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How to Check Amazon Messages and Best Practices

Threecolts
Geri Mileva
Published
December 27, 2023
Modified
May 7, 2024
How to Check Amazon Messages

US consumers rank Amazon as their most trusted brand, which explains the eCommerce giant selling 60,000 items per minute during Prime Day 2022. These statistics are encouraging for Amazon sellers who look forward to growing their business on the platform. 

With 60% of Amazon’s $32 billion quarterly sales due to third-party sellers, selling on Amazon is highly competitive, and sellers must find ways to stand out. Timely communication with customers is one way to do it. Your store must be able to communicate with customers to answer product-specific questions, offer support, and resolve product disputes. 75% of customers state speed of response as an essential factor to get a good customer experience. 

Amazon offers a straightforward Buyer-Seller Messaging Center to handle all buyer communications. Alternative third-party apps can also offer a robust experience. In this blog, we discuss how to check Amazon messages using Amazon’s own tool and look at other alternatives. 

What is the Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Center?

The Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Center is a private communication channel between buyers and sellers on the Amazon marketplace. It’s a central hub where buyers and sellers can exchange information related to orders, address customer inquiries, and handle various aspects of the buying and selling process.

Key features and functions include:

  1. Order-related Communication: Sellers can use the messaging center to communicate with buyers about specific orders. This includes providing order updates, confirming shipment details, and addressing any concerns or questions the buyer may have.
  2. Customer Inquiries: Buyers can reach out to sellers with questions about products, shipping, or any other relevant details. Sellers, in turn, can respond promptly to provide assistance and maintain positive customer relations.
  3. Issue Resolution: In case of problems with an order, such as missing items, shipping delays, or product defects, the messaging center allows sellers to work directly with buyers to resolve issues and provide solutions.
  4. Policy Compliance: The messaging center is subject to Amazon's policies and guidelines. Sellers are expected to communicate with buyers in a professional manner and adhere to Amazon's rules to maintain a positive seller reputation.
  5. Record of Communication: All communication within the messaging center is logged, providing a record of interactions between buyers and sellers. This record can be useful for reference in case of disputes or inquiries from Amazon.

With this tool, sellers can consistently communicate with buyers. Timely communication establishes trust and turns first-time customers into repeat and loyal advocates. However, be careful not to send spam or unsolicited messages, as this can annoy customers and make them opt out of your communications. 

How to Check Messages in the Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Center

To access this Amazon feature, you must enable it first. You won’t receive buyer messages unless you turn this feature on.

Activating Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Center

  1. Log in to your Amazon Seller Account, go to Settings, and locate the Notification Preferences.
  2. Go to Messaging and click Edit. Check Buyer Messages and enter your email address where you’ll receive messages from buyers. 
  3. Click Save.

Once activated, there are two ways to check buyer messages:

Accessing Messages from the Message Inbox:

  1. Navigate to Your Account, which shows several options, including Prime, Your Orders, and Gift Cards.
  2. Click Your Messages. You’ll see your inbox, sent messages, buyer/seller messages, and Amazon’s automated messages (under All Messages).
  3. To view only buyer messages, click the appropriate tab. If there are no messages shown, that means you’ve skipped activating the feature. 

Accessing Messages from the Buyer’s Order Details:

  1. From the Seller Central homepage, look for the Orders tab. 
  2. Click to reveal a dropdown menu and select Manage Orders
  3. In the Manage Orders section, you will see a list of your recent orders. Locate the order for which you want to view or respond to messages.
  4. Find the buyer's name associated with the order and click on it. This will take you to the order details page.
  5. On the order details page, look for the Buyer-Seller Messages section. This is where you can view and respond to messages related to that specific order.
  6. Within the Buyer-Seller Messaging Center, you can view all communication between you and the buyer. To respond, type your message in the text box and click Send response.

