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Amazon’s New Communication Guidelines for Buyer-Seller Messaging

Nov 13, 2020 1:54:50 PM

Amazon Communication Guidelines

Sellers must use Amazon’s Buyer-Seller messaging portal located within Seller Central to contact customers. However, Amazon constantly updates their policies on how and when sellers can contact buyers, and even, what they’re allowed to include in the messages. It’s important to stay up to date on these communication guidelines and review policies because if Amazon finds you have broken them, they can easily suspend your selling account—which is something no one wants to deal with.

That’s why we broke down their latest Communication Guideline changes and what they mean for Amazon sellers who regularly interact with customers.


Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Updates

Amazon announced that these changes have been put into effect for all sellers beginning on November 6, 2020. If you haven’t yet updated your messaging to reflect the following updates, just be sure to make them as soon as possible to avoid any issues now or later with Amazon.

According to the new guidelines, messages are NOT permitted to include any of the following:

  • GIFs, Images, or Emojis (including emoticons)
  • Messages that say only “Thank you” for their order, or that you are here to help
  • External links outside of Amazon
  • Message margins over 20% max width
  • Language that encourages customers to divert negative seller feedback and product reviews to the buyer
  • Language that incentivizes positive seller feedback and product reviews to the seller feedback and product listing page
  • Messages asking for negative feedback to be updated or removed
  • Message bodies that are centered or otherwise override default text elements
  • More than two line breaks between paragraphs

The above bullets highlight the most recent changes, but to see all messaging policies, read the full document listing Amazon’s Latest Communication Guidelines here (also linked to via Seller Central).


Other recent changes that could affect your messaging

Amazon is now also limiting sellers to one post-purchase email per order, per customer. Just this year they started sending order confirmation and tracking delivery emails directly from Amazon, which is why they are prohibiting sellers from sending it themselves.

To avoid being marked as spam, or risk account suspension, make sure you have only one email going out to your customers. And if you decide to request seller feedback or product reviews in this email, make sure you use neutral language so as to not violate the communication guidelines. For example, you are NOT allowed to say: “Please let us know if you have an issue with your order and we will take care of that for you. If you have no issues, please make sure to leave an honest review using this link.” Instead, you CAN say: “Please provide us with your honest thoughts using this link.”


Why is Amazon making these changes?

With these changes in place, the ecommerce giant has made it perfectly clear they want you to avoid using customer communication for marketing purposes, or to direct customers to a website that is not affiliated with Amazon.

Additionally, Amazon has updated these messaging guidelines to encourage sellers to utilize the “Request a Review” tool within Seller Central. This tool allows sellers to contact customers using Amazon’s prebuilt, already-approved template. For brands and third-party sellers who use platforms such as FeedbackWhiz, Feedback Genius, or xSellco, this means a lot of the customized messages, company branding, and GIFs will need to be taken out of customer messages, and the post-purchase marketing strategy needs to be tweaked.


Moving forward—where to go from here?

Selling on Amazon is a bit like being on a wooden roller coaster. There are highs and lows, and lots of unexpected twists and turns. These changes to the Communication Guidelines are merely a small shift as Amazon evolves and takes more control over who is selling and what is being sold on the marketplace.

To stay ahead of the curve, we recommend partnering with a third-party seller who works to stay up to date and compliant with Amazon’s guidelines. Connect with a buyer or Amazon consultant and see how a partnership with SupplyKick can also improve your logistics, customer service, and Amazon marketing strategy.

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