Let’s say you’ve recently launched a new product on Amazon. You’re logging in to view your sales and examine how customers are interacting with your product. You go to read your reviews…but amazon reviews not showing up.
The reviews aren’t showing up. Where did they go?
Today, we’ll be exploring this strange phenomenon in more detail. You’ll learn what it looks like when amazon reviews not showing up, why it happens, how you can download reviews and what steps you can take to prevent it from happening again.
What Are Amazon Reviews and Why Do They Matter?
Amazon reviews have an essential role to play for Amazon buyers and sellers.
When a potential customer searches for a product on Amazon and selects on option, the site will direct the user to that product listing. The listing shows information designed to enhance the customer’s understanding of that product. This data includes things like product size, material, special features, etc.
When the customer scrolls down on the listing, they also can access the reviews for that product. These posts are user-generated, meaning that the feedback comes from real buyers.
Unsolicited user content tends to rank more favorably for various reasons, all of which impact your seller status and branding. So, what are these reasons, and why do they matter?
Let’s get into the specifics.
Buyers Use Amazon Reviews to Learn About Products
Customers use reviews to judge a product before they purchase it since they cannot examine it physically. They want to know that what they’re getting is what they’re seeking. By reading feedback from other Amazon buyers, customers get a glimpse into the experiences of others who bought the product.
At the same time, buyers gain a small sense of community. The review section becomes a forum where buyers can discuss and resolve concerns with other buyers and the seller.
Amazon Reviews Establish a High Standard
When it comes to product reviews, Amazon has always promoted the idea that its customer feedback is trustworthy. They hold this user content to a high standard. As a result, they have a low tolerance for things like sponsored reviewer posts.
With a focus on user experience, the Amazon reviews create higher standards for products or services. These standards come from the users themselves and what they expect or want from a listed item.
Reviews Boost Your Rankings as a Seller
Reviews are essential for sellers because they determine their rankings on search pages.
Typically, the better your feedback and ratings, the higher your product is likely to rank, and the more sales you’re likely to add.
The ranking is especially noteworthy for hi-tech, high-price items. The more expensive something is, the more time a consumer will spend engaging with it before they decide to purchase it or not purchase it.
Reviews Give You Access to Market Insights
As an Amazon seller, you must conduct thorough research on your market to improve your products and market them to consumers. You can download Amazon reviews of your own product or spy on the competition using Helium 10.
Let’s say you decide to add a new product. First, you want to see how reviews of the product sit. From there, you can fully launch the product while implementing your research.
Amazon product reviews are an excellent way to gain insight from your customers. Take note of their interests and listen to their concerns while coming up with appropriate solutions.
Analyzing the ratings and feedback from your customers will help you determine what is or isn’t working.
The insights mentioned above are just a few ways that reviews enhance customers’ buying experience and the marketing process for sellers.
But if reviews are disappearing, it threatens all of these points.
Now that we understand what’s at stake when reviews disappear, let’s look at how they are disappearing and the big question: Why?
How Are Amazon Reviews Not Showing Up?
If you have noticed that your reviews are disappearing, you are not alone. This issue has affected thousands of Amazon sellers.
Much of the information we have on the subject comes from sellers who openly and frequently discuss the issue. Based on this community sourced information, it appears that reviews have been disappearing because they are:
A block review usually means that Amazon is preventing users from posting their reviews for your product. Amazon will tell users that they aren’t allowed to leave a review. Blocked posts are often difficult to detect.
As a seller, you are unlikely to hear about reviews blocked from your product listing. Instead, you learn about blocks when users communicate them to you.
Review blocks are usually temporary and will go away after a set amount of time. Sometimes, Amazon will block specific posts, such as ones they have yet to verify.
You may also come up against a limit on the number of reviews allowed on your listing. The number you can have will vary, but it’s usually in the 3-5 review range.
This issue is often due to unverified reviews. This limit is more often than not temporary.
Blocked and limited reviews prevent users from publishing new ones. Deleted reviews are another story. When this happens, it means that Amazon has removed posts already published elsewhere.
It could be that the user has re-posted the same feedback, or it could be that the seller has re-posted positive reviews to boost their ratings. Amazon will remove recycled posts to prevent value inflation. This type of disturbance and re-posting can be harmful to established brands.
Why Is This Happening?
We’ve explained the three types of interference that may occur with your reviews. But that still doesn’t explain why it’s happening. Unfortunately, Amazon isn’t always quick to divulge their reasoning behind these actions. But a few patterns have emerged that give us clues.
Amazon Detects Unusual Reviewing Behavior
Amazon has special software that it uses to monitor user behavior on the platform. Sometimes, the algorithm it uses will detect activity that it deems irregular. It may flag a listing for “unusual reviewing behavior,” which may result in a block until the issue gets resolved.
Some trends that this algorithm looks for include:
- Suspicious wording used in a post
- A large number of unverified reviews
- A significant increase in the number of reviews
What does suspicious wording look like in a fake review? Well, it might consist of repeated phrases, especially phrases that appear in other posts around the same time. The wording might be awkward or look like it’s trying to boost sales blatantly.