Important Notes to Remember about Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging Center

Instead of actual email IDs, Amazon uses encrypted email addresses. When a buyer contacts you via email, you won’t see their email address directly. Instead, it’ll be a string of random characters, such as abcd1234efgh@marketplace.amazon.com. Amazon encrypts email addresses to protect the privacy of the buyer and to discourage sellers from directly contacting a buyer outside Amazon. You can respond to this email directly from within your email client, and it will pass through Amazon’s system for tracking purposes.

As a seller, you can’t contact a buyer for any other reason except to respond to customer queries or to complete an order. You can’t attach links to an external page or even to a detailed Amazon storefront. You also can’t include any promotions, whether for your brand or others. 

Attachments are accepted, but they must not be more than 7MB and must be either .TXT, PDFs, Word docs (.DOC or .DOCX), and image files (JPG, TIFF, GIF, BMP, and PNG).

Does Amazon read my messages?

Yes, Amazon reads buyer-seller messages to ensure they comply with its policies and guidelines. They also store these messages in their servers and retrieve them in case of disputes. That’s why they strictly prohibit sharing personal information via messages. All the details related to an order are already provided and don’t have to be communicated in a message.

Does Amazon read my messages?

Guidelines for Responding to Amazon Messages

Responding to Amazon messages is a crucial aspect of maintaining positive customer relations and upholding your seller reputation. Here are some guidelines to help you win customers with stellar customer service:

  1. Timeliness is key

Respond to messages promptly. Amazon recommends responding to customer inquiries within 24 hours, but it’s better if you respond faster, even if it’s by using an automated message acknowledging their concern. Quick responses contribute to positive buyer experiences and can impact your seller metrics.

If you’re going on a vacation or you just need to rest, activate Vacation Mode so customers are informed of your absence. This way, you don’t have to stress out about responding within 24 hours. 

  1. Personalize your responses and remain professional 

Maintain a professional and courteous tone in your messages. Avoid using offensive language, and ensure your responses are clear and respectful. Use standard English and observe proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Clear and well-written communication helps in conveying your message effectively and enhances professionalism.

Personalize your responses when appropriate. Acknowledge the customer by name and address any specific concerns or questions they may have raised.

  1. Address Customer Concerns Completely

If a customer has raised an issue or concern, address it directly and provide a clear and helpful solution. Be proactive in resolving problems to ensure customer satisfaction. When addressing customer inquiries, provide detailed and accurate information. This helps in minimizing follow-up questions and ensures a smoother customer experience.

In case of customer complaints, remain calm and composed. Acknowledge the issue and understand the problem completely before forming a solution. Most negative reviews, refunds, or returns can be resolved with honest and transparent communication. 

  1. Stay Compliant with Policies

Ensure that your responses adhere to Amazon's policies and keep communication within the platform's guidelines. Making offers to customers outside of Amazon and sharing external links are strictly prohibited. It’s prohibited to send promotional messages as plain text, message embeds, or attachments. You also can’t solicit positive feedback or reviews.

Refrain from sharing personal contact information in your messages. Amazon encourages communication to stay within the Buyer-Seller Messaging Center for security and privacy reasons. Violating these terms and conditions can lead to restriction and deactivation of your Seller Account.

  1. Manage Expectations

Set realistic expectations regarding shipping times, product availability, and issue resolution. If there are delays or challenges, communicate this information transparently. Customers appreciate brands that are proactive and honest. Rather than waiting for a problem to happen, if you perceive an order delay or similar, be the one to reach out first. 

  1. Utilize Message Templates

Save time by creating and using message templates for common inquiries. However, ensure that your responses are still personalized and address the specific concerns of each customer.

You can also create message filters according to priority so you know which messages need your attention first. For example, queries on shipping are more important than responding to reviews.

  1. Monitor Message Metrics

Regularly check your message response time metrics in Seller Central. Timely responses positively impact your seller performance metrics. A positive seller rating communicates trust to customers since they’re assured that they’re dealing with a responsive and responsible brand.

