As the pandemic continues to boost Amazon’s popularity among shoppers, the eCommerce giant has also been steadily gaining an incredible amount of new sellers. Thousands of merchants are entering the space every single day, with many quickly discovering what so many others already know… The learning curve can be steep, and keeping up with such a fast-moving marketplace is no easy feat. To help you get up to speed, we put together a mini-guide on one of the most important topics for new sellers. Here are five things you need to know about Amazon feedback as you build your business.
Amazon Feedback and Reviews are NOT the Same
A product review is exactly what it sounds like: a review of the actual physical product and how well it lived up to a buyer’s expectations. Reviews are shown on an item’s unique product detail page. They help shoppers determine whether or not they want to buy that specific product.
On the other hand, feedback helps shoppers determine whether or not they want to buy the item from you, the seller. Amazon feedback, or seller feedback, serves as a public rating of your performance as a merchant. It appears on your seller profile page for everyone to see.
Based on a five-star scale and calculated using the averages of previous buyers’ responses, feedback is intended to be a measurement of your reliability with packaging, shipping, responsiveness, and professionalism. Buyers have a 90-day window to submit one feedback response per order. Sellers can send one feedback request following order delivery. And since customers also often confuse the two, any feedback received that’s exclusively about the product and not the seller can be removed.
Feedback Matters – A Lot
We already dug a bit into this, but there’s definitely more to it. Amazon takes all of your seller feedback and turns it into an overall feedback score that’s like a grade on your very important seller report card. In this crowded marketplace, that score can be a big competitive advantage. Think about it — would you want to work with someone with a bad reputation? Probably not!
Moreover, feedback influences several seller performance metrics set forth by Amazon, namely the Order Defect Rate, which is a big factor for winning the Buy Box. If your feedback rating falls too low, you can be suspended or even banned from the marketplace entirely.
There Are Ways to Get More…
Now that you understand more about how important feedback is, you’re probably wondering how to get more. Unfortunately, there’s no one sure-fire way — you have to do several things well. Here are some best practices for a healthy feedback score.
Have High-Quality Products: Your products are a reflection of you, so when an item fails to meet buyer expectations, you’ll often take the blame.
Stay in Stock: Proactive inventory management (eComEngine’s RestockPro can help!) is a critical factor for your success on Amazon. When a stock-out occurs, a negative rating is just one of the many penalties you can face.
Ship Early or On Time: Late shipments are another main driver of negative feedback. Early or on-time arrivals definitely help keep customers happy.
Offer Excellent Customer Service: Respond to any inquiries or resolve issues in a timely manner. Your returns process often falls into the customer service category, so be sure to make it as easy as possible.
We know that it can be frustrating when you’re doing all of these things right and still not seeing much in the way of feedback. And, unfortunately, unhappy customers are more likely to leave ratings than satisfied buyers without prompting. This means getting more Amazon feedback often comes down to simply asking for it.
Politely asking for unbiased customer feedback is a proven, highly effective way for gathering more responses. While you can use Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging system to manually send out individual requests, eComEngine’s FeedbackFive software can automate this task and send out Amazon compliant messages on your behalf through integration with Buyer-Seller Messaging and the same system behind the Request a Review button in Seller Central. Note that the Request a Review message sends out a combined feedback and review request.
…But You Must Follow the Rules
While Amazon allows you to proactively ask for seller feedback, you must follow all relevant guidelines for communicating with buyers. These are some of the biggest rules to remember:
- You have a window of 30 days after the order completion date to request feedback from buyers
- Only one request can be sent for each order received
- You cannot incentivize or pressure a customer to only leave positive feedback
- Buyers have the right to opt out of unsolicited seller messages, which includes feedback requests, and you must respect their wishes
- Feedback requests should not contain links to other websites, marketing messaging, or promotions
Don’t Let Negative Feedback Go Unnoticed
While negative feedback is considered normal every once in a while (hey, things happen!), you don’t want it to become too commonplace. When negative feedback does occur, it’s important to take action.
This could mean working with the customer to try and resolve the problem (buyers have 60 days from the date that they left feedback to remove it) or, at the very least, analyzing what was said to learn from your mistakes. You may need to take a hard look at your inventory, shipping, and customer service practices.
Just remember, time is of the essence. You can monitor your ratings using the Feedback Manager in Seller Central or set up FeedbackFive to send you text and/or email notifications for any new feedback received. The interactive charts and graphs inside FeedbackFive also make it easy to identify any trends and understand the impact of your requests.
Start Gathering More Feedback Today
Keeping a finger on the pulse of your seller reputation is one of the most important things you can do as an Amazon merchant. We encourage you to invest the time into finding a feedback workflow that works for you. If you would like to give FeedbackFive a try, you can always sign up for a free trial!
About the Author
Ellen Sipp-Paris is a Marketing Content Specialist at eComEngine and FeedbackFive. 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.
If you have questions or insights to share, please feel free to post them via the comments section. Please also consider joining our Facebook Group where we discuss any questions you may have about running an Amazon business.
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