Amazon Buyer Seller Messages: An Overview And What The New Update Means For Sellers

Amazon Buyer Seller Messages is an internal messaging system that allows sellers to communicate with those that bought products from them through email.

For sellers that use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), Amazon Buyer Seller Messages can be used to reply to buyers with regards to questions about the seller’s products. In order to use the system, it must be enabled.

Benefits Of Using The Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Service

Amazon Buyer Seller Messages

The main benefit of using the Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Service is the ease of communication between seller and customer.

  • It masks private emails through encryption to provide security and privacy for both seller and customer
  • Both buyers and sellers can also view sent and received emails from email systems like Gmail, Outlook etc
  • With a faster and easier communication between sellers and buyers, claims and disputes are resolved more quickly
  • With Amazon being able to access correspondence between seller and buyer, Amazon can easily ascertain the best and quickest way to resolve disputes and claims

If you are going on a vacation, or won’t be able to check your Buyer Seller Messages, you can opt to list the service as “Inactive”. Doing so will not deactivate the service. Keep in mind though that “Contact Response Time Expectations” will still be at play for buyers that have already bought your products prior to you being away.

To learn more about Contact Response Time and how it can affect your customer rating satisfaction as a seller, I suggest you read up about Amazon’s Contact Response Time Metrics,

How To Use The Amazon Buyer Seller Message System (For FBA users)

The first step is to enable your Buyer Seller Messages system. You can do this by;

  • Going to the drop down menu of your “Settings” and select Fulfillment by Amazon
  • Click the “Edit” button under “Product Support”
  • Click “Enable”, then click “Update”

How to respond to a buyer email

Conversations between buyers and sellers through the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service are facilitated by encrypting the email addresses of both sellers and buyers. Emails are sent to sellers via an encrypted alias that looks like [email protected]

If you want to respond to a buyer email, you can do so by using either your personal or business email. Just use the encrypted email of the buyer, answer his/her query, and send it like you would any normal email.

Your message will then go through Amazon’s email system and will be visible on the “Sent messages” section of your Buyer-Seller Messages page.

Each and every email that goes through the Buyer-Seller Messaging Service is recorded by Amazon.

How to contact a buyer

Amazon allows sellers to contact an Amazon user that has bough something of them, or to address a product inquiry.

Having said that though, you cannot send buyers an email that pertains to promotional or marketing purposes.

If you want to send an email to a buyer through the Buyer-Seller Messaging system, said email must NOT include:

  • Website link
  • Any logo that links to a website
  • Any promotional or marketing material/message
  • Any referral to third party products or promotions
  • Any promotions for additional products or referrals to third-party products or promotions

To contact a buyer using your seller account, you need to:

  • Click on “Manage Orders” and look for the order that is associated with the buyer you wish to contact
  • Click the buyer’s name using “Contact Buyer”. This will take you to another page where you can insert/write your message
  • Once done, click “Submit”

To contact a buyer via your personal or business e-mail, you need to:

  • Click on Manage Orders and look for the order that is associated with the buyer you wish to contact
  • Click the buyer’s name using “Contact Buyer”. You will be given an encrypted email address
  • Copy the address to the “To” field of your email
  • Create your message and send

The e-mail will pass through the Amazon messaging service on the way to the buyer. The buyer will not be able to see your personal or business e-mail address.

The email you sent will first pass through Amazon’s messaging system before it reaches the buyer.

Using attachments

You can send one or more attachments to a buyer. You can also receive attachments from buyers. Attachments are indicated by a paper clip icon to the right of the Subject field in Buyer-Seller Messages. The total allowed attachment size is 10MB.

Amazon allows sellers to send attachments when sending a buyer an email though the Buyer-Seller Messaging system, and vice versa. The limit for each attachment is at 10MB.

Supported formats are as follow:

  • Text files (.txt)
  • PDFs (Adobe Portable Document Format)
  • Word documents (.doc and .docx)
  • Image files (.jpg, .gif, .tiff, .bmp, and .png)

When sending attachments, make sure that they are in accordance with the guidelines I have mentioned above as Amazon remove any attachment that it perceives as inappropriate or violates its Buyer-Seller Messaging guidelines.

“IMPORTANT UPDATE” For Amazon Buyer Seller Messages

Recently, Amazon made yet another change. Buyers can now opt out of seller feedback.

Amazon has recently made an update for their Amazon Buyer Seller Messages system. The update now allows buyers to opt out of the system.