  1. Keep Records

Maintain a record of your communication with customers. This can be useful for reference in case of disputes or to track the resolution of issues. By default, Amazon logs all of your messages and keeps a record, which they’ll access anytime a dispute happens.

Challenges and Limitations of Using Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging Center

Challenges and Limitations of Using Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging Center

While Amazon's Buyer-Seller Messaging Center is a vital tool for communication between sellers and buyers, it does come with its own set of challenges. Sellers should be aware of these challenges to navigate them effectively and maintain a positive customer experience. Here are some common challenges associated with using Amazon's Buyer-Seller Messaging Center:

  • Communication Delays and Language Barriers

Responding promptly to buyer messages is crucial, but there may be instances where delays occur. Technical issues, high message volumes, or seller availability can contribute to communication delays. Consider implementing an efficient customer service strategy, including dedicated staff or tools to manage and respond to messages promptly.

As a global marketplace, Amazon sellers may encounter language barriers when communicating with buyers whose primary language is different. Use clear and simple language in your responses. Consider using translation tools to assist in communication with buyers who speak other languages.

  • Negative Feedback Impact

Negative feedback can impact a seller's reputation. Resolving issues through the messaging center is important, but sellers may find it challenging to address and mitigate negative feedback effectively. Setting and managing customer expectations can also be challenging, especially when it comes to issues like shipping times, product availability, or returns. Failure to meet expectations may result in negative feedback.

Proactively address customer concerns to prevent negative feedback. Resolve issues promptly and consider reaching out to buyers after resolution to request feedback removal. Clearly communicate shipping times, product availability, and return policies in your product listings, then set realistic expectations to minimize the chances of disappointment. You could also look into a product review monitoring tool like FeedbackWhiz that gives real-time notifications.

  • Policy Compliance Concerns

Staying compliant with Amazon's communication policies can be difficult, especially for sellers who may not be aware of the latest updates. Violating policies unintentionally can result in warnings or penalties. 

To address this challenge, regularly review Amazon's communication policies. Stay informed about updates and changes to ensure compliance. Amazon Seller Central provides resources to help sellers understand and adhere to guidelines.

  • Volume of Messages

High sales volumes can lead to a large number of messages to manage. Sellers may find it challenging to keep up with the sheer volume of customer inquiries and order-related messages. There’s also the possibility of receiving fraudulent messages or phishing attempts through the Buyer-Seller Messaging Center.

To overcome this challenge, utilize message templates for common inquiries to streamline responses. Consider using customer service tools that can help manage high message volumes efficiently. Identify and avoid responding to spam to protect sensitive information and maintain security. 

Always be cautious of unsolicited or suspicious messages, and avoid clicking on links from unknown sources. Report any fraudulent messages to Amazon and use secure communication practices. You should also mark these messages as No Response Needed so they don’t clutter your unread messages.

  • Limited Formatting Options 

The formatting options within the Buyer-Seller Messaging Center are limited. Sellers may find it challenging to present information in a visually appealing way, and lengthy messages may become more challenging for customers to read. It’s better to use short paragraphs and bullet points to improve readability. Focus on providing clear and concise information in your messages.

  • Difficulty in Dispute Resolution

While the messaging center is a platform for resolving issues, some disputes may be challenging to resolve through written communication alone. Written communication can sometimes lead to misunderstandings, and complex issues may require additional channels or involvement from Amazon's support.

Sellers must be clear and concise in their messages to avoid misinterpretations, which could impact the buyer's satisfaction. Always be explicit and specific in your communication. Ask for clarification if needed and encourage buyers to do the same.

  • Lack of Two-Way Ratings

Unlike buyers, sellers can't leave public feedback on buyers. This can be challenging when dealing with difficult customers, as sellers may feel limited in their ability to share their experiences. While you can't publicly rate buyers, you can use the feedback received to improve your processes and address any common issues. Focus on providing exceptional service to all customers.

By being aware of these challenges, you can proactively address them and implement effective communication strategies to enhance the overall customer experience. 

