This is a guest post by Greg Mercer, CEO and founder of Jungle Scout and a third-party Amazon seller. In it, he discusses a few ways you can avoid the dreaded Amazon seller suspension.
At Jungle Scout, our main focus is helping Amazon sellers launch successful businesses by finding a great product opportunity and niche. However, every so often we get panicked emails asking how unlucky sellers can reclaim seller privileges. These sellers are set into a vortex of remorse and helplessness as they bounce around Amazon’s seller support teams to plead their case.
Personally, I (knocking on wood) have never had my seller privileges revoked. So I can’t advise on the process of how to get reinstated, though I know that there are specialists who can help with such a dilemma.
Instead, I want to share three steps that you can, and should, take to avoid Amazon seller suspension. That way, you’ll never find yourself in the same predicament that those unfortunate souls found themselves in.
So let’s get into it before the Amazon grim reaper creeps closer to you.
1. Keep Happy Customers
Though it is dreadfully obvious to state, your priority, and Amazon’s priority, is maintaining happy customers.
How do you keep your customers happy?
There is a very important report hidden in Seller Central which monitors your Account Health. Under the Performance Tab, go to Customer Satisfaction, and then the Account Health Tab.
You will see this:
I recommend checking this on a weekly basis to ensure that you meet Amazon’s performance targets.
If you are seeing an uptick in any of these figures beyond the acceptable limit, you may run into trouble with Amazon. However, more importantly, it may be indicative of a product quality control issue if there is an inordinately high Order Defect Rate or Refund Rate.
What is acceptable for these figures?
Amazon recommends meeting the following numbers for performance targets:
• Order defect rate: < 1%
• Pre-fulfillment cancel rate: < 2.5%
• Late shipment rate: < 4%
• Valid tracking rate - all categories: > 95%
You will often have some level of returns or defects, but I like to get in front of any potential problems, which leads me to my second point.
2. Stay Close To Your Customers
One of the most important tenets to business success (and avoiding Amazon seller suspension) is staying close to customers. The best way to do so is by sending automated email follow-ups for every sale.
This does two things:
• It allows you to build a relationship with customers.
• It lets you preempt any unsatisfied customers from leaving a negative product review or seller feedback.
I recently launched Jump Send because there was no existing solution to connect customers with the right message at the right time. With it, you can set up campaigns to send emails at different points in the post-purchase journey. This lets you nurture customers from order confirmation to a recap of the product features and benefits and, ultimately, reinforcing post-purchase satisfaction.
I credit these emails with the incredibly strong customer feedback rating -- and the rapid growth -- of product reviews that I’ve achieved with my product. This is a look at my Customer Feedback Summary for my Jungle Stix product:
3. Guarantee Customer Satisfaction
Think about the last time you made an online purchase.
Was there some safety-net, in case you weren’t happy with the product? Perhaps a money-back guarantee, free returns, free shipping, or something else.
Assurances like these have been proven to increase conversion rate. That’s because shoppers are more confident about the product and their options if the product doesn’t meet their needs.
For my private label product, Jungle Stix, I include a 100% Money-Back Guarantee:
But, as you can see in the Customer Returns report, I have not had any Order Defect complaints in the last 120 days. And, I’ve run split tests to confirm that mentioning the Money Back Guarantee does indeed increase conversion rate.
So what does this mean?
I’m publicly standing behind the product. And, potential customers are responding by purchasing the product at a higher rate.
The best part?
People aren’t taking advantage of my money-back guarantee because the product itself is of high quality.
How can you apply this to your own business?
I highly recommend running split tests to see exactly what type of product guarantee resonates best with your customers. It could be a money back guarantee you show on a product image and/or highlight in your product features and description. Or, it could be another kind of guarantee.
I use Splitly to automate the split testing process. It’s super simple to set up, and the deep analysis of data you get in simple visuals is incredible.
Amazon seller suspension avoidance: the bottom line
I hope that these steps prove helpful to you in avoiding any Amazon seller suspension issues.
When it all boils down, always remember your most important goal:
Making your customers happy.
Stay close to them and communicate the unique value of your product in thoughtful and timely emails. And, like most top Amazon sellers, be sure to let data drive your decisions.
As a result, you'll have higher Amazon seller metrics, more sales, and much happier customers.
Greg Mercer is the CEO and founder of Jungle Scout and an experienced third-party seller on Amazon.
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