In 2021, Amazon revamped its popular and exclusive Vine program. The Vine Program only allows the most trusted and helpful reviewers to join their program. As a result, the Vine program has become a huge opportunity for Amazon shoppers who want to help other customers and get early access to new products. The Vine program is also one of the most popular programs among Amazon sellers and vendors who are eager to get their new products off the floor.
Whether you’re a hopeful reviewer wanting new products or an ambitious seller hoping to get reviews, the Vine program is an awesome opportunity.
What is Amazon’s Vine Program?
Amazon’s Vine program hand-selects an esteemed group of Amazon reviewers to review new and pre-release products before they even hit the market. Each reviewer or “Vine Voice” is screened and must fulfill specific criteria to even be considered for the program. If selected, these Vine Voices are then given free products from different vendors also participating in the Vine program. These Voices are asked to test these new products, review their satisfaction and product performance, and share their opinions on Amazon for other customers to see before they purchase the same product.
Amazon’s goal behind the Vine program is to combat the multitude of fake reviews on its platform. Amazon is filled with fake or malicious reviews, and it often hurts the entire Amazon marketplace.
For shoppers, fake reviews may lead to poor purchases, higher return rates, and lower satisfaction among customers. For sellers, fake reviews can hurt your sales, and even destroy a product before it even launches. With the Vine program, Amazon can provide customers with genuine reviews and help jumpstart sellers and their products.
How to Join Amazon’s Vine Program?
As mentioned, Amazon’s Vine program is extremely selective. Product reviewers can only join the program through an invitation after reaching a specific Reviewer Ranking threshold. On Amazon’s Vine Help website, they state,
“Vine Voices are selected based on several criteria, but primarily on the helpfulness of their reviews as judged by all other customers and by their demonstrated interest in the types of products that are featured in the program. Customers who consistently write helpful reviews and develop a reputation for expertise in specific product categories are most likely to be invited into the program.”
The best way to increase your Reviewer Ranking and be eligible for the Vine program is to be helpful to other customers. This could mean writing engaging and insightful product reviews, providing genuine feedback to sellers, posting photos of the product, and answering questions in the Q&A. Under each product review, there is a counter that states, “X amount of people found this helpful” which may be one of the ways reviewers can increase their ranking.
Along with contributions to the Amazon community, the Vine program also looks at buyers and their interests. Since the Vine program will be testing products from any of their categories, they want to match the products to reviewers familiar with that product category. For example, if the Vine program was testing out a new fitness product, they are going to invite buyers who frequently buy and review fitness and health products.
Becoming a Vine Voice
If you contribute to Amazon and are invited to join their Vine program, congratulations! Here are the next steps you can expect:
Receive new and pre-released products:
Once you join the Vine program, you will be notified when a new product is shipped to you. Note that the products are completely free and provided by the vendors and sellers enrolled in the Vine program. Some Vine Voices may even receive pre-release products, which means you might even get to review products that have yet to be released for the open market on Amazon!
Start writing reviews:
After you receive and test out new products, you can begin writing and submitting product reviews. While you have to abide by Amazon’s posting guidelines, your reviews are your own. You can be as authentic as you want. Whether you write positive or negative reviews, your review and rating will not impact your Reviewer Ranking. You will even have a little banner next to your review with the title of “Vine Voice!”
Remember, the Vine program is all about reviews. When writing your reviews, be thoughtful and mindful of the customers reading your reviews, Be helpful and provide insight, in-depth experiences within your reviews! Your readers will appreciate it!
Benefits of the Vine Program
There are tons of different benefits of the Vine program, for both reviewers and sellers! For reviewers, the direct benefit is that you get free access to new and even pre-release products. If you are an avid Amazon shopper, this might be a dream come true! Along with free products, you get to help other shoppers like yourself. Amazon shoppers rely on your reviews to make confident purchases. Your reviews contribute to helping others, whether you know it or not!
For Amazon sellers and vendors, the benefits of the Vine program are even better! As a seller, you may think, why would I even bother with the Vine program? Doesn’t that mean I would have to give away products for free?
While yes, you do have to provide some upfront costs, the long-term benefits of the Vine program can launch your product into Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank. The truth is, launching a new and successful product on Amazon is extremely difficult. New products have little to no sales, and most likely have 0 product reviews. Along with low metrics, new products tend to struggle if they have little brand awareness or recognition.
The Vine program generates real reviews for real products. Sellers and vendors can send their products to the Vine program even before they officially launch their products. The program will provide essential early reviews and jumpstart your product. With more reviews, you’re more likely to have more visibility and sales. Not to mention, Vine Voices are the top reviewers on Amazon! It definitely doesn’t hurt to have an influencer promote and recommend your product!
If you want to enroll in Vine, simply head to your Amazon Seller Central account and click “Vine” located under “Advertising”.
Vine Program Updates in 2021
If you are a brand owner, vendor, or Amazon seller and would like to enroll in the Vine program, here are the requirements as of May 2021.
ASIN enrollment: Amazon will bill vendors $1,750 USD per enrolled parent ASIN
Stocking: Sellers are responsible for FBA fees to stock and ship products
Brand ownership: Vendors must be registered in Amazon’s Brand Registry
Review Threshold: Less than 30 reviews on your product’s page
Fulfillment by Amazon: Products must be enrolled in Amazon FBA must be in New condition
Note that Amazon Vine will not approve of these products:
- hazmat or hazardous items
- items sold in bundles
- heavy or bulk items
- dropshipping products
- adult or “explicit” items
Sharing Your Vine Voice
The Vine program is a fantastic opportunity for both Amazon shoppers and Amazon sellers.
If you’re looking to join the Vine program as a reviewer, remember to be eligible, you need to help your fellow shoppers! Be insightful and engaging. Produce content and reviews that you would love to see if you were shopping for products on Amazon. For our sellers, we understand that the Vine program requirements are a bit steep, especially if you are coming from a startup or just beginning to sell on Amazon. If you have the capacity and want to find quick, reliable reviews, the Vine program might be the solution for you!