Protect Your Amazon Listings from Search Suppression, Hijackers, and Stockouts

Amazon is a competitive platform. You need to have a quality product, excellent listing content, and plenty of reviews to catch the attention of busy shoppers. You also need to have plenty of inventory in stock and be prepared to fulfill orders quickly.

Selling on Amazon also requires you to be extremely vigilant. Unfortunately, hijackers and fierce competitors abound. You must pay close attention to the details to keep your business running smoothly. In this article, we’ll share why you need to monitor your Amazon listings and how to do it.

Search Visibility is Essential

Simply put, shoppers won’t see your listings in Amazon’s search results if they are search-suppressed. Since over 50% of product searches begin on Amazon, a suppressed listing is a real problem that can quickly hurt your bottom line.

Amazon suppresses listings from search for a variety of reasons, including failure to meet its image requirements, incorrect listing content, and titles that are too long. You can check to see if any of your listings are currently search-suppressed on the Manage Inventory page in Seller Central. If you have suppressed or inactive listings, a hyperlink that says “Search Suppressed and Inactive Listings” will be displayed at the top of the page. Clicking that link will take you to the Fix Your Products page where you can learn more about the issues and find out how to resolve them.

Inactive Amazon listings are not available for purchase and will not appear to customers who are searching for your product. If your product goes out of stock and you don’t have a restocking process in place, the listing will become inactive. Changes such as the manufacturer discontinuing the product or you choosing to stop selling the product can also cause a listing to become inactive. Policy violations are another common reason that listings are inactive.

If your listing is inactive due to a change you’re aware of, it’s not a surprise that you’re not selling that particular product. However, policy violations can be a surprise, particularly if someone else made changes to your listing that caused a violation. Having a process in place to regularly check for search-suppressed and inactive listings can save you a lot of time and money.

Staying in Stock

Amazon customers expect fast and free shipping. Failing to provide it can quickly lead to lost sales and a decline in your product’s organic search ranking on Amazon. It takes a lot of time and resources to build momentum for your product listing at launch, but it takes even more effort to rebuild that momentum for a product that goes out of stock.

Having a system in place that tells you what to restock and when can help prevent these issues. It’s also important to have backup systems in place if you rely on Amazon FBA to fulfill your orders. Delays in shipping and receiving can cause your product to go out of stock. Inventory management is a delicate balance and trends can change very quickly. Having a product go viral on social media is every seller’s dream, but if you don’t have the inventory available to fulfill those orders, your listing is going to suffer while traffic diverts to your top competitors. But you also don’t want to overstock and get stuck paying for aging or excess inventory! Working with a fulfillment solution such as Cahoot can help you manage your inventory for Amazon and other channels so you can deliver the best experience to your customers.

Look Out for Suspicious Activity

Hijackers take over existing Amazon listings, making changes to the listing or price and sometimes even selling a counterfeit version of a branded product. Being hijacked can cause you to lose the Buy Box, revenue, and your excellent seller reputation. After all, buyers who receive a sub-par version of your product or who experience shipping delays will leave product reviews and seller feedback reflecting their experiences.

Battling Amazon hijackers is tough, but regularly monitoring your listings for unauthorized changes can help you identify suspicious activity so you can start building a case with Amazon. Look for changes to your listing content, such as the title, images, and brand name. Changes to the number of offers available or Buy Box ownership may signal hijacking activity if you sell a private label product.

If you suspect hijacker activity on your listing, start by making a test purchase from the other seller so you can determine whether the product is counterfeit. Send a cease-and-desist letter if your intellectual property or trademark is being used without permission. Report counterfeit products and any trademark infringement or copyright violations to Amazon.

Aim for Five Stars

Both seller feedback and product reviews are ratings provided by customers via a five-star scale on Amazon. Doing your best to provide a five-star experience to every buyer will set you up for success with both ratings.

Maintaining a strong Amazon seller feedback rating helps protect your overall account health. Seller feedback is provided by buyers about their experience with you as a seller, including packaging and shipping. Ensuring that you have consistent and reliable fulfillment processes is crucial. Amazon looks at your seller feedback score to evaluate how well you meet buyer expectations.

Amazon reviews impact your product’s performance in Amazon’s search results. They also build buyer trust. Strong customer reviews positively impact your ad performance and marketing efforts. Having recent and relevant reviews shows Amazon that buyers like your product, leading to better positioning on the platform. After all, Amazon wants buyers to buy products that meet their expectations. Great reviews along with strong seller feedback show Amazon that you are prepared to deliver the customer experience it expects.

Protect Your Amazon Business

Growing and protecting your Amazon business requires careful attention, but there are tools to make it easier. Amazon doesn’t send alerts for search suppression and other changes to your listings, but eComEngine does. Our Amazon seller software is designed to make selling on Amazon simpler, from monitoring your listings to getting more reviews.

Becky Trowbridge, eComEngine

Becky Trowbridge is the Digital Marketing Manager at eComEngine. Her mission is to empower Amazon sellers with the information they need to be successful in a competitive market. When she’s not creating content, she enjoys spending time outdoors, trying new recipes, and reading.

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