Amazon Official Contributions is a program that allows vendors to respond / answer questions about their products directly with their customers.

According to Amazon, the program empowers manufacturers and vendors of Amazon to communicate with their customers in an official capacity through comments on Customer Reviews and answers via Customer Questions and Answers.

pat-petrielloVendors also have access to reporting on Customer Reviews and Customer Q&A on their ASINs through Vendor Central.

“This represents the first touch point that Vendors will have directly with their end users,” Pat Petriello, Head of Marketplace Strategy at CPC Strategy said.

“With orders, shipping, returns, customer service, all being handled by Amazon, Vendors have never had the opportunity to interact with the actual consumers of their product.”

Introducing Amazon Official Contributions

According to the Amazon announcement (in Vendor Central):

“We are excited to share a new feature that will give vendors a greater voice with their customers. Starting today, you will be able to answer questions and comment on reviews in an official capacity.

Amazon will ask you to answer customer questions submitted through the Customer Questions & Answers section on your product detail pages.

Your answers will be marked with a “Manufacturer” badge to mark it as an official answer. On product reviews, comments made by you will also be marked with the “Manufacturer” badge.

Additionally, you will have access to reports in Vendor Central under the Reports tab that track questions and reviews for your products.”

To get started:

    • Give a non-admin Vendor Central user the “Customer Interaction” permission.
    • After you have the right, you’ll start receiving emails with questions to answer.
    • It is important that you answer using the link in the email to ensure the manufacturer badge is provided.

 

According to Amazon, vendors won’t be asked to answer every question, and it’s not mandatory that you answer questions, but they recommend creating a public name in your profile that corresponds to your business.

Pro-tip: All answers and comments are subject to moderation and Amazon’s general posting guidelines. Vendors are encouraged to be informative, specific, and respectful when posting comments on reviews. It should add value to the review in a way that helps future customers make shopping decisions (simply thanking the customer for the review is not allowed).

Vendors will only receive fact-based questions like: “Is this product compatible with another product?”.

Other questions like: “Do you like this product” or “When will this product ship?” will not be sent to manufacturers.

If a question seems inappropriate to answer, Amazon wants Vendors to know they can skip it, since answering all questions is not required.
 

How To Set Up Amazon Official Contributions

To add a user to your team to officially contribute:

1. Identify the user(s) who will be answering the questions.

2. If this user(s) is not on Vendor Central, invite them to your vendor group.

3. Once a user(s) accepts the invite: Create a non-admin account for the user(s) & provide the “OFFICIAL-CONTRIB-PRO” right to the user(s) from Vendor Central

4. Once the right has been granted, ask the user(s) to login to Amazon.com using the same credentials (email/password) as vendor central and create a Public Name.

    • To create a Public Name, the user should login to Amazon.com using the same credentials as Vendor Central
    • Go to the profile page
    • Click “Create My Profile”
    • Make sure that the name in the big box is representative of your Company (you can also edit it here.) This email address will now receive emailed questions and be able to comment on reviews in an official capacity.

 

What You Should Known About Official Contributions:

  • If you accidentally provided an incorrect answer, the user who provided the answer can edit it when they are logged into Amazon. The new answer will not be displayed with a Manufacturer badge.
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  • Questions must be answered within 30 days of the questions being asked.
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  • Amazon will only remove answers if they violate community guidelines, not for content.
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  • If you a feel a review is inappropriate and/or does not conform to Amazon’s guidelines, please contact them directly instead of posting an Official Comment.
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  • You can include Amazon links or external links to a specific page your/the manufacturer’s site for additional information not available through Amazon. You cannot include any obfuscated links (ex: bit.ly/12345) or those that use a redirect service.
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  • Through Vendor Central, you have access to weekly reports for reviews and questions on your products. These reports live under Reports->Manufacturer Answer and Review Comments.

 

For more on Amazon Official Contributions, email tara@cpcstrategy.com

 

 

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About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.