Amazon has recovered to customer satisfaction levels seen before the pandemic started, after experiencing all-time high negative seller reviews in May. Seller reviews are the best indicator of Amazon shopper sentiment since they capture as much as ten million opinions a month.
Amazon recovered to post a record Q2, but it was a chaotic quarter. Fulfillment centers were over capacity, delivery times slipped, many items were unavailable, positive reviews dropped, and traffic market share shifted to its rivals.
In 85 days between February 29th and May 24th, the share of positive reviews on Amazon worldwide marketplaces dropped from 92.5% to 88.7%. It then took nearly as long - until August 11th - to recover. While only a change of 400 basis points, this more than five-months-long swing represented hundreds of thousands of additional negative reviews.
In May, Amazon shoppers left record one million negative seller reviews. Nearly three times more than in March, and almost double the previous record. Failed delivery promises were the most common cause. 49% of reviews mentioned keywords like “never,” “received,” “tracking,” “package,” “late,” or “delivery.”
Sellers on the Amazon marketplace receive feedback reviews from customers after a purchase. Providing feedback is optional, and the percentage of customers who leave a seller review is anywhere in the range of 1–5%, depending on the product’s pricing and category.
Increased negative experiences shoppers had were caused by Amazon’s fulfillment struggles that caused sellers to sell out of inventory stored in Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and thus reduced Prime-enabled assortment. The company is now preparing for the upcoming holiday season, and fulfillment capacity is already reaching capacity. Holiday shopping at the end of a year is the typical time for negative reviews to spike; this year, it could reach new highs.