The Ultimate Guide to Your Amazon Account Health
Amazon Account Health is a hotly searched and discussed topic among Amazon Sellers. Account Health is often confusing for sellers and recently has experienced some changes, like the new Account Health Rating. It is essential for sellers to maintain a healthy account health rating to avoid suspension, stress and other selling issues. Many Amazon account ratings are ‘At Risk’ regularly, causing stress due to Amazon Health.
In this guide for new and old sellers, we’re explaining everything you’ll see in your Amazon Account Health dashboard so that you can tackle issues better and know when to worry or get expert help.
Amazon Account Health Dashboard
Customer Service Performance
Order Defect Rate
Order Defect Rate (ODR) is the oldest and most popular of the Amazon account health metrics as it can cause a quick suspension. The ODR is calculated as a percentage of your orders that had a defect; a negative feedback, A-Z Claim or Chargeback. This dissatisfaction rate needs to be below 1% of orders and is one of the toughest targets Amazon sets compared to other e-commerce marketplaces.
The target is 1%, but Amazon does give some leniency and may invite you to provide an explanation for the ODR above target without suspending your Amazon Seller Account. So if you check your account health page and it shows a high ODR, don’t panic, you may not get a suspension immediately. Even so, to ensure your account status remains healthy it’s important to keep an eye on the metric. Let’s take a look at the contributors towards the Order Defect Rate.
This Feedback refers to the feedback that buyers can leave for sellers. This is different from Product Reviews. You can view your ‘Feedback’ in the Performance menu. Poor feedback often affects seller fulfilled orders because they are given bad feedback for shipping issues. FBA sellers do not have this issue, because Amazon takes responsibility for the shipping and remove any feedback that sellers leave about shipping issues.
The key to avoiding this feedback is to provide great service, so that customers don’t have anything to complain about; provide great customer service, to quickly resolve any issues that do occur and finally; request removal of any feedback that violate Amazon’s policy. That is product reviews instead of the feedback being about the seller, or a feedback containing personal details or offensive language.
A-to-Z Guarantee claims
A-Z Guarantee is Amazon’s buyer protection, it means that if a buyer has any issue the seller doesn’t resolve, they can invite Amazon to review the issue and issue a refund. Some buyers can abuse this system or simply never contact the seller. You can appeal decisions if you don’t think the buyer should be refunded, but winning one of these cases does not remove the claim from your metrics. There’s no way to remove a claim once it has been made, you just need to make every effort to give no reason for a customer to complain.
Less common than the others is Chargeback claims. This is when the buyer contacts their card issuer to dispute the payment or reverse it, such as because they didn’t receive the item. These can take a long while to resolve and are hard to win, but fortunately are very rare.
Account Health Rating
The new Account health rating is a score of how safe your account is from suspension due to a build up of minor violations. A major violation can still cause immediate suspension and the Account Health Rating doesn’t include the other sections of account health, like customer service and shipping performance. Successfully fulfilled orders increase your score and violations and complaints reduce your score.
Sellers start at a score of 200/1000 which is the threshold for a healthy account. Below 100 and you are likely to get an account deactivation. This shows the importance of looking after your account health rating, since if you are suspended for a low rating the only way to sell again is to resolve all the violations causing your low rating. Let’s look briefly at the sections that make up the rating, showing how your account health stands.
Suspected Intellectual Property Violations
These violations are automatically generated by Amazon’s systems and applied to your selling account. In the most simple form, it’s checking for discrepancies between the brand name of the product and the use of trademarks elsewhere in the listing. If you are using a trademark in the title or image but that is different from the brand name, this is a ‘Suspected’ issue – since it’s not a human complaint.
These violations can be difficult to remove from your account health page, but most are fixed by deleting the listing and acknowledging the violation. It’s often very hard to edit the listing after it has been removed to resolve the issue and keep your listing active. You’ll see these violations on your Amazon account health page often if you have a large inventory.
Received Intellectual Property Violations
These are IP complaints that have been submitted to Amazon. They may be for copyright, trademark, patent, design right or other issues. You normally receive a performance notification with the details of this policy violation including the contact details of the rights owner that made the complaint.
Sometimes these are genuine complaints, sellers make mistakes and can run into issues that ultimately can cause the removal of selling privileges. However, Amazon does not check these complaints, so the system is often abused by competitors and you will receive a rights owner complaint that is from a random person that does not own any of the IP. These can be tricky to fix in some situations if you can’t provide some documents to prove you are permitted to use the IP in question.
These are serious violations and you don’t want higher severity repeat violations, so it’s essential to be careful when listing and prompt to fix and violations that arise. Check infringement related policies if you are unsure what you can and can’t sell on Amazon.
