How Amazon Feedback Works

by Colleen Quattlebaum

Are you a new Amazon seller who is trying to figure out how Amazon feedback works?

No worries! We're here to help you. (In fact, we've been helping Amazon merchants be successful with feedback since 2009.)

So, without further delay, here's the lowdown on how Amazon feedback works.

What Amazon Says About Feedback, Inc. ("Amazon") doesn't beat around the bush when it comes to the importance of seller feedback. As pointed out in its seller help guide article, How to get a great feedback score, "Your feedback rating is one of the most important measures buyers use when making purchasing decisions. To be a competitive seller, you must build up your feedback score."

Why does Amazon place such a high emphasis on the seller feedback score? To properly answer this question, you must understand how Amazon looks at the world. Just check out the company's leadership principles, which are published here. The very first principle, "customer obsession," sums everything up pretty nicely: "(Our) Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers."

If Amazon is obsessed with its customers, it stands to reason that the company wants its third-party merchants (you!) to share the same perspective. This is where the feedback score becomes so important. With millions of independent sellers leveraging the Amazon brand to reach customers each day, it's unfeasible for the company to manually tabulate merchant performance. Instead, the company relies on its customers to do the heavy lifting via a crowd-sourced feedback model.

Amazon uses customer ratings to automate various aspects of its marketplace. For example, if your seller feedback rating drops too far below 95% (you should aim for 98% or above), you might be treading into the dangerous waters of suspension or removal. Conversely, sellers who maintain near perfection often enjoy a greater share of the much-coveted Buy Box. Feedback can have positive and negative repercussions for sellers, so it's important to take this metric seriously.

Why Your Customers Leave Amazon Feedback

Amazon obviously wants its sellers to maintain stellar reputations. However, in order to build a stellar reputation, the merchant is entirely dependent upon an important group of people: his or her customers.

So, what's in it for the customer? Why do Amazon buyers leave seller feedback?

Let's start by covering circumstances in which customers are motivated to leave negative feedback. Some buyers view negative feedback as an insurance policy of sorts. Things rarely go wrong on the Amazon marketplace, but negative feedback is always an option for when they do.

In our experience, most negative interactions can be attributed to one or more of the following situations:

  • The seller failed to communicate with the buyer (especially if there was an issue)
  • Poor packaging caused the item to arrive damaged or destroyed
  • Shipping took longer than expected
  • The received item was different than what was promised on the listing page

Negative scenarios aside, what about positive feedback? Why do customers leave positive feedback? Judging by Amazon's high expectations for your feedback rating, the vast majority of customers should (in theory) be willing to leave feedback. Why is this true?

There are several reasons why buyers are willing to leave feedback. First, Amazon buyers are extremely loyal people, which is only magnified by the success of the Amazon Prime program. With millions of shoppers spending countless hours on each week, Prime shoppers have a vested interest in cultivating an unbelievable buying ecosystem. When a seller goes out of his or her way to exceed expectations, Amazon buyers are often happy to reciprocate with a favorable rating. Our research also shows that proactive solicitation also increases a buyer's willingness to leave feedback. Simply stated, sellers who ask for feedback are much more likely to actually get it.

Your Seller Reputation Needs Feedback

If you're ready to take control of your Amazon feedback rating, a tool like FeedbackFive can come in very handy. With FeedbackFive, you can track your seller reputation, receive email and text alerts for negative feedback, and automate your solicitation workflow.

Try FeedbackFive today. 

Originally published on June 15, 2017, updated August 12, 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.