Amazon's Updated Star Ratings & Why You Should Care

Marcus Heijer
January 11, 2023
3 min read

It’s a new year, and here at Stoke, we’re all about helping users adopt healthy habits for their brands and online businesses. One of the best places to start 2023 is with your Amazon star ratings and reviews. Thanks to a small but significant update to the product star ratings on search results pages, negative reviews are impacting CTR to the PDP now more than ever. Below I’ll get into the what, who, when, where and why behind the change, and most importantly, how you can leverage it to fuel your success.

What Changed?

Product ratings on the search results page used to round to the nearest half a star, but now the product listings show ratings to the nearest tenth of a star. For example, two products with different ratings both had a 4.0 rating before the update, but will now show as a 3.8-star and 4.2-star product, respectively.

Who's Affected?

Amazon rolled out the change, and anyone who sells on Amazon has been or will be affected. Shoppers will now see more granular information on each product before clicking through to the PDP.

Where Can You See the Updates?

The update is being rolled out across all Amazon search result pages. The new experience has not yet come out on all product previews.

Why Should You Care?

Amazon is surfacing product quality information earlier on in the purchase funnel (search results page vs. PDP). Product click through rate and click share will shift in favor of products with even marginally higher star ratings. In fact, we’re already seeing effects from this change, especially for products with average star ratings just below 0.5 thresholds.

The table below shows the displayed star ratings for three different products before and after the update. In the final column, you can see the change in click share on a key search term for that product.

How Should You Adjust Your Strategy?

  1. If possible, invest more in your product quality. Start by addressing the concerns that customers consistently bring up in their reviews, and strive to work with high-quality manufacturers.
  2. Always follow up with customers and ask them to review your product. Positive reviews will boost your average star ranking and work to combat the effect of any negative reviews.
  3. Follow-up directly with customers who left negative reviews. Customers you reach out to are more likely to change their review rating and increase your overall score. Not sure how to do this? We’ve got you covered:

Within Amazon Seller Central, go to Brands, then to Customer Reviews. Here, you see all reviews, filter down to 1- and 2-star reviews. Beside each entry, you’ll see a contact customer button which gives you the option to offer a full refund or contact the customer. (In most cases, you’ll want to contact the customer first.) Amazon provides a template email that dynamically updates the name, product, and actual review for each customer.

Hot Tip! Make sure before you send the email that you click ‘Mark as Done’ so you know that you have addressed this customer’s concerns, then hit send and you’re good to go.

This is a simple, effective process you should follow for all 1- or 2-star reviews. Not only is it great customer service, but it also increases your chance of improving your average rating on the search results page.

Follow us for more tips and tricks and stay up to date on the latest from Stoke as we prepare to launch our beta!

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