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One in 10 Amazon customers offered ‘bribes’ for positive reviews, Which? finds

Hey there, fellow Amazon Sellers!

Welcome back to another edition of our exciting newsletter! I’ve curated a fantastic lineup of articles packed with insights, updates, and strategies to fuel your success on Amazon.

1. One in 10 Amazon customers offered ‘bribes’ for positive reviews, Which? finds

A recent survey by consumer group Which? highlights that 10% of Amazon shoppers in the UK were offered incentives like gift cards, refunds, and free products to leave positive reviews. These bribes are part of a troubling trend where sellers attempt to manipulate their product rankings on the platform. The report is based on a survey of 1,556 adults and suggests that unscrupulous sellers are trying to cheat the system to climb Amazon rankings. Which? is advocating for stricter measures to combat fake reviews, urging for legislative changes to make hosting fake reviews a criminal offense.

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2. Amazon, Apple, and Oracle rumored to be potential TikTok buyers if ByteDance is forced to sell

Rumors are swirling about potential buyers for TikTok as ByteDance faces a U.S. mandate to sell the app or face a ban. Amazon, Apple, and Oracle are considered likely candidates due to various strategic fits. Amazon’s interest might stem from its ventures into short-form video, while Apple’s extensive experience with Chinese regulators and app management makes it a contender despite potential regulatory hurdles. Oracle, already partnered with TikTok in data management, also emerges as a possible buyer, although its solo bid may require robust support due to the complexities involved in detaching TikTok from ByteDance’s technology and ensuring data security.

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3. Amazon Patent Enforcement Process Can Create Personal Jurisdiction

In a pivotal decision regarding personal jurisdiction in patent cases, the Federal Circuit has ruled that utilizing Amazon’s patent enforcement tool, APEX, could expose patent owners to jurisdiction in the home state of the alleged infringer. The case involved a dispute between SnapRays and Lighting Defense Group, where the latter used APEX to challenge SnapRays’ product listings on Amazon. The court determined that such actions could be deemed as targeting the accused party’s state, hence establishing jurisdiction. This decision underscores the judicial consideration of the intended consequences of patent enforcement actions, beyond mere communications, potentially guiding future patent litigation involving online platforms.

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4. Amazon’s Latest Actions Against Fake Review Brokers

Amazon is intensifying its legal efforts against fake review brokers, a move aimed at maintaining the integrity of customer reviews on its platform. The company has initiated several lawsuits targeting these brokers who engage in creating and selling counterfeit reviews, which deceive customers and undermine honest sellers. Recent legal victories include a significant judgment against the website, which was involved in selling fake “verified” seller feedback and facilitating the creation of fraudulent selling accounts. Amazon’s aggressive stance includes using advanced machine-learning technology and expert investigators to detect and prevent fake reviews, asserting that over 250 million suspicious reviews were blocked in 2023 alone. These efforts underscore Amazon’s commitment to ensuring a trustworthy shopping experience for users globally.

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5. Bridging the Generational Divide: How to Sell to Boomers and Gen Z

Understanding the stark behavioral and preference differences between Boomers and Gen Z is crucial for marketers, as outlined by Philip Hall from Rithum. Gen Z is significantly more price-sensitive, actively waiting for sales like Black Friday, and highly values free returns, often buying multiple sizes to return what doesn’t fit. They also show greater engagement with loyalty programs compared to Boomers, who prefer simpler shopping experiences without the need for multiple returns. Social media plays a pivotal role in product discovery for Gen Z, whereas Boomers tend to rely more on traditional websites and value direct content. Effective marketing strategies must therefore diverge considerably to cater to each group’s unique preferences and shopping behaviors.

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6. Will Retailers Sacrifice Customer Loyalty to Solve Our Returns Problem?

In response to the $247 billion lost to returns in U.S. online sales in 2023, retailers have begun imposing stricter shipping and return policies. Such measures include higher thresholds for free shipping and charges for returns, aimed at mitigating excessive return habits. However, these stricter policies might deter purchases, potentially impacting customer loyalty. Retailers are exploring middle-ground strategies that involve profitability optimization to address high return rates without alienating loyal customers. This includes using AI to predict return behaviors and providing targeted incentives, which could help balance cost management with maintaining customer satisfaction.

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7. Beware of Amazon Buyer Extortion via Social Media

An Amazon seller recounted an instance of buyer extortion that occurred through social media, underscoring the risks associated with promoting marketplace accounts externally. The buyer, after purchasing an item, demanded a refund of double the product’s cost on Instagram, threatening a negative review if their demands weren’t met. Avoiding Amazon’s official communication channels, the buyer leveraged the threat of a bad review to manipulate the seller. When the seller directed them to Amazon’s return system, the buyer left a negative review, exacerbating the situation due to the review’s visibility as from a verified purchaser. This incident highlights the vulnerabilities sellers face when interacting with buyers off of Amazon’s platform.

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8. How Sellers Can Prepare for Amazon Prime Day 2024

Amazon Prime Day represents a crucial sales opportunity for sellers on Amazon, providing access to heightened customer traffic and increased sales. To capitalize on this event, sellers should start preparing early by understanding the dynamics of Prime Day and strategizing accordingly. The key preparations involve setting up discounts and promotions, managing inventory, optimizing product listings, and boosting marketing efforts. Properly planning for Prime Day includes offering various types of deals like Lightning Deals or coupons, ensuring sufficient inventory levels, and optimizing listings for maximum visibility and conversion. By taking these steps, sellers can effectively leverage the surge in traffic and maximize their sales potential during this significant sales event.

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9. Amazon Launches E-commerce Marketplace in South Africa, Vying for Share of $3 Billion Market

Amazon has expanded into Africa with the launch of its marketplace in South Africa, marking its first foray on the continent. The South African e-commerce market, valued at $3 billion annually, offers significant potential despite the competitive presence of local entities like Takealot and bidorbuy. At launch, Amazon is not offering its Prime membership benefits but aims to attract customers through a wide selection of products across 20 categories, same-day and next-day delivery options, and 3,000 pickup points. Initial promotions include free delivery on the first orders and for purchases over R500. This move by Amazon underscores the strategic importance of the African e-commerce market, which presents considerable growth opportunities despite existing challenges in logistics and market penetration.

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10. Siteground – Your One-Stop Solution for Reliable Website Hosting and Professional Emails

If you want suppliers to take you seriously, having a business website and a professional email address is essential. SiteGround offers top-notch and affordable hosting solutions for your website and email needs, backed by excellent customer service. This is the platform I rely on for my own business website and Amazon Seller School.  Click here to watch, How To Create Your Amazon Wholesale Value Prop Website in WordPress.

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Stay informed, stay inspired, and keep crushing it on Amazon!

Happy Selling,

Todd Welch
Amazon Seller School