Sellers trying to contact buyers that opted out of the Buyer Seller Messaging system will get an email from Amazon that looks like this.

“Dear Seller,

We were unable to deliver the message you sent for order [002-xxxxxxx-1234567] because the buyer has chosen to opt out of receiving unsolicited messages from sellers.

However, even if a buyer has opted out of unsolicited messages, if you need to send them a message critical to completing his or her order, you can do it using Buyer-Seller Messaging:

  • Go to Manage Orders.
  • Click the buyer’s name in the list, which will take you to Buyer-Seller Messaging.
  • Select “Additional Information Required” as your subject, write your message, and click Send
  • If you tried to respond to a buyer and received a message that the buyer has opted out of unsolicited seller messages, please respond to the buyer on the original message thread (instead of starting a new thread) and make sure that his or her original message is included in your reply.

For your reference, the following messages are considered “critical” to complete the order:

  • Product customization questions
  • Delivery scheduling
  • Issues with a shipping address

The following messages are “not critical” to complete the order:

  • Requests for seller feedback or customer reviews
  • Order, shipment, or delivery confirmations
  • Proactive customer service (for example: product manuals, tips for using the product, FAQs, suggestions if something goes wrong)
  • Out-of-stock or delay notifications and offers of alternate products (please cancel the order instead)

Please don’t send messages to opted-out buyers for correspondence that isn’t critical to completing the order. Repeated violations of this policy may result in enforcement actions or loss of selling privileges.

Learn more about Buyer-Seller Messaging and what messages are considered critical to completing orders.

Sincerely,

Amazon Seller Support”

Don’t worry, it’s not the end

Yes, there is a huge possibility that buyers that have opted out has also been automatically unsubscribed from receiving Seller Feedback emails. And though this is a huge speed bump for sellers, it’s not as gloomy as you think.

First, the opt out option is….an “option”. So until a buyer chooses to opt out, you can still contacting him/her through email. Second, you can still send messages that are deemed “critical” in completing an order within Seller Central.

All you need to do is:

  • Go through your “Manual Orders”
  • Click the name of the buyer. This will take you to the Buyer Seller Messaging system
  • Use “Additional Information Required” as the subject for your email
  • Write your email and send

Warning: Though this process will get you in touch with a buyer, regardless if he/she has opted out or not, this is by no means a loophole and must only be used for emails that are deemed critical. Remember that this will go through Amazon’s system. And using it incorrectly might get your seller account in trouble.

The best course of action

Well the best course of action is to try and protect your customers have not yet opted out.

Yes, I understand that you don’t have control as to how other sellers deal with them. But the thing is, it’s better to do you part rather than just throw down the towel.

Think of it this way, if you practice excellent customer service, then your return clients would think twice of opting out, regardless of their experience with other sellers, as doing so will also be an inconvenience to them.

So you need to:

  • Cut down your normal email sequence from 3 to 2
  • Improve your initial email and make sure that you put in as much useful information about the product as you can to improve their buying experience
  • On your first email, give your customer a “hint” that you are asking a feedback. Again, I said “HINT” and not a straight up feedback request. Do this right and you might just get them to give you one
  • Use your second email to again ask if they are satisfied with the product and indirectly ask for a feedback. But be discreet in doing this and, DO NOT, hardsell
  • Ask yourself if you are providing customers with quality products and good customer service
  • Never ask for a 5 star review or offer any incentive as this could get your seller account in trouble. Let your product speak for itself
  • List down buyers from whom you have received messages like the one above earlier. The reason is that they already opted out, and sending them email might just get you a not so favorable review from them

Conclusion

Though this update is a big blow on sellers, as well us companies that provide Amazon Feedback Tools, we need to understand what the purpose of the update is. And that is to further protect customers.

We all know that Amazon’s main goal is to provide its customers with the best online retail experience possible. And with Amazon being one of the top online retail platforms, it is but natural for them to look out for their best interest.

As for all of us, well we just need to ride the wave and continue to do what we can to adapt to whatever curveball Amazon throws at us.

Remember, at the end of the day, retail is all about providing products that consumers need and will enjoy.

So, what do you think of this update? Do you think this will have a huge impact in getting needed customer feedback? Do you think many users will use the option?

I would love to hear your thoughts about this. And if you have anything add, feel free to share it at the comment section below.

As always, have a great day and see you next time.