Editor’s Note: Thanks to BQool for providing this guest post on common Amazon seller mistakes.
Amazon operates differently than other online shopping platforms by focusing heavily on the buyer’s shopping experience. As a buyer-oriented marketplace, Amazon has strict rules for sellers in terms of account settings, product management, logistics, customer service, and feedback. If you do not understand these ground rules, you could fail on this world-famous e-commerce platform. Be sure to avoid these five common Amazon seller mistakes.
1. Amazon seller mistakes in account settings and management
- Signing up for more than one account
- Linking your account to other seller accounts
- Choosing incorrect categories for your products
- Managing your business in the same manner as on other platforms, like eBay
- Redirecting Amazon shoppers to other marketplaces or personal websites
Compared to eBay, Amazon gives sellers less prominence to buyers. When customers shop on Amazon, they likely think Amazon is the one selling the products. Amazon unifies its online shopping experience by making sellers conform to numerous restrictions, as listed above. Any policy violation can result in account suspension.
2. Amazon seller mistakes in product management
Product title and photos
- Including promotions, discounts, or other inappropriate statements or information in the title or photo
- Not conforming to the Amazon guidelines for titles (for example, exceeding 200 characters, over-capitalizing, or using symbols for decoration)
- Using colored backgrounds in the main photo (only RGB 255, 255, 255 is allowed)
- Displaying photos that could be considered misleading
- Using low-resolution photos or photos that are too small
Other online sales platforms use luxuriant text and backgrounds to highlight goods. Or they allow promotional titles such as “50% off” or “the lowest price” to attract shoppers’ attention. However, these practices violate Amazon policy, as Amazon only wants to emphasize the characteristics of the product itself. Irrelevant features such as watermarks, illustrations, and side photos in the main image are not allowed because Amazon considers them to be deceptive advertising.
The product itself
- Using misleading language in the product description
- Selling counterfeit products or low-quality products
- Having too much inventory
If a product does not deliver the value described in its listing, customer dissatisfaction can easily lead to negative product reviews. Sellers must take full responsibility for the quality of the products they sell. Always double-check that the product description is correct, with clear labels regarding product size and color, and that each product is placed in the correct category.
Another common mistake is sellers being overly cost-conscious. Purchasing low-cost products may be profitable, but it may also mean the products are of poor quality. If your business sells poor-quality products at low prices, it may lure customers in initially. But this strategy often backfires by hurting your Amazon seller reputation, and you may be left with an overflow of inventory.
3. Amazon seller mistakes in logistics and transportation
- Charging shipping rates that are too high
- Miscalculating delivery times
- Missing inventory data
- Missing logistics information
- Cutting corners on packaging
Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) is Amazon’s logistics service, but sellers are not required to use FBA for product fulfillment. For sellers who handle their own fulfillment process, miscalculating delivery time and inventory levels can damage your seller reputation. Avoid poor logistics management and be sure to provide follow-up service when necessary.
If you do decide to use FBA, Amazon’s logistics become fully responsible for inventory and shipment. FBA’s fast, efficient, and accurate transport process reduces potential delivery issues such as delays, lost packages, or damage during transit. Good logistics increase customer satisfaction and improve your seller reputation. However, must make sure to use an Amazon FBA fee calculator to confirm that your fulfillment costs line up with what you expect. In some cases, Amazon fulfillment can be much more expensive depending on the size of your product.
4. Amazon seller mistakes in customer service
- Responding too slowly to customer inquiries
- Being out of service on weekends
- Not heeding customer advice and feedback
- Arguing with customers
Online shopping is available anytime and anywhere, 24/7. While it may be difficult to provide round-the-clock support, Amazon does have a strict policy on buyer-seller contact response time. Sellers are expected to respond to buyer inquiries within 24 hours, including weekends and public holidays. Slow response times are unacceptable and will have an impact on your seller metrics. Although poor response time will not directly result in suspension, it can lead to negative feedback which can potentially impact your selling privileges.
It is also important to remember that the public response area is visible to the entire internet. Correspondence with customers in this space will reflect on your company. Thus, it is best to remain courteous, objective, and positive. When customers offer honest opinions about your products or services, initiate contact and learn from their advice.
5. Amazon seller mistakes in customer feedback and ratings
- Failing to gather customer feedback and reviews
- Purchasing fake reviews
- Disregarding negative feedback
Amazon’s seller score is an important indicator of how well a seller meets buyer expectations on Amazon. The higher your seller score is, the better your purchase conversion rate will be. In order to maintain a positive seller score, you should have a clear idea of how to deal with malicious comments and offer appropriate redress to unsatisfied customers. Take customer feedback as an opportunity to learn how to improve your products and service.
However, keep in mind that Amazon strictly prohibits fake reviews and other false marketing practices. Amazon is continuing its efforts to crack down on sellers who purchase fake product reviews. Since the beginning of last year, Amazon sued more than 1,000 defendants who offered to post fake reviews on its site in exchange for compensation. Sellers should never offer pay or any other incentive to a buyer for either providing or removing feedback.
Take advantage of BQool BigCRM Help Desk and Feedback Software to help you easily manage and automate your feedback and review requests.
BQool Inc. is a SaaS company committed to simplifying the day-to-day tasks that all Amazon sellers face, whether that be dynamic repricing, competitor research, help desk, feedback management, or discovering the most profitable products to sell. Sign up for a free trial of the most innovative software solutions available on the market.
Also published on Medium.