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Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Updates

Amazon has recently updated its guidelines for communicating with customers, including a policy for exchanging messages between buyers and sellers. The new guidelines will come into force on November 3, 2020. 
As an Amazon seller, you should be informed of changing guidelines and conform to new information. Let's find out about new features.

Important benefits that you should know

Amazon is always making changes to its Terms of Service. This time it affected a change in the messaging policy between buyers and sellers. The marketplace released these new updates in response to concerns from third-party sellers and app providers because the communication policy with buyers was confusing.

What benefits?

  • Now Amazon sellers can ask customers for feedback.
  • Amazon sellers can use third-party apps listed in the Amazon Store to request customer reviews.

What kind of messages are allowed

The Amazon communications guidelines divide buyer and seller messages into two types: 

  • Proactive permitted messages.
  • Necessary permitted messages.

These permitted messages must be sent to the customer within 30 days of the initial order.

Permitted messages: all messages required to complete an order or respond to a customer support. But you can send these permitted messages to the customers who contact you with purchase-related queries. 

Proactive permitted messages: messages initiated by the seller that are not responses to customer requests. These messages can be sent by email. You can send these messages in the following ways:
  • Go to Amazon seller central. On the orders page, you can click on the buyer's name and access template messages provided by Amazon.
  • You can also use the request feedback button on the order details page.
  • Use the Amazon API.
  • Select a third-party app from the Amazon Marketplace Store.

When Сan You Use Proactive Permitted Messages?

You can use this type of message to:

  • Resolving an issue that occurs during order fulfillment.
  • Sending an invoice to your client.
  • Custom design verification.
  • Request any information related to order processing.
  • Sending requests related to customer refunds.
  • Request product reviews or seller feedback.
  • Scheduling Amazon home services meetings.
  • Planning product delivery for heavy or bulky items.

Amazon message guidelines

 Amazon sellers shouldn’t include the following in permitted messages:

  • External links.
  • Attachments (except for invoice or product instructions).
  • Logos (that redirect to the seller's website).
  • Customers’ phone numbers and email addresses.
  • Сonfidential information in text or images.
  • Tracking pixels.
  • Images (that are not related to the seller’s company).

Previously, Amazon allowed you to use gifs and emoticons in your email correspondence. However, this is no longer allowed. Be careful while adding emails, phone numbers, and external links.

Messages about order status

Problem with order messages: Amazon sellers must communicate with customers if a product that was ordered by a customer is not available for shipment. As an Amazon seller, you should use this message to inform your customer of these issues.

Messages about product returns: Amazon product returns must be processed in the "Manage Orders" section of the Amazon Seller Central page. If you need any additional information to fill out a refund request or want to offer a partial refund, you can use this message to notify the buyer.

You can use these two types of communication if it is related to customer orders and they are sent using your Amazon account.

Amazon shares order information with customers using "Your Account" updates. All updates related to delivery and return processing are included in this section. Since customers expect to receive timely information about the order status or the return process, we suggest that you quickly confirm delivery and return processing.

In conclusion 

Amazon buyer-seller messaging service allows two-way communication between sellers and buyers. This is a great way to communicate and handle customer service requests and order-related issues. By imposing restrictions, Amazon is further tightening its grip on the buyer-seller communication service.
However, don't let these restrictions prevent you from providing a great customer experience.