Let’s face it: online shopping isn’t the same as in-store shopping. Since eCommerce shoppers can’t pick up and feel your product in person, they will be more hesitant when they shop online. After all, how can they trust a stranger on the internet to ship an item they’ve never seen in real life?
Despite its challenges, eCommerce is a thriving industry. It’s projected to be worth $4.2 trillion globally by 2023. eCommerce is the future of shopping, but in recent years, it’s attracted more and more sellers hoping to get a piece of the pie.
As a dropshipper, you contend with even more competitors, especially on platforms like Amazon. In a world where customers can buy almost anything on Amazon, many other sellers are ready to take their business.
But how do you convince customers to buy from your Amazon listings? If you’ve already optimized your Amazon listings, it’s time to consider building your credibility as a trustworthy seller.
Amazon cares deeply about customer satisfaction and matching shoppers with the best, most high-quality sellers. The platform calculates this using your Amazon seller rating.
While many dropshippers assume their seller rating is set in stone, you can influence the rating to score more business in a few ways. Of course, you can’t have 100% control over your rating, but a conscious effort to improve your score goes a long way.
Amazon.com sees nearly 4 million seller feedback reviews every month. How are you managing what people say about you?
Let’s dig into your Amazon seller rating, why it matters, and our six favorite methods for improving your score over time.
Your seller rating is a numerical score between 0-100. Every order you fulfill will add or take points away from your score. The rating is primarily based on shipping and seller performance—more on this below.
High Amazon seller ratings are crucial to improve visibility on the platform, influence buyers' purchasing decisions, and even determine whether a seller wins the Buy Box.
The Buy Box is a critical feature on Amazon product pages, where customers can add items for purchase to their cart. Winning the Buy Box means that your offer is the default choice for customers.
💡Pro Tip: Your Amazon Seller Rating Is Different from Your Amazon Seller Feedback Rating
Your Amazon Seller Rating and Seller Feedback Rating are two different metrics Amazon uses to assess a seller's performance on the platform.
The Amazon Seller Feedback Rating is a specific type of feedback customers leave for sellers after a purchase.
It is measured on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. The feedback rating is based on the customers' overall shopping experience, which includes factors such as the promptness of shipping, the quality of packaging, and the seller's customer service.
This feedback rating is publicly visible on a seller's profile and can directly influence future buyers' decisions to purchase from that seller.
In short, while both ratings are crucial to a seller's success on Amazon, the Seller Rating is a more holistic evaluation of a seller's performance on Amazon. In contrast, the Seller Feedback Rating is specific customer feedback based on their individual shopping experiences with the seller.
Amazon dropshippers should care about their Amazon reputation because:
✅Provides a competitive edge: If you have the same product and price as another seller, but they have a better seller rating, Amazon will give them the Buy Box. Since competition is fierce on Amazon, we’re willing to bet you don’t want to lose out on the Buy Box.
✅Customers will trust you more: Nobody wants to buy from a seller with two stars. While shoppers might have to dig a little to find your rating, it’s still publicly available. Don’t turn off discerning shoppers with a low rating.
✅ Long-term success: You have less control over Amazon than your website. Playing by the rules and giving customers a good experience will help you succeed on the platform in the long term. That’s never a bad thing!
If you want to improve your seller score, it’s helpful to know how Amazon calculates it.
A lot goes into your seller score, but it boils down to the following:
➡️Customer feedback: You will get negative reviews if you fail to meet customer expectations. If customers complain, this will lower your rating.
➡️Delivery speed: If you don’t deliver an order when you say you will, you will lose points.
➡️Order withdrawals: Your score may decrease if a customer orders a product but later cancels it.
➡️Payment reversals: Occurs when a customer disputes a credit card charge, claiming it was unauthorized.
➡️Average response time: Taking too long to respond to customer inquiries could negatively impact your rating.
➡️Reviews: Regular negative feedback can significantly decrease your Seller Rating.
➡️A-to-Z Guarantee Claims: If customers are unhappy with their purchase, they can file an A-to-Z Guarantee claim, prompting Amazon to investigate further.
⚠️Not all of the metrics carry the same weight. So, for example, A-Z Claims will have more of an impact than a late shipment.
💡Pro Tip: It's Not All Bad!
You can earn bonus points when you go above and beyond by providing excellent customer service. Amazon will award you up to 10 points for each order.
➡️Order Defect Rate (ODR): This is the percentage of orders that have received a negative response from buyers. It considers factors like negative feedback, chargebacks, and A-to-Z Guarantee claim losses.
➡️Return Dissatisfaction Rate (RDR): This metric is calculated based on the negative return experiences your customers have, including issues with returns and refunds or mishandled restocking.
➡️Valid Tracking Rate (VTR): This rate measures how often a seller provides valid shipment tracking numbers.
➡️Customer Service Dissatisfaction Rate (CSDR): This measures the proportion of customers who are dissatisfied with the seller's responses to Amazon's "Contact Us" queries.
➡️Negative Feedback Rate: The percentage of negative ratings (1 and 2 stars) a seller receives from their total feedback.
➡️ Pre-fulfillment cancellation rate: This measures instances where an order cannot be fulfilled due to lack of stock. It's crucial to maintain your inventory levels to avoid this.