Product Authenticity Customer Complaints
This type of complaint means that someone has complained the item they received from you is counterfeit. You need to provide an invoice and evidence of supply chain to show that you have an authentic item. Amazon may verify your supplier through research or calling them. If you sell inauthentic products this can lead to account suspension. Ensure your invoices contain all the information Amazon request and submit via your seller account.
Product Condition Customer Complaints
These are complaints about the condition of items, often damaged or expired. You usually need to submit a plan of action to explain why the customer received the item in this condition, how you have fixed the issue, and what you are doing to stop it from happening again. Sometimes an invoice for the product or images of your stock is helpful to show you do have the correct condition product. These are not as serious as some of the other violations, but are still important to address.
Food and Product Safety Issues
This covers product recalls and general safety concerns. Sometimes it’s hard to work out the reason Amazon has removed the product, but it generally links to a customer complaint, even if not about an order you supplied. Generally Amazon will request some certification or product testing to show your item is safe. For own brands, this may be worthwhile, but for resellers it’s very hard to do. It’s common to have outstanding policy violations in this category if you cannot supplier the necessary documents.
Listing Policy Violations
These relate to listing policy and are straight forward. With the number of measures Amazon has in place to manage the listing process, these are not very common as it’s hard to list something and violate the listing policy. You should successfully address these by editing the listing and following the guidance found in seller central.
Restricted Product Policy Violations
These are listings with policy violations of Amazon’s restricted product policy, which is a vast list of products, categories and ingredients or components that are not allowed to be sold. Unfortunately, there’s no full list of what’s allowed and so it is easy to accidentally list a restricted item.
In most cases, you just need to delete the listing and accept the violation in your seller account. If you think your product does not apply to restricted product policy, you can write an appeal to explain why. It’s important to resolve these violations promptly to avoid any issues as some of these can contribute to your account heath rating.
This section covers everything related to shipping and is only relevant for sellers fulfilling orders themselves. FBA-only sellers will not need to pay attention to these metrics. These are the 3 on the main page, but there are other options to view on-time delivery rate for tracked orders.
Late Shipment Rate
After you receive an order you have a set window to dispatch the order, usually 1 or 2 days. If you do not mark in Amazon Seller Central that you sent the order by the expected ship date, you will receive a defect on this rate.
You need to maintain a rate below 4% to avoid a suspension. It’s important sellers maintain this rate by having capacity to ship orders and providing the shipping confirmation. You can use order management software to improve this process and to help prepare orders faster.
Pre-Fulfillment Cancellation Rate
Cancellation rate is important and needs to be kept to a minimum. There should be no reason to cancel an order, but in the small number of times this may happen, such as you have only 1 unit in stock and it’s discovered to be damaged when you go to pack it, then it needs to be below 1.5% of total orders. You need to cancel the order before issuing shipping confirmation posted, so if you are using a order management software that confirms the order when you print the label, you may not be able to cancel.
Valid Tracking Rate
Valid tracking rate means that for orders you sent tracked, how many packages had a working tracking number. This stops fake numbers and shipments. The order needs to arrive by the estimated delivery date and have a valid tracking number, if you’re offering a tracked delivery service.
Third party sellers can also qualify for a Prime seller fulfilled orders badge if you maintain very good metrics and then you have to use a tracked service for delivery, offering next business day delivery. Your on time delivery rate will also be important for this.
Speak to an Account Health Specialist
This feature allows you to speak to dedicated account health specialists at Amazon. Sometimes you receive a notification that your seller central account called and it’s this account health specialist team that will call you. This team is different from seller performance and they have limited access to information to help you in complex cases.
However, they are more specialised than seller support and can be a useful resource to support sellers if you are unsure about what something means or what you need to do. If you are selling in other worldwide stores than your own, then remember the time zones may mean the team isn’t available in your normal working day.
Account Health Assurance
This is Amazon’s latest addition to account health and can help prevent account suspension based on policy violation issues. Account health based metrics and accumulated policy violations can be the determining factor causing a suspension. This assurance means that Amazon will work with you to resolve the issue that would cause a suspension, before they suspend you. This is only available to sellers that maintain a AHR of 250+ for 180 days and have a valid phone number on their account.
Our services here at Seller Assurance can help you with all the issues discussed here and can help you to attain the Account Health Assurance that will prevent you being suspended if you run into trouble.
There’s many other metrics to be aware of, especially for FBA which hasn’t been covered here, check out other posts for information on Amazon business invoicing policy and Amazon business customers, negative return feedback rate and invoice defect rate. As you can see, there’s lots of policy and metrics you need to be working hard to maintain, not to mention the documents for tax and accounting purposes, knowledge of applicable laws etc. It’s hard work to be a sellers.
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