11
Nov

Letter to Amazon Seller from Amazon Seller Support VP

Dear Seller,

As one of Amazon’s top sellers, you were recently invited to participate in a Seller Central poll that asked: “What do you want Amazon Seller Leadership to know today?” Thanks to all who participated, we received 228 responses from 164 unique sellers across 46 topics. Here are the top 5 most common requests we received:

1. Give sellers an option for dedicated account management
2. Improve FBA warehouse processes, specifically to reduce the time to receive inventory and reconcile inventory inaccuracies
3. Various requests to improve the FBA experience:
a. Provide lower FBA fees for large sellers
b. Inspect product condition for all customer returns
4. Improve Detail Page control policies to prevent incorrect contributions
5. Provide information on Amazon Retail pricing and selection

Our Seller Leadership carefully reviewed all of the feedback provided, and we wanted to share our responses to these 5 requests:

1. Give each seller an option for dedicated account management
Plan: Based upon your feedback, we will experiment with a subscription-based dedicated account management service for sellers starting next month. We will invite a small group of sellers to participate in a pilot of this service and, depending upon the results, will look to expand the service more broadly in 2016. Some of the anticipated features of this service will include access to dedicated teams of technical and business advisors that will be able to advise on account health and provide suggestions for selection expansion, offer competitiveness, and traffic growth opportunities. Additionally, our global experts will be available to support participating sellers with expanding their businesses internationally.

2. Improve FBA warehouse processes, specifically to reduce the time to receive inventory and reconcile inventory inaccuracies
Plan: We have invested in technology to receive your inventory faster and more accurately. For example, we have developed an automated system to receive inventory that consumes inbound shipment information and allows for receipt of the shipment without opening the box. To take full advantage of this technology, we need you to provide details about the items in each carton you send us. Today, you can provide us with the contents of your boxes (including ASINs, quantities, and expiration dates, if applicable) using any of the following methods:

  • Downloading a template that you can fill out and upload to Seller Central
  • Uploading an XML file via Amazon Marketplace Web Services (MWS)

Sellers that provide this information see their products received into inventory 7 times faster, and we will launch additional tools this year and next year to make the process of providing carton-level information easier. In 2016, providing this information will become mandatory. To encourage you to make the transition this year, we announced a promotion in Q3 where you can earn a $0.04 credit, up to $5,000, that can be applied to future Pick & Pack FBA fees.

3. Various requests to improve the FBA Experience
a. Provide lower FBA pricing for large sellers

Plan: We believe in offering the same fees for FBA services to all sellers to maintain a fair marketplace. By offering low fees to all sellers we give all sellers the opportunity to deliver the lowest possible prices to customers. When we considered our base fees, we elected to include only   those services that all sellers require. We then built in à la carte services, such as labeling and polybagging, so that sellers can customize additional services to fit their business needs.

b. Inspect product condition for all customer returns

Plan: We agree that there is opportunity to improve the process by enabling sellers to inspect certain returned FBA products before we place the item as sellable. In 2016, we will enable a customized grading solution that will allow you to mark your enrolled ASINs as unsellable upon customer return. This will enable you to remove the item from FBA upon customer return, and inspect the condition of the product prior to re-inbounding and relisting the item as Sellable.

4. Improve Detail Page control policies to prevent incorrect contributions
Plan: We agree there is an opportunity to ensure quality and accuracy of contributions to detail pages. We want the best detail pages for our customers and sellers, and based on your feedback have identified 3 root cause issues: (1) We should have more validation to enforce consistency across parent and child ASINs in a variation family, (2) A variation family permits multiple children for a given set of dimension values, but the Detail Page only allows one to be shown, and (3) Generic, counterfeit, or materially different products are listed against branded ASINs at discounted prices. We have taken steps to address each of these root cause issues:

  1. In August, we launched additional brand consistency checks for variation listing submissions. An average of 32,000 daily submissions are now being rejected due to inconsistent brand information. In 2016, the scope of our brand consistency checks will be expanded to ensure that all family members within a variation family have the same brand name.
  2. In September, we introduced an improvement that eliminated one of the ways multiple child ASINs can be created for a specific set of variation dimension values. We are introducing more improvements to correct other gaps by the end of the year. For the existing ASINs that are hidden from the Detail Page due to having the same set of dimension values, in October we started using technology to detect the hidden ASINs and automatically or manually correct the variations to make those ASINs buyable.
  3. In December, we will launch a set of predictive models that will help us detect materially different product risks before getting a seller or customer complaint. We are also adding additional monitoring and protection for high risk detail pages, and we are launching “fast lanes” for brand owners to easily report suspected materially different or counterfeit products directly to Amazon’s investigation team.

5. Provide information on Amazon Retail pricing and selection
Plan: While we understand you want as much data as possible regarding pricing and selection, we will not be providing more insight into Amazon Retail pricing and selection. We believe that all sellers should have the opportunity to match or exceed the buying experience offered by the best seller. Once a listing is active on Amazon, we provide a number of tools and features to help sellers be competitive on Amazon, such as our Match Low Price feature and Selling Coach notifications. We will continue to innovate on behalf of sellers in this area.
Again, thank you for your candid responses. We value your feedback and are excited to continue to improve the selling experience on Amazon. We will be asking for your feedback again in the coming weeks, so please keep an eye out for it and start thinking about what you’d like Seller Leadership to know about your experience selling on Amazon.

Best regards,
scott
Scott Kubicki
Vice President
Amazon Seller Support