Buyer-Seller Tensions Rise as Amazon Retires ‘Review Commenting’ Feature

 

If you aren’t already doing so, responding to both positive and negative customer reviews is crucial in increasing your brand equity. Showing you are readily available and always listening expands your customer service follow-through post purchase.

Another bonus? It ensures you are staying up to date with customer feedback for use in future product development or customer education strategies. In a nutshell, commenting on reviews is a great way to show potential customers how much you truly care about those already supporting your brand.

As of December 16, 2020, Amazon has disabled commenting on reviews for all seller central accounts, including Kelly Brand Managements clients. This statement from Amazon reads, “Please note that commenting on reviews has been disabled. There were many gaps in the comments feature as it existed, it was subject to abuse, and it did not provide sufficient value to our customers. In order to innovate faster and provide a great shopping experience we are retiring this feature to make way for future innovation for customers in our store.”

Why does it matter?

While there is not much information on the internet about this yet, the Amazon seller forums tell a different story. Most sellers complained Amazon was doing the same thing to them with no email warning, while others received a warning, stating that after December 16, 2020, the review commenting feature would be retired.

The reason? No one is really sure at the moment. But we can tell you from a third-party seller point-of-view this is extremely frustrating. Cutting off this type of direct communication from the buyer to the seller doesn’t make any sense- at least not yet with the little information we’ve given. This question lies in the hands of Amazon, and if you have dealt with Amazon in the past, you can almost guarantee that your question and confusion will not be answered right away.

What can you do about it today?

The best way to resolve this? Double down on your website reviews. This is another great way to communicate with your customers on your terms in almost real time. Yes, there are still third-party app solutions for review management through Amazon; and while great, they can be very costly and lacking in their user experience. It’s a bummer that Amazon is forcing you to solely respond on your website and other forums, but the decision has been made. Perhaps new technology is in the works to make this communication avenue more appealing when it’s turned back on.

Either way, you need to take action yesterday to ensure your customers don’t feel ghosted. Is this a war on Amazon? No, not at all, but it is definitely not a peace agreement. Join the conversation with Kelly Brand Management on LinkedIn.

 

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