5 Mistakes New Sellers Make on Amazon

When you are new in the game, it’s easy to get your fingers burned. When Søren Kipling’s former company, Eshoes, first launched on Amazon in 2012, more things went wrong than right. However, these early mistakes served as valuable experiences which are now being passed on to you.

5 Mistakes New Sellers Make on Amazon

  • Order Defect Rate
  • Cancellation Rate
  • Late Shipment Rate
  • Return Dissatisfaction Rate
  • Contact Response Time

Order Defect Rate (ODR)

ODR is a key indicator which is calculated based on your A-to-Z claims, negative feedback and returned payments. In other words, a concoction of customer satisfaction measurements.

  • A-to-Z claim = An Amazon Guarantee that customers will receive a refund if their orders are delayed or unsatisfactory.
  • Negative Feedback = Customers can leave a review of their shopping experience and orders. This review is public for future customers to see.
  • Returned payments: Customers can request a refund if their order is delayed or unsatisfactory.

ODRs are primarily based on A-to-Z claims and negative feedback, which is why we recommend you carefully read all A-to-Z claims and negative reviews to identify the root cause of any problem. Is it order delays, cancellations, poor communication, or perhaps unrealistic expectations? If it is a recurring problem, you ought to fix it as soon as possible as negative reviews can impact your sales and ultimately lead to your account getting shut down. Amazon recommends that you keep your ODR below 1%.

When customer feedback contains strong language, personal information or relates to an issue with an FBA product, you should contact Amazon to edit the feedback so it doesn’t hurt your ODR.

Cancellation Rate

As a seller, you should avoid canceling orders as this can affect your Account Health, and ultimately lead to your account getting shut down. Experience tells us that it doesn’t matter if it’s a delivery company messing up the order. Amazon only cares about the order being canceled or delayed – no matter the reason. Make sure to keep your CR under 2.5%.

Late Shipment Rate

Late shipments are defined as all orders with a shipment confirmation after the expected shipment date. It is important that you, as the seller, ship out orders before the agreed shipment date. You want to keep your LSR under 4% as late shipments can lead to more A-to-Z claims, negative feedback and ultimately your account getting shut down.

The conclusion could be simply to postpone the expected shipping date for your products, but since you are competing against other suppliers, the consequence will be that you lose your buy box position and thereby the sale to your competitors.

Return Dissatisfaction Rate

Amazon cares about customers’ experience throughout the whole shopping process including returns. The RDR is a measurement of customer satisfaction during the return process. The measurement is made up of:

  • “Negative Return Feedback”: when a return claim receives negative feedback from the customer.
  • “Late Response Rate”: when the customer hasn’t received a response within 48 hours.
  • “Invalid rejection frequency”; accidental order rejections.

There are currently no direct consequences of a high RDC in the same way as ex. a Late Shipment Rate. However, you will experience indirect consequences in the form of an increased chance of bad reviews and A-to-Z claims.

Contact Response Time

A clear difference between Amazon and all other platforms is the demand for quick response times. In order for Amazon to deliver the best customer experience, they require all sellers to respond to customers within 24 hours. This rule applies to everyone, on all days of the year (including Christmas eve) which Eshoes had to learn the hard way. A high Late Response Rate can result in your account getting shut down and hurt future sales, which is why we recommend you live up to the 24-hour rule.

In sum, if you want to sell your products on Amazon, you should take it seriously from day one. The demands are not insignificant, and there is little room for errors. However, if you do it right, the rewards will be worth it.

If you want to avoid the hassle of dealing with these requirements, we recommend you sell through Amazon FBA. This means that Amazon is responsible for packing, shipping, and all logistics associated with orders.

To get an explanation for commonly used Amazon terms, visit our dictionary here