Marketing
March 29, 2022

What Is Amazon Vine Program? How Can It Help Amazon Sellers?

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As an Amazon seller, what's your strategy to increase product awareness for your newly launched products? Studies show that 91% of people read reviews or their fellow customers online to make informed purchase decisions, and 84% trust the unbiased feedback and reviews given by other customers. To keep up with the current e-commerce trends, Amazon Vine invites trusted reviewers on an Amazon Vine program that helps sellers generate valuable and genuine reviews from credible Amazon buyers. 

Not only do product reviews provide customers with the reliable reviews they need, but they also play a pivotal role in Amazon businesses; since they help to generate sales and promote product awareness among the targeted customers. As a seller, this is also why you should create a process that encourages your buyers to leave reviews after a verified purchase. Additionally, in an instance where you have a slow-moving product or just launched some new and pre-release items recently, Amazon's Vine program is also the right solution for your business.

What is Amazon Vine?

Simply put, the Amazon Vine customer review program is a customer review program that invites trusted select Amazon buyers and enables Amazon vendors to entrust their products in the hands of Amazon Vine reviewers for honest and unbiased feedback. Amazon invites customers to become the 'Vine Voices, 'but this is dependent on their reviewer rank. Generally, Amazon shares some free products with the vine voice reviewer from the participating Vine members, brands or sellers. The Vine Voices have trusted reviewers who are selected for their capacity to post helpful and insightful reviews on the Amazon purchases.

Why Should Sellers Consider The Amazon Vine Review Program?

Product reviews do so much for businesses since customer feedback helps build credibility and social proof that the business has a good product that's worth purchasing. This also works for a lot of sellers since this program also gives the essential early reviews, which are pretty important on an item's early listing.

Back in 2016, sellers used to give away free products or give a steep discount in exchange for a meaningful product review. With all the fake or incentivized reviews, Amazon had to change its review policy, and as a result, it became so difficult to get early reviews on your Amazon.

Fortunately, over the years, this has also brought up other different strategies in which sellers can use to generate product reviews, which include the Amazon Vine program. At first, it was only available to first-party vendors, but now the Vine is also available to the third-party sellers. Generally, Vine reviews are better than the incentivized reviews.

Unfortunately, paid-for and fake reviews have been slowly taking over the product listings since June 2017. Of course, this has negative effects on both ends; for the buyers, fake reviews might lead to poor choices in purchases, in turn, higher return rates and lower satisfaction rates among. For the sellers, fake reviews will eventually hurt your sales and probably destroy your product before it even gets to launch.

What Are The Amazon Vine Program Requirements?

Only first-hand vendors had access to the Amazon Vine program earlier, but since 2019, other sellers have also gained access to the feature.

For the seller to be eligible, here are the criteria:

  • Partner who's a professional seller
  • Seller who's enrolled on the Amazon brand registry
  • Product with less than 30 reviews
  • Have enough inventory
  • Be identified as the brand owner
  • Have eligible FBA offers that are eligible

Criteria For The Items That Are Eligible

For eligibility, items you enroll should meet these criteria:

  • Products should have a buyable offer in the Amazon FBA under the 'New' condition
  • No adult, applications, or digital software products
  • Products should have been launched by enrollment
  • Products have to have a title, image, and description on their listing page
  • Products that are brand registered under Amazon Brand Registry
  • Have less than 30 reviews on its product detail page
  • Have available inventory
  • Have an image and a description

What Products Aren't Eligible In The Amazon Vine Voice Program?

In addition to the general restrictions, products will be excluded from the Vine reviewer program in these scenarios:

  • Products that require to bundle more than 1 product for delivery or for review
  • Products that require reviewers to separately order different products to conduct the review
  • Note: This doesn't apply to accessories that are used with widely-owned products. For instance, popular mobile phones cases can be enrolled. Still, you can't enroll in an ink cartridge that will require a certain printer.
  • Products that don't correspond to the exact product listing on the FBA offer
  • Products that are sold in packages
  • Heavy or bulky items
  • Items categorized as sample goods
  • Items categorized as hazmat goods
  • Dropshipping items

What Are The Advantages Of The Amazon Vine Program?

Having solid Amazon Vine reviews is quite advantageous for sellers since:

  • An increase in quality traffic equals better conversions
  • Increase in the brand awareness, which works for slow-moving or newly launched products
  • Reviews build the credibility of the brand
  • More reviews equate to more sales since they rank high on the Amazon search results  
  • Reviews give a better understanding of how the audience perceives the product, which also gives more room for product improvement
  • Reviews from Vice voice tend to carry more weight in the eyes of potential customers as they have credibility
  • A higher number of high-quality reviews equals increased sales
  • Trustworthy reviews

What Are The Benefits For Sellers?

