On the build up to Christmas, Amazon release some Christmas selling tips.
You may have noticed them in your selling account, but in case you have missed them, or not appreciated the significance of them to you I have put together some thoughts on the nine tips below…
Nine Amazon Christmas selling tips
Christmas Selling Tip 1: Consider Relisting Popular Out-of-Stock Products
If you are a Pro Merchant seller you will know that we notify sellers by email when a significant number of potential buyers are looking for a product you once sold on Amazon.
If you receive one of these “popular out-of-stock notifications”, we encourage you to take advantage of the recent customer interest in the product and offer it again for the festive season.
If as a Pro Merchant you are sent emails regarding out-of-stock products, you could do some research to see where you can find products that already have a ‘hungry’ market,
Christmas Selling Tip 2: Offer Expedited Shipping
At this time of year many Customer like to receive items quickly and you may like to offer the speedier service: expedited shipping…
Speedy delivery is especially important to your customers during the festive season. By offering expedited shipping, you are showing that you care about customer satisfaction.
Sellers who offer a next-day and two-day delivery service can increase the number of orders they receive, as they’re giving buyers a couple of extra days to order their items in time to arrive for Christmas.
There are pros and cons to offering expedited shipping.
In the main you have to be able to post within two business days, and the item should arrive on the next working day after posting.
You can make extra money with this service compared to normal postage credits, even after posting using 1st class recorded. Worth considering if you are able to post out quickly.
Christmas Selling Tip 3: How to Avoid A-to-Z Guarantee Claims
For most sellers, A-to-Z Guarantee claims and service chargebacks are a rare occurrence. When they do occur, make sure you take action promptly to resolve them.
To avoid possible claims, follow these simple guidelines:
- Describe your products accurately and provide clear images.
- Manage your deliveries with care.
- Quickly cancel orders of out-of-stock products.
- Manage returns and refunds proactively.
Whilst A-Zs are quite rare, some customers just do not respond to email you send in reply to ‘where’s my item?’. In nearly every case, Amazon will automatically issue a refund to a customer who goes through this process.
Christmas Selling Tip 4: Automate Your Return Requests
Expedite the returns process by automating your return requests. Buyers will immediately receive a Return Merchandise Authorisation (RMA) number and a Return Mailing Label (RML) instead of waiting for you to authorise each individual request.
You can also include custom return instructions to provide buyers with more clarity on your returns process. You will still be required to issue refunds for returned products. Automating return requests does not automate refunds.
Be careful with returns: you are able to issue a returns label and opt to pay postage return costs. If the customer just wants to return an item for no particular reason, you are not obliged to pay for postage, just send a label with your address. The customer pays for postage.
If the return is due to your error, you will likely be expected to issue a prepaid label.
Christmas Selling Tip 5: Getting Buyer Feedback
Buyers can leave feedback for up to 90 days after the transaction. Once a buyer has left feedback, it cannot be edited, but the buyer can remove it for up to 60 days.
We encourage sellers to contact buyers about leaving and removing feedback. Remember that ultimately it’s the buyer’s decision whether they’ll give you feedback and what kind of feedback to give.
Use the Feedback Manager in your account to contact buyers about feedback. You can also use the Feedback Manager to leave a response on your own Seller Profile to feedback buyers have left for you.
The more sales you make, the more feedback you should receive. Most feedback is good, but on occasion, no matter what you do, you may receive a bad comment.
If a comment violates Amazon’s feedback rules, Amazon will remove it. Unfortunately most feedback will not be removed from your ratings. If you need assistance on this issue, go to your ‘help’ section on your seller account.
Christmas Selling Tip 6: Getting Paid
The buyer has received the order you dispatched and is happy with the products and buyer experience. The only thing left to happen is for you to get paid.
The most important bit! You will want to ensure you get paid so make sure all bank details are correct.
I have nothing to add to this tip.
Christmas Selling Tip 7: Give Great Customer Service
Sellers who give great customer service can see the results in good feedback and repeat sales. Bear in mind that customers expect the same level of customer service from sellers as they receive from Amazon.
Here are some best practices to help you obtain good feedback:
- Fulfil all orders within the promised lead time and dispatch exactly what you listed for sale.
- Respond to customer enquiries within 24 hours. Good communication with buyers promotes good feedback.
- Clearly explain your shipping processes, your returns and refunds policies, and all other relevant information. Seller return policies on Amazon.co.uk must be at least as favourable as the current Amazon refund policies.
- Stay helpful, calm and professional when dealing with buyer requests for information, returns or refunds.
It is always good to offer the best customer service you can at any time of year.
I always reply to any email within a few hours – if I can, in fact, it’s often straight away as soon as I notice them. Feedback is so important and often issues can be resolved just by a speedy response to queries, before adverse feedback is left.
Christmas Selling Tip 8: Consider Using FBA
The festive season is a busy time for sellers, and a good time to consider using Fulfilment by Amazon. Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is an Amazon service that enables sellers to store inventory and fulfil orders from an Amazon fulfilment centre. Reduce your stress this year – let Amazon pick, pack and deliver your items to buyers.
As an FBA seller myself I know I benefit from increased sales. These are sales I would not have received if I were selling as a Merchant Seller, as people often purchase many products at one time and if they buy from a FBA seller they can add these goods to their ‘basket’ and pay in one go, once they have completed their buying.
Another great thing about FBA, at any time of year, but especially at this busy time of year, is not to have to go to the very busy Post Office to post my orders.
Christmas Selling Tip 9: Gift Services and New Order Reports
You can now offer customers gift-wrap and a gift message on a per-item basis for non-media orders. You can specify up to four gift-wrap styles and prices, and allow customers to enter a message to accompany their gift.
When a customer orders a gift, you will see gift information on the “Order Details” page, and in a new order report called “Order Report (With Gift Information)”.
If you use order reports to fulfill orders and want to enable gift services, you must first be ready to use the new order report format that includes extra information required to fulfill gift orders. If you use Batch Adjustments (Refunds) files, there is also a new version of that file you will need to use to refund gift amounts.
Some advantages of FBA include gift messages and buyers paying Amazon to gift-wrap and send items direct to their friend or family.
To benefit from this service, buyers will often purchase my product because it is sold using FBA. Sometimes buyers will pay several pounds more so they can use their Prime account (Amazon’s next-day delivery service).
That’s it for the nine Christmas selling tips from Amazon!
This article first appeared on Book Seller Profits. Read more and comment here