If you’re already selling through Amazon’s Seller Central platform, you’re probably aware that guidelines can be… well, sometimes a little less than convenient for many retailers. After all, you’re already selling directly to customers, in addition to registration and seller fees. Ideally, that should mean service and communication are your responsibilities.
And they are. If you’re using FBA services by Amazon, there’s a good chance it’s because you have neither the time nor the resources to fulfill each individual order. We don’t blame you. Managing your Amazon accounts can be one of the more tedious and time-consuming processes in ecommerce. That’s it’s no surprise that more and more sellers turn to auto-response when fielding product questions and order updates.
But Seller Central’s buyer-seller messaging service isn’t just wieldy to adopt. Its rules and guidelines seem to change constantly. And the recently revised guidelines for autoresponders don’t just affect how you communicate. Failing to adopt them can result in your suspension. Here’s key points that you need to be aware of when it comes to your auto-response.
Clarification of Marketing on Amazon’s Seller Central
Amazon prohibits any form of their Seller Central services for the purposes of unsolicited marketing and promotions, including email, messaging, telephone and even personal mail. This also includes solicitation for positive reviews and testimonials, even if prompted by the buyer.
Seller Central services are also becoming increasingly more aggressive in policing buyers who offer compensation for a review, including money or gift cards, free or discounted products, refunds and reimbursements. If in doubt, only field direct inquiries about a product or order through the Seller Central platform.
Changes in Messaging Guidelines
Sellers are no longer permitted to do the following when contacting a buyer:
- Using tags such as “[Important]” in subject lines unless related to a specific order
- Use messaging for marketing and promotional purposes
- Use messaging containing language that incentivizes or solicits biased seller feedback and reviews, including requesting the removal or update of previously published reviews
- Send messages containing images, flash animation or any hyperlinks that do not specifically contain relevant information to an order
- Send a reminder to leave seller feedback more than once per customer
- Include links and attachments unless they relate specifically to the order
- Include a link allowing buyers to opt-out of messaging
- Include any logos displaying or linking to your website
- Any content different from the contact reason listed on your Contact Buyer page
Confused? Discouraged? Don’t be. You’re not losing customers. You’re strengthening your brand’s integrity. One of Amazon’s greatest strengths has always been the ability to provide a relatively neutral and objective platform for honest customer testimonials. Trying to manipulate that objectivity for your own end isn’t just unethical. It’s insecure. Your product and your customers demand more.
Color More Lines provides white glove, global account management of your ecommerce platforms so mission-driven companies can focus on new product development, branding and growth strategies. Find out more at www.colormorelines.com.