Amazon Removes Comment Feature on Product Reviews
Amazon is an ever-changing beast. The latest: removing the Amazon reviews feature that lets brands comment on product reviews.
On Wednesday, December 16th, an email from Amazon Services went out to sellers announcing the shut-down of the feature, citing lack of use as an explanation and promising “other opportunities” for connecting with customers.
Amazon’s spokesperson told Business Insider that more than 80% of the comments were left by customers, rather than sellers, and when used, comments were short and declarative statements like “thanks”.
This email came as a surprise to sellers, who reported that the change will make it difficult to respond to customer feedback. Amazon sellers often used comments to respond to reviews, share updates about products, and answer questions or unfair criticisms. By responding publicly to negative reviews, brands could identify and fix issues outside of their control (e.g. an Amazon fulfillment error), which can lead to a satisfactory resolution and win over more shoppers.
Maintaining positive reviews on Amazon is important for brands, especially since the majority of shoppers look at them before making a purchase. Public product reviews reflect proof from unbiased third parties about the value and integrity of products — the removal of comments will likely make reviews less useful, as most high-quality reviews tend to have the most engagement.
“Reducing customer interaction is not a good plan for increasing engagement and sales,” said Rachel Johnson Greer, a former Amazon manager and CEO of Cascadia Seller Solutions, about the change. As brands often used comments for communicating warranties, returns, and product defects, erasing the feature will reduce customer engagement and dissatisfaction, ultimately resulting in less sales.
At the moment, alternative communication options between Amazon sellers and customers are unknown. If you need help navigating this change or other ways to communicate with your customers, we’re here to help.