For many sellers, feedback is everything. When a buyer is shopping for a product you sell, very often the difference between you and a competitor is who has a better seller rating and feedback score. On Amazon, customers aren’t necessarily loyal to the seller. If your competitor has a rating of 100% and you have 98%- guess who they’ll buy from. It’s not always fair, and, it doesn’t always make sense. I remember when scoring a 98% on tests was exceptional and not second-rate, but shoppers and their behavior make the rules, and we have to listen and adjust our strategies to fall in line with how they actually buy.
On average, sellers receive feedback for about 5-10% of their orders…meaning you are less likely to receive feedback on Amazon than on rival eBay. Volume sellers with 100% feedback scores check feedback all day long, 7-10 times a day or hourly. But if you’re only receiving reviews 5-10% of the time, it’s a lot of stress for so little activity.
Amazon provides a great deal of information regarding feedback, but navigating Amazon’s seller central can be tedious. To eliminate time spent buried in the help pages, here are the basics about feedback on Amazon.
- Feedback does erase after 12 months. If you receive a negative score, it will be eliminated after one year. Amazon considers this a “gift” of sorts, by offering sellers a fresh start.
- Amazon sends a request for feedback 2 weeks after payment- there’s no opt out.
- You can appeal negative feedback- but only under certain conditions (which we will cover in a later post).
What affects feedback? According to Amazon, the most common causes of negative feedback revolve around shipping. This includes:
- Out of stock items
- Late shipment
- Messy or complicated return
- Product not as described
- Wrong size or product
- Product quality
- Customer service
- Inaccurate feedback
Customers expect a quick buying process, from the moment of purchase until the package arrives on their doorstep. They want what they bought, and they want it fast. Be sure to set clear expectations of the shipping and delivery process in your store details. To avoid negative feedback, stick close to these guidelines:
- Carefully describe and categorize items to avoid any customer confusion.
- Provide helpful and timely customer service.
- Carefully pack items to avoid any damage that might occur during shipping.
- Ship orders on time and confirm them promptly.
- Provide post-transaction support (refunds, returns, and exchanges) to help ensure customer satisfaction.
Amazon allows sellers to request feedback from a buyer. However, you may not offer any incentive to a buyer for either providing or removing feedback. Doing otherwise will result in a policy violation. You may offer a free product in exchange for an unbiased review, but it must be clear that it is not for a biased positive review. If you offer a free product in exchange for review, the product must be provided in advance, with no refunds. You cannot ask for a buyer to remove negative reviews if they found the product unsatisfactory.
In Parts 2 and 3 of our Playbook series, we will discuss best practices for deleting negative feedback, as well as the most subtle and professional way to ask for a positive review. Regardless, as long as you provide exceptional service and products of unquestionable quality, you have held up your end of the deal. We value and respect our customers and all the hard work they pour into their business, and we are thrilled to hear when their service is recognized by their customers with positive reviews. We want to help you earn more.