Review-less Searches on Amazon Returned in September & Disappear in October
After a roller coaster ride in August, with the prevalence of Amazon US search results showing no review counts skyrocketing, then significantly dropping just 10 days later, September offered another round of volatility. Beginning on October 3, review-less searches became virtually absent across all of Amazon US.
As seen above, starting in mid-September, the share of searches with no reviews displayed had crept up a second time, hitting an 8.1% average between September 14 and October 2, 2023. The following day, this figure dropped to 0.0%, in a mirror image of the abrupt rollout in mid-August.
Biggest Takeaways for Brands
- Amazon was a bit more nuanced in the second rollout of review-less search results
- The share of search results pages displaying no review counts slowly ticked up beginning in mid-September, rather than rising quickly
- There were notable differences in how prevalent review-less searches were by category
- Pet Supplies along with Arts, Crafts & Sewing both paced well ahead of other categories in terms of the share of searches displaying no review counts.
- It’s possible that Amazon had observed more positive effects with this search orientation in those categories, leading to a wider rollout.
- Pet Supplies is also one of a few categories where Amazon is battling with a major, category-specific e-retailer in Chewy. The pressure to support more independent brands – who stand to benefit the most from a review-less search experience – may have been a factor.
- The ‘review count moat’ still matters
- Our Durable Dominance model takes into account an ASIN having a higher relative review count than its competitors on the SERP – these advantages will remain for the time being
- As it stands in early October, the review count experience on Amazon US is largely back to where it was prior to August 15, 2023. Review-less SERPs are still present, but make up less than 0.1% of all US searches.
- Don’t ignore the ‘Bought in Last Week/Month’ fields
- The continued presence of these fields demonstrates that Amazon wants consumers to look beyond review counts when shopping on the retail site.
- Things can still change – but probably not very much for the rest of 2023