An exciting new update for sellers on Amazon— it is now possible to contact buyers who have left your business a negative review!
If you sell products on Amazon, you can appreciate the impact this feature will have on your business. Prior to this update, there was virtually no way to contact a buyer who left a negative review.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how this update works, what it means for your business, and what you can do to leverage this new benefit even further.
You must be a Brand Registered seller on Amazon to access this benefit in your account. Brand Registry is an Amazon program that identifies legitimate brand owners and helps them protect their intellectual property and content on Amazon.
Historically, some businesses have been hesitant to sell their products on Amazon after learning about the issues others had encountered with counterfeit products being sold under their brand name.
To combat this, Amazon created the Brand Registry for businesses. As a Brand Registered seller, you can submit infringement claims, report violations including product review manipulations, report technical issues, and more. The exclusive benefits and security it provides for a business are entirely worth signing up for.
Bonus, registering is free once your brand is trademarked!
If your brand isn’t trademarked yet, learn more about how you can expedite the process with Amazon IP Accelerator.
In Seller Central, navigate to the Brands menu and select “Customer Reviews.” On this page, you’ll have the ability to select “Contact Buyer” and send a direct message to any customer who left a rating of 1-3 stars on any of your products.
You have pretty basic options when it comes to contacting a buyer. You can offer a full refund, or ship a replacement item. You can also contact them to clarify any product issues based on the review they shared.
This is when it gets interesting!
In a shocking twist, Amazon even includes the Order ID for the negative review when you contact a buyer. Historically, this data was always kept private; Amazon prevented sellers from ever seeing who left negative reviews.
It’s important to note that the messages you can send to buyers are templated and you can not make any edits. These are sent within Buyer-Seller messaging, and you won’t receive their email or any other contact information during this process.
Setting up these messages look like this:
So the actual email they would receive says:
Message from seller <store name>:
If you would like us to ship a replacement item free of charge, please reply “Replace item” and confirm that the item description above is correct.
If you would like a full refund, please reply “Full refund.”
We hope that you give us another chance. Thank you very much.
So the actual message they receive will say:
Message from seller <store name>:
Dear <buyer name>,
Thank you for purchasing from our brand on Amazon.com. On <date> you left the following review of our product:
We’d like to address any issues or concerns you have. Your business is important to us so please contact us and we’ll work to resolve your issues.
This new feature is exciting for many reasons, particularly because it allows for some interaction between sellers and buyers again, which has been prevented by Amazon for too long.
There are so many reasons, so get comfortable and stay awhile.
As most sellers know, poor reviews can have an extremely negative impact on a business, particularly if Amazon is their primary source of sales. When Amazon removed the function for sellers to respond to reviews in December 2020, it left sellers with their hands tied.
With no option to contact buyers or respond to unsatisfied purchasers, businesses were backed into a corner. This meant they had no way to:
As we’ve discussed, positive reviews play an integral role in ranking higher within Amazon’s tricky algorithm. Essentially, sellers need positive reviews and satisfied customers to find success on Amazon.
Positive reviews are a pillar of social proof—the idea that group influence can impact decision-making in others, particularly when shopping. Since consumers often rely on their community’s opinions to make a purchase decision, product reviews are one of the first places they will go.
The ability to reach out to buyers can amend a negative experience and turn it into a positive one. This can create a ripple effect and bring in new business—word of mouth marketing is responsible for the discovery of 85% of small businesses, after all.
A few messages exchanged could also encourage the buyer to change their critical review to a 5-star, or convert them to a lifelong customer.
While Amazon does offer a “Request a Review” button through Seller Central, it’s a time-consuming approach to review requests, and the ROI is low. Sellers can send an automatic, one-time follow-up email to buyers within four to 30 days of purchase.
Sure, it’s a helpful feature, but sellers have to go through each purchase, one by one and click the Request button. You don’t have time to throw at clicking the same button a thousand times. We have businesses to run, people!
Massview has a few tools in our back pocket, however, that can actually save you time, while bringing in new reviews from buyers. Let’s get into it.
In Massview’s seller tools, merchants have an automated option that can increase their product review count by requesting a review after each sale. Using our Auto-Request Review feature, we see sellers get at least triple their review rate over email, simply by automating review requests.
Massview subscribers can create campaigns to boost their sales velocity early on, like on Snagshout — where sellers can offer customers access to discounted or rebated products to purchase.
Using Action Cash Campaigns in Snagshout, sellers can require that their customers complete an “Action” before they receive a rebate.
Once a buyer has completed the Action, sellers have the ability to send them a message within Massview, thank them for their content, and ask if they’re willing to leave a review on Amazon. If they’re willing to post a photo or video with your product, they’re likely willing to write a review as well.
Sellers who request buyer reviews through Snagshout typically see a rate of 20-30% on their Amazon reviews. Pretty solid!
Using the Review widget in Massview, sellers can view and manage all product reviews left by buyers on Amazon. You can filter by star rating, date range, and even search reviews by keyword or buyer name to find what you’re looking for.
The Reviews widget is also able to view reviews that have been deleted by Amazon.
Why does Amazon delete product reviews?
Of almost any platform online, Amazon has the most stringent review policies. It’s supported by an algorithm that functions to locate suspicious reviews and remove them. Reviews are considered suspicious if a product gets a group of reviews all at once, or from a single traffic source—these actions indicate the reviews could’ve been purchased or sellers violated Amazon policies to get them.
While Amazon has good intentions with review monitoring, it becomes challenging for sellers to get reviews as a new business. Because the review-hunting algorithm still has kinks to work out, legitimate reviews often get deleted without explanation.
Using Massview’s seller tools creates an opportunity for Amazon sellers to leverage what they have to offer in exchange for reviews, and so much more.
In summary, Amazon’s new option for contacting buyers allows sellers to improve the customer experience by resolving any negative experiences and righting any wrongs.
In doing so, it puts some control back into the hands of the seller, creating space for improvement, better engagement with customers, and the long-awaited refocus from Amazon on the seller’s bottom line (we’re here to make money, after all!).
Please be aware that this update has been very recently rolled out, so there may still be kinks in the system, or it may not be available in your Seller Central just yet.
How will you be using this new feature?