The Problem with Feedback

Feedback, in theory, is a great benefit to both Amazon sellers and their customers. As with eBay and other e-commerce sites, having some record of customer experiences allows potential customers to seek out sellers who have a track record of success. In turn, that gives consumers peace of mind to make purchases. Besides, it rewards sellers for excellent service as their reputation rises.

For Amazon sellers, Feedback is important. Amazon itself places feedback scores in a prominent position, making it a key focus for the seller’s choice on any given item. However, it is more than that, feedback ratings affect the buy-box share, so the better the feedback, the more likely you get the sale.

Additionally, feedback rating has a direct effect on the relationship between a seller and Amazon itself. In the case of disputes or suspensions, feedback ratings are included as part of the decision process. The feedback removal process is not as arbitrary as it may seem. A seller with great feedback is a more valuable seller from Amazon’s perspective, in that they deliver customer satisfaction.

The problem is, while feedback is so important, how many sellers actually get feedback from clients in large numbers? When sellers are reporting say 4000 individual sales and customers leave just around 200 feedbacks (~ 5%) for a system that is an integral part of both seller’s and Amazon’s success, that is a problem. Worse, only one negative feedback can negate 100 positive ones, and we begin to see why it has become an issue.

Many sellers wonder why Amazon customers are so reluctant to give feedback; after all, the system works well on eBay. If we look at the sales process though, we can see that they are very different. Buying on Amazon, the focus is always on the product, especially fulfilled by Amazon purchases. If consumers click the buy box, they may not even notice who is selling to them. With eBay though, throughout the process, you deal with a specific person or business. Their offer, their store.

In the eBay system, it is a personal transaction between a specific seller and the customer, and that is perhaps where feedback becomes a more accepted part of the sales process. With Amazon, there is never that personal element, and any purchase is always first and foremost between a consumer and Amazon.

Feedback is not going away then, so sellers can’t just ignore it. There are some things that sellers can do to improve feedback, including a note with a product is a common one, but today there are tools available that can also boost feedback levels. With tools like Feedbackemails, the process can be automated, allowing Amazon sellers to focus on their business while earning improved feedback numbers.

Whatever approach is taken, it is clear that for Amazon sellers, the problems with feedback are not something that can be ignored. It remains a core aspect of a seller’s business, not just affecting how consumers see the brand, but how Amazon itself does too. Amazon itself should be looking at the issue more closely, and perhaps will, but right now, every Amazon seller needs a feedback strategy in place to ensure their business succeeds.

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