The customer is king! 👑 If you have not yet understood this, it is very likely that marketplaces will remind you of this very soon. Online shoppers have changed their way of consuming. They are increasingly demanding, whatever the sales channel, and expect ever greater reactivity, and marketplaces have understood this!
Indeed, online sales platforms consider that their sellers must provide an optimal shopping experience for their customers. Because a happy customer is a loyal customer!
This is why they impose strict SLAs on merchants.
But before we go any further, let’s define the term SLA or Service-Level Agreement. This is a contract between 2 parties, covering a set of rules to be followed. In the marketplace context, SLAs are the rules marketplaces have decided to follow in order to give their customers the best possible service. By deciding to sell through them, you commit yourself to abiding by these rules.
In this article, we present, in different examples, the SLAs that most marketplaces have put in place and how BeezUP can help you go about your business with greater peace of mind.
1. Order acceptance time
The order acceptance time is the time you take to confirm the orders you receive from marketplaces.
For example, the order acceptance time on Amazon is 24 hours from the receipt of an order. This processing time includes all the time before the order is shipped. This means that you have very little time to approve or reject your orders on this marketplace. Being reactive will avoid you getting a warning from the platform, which, like all the others, is very much focused on the customer experience.
As you can see, to keep all your indicators in the green, you need to be extremely reactive!
If you are already using an e-commerce feed manager, you must surely be using the automatic order forwarding feature, which allows you to solve most of this issue. If you don’t yet do so, you will know that the feed manager is essential to success on marketplaces.
With a tool like BeezUP, you can manage and process your orders from a single platform: on your BeezUP merchant page or directly in your online shop. You can accept them in the shortest possible time and thus save time and gain in productivity, while meeting the deadlines imposed by marketplaces.
In addition to the basic feature, we offer an extra option to further reduce your orders’ acceptance time. If your products stock allows, you can use our automatic order acceptance feature. All you have to do is ship them!
2. Shipping time
Order shipping time is the time it takes for you to ship the orders you receive from marketplaces.
Now that your order has been confirmed, it is time to ship it. Another important SLA for marketplaces.
Let’s use our Amazon example to illustrate the order shipping time.
You are responsible for shipping your packages yourself and you gave the marketplace a delivery time at the beginning. By default, this is one day, but you can change it across the board or by product in your Amazon back office. Note that this time is like a contract that you sign with the marketplace, an SLA that you have to meet!
BeezUP helps you meet this SLA by grouping all your orders in one place and can also be linked to your online shop, which saves you time and avoids you having to do too many operations. All you have to do is ship your packages.
And if you use the fulfilment option, how does it work?
But what is fulfilment? 🤔
Fulfilment means storing your products directly in the marketplace’s warehouse and letting them take care of the shipping themselves. Most of the leading marketplaces offer this. This is the case with Amazon, with the FBA*, Cdiscount and ManoMano. The aim of this option is to reduce your order processing time as much as possible and to be at the top of the marketplace ranking. This will surely enable you to win the Buy Box! 😉
In this case, it’s even easier! Just one button to click in BeezUP to decide to ship your orders. Or even better, you can subscribe to automatic order acceptance, in which case you don’t even need to click, we take care of it for you.
*FBA = Fullfilment By Amazon
3. Order tracking
Order tracking is the time it takes for you to send tracking information to the marketplace.
When your package is ready to be shipped, you need to send all the tracking information to your customer.
Take Cdiscount for example: this marketplace requires you to provide the name of the carrier and the tracking number of the package when shipping your orders.
Other information can be transmitted, but is not mandatory, such as the tracking link. Although these values are not always easy to find, we recommend that you provide them. The more information you provide, the better the customer experience and the greater the chance that they will repurchase your products and develop brand loyalty.
At BeezUP, our merchants can fill in all the tracking information for their orders when they ship. It is even possible to add the relay point ID in the shipping fields so that your customer is informed, and you can contact the relay point in case of problems and better track your products.
In addition, with the bulk order change feature, you can ship multiple orders en masse and send all the tracking information at the same time. Handy! 😏
Once again, at BeezUP, we make a point of enriching our solution with options that allow e-merchants to provide an optimal shopping experience.
As a bonus, all our features are available through our 100% open API and can be implemented directly on your site!
Some marketplaces may ask you to provide your customers with access to purchase invoices within a short timeframe. You can do a number of things: send it directly when the order is shipped or at the customer’s request.
