How to Optimize Your Amazon Listings

by Matthew McAuliff

It’s happened to many of us. You purchase something on Amazon, thinking you’ve received a great deal. However, once the product arrives, the disappointment sets in and you quickly discover it was a waste of money.

Did you feel cheated? Disappointed? Angry or upset? Why wasn’t the product listing more accurate? Did the merchant make a mistake or was the listing intentionally inaccurate?

As an Amazon merchant, you can see how important it is to avoid having your customers experience this type of frustration. Amazon customers hold most of the cards, especially when they threaten to leave you a negative feedback. Too many bad experiences can have a lasting effect for your bottom line.

Read on to discover how your product listings may be hurting your business - although you’re not even realizing it - and how to improve customer feedback by paying closer attention to detail.

List Products Accurately

Amazon customers want the right product at the right price, but they also want to buy from sellers who have a trustworthy, reliable, and service-oriented reputation. A solid seller reputation, represented by a high feedback score, begins with product listings. Inaccurate listings confuse the market and create unrealistic expectations. When listings are out of line, buyers can hold you accountable.

In fact, two of the most frequent causes of negative feedback, according to Amazon, are “product not as described” and “wrong size or product.” These and other customer-service related problems can arise from faulty listings.

Misunderstandings can arise at several points, especially when it comes to cultural and technical miscommunications. Language, for instance, makes a big difference. Amazon says negative feedback can result from using “phrases like ‘high-quality’ for a product whose best attribute is low price.” Overstating the condition of a used product is another error.

Monitor Your Listings

This can be a big task, especially if you have a large number of SKUs. But vigilance is warranted. Suppose another seller changes the quantity on a shared listing, and Amazon accepts the change. What you are selling as a single product then might fall under a two-pack listing. A buyer expecting two items but receiving only one is likely to complain. Changes to color, size and other product attributes also could lead to negative feedback.

These changes are impossible to anticipate. A seller may revise a listing at any time. At any point thereafter, the Amazon algorithm governing whose data gets the heaviest weighting could feature the new listing. Then what? How do you even know that you may have a problem? Negative feedback or poor product reviews could be the first indication that a listing is misaligned. (Don't hesitate to contact Amazon when necessary to get a listing corrected.)

Increase Sales While Reducing Negative Feedback

Accurate product listings reduce the confusion that leads to negative feedback. Paying close attention to negative feedback and product reviews is one way to monitor your listings. Correcting errors advances the goal of more accurate listings. The upshot of this virtuous cycle is more sales and less negative feedback.

Originally published on December 23, 2014, updated March 1, 2019

This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.