Understanding Amazon’s New Communication Rules

Understanding and Abiding by Amazon’s New Communication Rules

Remember when you were little, you had that friend who always seemed to make up the rules as they went along? It didn’t matter if the game was going your way…, they always changed something, and new rules were introduced.

If that sounds like the life of an Amazon seller, you would be correct. You’re doing great things with your Amazon products sales and BAMM! There’s a new rule. Every time Amazon updates rules or guidelines that impact sellers, Amazon must get everyone to understand, and then comply. The good news is, Amazon has given sellers plenty of time to adjust to this new policy. Here are the details.

Amazon announced on September 8, 2020 changes to guidelines ruling how sellers may communicate with buyers. Happily, Amazon also gave us until November 3, 2020 to get used to the changes and make any changes in order to be in total compliance. So what are the changes, their impact on your business, and the consequences of not abiding by their new rules? Let’s review.

If you’re sending requests through Buyer-Seller Messaging, it’s a good idea to review the content and timing of your messages to make sure you’re in compliance with the updated guidelines. (ecomengine.com)

We’re going to throw these out here, and explain each in brief.

Sending messages that say, “Thank you” or “I’m here to help if you have problems” must include the 17-digit order ID. Amazon divides permitted messages into two types: Necessary Permitted Messages and Proactive Permitted Messages.

Proactive Permitted Messages –

Proactive Permitted Messages must be sent within 30 days of order completion. 

Proactive Permitted Messages are messages you initiate that are not responses to a buyer’s question.

Proactive Permitted Messages can be sent using Amazon’s templates via the Contact Buyer or Request a Review page in Seller Central or by using third-party applications in the Applications Store or the API.

Proactive Permitted Messages, Involve resolving an issue with order fulfillment – Requesting additional information required to complete the order – Asking a return-related question – Sending an invoice – Requesting product review and/or seller feedback – Scheduling delivery for a heavy or bulky item – Scheduling a Home Services appointment – Verifying a custom design – Any other reason where the contact is required for the buyer to receive the purchase.

Necessary Permitted Messages

Necessary Permitted Messages, Amazon defines these Permitted Messages as those communications necessary to complete an order or to respond to a customer service inquiry. 

These messages are order specific and thus can only be sent via your seller account in Amazon’s Seller Central.

Problem with Order messages: Sellers must communicate with buyers if a product ordered is not available to be shipped. (sellerlabs.com)

Whether Necessary and Proactive, DO NOT include the following content: Language that either incentivizes or persuades the buyer to submit positive product reviews or seller feedback, including by offering compensation, money, gift cards, free or discounted products, refunds, rebates or reimbursements, or future benefits. Language that requests removal or an update of an existing product review. Language that requests a product review only if they have had a positive experience with the product. External links unless they are secure working links (https, not http) necessary for order completion or links to Amazon. Attachments except for product instructions, warranty information, or invoices. Logos, if they contain or display a link to your website. Link to opt-out of messaging. Sensitive content in images or text (e.g. bare skin, violence/gore, adult/offensive language). Tracking pixels or images. Email addresses or telephone numbers. Images of purchased product(s) as Amazon includes those on your behalf. Images that do not relate to your brand or company.

Within All Permitted Messages DO NOT Include Any of These Styling Elements: Known accessibility issues as specified in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines from the Web Accessibility Initiative. Emojis. 🙁 GIFs. Message margins over 20% maximum width. Image or graphic sizes larger than 80% maximum width. Overrides of Amazon’s default line height, font family, or font color. Fonts in more than three sizes. Message bodies that are centered or otherwise override default text alignment settings. More than two line-breaks (spacing between paragraphs) in a row. Unsecure images (http instead of https). (sellerlabs.com)

Many sellers have previously interpreted these Communication Guidelines and policies as they liked, and were seeing serious trouble, including account suspensions. Failing to comply with Amazon Communication Guidelines may result in your ability to send proactive Permitted Messages being limited. Obviously, avoiding Amazon messaging restrictions is best, so if you’re worried about compliance with Amazon’s policies, think about using the Request a Review button. (ecomengine.com)

Amazon seller messaging can still be used to ask for product reviews and seller feedback! But the new Communication Guidelines make it clear that you may ask a buyer for a product review or seller feedback ONCE per purchase. (sellerlabs.com)

If you’d like to scale your business up on Amazon, or if you feel like sales have plateaued, we can help you get through. Consider taking your profitability to the next level and freeing up some of your time by giving us a call, we’d love to help! Please visit us at www.streiffmarketing.com to learn more.

The full article, “Are You Playing by Amazon’s New Communication Rules?” can be found by CLICKING HERE

About Streiff Marketing

We are a full-service Amazon Marketing Agency specializing in both Amazon Vendor Central (1P) and Amazon Seller Central (3P) services. Our expert team understands the difference between vendor central vs seller central and builds your strategy to optimize your Amazon brand storefront to maximize sales throughout the Amazon Marketplace. Our Account Management service includes everything you need to use Amazon fulfillment to succeed on Vendor Central or Seller Central, including account setup, optimization, reviews, SEO, pricing, advertising and more.