Alternatives to Amazon’s Buyer-Seller Messaging Center

While Amazon provides a sufficient tool for buyers and sellers to interact directly, it has its limitations, especially when you have to deal with a high volume of buyer messages. A successful business that sells multiple units per day will definitely have several messages that will be difficult to manage from the Buyer-Seller Messaging Center alone. 

As a seller, you probably also have multiple selling channels, such as eBay, Walmart, and your own website, where buyers also reach out with their own concerns. Juggling the Amazon Buyer-Seller Messaging Center with these other channels can be challenging. 

One of the best alternatives is to upgrade to a dedicated Amazon helpdesk. They provide an impressive suite of features that can immensely turbo-charge your customer support services. These helpdesks can:

  • Create a library of canned responses similar to Amazon’s templates
  • Create custom filters to search through Amazon messages
  • Assign tickets automatically or manually to agents
  • Track agent performance
  • Use one screen to manage customer service from different channels like eBay, Walmart, email, social media, live chat, phone, and your own website

Check out these great helpdesk tools:

  1. Onsite Support

Onsite Support lets you create a custom landing page for your helpdesk so it looks professional and carries your brand identity. Best of all, it supports exclusive Amazon integration, so you’re not violating any rules by sending customers to your helpdesk for support. 

Buyers can access self-service options and read through knowledge base (KB) articles to find the answers they need. Or they could directly speak to an agent and create a ticket for faster support. As a seller, your agents can work through tickets quickly because everything is presented on one screen. You can create smart responses so agents spend more time with complex issues while automation takes care of routine tasks. 

OnSite Support
Source: OnSite Support - Amazon Only

Onsite Support also helps prevent negative reviews and reduce Amazon returns by letting you add a Get Product Support button right within your Amazon returns page. A featured case study shows that 68% of customers who clicked through this button didn’t return their products.

  1. Zendesk

Zendesk is another robust helpdesk tool that can integrate with your Amazon Message Center using ChannelReply. You can view all the order details from one screen and create your response without leaving the page. You can also use it to manage all of your other online selling platforms. 

  1. Freshdesk

Freshdesk is an affordable alternative to Zendesk with the same awesome capabilities at a fraction of the cost. It also integrates with Amazon using ChannelReply and brings together all your online marketplaces in a single unified view. 

  1. Gorgias

Gorgias is a helpdesk tool built for your own website like Shopify, BigCommerce, or Magento. If you sell on Amazon, you can use the ChannelReply integration to connect your Amazon account. This will enable you to respond to Amazon messages from within Gorgias’ dashboard where you can also see messages from other online marketplaces. 

  1. HelpScout

HelpScout is a great tool for those who want a simple, clean, and easy-to-use interface without a lot of settings to configure. Like the others in this list, you can integrate it with Amazon using ChannelReply. It also has the same features as Zendesk and Freshdesk, which are available at higher-tiered plans.

Delight Customers with Responsive Customer Support

Amazon offers you the basics of engaging with customers and providing stellar customer support. But as your business grows, you’ll soon discover the limitations of simply sticking with what’s available. You’d want to move to a more robust and comprehensive helpdesk solution that can do more than just check Amazon messages, or even look into additional eCommerce tools to expedite your growth. 

With the tools listed above, you can build your own ideal helpdesk solution that delights your Amazon customers and improves your seller ratings. Best of all, you can create an efficient workflow that supports your entire organization. 

Begin by responding to Amazon messages within the Buyer-Seller Message Center, then move to one of the top helpdesk solutions above to scale your customer support.

Browse through and read our other blog posts that are data-driven insights with our very own proprietary data and learn more on Mother's Day trends and best practices, Easter sales, price elasticity of demand, Amazon FBA fee changes, Amazon product title optimization, winter seasonal products, Amazon end of year sales, Valentine’s Day trends and best Amazon fulfillment centers by location and throughput.

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Small group workshops to help you learn, optimize, and grow.