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Preparing for Q4: Why Reputation Matters

by Jeanne Croteau, on August 21, 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Well, almost! The fourth quarter is nearly upon us which means it’s time to start preparing. As an Amazon seller, you will know that the holiday season is an incredible opportunity to boost sales and build your brand but one thing could seriously derail your success — a bad reputation.

Recently, Feedvisor’s Andrew McGonnigle hosted eComEngine’s Colleen Quattlebaum and Liz Fickenscher for the latest webinar in their “Ask the Amazon Experts” series. As we look ahead to the high-volume holiday season that comes along in Q4, the discussion focused on why reputation matters and what you can do to put your best foot forward.

Reputation and Conversion

Did you know that 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase and that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? The way we shop has evolved and it’s clear that what people say about your business and products matters more than ever.

When potential buyers look at your listing and see a good number of reviews, it improves consumer confidence while the absence of ratings can leave browsers feeling skeptical. As McGonnigle said, “Ultimately, if you’re choosing between two products or sellers, that feedback can be the final data point that somebody considers before making a purchase.” That’s why it’s so important to prioritize reputation management.

As you are probably aware, Amazon’s goal has always been to be a customer-centric company so it’s vital that sellers strive to align themselves with this priority as much as possible.

Tips for Private Label Sellers

Commit to selling high-quality products, especially when you’re just starting out. This will improve your reputation and minimize the risk of returns. Be honest in your product descriptions so that your buyers will have realistic expectations about what they are going to receive.

Polish your brand by having great product images, listings and reviews. This will help drive SEO which can, in turn, bump your listing up and increase your traffic. Make sure that your pricing is competitive and that you are fulfilling orders on time.

Of course, it’s also important to register your trademarks and offer accurate, detailed information in order to build trust with your online customers.

The Impact on Holiday Sales

It’s easy to get busy and neglect to address bad feedback but this would be a crucial mistake. “Great ratings can help you stand out during a busy period like Q4,” Fickenscher said. “Negative ratings can cause significant damage to your sales.”

One effective plan is to align your reputation management with your sales strategy. Forecast which products are going to be the biggest holiday sellers and then evaluate the potential issues. Is it fragile? Will it have a lot of competition? Are there any known complaints about this item? Weigh all of pros and cons before adding it to your lineup for Q4.

Ensure that your supply chain is running smoothly before the busy season begins in order to help avoid inventory problems. As you work through the final quarter of the year, remember to conduct quality control and make sure that your supplier or manufacturer hasn’t been cutting corners due to the increased demand.

Stay On Top of Reputation Management

As Quattlebaum explained, Amazon has two major seasons — Prime Day and the holidays. Now that Prime Day is behind us, it’s time to start focusing on the end-of-year madness. Don’t wait for it to sneak up on you. Be proactive so that you can stay ahead of issues as they arise.

Start monitoring your ASINs. Create a benchmark so that you can identify trends, analyze your feedback and reviews, and then go through and reword your listings to include the best keywords, strong photos and accurate descriptions. This will help reduce the number of returns in January by ensuring that buyers understand your listing when making a purchase.

The Importance of Email Campaigns

One of the best ways to manage your reputation is through effective email campaigns. Using custom standardized (but personal!) templates can save you time and keep you from including wording that could put you at risk.

Using the Amazon guidelines, you can send messages to surprise and delight buyers by incorporating added value items such as a PDF of a recipe or tips for making the most of your product. Consider automating your email campaigns with FeedbackFive to be even more efficient.

Next Steps

Be sure to listen to the entire webinar as you prepare for the fourth quarter. There are many great tips for getting your business ready for the incredibly busy and lucrative, holiday season.

In this blog post, we’ve been talking about the importance of managing your online reputation but creating email campaigns can be a time-consuming and confusing process. Fortunately, FeedbackFive makes it all look easy. You’ll be able to personalize your messages and automate the process in minutes. This tool has been used to build and monitor reputations since 2009. Try our 14-day trial and be ready for the Q4 selling season!


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