The Daily Review

The Daily Review


3 Ways Amazon Reviews Help Holiday Sales

The Importance of Amazon Reviews

Your business needs reviews for credibility and to sustain long term growth.

We’ve previously discussed the importance of reviews to your online business and how to go about acquiring more. According to data from Podium, 93% of consumers say online reviews have an impact on their purchase decisions. 

The more reviews your business has, the merrier, especially during this holiday season.

As your business aims to better understand the customer feedback, it’s important to take a look into its composition. Reviews can affect SERP ranking and product sales. By understanding the drivers behind review content, your business can establish a strategy to manage reviews and feedback. We will give insights into the factors that influence customer review behavior.

What can Amazon Reviews do for your Business?

  1. Assure consumers of quality 
  2. Convince on the fence shoppers 
  3. Serve as word-of-mouth recommendations 

Social proof is powerful for your brand, reviews are the best way to boost visibility and provide legitimacy for your product.


Understanding Star Ratings on Amazon

Customers are Driven by Extreme Experiences

Customers overwhelmingly give reviews that skew on the positive side, with a large majority of people generously offering up 5 stars. After examining one million reviews, we found that approximately 80% of reviews left by customers were positive; 67% of reviews are five stars. Lukewarm reviews in the 2-to-3 star range are the most infrequently given. There are generally two scenarios that provoke a customer response: incredibly good or incredibly bad experiences.

When customers have a strong opinion on a product, they are more driven to leave a review to let others know how they feel.



Interestingly enough, is the increase in extremely positive reviews over time. A decade ago, only about half of all reviews were five stars. The frequency of this type of review has grown with time, while other star ratings have fallen. The number of one-star reviews has remained relatively constant, with a slower increase in recent years.

Star Distribution Change Over Time

Star Ratings are Distinctly Different in Low-Rated Products

In comparison to the distributions of star ratings seen above for all products, when we narrow down our product set to those with an average rating of three stars or less, we can see that the distribution differs quite a bit.

In this example below, almost half of these products' reviews are one-star, and they receive minimal five-star reviews, with a sharp drop from 67% to 24%.

Amazon star distribution for products with 3 star or less averages


When taking these different proportions into account- the average star rating on Amazon is not as simple as calculating the average of all-star ratings left by customers.

You are probably aware already that just because your product has received mostly five-star reviews does not mean your average rating on Amazon will be between four and five stars. While Amazon hasn’t revealed the method it uses to calculate this number, it’s believed to take into account a variety of factors.

The internal Amazon metrics include the newness of the review, if it was left by verified purchasers, or those that have been voted helpful by other shoppers. 

While it might seem reasonable that Amazon should simply take the mean of star ratings, the algorithm helps customers make the most informed purchase decision possible. If a product received only five-star reviews years ago, these should not be as important as the numerous one-star reviews left in the past month.


Behavior by Reviewer Type

While behavior is relatively similar across all reviewers on Amazon, there are certain differences in behavior that can be observed between different reviewer types. For example, verified reviewers tend to be more generous as a whole with the positive reviews they give, particularly compared to their unverified counterparts. Some of the most credible reviews come from members of Amazon's Vine program. Vine was created to provide customers with unbiased product reviews. It's invite-only; reviewers are chosen based on the helpfulness of their reviews, the quantity they’ve posted, and their interest in the products featured in the program.


Key Takeaways for the Holiday Season

Reviews are vital to your business's survival.

Without reviews, you're at risk of losing sales to competitive products. While the exact method Amazon uses to calculate the average star rating is unknown, it unquestionably places greater importance on reviews that are the most relevant and trustworthy for consumers.

Responding to negative reviews is important to your business. Resolving customer issues encourages past customers to keep coming back, but potential shoppers who see your business has excellent customer service.


If your business would like assistance tracking and responding to reviews on Amazon and related websites, our Reviewbox tool can help. Learn more about it here or contact us for a free trial!