Understanding Amazon’s Vine Program

UPDATED November 15, 2019.
Vine is now available to Brand Registered Sellers, who can have up to 5 products enrolled at a time. Sellers are restricted to FBA items that do not require Amazon to ship multiple parts or the customer to make additional purchases. For the time being, enrollment is free.

What is Amazon Vine?

Limited to vendors only, Amazon Vine provides an opportunity for your products to receive reviews from Amazon’s top and most trusted reviewers, known as Vine Voices. These reviews help drive early awareness and generate referrals within the Amazon community. When you enroll your products, you get to set a description the Vine Voices see, as well as your consumer targeting.

Similar to the Early Reviewer Program (ERP) you will pay a fee per product for enrollment in this program. While you will receive reviews, you are not guaranteed any star rating. You can reach out via the Amazon community to negative Vine reviews, just as you would any other review, however the Vine Voices are not under any obligation to leave good reviews.

That’s where the similarities end. Amazon Vine is the only program that allows reviews for free products; essentially these function best as launch & tester reviews. However Vine Voices often fall under Top Reviews, so will gain a lot of visibility even for products that have an Amazon history.

Additionally, there is no time limit for Vine Voices to complete their reviews. Generally you can start to expect reviews 60 days after enrollment. You submit a certain number of units to Amazon for participation. They will be fist targeted to Vine Voices based off your chosen targeting, then after 28 days they can be targeted to any Vine Voices.

What do Amazon Vine reviews look like?

These reviews will have special flags, and the reviewers special badges (which will show on all of their reviews), so they stand out when customers are researching your product

How are Vine Voices vetted?

Similarly to ERP, Amazon Vine is an invite-only program for customers. Customers are asked to participate based on their review history which includes the number of reviews & comments over a certain period of time, as well as votes from other customers that indicate their posts are helpful or trustworthy. As a result, these reviewers are known for leaving high-quality, detailed reviews of their products which help customers make a more informed buying decision.

How much does Amazon Vine cost?

Amazon Vine is quite a bit more expensive than ERP, so is best considered as an option for vendors that have a large marketing budget. Vendors must pay both a fee for program participation as well as provide units for Vine Voices to receive free of charge. Fees themselves are variable from $2,500 – $7,500 per ASIN.

How do I enroll in Amazon Vine?

Only vendors can enroll in Amazon Vine. You can enroll up to 30 products at once, and Amazon recommends a minimum of 5. The process itself is rather straightforward:

  1. Enroll Products
    • Softlines need to be enrolled by child
    • Choose your launch date (up to 90 days in the future)
    • Choose earliest available date (may be prior to launch for early reviews)
    • Preview your Vine Voices listing
  2. Target Customers
    • Set criteria for the type of customer targeting you want
  3. Send Products
    • Print special labels
    • Send in Vine products to Amazon

ASINs cannot be re-enrolled into the program. If you choose to cancel or unenroll an ASIN, the units you have shipped into the program will be forfeit.

Restrictions & Limitations

Just like in ERP, vendors cannot advertise that their product is enrolled in Amazon Vine, nor do they have any direct access to Vine customers. They also cannot try to influence the content or rating of a review. As such they are prohibited from communicating with customers about their reviews. Amazon Vine reviews also will not be modified or removed as long as they comply with Amazon’s community guidelines.

Caiti Inc

Caiti Inc is the Analytics Lead at Digital Brandworks, a digital consultancy that provides customized solutions for improving marketplace performance on Amazon and beyond.

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