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Building a SaaS Channel

Building a SaaS Channel by Randy Hujar for SaaS University

Are there any good hacks to spot fake reviews on Amazon? [Quora]

Randy Hujar, eCommerce & Retail Sales and Marketing Expert

 This is a great question and important for Amazon buyers to understand. Reviews on Amazon can and are regularly rigged. Clearly the more reviews, the better as it gets more difficult to rig the numbers as they get higher. There are not necessarily “hacks” to spot fake reviews just to create them. So to spot them and my general advice is this:

Avoid horseshoe curves. If there is “hack” this is it. Products with a lot of 5 reviews and a lot of 1 reviews generally indicate the real reviews are the 1’s and the fake reviews are the 5’s to pull up the score.

Look for reviews that look like a crescent with the longest part of the curve on 5 Rating and smallest on 1 rating. This is the sign of a good product with a typical review curve. Not everyone loves a product no matter how good it is so it is healthy and normal to see a progression of reviews from 5 to 1.

Read the reviews and comments. Take the time to read the good and the bad, and the comments. It is pretty clear when you are reading a real review and a professionally written review. Read comments on bad reviews because while the selling companies will feed good reviews for their products, competitors feed bad reviews and misinformation about their competitor’s products that cannot be removed by the manufacturer. See how the company responds to these bad reviews. It will tell you much about how much they care about their product and customers. If they let the poor reviews stand they clearly are not very customer driven. If they offer good explanations or offer support for the bad that is a great sign they are a company you want to buy from.

How do you get organic sales on your Amazon products? [Quora]

First, let me define “organic sales.” Organic sales are generally defined as those created from within the Amazon platform and do not originate from any outside activity. You can also include sales from word-of-mouth of people that tells others of their discovery on Amazon.

So to drive sales within Amazon, you need to:

  1. SEO. Optimize your listing for effective search engine results. This is best accomplished when setting up a new product by placing keywords in your product title and the search term area under the “Keywords” tab. There are many good resources to help identify the best keywords for your product including Google AdWords Keyword Tool, Google Analytics, or In general, if it works for google searches it works for Amazon searches.
  2. Ads. Use Amazon ads through the campaign manager to place ads for your product based on visitors searches. This should compliment your SEO optimization and not overlap.
  3. Use Amazon marketing tools like lightning deals, discounts, giveaways, etc. to help drive demand and sales.
  4. If you qualify, work with your Amazon Rep in Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) to take advantage of other Pay Per Click,  featured product sections, and other tools to drive awareness and sales.

My advice is to never rely on organic sales for your success. I have found that this only works if your product is a cheaper version of a well known and high-sales product in which you can effectively hijack an established company’s marketing efforts and get prospects to buy your product instead. To truly have effective Amazon sales you need to get your sales volume up, so your product appears on the initial screen of a prospects search. To do this, you will need to drive these sales through direct demand generation efforts and drive business to Amazon to realize the sale. Once your product has achieved sales momentum and volume the organic sales will begin to take over.

-Randy Hujar

Success in Retail Channels, Randy Hujar interview with John Barnabas

Below is a link to an interview I conducted with John Barnabas on the topic how to be successful in retail channels and how Channel Sources helps companies achieve success.  The interview was conducted in 2014, but content continues to be valid and true.  I spend time discussing push marketing vs. pull marketing and their importance to success in retail.


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