You’ve probably heard of Amazon is Amazon Removing Verified Purchase Badges on Reviews. It’s a new policy that’s removing the orange “Verified Purchase” badges from some reviews. I’m sure you’ve seen them around.
Amazon’s old definition of “Verified Purchase” meant a product that was purchased through Amazon.
A review was only unverified if the customer received the product elsewhere and then wrote an Amazon review about it (e.g. a gift from a friend, Wal-Mart, bought online, etc.).
But recently, Amazon has started removing some “Verified Purchase” badges from items that were sold at a discount in exchange for an honest review.
The process has started with older reviews, and is moving forward to the present time (newer reviews remain unaffected). Reviews are being treated retroactively now, but the screening process will probably be instantaneous one day.
The process is also incomplete. Some reviews have been left with badges, other full-purchase items have had the badges removed, and some gift card purchases have been deemed “unverified”.
3 THINGS WE’RE TESTING NOW
(updated July 11, 2016):
1. What discount percentage constitutes removal of the “Verified Purchase” badge?
Answer: items discounted at 50% or more will not have badges.
2. How does Amazon’s system identify unverified purchase reviews?
Answer: Amazon may be using the mandatory “discount in exchange for a review” disclaimer to identify units sold for review. This remains mandatory, so if you’re doing a launch, be sure to enforce that rule.
3. Are “Verified Purchase” reviews better than reviews that are unverified purchases? Does this new dynamic affect search rankings?
Answer: the short answer is ‘no’. Here’s why.
As a seller, the key question is always: how does this “Verified Purchase” update affect my sales?
The answer: it won’t, because it doesn’t have a major impact on your conversion rate.
Removing “Verified Purchase” badges from reviews doesn’t affect the conversion power that the overall review count has on regular buyers.
Imagine that you’re an Amazon shopper looking for a turkey baster. “Baster A” has 10 reviews and baster B has 150 reviews. Which do you trust? Which are you going to buy?
You look at the 150 reviews for baster B, and see that some of the reviews are “Verified Purchases” and others are not. That’s the way it’s always been for Amazon shoppers. You’re looking for positivity or criticism, a discussion of the product features, helpful things to know about the product, etc. A review without a badge just means the customer bought through another channel.
In Amazon’s words: “If a review isn’t marked Amazon Verified Purchase, it doesn’t mean that the reviewer has no experience with the product – just that we couldn’t verify it had been purchased at Amazon.”
3 actions you (the seller) should take after this update:
1. Stay TOS compliant.
With this update in place, the little blackhatter on your shoulder might consider paying someone to write glowing “unverified purchase” reviews. However, soliciting positive feedback and paying reviewers are forbidden (as always). And Amazon knows which order numbers correspond to which reviews. To get a full understanding of Amazon’s Terms of Service, check out “Will this get me banned?”
2. Have reviewers leave pictures and videos.
Verified review or not, pictures and video are great proof of purchase and help to sell new customers. For example, you can even use the HonestFew Video Program to get in-depth video reviews that often get naturally up-voted by shoppers for being so darn helpful.
3. Focus on conversions.
Amazon’s top priority, like yours, is sales. That’s the 80/20 in this game. Here’s how to boost your conversions:
– get a product review video on your page with HonestFew Video, as I mentioned
– increase your review count. Verified or unverified, highly-reviewed products get more clicks in search results
– optimize your pictures, title, bullets, description, and back-end keywords
4. Sales spike.
Amazon’s 49 million daily visitors are the traffic you need to kickstart your 6 or 7-figure brand. But you need initial sales for momentum, which HonestFew can provide.
Our sales spike improves your BSR. This improves your visibility so you can sell higher volumes. Plus, we get you reviews so that your conversion rate permanently improves.