On March 10, 2021, Amazon Seller Support noticed sellers that the Early Reviewer Program (ERP) will no longer accept new ASINs into the program as of March 10, 2021 and that Amazon will discontinue the service completely on April 25, 2021.
“Hello from Amazon Selling Partner Support,
“We understand your concern regarding the Amazon Early Reviewer Program.
“Amazon continuously innovates to improve the shopping and selling experience. Over the past several years, we have made numerous improvements to encourage purchasers to review products on Amazon. These initiatives, such as One Tap Reviews and Global Review Sharing have proven more effective in generating reviews than the Early Reviewer Program.
“Accordingly, as of March 10, 2021, we will no longer allow new enrollments in the Early Reviewer Program, and will stop offering the service to sellers currently enrolled in the program on April 25, 2021.”
Amazon added the same message to their Early Reviewer Program FAQ page.
Amazon states they will return sellers’ program fees “within three (3) months after the closure date, for any active enrollments with more than 1 review and not completed by April 25, 2021.”
For sellers concerned about being charged for new product reviews after April 25th, Amazon states, “You will not be charged the program fee for reviews published after Early Reviewer Program closure date of April 25, 2021.”
Amazon’s official reason for ending the Early Reviewer Program is that other review generating initiatives are more effective, such as One Tap Reviews and Global Review Sharing.
Other potential factors may include the $60/ASIN fee was not financially justifiable, the amount of time it took for the Early Reviewer Program to generate reviews, and critiques that Amazon was biasing reviews by offering a small Amazon credit.
There are concerns that the retirement of the Early Reviewer Program will contribute to more black hat tactics for review generation on Amazon.
This isn’t the first Amazon program to get the ax. In 2019, Amazon retired the Amazon Giveaways program. Similar the the Early Reviewer Program, Amazon Giveaways was a popular service among sellers and shoppers, but internal factors led the company to discontinue it anyway.
On November, Amazon introduced a policy update that expressly permits sellers to email consumers through Amazon Seller Messaging after they’ve purchased your product, asking for a non-biased review. We’ve seen this approach to be a highly effective method to accumulate more, honest reviews that help products climb the search results page, all while remaining compliant with Amazon’s policies.
While reviews on Amazon are ideal, many shoppers still use social media and direct websites to inform their buying decisions. Brands can use social media to engage their community, which helps motivate repeat buyers to leave reviews on Amazon. Brands can also quote reviews from Amazon and social media on their direct website to engage shoppers conducting research outside of the marketplace.
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