registration mean?

A product registration is displayed as closed if all possible product ratings have been received or if the registration was made more than 90 days ago.

What does pending review mean? 

This is displayed for registrations that have not yet received any reviews.

What does review in progress mean?

Displayed when the first ratings have been published.

What does "action required" mean?

Action required is displayed for blocked registrations. Here, either the product data must be revised or additional stock must be sent to Amazon.

When can Amazon Vine reviewers request my product?

As a rule, Amazon Vine reviewers can order the products offered 24 hours after completing the registration process.

What impact will Amazon Vine have?

Thanks to Amazon Vine, retailers now finally have a way to proactively receive reviews for products without violating the Amazon Terms of Services. The numerous review platforms should also rethink their business model.

However, Amazon Vine also has the effect that products with few reviews will find it much more difficult to be found and purchased. An Amazon Brand Registry now has another advantage and should be approached by every serious Amazon Marketplace seller.

Tobias Dziuba

My name is Tobias and I am the founder and managing director of the Amazon agency Adsmasters GmbH based in Düsseldorf.

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