Contrary to popular belief, an Amazon product listing suppression is not as bad as it may seem. That said, no one wants their product to mysteriously vanish off Amazon’s virtual shelves. So what is a listing suppression? Why does it happen? And how do you fix it?
There are two types of ‘suppressions’ on Amazon:
Amazon may decide to suppress a listing by changing its status from active to inactive. When this happens, anyone typing in a keyword related to your product won’t find it within the search ranking pages. The only way someone can land on a suppressed product page is by entering in the ASIN and hitting search (which nobody does).
A suppressed buy box, on the other hand, is when Amazon decides to remove the buy box i.e. the “Add to Cart” button from a product detail page. Shoppers will still be able to find and land on your product listing page but they won’t be able to purchase your product.
The reasons behind a suppressed listing and a suppressed buy box are more or less the same. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Amazon is big on keeping its buyers happy. In fact, the tech giant won’t hesitate to hand time-outs to sellers who don’t stick to its product listing guidelines. So why might Amazon suppress a listing or buy box?
Offering products at competitive prices is a crucial metric for winning and maintaining the buy box (another one being FBA). Amazon scours the internet to compare your price with competitors and sellers outside the platform. If the price is too different from the norm, your listing could get suppressed!
We suggest you keep the price close to the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) or recommended retail price (RRP). Ideally, you should set it slightly lower than the MSRP to increase your chances of winning the buy box.
Pro Tip: If the average profit margin is higher than usual (anything above 25%), you can set the price a bit lower than the market average to retain the buy box for longer periods.
Not many sellers read everything on a product listing—most take a look at the title, product price, review ratings, and most importantly, the images. High-quality imagery doesn’t just help with conversions, it also ensures you comply with product image requirements. Here’s an example of how your main image should look:
The primary (or main) image should show each and every detail. Failing to meet this requirement is a common cause for listing suppression. If you’ve made this mistake, rectify it by uploading a clear image of your product against a white background minus any logos or markings.
Other image-related mistakes to avoid include not uploading enough images and ignoring category-specific image guidelines.
Pro Tip: Upload 7 high-quality images to show your product from different angles. This also lets potential buyers zoom in and take a closer look. Top sellers tend to add infographics and an image highlighting the size and dimensions of their products.
Keep in mind, the information present on your product detail page is the only way shoppers can gauge your product quality and functionality. A product listing can be suppressed if this information is inaccurate, insufficient, and/or misleading
For example, mentioning the wrong product dimensions or specifications could be considered inaccurate data. Neglecting to mention how to assemble an outdoor waterproof tent for example could be seen as insufficient information, and listing products in used condition as new could be viewed as misleading.
Another thing to keep in mind is not to use promotional language anywhere on the product detail page—especially in the title. Words such as ‘best’ or ‘guaranteed’ are swiftly penalized. Also, keep away from promoting websites or social media pages on Amazon.
Pro Tip: To ensure your Amazon listing is optimized, stay on top of the product listing and selling policy guidelines to avoid listing and buy box suspensions. Also, make sure both the front and back-end sections of your product listings are optimized.
Amazon keeps a close eye on new sellers, at least for the first 30 days. During this time, if you get a negative rating or fall short on fulfillment duties, your buy box may be suspended. Amazon wants to lower customer dissatisfaction rates, and one way of achieving that is by promoting credible sellers with a sales history.
Sometimes, Amazon may suspend multiple buy boxes if the collective seller performance takes a dive. In such cases, FBA sellers are awarded the buy box. If your order defect rates, shipping times, chargebacks, order cancellations, A-Z guarantee claims, and negative reviews have fallen below acceptable levels, then you know why your buy box got suppressed.
You could fix this by switching to FBA (if you are currently doing FBM), for example, and making your offerings a little more appealing.
Other reasons you might get a listing or buy box suppressed include exceeding the word count for the product title and/or the bullet points, going out-of-stock, and suspicious activities like a sudden increase in positive reviews.
The process of reclaiming a suppressed listing is pretty straightforward.
It can take up to 24-hours for the changes to take effect. If your listing remains suppressed after the stated time limit, get in touch with Amazon seller central support to resolve the problem.
Note: To fix suppressed listings in bulk, visit Amazon’s official suppressed listings help page.
When seller guidelines are constantly changing, staying out of trouble with Amazon is easier said than done. To make sure you stay on top of the platform’s updates and navigate your way to the top, join our next live training session. Here, real life, successful Amazon FBA sellers will guide you to page one with easy to follow steps and advice. Grab your spot in our next live training session now.
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