How to Use Amazon Reviews to Improve Inventory Planning


While Amazon reviews are very important to customers searching for products, they’re downright invaluable for businesses selling on the world’s leading online marketplace.

Reviews directly impact your brand reputation and influence sales. The more positive reviews you have, the easier it is to convert clicks into orders. Amazon also factors recent and relevant reviews into your organic search ranking, something else that significantly influences conversions. 

Keeping an eye on your product reviews can help you more accurately measure customer satisfaction and adjust your business strategy to achieve greater results. A great example of this is using your product reviews to strengthen your inventory planning, which can then bolster your reviews in return. 

Now let’s take a look at this practice in action.

Stock Up and Protect Your Highly Rated Products

It’s not uncommon to have a handful of your ASINs be responsible for the majority of your product reviews and revenue. Some products simply rank and sell better than others.

If you’re consistently seeing a steady stream of 4- and 5-star reviews, this is a great sign that your product is a bonafide hit. Well done!

Plan accordingly when restocking to keep up with demand and avoid stockouts, which can cause a sharp, sudden decline in your sales and rankings. Once a stockout spiral happens, it’s awfully hard to make up for that lost ground. 

Six weeks of inventory cover is typically a safe bet. If you sell seasonal items, chances are your best-sellers will change quite a bit, which can throw a curveball into your inventory planning.

Lean into your historical sales data to get ahead of the game. 

Pro-Tip: If Amazon’s payout process is causing a cash crunch for your business, you can use services like Payability to get paid out for your recent sales and unlock your account level reserve so you can restock.

If you haven’t already done so, consider enrollment into Amazon’s Brand Registry for extra protection against counterfeiters and listing hijackers who may be looking to take advantage of your superstar products’ success.

It’s also wise to take some time and evaluate a few of your five-star reviews. What can you learn from them? Is there something that you can replicate with your other products in order to boost their sales?

Finally, if you notice a sudden drop in your average review ratings for these ASINs, be sure to jump on that right away. Was there a mixup at Amazon or with a supplier? Is there any suspicious review activity you need to report? If the trend continues, you may soon be stuck with excess stock and bad reviews – talk about a one-two punch.

Improve (or Nix) Items with Too Many Negative Reviews

As an Amazon seller, your goal is to provide a quality product and an excellent customer experience. Negative reviews are a bright neon sign that something isn’t quite right in one or maybe even both of these areas.

Customers can submit Amazon reviews as written comments, videos, or simple star ratings. With the exception of the one-tap ratings, buyers are likely telling you exactly what went wrong. Don’t let that invaluable information go to waste!

Here are some of the most common reasons why customers leave negative reviews:

  • Poor product quality or the item received is not as described
  • The product is too confusing or difficult to use
  • There are misleading or incorrect product images
  • Key information was missing from the listing content

Carefully evaluate the negative reviews for each of your listings. If you see any trends among your negative reviews, it may pay off to pause reordering inventory until you can come up with a solution. If you have a product or packaging issue, call up your supplier for a chat. Or, if late shipments are to blame, look for inefficiencies in your own processes. Simply updating your Amazon listing with better images and content that sets the right buyer expectations can solve a lot of your problems.

Once you address these issues, check back to see if your reviews (and sales!) have improved. Remember, occasional negative reviews are normal. You can’t expect to please everyone. However, if this becomes the norm, it may be time to retire the product from your catalog. Those underperforming ASINs are probably racking up some pretty significant storage fees anyway.

If your products are struggling to gain any reviews at all, consider ramping up your review requests with review automation software that can reach more buyers (more on that later) or enrolling the products in Amazon Vine. Driving more traffic to these listings with ads on and off Amazon can also pay huge dividends.

Revitalize Products with Neutral Reviews and Ramp up Inventory

As you probably already know, Amazon reviews are based on a five-star rating system. Reviews at or above four stars are considered positive, while one- and two-star reviews are decidedly negative. That makes a three-star rating a middle-of-the-road “neutral” review.

Here are a few neutral comments that you may have seen before: “It does the job,” or “It works ok.”

Even though these reviews typically leave a lot to be desired, you still want to keep these products properly stocked as you work to turn that ho-hum review into your next five-star rating.

This could mean making more product improvements, finding new ways to surprise and delight your customers, or adjusting the timing of your review requests. You want your request to be received at a time of peak excitement about your product. If you send too early –or too late– you’ve likely missed that perfect window of opportunity, which often results in a neutral or negative review.

How to Monitor Amazon Reviews

Reviews are largely meant to inform potential buyers about your product, but they’re also massively beneficial for you.

By monitoring your reviews, you get direct insight into what customers like and dislike about your products. This is key intel that can be used to improve many facets of your Amazon business. 

It’s also a good idea to evaluate the reviews of a few close competitors as well. There’s a lot to be learned here, including opportunities to stand out or even possible shifts in product demand.

For example, if a product sold by a competitor suddenly experiences an influx of negative reviews, you may want to increase your inventory as customers look elsewhere to purchase. Definitely look to see if you can capitalize on any shortcomings, like adding a new feature or a product bundle. And remember that fast

Or, if a top competitor is seeing waning review numbers, it could be an early sign that the item isn’t as popular as it once was. Monitor the situation and make adjustments to your own inventory.

Note that Amazon does not notify you when new reviews are published. If you only sell a few ASINs, it probably doesn’t take much time or effort to manually check your product pages for new ratings. But for those of you with larger product catalogs, this approach simply isn’t feasible.

While FeedbackFive by eComEngine is best known for its ability to automate Amazon review requests, it’s also a very powerful product review tracker that can help you keep a step ahead of the competition.

The software’s product review management features make it easy to see how your ASINs (or your competitors’) are performing over time, from order volume to the number and type of reviews received. For any product that you track, the tool will provide you with some much-needed context for making more informed inventory decisions based on real data, not guesswork.

Product reviews page in FeedbackFive

Amazon Review Monitoring for Smarter Inventory Decisions

Ready to start monitoring your reviews and run a more efficient (and profitable!) Amazon store? This free Amazon review tracking spreadsheet is a great place to start, or you can have FeedbackFive do the heavy lifting for you. Either way, the more data you have at your fingertips, the easier it is to make smarter business decisions.

Ellen Sipp-Paris is the Content Manager at eComEngine. Her goal is to help educate Amazon sellers so they feel more confident in what can be a complicated marketplace. When she’s not writing, she enjoys taking nature walks, reading, and going to concerts.

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