As one of the top online marketplaces in the world, Amazon generated total net sales of about $127.1 billion in the third quarter of 2022, compared to $113 billion in the same quarter of 2021. Today, Amazon is home to almost every e-commerce category and hosts millions of third-party sellers.
The success of this e-commerce platform has inspired most business owners to try their luck. If you are new to Amazon, you must take care of several e-store operations like listing creation, order fulfillment, Amazon marketplace management, advertising, customer support, and keeping up with sales. Juggling all these tasks makes it easy to make costly mistakes.
As an Amazon seller, it’s your responsibility to ensure that all processes are seamless. So, what mistakes will cost you customers? This article will examine the top 8 mistakes you should avoid when selling on Amazon.
8 mistakes that will lose you Amazon customers
Amazon is considered one of the most valuable brands in the world. As a strong brand, it influences purchasing decisions and helps businesses attract clients. However, if you slip, you could lose your customers
Incorrect Amazon product listing
The Amazon product listing is a sales copy meant to appeal to customers. Amazon is quite competitive; therefore, you’ll need more than a generic description and several photos to reach customers. You need high-quality, professional non-pixelated images, an optimized description, and a list of the features and benefits.
When consumers open your product page, they read the description making a purchasing decision. Because of this, you need to ensure that the product descriptions are correct. For instance, if you are selling house electronics and include features that don’t come with the item, this could be misleading. If a customer is looking for black shoes or a black handbag, the listing should include these details and match the actual item.
If your listing is incorrect, you’ll lose the customer’s trust. You’ll also not reap the benefits of repeat purchases. Additionally, this will push your customers to switch to your competitors since they are more trustworthy.
Poor customer service
According to statistics, 61% of customers have switched to a competitor after receiving a bad customer service experience. If you offer bad customer service on Amazon, this leads to bad reviews, negatively affecting your listing and eroding trust with new customers. The marketplace has a support policy that sellers should respond to customers within 24 hours.
Some of the things that can cause you to lose customers include slow or no response to queries, no support services on holidays and weekends, poor follow-ups, and failing to pay attention to customer ratings and feedback. Your responsibility is to address customer issues as soon as they arise to avoid losing customers.
To shorten your response time, you can, for instance, prepare a list of FAQs and add them to your Amazon listing and address questions in the “Consumer Questions & Answers” section.
Selling in an oversaturated niche
Before you start selling any products on Amazon, ensure that you conduct product research. The marketplace is oversaturated; therefore, you should find ways to differentiate your products from the competitors in the same niche.
For instance, keeping up with existing businesses in the same niche might be challenging if you are new to Amazon. The other store has a history on the platform, more positive reviews, and a solid customer base. Therefore, recreating their product will not help you keep customers. You need to create a differentiated product to attract and retain customers.
One of the ways to stand out is by branding your products on Amazon. Sellers are constantly looking for visibility in the marketplace and branding your products makes them unique, builds customer loyalty, boosts related purchases, and allows you to charge a premium.
For instance, you can brand your business by choosing a suitable brand name and personalizing the packaging of your orders with design elements that represent the brand’s personality. You might get more orders if your brand is recognizable.
Expensive shipping options
Most online shoppers use Amazon because they are looking for reliable, fast, and affordable shipping. However, if your shipping costs are too high, this could turn off the buyers. For instance, if a customer had ordered clothes or shoes from your online store and paid higher shipping costs than expected, they might not shop from you again.
Additionally, high shipping costs could lead to abandoned shopping carts. Control the shipping costs to boost your sales and level of customer satisfaction. You can also preserve your profit margins by sharing the cost with the customer. Alternatively, you could free shipping to customers when they buy goods worth a certain amount to encourage them to make bulky orders.
To avoid these situations, calculate your margins with shipping costs in mind before you start selling. Figure out the base selling cost for your products to make a profit, and then reduce shipping as much as possible. To get the best delivery rates, you can source quotations from different logistics firms and pick a shipping company that suits your business and keeps your customers happy.
Failure to fulfill orders on time
Amazon customers like it when their orders are delivered on time. Most of them might choose to purchase products with a delivery timeline of 1-2 days. Therefore, if you are looking to get more prospective buyers, consider a fast shipping option. Apart from fast shipments, customers will stay loyal to your brand if their orders arrive on time.
For instance, if a customer orders an item with a 1-day delivery timeline, they will be disappointed if the product arrives 2 days later. They might also leave negative reviews on your page and switch to another Amazon store to get better services.
To stay ahead of your competition, you need a streamlined eCommerce fulfillment system to ensure orders are not late. A well-defined system allows customers to monitor the shipment and ensure that the order arrives within the timeline. This way, you can impress more buyers and retain customers.
Poor inventory management
As an Amazon seller, you should never run out of stock. Sometimes, sellers underestimate how much stock they need and end up selling out. When this happens, the store will lose sales, and customers will switch to a more dependable seller.
Whether you are selling one or ten items, you must carefully track all your products to ensure that you have enough items to meet customer demand. For instance, during the peak seasons like Black Friday or Christmas, you should plan and order enough inventory before the holidays start to ensure that you are properly stocked.
To boost your operations, you should consider outsourcing inventory management services. Once you improve your inventory management process, you’ll reduce the chance of backorders and stockouts.
If you are struggling to track your inventory level, invest in inventory management software. This software will keep you well informed of the stock units available in your inventory and ensure that you restock in time to maintain the brand’s listings rank and customer base.
Paying or asking for reviews
Online reviews are essential for Amazon sellers because they help customers make purchasing decisions. Customers will be more drawn to a product if your brand has positive reviews. However, it’s against Amazon policies to ask for reviews explicitly from your customers, friends, and families. The company advocates for customers to leave authentic reviews without any persuasion from the seller.
Sellers should also not offer incentives and discounts in return for reviews. Therefore, if you are caught using these black-hat methods to get reviews, you could lose your Amazon account and, in turn, the customer base.
Poor product return process
Statistics show that 30% of products ordered online are returned. Customers return items because they are damaged, the item received looks different, or it’s the wrong item. Product returns happen to all types of stores, whether you are new in the business or a veteran. However, your product return process is one of the most important things to the customer.
For instance, if you sent the customer a black dress, yet they ordered a white one; they’ll send it back to get the correct order. You need to provide an efficient product return process to keep the customers loyal to your business. To make this possible, ensure that you have a system to initiate returns, a defined return period, and reliable communication channels for the customer to reach out.
There are more than two million third-party sellers on the Amazon marketplace. As the number of sellers continues to increase, it’s becoming more critical to differentiate the products in your online store. You can achieve this by working on your branding and product packaging to make your brand easily identifiable to customers. Avoid losing customers by constantly innovating and paying attention to your customer service, product listing, and order fulfillment process. A customer-centric approach will go a long way in keeping clients loyal to your business.
PJ has a background in management consulting and software development. At DesignBro, he combines both. Personal favorite brand of PJ is Jeep.