Understanding Amazon Seller Ratings

Amazon grades its sellers on several different levels.

The internet retailer, not only grades sellers based on direct feedback from consumers, it also reviews its merchants as well.

So, with that said, we will now take a look at some of the ways Amazon seller ratings affect your business - and what you can do about them.

The History of Amazon Seller Rating

A few years ago, Amazon sellers first glimpsed Amazon's new measuring system. The focus was to get an idea of customers' satisfaction with Amazon sellers, ensuring that their customers were receiving the highest quality service possible. Amazon unveiled this feature with the hopes of enabling Amazon sellers to improve upon their customer service, resulting in higher sales and happier consumers. The seller rating was intended as a tool to help sellers develop and perfect their customer service skills. The rating ranged from 0 (for extremely poor) to 100 (for excellent customer service).

Late in 2015, the online giant completely removed this feature from the Amazon seller dashboard. The site did not give any warning or clear explanations as to why they discontinued the rating system. The reason for the removal got a lot of people confused; up till this day, people are still wondering why the decision was made.

It's still unclear how exactly Amazon ratings work. But we do have a basic understanding of how to rate a seller on Amazon. They use six main factors to grade an Amazon seller:

  • How quickly the Seller responds to customers
  • How promptly the Seller ships orders
  • How often customers cancel orders
  • How often the Seller experienced chargebacks
  • A-to-Z claims
  • What sort of feedback the Seller receives (Amazon especially judges negative feedback). Any Amazon prime seller must take note of the role negative feedback plays in deciding position and sales.

Amazon would look at these factors and average the scores in order to determine the final Amazon seller rating. They would average these scores by combining every order the account had processed over the past 365 days. Today, each Amazon order still carries a point value that follows this metric system.

Amazon considers some offenses much more severe in the eyes of this rating system than others. The seller's final grade is more significantly affected by these points than others. For instance, a seller may be harshly penalized for an A-to-Z claim, while a late shipment would less significantly affect his overall score. The online shop will also reward their sellers with bonus points when they excel expectations in their customer service endeavors. The reward can be up to ten points per order, actually!

There are points available from the internet retailer to help improve the feedback a seller enjoys on Amazon. Basic recommendations include few ways of avoiding one and two-star reviews:

  • Maintain a stocked inventory
  • Plan well in order to promptly deliver orders
  • Ensure that product listings include high-resolution images and informative descriptions
  • Clearly display the Amazon seller central phone number or other contact information, like emails. This makes it easy for buyers to contact seller support at any time.
  • Provide customers with polite service while answering their questions

Other Important Metrics

  • Perfect Order Percentage - How frequently you deliver the order with 100% accuracy.
  • Order Defect Rate - The number of orders with defect divided by the total number of orders.
  • Pre-Fulfillment Cancellation Rate - How frequently you run out of inventory.
  • Late Shipment Rate - How frequently you ship orders late.
  • Refund Rate – How frequently you make refunds.
  • Valid Tracking Rate – How frequently you include tracking shipment information.
  • Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate – How frequently you leave customer complaints unresolved.
  • Response Times Under 24 Hours – How frequently you respond to customer inquiries within 24 hours.
  • Late Responses – How frequently you respond late to customer's inquiries.
  • Average Response Time – The average amount of time you take to respond to customer inquiries.
  • Return Dissatisfaction Rate – How frequently you inaccurately process returns.
  • Negative Feedback Rate – How frequently customers give negative feedback regarding your service.
  • Feedback Rating – How frequently customers give positive feedback regarding your service/product.
  • …and several other facets that are still being tested.

Instead of looking at every aspect of these rating metrics in detail, we will focus more on two key points that carry significant weight. We will delve deeply into the "negative" and "positive" feedback ratings. The highest star rating one can get is 100%.

Negative Feedback Rate: This is Amazon's internal and noncustomer-facing method of measurement. They decide the rating for this part by looking at the orders with negative feedback and dividing it by the total number of orders. If the Amazon seller receives a percentage between 0 and 2, Amazon judges him as an excellent seller. It considers anything 5 and over as a worrisome seller.

