This is an old issue, and most sellers have moved past it. We concluded long ago that there was no reason to believe seller feedback had any significant effect on keyword ranking. Even though the popular consensus landed on this, I felt it would still be worthwhile to look at the data.
So my team and I analyzed 113 popular keywords and key phrases. We looked at the top ten listings on page one for each keyword and drilled down into their seller accounts. We collected the data based on 1130 seller accounts, recording their lifetime seller feedback.
What Constitutes as “A Lot” of Seller Feedback?
The first challenge was setting benchmarks. We looked at lifetime feedback numbers and attempted to determine what amount represented a little or a lot of seller feedback. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of data on just what the average conversion rate from sale to feedback is. A search on various forums reveals it varies widely from seller to seller. However, in almost every instance, most agree the number is less than 20%.
I know in my own personal experience it took well over a year for me to amass over 1000 feedbacks. I decided we would look at how many sellers had “large” feedback numbers and “larger” feedback numbers that were found within the top three search positions or on the list as a whole. My first benchmark number was 100, but after realizing almost the entire list had as much, I stretched the number to 1000. So our benchmarks became 1,000 and 10,000 (large and larger).
The Data As We Collected It
Now I’ll report the hard numbers. Out of all keywords, 98% of top ten page one results had a seller within the TOP THREE search positions with over 1000 seller feedbacks. Further, 100% had at least one seller with over 1000 within the top ten results.
62.8% of top ten page one results had a seller within the TOP THREE search positions with over 10,000 seller feedbacks. And 84.9% had at least one seller within the top ten results with over 10,000.
Out of all 1130 sellers, all representative of products on the first page (and within the top ten results) of major keywords, 72.6% had over 1000 seller feedbacks, 29% had over 10,000 and 6% even had over 100,000.
What We Can Extrapolate
So, we already know that seller feedback is an important factor for the determination of who takes the buybox. We also see that large feedback numbers are quite prevalent on top page one results. In fact almost three quarters of all top page one results in our sample have over 1000 feedbacks (a feat that took my business over a year to achieve) and a full third have over 10,000.
Does this mean we can conclude seller feedback is a determining factor in keyword rank?
While there seems to be a strong correlation, let us not forget the other things that this might suggest. For example, large numbers of seller feedback also means large numbers of sales. This could simply be an after effect of solid rankings. Also, those numbers can mean an older account. So it is possible that the age of a seller account plays some part.
Given that almost ALL sellers with listings in the top three spots of page one had over 1000 feedbacks, I’d be inclined to think that speaks more to the age of the account than to the number of feedbacks being relevant. If the number was what was important, we’d see a lot more of those 10,000+ sellers in the top three.
Now it stands to reason that an account with over 10,000 feedbacks is likely older than one with less. I am not suggesting that the age quantity is a factor either. I just wanted to point out that I think it is very interesting that so many top TOP results have accounts that are likely at least several months old.
How Does This Affect Your Business?
Even if feedback quantity appears to be a ranking factor, likely it isn’t going to be more powerful than actual product reviews. In that, you are probably still better off requesting product feedback from your buyers. However, seller feedback still plays a HUGE role in your standing with Amazon itself. This means you still need to ensure you are creating the best buyer experience possible.
While we might not have uncovered the secrets to Amazon domination today, we are chipping away at the rough exterior to reveal the inner workings. Analyzing seller feedback numbers may not have provided us with any revelations, but it does echo the sound business principles we’ve always known to be true.