Have you wondered how your Amazon listing compares to your competitors, especially those with hundreds, if not thousands of more Amazon reviews than yours? How do you compete against all those reviews?
Conversion Crimes has recently uncovered illuminating insights on what consumers are looking for when choosing their products on Amazon by conducting 10 Usability A|B Tests with 50 participants. These tests would ask participants (regular Amazon consumers) to complete various tasks while comparing two seemingly identical Amazon products. What was it that pushed them to choose one product over the other?
Spoiler: having the highest number of Amazon reviews was by no means the most important metric.
So if it wasn’t a higher number of reviews that pushed testers to buy than what did? We will be going over these factors so that you too can win against the Goliaths of Amazon.
Providing Valuable Info Where Consumers Need It
Sometimes providing clear and concise information can help tip the favor in your direction. Showing consumers how they can clean your product, what material it is made of, and other important specs can be very advantageous, even when you are competing against products that may have hundreds, if not thousands of more reviews than yours.
For example, in one of our tests comparing two seemingly identical reading lights, 4 out 5 testers chose the second option, which, at the time of the test, only had about 250 Amazon reviews. Compare that to the first option, which has almost 2500 reviews and the ‘Amazon Choice’ badge.
There were several factors that played in favor of the second option, but one of the most noticeable was the fact that it provided more concise and detailed information when presenting its product.
Testers liked seeing the material that the product was made of, which was visibly present in the second product’s specs region above the bullet points, whereas the first was not.
The second product’s hero image also showcased the entire product, (accessories such as button, cable, etc) which helped answer testers’ questions about how they would use the product. Testers could have more of their questions answered quickly through the concise and detailed information that was provided in the second product, thus making it a favorite over the two options.
What We Suggest:
- Give detailed specs (within reason): Give customers the necessary information they need to purchase your product. With this being said, know your audience; don’t provide too much detail and jargon if consumers won’t understand it.
- Provide Valuable Info in the Bullet Points: Provide concise and detailed information in your bullet points without adding a lot of fluff. People don’t want to spend a lot of time reading information, so make sure that the information they need is readily available, pertinent to the product, and easy to digest. You can improve this by providing subtitles for each bullet point describing what information consumers can expect.
How Is Your Product Different?
Something we found that would differentiate seemingly identical products is offering a unique value proposition. Essentially how do you differ from your competition? And this doesn’t always mean how does the actual, physical product differ, but how does the messaging and information differ?
For example, when comparing two cookie cutter listings, one of them listed their cookie cutters as ‘Food Safe’, ‘Food Grade’, and ‘Lead Free’ while the other listing did not.
This led testers to ask themselves whether the listing that had not listed their product as ‘Food Safe’ was actually safe to use. A seemingly obvious detail for a food item provided important information that testers didn’t know they needed and in doing so increased doubt in products that did not show this.
Another example is our test involving two different listings of cord organizers. Both products offered a sticky adhesive as a way of installing their products, but one of them differentiated themselves by showing that it used 3M as an adhesive. By using a trusted and well-known brand in their product, they increased testers’ confidence in their listing while creating doubt in their competitor.
What We Suggest:
- Look at your competitors’ listings. Do they have a unique value proposition? Have they forgotten some information that would be important for customers to know? Show consumers how your listing is different and that you are thoughtful about possible concerns they may have.
- Does your product have any certifications or follow any industry standards? Make sure to show these within your listing to improve trust in your product. Do, however, be careful not to add too much or add anything in which does not exist. This can backfire and end up creating skepticism in your product.
- Do you use a product in your listing which is trusted and well-known (such as 3M)? Ensure that this is clearly visible in your images and description as it will improve the confidence in the quality of your product.
How Do Your Images Compare?
Another factor that would sometimes trump the number of reviews was the look and feel of the product through its imagery. What do your images look like compared to your competitors? Do you use 3D models, stock photos, and photoshop? Have you taken photos of the actual product? What information are your images conveying? Let’s take a look at another test we performed of two very similar earbud products.
After looking at these images, which product provides you with more information? Which one looks and feels more professional? All 5 of the testers in our usability study preferred the imagery of the second product and this factor alone played a large role in their decision making process. In the end, 3 out 5 testers chose the second product, even though it was slightly more expensive (first product at 29.99 and second product at 35.99) and had a vastly lower count of reviews (about 500 compared to the whopping 20,000 in the first product). This really speaks to the power that good imagery and design can play on consumer’s trust and confidence in a product.
What We Suggest:
- Do Your Own Photo Shoot: We understand that doing your own photo shoot can be pricey and time consuming, but (depending on the product you are selling) it can really set you apart from the competition, especially if many of them are using stock images and 3D models.
- Provide Beautiful Images with Valuable Information: Ensure that your images are aesthetically pleasing, but that they are still providing relevant information about the product. Using the earbuds above as an example, if you have a product that is waterproof, then showcase it getting wet.
- Add a Video: Creating a video does necessitate more time and effort, but many of our testers liked seeing a video that showed a product in use. It helped them get a feel of what the product was like and imagine how they could use it as well, increasing overall trust.
It Isn’t All About the Numbers
When it comes to Amazon reviews, consumers don’t always automatically choose the product with the highest number. Almost half of the testers during the usability studies would also look at the percentages of 5-star, 1-star, etc reviews, the ‘Top’ and ‘Most Recent’ reviews, and the number of customer photos shared in the reviews.
For example, in one of our tests comparing 2 similar cookie cutter products, 4 out 5 of the testers chose the second product because it’s ‘Top Reviews’ were more positive overall and the 1-star Amazon review was a shipping issue rather than a quality issue. In contrast the first product’s ‘Top Reviews’ spoke poorly about the quality of the cookie cutters. Both of these listings, at the time of the test, were almost equal in rating, number of reviews, and price. This is a tribute to the power that ‘Top’ and ‘Most Recent’ reviews play in the minds of consumers.
Another factor that helped testers choose one product over another was the amount of customer photos in the review section. Remember the reading lights that we referenced earlier, and how 4 out of 5 testers chose the second light over the first one, even though the first was branded as an ‘Amazon Choice’ item and had 10x the amount of reviews. Notice how the first product only has 4 images, while the second has 12. Having more images helped testers imagine what the actual product will look like and provided more trust before purchasing.
What We Suggest:
- Emphasize good customer service: Ensure that your customers have an easy and accessible method of contacting you about complaints and issues. This will help reduce the amount of negative Amazon reviews, while increasing the positive ones by allowing you to resolve their problems before they decide to speak poorly about your product.
- Incentivize Consumers to Leave Honest Reviews: Let your customers know that you value their feedback and would like to know what they thought about your product (even better if they can leave reviews with photos). With this being said, avoid Black Hat Tactics; for example, don’t ask a customer to take down their negative review in exchange for money or another product. Instead engage in meaningful dialogue and ask them to elaborate on their problem.
While high review counts do tend to increase trust, it isn’t the sole determining factor any longer.
With fake Amazon reviews and black hat tactics all escalating, consumers have been analyzing the products they purchase with increasing scrutiny.
This provides new challenges to deal with, but it also opens opportunities to those willing to seize them. By understanding how consumers shop and behave on Amazon and how this is changing over time – you can stay ahead of the game and win against high-ranking competitors.
If you’re looking for some tailored feedback on your Amazon listing, check out Scout by Conversion Crimes to get a FREE usability test every month.