Maximize Your Sales and Profits with These 9 Amazon Seller Central Strategies
Becoming a successful Amazon business seller takes a lot of hard work. Whether you are a veteran seller or just starting out, there is always more you can do to increase sales and grow your Amazon business. Live to learn! Exceptional knowledge and experience allow for the effective optimization of your Amazon seller account, the mastery of essential seller tools, and the execution of successful seller strategies.
Today we are going to look at 9 Amazon Seller Central tips and tricks. Mastery of this tool is paramount because many aspects of selling on Amazon is managed via Seller Central. Let’s get into the actionable Amazon Seller Central tips that will maximize your sales and profits.
1. Register as a Professional Seller
If you are serious about building an Amazon business and selling more than 40 items per month, it is more advantageous for you to be a professional seller instead of an Individual Seller. Some of the benefits of registering as an Amazon professional seller:
Waived from the $0.99-per-item fee
In addition to the 15% selling commission that all Amazon sellers pay, individual sellers must pay Amazon $0.99 for every sale they make. That does not sound like a lot, but that fee will start to add up as you grow your sales. Professional sellers, while they pay a monthly subscription fee of $39.99, are waived from paying the $0.99-per-item fee.
Create Listings for Products Not Currently Sold on Amazon
Individual sellers cannot create listings for products that are not currently sold by Amazon. If you want to sell a new item or a unique product that you have created yourself on Amazon, you will want to register as a professional seller.
Apply to Sell in Any Product Category
Amazon restricts individual sellers from selling certain products and within a specified category. For example, individual sellers cannot sell in categories such as jewelry, fine arts, automotive, major appliances, etc. Only professional sellers can apply to sell within these restricted product categories.
Other Advantages of being an Amazon Professional Seller:
- Manage inventory using feeds, spreadsheets, and reports.
- Access to promotions, gift services, and other special listing features.
- Eligible for listing placement in the Buy Box.
- Use 3rd party services like Inventory Lab, AMZAlert, Scoutify, and Repricers.
2. Use Amazon Selling Coach to Track Inventory
You never want to run out of inventory. If you do, Amazon removes your listing(s). By the time you restock your inventory, you most likely will lose the Amazon rankings you have worked so hard to get and keep. When sellers have run out of inventory in the past, some can recover their old rankings within a few weeks after they restocked. However, others have not, and it has cost them significant revenue.
The potential consequences of running out of inventory are too much of a risk. To prevent this from ever happening, use the Amazon Selling Coach within Seller Central. This tool tracks how many days of inventory you have left and will alert you when specific products you offer have lower than optimal stock. The Selling Coach also offers recommendations for your products, pricing, fulfillments, advertising, etc. It is worth using!
3. Predict Sales for Seasonal Products
Monitoring your inventory is crucial, but sometimes it is difficult to predict how much inventory you will need and when you will need it. If you are selling a seasonal product, there are simple ways you can predict when your product will sell like crazy. All you need is Google Trends. Enter your product and see if there is a significant increase in search volume during a particular month(s) or season of the year.
For example, if you are selling bathing suits, you can see that a majority of users search for that term during spring and early summer, especially in June.
In this case, you may want to double or even triple your stock, to fulfill the seasonal wave of orders. At the same time, you want to avoid overstocking your inventory. Amazon will charge you for dead inventory that is sitting in their warehouse. Make sure you do your research and understand your market to get the right amount of inventory that you need. Speaking of dead inventory…
4. Establish a Strategy for Dealing with Dead Inventory
It happens sometimes. Despite diligently researching their markets and products, every Amazon seller will find themselves with dead inventory at some point. There are three ways you can handle dead inventory:
- Liquidate: To avoid growing storage fees from Amazon, you want to get rid of your dead inventory fast. To encourage consumers to take your leftover product(s) off your hands, lower your inventory price to the point that you will break even. If you reduce the price and no one is buying your dead inventory, try promoting your leftover products as a deal or promotion on DealsPlus, DealNews, Woot, SickDeals, and other similar websites.
- Recycle: While liquidating your dead inventory is the preferred option, you can pay Amazon $0.30 – $0.50 per item to return your leftover products to you. Then you can get rid of the inventory yourself. You can try to make a little money by selling your dead inventory at garage sales, flea markets, etc.
You can also use your dead inventory to promote your brand and business by giving it away with the purchase of a new product you are launching. Everyone loves free stuff! Giveaways are a great way to generate more sales and build a positive relationship with your customers. However, DON’T use free or discounted products to bribe customers into giving you positive feedback or a good product review. Using free or discounted products in this way violates Amazon’s guidelines.
- Destroy: As a last resort, Amazon can destroy your dead inventory for $0.15 per item. On top of paying Amazon to throw away or sell your inventory with their Warehouse Deals, you will lose out on breaking even or gaining a small profit. However, if your warehousing fees are extremely high, paying Amazon to destroy your leftover products is the fastest way to get rid of dead inventory and the costs that come with it.
5. Monitor Negative Seller Feedback and Bad Product Reviews
Even if your seller account has established a solid base of 4 or 5-star reviews from your customers and sellers, ONE negative review can bring down your average rating and significantly affect your store and product listings.
