1. Understand the foundation of Amazon’s business principles
Jeff Bezos and his team at Amazon created 14 leadership principles that they have stuck by since the start. Similar to a department store consisting of several different concessions, there’s a certain standard each Amazon seller has to meet to be part of the unit.
Online sellers are expected to understand the principles by which Amazon lives in order to sell on the marketplace.
In relation to Amazon account suspension, the principles that stand out are customer obsession, ownership, relentlessly high standards and trust. They are there to help sellers understand how Amazonians communicate as a unit.
2. Take performance metrics seriously
Amazon has high expectations when it comes to meeting its performance metrics, which have been established from its core leadership principles.
Ultimately, if you can keep your performance metrics afloat, you should manage to steer clear of any suspension. But that’s easier said than done. Here are three of the top metrics to really keep an eye on:
Order defect rate: This measures your ability as an online store to provide a good customer experience. It comprises three components—A-Z guarantee claim rate, negative feedback rate, service chargeback rate over short- and long-term periods.
On-time delivery: Self-fulfilled orders that buyers received on time.
Late shipment rate: The number of self-fulfilled orders not confirmed as shipped by the expected ship date.
Once you’re logged into your Amazon account, you can review your account health board.
3. Keep an eye on your listings
As multiple sellers can offer the same product on Amazon, it’s not unheard of for a listing override to happen. This is when a detail page of one of your products displays information that you did not contribute yourself—it’s been updated by Amazon or another seller.
In other words, the image, description or title was changed by someone that also has access to your detail page. This type of change could lead to sending the wrong items to customers.
If Amazon catches wind of “missing items” or “wrong item sent” as feedback from your customers, they could temporarily suspend your account. To monitor this, online sellers must make sure to regularly audit all their ASINs. This will show Amazon that you’re in control of your online store.
In addition, certain products (anything that appears on their restricted products list) require permission from Amazon to be listed. If you discover that one of your products is prohibited, taking it off the marketplace will help you avoid temporary suspension.
4. Improve your communication
If there’s one thing you can do to prevent suspension, it’s to be communicative all throughout the process.
Firstly, if you receive Amazon policy notifications on your account, make it your mission to be responsive so that you’re still on the radar. For example, if you’re sent a reminder to view a customer complaint, make a point of reviewing it.
Not only is this important for your relationship with the Amazon policy team, but it will give you advice on products that should potentially be removed from your store.
In addition, make a point of asking your customers for feedback regularly and you will be able to provide a better experience in the long run and thus hopefully avoid getting suspended in the first place.
5. Don’t wait to be contacted by Amazon
You want to be able to identify any issues with your account and notify Amazon before it has to reach out to you. This will allow you to earn the company’s trust as a seller and show that you recognize the error you made with your account.
If you receive that suspension notification first, you should be ready to reach out to your Amazon account manager. A point of contact is paramount for when you run into trouble.
Remember, it could take up to two days for Amazon to reply once you appeal your suspension, which could be detrimental to your business.
6. Don’t reinvent the wheel
Amazon is conscious of online sellers that piggyback on generic product ideas so avoid this strategy at all costs. Piggybacking is the process of becoming an additional seller and simply jumping on the bandwagon of an original seller’s listings. The idea behind it is to avoid any lengthy setup procedure.
It’s not only Amazon keeping an eye out for this. If other sellers notice you piggybacking on their listings, they can report you as counterfeit. You may find people praising this strategy for international selling, but if you take this route, don’t be surprised when your Amazon account gets suspended.
7. Look for patterns in your account
There are a couple of indicators to look out for if you’re worried about your account being suspended.
Customer returns: Is there one particular product that getting more returns than the others? This could be a sign you need to take it off your online store.
Seller feedback: Have you failed to address recurring negative seller feedback?
Product reviews: Have customers expressed concerns about certain products that are faulty?
8. Treat Amazon as your number one customer
Remember, your number one customer is Amazon itself. There is no other platform out there that allows you to reach an audience of 300 million consumers worldwide at such a small price. Treat selling on Amazon’s marketplace as a privilege.