Amazon seller feedback is the most neglected yet the most essential part of maintaining your reputation in front of the customers and Amazon. Sellers choose to dedicate all their efforts in increasing their product reviews and maintaining a 5-star ratings but what about seller feedback? Seller feedback impacts your chances of winning buy box, your rankings and so much more. It’s time you give seller feedback the attention they need and deserve.
What is seller feedback, why is it important, how to improve your seller feedback ratings and how to deal with negative feedback?
About Amazon seller feedback
Seller feedback is your report card – a public rating of your performance as a seller. Customers can leave feedback from their order page. They have 90 days from their order date to leave feedback.
Seller feedbacks are ranked on a scale of 1 to 5:
- 5 stars = Excellent
- 4 stars = Good
- 3 stars = Fair
- 2 stars = Poor
- 1 star = Awful
Your customers will be asked to rate you on the following criteria:
- Did the product arrive on time?
- Was the product as described?
- How was their purchase experience?
Difference between Amazon customer reviews & seller feedback
Customer reviews and seller feedback – these two are often used interchangeably but are entirely different. Customer reviews are about a particular product and seller feedback, as the name suggests, is about a seller. How good of a seller are you and what quality of customer experience do you provide? Reviews are easily visible on the detail page, but seller feedback is difficult to find. Customers can view a seller’s feedback score by clicking on the Sold by “seller name” section on the very right of the product detail page.
Sellers can view their overall feedback score on the home page of their seller central account. Similar to reviews, seller feedback is marketplace-specific. If you’re selling in the US, the feedback score will only be applied to your US seller account.
Is seller feedback worth your time & effort?
Short answer: YES. Seller feedback isn’t as apparent to shoppers as customer reviews, but both are equally important. Here’s how
#1: Seller feedback influences the Buy Box
While customer reviews can greatly impact your conversion ratio, seller feedback is especially important for resellers who compete for the buy box. If you have a feedback score of 95% or more, you’ll improve your chances of winning the coveted buy box. This is because your feedback directly affects your Order Defect Rate, a metric that’s considered very important in Amazon’s Buy Box algorithm.
#2: Seller feedback affects your ranking
Along with influencing the chances of winning the buy box, seller feedback also helps you rank higher. While no one knows how Amazon’s A9 algorithm actually works, rumor has it that good seller feedback can positively affect your product rankings on Amazon SERPs.
#3: Negative feedback can risk your Amazon selling journey
If your feedback score is less than 95%, you might want to review why your customers are dissatisfied. Negative feedback of 25% or above can put your account at risk of suspension. However, it is important to note that Amazon calculates your feedback score based on the feedback received over the last 12 months.
How to effectively deal with negative seller feedback on Amazon
Negative reviews and feedback are part and parcel of selling on Amazon. It happens to everyone, even the top sellers and big brands like Apple and Nike. In fact, a customer is more likely to go online and leave feedback while they’re unhappy with the product/service rather than when they are satisfied. But negative feedback shouldn’t be ignored. Even a handful of critical feedback can directly affect your business. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to remove the feedback.
#1: Ask Amazon to remove it
If you think that a customer has accidentally left a product review on your seller feedback section, contact Amazon seller support and get it removed. Amazon will remove feedback if:
- The order was Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)
- The feedback contains abusive language
- The feedback contains promotional language
- The feedback is about a product rather than about the seller
- The feedback contains personally identifiable information
#2: Take responsibility and reply to the negative feedback
If option 1 doesn’t work, try this. You cannot directly tell a customer to remove the feedback, but you can at least explain your side of the story and politely ask them to reconsider their decision. Maybe the customer won’t even bother to read the reply you gave, but the important thing is that you addressed the issue in a professional manner, like brands do.
#3: Learn from a negative feedback
Unless you’re ice cream, it is not possible to please everyone 😛 If a customer leaves negative feedback, and you couldn’t do anything to remove it, you can at least learn from it and provide a better shopping experience to your future customers. Successful sellers, instead of whining after one negative feedback, choose to figure out the reason for the negative customer experience and find ways to improve it.