Amazon pays great attention to negative feedbacks. Apart from the fact that it reflects the poor quality of products or services offered, it indirectly impacts the site negatively. A customer who receives poor services or takes delivery of inferior goods from the site is most likely to see the site in a bad light.

Feedback Rating: The Amazon rating for feedback is what most sellers consider when they think of their rating on Amazon. It follows a 100 point scale of grading. It is something that everyone is able to readily see when they visit an Amazon seller's page. This is something that potential customers are sure to review before doing business with you. They can see all of your feedback. That means they not only see the positive reviews and feedback from your happy customers. They also see the negative and neutral feedback from customers that are not too pleased. They can see this information from the past month, the past 90 days, or even for the past year you've been doing business.

Amazon also incorporates the ratings of a seller into its Buy Box algorithm. Many Amazon sellers use SageMailer (click for free 14-day trial, no card required) for this reason. It offers a two-week free trial, which also results in increasing your ratings. SageMailer automates Amazon seller's solicitation and follow-up processes by using a cloud-based tool. It also tracks the information so that Amazon sellers can see how the feedbacks affect their rating. It gives Amazon sellers the ability to clearly see trends in their feedback, track open rates and monitor product reviews on different Amazon marketplaces.

It really helps your positive feedback rating. SageMailer is also known for diminishing negative feedback ratings. Amazon actually allows sellers to remove negative feedback after 60 days. However, with SageMailer, you will receive an alert immediately of the situation through email or text. This way, you receive the opportunity to easily correct the issue and possibly have the negative feedback removed even faster.

Amazon sellers like you have a lot on your plate. Sometimes the stress can be overwhelming. With a grading system in place that monitors and judges your every move, it's a wonder Amazon sellers can get much if anything accomplished. Sagemailer is here to help take some of the pressure off of you. Take a deep breath, remain positive, and focus on your customers.

While you maintain your cool-headed demeanor, remember to also implement top-of-the-line systems and plans like SageMailer in your business management. As long as you can manage all of that, the numbers should just fall into place.

Why is Amazon seller rating important?

Having seen how to rate Amazon seller, it’s time to look at some reasons why seller rating is important and is an integral part of the online store. Here are a few reasons not to sustain such ratings.

Ratings impact sellers’ relationship with Amazon: It's one of the factors to consider before suspending a seller from the site. When the retailer giant eventually suspends a seller, it factors the ratings or feedback into its decision to withdraw the selling rights. Any seller with high ratings wins the race in the long run.

Rating influences Buy Box position: Amazon employs positive ratings in deciding Buy Box share. The seller who has the better rating is usually given the sale, provided that other factors remain the same. Amazon also uses your order defect rate to assess seller performance.

Rating adds business value that you can’t describe: In a marketplace full of competition, the rating a seller receives plays a significant role in determining how well he does against the competitors. Every positive rating puts you a step further ahead of the competition – both current and future.

Rating influences non-Buy Box orders: It is a known fact that some customers sidestep the Buy Box and settle for “Other Sellers on Amazon.” In such circumstance, the buyer makes a decision based on the convincing ratings the seller maintains.

How to improve your rating

It's possible you not know how to sell on Amazon and get good seller feedback. Here are some suggestions that would help improve your rating while selling on Amazon:

Contact Amazon: It's impossible to please everybody. So, no matter how much efforts you put in, there would always be customers who you cannot satisfy. When a buyer leaves a negative feedback, therefore, the first thing to do is to crosscheck if it's in line with Amazon guidelines. The customer should rate you based on the service delivered. In a situation whereby he deviates from this into providing product review, you should contact the site and ask for the removal of the rating or feedback. Communicate such observation to Amazon in a concise manner.

Stop the issue before it starts: The relationship built with customer matters. When you receive negative feedback from customers, it becomes very important to get in touch with them to sort out the issue. You can do this through emails. Be prompt in your response to the feedback and explain the situation in a way that can convince him or assure him that you are willing to improve. The buyer is likely to remove such negative feedback or rating and replace it with a positive one.

Make changes in the event of genuine problems: You may have done everything you thought necessary to ensure effective service delivery. Yet problems still happen despite your efforts. Once in a while, customers end up ordering the wrong product by mistake. Products could also arrive broken. Offer to fix the issue where possible. Above all, use the negative feedback to improve the overall performance of your service. A better feedback score puts you ahead of that’s who have poor scores.

