DTC 383: Amazon Vine Program

The time has finally come to launch your product on Amazon. 

Step one? 

Double-check to see that your listings are fully dialed before you launch ‘em to the public. Here’s a quick checklist:

✅ Listing titles and bullets read perfectly and are stuffed to the brim with keywords (thanks, ChatGPT!)

✅ Listing images call out your main USPs and look stunning

✅ A+ content and Store pages are optimized and on point

✅ Test all link clicks, and your store is 100% ready for launch

But are you really ready to launch? Maybe. Maybe not. 🤷

One thing that many sellers overlook during their product launch process is the importance of gaining reviews through Amazon’s Vine Program

🤔 How does Amazon Vine work?

Amazon invites top reviewers on the site to participate in the Vine program. Those who qualify are deemed ‘Vine Voices’ and can order products through Amazon free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 

Consumers have a special place in their heart for the voice of fellow consumers. Seeing a flashy branded landing page simply isn’t as genuine or convincing as the first hand experience with the product we get in an honest product review. 

Consumers can identify reviews from Vine Voice participants with a distinct Vine Voice badge next to their review. These reviews will then appear in the same place next to other reviews of your product. The Vine Voice badge serves as the cherry on top of a delicious UGC sundae. 

The extra layer of credibility associated with the Vine Voice badge is what you are looking for in this program and it’s worth every penny. Reviews are among the top five KPI metrics that Amazon considers when determining the strength of your listing. 

A strong listing leads to more conversions and more money in your pocket. 

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of Amazon’s Vine Program: 👇

The cost of the Amazon Vine program includes the following:

  • A $200 flat fee per Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) (usually one per product)
  • The cost of goods sold (COGS) of each product being sent to Vine Voices

You can expect up to 30 Vine Voice reviews for each product with a registered ASIN in return for your investment.

Pilothouse pro tip: Typically, each ASIN is capped at 30 reviews. However, if you have a product with variations (like a t-shirt in six different colors), you can enroll each variant separately into the Vine Program. 

It’s easy to look at the seller’s $200 per ASIN price tag and label it unnecessary or better spent on ads down the road, but plenty of sellers don’t realize that reviews make or break your entire potential for success!

The $200 flat fee is a small price relative to the potential lifetime value one can yield from receiving up to 30 reviews during a product’s new launch boost period. 

👀 What’s the catch? 

The downside is that Vine Voices participants are incentivized but not required to review the product. They also aren’t required to leave a positive review.

Eventually, you should consider combining all the reviews you receive for your variants under the umbrella of your product to boost those review numbers.

For example, let’s say your six separate product variants will receive 30 reviews each. When combined, your product will show as having 180 reviews altogether. 

That’s what we in the biz call a “needle mover.” 😉

👍 That’s our ‘review’ of the Vine Program

While many sellers argue that the money is better spent toward ad dollars, just remember that ad traffic directed towards a suboptimal listing will compound momentum in a negative direction instead of a positive one when directed to a fully optimized listing.

Shoutout to the Pilothouse Amazon team for the deep dive into the Amazon Vine Program. Want to ensure your product launches get results on Amazon? Reach out today

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