Updates to Amazon's Communication Guidelines for Sellers

Amazon announced that the following Communication Guideline changes have gone into effect as of November 6, 2020. These may have been hard to find as they were published in PDF format on Seller Central, which was separate from the previous Communication Guidelines. This is good news for Sellers as we now have much more clarity about the types of messages you can send to buyers, what you can include in your messages, and how to style messages to be compliant with Amazon policies.

What Type of Messages Can You Send?

Amazon has clearly defined the two types of messages that can be sent to your customers/buyers:

  • Permitted Messages: Messages necessary to complete an order or respond to a customer service inquiry. These are order-specific and sent from your seller account. You may only send Permitted Messages to customers who have contacted you about purchasing a product or who have already purchased a product from you on the Amazon store.
  • Proactive Permitted Messages: Messages that you initiate that are not responses to a buyer's question. These can be sent via email, using Amazon’s templates via the Contact Buyer or Request a Review page in Seller Central, third-party applications in the Application Store, or via Application Programmer Interface (API). Examples of the types of Proactive Permitted Messages that can be allowed:
    • Resolving an issue with order fulfillment
    • Requesting additional information required to complete the order
    • Asking a return-related question
    • Sending an invoice
    • Requesting product review and/or seller feedback
    • Scheduling the delivery of a heavy or bulky item
    • Scheduling a Home Services appointment
    • Verifying a custom design

What Other Restrictions or Limitations Should You Know About?

In order to be compliant with these policies, there are many restrictions on what cannot be included in the content and in your email styling:

Restrictions on Content:

  • External links unless they are secure working links (https, not http) necessary for order completion or links to Amazon
  • Attachments except for product instructions, warranty information, or invoices
  • Logos, if they contain or display a link to your website
  • Link to opt-out of messaging
  • Sensitive content in images or text (e. g., bare skin, violence/gore, adult/offensive language)
  • Tracking pixels or images
  • Email addresses
  • Telephone numbers except those related to warranties, shipping providers, or manufacturers
  • Images of purchased products as Amazon includes those on your behalf
  • Images that do not relate to your brand or company

Restrictions on Styling:

  • Accessibility issues as specified in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines from the Web Accessibility Initiative
  • Emojis or GIFs
  • Message margins over 20% max width
  • Image or graphic sizes larger than 80% max width
  • Overrides of Amazon’s default line height, font family, or font color
  • Fonts in more than three sizes
  • Message bodies that are centered or that otherwise override default text alignment settings
  • More than two line-breaks (spacing between paragraphs) in a row
  • Unsecure images (http instead of https)
  • Spelling errors or grammar issues

Wunderman Thompson Commerce highly recommends that Sellers stay current with Amazon policies as they change, and we are here to help.

There are also a lot of great tools to help make managing your reviews and feedback like Reputation Studios, FeedbackFive, BazaarVoice, Sprnklr, and Trustpilot. Although these tools are surely making product updates to align with many of these updated Communication Guidelines, Sellers should also review their own templates and make changes now to avoid any Amazon compliance issues.

Using the feedback can be a powerful tool to help ensure your product listings have the correct information and make it easier for you to turn searchers into buyers. Let us know if you are interested to learn how to use feedback to improve your content.

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