Amazon's Reviews Problem

Not all is rosy at Amazon. Not everyone loves the endless scroll of the everything store and wish for a more curated view. Others criticize reviews and Amazon now realizes the extent of the issue. Reviews are incredibly compelling in driving purchases. Everyday customers are willing to believe in the credentials and testimonials of complete strangers. In fact, 60-70% of customers based on several surveys have indicated a positive review will drive a purchase. Amazon sellers realize this fact and understand a minimum 4 star rating is the standard to be successful in most product categories. 

Although Amazon seems to take the issue seriously by the headlines and quotes below, there is quite a bit of work left to do. Reviews are like fingernails. You must continually groom and clip regularly.

Amazon sues sellers who purchase fake reviews:

Since the beginning of last year, Amazon has sued more than 1,000 defendants who offered to post fake reviews on its site in exchange for compensation. It has gone after those who sold their fake review services on the website, the operators of websites who engage in this practice and the sellers who buy the fake reviews. 

Amazon bans incentivized reviews:

Amazon is making a significant change to its Community Guidelines, announced today, which will eliminate any incentivized reviews, except for those that emerge from within its own Amazon Vine program. This program allows Amazon – not the seller or vendor – to identify trusted reviewers, and has a number of controls in place in order to keep bias out of the review process.

Amazon puts limits on customer reviews:

Amazon will start capping the number of product reviews any customer can submit in a given week, limiting each person to five/week except for products that have been verified by the company as purchased by the reviewer. Books, music and video are exempt from the limit, but the new cap applies to the rest of Amazon’s vast online selection of products.

Amazon deletes over 500,000 sketchy reviews:

ReviewMeta found that over 500,000 reviews have been deleted, with an average rating of 4.75/5. 71 percent of those reviews were flagged as having been incentivized. The overall average for all reviews dipped by about one-tenth of a star when Amazon’s ban went into effect.