Amazon is serious about its performance metrics and getting on the wrong side of them can get an account suspended or even permanently closed.
Once an order has been placed, a buyer can leave feedback for the seller. This is distinct from reviewing the product.
A score of 1 or 2 is counted as a negative, 3 is neutral and 4 or 5 is positive. The feedback score is a percentage of the buyers who left feedback so gives a rather inaccurate picture of the performance of a seller.
Amazon’s Feedback policies – feedback removal
Amazon will remove feedback under very specific circumstances
- The feedback includes words commonly understood to be obscene or profane.
- The feedback includes seller-specific, personally identifiable information, including email addresses, full names or telephone numbers.
- The entire feedback comment is a product review.
- The feedback refers to delivery when the order was delivered by Amazon FBA.
The product review policy is a particularly important one of know about as frequently buyer review the product and so the merchant can request feedback removal.
Feedback best practise
It is important to keep on top of negative feedback as too many negative can lead to account closure. You may get a tsumani of negative feedback due to a product or delivery issue and so keeping on top of feedback before this point may save your bacon. Best practise:
- Check all feedback to ensure it is within Amazon’s policies. If not request a removal
- Respond to all negatives
- Contact customers who leave negatives asking if there is anything you can do to help
Requesting feedback revision
Amazon has a slightly confusing policy when it comes to revising feedback. Merchants are not supposed to offer refunds for removing negative feedback and this could in the extreme get an account suspended. Amazon suggest that merchants and customer work together to resolve the issue. What you do if the customer is satisfied with a refund is not clear!
Best practise: Be careful when offering customers refunds in exchange for removing feedback. You should broach it is flowery language like: “If that resolves the situation to your satisfaction, we would be grateful if you could consider revising your feedback” and not “We’ll give you 10% off but please revise your feedback first”.
Amazon promises that orders from marketplaces sellers will arrive on time and in the condition specified. If they don’t then customer can put in an A-to-z guarantee claim where they can ask Amazon to set in. The order to place an A-to-z guarantees the buys mush have:
- You’ve contacted the seller through their Amazon account.
- You’ve waited two days for a response.
A-to-z claims can be made for the following:
- The seller failed to deliver the item by 3 calendar days past the maximum estimated delivery date or 30 days from the order date, whichever is sooner.
- The item received is damaged, defective, materially different.
- A returned item has not been refunded or the refund was the wrong amount.
- For international deliveries the Seller does not (1) provide a return address within the UK, (2) provide a pre-paid return label, or (3) offer a full refund without requesting the item to be returned.
- The buyer has been charged extra (e.g. by customs authorities for a shipment to EU) in addition to the purchase and dispatch price you have paid, and the Seller did not cover those costs.
- You have waited no longer than 90 days from the Estimated Delivery Date to file your claim.
In my experience merchants almost never win A-to-z claims unless it is about delivery and proof of delivery is available. If a order is over 90 days old and delivery has not been recorded then the A-to-z claims will be automatically awarded to the buyer.
Order Defect Rate
In many ways, the Order Defect Rate (ODR) is the one which merchants need to pay most attention as falling below target (1%) on this metric can get your account suspended. The ODR is made up of the sum of
- Negative order rate
- Filed A-to-z claim rate
- Customer chargeback rate
The assessment window is the last 60 days.
The A-to-z claim will be counted even if it was closed by the customer or awarded by Amazon to the merchant. For this reason, it is best to try and resolve issues before they get to this stage.
Note: each order will only be counted once i.e. if there is an negative feedback and an A-to-z claim on the same order then only one of these will be counted.
Managing your ODR
If you ODR rate gets too high, it is best to try and reduce your score. The only way to do this is to try and get any negative feedback on your account revised. From experience offering these customer a full refund is the best policy. Once an account is suspended it is a faff to get it reopened.
Amazon is constantly adding new metrics by which to monitor sellers. These include:
This covers listing policy issues such as suspected trademark infringements and other listing policies. Serious infringements can get an account suspended.
Delivery based metrics. The won’t get your account suspended but can impact buy box percentrage.
- Pre-order cancellation rate
- Late dispatch rate
- Valid tracking rate
- On-time delivery rate
Voice of the customer
Looks at product with negative customer experiences e.g. wrong item frequently sent.