➡️Policy violations: Amazon also considers any violations of their selling policies when calculating the seller rating.
➡️Order Completion Rate: This metric evaluates how often you successfully fulfill orders without any issues. Your goal should be to achieve complete, seamless order fulfillment as often as possible.
Navigating the numerous metrics influencing your Amazon seller rating may seem overwhelming, but fear not! We've distilled the process into five actionable tips to help boost your rating effectively.
There are some irrational and needy customers out there. But if someone was upset enough to leave you negative seller feedback, they’ll want you to address a problem.
It's important not to ignore a negative product review. With the right approach, you can mediate the problem with the customer and convince them to revise or edit their negative review. Shoppers can modify negative reviews within 30 days, so you can do something about this!
Now isn’t the time to defend yourself, find loopholes, or argue with the customer. Focus on handling the complaint and addressing the actual problem.
For example, if the customer doesn’t think your product is worth the money, offer a full or partial refund instead of arguing with them.
Follow this quick formula to make things right with your unhappy customer:
🔸Acknowledge their frustrations or feelings.
🔸Offer a good solution.
🔸Apologize again. (It seems excessive, but an apology softens a person’s hard feelings toward you.)
If you’ve addressed the issue with the customer and they seem satisfied, you can tactfully ask if they’ll consider adjusting their review. Some people will refuse or not respond, but it’s always worth asking.
Ensure that you aren’t being pushy or aggressive when asking someone to change a review. That’s against Amazon's Terms of Service, so be polite and cordial no matter what.
As dropshippers, it sounds obvious that ordering a “finger puppet” would mean the customer’s puppet would be finger-sized, but even then, you might get a few negative reviews about product size.
If a customer is unpleasantly surprised with their order, they might leave a bad review on your seller profile. You don’t want that.
So, keep your product listing accurate. Specify product features, size, benefits, color, and uses when creating your listings. Add extra images or videos of your product and throw in a video demo. Add size references and color charts so people know what they’re getting.
Your listing pages will manage shoppers’ expectations, ensuring they get what they ordered while preventing low ratings.
Improving your Amazon seller rating boils down to a proactive approach, especially when it comes to encouraging customer feedback. A direct request can lead to positive feedback on your seller profile.
Customers are familiar with product reviews but might need to learn how to leave seller feedback. Since the option isn't easy to spot, provide them with instructions on how to do it. You could also share the URL or a QR code to lead them directly to your seller review page.
Remember that incentivizing reviews with discounts or freebies violates Amazon’s Terms of Service. Instead, consider politely requesting reviews through an email, the Feedback Request section in Seller Central, or even a note in your product packaging. You'd be amazed at the number of customers willing to leave a review when you ask nicely!
By proactively soliciting reviews, you'll accumulate 5-star ratings, which can effectively overshadow any occasional 1-star reviews as your business grows on the platform.
33% of customers will buy from your competitors if you give them one bad experience. But your dropshipping operation is big and complicated: how can you give customers the one-on-one service they expect?
Instead of treating customer service as a nice-to-have, it needs to become your priority. If you’re busy, you can outsource customer service to a service like Zendesk or a virtual assistant.
Boosting your customer service begins with a thorough review of your operations—from the packaging and shipping of items to your response times for customer queries. If you've received negative reviews, view them as opportunities to pinpoint and improve areas lacking in your operations.
While addressing these issues might not immediately resolve existing negative reviews. Good service can prevent these issues from happening in the future.
We’re all for learning from negative feedback, but sometimes a review is just not constructive or appropriate. If you feel that a rating is unfair or goes against Amazon’s Terms of Service, you can ask Amazon to remove negative feedback.
But Amazon will only remove seller reviews under certain circumstances. They’ll remove a review if:
✅It uses profanity.
✅It’s about FBA fulfillment.
✅It contains personally identifiable information.
✅It’s a review for one of your products, not you as a seller.
If the comment doesn’t fall into these requirements, sorry, you’re stuck with it. Try using the other five strategies in this guide to persuade the customer to adjust their review politely.
Keeping a sharp eye on your inventory is vital in preventing the disappointment of stock-outs, which often breeds negative customer feedback. It's equally important to anticipate and cater to seasonal demand variations, ensuring your popular items are consistently stocked and ready to meet customer expectations.
Moreover, inventory management goes beyond just tracking stock. It also includes being timely and dependable in fulfilling and shipping orders. Shipping delays can sour a customer's experience and lead to negative feedback, making it crucial to avoid them proactively.
But managing all these elements manually can be taxing and also provide leeway for errors. Spark Shipping can help you. With its robust automation and real-time inventory updates, Spark Shipping helps you keep your stock levels optimized, order processing efficient, and shipping prompt.
By integrating Spark Shipping into your operations, you can deliver a seamless shopping experience, greatly boosting your chances of getting positive feedback and enhancing your seller score.
Amazon can put your dropshipping operation in front of millions of new customers. But because you’re competing against many other sellers, you need every advantage possible to increase your sales on the platform.
You need to be competitive on Amazon, which means having an excellent seller score. Use our six tips to take control of your ratings, remove unfair feedback, and protect your reputation as you scale.