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Tue Sept 8 2020 14:07:04

Amazon Bans Emojis and Typos from Seller Messages

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon is introducing new policies on how sellers may communicate with buyers. The Communication Guidelines apply to all sellers. 

Amazon said it was making the changes in order to clear up confusion on the part of sellers and based on feedback from buyers, but the announcement elicited questions nevertheless.

Included in the changes to seller messaging were 11 rules.

Permitted Message styling may not contain any of the following:

1) Accessibility issues as specified in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines from the Web Accessibility Initiative
2) Emojis
3) GIFs
4) Message margins over 20% max width
5) Image or graphic sizes larger than 80% max width
6) Overrides of Amazon’s default line height, font family, or font color
7) Fonts in more than three sizes
8) Message bodies that are centered or that otherwise override default text alignment settings
9) More than two line-breaks (spacing between paragraphs) in a row
10) Unsecure images (http instead of https)
11) Spelling errors or grammar issues

One seller said the new rules ensure sellers stay compliant with laws such as those governing website accessibility (see this article from Search Engine Journal, for example).

Seller reaction included concerns about order cancellations - some excerpts of comments:

"No more contacting buyers to inform about an issue - without refunding them first."

"Customers are free to phone you or show up at your doorstep but they aren't allowed to know your email address. It makes perfect sense."

"Discriminating sellers not fluent in English."

Tuesday's announcement follows:

"On November 3, 2020, our updated Communication Guidelines go into effect for Buyer-Seller messages. They include direction on permitted message types, appropriate content, and stylistic features for clearer communication with buyers. This update will apply to all sellers.

"We have made the updates in response to seller and developer feedback that our communications-related policies were confusing and in response to what our customers are asking for from us. We believe that raising the quality bar for all communications to customers will also benefit sellers and developers, resulting in a stronger marketplace.

"We value your partnership and look forward to improving the quality of customer communications together.

"You can find the announcement on the Changes to program policies page, available here."

You can read the announcement and sellers' reaction on Amazon Seller Central.

Comments (5) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Amazon Bans Emojis and Typos from Seller Messages   Amazon Bans Emojis and Typos from Seller Messages

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 8 20:48:40 2020

Well, it’s one thing to offer, suggest, and assist to achieve an arguably sound objective (on the surface), but another thing entirely to mandate under the guise and guile of “working together...”. There’s no “working together” under a mandate.

The key discriminator between small business and those...larger...is personal. They say it’s not personal, it’s business, but that too often inappropriately overlooks the important fact one IS a person, doing business WITH a person. Not all ‘virtual’ commerce is impersonal. Nor should it be.

Now those with Ivy leaved diploma will contend how they ‘learned’ to maximize efficiency via form letter, and to be sure, a penny saved where need for being ‘personal’ may not matter is sound path to profit.

But there are, and remain viable frequent occasions in commerce where the ‘personal’ touch takes hold of the paying customer all too weary of being form-lettered, phone-furbled, and Faux-serviced by uncaring institutions of eCom profiteering.

Interestingly enough, many of those folk more ‘personally sized’ - while they may be ‘Targeted’ as more likely to be prone to lack the so-implied more ‘professional’ communication ‘standards’ as their....standard, they’ve been doing just fine in the market they know, they already SERVE, and who actually appreciates not being treated like an order number. That market - and it does include many categories of specialized consumables and commodities - could thrive with some of that ‘personal touch’ that Amazon continually advertises It apples to attract a labor force.

They don’t teach that in the hallowed halls though. Intangible analysis takes teamwork - a two-way partnership that intakes expertise that ‘math’ is too sterile to compute. Probably too ‘transformational’ for them though, or something like that.

That’s also the market share round filed by the bay, by the way.

As for ‘banning’ typos...well, good luck with that. Now that WOULD be transformational.

Perminate Link for Amazon Bans Emojis and Typos from Seller Messages   Amazon Bans Emojis and Typos from Seller Messages

by: Disgusted This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 9 10:51:45 2020

I can see a discrimination lawsuit in their future.

Perminate Link for Amazon Bans Emojis and Typos from Seller Messages   Amazon Bans Emojis and Typos from Seller Messages

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Sep 9 16:36:06 2020

Ridiculous!

Perminate Link for Amazon Bans Emojis and Typos from Seller Messages   Amazon Bans Emojis and Typos from Seller Messages

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Sep 10 23:28:27 2020

Spelling errors and grammar issues? I know college graduates that don't know the difference between their, they're and there. And what about those sellers where English is their second language? Or are they trying to eliminate the use of Twitterese ("r" for are, and "u" for you, etc.)?

Perminate Link for Amazon Bans Emojis and Typos from Seller Messages   Amazon Bans Emojis and Typos from Seller Messages

by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 11 03:53:36 2020

Quite ironic that seller support reps probably have worse spelling than most 5th graders.  



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