Amazon announced imminent updates to its Buyer-Seller communication guidelines. Are you prepared for the change?
Sellers talked, Amazon listened.
After receiving feedback from sellers and developers about aspects of the Amazon Communication Guidelines being confusing, Amazon has attempted to simplify and clarify their updated policy.
The updated guidelines go into effect on November 3, 2020, so sellers have a few weeks until these changes go in place. Sellers would be wise to familiarize themselves with these changes ASAP, as not to be left behind during this hectic Q4.
Any sellers who violate these Communication Guidelines risk limitations being placed on Permitted Messages or even a suspension of their selling privileges. It’s important to remember these guidelines exist to maintain the mutually beneficial relationship between sellers and buyers on Amazon.
Perhaps the most significant, actionable update, sellers maintain the option to directly ask customers for a review or feedback.
“You may send proactive Permitted Messages for the following reasons: resolving an issue with order fulfillment, requesting additional information required to complete the order, asking a return-related question, sending an invoice, requesting product review and/or seller feedback, scheduling the delivery of a heavy or bulky item, scheduling a Home Services appointment, verifying a custom design, or any other reason where the contact is required for the buyer to receive their purchase.”
In terms of timeframe, sellers can only send messages to a customer within 30 days after the order was placed. You are also allowed 1 message per order placed. After 30 days or your first message, contacting them is a no-go unless they are to place another order with you.
You retain the option to include instructions or warranty information, but no more messages that simply say “thank you” without an approved attachment.
Sellers can breathe a sigh of relief, as sellers can still utilize third-party applications to help simplify the review generation provided those third-party applications utilize Amazon’s “Request A Review” button. Viral Launch’s Review Automation tool, included inside of Market Intelligence, automates this process to make it simple and effective for sellers to maximize their review boosting efforts.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that Amazon still handles much of the communication with sellers to set a standard across the marketplace and streamline the buyer and seller experience. Amazon requests that sellers promptly confirm shipment of all orders, which is primarily completed in the Manage Orders feature. Once you’ve confirmed shipment, Amazon fires off a confirmation email to the buyer.
What’s NOT Allowed?
While most of the updated policy remains the same in practicality, it’s well worth reviewing as a refresher to make sure you’re abiding by Amazon guidelines.
One of the eye-catching notes also included in the policy is that “spelling errors or grammar issues” may not be included in messaging.
As always, it might be worth running your messages by a second person or through an app such as Grammarly to make sure you’re figuratively crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s when it comes to spelling and grammar.
If you sell internationally, Google Translate is a free app that may come in handy. This is especially notable for those who sell outside of their residence and may not be fluent in the customer’s language. Sellers must respond to buyers in the customer’s Language of Preference.
The updated guidelines dictate that no tracking pixels or images, links to opt-out of messaging, or external links (unless they are secure working links) are allowed for formatting purposes. Additionally, approved message and graphic sizes are specified in the guidelines, so ensure your layout is within Amazon’s recommendations.
For any questions on specifics to your communication methods, it’s best to contact Seller Central Support before the changes go into effect to avoid any complications.
Verify your messaging templates are in line with the updated Communication Guidelines by November 3 to optimize your selling experience! Be sure to drop your email below to stay informed about the latest Amazon updates and news.