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Communication with customers is critical for all sorts of businesses, and Amazon marketplaces are no exception. Amazon understands the importance of a direct communication channel between buyers and sellers and thus offers a relevant messaging service in Seller Central. 

However, the buyer-seller messaging service for FBA sellers is not active by default. Therefore, many sellers continue doing business without leveraging this valuable feature of their Amazon seller account. 

Buyer-seller messaging is free and not difficult to use either. Every Amazon seller should use it to streamline their order management and customer engagement.

If you’re new to this Seller Central feature and want to learn more, you’ve landed at the right place.

This post will give you a comprehensive outline of the buyer-seller messaging service. We will cover how to activate this service, its dos and don’ts, advantages, and many other relevant bits of information. 

What Is Buyer-Seller Messaging?

Buyer-Sellers Messaging service lets you talk to buyers directly on Seller Central via email. Amazon encrypts this buyer-seller communication by assigning pseudonym email addresses to buyers and sellers. 

This encryption helps establish a communication channel where buyers and sellers can talk about products and orders without worrying about disclosing their personal details. 

Besides answering general queries, this service can be used to manage orders, returns, and guarantee claims effectively. 

How to Activate Buyer-Seller Messaging

If you’ve taken the Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) route, your Buyer-Seller Messaging will be enabled by default. However, you have to active this communication on the Seller Central if you’re an FBA seller. 

  • Open the Settings drop-down menu from the top right corner of your Seller Central account and click on Notification Preferences.

  • Scroll down the Notification Preferences page to locate the Messaging section and click on the Edit button.

  • Next, check the Buyer Messages box and add the email address on which you want to receive messages and get notified. You can add more than one email address. After checking the box and adding an email address, click on the Save button. 

This will activate the Buyer-Seller Messaging service for your seller account.  

How to Contact a Buyer Using Buyer-Seller Messages

If you want to contact a customer for any legitimate reason (e.g. need more information for order fulfillment), you need to follow the steps mentioned below. 

  • Open the Orders drop-down menu and click on Manage Orders

  • Go to the order you want to contact the customer about and click on the Buyer's name. 
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  • Choose the reason why you want to contact the customer. 

  • Write down your message in the box and attach the relevant files (if applicable). 

  • Review the message in the format it is sent to the buyer, and then click on the Send button. 

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Amazon will send this message to the buyer on your behalf. The buyer can reply to you on the same message. You can see that buyer’s reply in the Messages section (located at the top right corner on your Seller Central account's home page). 

You can see the notification of a buyer’s message popping up in the BUYERS MESSAGES widget on the main window.

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Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Guideline: An Overview

Amazon has outlined a detailed guideline for Buyer-Seller messages. To begin with, Amazon classifies this communication into two types: Necessary permitted messages and proactive permitted messages. Necessary permitted messages are the ones needed to complete an order or to answer a customer service query.

On the other hand, proactive permitted messages are seller-initiated correspondences. You can send those messages within 30 days of the order completion date. 

When Can an Amazon Seller Send a Message to Buyers?

You can only initiate proactive permitted messages in the following scenarios. 

  • Sending an invoice to a buyer
  • Resolving an issue that happens during order fulfillment
  • Sending returns-related queries to buyers
  • Scheduling appointments related to Amazon home services
  • Scheduling product delivery for heavy or bulk items
  • Requesting seller feedback or product review

If you notice, many of these reasons are relevant to sellers that fulfill their orders themselves. As an FBA seller, you may only need to send buyers messages for review, feedback, and returns-related queries. 

Which Messages Are Not Allowed for Buyer-Seller Messaging?

You can't send these messages to customers while using the Buyer-Seller Messaging service as a seller. 

  • Shipping or order confirmation messages
  • “Thank you” messages
  • Promotional and marketing messages
  • Conditional review request (asking to review only if a buyer had a positive product experience)
  • Request for a positive review
  • Repeat messages for a product review or seller feedback

What Content Should Not Be Part of Your Buyer-Seller Messaging?

