On November 12, 2019, the Jungle Scout team spotted a new button on the ‘Order details’ screen in Seller Central labeled ‘Request a Review.’
NOV. 22 UPDATE: Since our initial report, we’ve received a ‘Request a Review’ email from Amazon. We’ve updated this article to reflect the latest information related to this feature.
What is Amazon’s “Request a Review” button?
Amazon’s ‘Request a Review’ button appears in a user’s Seller Central account in a unique order’s ‘Order details’ section. Upon clicking the button, Amazon presents sellers with this page:
Request a Review
We don’t require you to request reviews because our systems already do that at no cost to you. However, if you prefer to request a review for this order, please use this feature instead of asking the customer via email or buyer-seller messaging.
When you use this feature, we will send the customer an email requesting product and seller reviews for this order. We automatically translate review requests to the customer’s preferred language.
Are you sure you want to request a review for this order?
After clicking yes, you get this final screen:
Request a Review
A review will be requested for this order. (Note: We will suppress this request if a review has already been requested for this order)
Once the initial review request is sent, you cannot send a follow-up to that same customer. This is likely Amazon’s attempt to stop sellers from “spamming” customers.
Note that some sellers are able to send requests for reviews within hours after an order is placed, while others receive a message informing them that they have to wait at least four days after delivery before sending a request.
What does the ‘Request a Review’ email look like?
We received Amazon’s ‘Request a Review’ email four days after purchasing fundraising bracelets from the online store. This is what we received:
Along with the links at the bottom of the email, two clickable 5-star graphics take buyers to their Amazon account where they can leave both a star-rating and a review. And above those, the copy of the email reads:
Did your recent Amazon order meet your expectations? Review it on Amazon
Your opinion matters!
Seller Scott Berget Designs requests you to share your experience for your recent order with other Amazon shoppers. Please take a moment to review your recent Amazon purchase.
Bontog Four-Pack Cancer Research Bracelets with Signature Stainless Steel Charm. Adjustable from 6″ to 11″ for Men, Women, Children. Waterproof Nylon.
Aside from the title of the product purchased, the email offers no customer-personalization. This is likely to ensure that all review requests contain the same information: the seller’s name, the product’s title, and a link to the shopper’s Amazon account.
How the ‘Request a Review’ button works
The ‘Request a Review’ button seeks to replace outside messaging systems and email contacts.
In recent weeks, Amazon has totally removed contact information from Order Details, including last names and shipping addresses. At most, sellers are able to see the first name of the buyer and the city they live in.
And while sellers can still use tools such as Jungle Scout’s Launch to send customers customized messages (including requests for reviews), these are funneled through Amazon to protect customer contact information.
Also, the ‘Request a Review’ option is only available once per sale. Sellers must manually click to request a review for each order, rather than automating email requests to all customers.
What does Amazon’s ‘Request a Review’ mean for sellers?
This new ‘Request a Review’ option indicates that Amazon prefers an in-house automated method for sellers to source customer reviews for their products — a notoriously difficult task.
Currently, Amazon prohibits sellers from:
- Incentivizing reviews: Before October 3, 2016, sellers could offer free or heavily discounted products in exchange for reviews.
- Using manipulative language: In product inserts, emails, and any other seller-to-shopper communication, sellers cannot use manipulative language to seek reviews. Phrases like “we are a family-owned business” and “our products are made in the USA,” will get you in trouble with Amazon.
- Cherry-picking: Sellers cannot seek reviews only from shoppers they know had positive experiences with their products.
The introduction of a ‘Request a Review’ button could mean a few different things for sellers.
On the one hand, the button could make it easier for sellers to receive hard-to-get product reviews. This is important because each review has the potential of increasing a product’s sales on Amazon — even if it means clicking a few more buttons to get there.
Furthermore, if the message comes from Amazon, rather than a specific seller, customers may view the request as more credible. That could, potentially, increase the likelihood that a customer will leave a review.
However, it could also mean Amazon wants to tighten its grip on seller-to-customer communications. Or even to remove seller-to-customer communication altogether.
In the meantime, sellers can continue to use services such as Jungle Scout’s Launch to contact buyers to leave seller feedback and a product review.
Is it in all markets yet?
At this point, we have only noticed this button on the U.S. Amazon.com market. All of the sellers on our team appear to have the button as do our counterparts in China.
So, it may be that Amazon is only testing this in limited markets. There is no guarantee that this is a feature Amazon will roll out across the board.
Alternatives to Amazon’s ‘Request a Review’ button
While Amazon has this straightforward new feature for sellers to contact customers about leaving reviews, there are multiple alternative contact methods you can use to encourage reviews (including — shameless plug — Jungle Scout Launch).
Some features that might be important to sellers included with Launch that Amazon’s ‘Request a Review’ button does NOT have:
- Send unlimited messages. The ‘Request a Review’ button only allows for one message to be sent to a customer, whereas Launch allows you to send as many requests as you like (although we don’t recommend more than two or you risk irritating your customer).
- Customize the messaging. With Amazon’s ‘Request a Review’ option, you have no say in the messaging being sent to the customer. Launch lets you customize your message based on your Amazon business, products, or brand, or you can use one of Launch’s built-in templates.
- Review your statistics. Launch offers statistics on the types of communications you’re sending, as well as how often you’re sending them.