Don’ts of removing a negative feedback
#1: Don’t ask a customer to remove negative feedback in exchange for discount/replacement/money
There was a time when you could contact the buyer and ask them to remove their negative feedback in exchange for incentives or discounts. Although it was not warranted by Amazon, it was widely used by sellers. However, Amazon is now more stringent. In November 2020, the retail giant introduced new rules for buyer-seller communication to limit the types of messages sellers can send to a buyer. A few months back, Amazon suspended hundreds of top Chinese sellers for posting manipulative fake customer reviews on their listings. These rules apply to seller feedback as well. You cannot ask a buyer to post positive feedback or remove negative feedback in exchange for a discount or incentives.
Amazon has clearly stated in its prohibited seller activities and actions page: “You can request feedback from a buyer; however, you cannot pay or offer any incentive to a buyer for either providing or removing feedback.”
#2: Don’t take too long to respond to negative feedback
Sellers will get 24 hours to respond to a customer who has left negative feedback. If you find yourself too busy to respond to seller feedback in the 24-hour time frame, hire an Amazon seller consultant who can do that for you. Not replying to feedback can negatively impact your reputation as a seller. If you think the feedback does not need a response, mark the message as “no response needed” so it doesn’t look like you have not replied.
#3: Don’t take too long to resolve an issue
Seller feedback can no longer be changed or removed after 60 days. If you plan on responding to the customers and resolve the issue they faced, make sure to hurry up.
#4: Don’t send poorly constructed messages to the customers
Amazon shoppers are busy and don’t want to be bothered by unprofessional messages from third-party sellers. Your message should be crisp, clear and concise. Include buyer’s name (to make the message sound personalized), order number, and an explanation for the negative experience. The message should be free of typos/grammatical errors and in compliance with Amazon’s rules.
#5: Don’t ask more than once
According to Amazon, sellers can “contact buyers with no more than one polite request to remove the feedback after resolving their problem.” You can politely ask the customers to reconsider the feedback, but not more than once.
How to increase your seller feedback?
Not many customers know that they are buying from a third-party seller and not Amazon. According to Web Retailer, only 10% of customers leave feedback. There are several ways to encourage customers to leave feedback, but one of the most effective ways is to ask directly on an insert card.
Include professionally designed insert cards in your product packaging that encourage customers to leave feedback along with a review. Explain to them why feedback/review is vital for your brand. The more personal your message is, the more likely they are to connect with you as a brand, resulting in positive feedback. Make sure you do not use language that gives a message that you are trying to incentivize reviews or feedback.
Before asking for feedback from your customers, be sure to familiarize yourself with Amazon’s feedback guidelines. You can ask customers to leave feedback as long as you don’t incentivize or attempt to manipulate the feedback.
Tips to improve Amazon seller feedback
#1: Treat the customer as your king
Give no reason to a customer to get upset. Although it is impossible, you can at least try to bring the number of dissatisfied customers down. If the customer is happy, it will instantly reflect in your feedback/reviews as well. And if your service standards are down, your feedback will be too.
#2: Always stay in stock
One of the questions that is asked to the customers while giving a seller feedback is if the product arrived on time or not. Late shipments are a major cause of negative feedback. If your product is always in stock, they will be delivered on time and customers will always be satisfied.
#3: Create an accurate listing
When the product buyers receive is not as described, you will see it in your seller feedback. Although feedback score is not specific to your product, most of the time, customers connect negative experiences about your product with your trustability as a seller. To avoid this type of situation, be precise and honest in your product copy and images. You can also hire professional product listing optimization or Amazon photo editing services to set realistic expectations.
If you cannot manage seller feedback, get someone else to do it for you
With so many things going on in your seller account, feedback management might not be on the top of your to-do list. But neglecting it isn’t an option. If replying to and managing seller feedback is overwhelming for you, take help from our Amazon consultants. We can respond to feedback on your behalf, notify you if any feedback requires immediate attention and ensure that your feedback ratings always remain on the greener side of the bar.