Customer reviews are the linchpin of success online. In fact, 84% of consumers say they carry as much weight as recommendations from friends and 95% of buyers regularly read reviews before making a purchase.
But when selling on Amazon, there are two distinct types of feedback that you need to be aware of: seller feedback and product reviews. While the two are often used interchangeably, they serve two very different purposes. Make sure you understand the difference and know how to manage both when building your reputation.
Seller feedback is all about you as a seller. It acts as a report card, indicating the quality of the customer experience you provide. Both your feedback score and total review count matter—Amazon’s algorithms will consider each when deciding where to place your products in search results.
Seller feedback is especially important for resellers who compete for the buy box. Most buy box winners that we’ve observed have 99% positive feedback over the past 12 months, and at least 97% over the last 30 days.
This score is based on one to five-star ratings that your customers leave up to 90 days after their purchase date. Seller feedback typically covers things like packaging, shipping, professionalism and customer service—but NOT products. Unfortunately, it’s easy for customers to accidentally leave product reviews as seller feedback. Note how on the “Your Orders” page that customers go to, the “Write a product review” button is below “Leave seller feedback.”
If you suspect that a customer has accidentally left a poor product review on your seller feedback page, contact Amazon to get the entry removed. Amazon will generally remove feedback if:
Don’t sleep on this, as a negative feedback of 25% will put you at risk of getting your seller account removed or suspended. Keep in mind that seller feedback is unique to each of your Amazon marketplace accounts, so if you sell in multiple countries, you’ll receive multiple seller feedback scores.
You’ve probably read tons of forums and blogs suggesting that you ask your customers for feedback. While you can technically ask for neutral feedback from your customers (Amazon forbids incentivizing or targeting select customers in search of positive feedback), tread carefully.
Customers can opt out of receiving non-critical seller messages—and yes, you guessed it, requests for seller feedback are not considered critical. If you try to circumvent this by asking for reviews via the buyer-seller messaging service, then you risk upsetting Amazon and your customer.
The best reviews often come naturally, so focus on providing a memorable experience over getting your customers to declare it.
Unlike seller feedback, product reviews are all about your products. They’re not about the purchasing experience, customer service or shipping.
Product reviews appear on your product detail pages. They’re often a testament to the quality, usability and authenticity of your items, like battery life or whether an item’s true-to-size.
These are the reviews that most customers will see before making a purchase. They have a big impact on your conversion rate and, in turn, your product’s ranking in search results.
While Amazon will automatically send emails asking buyers for reviews, anyone can leave a review.
Even if a buyer didn’t purchase the product on Amazon or buy from your store, they can leave a review from your product detail pages. If you receive a review that either looks fake, is actually seller feedback or violates Amazon community guidelines (profanity, links to an external site to buy the same item, etc.), you can report abuse. However, you must have strong evidence to support your argument. Bad reviews are very hard to get removed.
Alternatively, you can try to resolve the issue with the buyer or comment on the review to show that you care about your customer’s satisfaction.
Seller feedback and product reviews are critical to your visibility on Amazon. However, there are different ways to approach each—and you won’t want to forget about one as you’re looking to beef up the other.
Apart from addressing reviews on a customer-by-customer basis, you’ll want to have the foundation in place to deliver great service all the time. Explore Zentail’s platform for centralizing your Amazon operations. Consistently rated five stars, Zentail lets you handle everything from listing to inventory to avoid overselling, a poor ODR and an inconsistent customer experience. Contact us to learn more.