For sellers, product reviews are crucial when increasing awareness of newly launched products, and participating in the Amazon Vine program is a good strategy to help you generate those valuable reviews from credible buyers. In this article, let’s take a closer look at Amazon Vine and explore how it can work for you.
What Is Amazon Vine?
The Amazon Vine program allows you to invite the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post their feedback about your product and help fellow customers make informed purchase decisions. Amazon invites customers to become Vine Voices based on their reviewer rank, which is a reflection of the quality and helpfulness of their reviews as rated by other Amazon customers.
How Does the Amazon Vine Program Work?
Amazon provides Vine members with free products that have been submitted to the program by participating sellers. While the products being reviewed are free, sellers cannot influence, modify, or edit the reviews. Likewise, Amazon won’t modify or edit Vine reviews as long as they’re TOS-compliant. Because the Amazon Vine program is invitation-only to high-quality reviewers, you can expect to receive detailed, well-articulated reviews – however, there’s no guarantee that the product will be reviewed positively.
Amazon Vine Cost
Amazon charges a $200 enrollment fee for each enrolled parent ASIN. The fee will be charged once per parent ASIN, 7 days after the publication date of the first Vine review for that product. Amazon will not charge the enrollment fee if no reviews are received, or if the first Vine review is published more than 90 days from the date the product is made available to Vine Voices.
To track the Vine enrollment fees charged to your account, you can use Fee Explainer in your Payments report.
- Select “Payments” under “Reports” in Seller Central.
- Select “Transaction View” on the Payments Dashboard.
- Click on the amount shown in the “Total” column.
- Click on any of the clickable amounts under Amazon fees.
How to Get Started with the Amazon Vine Program
Enrolling products in the Amazon Vine program is pretty straightforward:
- Go to Amazon’s Seller Central homepage, then click on “Vine” under the “Advertising” tab
- Enter the ASIN(s) you want to enroll in the search box
- Set up enrollment for the ASINs and give the number of units you want to make available for Vine Voice (up to 30)
- After registering the ASINs, keep track of progress through the enrollment details page by selecting the “Details” button
Amazon Vine Requirements
Sellers wanting to participate in Amazon Vine must meet the following requirements:
- Be brand-registered in the Amazon Brand Registry
- Have fewer than 30 reviews on the product detail page
- Have a buyable FBA offer in new condition
- Have available inventory
- Product must have launched prior to the time of enrollment
- Product listing must have an image and description
- Product cannot be adult-themed
Additionally, products that require Amazon to bundle for delivery or review are not eligible. You also can’t enroll a product that requires another product in order to be tested (e.g. printer ink, which would necessitate customers using a printer).
Amazon Vine Pros and Cons
The largest observable benefit to sellers using the Amazon Vine Program is a relatively quick way to add product reviews to a listing. Reviews will generally start coming in as quickly as 4 weeks after enrollment, though it may take longer depending on the product and category. While many businesses leverage Amazon Vine when launching a new product, some sellers also use it to boost sales for older listings that have become stagnant or have less-than-expected sales results.
Another benefit of Amazon Vine is that the reviews tend to carry a bit more weight in the eyes of potential customers, since the people participating in Vine Voices are seen as “expert” reviewers with creditive track records.
Ultimately, better customer reviews will translate to increased traffic and conversion. Having high-quality, detailed Vine Voice reviews featured on your products will result in more customers being convinced to buy, which will then boost your overall best seller ranking.
On the other hand, Vine isn’t without its share of downsides – the first of which being its price. Smaller businesses lacking major cash to invest in marketing may not see Vine as a feasible option due to cost alone.
Another downside is the possibility of receiving a negative review. As Amazon Vine reviewers are not required to leave you a positive review, a negative review can sometimes harm the performance of your brand-new listing, since potential customers may automatically deem the Vine reviewer as credible and unbiased.
Is Amazon Vine Worth It?
The $200 payment required for each parent ASIN to be enrolled in the program, plus the cost of the product given away, can make Amazon Vine a pricey endeavor. It might not be the best option for sellers with limited marketing funds, or products with a high price point. That said, the program remains one of the most effective and legitimate ways to generate reviews.
Amazon Vine offers a simple way to solicit real reviews from people who are likely to provide a comprehensive opinion. As mentioned, however, a Vine enrollment can be a double-edged sword – you should be ready to receive constructive, honest feedback and prepare to eat the cost of giving away free units to customers who are in no way obligated to leave positive reviews.
While there’s no way of guaranteeing you’ll receive only positive reviews, the Vine program is a consideration we’d suggest to get the Amazon flywheel going for brands that have strong foundations in place, and their listings retail-ready.
In general, sellers that have new brands with a limited number of reviews, are trademarked and brand-registered with Amazon, and are looking for a boost in the visibility of their products can benefit greatly from this program.
Help With Amazon Vine
Reviews are important for building traction on Amazon, but the Amazon Vine Program is only ideal for products that have retail-ready listings. You’ll need to properly optimize your detail pages as well as provide answers to common customer questions and issues to maximize your odds for favorable reviews.
Looking for more information or assistance with proper listing optimization and Amazon marketing strategies? Book a call with us today – we can help!