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A Beginner’s Guide to the Amazon Vine Program in 2024

Threecolts
Geri Mileva
Published
January 17, 2024
Modified
January 17, 2024
amazon vine program

Imagine you're on Amazon, searching for the perfect housewarming gift. You stumble upon a colorful, reasonably-priced cookware set that appears to be an ideal match for your friend's new kitchen. After reading the product details, you find yourself craving additional information about the product.

What's your next step?

Like the vast majority of consumers today, you’ll likely turn to customer reviews. Almost 100%, of consumers start their buying process with online research. Interestingly, half of these shoppers choose Amazon as their starting point when hunting for products.

So, just how big of an impact do customer reviews have? 

Reviews can influence as many as 93% of consumers and can help them decide whether or not they should go through with a purchase. This alone significantly changes the way they approach decision-making when it comes to buying products. Moreover, for 74% of consumers, ratings and reviews from other buyers are crucial. They rely on these reviews to learn more about products or services, particularly ones they haven't bought before.

Whether positive or negative, reviews can steer a buyer’s decision. How can you utilize credible reviews to grow your Amazon business? How can you get high-quality reviews with Amazon Vine? And what exactly is the Amazon Vine program? This article sheds light on this unique program and how Vine can benefit Amazon businesses. 

What Is Amazon Vine?

Amazon Vine is a program that empowers customers to make more informed purchasing decisions by providing insightful reviews from a group of trusted reviewers known as Vine Voices. Through comprehensive reviews, other buyers can learn more about a product and whether or not it’s a good fit for them. 

For Amazon sellers, the program gives you the opportunity to get high-quality and unbiased reviews. These reviews translate to social proof, which can help drive sales. Furthermore, based on data from Amazon, Vine reviews can help boost sales by up to 30%.

But the benefits of Vine reviews extend beyond sales. Vine reviews can also:

  • Generate buzz for certain products, particularly new products or slow-moving ones. These reviews give other shoppers a more comprehensive look at your products, including their notable features and how they can address their pain points.
  • Improve your visibility, build your credibility, and gain customer trust.
  • Help reduce returns and give you critical insights on how you can improve your products.

Amazon Vine for Customers

The Amazon Vine program invites Amazon customers, known as Vine Voices, to contribute detailed and unbiased reviews. To receive an invitation, customers need to consistently share insightful reviews. Once enrolled in Vine, you can order items for free and share your experiences with other Amazon shoppers through unbiased reviews. This helps other shoppers make more informed purchasing decisions. 

what is amazon vine
Source: Amazon Vine

Amazon doesn’t have a fixed list of eligibility requirements for shoppers who want to be a part of the Vine program. On their website, it states that customers who consistently share honest and unbiased reviews are most likely to be invited to become part of Vine Voices. It’s also worth noting that Amazon doesn’t edit reviews by Vine Voices

How can you tell if a review was made by a Vine Voice? Reviews written by Vine Voices feature a special badge (Vine Customer Review of Free Product) for full transparency. 

How Does Amazon Vine Work?

Once you've registered for Vine, you can enroll your products in the program, making them accessible to Vine Voices. These reviewers can request a product, provided by the seller for free, in exchange for an honest review. After using the product, Vine Voices write detailed reviews, helping other Amazon customers make well-informed purchasing decisions.

Below is an example of what a Vine Voice review looks like.

how does amazon vine work
Source: Amazon

Key Amazon Vine Considerations

Before diving into Amazon Vine, here are some important things that you need to know about this program.

Eligibility Criteria

As of now, the Vine program is exclusively available to professional sellers who meet the following conditions:

  • They are verified brand owners who have completed the Amazon Brand Registry process.
  • They have not previously participated in FBA Onsite. However, Amazon has indicated its intent to permit FBA Onsite sellers to use Vine in the future. If you're considering enrolling in Vine, note that you will no longer be eligible to participate in FBA Onsite, which is a service designed to optimize warehouse processes using warehouse management software and increase the number of items eligible for Prime shipping.

Additionally, Vine users may need to manage permissions if they are unable to access this feature. To gain access to Vine, you will need to request your Seller Central account administrator to grant the necessary permissions. You can do this by navigating to Settings, selecting User Permissions > Manage Permissions, and choosing Advertising > Vine.

