Amazon Vine: A Powerful Tool for Business Growth on Amazon

Amazon ratings and reviews are a critical part of the online shopping experience, and rightfully so.

Reviews help shoppers make an informed decision on the products they're looking to purchase, especially when they're unable to try the product out in person. The more positive reviews a product has, the likelier customers are to trust it.

But what if you're an Amazon seller and your product doesn't have any reviews yet? How do you get started?

That's where Amazon's professional review program, called Amazon Vine, comes in.

In this article, we’ll look at why reviews are important on Amazon, what Vine Voices are, and the requirements to use the program. We'll also explore the pros and cons of the Amazon Vine program, how to start using it, and how it can help you grow your business.

Why Are Reviews on Amazon Important?

Product reviews help buyers cope with uncertainty in the online marketplace. Not only do customers want to know, "Will this product work for me?" They also want to avoid buyer's remorse, the hassle of returns, and other variables associated with online shopping.

The data surrounding customer reviews speaks for itself. According to the Spiegel Research Center, a product with five reviews is 270% more likely to make a sale compared to one with fewer than five (or no) reviews. That's quite a jump in sales!

Additionally, Statista reported that as of 2018, 53% of online shoppers consider product ratings and reviews to be the second most important factor in their purchasing decisions (after search and navigation features.)

The takeaway? Reviews are absolutely essential for gaining trust and credibility with customers. And Amazon Vine is a great tool for getting them quickly and reliably.

What is Amazon Vine?

Amazon Vine is an invitation-only program designed to help businesses obtain honest feedback from the most respected reviewers in the Amazon community.

Known as Vine Voices, these carefully selected reviewers are trusted customers with a history of providing thoughtful product reviews.

Here's how it works:

  • Amazon Vine reviewers are given free products in exchange for providing an honest, unbiased review.
  • Once they've had the chance to use the product, Vine Voices post their evaluation on Amazon.
  • Vine reviews are displayed alongside other customer reviews, but they're distinguished by the label "Vine Customer Review of Free Product," which may be highlighted in green.

A common misconception among sellers is that Amazon Vine will guarantee a certain number of positive reviews. This isn't the case. Vine Voices are just as likely to leave a negative review if they find fault with the product or experience.

This is why enrolling a quality product in the Amazon Vine program is key. Not only do you want to make sure you're offering something of value, but also that your product will stand up to scrutiny from experienced reviewers.


Are Vine Reviews Unbiased?

Vine Voices are generally considered to be more reliable and trustworthy compared to influencer reviews, which often involve incentives such as monetary compensation in addition to receiving free products.

Does this mean that all Vine reviews are unbiased?

It depends.

Though Vine Voices are carefully vetted by Amazon, they're still real people with their own subjective opinions and preferences. This means that some reviews may be less objective than others depending on the reviewer's individual experience.

What if I Get a Negative Review?

For starters, don't panic!

Negative reviews are a normal part of doing business on Amazon. Even if your product is the best it can be, you have no control over every aspect, for example weather patterns that may delay shipping or other factors that could lead to a bad review.

Rather than worrying about negative feedback, try focusing on the positive.

If the reviewer points out an issue with the product, such as incorrect instructions or missing components, now you have a chance to fix it and make sure other customers don't experience the same problem.

But before you do this, be sure to respond to the negative review in a timely and professional manner. Apologizing to customers who have had a less-than-satisfactory experience can go a long way toward improving customer loyalty and driving repeat sales.


What Are the Requirements To Use the Amazon Vine Program?

To qualify for the Amazon Vine reviewer program, your business and product must:

  • Have a Professional Seller's account.
  • Be enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry.
  • Have fewer than 30 customer reviews. (Vine will only cover the difference of up to 30 reviews, so if the product has 15 already, it will only allow another 15 reviews to be posted.)
  • Be an FBA offer. (With FBA, Amazon acts as the middleman, protecting the Vine reviewer's anonymity.)
  • Have enough inventory in Amazon's fulfillment center to cover the Vine orders.
  • Have an image, title, and description on the product listing page.

Note: Amazon Vine does not enroll digital software, applications, or adult products in the program.

How Do I Get Started With Amazon Vine?

Getting started with the Amazon Vine program is simple. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Log in to your Seller Central account
  2. In the menu go to the “Growth” tab
  3. Click on “Explore Programmes” 
  4. Under “Build a brand” you will find the Amazon Vine Program 
    Amazon Vine

  5. Click on “Learn more” and follow the indicated steps

Note: The Details page will also list the enrollment fee for Amazon Vine. 


Pros and Cons of Amazon Vine

Like any other business tool, Amazon Vine has both advantages and drawbacks. Weighing both can help you decide if the program is right for your business.

Pros of Amazon Vine

  • Quickly get up to 30 reviews
  • Honest reviews from Vine Voices can build trust and credibility
  • More positive reviews can dramatically increase the likelihood of future sales
  • Can boost organic traffic to your product listing page


Cons of Amazon Vine

  • Potential for negative reviews
  • Max 30 reviews per product, even if it already has some reviews
  • Enrollment fees can add up quickly
  • Product giveaways are an upfront cost

How Can I Use Amazon Vine To Grow My Business?

To make the most of Amazon Vine:

  • Get started with quality products that don't have many reviews yet. This will maximize the number of Vine reviews you can get, while minimizing potential losses from negative reviews.
  • Consider enrolling only products that are most likely to be reviewed positively.
  • Before enrolling, make sure your product meets the platform’s selling policies and that you have enough inventory in Amazon's warehouses to cover the Vine claims.
  • Make sure your product page looks professional with an image, title, and description that accurately represents it.
  • After a Vine review is posted, respond promptly and politely to any customer inquiries or complaints.

The Bottom Line

While Amazon Vine doesn't guarantee positive reviews, it can be a powerful tool for boosting sales and building trust with customers.

Once your product reaches the maximum number of 30 reviews, you should push your product further to generate more sales. In this case, PPC automation software can help increase visibility and help you grow your Amazon business further.

Overall, understanding the ins and outs of Amazon Vine can give you a competitive edge as an Amazon seller. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that you get the most out of your Vine reviews and maximize sales opportunities.

Good luck!