Originally launched in 2020, the Amazon Account Health Rating (AHR) is a metric derived from various performance criteria, established to measure your overall account health.
If you're an Amazon seller then you've no doubt heard of the Amazon Account Health Rating, but you may not be aware that some recent changes to the AHR that were introduced in August of 2022. These recent changes include a more holistic rating and and simplified method of determining what issues might be putting your Amazon account at risk, according to Amazon.
In this guide I will touch on the whole premise of the Amazon Account Health Rating system and also introduce you to what I know, so far, about the new holistic metric that has recently been introduced for some, but not all, Amazon sellers.
We're also going to cover exactly how you can work on improving your Amazon account health rating so you can avoid losing your Amazon account all together.
What is the Amazon Account Health Rating?
The Amazon account health rating (AHR) is a metric that is used to measure the health of your account. The rating is based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, customer satisfaction, shipping performance and policy adherence. If you have a high account health rating, it essentially means that you're a good seller and that Amazon trusts you.
This is a good thing. You're like the boy scout (or girl scout) of Amazon sellers!
However, if your rating is low, it may be because you've had some problems with your account and performance which need to be addressed to avoid losing your rights to sell on Amazon.
Don't stress though, there are ways for you improve your AHR which I will cover further along in this article.
What's Different About the New Amazon Account Health Rating?
Amazon's AHR has been around for a while, but the new Account Health Rating has been revamped in accordance with the feedback from sellers. Yes that's right, Amazon DOES listen to sellers 😉
Here's a few of the key changes to Amazon's Account Health Rating:
AHR Holistic Metric
The new Account Health Rating provides a holistic metric, which is based on accumulated policy violations, rather than just a list of policy violations. This will help sellers get a quick glance at their overall standing and likelihood of suspension.
Policy Violation - Level of Severity
Sellers will see a list of policy violations with the level of severity for each. This means we can now prioritize and remedy the highest risk violations first.
Dedicated Account Health Specialists
Amazon has put together a team of dedicated support staff to help sellers with any account health queries. The account health specialists will be available via phone or email. This is a welcome addition to Amazon's seller support, let's just hope they can keep up with the demand!
Ultimately it looks like Amazon is trying to help sellers stay compliant and keep their accounts in good standing. Hopefully this is a trend that we see more of moving forward. There's no doubt that sellers need a little more support!
Who is the New Account Health Rating Available To?
At the time of writing this, many US and Canada based sellers have access to the new AHR metric. It was advertised that this rolled out in August of 2022 but we know that not all accounts received this update immediately.
It's likely to still be in a beta phase so we should all slowly see this change over the coming months.
Sellers outside of the US or CA are going to see the new AHR holistic metric changes from the start of 2023 onwards.
What Are the Amazon Account Health Metrics?
Inside your seller central account, under account health, you will see three main sections of your Amazon Account Health Rating:
- Customer Service Performance
- Policy Compliance
- Shipping Performance
Within each of these sections there are a number of criteria that will have an overall impact on your account health.
Let's dive a little deeper into these three pillars and explain them in a little more detail.
Customer Service Performance
An overall measure of how satisfied your customers are, your customer service performance is measured as a percentage known as your Order Defect Rate. The target for this metric is less than 1%.
Your Order Defect Rate is derived from three individual metrics:
- Negative Feedback
- A-to-Z Guarantee Claims
- Chargeback Claims
As an Amazon seller you need to adhere to a wide range of policies. These include various intellectual property policies, product safety policies and Amazon restricted products policies, just to name a few.
You should be aiming to avoid any policy violations completely if you want to maintain good health in your seller account.
Each individual policy is available to access and read from your Account Health section of your seller central account so it's worth taking a browse of those to ensure compliance.
There's three metrics that make up your overall shipping performance, and they are as follows:
- Late Shipment Rate - aim for less than 4%
- Pre-fulfillment Cancel Rate - aim for less than 2.5%
- Valid Tracking Rate - aim for 95% or higher
It's important to note that the above-mentioned metrics are only relevant to seller-fulfilled orders, which is a great reason why Amazon FBA is a solid choice for sellers.
How Can You Improve Your Amazon Account Health Rating?
Now you've got a bit more of an understanding around the different metrics that make up your AHR, let's discuss how you can maintain or improve your Amazon account health rating.
Represent Your Products Accurately
Make sure your images and product descriptions are as transparent and as accurate as possible. If there's any room for confusion or misinterpretation then you open yourself up to negative customer feedback.
Respond to Customers Quickly
Customers demand quick response times more and more nowadays, and Amazon loves taking care of customers, so make sure you respond to any messages within 24 hours to maintain your reputation and account health.
Ship Products On-Time
To avoid poor shipping performance, make sure the majority of your orders are shipped prior to you expected shipping dates. Amazon has set a benchmark of less than 4% late shipment rate in order to maintain account health.
Sell Quality Products
The more you meet or exceed customer expectations, the better your customer feedback will be. Negative feedback can bring your business to its knees so do the right thing by your customers and sell good quality products.
Amazon is so passionate about serving up a positive customer experience, and you should be too.
Read Up on Amazon's Policies
You don't know what you don't know, so make sure you take the time to read and understand Amazon's policies. It's crazy how many people get a critical warning or end up getting deactivated and then plead ignorance saying they didn't know any better.
Selling on Amazon is a real business so act like a professional and treat it as such! Learning the policies is not that hard and it will save your hide in the long run.
Having said all of this, there is one massive tip that I can give you if you truly want to maintain your Amazon account health rating.
Sell with Amazon FBA!
Many of the metrics involved in Amazon's AHR are only relevant to seller-fulfilled orders and selling with Amazon FBA takes away many of those headaches.
The Final Word on Amazon Account Health Ratings
I like to see the good in everyone and I still believe that ultimately, the most professional, transparent and ethical Amazon sellers are the ones that prosper however, that doesn't mean everyone operates as such! And this is why we need rules.
Amazon has always had a customer-first mantra and they make no secret about that, even if it leaves us sellers feeling a little unloved at times. But these new AHR changes are making it easier for sellers to keep their seller accounts in good standing so it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds over the next 12 months.
As we wrap up this article, I sincerely hope that you're aware of just how important it is to maintain a good Amazon account health rating if you want to be a successful seller on the platform. Not only for your own business, but for your fellow Amazon sellers too.
So, instead of spending all your time combing through the sales rank charts, which is definitely the fun(ner) part, dedicate a little time to ensuring your maintaining your account health too.
The more we all lift our standards, the better it will be for everyone. A tad idealistic, I know, but I'm on a mission to help as many sellers as possible. We can all prosper, like many of our students in The OA Challenge do. Take a look, if you need a helping hand in your online arbitrage business.
Thanks for reading and until next time, happy selling!