Heard it through the grapevine: What is Amazon Vine, and is it worth it?

It can be a difficult job for new products on Amazon to make an impression, especially when considering how many customers rely on reviews to make a purchase. It can be an endless cycle; you make fewer sales because you have no reviews, and with fewer people buying your products, your chances of generating reviews diminishes. 

90% of site visitors read product reviews that influence their purchase decision

Enter Amazon’s Vine program which sole purpose is to help customers make informed purchase decisions. If you have a vendor account, you can submit a product for Amazon Vine and Amazon will send these products to a selection of customers known as Vine Voices for unbiased, honest reviews. 

But who are these reviewers? Vine Voices must firstly be invited by Amazon. They are frequent reviewers who are chosen to participate in the Vine program based on the overall helpfulness of all their reviews, as well as the number of reviews they have written over time. Vendors should be aware though that once a review is written about their product by a Vine Voice, it is final – just as any Amazon product review is (although we can offer tips to lessen their effect). Reviews can be appealed if you believe it to be unfair. Moreover, Vendors are not allowed to influence a Vine review. Therefore, there is the possibility that your products may receive negative reviews as well. To avoid this, Vendors should make sure that the products they send to be reviewed are the cream of the crop as they will be up for scrutiny by Vine Voices.

30-60% of buyers are willing to remove their bad review or change it to a good one if you contact them personally

Have no fear though as Vine reviewers get to choose the specific products that they would like to get a free sample of and review.  So, Vendors can be certain that they won’t be reviewed unfairly due to product preference biases (although this might mean that less attractive items might take a while to be reviewed). However, once a Vine Voice has received their product, they only have 30 days to leave a review or risk losing their Vine Voice privileges. If you are interested in knowing if a review was left by a Vine Voice, they are distinguishable by a green badge, and can be found with all the other reviews left on your product.

22% of purchase decisions are affected by the number of reviews

Although only those invited by Amazon can apply to Amazon Vine, Vendors may be able to submit a request for the service, and it’s a good way to boost the score of your Amazon listing – especially for new products that may not be getting the attention they should be. While these reviews will ultimately help companies grow on Amazon by giving products a head start, the results and benefits may take a while to be realised due to the extreme number of products signed up for Amazon Vine.

Reviews are one of the most important drivers for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) ranking on Amazon.com

The Amazon Vine Program isn’t available for sellers, however there is a similar initiative called the Early Reviewer Programme which sellers may want to check out which can also help with racking up some genuine customer reviews. Read our blog about Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program; how it works, how much it costs, what the entry criteria are and more. 

If you are struggling with getting your brand and products out there or don’t seem to be eligible for Amazon Vine, then Molzi can help. We specialise in all things Amazon from generating demand to optimising your Amazon product content. And the best thing about it? We usually save you more than what Amazon Vine would cost you.