Many sellers will recommend that you check Seller Central on a daily basis for negative reviews or buyer messages that require your attention. There are two problems with this strategy: (1) it takes a lot of time and (2) some detrimental reviews will probably fall through the cracks.
Because lousy product reviews can have a serious effect on the success of your listings and store, you should invest in Amazon review monitoring. Instead of spending hours or tens of hours searching through Amazon for negative reviews each week, the Amazon seller software will automatically identify bad reviews and recommend actions that can fix the issue or minimize its effects. Amazon text alerts and email notifications, used in conjunction with monitoring software, will improve your response time by instantaneously drawing your attention to the bad product reviews that require your focus.
To get rid of negative seller feedback or product reviews that violate Amazon’s guidelines, just request its removal.
6.Get Rid of Negative Seller Feedback That Violates Amazon Guidelines
After obtaining the ID of the customer who left a bad review, click on “Help” then > “Selling on Amazon” then > “Customers and Orders” within Seller Central. Enter the customer ID number and click “Customer Feedback Removal Request.”
Amazon will usually remove negative seller feedback if the review meets one or more of the following criteria:
- Too vague
- About the pricing
- About the products, not the service received
- Contains promotional content
- Includes obscene or offensive language
- Reveals the personal information of Amazon users
7. Remove Bad Product Reviews You Suspect Are Fake or Malevolent
Some negative product reviews will be fake or inaccurate about the specific product involved. To remove these bad product reviews, go to your product page, and click “Report Abuse.”
Amazon will remove negative product feedback if the review is:
- Fake (the same review recurs on many other product pages)
- One customer writing multiple reviews on your product
- Competitor purposefully leaving a bad review (make sure you can prove it)
- Spiteful or vulgar in language
- A one-word review
- Personal contact information of Amazon users
- Relating to price
8. Minimize the Effects of Negative Feedback and Reviews That Amazon Will NOT Remove
Amazon will only remove negative seller feedback and product reviews that egregiously violate its review guidelines. As a result, approved removal requests are pretty rare.
DO NOT abuse the ability to request the removal of bad feedback and reviews by reporting every 1-star review you receive. Consistently requesting the removal of reviews which do not violate Amazon’s guidelines can lower your internal reputation and rating as a seller. Only request removal or report abuses when you have legitimate reasons for believing that a violation of Amazon’s review guidelines has occurred.
What can you do about negative feedback and reviews that Amazon will not remove? Here are only two ways you can mitigate the effects of negative Amazon reviews and feedback:
Contact the Buyer and Request That They Revise or Remove Their Review
Amazon empowers customers with the ability to remove their seller feedback and product reviews within 60 days of its publication.
To reach out to a customer who has given you negative seller feedback, go to the Feedback Manager page:
- Scroll down to View Current Feedback.
- Find the comment you want to resolve and click the Resolve button. You will be redirected to the Resolving Negative Feedback page.
- Click the yellow Contact Customer button.
- From the drop-down menu, select a subject.
- Type your message.
- If you want to include receipts, supporting documents, etc., use the Add Attachment Button.
- To send your message to the customer, click Send e-mail.
Be timely with your response. The customer only has 60 days to remove their review and proactively addressing buyer concerns will help display that you care about their particular problem.
Always be polite when asking a buyer to revise or remove their negative feedback. Start your initial message with an apology and ideas for resolving the issue they experienced. Just asking the buyer to remove their negative review will get you nowhere.
Follow Amazon’s guidelines. NEVER offer buyers a refund in exchange for negative feedback removal. This is in direct violation of Amazon’s guidelines and could result in the suspension of your seller account.
If the customer responds to your polite, appropriate message and expresses interest in resolving the issue, do your best to fix their problem and mend the relationship. Then you can politely request that the customer revise or remove their negative feedback.
Contacting a customer who has negatively reviewed your product(s) is not as simple as resolving Seller Feedback.
Because product reviews aren’t seller-specific, Amazon “owns” your product reviews. Any person with an Amazon account may write a product review even if they have not purchased your product from Amazon or any other seller. As a result, the contact details of the reviewer are private, and Amazon will not share this information. In fact, buyers will often write reviews using pseudonyms. This makes identifying the buyer’s contact information even more difficult.
Moreover, unlike the Feedback Manager tool, Amazon does not provide a management solution for product reviews. Amazon will not notify you when new reviews are posted for the products you sell. To avoid receiving a negative product review and never knowing about it, most sellers are forced to dig through every listing and all the reviews on each of their products. If you have a lot of listings and products, this can be a huge pain! Using third-party Amazon review monitoring software, you can track specific ASINs for negative reviews and receive email or text alerts for reviews with 3-stars or less.
Regardless of how you identify negative product reviews, directly contacting the buyer is not an option. The only way you can get in contact with a negative reviewer is to contact the customer by publicly commenting on their review. If the customer is receptive to discussing or resolving their problem, you can continue your conversation publicly or try to get their contact information to speak with them privately.
After attempting to solve their issue, you can politely request that the buyer edit or remove their bad product review.