This issue is a common one for sellers. If you receive a large number of unverified reviews, it may spell trouble. Verified posts come from buyers who bought the product on Amazon and paid the full price for it.
Unverified reviews come from buyers who either didn’t purchase the product through Amazon or received a discount for buying a product and leaving feedback. Discounts are an important indicator because they suggest that the reviewer has received an incentive to leave positive user feedback.
Increase in the Number of Reviews
Amazon’s algorithm notices when a seller has an uptick in reviews and may flag them as a result. This issue is especially common if the massive increase in the number of reviews happened in a short amount of time. If all the new, positive posts pour in for a product in the span a few days or a week, it could indicate an outside force pushing for feedback on a deadline.
Accounts that Have Left Reviews Getting Wiped
If you notice that some of your reviews are merely disappearing, you may be experiencing an issue with wiped accounts. This problem occurs when Amazon bans users who have previously left reviews on your listing and deletes their accounts.
As a result, Amazon will also delete any posts from the banned user, including those they made for your product. The eCommerce giant may wipe buyer accounts if it finds those buyers are engaging in illegal reviewer activity.
This cause of deleted reviews is incredibly frustrating for many sellers. Even if you do everything right on your side, you still lose the positive feedback because of the buyer’s actions.
Accounts Prohibited from Leaving Reviews
If you are experiencing blocked reviews, the block may be due to the account trying to give feedback rather than your product listing.
When this happens, the reviewer will receive some standard messages from Amazon. The platform may prevent an account from leaving a review if:
- The account has links to that product in some way, thus creating a conflict of interest
- The account has received a charge of illegal reviewing activity
- The account doesn’t fulfill other requirements to leave reviews
How Can I Ask for Reviews Safely?
As a seller on Amazon, there are no restrictions that prevent you from asking buyers for reviews. But if you pay people for feedback or ask them for a review in the wrong way, it may catch Amazon’s attention, resulting in disciplinary action.
Through Buyer-Seller Messaging, you can ask buyers to give honest feedback on your product. You can do this one buyer at a time or use some automation tool.
When asking for verified purchase reviews, it is essential to keep the following guidelines in mind:
- You can’t ask the reviewer to leave you a positive review or imply that the review should be positive in any way. Amazon reviews should be honest to serve other consumers best. If you’re offering a quality product, you shouldn’t worry about bad feedback.
- If you do receive a negative review, you can’t ask the buyer to take it down or change it.
- You, your family members, and your employees should not post about your products or your competitor’s products.
- Avoid offering reimbursements, discounts, free products, or any other form of compensation in exchange for a review.
If you are unsure whether your efforts align with Amazon’s policies, read the guidelines thoroughly, or consult a marketplace representative.
How to Protect Your Reviews
We’ve covered some of the leading causes of missing Amazon reviews. Although missing and blocked posts are sometimes out of a seller’s control, you can still take precautions to prevent them. To protect your hard-earned reviews, consider the following practices:
Play by the Rules
In any marketplace, it’s critical to operate cleanly and safely. With Amazon, that means playing by their review rules.
It’s best to avoid any black hat or grey hat practices. Don’t offer reviewers compensations or refunds or ask them to alter a negative post. It will benefit you to secure a copy of Amazon’s review guidelines and familiarize yourself with them. You can also use Amazons request a review button to assist in gathering product reviews.
Complete Review Requests at Reasonable Intervals
Because a sharp increase in reviews may trigger a flagging, it is best to send user feedback requests at regular intervals, instead of all at once.
By spacing out your requests, you decrease the chances of a sharp spike in feedback posts that will attract Amazon’s attention. You can still get similar results if you spread out requests over a few days.
Participate in the Amazon Early Reviewer Program
One way to collect reputable reviews is through the Amazon Early Reviewer Program. This program helps new sellers and their products gain a foothold on the platform.
Amazon offers small incentives to buyers who leave reviews for new products. Participating in this program isn’t free, but it will help you establish a few good posts that the platform won’t remove. To participate in the program, you must be a Brand Registered seller.
Sell Your Products on Multiple Platforms
It’s a good idea to sell your products on other platforms besides Amazon. Amazon is a fantastic resource. However, if your reviews suffer for whatever reason, it’s safer to have other options to market your products.
Create a website or use another selling platform like Shopify to list your products online. Also, make an effort to create your own traffic through things like social media and email marketing.
Amazon is a massive online marketplace. It will help you grow, but it can also be intimidating. There are still sellers and buyers who follow shady business practices on the platform. Amazon continues to remove them, but every now again, your reviews may take a hit.
However, as long as you sell your products safely and ethically on the platform, you shouldn’t experience any issues. Lost posts are tough to handle, but you can usually move past them. In some situations, discussing the issue directly with Amazon may get it resolved. So, keep selling and grow your product reviews with confidence.