How to Manage Your Brand's Reputation on Amazon
Amazon is the go-to platform when it comes to where most shoppers begin their purchasing journey. However, that platform presents challenges for brands focused on managing their on-line reputation.
Everything from fake reviews to counterfeit products can hurt your brand’s reputation on the Amazon platform. We are going to look at the tools brand can use to keep their online image intact on Amazon.
Running a business on an e-commerce platform can be a double-edged sword.
On one hand, brands invest time and effort to upkeep a good reputation among shoppers, which allows them to maintain a stable customer base and even showcase their products globally. On the other hand, their path to success can be riddled by unsound practices that are - in some cases - beyond their control.
Many sellers find it difficult to manage their brand reputation on Amazon. But why does this happen and how can it be avoided?
Issue #1: Counterfeit Products
Amazon has been facing a counterfeit problem for a while now, and it’s no secret that a considerable number of shoppers have, unwillingly, bought counterfeit products at least once.
One way that counterfeiters can directly hurt you is by jumping on your listing. They can either list to sell their counterfeit goods and compete with you for the buy box or they can create a variation on your listing of their product.
What are the implications? The sales of the legitimate product take a nose-dive because the counterfeit product is – literally - taking them all. If they list the counterfeit at a lower price you can find it difficult to compete – and without having a registered brand there may be little you can do to protect yourself.
But what is Amazon’s stance on counterfeit products? Since counterfeiting has reached unprecedented levels on the platform, and Amazon has received backlash from both brands and consumers over the issue, the e-commerce behemoth took a more aggressive approach and rolled out Amazon Project Zero.
The project gives sellers enrolled in the Amazon brand registry program access to three tools to help them fight counterfeit products:
- Automated Protections
- Counterfeit Removal Tool
- Product Serialization
How to Identify Counterfeit Products
Considering that Amazon has 100,000,000+ products currently for sale, it is important to understand a few points to identify potential counterfeiters:
- Most counterfeit items get sold and shipped by third-party sellers and they are never touched by Amazon.
- Items fulfilled by Amazon are not necessarily verified, and they can even be Prime items.
These are some of the things you can do as a Seller to try to keep unethical retailers at bay:
- Use the Amazon Project Zero system to detect or remove counterfeits.
- Flag any fake or manipulating review.
- Keep backups of the content on your Amazon account.
But most importantly, review the Amazon Anti-Counterfeiting Policy to understand your legal rights as well as your responsibilities, and report any inauthentic products that may be infringing your intellectual property rights.
Issue #2: Seller Feedback
The Amazon Seller Feedback program aims to monitor and evaluate sellers’ performance (not to be confused with Product Reviews), and it was created so that shoppers could have access to previous buyers’ experiences with different retailers.
This type of feedback is important because it lets shoppers know when a seller is not making efforts to provide the best customer experience. If a seller doesn’t meet the minimum acceptable rate required by Amazon (5%), they get a warning to take the necessary measures to respond to customers’ demands.
How Does It Work?
- Seller feedback is aggregated over time and ranked on a scale from 1 to 5.
- Negative experiences are ranked as 1 or 2.
- Neutral feedback is considered a 3.
- Positive seller feedback is a 4 or 5.
- Your score is displayed on your store front and when customers view other selling options on Amazon product pages.
- You can also quickly view your overall Amazon Seller Feedback score on the home page of your Seller Central account.
Seller feedback is measured based on three factors:
- On-time Order Arrival,
- Product as Described,
- and Customer Service
What Is Feedback Manager?
Feedback Manager is a tool that provides buyer insights to your business by displaying a view of short and long-term seller rating metrics, including detailed feedback records.
Shoppers can submit only one feedback comment per order and it will be visible to sellers 3 days after the order has been confirmed.
This is the method Amazon uses to calculate your feedback score:
SUM (positive feedback) / SUM (all feedback) for feedback left in the last 30 days, 90 days, 365 days, and lifetime
For example, suppose you have the following feedback scores:
Ratings per feedback
- Total of all positive feedback=90
- Total of all feedback (1 through 5)=100
- Divide positive feedback by all feedback
- Feedback score= 90.0%
Amazon aggregates your feedback into 30 days, 90 days, 365 days, and lifetime time-range buckets. In time, your aggregated star rating and positive feedback percentage will change accordingly as your feedback rolls through each time-range bucket.
Source: https://seller central.Amazon.com/gp/help/help-pop-up.html/?itemID=761
Issue #3: Dealing with Negative Feedback
No one likes to be told that they are wrong. However, you should resolve negative feedback quickly, in a peaceful and respectful manner not only to maintain a good reputation among your audience, but to learn and grow from those shortcomings.
Keep in mind that Amazon does not remove shoppers’ feedback even if the issue has already been resolved, except in the following cases:
- The feedback includes obscene language.
- The feedback includes seller-specific personally identifiable information.
- The entire feedback comment is a product review.
- The entire feedback comment is regarding fulfilment or customer service for an order fulfilled by Amazon.
- The entire feedback comment is solely related to delayed or not received packages, for orders shipped on time by the seller using Buy Shipping
Yet, if you get an unfair feedback, you can open up a ticket with Seller Support and submit a request removal. One way you can avoid your feedback removal request to be ignored is by keeping your explanation concise and objective.
You can also request removal of negative feedback by going to the Feedback Manager.
Customer satisfaction should be your number one priority. Therefore, it is important that you strive to provide a positive and transparent shopping experience to your customers. Any minor omission on your part could tarnish your reputation and destroy your customer’s trust in your brand.