Amazon is Shutting Listings Down with Negative Customer Reviews
Amazon has recently become much more sensitive about shutting listings down after a negative customer review or product return. We know the e-commerce behemoth has always operated with a customer-centric mindset. However, will this loyalty to consumers impact their relationship with brands?
Historically, Amazon has always suppressed listings that don’t abide by their quality standards. Typically any listing that has incorrect photography, description, or keywords can cause a listing to go-down. However, negative customer reviews have thrown another element into the mix.
In the past couple of weeks, Amazon has been suppressing and shutting listings down that have had negative customer reviews or returns. The uncanniness of it all is the number of reviews and returns it takes to shut a listing down. Our client who sells 200-300 units daily experienced one negative customer review and had their listing shut down immediately.
“It takes about two business days to get the listings back up,” Account Manager at Envision Horizons explains. “So, it hugely impacts my clients’ sales velocity, momentum, and rankings. But, if you don’t catch these down-listings or employ best practices to get them re-instated, it takes about an average of a week to get them back up.”
Moreover, the issue seems to be trans-departmental. Kylie Sharp and Account Manager Katharine Johnson have reported since the beginning of September, they have had client listings go down in Toys & Games, Baby, Health & Household, and Beauty.
How Brands Can Prepare for Q4 and the Holidays
With the retail giant being under the magnifying glass from the FCC and because of their persistent counterfeit issues, this problem will likely persist into Q4 and the Holidays.
The down-listings will likely be a chronic issue throughout the Holiday season. Kylie explains, “Because Amazon is customer-oriented, it’s likely they’ve become so strict with customer complaints in an effort to improve the user experience.”
Unless you have software that notifies you of your suppressed listings, you’ll likely have to check on them daily. The best metrics to monitor are your total daily sales and daily sales by ASIN. Knowing how much sales each of your products generate will make it easier for you to identify any anomalies.
For example, let's take waterproof mascara. On average if you sell 100 units a day and after 36 hours you've only sold 20, start your deep-dive.
Unfortunately, the only thing brands can do is to develop a customer service strategy that encourages consumers to contact their team directly and bypass Amazon. We employ best practices by reaching out to consumers post-purchase via email to open a line of communication.
Amazon has home-field advantage, so it’s important to be as proactive as possible going into the Holidays. Remember, when your listing goes down, so does your sales velocity. The only thing brands can do is monitor their account health, check daily sales, and deal with disgruntled consumers as directly as possible.