Specific Product Requirements

In addition to being recognized as a brand owner and having products registered with the Amazon Brand Registry, your products must meet these requirements for them to be eligible for Amazon Vine:

  • Products should be an FBA offer. To maintain the anonymity of Vine reviewers, Amazon does not share their contact details and personal information with selling partners. Thus, the platform needs to fulfill the requests of Vine reviewers via FBA. Amazon’s terms and conditions prohibit any contact between the Vine Voice and the selling partner. This means that if you receive a negative review from a Vine Voice, you won’t be able to contact them. Furthermore, it’s recommended that you refrain from asking Vine Voices to contact you directly. This is to encourage honest and unbiased product or service feedback.
  • You must have available inventory and your products should have fewer than 30 published reviews on the product details page. This means that if your product already has 15 published reviews, you can only get a maximum of 15 reviews from the Vine program.
  • As with any other product sold on Amazon, items enrolled under Vine must have an image, a description, and a title. In addition to these requirements, your products should be classified under a browse node, which the platform uses to organize products for sale.
  • Your products must also fall into one of the following categories: adult, digital, heavy, or bulky.

Amazon Vine Enrollment Costs

Amazon charges Vine enrollment fees on a per-parent ASIN basis. The cost depends on the number of units enrolled, with a minimum of one and a maximum of 30 units. 

According to Amazon, the enrollment rate is contingent upon the number of units enrolled for each ASIN. Charges are applied seven days after the publication of the first Vine review for that particular ASIN enrollment. To learn more about Vine enrollment fees and their operations, refer to the rate card and fee examples below.

Amazon Vine Enrollment Costs
Source: Amazon Seller Central
Amazon vine fee example
Source: Amazon Seller Central

Additionally, once you enroll an ASIN, you cannot modify the enrolled units or add more child ASINs to the existing enrollment. If your product doesn't receive reviews from Vine Voices, or if a Vine is published more than 90 days after your enrollment submission date, you won't be charged an enrollment fee.

Amazon Vine Cancellation Policy

Amazon allows sellers to cancel a product's Vine enrollment if Vine Voices have not claimed the units. Even if a Vine Voice claims a unit, sellers can still cancel the enrollment, preventing Vine Voices from claiming additional units. It's important to note that canceling an enrollment does not necessarily prevent Vine Voices reviews from being published. 

To cancel a Vine enrollment, follow these steps:

  • Go to your Seller Central account or access your Vine application.
  • Click “Stop”.

Note that once you’ve canceled a Vine enrollment, you won’t be able to re-enroll an ASIN. The program only allows an ASIN to be enrolled once in its lifetime. Even re-enrolling product variations with the same ASIN will not make them eligible for Vine again.

Here are other things you need to know about Vine:

  • You can’t remove a review. However, if a Vine review doesn't comply with Amazon's Community Guidelines, you can report violations by clicking the "Report" link located near the content in question.
  • Vine doesn’t support ASIN bundling and splitting, as well as case packs. 
  • Sellers cannot transfer reviews from one ASIN to another, even if the Vine Voice made a mistake, such as posting their Vine review on the wrong page.
  • Vine Voices don’t have deadlines when it comes to writing reviews. As a result, they may not post reviews for your products immediately. 
  • Vine is only currently available to brand owners in the following territories:
  • USA
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom 
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Japan 

Getting Started with Amazon Vine

Signing up for Amazon Vine is a pretty straightforward process. To start, you first need to check your eligibility and sign up for a Professional selling plan. You’ll also need to enroll in the Amazon Brand Registry.

Once done, you can start enrolling your products via your Seller Central account. To do this, you need to:

  • Log in to your Seller Central account.
  • Go to “Advertising” and click “Vine” to access your Vine dashboard.
Getting Started with Amazon Vine
Source: Amazon Seller Forum

How to Enroll a Product

To enroll a product in Vine, follow these steps:

  • Start by entering the ASIN of the product you want to enroll in the text box.
  • Click “Begin Enrollment”
  • Verify your product information on the enrollment details page.
  • For standalone ASINs: Enter the number of units, between 1 and 30, you want to enroll.
  • For product sets: Click “Add Variations” and choose the variations you want to enroll. Click “Add Variations” again to confirm your selection. Amazon recommends that you select “All product variations in stocks”. This gives Vine Voices more flexibility in choosing the variation they want to review, thus improving your chances of receiving unbiased reviews. If you want more control over the product variations that Vine Voices can request, you can select another option. 
  • Click “Enroll” and review the enrollment fee, as well as the program’s terms and conditions.
  • Click “Enroll” again to finish the enrollment.