Make sure that you don’t include this type of content in your messages to buyers.

  • Logos with embedded links
  • Unnecessary and unsecured (not containing HTTP/HTTPS prefixes) external links
  • Links that make buyers opt-out of messaging
  • Attachments other than those that resolve buyers’ issues
  • Images not related to your brand or company
  • Tracking images and pixels 
  • Email addresses and phones numbers
  • GIFs and emojis

Refer to this Amazon manual for a detailed look at the styling and content guidelines for seller messages. 

How to Manage Buyer-Seller Messaging Permissions

You can have more than one person manage your buyer-seller messages page. Simply add the email address of individuals you want to authorize as your seller representative. 

  • Click on the Messages on the top right corner from the main page of your Seller Central account. 

  • Click on Messaging Permissions on the right. 

  • Click on +Add an Email Address
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  • Add the email address, select the status, and click on the Save button. 
  • Once you add an email, you can customize its notification settings by clicking on Notification Preferences.
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  • Click on the respective Edit button to customize settings for a particular type of notification.

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How to Create and Use Buyer-Seller Messaging Response Email Templates

Sellers usually send a list of the same message to most buyers. Amazon lets you create templates for such messages, so you don’t have to redraft the same message from scratch.  

  • Click on the Messages on the top right corner from the main page of your Seller Central account. 
  • Click on Manage E-mail Templates 

  • Click on Create Template.

Name your template; insert placeholder (e.g. ASIN, buyer name, carrier). By using placeholders, you can easily customize your response templates. Any placeholder will automatically replace itself with the correct information. Then write down your message in the Template text box and finally select a relevant tag and click on the Save button. 

Using a Response Template

Once you save a template, you can use it while replying to buyers. 

  • Click on the Select Template drop-down menu located above the reply box.
  • Select the template you want to use from the list you’ve already created and saved.
  • The template text appears in the reply box. You can also customize it before sending it to the buyer.

Advantages of Buyer-Seller Messaging Service for Sellers

As a seller, you need to be proactive in using the Buyer-Seller Messaging service for the following reasons. 

Encrypted, Secure Communication

Buyer-Seller Messaging service allows buyers and sellers to engage in meaningful correspondence without revealing their personal information (phone numbers, email addresses). As a seller, it helps you put up a boundary between your personal and work lives. 

A Single, Integrated Platform to Manage Customer Communication

You don’t need to rely on third-party email systems to send, receive and see your messages. Instead, all your sent and received messages are displayed in the Messages section of your Seller Central account. 

Improves Customer Satisfaction

An active buyer-seller messaging always expedites the process of addressing customer grievances. The communication through the Buyer-Seller Messaging service results in faster dispute settlement and seamless management of returns. It subsequently translates into improved customer satisfaction and more repeat orders. 

Buyer-Seller Messages FAQ

Before wrapping up this article, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about the Buyer-Seller Messaging service. 

Where Are Buyer Messages on Seller Central?

You can see buyer messages and reply to them by clicking on Messages on the top-right corner of the home page of your Seller Central dashboard. 

What Messages Are Critical to Order Completion?

Queries regarding product customization, delivery scheduling, and shipping address issues are considered critical messages. You’re allowed to send such messages to buyers who have even opted out of receiving messages from sellers.

How to Send Critical Messages to Opted-Out Buyers?

You need to use your email client (Gmail, Yahoo, etc) to send critical messages. First, get the email of the relevant buyer from the sales report (download it from Manage Orders→ Order Reports). Then, add “[Important]” anywhere in the subject line. This email will land in the concerning opted-out buyer’s inbox without getting blocked.

Final Words

We hope that the above information and buyer-seller messages FAQ help you fully maximize the use of this Seller Central feature. The relevant use of the Amazon buyer-seller messaging service will help you take care of customer queries and complaints in a more streamlined manner. Also, you can use it within Amazon guidelines to significantly increase your product reviews and develop solid seller feedback.

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