Answer questions and address concerns: Amazon places a premium on customer satisfaction. Therefore, ensure that you answer questions and address concerns raised by customers. Even though you cannot respond at odd hours, respond to each inquiry within 24 hours.

Communicate well: You can seize the chance provided by a negative customer rating to improve your business and give it a positive outlook. If a buyer is not happy, find out reasons for such. It could due to the fact that the product does not meet the description or other reasons.

No matter the situation, try as much as possible to communicate with them in a professional and polite manner, offering to fix the problem. Once you have fixed the situation, let them know that customer service is your number one priority and politely request they should remove the negative feedback.

Use the positive to overshadow the negative: Try as much as possible to make every customer leave a positive feedback for you. When you have lots of positive ratings, the few negative ones would have little or no adverse effects.

When a customer purchases your product, send him a mail asking him to contact you in case of any challenge. They are more likely to relate positively to you, knowing that there is a real human at the other end. Try, therefore, to educate buyers on the need for leaving feedback when they buy your product. You can also use the Google consumer surveys to find out what your buyers prefer and make them available for your services. This will eventually improve your seller ratings extensions, which eventually help people find your products through Google search due to the high rating.

Take care of the problem with or without customer contact: Customers hate time wasting. If you receive a complaint from an unsatisfied buyer, ship a replacement product immediately without first replying the mails. Accompany the shipment with a letter explaining why you have to replace the item. If you replace the buyer’s product in such timely manner, he could change his view of your services and remove the negative rating.

FBA Offers Many Benefits

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is popular among online merchants as most of them have come across it. The program is at a stage whereby it's experiencing exponential growth and expansion. To understand what Amazon FBA is, take a look at the explanation below. You will also learn how FBA Amazon can improve your seller reputation and the few possible exceptions that exist.

Amazon launched the FBA more than six years ago with the main target being partners with its sellers. The main pitch was that Amazon was to offer storage, packaging and shipping services at reasonable price to the sellers. The offer was a great one as proven by its popularity even after many years. Its expansion is reaching the global market and is set apart by rapid growth according to Amazon. You can think of fulfillment by Amazon as a great chance for merchants to benefit from outsourcing and at the same time ensuring buyers get quality services.

Using FBA to your advantage as a merchant

The fact that FBA faces customers implies that it greatly affects the seller's reputation. There are many reasons why you should consider FBA. There is a guarantee that your business will gain from it and also boost your reputation. There are many pros of Amazon FBA with a few cons. Take a look at the advantages that you will enjoy with FBA:

  • Amazon has been in business for many years and has proven to be a leader when it comes to online order fulfillment. In fact, this is the whole reason why FBA came into being in the first place. As a seller, you will have the chance to experience quality services from industry experts.
  • The buyers will have the chance to ship Free Super Saver and also enjoy other benefits such as fast shipping through their Prime seller accounts.
  • One obvious cause of negative feedback is out-of-stock orders. FBA tries to reduce the risk, especially during the high seasons. This is done through the use of multichannel selling environment.
  • In some situations, the FBA will allow one to strike out negative feedbacks.
  • The growth that FBA is experiencing, including an increase in a number of Amazon warehouses, means that the prime two-days shipping will come down to one-day shipping.
  • FBA Amazon allows you to offer gift wrapping and detailed tracking on shipments.
  • In some markets, buyers can enjoy locker delivery.
  • The 24/7 Amazon customer services will back you up and boost your reputation.

FBA Amazon Cons

There is also the other side of the coin, which are the disadvantages that come with FBA. The main issue is that certain adjustments in Amazon FBA fees earlier this year really upset the sellers. You will also end up paying more for products that require special preparation during packaging. There are sellers who will prefer to do their own packaging especially for expensive items that require personalized care.

As an Amazon seller, success will only come if you deliver special customer service. To ensure that you build on your strengths, SageMailer’s feedback management tool (free 14-day trial, no card required) allows you to follow up on the product orders and connect with your customers directly. This will improve your business reputation over time.

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