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Preparing for Q4: Why Reputation Matters

by Liz Fickenscher, on January 17, 2018

Prime Day is over, the summer is rushing to a close and the busy Q4 holiday season is approaching. How does your seller reputation impact your future success? What do you need to know to prepare for the busiest selling season in terms of your reputation?

Colleen and Liz from eComEngine joined the experts at Feedvisor to discuss how to proactively manage your seller reputation to maximize visibility on the Amazon marketplace.

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Here is the webinar recap written by Jeanne Croteau:

Did you know that 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision and that 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations? As an Amazon seller, you simply can’t overestimate the power of positive ratings and reviews.

In this webinar from Feedvisor's "Ask the Amazon Experts" series, eComEngine’s Colleen Quattlebaum and Liz Fickenscher shared insight on the importance of seller reputation during Q4’s busy, high-volume holiday season. Be sure to check out the video for more tips and strategies for how you can set your brand up for success. In the meantime, here are some highlights.

Positive Feedback is Crucial

Amazon’s goal has been clear since day one — they want to be “the Earth’s most customer-centric company.” As a seller, your overall goal is to align with this mission as much as possible, especially when making decisions when choosing products and creating listings. This improves customer experience while simultaneously improving your reputation.

Feedvisor’s Andrew McGonnigle explained that, while factors such as competitive pricing and fulfillment method have a greater impact on winning the Buy Box, feedback score does matter. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that having positive feedback a year ago does not guarantee success since Amazon more heavily weights recent scores.

At the same time, “a more established seller might have great ratings and a newer seller might also have great ratings, but the one with a longer history and a lot of feedback is going to be at an advantage because they have an established track record,” McGonnigle said.

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How Your Reputation Can Impact Holiday Sales

During a busy period like Q4, great ratings can help you stand out from the competition. Meanwhile, negative ratings can cause significant damage to your sales. It’s important to make sure that your reputation management strategy aligns with your sales strategy.

Fickenscher advises, “Think about your sales. Forecast which products are going to be your biggest holiday sellers, the most profitable ones. Make note of items that are easily damaged or will face a lot of competition. You want to pick the products that you think are going to get great reviews.”

Additionally, it’s important to address negative reviews as soon as possible in order to improve customer experience and protect your reputation. One of the easiest ways to stay on top of this, Fickenscher says, is to receive alerts. When you become aware of a customer’s dissatisfaction, act on it immediately.

Amazon’s Two Seasons — Prime Day and Q4

Whether you’re a seller or an Amazon customer, you’re probably aware that the online retailer has two seasons — Prime Day and Q4. As soon as Prime Day is over, it’s time to start preparing for the massive holiday push.

Quattlebaum explains that this is the time to start monitoring reviews for products that you already sell and those you are considering selling. This includes holiday and season items. To keep track of everything, you can use spreadsheets or hire someone to help, but you can also use a tool like FeedbackFive which offers automated product monitoring.

This is also an opportunity to optimize listings and reword product descriptions so that customers have a better idea of what to expect when they order. Stay on top of inventory management to avoid running out of stock and closely monitor your supply chain since this is a busy time for everyone.

Understand that hiccups are common during Q4. Have a plan of action for addressing problems and responding to negative feedback. Create standardized (but personal!) email templates to avoid unintentionally saying something to customers that could hurt your business. Most importantly, follow the Amazon TOS to remain compliant and avoid suspension.

When it’s all over, be sure to celebrate your success with your team! It’s okay to have a little fun after working so hard. Share the positive and learn from the negative. Then, come back even stronger next year!

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