Compared to the other review strategies used on Amazon, the Vine program comes with its own unique advantages. But like with any other technique, it has its own set of drawbacks as it has its benefits. Here's an outline of both on the Amazon Vine program to help you decide whether it's worth enrolling:

Pros: 

a) Better review potential

The Amazon Vine review strategy allows the sellers to receive up to 30 customer reviews. However, there's also no guarantee that you'll actually receive all these 30 since some Vine Voices can also choose not to leave a review.

b) Thorough, higher-quality reviews 

Vine members get reliable reviews high-quality reviewers chosen by Amazon based on their reviewer rank. This is usually a reflection of the quality and helpfulness of their reviews as perceived by the other Amazon customers. This also means that the reviews that they have left are detail-oriented and well-thought-out compared to what the average customer review would be. You can expect to see a list of the pros and cons and the customer's image/video. 

c) Feedback that's more practical

The feedback you get is more practical since the Vine Voices fully try to experience and break down every aspect of your product so that the potential customers can get a better picture of how the product might work for them. So instead of the regular one-word reviews that are vague, Vine Voice reviewers will leave actionable feedback that also helps define the customer's purchase.

d) Helps drive traffic and conversions

Generally, customer reviews are one of the strongest factors that also influence the sales and conversion rates on your listing. High-quality Vine Voice reviews on the product help increase the conversion rates. Ultimately this helps provide the momentum you need to boost your overall bestseller rankings. 

Cons: 

a) These reviews are not always guaranteed

The reviews Vine Voices leave will always be full of important constructive details, but even then, Amazon doesn't also guarantee that the Vine Voices will leave positive reviews or even leave any reviews. Furthermore, sellers have no control over the reviews as judged by the Vine Voices since the seller won't be able to contact them.

Remember that the Vine Voices who receive your free product also have no obligation to actually leave a review or only write positive reviews. They are expected to write unbiased reviews, even if they're negative reviews.

b) This program is only available to brand registered sellers

This requirement limits the number of sellers who'd want to participate in the program. However, if your competition hasn't yet gotten their brand registered, you can take advantage of the Vine reviews to give you a heads-up. 

What's New On Amazon Vine?

There are plenty of improvements that have been made on the Amazon Vine over the recent years, which also make it easier for most vine members and brands to participate. For instance, more items are now eligible. Now Amazon also makes it possible for the sellers to enroll the items they might also have in stock at the Amazon warehouse. So this means that if the product is already within the Amazon fulfillment network, it can also be submitted to the Vine member program. This also creates better conditions for products that are heavier, bulky or the hazmat units. On the flip side, direct fulfillment is still not supported.

Here are also some of the new features.

A) More User-friendly

The platform is now more user-friendly. One of the top objectives is to provide important information and tooltips that explain what the Vine member needs to know in every field. You will find newly designed pages that create a better user journey and increase ease of use.

B) Capacity Of The Active Enrollment

Currently, you can have up to 5 different ASINs that are actively enrolled into the Amazon Vine program. Items will also remain active until they have been canceled with no orders or until the enrollment has finished 90 days after its enrollment date or the scheduled start date, whichever is applicable.

C) Parent ASINs

You can enroll 30 units of the parent ASIN. The point here is to ensure that your product is available for review in all the colors and sizes, which helps ensure that the reviewer has accessed items that fit them best.

E) Enrollment Fee

The enrollment fee into the program is charged per parent ASIN, regardless of whatever number of variations that have been submitted, which can be up to 30. In other words, you don't have to pay for each of the listed variations. The fee is also standardized across all the different listed categories.

F) Fulfillment Is Much Easier

From the update, since Amazon lets you list the product stock in their warehouses, you won't have to worry about getting the products to the reviewers on the Amazon Vine program. Amazon will take care of that part. This, therefore, translates to; no more lost items, delays or Vine labeling.

How Do Sellers Join The Amazon Vine Program?

As a seller, to enroll your brand in the Amazon Vine reviewer program, you need to:

  • Get on the Amazon Seller Central home page and then log in
  • Click on the Vine dashboard under the Advertising tab
  • In the search box, enter the ASIN that you want to enroll
  • Set up the enrollment for all the ASINs and then give the number of units that you want to make available for the Vine Voice program (up to 30)
  • After the registration of the ASIN(s), keep track of the progress through the Amazon Seller Central enrollment details page. You can do this by selecting the 'Details' button
  • The Vine program on Amazon limits the number to up to five ASINs per product that can be enrolled. You will need to provide the free product to be reviewed by Amazon Vine voices. Once you have enrolled, the request for the product can be done after 24 hours, after which they can start analyzing and reviewing the product. 
  • You'll have 3 tier options for enrollment, which are:
  • Basic level – to register up to 5 products
  • Plus level – to enroll up to 10 products
  • Premium level – to enroll up to 20 products
  • Frequently Asked Questions on Amazon Vine Program

1. How many reviews can the seller get on Amazon Vine?

The highest number of reviews that your product can get on Vine Voices is 30. So, for instance, if your product already has 10 reviews, you can only get 20 more reviews through the Amazon Vine customer program. Once the listing has reached 30 reviews, it will automatically be unenrolled from this program.

2. Should Amazon Vine reviewers give positive reviews?

Amazon chooses Vine Voices based on how thorough they are on writing reviews and giving an honest review. However, enrolling products on the Amazon Vine doesn't guarantee only positive reviews. You'll sometimes get a negative review, which you can use to improve the product.

Image Credit: pexel.com

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