How to Manage Your Vine Products

You can manage your Vine products through your Vine dashboard. The most recent enrollments are displayed on the first page. To check older enrollments, enter their ASIN or SKU in the search field. Additionally, you can:

  • Check the status of your Vine products (if they’ve been ordered and reviewed)
  • Cancel enrollments
  • Check a product’s enrollment date, the number of available units that Vine Voices can request, and how many units you’ve enrolled
  • See how many units have been claimed by Vine Voices and the number of published Vine reviews

How to Track Vine Reviews

To track Vine reviews for enrolled products:

  • Log in to your Seller Central account.
  • Go to the “Advertising” tab and click “Vine”.
  • Use your Vine dashboard to search for the product’s SKU or ASIN.

In your Vine Reviews tab, you’ll be able to see how many Vine reviews were submitted by Vine Voices. To view published Vine reviews, click the product title. This will redirect you to its product detail page, where you can check for reviews with the “Amazon Vine Review of a Free Product” badge.

Common Vine Errors

Your Vine dashboard displays any enrollment errors. To help you quickly spot errors, Amazon positions these on the top of your Vine dashboard, allowing you to address urgent issues immediately.

Here are some common Vine enrollment errors and how to fix them:

  • No FBA Offer: You’ll likely see this error if your enrolled product’s SKU no longer has an FBA offer. To fix this, convert your offer to FBA.
  • No Image: This occurs when an enrolled product doesn’t have an image that complies with Amazon’s requirements. To fix this, simply upload a new high-quality image of the product to your listing.
  • Too Many Reviews: This issue arises when an enrolled product reaches the maximum number of reviews (30 reviews). No action is required from you as Amazon will address this by stopping to offer the product to Vine Voices, thus ending the product’s Vine enrollment.

Should You Sign Up for Amazon Vine? Weighing Vine Pros and Cons

So, is Amazon Vine a worthy investment? Let’s evaluate the program's benefits and disadvantages to gain a clearer understanding of whether the program aligns with your specific business objectives and needs.

Vine Pros

  • You get access to high-quality and unbiased reviews from customers trusted by both Amazon and the Amazon community. Their reviews are typically more in-depth, allowing prospective buyers to gain deeper insight into your offerings.
  • A high number of reviews often signifies product popularity and trustworthiness. Potential customers are more likely to purchase a product that has been reviewed by many other customers.
  • The program provides honest feedback that helps improve your products, enhancing their quality and appeal. This continuous refinement based on genuine customer feedback can lead to an improved product line over time. 
  • Reviews can significantly increase your visibility on Amazon. More high-quality and detailed reviews can improve your product's ranking in Amazon's search results, leading to increased traffic to your product pages and more sales. 

Vine Cons

  • There's no guarantee that participating in the program will result in only positive reviews and it's possible that a product may not receive any reviews at all.
  • The program's availability is currently limited. Only sellers who have registered their brand in certain regions can participate in Amazon Vine.
  • Participating in Vine involves a substantial initial investment. There are considerable upfront enrollment costs associated with each parent ASIN.
  • The number of reviews a product can receive through the program is limited to 30. 
  • Measuring Amazon Vine's effectiveness can be challenging for sellers due to the indirect nature of its benefits. While Vine reviews can boost product visibility and brand credibility, quantifying these benefits isn't always straightforward. Factors such as traffic data, sales, and customer feedback must be considered, but isolating the impact of Vine reviews is complex due to several variables.

Aside from these pros and cons, here are some additional considerations worth looking into. For sellers, it’s crucial that you select the right products that you think will benefit the most from Vine Voices reviews. You also need to be proactive in monitoring these reviews. Although Amazon prohibits any contact between Vine Voices and sellers, you can stay on top of these reviews by responding promptly to queries or concerns. Furthermore, you can use customer feedback to improve your products and learn more about what your target audience needs. 

Leverage Customer Reviews for Better Business Growth

Comprehensive reviews from Amazon Vine’s Vine Voices can unlock several benefits for both you and your customers. These benefits range from assisting potential buyers in making informed decisions to improving your Amazon visibility and building trust and credibility for your brand. In-depth and impartial reviews can provide your business with a competitive advantage. However, harnessing the power of customer reviews can sometimes seem like a challenge. After all, not all reviews are positive. 

Apart from Amazon Vine, there are other ways to generate customer reviews, such as Amazon review software. Threecolts’ FeedbackWhiz lets you create personalized feedback request templates, target your best customers, streamline your review request process, and more. Discover how Threecolts can help you grow your Amazon business through custom solutions.