What Account Health Rating (AHR) is and why it’s CRUCIAL for success on Amazon
What is Amazon Account Health Rating?
If you’re a UK Amazon seller and want to be successful this year, then you really need to understand the importance of one of the most common questions on sellers’ mind: “What is Amazon Account Health Rating?”
The Amazon Account Health Rating or simply AHR is a metric which measures, as you might have guessed, your account health. More importantly, it can also be used to measure your brand health which we will discuss later on in the article.
This rating is based on many factors, including (without limitation) shipping performance, customer service performance, and policy compliance. If your account health rating is high, it pretty much means that you’re what Amazon calls a “good and trustworthy” seller. Well, always good to remain in Amazon’s good books, we reckon!
Now, what happens if the rating is low? Perhaps you’ve had issues with your account and your performance hasn’t been the best as of late – whatever the reason may be, we need to address this at the first possible opportunity because a sinking AHR could mean eventually losing your rights to sell on the largest eCommerce platform!
The three Amazon Account Health metrics you need to ace
If you go to your Amazon Seller Central account, you’ll find three sections under account health, with each section having a set criteria which has an overall impact on the health of your account:
Here, you need to keep an eye on three metrics which impact your overall shipping performance:
Late Shipment Rate – This must be under 4%
Pre-fulfilment Cancel Rate – Aim for under 2.5%
Valid Tracking Rate – This needs to be at least 95% or higher
Aim for the above percentages and your shipping performance should look good. It’s worth noting that these metrics apply only to seller-fulfilled orders – no wonder Amazon FBA is the preferred choice for nearly all sellers.
Customer service performance
This is an overall measure of how happy your customers are with your service. Customer performance is measured as a percentage, aka. Order Defect Rate. Aim for less than 1% with this metric.
The Order Defect Rate is arrived upon through three key metrics:
- A-to-Z Guarantee Claims
- Chargeback Claims
- Negative Feedback
Being an Amazon seller, you must comply with all the policies Amazon sets out for sellers. These include product safety policies, restricted product policies, and a number of intellectual property policies, just to name a few.
Avoid all policy violations, period! If you want to maintain good account health and, in turn, good brand health, then you must follow all of Amazon’s policies, verbatim.
All the individual policies can be read up on through your Account Health dashboard within Seller Central, so take your time to read and understand these to ensure full compliance.
What to do if your Amazon Account Heath is at risk?
If your AHR metrics are not up to scratch, your seller account may be either suspended, or worse still, terminated. The end result? You will not be able to access your account, list products, or do any kind of business on Amazon. Naturally, your customers will not be able to see or buy your products, and here’s more salt to the wound: you will also not be fulfilling any existing orders because Amazon would revoke your right to do so.
In addition, Amazon will demand a POA or Plan or Action within 48 hours, giving you a chance to correct the issues which led to bad AHR metrics. The good news: as long as your POA shows that you are aware of what is causing the bad Amazon Account Health ratings, and you are planning to take remedial steps, then Amazon will not suspend your account.
So, as soon as you discover that your Account Health metrics are not looking good, you must review your performance on a whole and identify the root cause of all the issues. Once you are aware of the underlying issues, you can immediately take the steps to improve your AHR, and thus, secure the metrics that makes Amazon happy.
The above, however, doesn’t fully answer the question: “What to do if your Amazon Account Heath is at risk?”
Well, since we now have a fair understanding of what Amazon Account Health Rating is and how it can impact both your account and overall brand health, let’s discuss how we can improve it:
Product representation needs to be fully accurate
Product images and descriptions must be (at all times) as accurate and transparent as possible. Any confusion or misinterpretation can lead to negative customer feedback, and you definitely do not want that, especially when it’s rather easy to avoid it in the first place.
Responses to customers need to be prompt
In this day and age, customers demand prompt responses and this shouldn’t come as a surprise. With services being almost “instant” online, Amazon also wants their customers to feel right at home. When customers contact you, for example, make it a point to respond to them within 24 hours – this will help you maintain your account health and brand health, making you a reputable Amazon seller.
Products must be shipped on time
Did you know that some sellers have seen their AHR sink simply due to poor shipping performance? A good way to avoid this is by trying to ship as many orders as possible before the expected shipping dates. Your customers will be more than happy, and so will Amazon. The current benchmark set by Amazon for late shipment rate is 4%. So, to maintain good Amazon Account Health, never let your late shipment rate even approach 4%.
Sell only quality products
Always try to meet and even exceed customer expectations. The more you do so, the better your customer feedback is going to be – this is very important for maintaining a healthy AHR. Negative feedback can seriously affect your brand health, so keep eyeing your Account Health dashboard from time to time to ensure that your customers are always happy.
One of the best ways to keep your customer happy, naturally, is to sell quality products only. So, this means not making any false claims and delivering the product exactly as advertised. People love a unique and quality-focused product, so the more quality-driven products you have, the better your customer service performance metric will be, and of course, Amazon will be more than happy to reflect this in your Account Health Rating.
Comply with all of Amazon’s policies
It always pays to sit down and take your time reading up on Amazon’s policies. Here’s a crazy fact: many sellers have gotten a critical warning on their accounts or even get deactivated – pleading ignorance and saying that they weren’t aware of this policy or that policy!
What is Amazon Account Heath Assurance?
While we’re on the subject, we should also familiarise you with Account Health Assurance, a new benefit recently introduced by Amazon via an update.
Account Health Assurance ensures that sellers’ accounts do not get deactivated in case of a poor Account Health Rating, that is, as long as those sellers work with Amazon to resolve issues within 72 hours. What happens is, an Amazon seller will contact you if your account is in trouble, helping to get you back on track.
Sellers will feel safe in the knowledge that their business and brand health is in Amazon’s trusty hands, should things go sideways for a while. This benefit is currently available to American and Canadian Amazon sellers only, but we believe it’s only a matter of time before UK sellers will be able to avail it too.
Final thoughts on Amazon Account Health Ratings
Even though Amazon likes to think good of every seller, believing that the most transparent, ethical, and professional sellers prosper the most – however, that doesn’t necessarily always mean that the sellers come through and operate in the same way. This is why Amazon has put certain rules in place and this is also why AHR exists.
Amazon has historically put customers above everything else, as every clever business should, even if this means making sellers feel “unloved” sometimes. However, we should bear in mind that the changes to AHR are ultimately for the sellers’ own good.
As we bring this article to a close, we hope that you are now fully aware of how important it has become to keep your AHR in the green, and if you want to be more successful as a seller, not just in terms of account health or brand health but otherwise too, then Chris and his expert Amazon specialists are just a phone call away.
The more sellers lift their standards on Amazon, the better it is for everyone – after all, Amazon didn’t become the no.1 eCommerce platform out of thin air. The rules and standards exist to protect everyone involved, as it should.
With a comprehensive understanding around Account Health Rating, you can easily maximise your sales and especially brand reputation on Amazon.