Leave a Response, If the Customer Refuses to Revise or Remove Their Review
There always is the chance that a given buyer will not respond to your messages. They may even outright refuse to edit or take down their review after you have addressed their problem.
At the point, the best you can do is publicly respond to the negative feedback or bad product review on Amazon’s site.
To respond to Seller Feedback, you can use the Feedback Manager:
- Scroll down and select View Current Feedback.
- Find the feedback you want to respond to, and click Respond.
- Enter your response.
- Click Submit.
Keep your response professional, apologetic, and short. Indicate the steps you have taken to ensure that the issue the reviewer experienced will not happen again. Stay on top of bad reviews and feedback you receive as an Amazon Seller. However, don’t forget that they are not the end of the world. Address negative reviews and feedback when they occur, but stay positive and focus on generating an abundance of good reviews. As you garner more 5-star reviews/feedback, those few pesky negative reviews will have a lesser effect on your seller account.
9. Generating 5-Star Reviews and Feedback
Did you know that over 90% of Amazon buyers fail to leave feedback? This is a massive opportunity that you and many other sellers are often missing out on. While dealing with negative reviews is important, generating good reviews and feedback is essential to your success as an Amazon seller. A growing collection of great reviews attracts more buyers and sales.
How do you start receiving reviews from 90% of Amazon buyers who fail to leave feedback?
Here is the solution: Just ask customers to leave a review. It is that simple.
A large majority, if not all, veteran Amazon sellers attest to the success of this straightforward tactic. Amazon sellers typically use a third-party email automation software like FeedbackGenius, Feedback Five, Kibly, and Salesbacker to send out a message to each buyer immediately after they have made a purchase.
We’ll take a look at some best practices for sending out these emails, but let’s list some of the things you don’t want to do when emailing buyers.
Email marketing mistakes to avoid:
- Sending Too Many Emails: Only send out a max of three follow up emails per order. There are diminishing returns after more than three emails. Four or more emails per order are excessive and often annoying to consumers.
- Emails Without a Purpose: Each of your email campaigns should serve a particular purpose. Just getting your brand and logo in front of your customer again is wasting a lot of potential. Target specific customer personas and think about the message you want to communicate, the goal you want to achieve, or the action you want buyers to take. Maybe you want to build a positive relationship with customers by telling them that their order is “out for delivery”. Or you might want to thank the buyer for their purchase and make sure they are satisfied with your product. Most importantly, you may want to ask buyers to leave seller feedback or a product review.
- Overhyped Subject Lines: There is nothing wrong with interesting subject lines that entice buyers to open your emails. However, make sure that the subject line accurately reflects the content of your email. Don’t sacrifice the integrity of your brand for a few extra clicks.
- Generic Email Address or From Name: People need people. If you use an email “from name” such as “admin” or “noreply,” buyers will be less inclined to interact with you and your Amazon business. Use a more personal business email like email@example.com.
- Focus on the Customer: Don’t simply talk about your business, your products, your services, etc. Buyers will be happy to support and vouch for your Amazon business if you invest in THEM. Focus on building a relationship with your customers and putting real value into each email. Avoid lots of self-promotion and using too many calls to action (CTAs).
- Long Emails: According to Litmus Software, Inc., the average time spent reading an email was 11.1 seconds in 2016. Long emails that take even a minute or two to read will often be ignored or deleted by customers. Keep your emails short, simple, and to the point!
- Find a Balance When Using Imagery: You should use at least one image inside each email, but don’t be tempted to using only images. Image-heavy emails are usually not optimized for mobile and can be considered spam by filters. Additionally, the email content will not display when someone’s email settings are “images off.”
- No Text Link(s): Always include at least one text link at the beginning and end of your email. Make sure you put the text link on a line by itself. Image links can generate more clicks, but images that are not designed well can be confusing. It is not always clear what’s clickable, and image links can break.
Now let’s get into how to construct an effective email marketing strategy for generating seller feedback and product reviews.
1st Email: Confirmed for Delivery
Send out your first email once the customer’s order is confirmed for delivery. This is a great way to keep the buyer informed about their purchase and build anticipation for the product. You should not be asking the customer for anything in this email. This is your way of establishing communication and building your relationship with the buyer.
Thank them for their purchase and provide your contact information.
2nd Email: 2 Days After Delivery
A few days after a customer’s purchase has been delivered, check in with the buyer and make sure they are satisfied with the quality of your product. Let the buyer know that you are available to take questions and help them with any issues they experience.
At this point, you can express your interest in getting their feedback. Provide a link within your email to Seller Feedback and politely let the customer know that they are welcome to leave feedback if they are happy with your services.
3rd Email: 7 Days After Delivery
A week after delivery, customers will have had plenty of time to experience your product comprehensively. This is the best and last opportunity to ask for a product review. Ask the customer to leave a product review, if they are satisfied with the quality and performance of your product. Provide a link that will allow the customer to leave a Product Review.
While still effective, this is a very general email marketing strategy for generating seller feedback and product reviews. Only you can fully understand the needs and buying habits of your customers. That being said, don’t be afraid to add your personality to your emails, and schedule them accordingly.