Amazon Vine Program

According to the Amazon website, Vine invites the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and pre-release items to help their 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 judged by other Amazon customers.

Read below to hear about Envision Horizons experience with Vine so far!

What Brands Are Eligible?

When Vine first launched it was only available on Vendor. The program was free for brands that were invited by Amazon. Some brands that were on Launchpad, Luxury Beauty and Pro Beauty received the service for free. There were also specialty programs in which you could receive the Vine program as a perk. If you weren’t a part of those programs there was a fee associated.

Now, Vine Self Service has launched on Seller Central. Right now there are no fees but there are restrictions. Amazon is slowly rolling the program out to certain brands. You have to be brand registered and even some of the accounts that are registered aren’t eligible. The Envision Horizons team is noticing that eligible brands are smaller and chosen by category. We’ve seen brands in the fitness, beauty, health and wellness categories, so far.

*screenshot from Seller Central on Amazon

How Does It Work?

A brand participating in Vine is allowed to choose 5 products. Products must have under 30 reviews to participate. For each product, brands can give away a max of 30 units for free to consumers called Vine Voices. In return, an unbiased review is left on the product. Reviews are clearly indicated that they were left by Vine Voice. The only fee right now is the cost of your product.

With the Vine Program customers choose what products they want to receive or receive products based on previous orders. Brands have no control over who receives their products. Majority of the reviews are coming back positive so this system seems to be working.

Insight from an Amazon employee is that customers have credits that they can use towards free Vine Reviews. The source is expecting those credits will disappear within a month or so. Therefore, if you have credits you should use them because they could expire in Q1.

Trusting Vine Voice

You’re more inclined to give a better review when you review a product for free but it’s still weighed in the average. When a consumer searches for a product, they naturally click into a product with a high star review. Even if they ultimately discover the majority was left by Vine Voices, they’ve already clicked into that listing and could be sold on that product. The hardest thing about Amazon right now is getting someone to click into your listing from the search results page if you don’t have the reviews.

Conclusion

Laura Meyer, Co-founder and CEO of Envision Horizon’s says, “The Vine program is great because it’s the first good step Amazon’s taken in the right direction to level the playing field for legitimate brands. It’s the chicken and the egg complex. You can’t get reviews if you don’t have sales. You’re not going to get as many sales if you don’t have good reviews.”

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