Update: October 4th, 7:00am EDT
Stay calm. In the big scheme of things, this isn’t really that huge of a change. No, Amazon is not crashing and neither is Review Kick. Let me explain.
As expected, everyone has lots of questions regarding these Amazon changes so we will do our best to help clear them up. Our whole team is working overtime to do our best to answer everyone’s questions and make the necessary changes to our platform to ensure it follows Amazon’s new terms.
Q: What’s the future look like for Review Kick?
Excellent question. The new terms were released less than 16 hours ago so we haven’t had a chance to thoroughly revise the product and company roadmap. Two things we know for certain is Review Kick will continue to strictly adhere to Amazon’s terms of service and follow up email campaigns will be more important than ever for generating product reviews. Review Kick released the best platform on the web this past summer for creating and sending automated follow up email campaigns to organic buyers. We emphasize to our sellers to make sure they have these email campaigns set up and optimized – this will be key for getting reviews moving forward. The new Amazon terms of service have NO effect on the automated email campaigns, they will continue to operate as normal.
Q: What about the deals/promotional giveaway section on Review Kick?
One thing Amazon has made clear is that it is against their terms to post a review in exchange for compensation of any kind (including free or discounted products). To make sure Review Kick is abiding by this, effective immediately, we no longer request or require any consumer who purchases a product using a coupon through our site to leave a review.
Amazon has given us an FAQ section inside of seller central to help clarify these new terms.
Based off this, it is our understanding that purchasing a product using a coupon that was received through Review Kick or anywhere else is still OK, as long as you do not request, require or exchange it for a review. Because of this, our deals page will still be live for the time being and will be re-evaluated in the next couple days for future potential changes.
To clarify, Amazon hasn’t killed their coupon program (promotions). You can still create promotions, coupons and distribute them as you wish. You should just be very careful that you do not ask for a review when distributing them.
Q: What about any deals a consumer purchased before the terms update, should they still leave a review?
Effective October 3rd, Review Kick is not requesting or requiring that any consumers leave a review. If a consumer wants to leave a review anyway, we recommend they contact the seller and/or Amazon to make sure that it is OK and if any associated disclaimer should be included with it. In our opinion, this would be similar to purchasing a full price product on Amazon – you’re not expected or required to leave a review but if you choose to do so, then we assume that would be OK. Again, this is something that would be good to clarify with the seller and/or Amazon.
Q: What’s your real, no legal mumbo jumbo, opinion on this?
Launching a new product on Amazon will be a little more difficult in the future.
To launch a new product, Amazon sellers need:
Promotional giveaways in exchange for reviews were clutch for Amazon sellers because it gave their listing sales (which improved their search rankings) as well as got them the social proof they needed to make organic sales (in the form of reviews).
Sellers will still be able to do both of these items when launching a product, it will just be a little more difficult. You will still be able to use other tactics to get early sales, (e.g. increased PPC spend, decreased initial price, promotions like lightning deals, 2 for 1 deals or discounts in the form of coupons).
To get reviews, you’ll need to make sales and improve your chance of turning these sales into reviews through an optimized email campaign.
Does it suck for sellers? A little. Is Amazon still an amazing opportunity? Absolutely.
Q: What else?
We started Review Kick a year ago to address one major problem in the space, sellers didn’t have anywhere to go to get honest reviews that followed Amazon’s terms. The space was filled with organizations that may of claimed they followed Amazon’s terms but really had unwritten rules or weren’t transparent about what went on behind the scenes.
Review Kick was built on honesty and integrity and will continue to operate that way. Review Kick does not have any unwritten rules and operates based off Amazon’s written terms of service. We will continue to keep a close eye on Amazon’s terms of service and make any adjustments necessary to our platform to make sure it is 100% white hat.
October 3rd, 6:00pm EDT
Here is the important part:
In short, Amazon prohibits incentivized reviews unless they are facilitated through Amazon’s Vine program.
This means that starting today, Amazon will not allow any product reviews that were given in exchange for a discounted or free product.
What Does This Mean for Review Kick?
Review Kick has always been a solution for Amazon reviews. Generating product reviews was a two-pronged approach for Review Kick Sellers:
- Run automated email campaigns to convert customers to reviewers.
- Run discounted promotional giveaways to get more customer reviews.
Today’s announcement affects the process of generating reviews from promotional giveaways. Effective immediately, we no longer request or require customers who purchase products through Review Kick at a discount to leave a product review.
As a seller on Review Kick, you can still give away products at a discount, if you choose. Historically, we have seen that a surge in sales (regardless of the discount on the product) would lead to improved search engine rankings and an increase in organic sales.
Review Kick is still the best platform on the web to send email campaigns to organic buyers and will continue to get better. Post sale follow-up emails will now become more important than ever for sellers to get reviews. You can expect Review Kick to continue to get better in this aspect, including a new sophisticated analytics dashboard coming soon.
Next Steps Going Forward
In theory, we believe that this will benefit the Review Kick seller and reviewer community, by ensuring that sellers and products are evaluated fairly, and not based on any incentives offered. We have been anticipating an Amazon change like this for a little while. As a result, we have worked hard to become a complete Amazon reviews management system with our analytics and follow up email campaigns.
All sellers and reviewers on Review Kick’s platform will receive an email notification within the hour. Reviewers will be notified that we no longer request or require them to leave a review. Sellers will be notified of the new policy.
Over the course of the next week, you’ll see some of the verbiage on our website and features in the app change to reflect this policy.
We will continue to update you as the effects of the policy become more clear.
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