Now that your product has been shipped, you can send the invoice to the customer. There is also a time limit for sending an invoice, depending on the marketplace. When SLAs come a-calling… 🙄
For example, if a customer asks you for an invoice after a purchase on Cdiscount, you only have 48 hours to send it.
To do this, you can do a number of things:
- Generate your own invoices manually. This can be a source of error, especially if your accounting department is not used to the immediacy of e-commerce. It is also very time-consuming.
- Use an external invoice generation system that has the ability to automate but can be expensive.
- And then you have a third option which is to generate customisable invoices via a product feed manager like BeezUP. No need for external tools or to do it by hand. Choose the invoice prefixes, add your logo, your custom header and the language of your invoices: French, English or Spanish. This way you can keep control over your branding even when the purchase was made on a marketplace.
Of course, all invoices generated by BeezUP have consecutive invoice numbers as required by law. 😉
As a bonus, you can also send your customer invoices through our “Conversations” module!
5. Order cancellation rate
The order cancellation rate is the percentage of orders you cancel out of all your orders on the marketplace.
Let’s say that last month you cancelled 6 orders out of the 200 you received. Your cancellation rate will be 3%.
Based on Amazon marketplace, the SLA on the cancellation rate is about 2.5%. In this example, you would not respond to this one and would risk penalties.
You may have guessed, but the main cause of cancellation is selling out-of-stock products.
So, to reduce your cancellation rate as much as possible, it is essential to keep your stocks up to date. To counter this, at BeezUP, our merchants use our API or their e-commerce CMS module to easily write off their stocks. This drastically reduces the risk of selling a product they don’t have.
6. Message response time
This is the time you take to respond to your customers’ messages. Marketplaces pay a lot of attention to this.
Now that you have sent everything to your customers, they may have questions and send you a message through the marketplace.
Your daily routine is tons of emails and notifications of customer requests, constantly going back to your marketplace’s back office to answer them. Your greatest fear: missing a message and not answering the customer in time… This daily check is a full-time job…
Again with our Amazon example, they ask you to answer more than 90% of your messages within 24 hours (including weekends and holidays!). If you don’t meet their response time criteria, you risk a penalty ranging from a warning to being banned from the marketplace. Amazon is serious about the customer experience!
Here at BeezUP, we suggest you use our secret weapon 🙊🤐: our “Conversations” feature!
With it you can find all your marketplace (Amazon, Cdon, Rakuten and all Mirakl) messages directly in your BeezUP page. 😎
This way, you only have one platform to log into regularly, no need to make endless rounds to check your messages. This saves time, reduces error and the number of tools. This way, you will have an optimal customer experience, which may make these customers want to order directly from your site next time.
7. Incident rate, returns management & returns dissatisfaction rate
📌 Définition: Incident rates and returns management
These are the various problems that customers may encounter during their purchase journey on a marketplace: a non-compliant product, an incorrect shipping address, a delay in shipping, delivery, etc. These are considered incidents that can alter the user experience and generate negative returns.
For example, the Boulanger marketplace doesn’t allow its merchants to have an incident rate higher than 7%. If this criterion is not met, Boulanger automatically removes your products from its site.
📌 Definition: Dissatisfaction rate related to returns
This is the number of customers who are dissatisfied with the handling of their product return, calculated on the total number of returns.
This dissatisfaction rate can come from many factors such as the ease of return, communication with the customer and the time the process takes.
Again, our secret weapon, the “Conversations” feature built into BeezUP, allows you to respond to all refund requests quickly and from a single platform.
For example, you can group all messages related to an order and process them to quickly defuse the situation and thus reduce the rate of dissatisfaction generated.
Note that 29% of returns are due to the fact that the article description is incorrect or insufficient.
To eradicate this problem, in BeezUP you can fill in all the information you want (optional or not) and thus ensure that your product sheets are complete and your product descriptions impeccable.
As a bonus, by doing this, your products will be better referenced by marketplaces! 😉
If you can provide as much important information about your products as possible, you should have less and less returns and incidents.
8. Refund rate
The refund rate is the number of orders you refund out of your total orders.
Unfortunately, BeezUP can’t help you with this… However, you can refund your orders directly from BeezUP or from your online shop (if connected to BeezUP).
Following these rules puts sellers under constant pressure, especially when marketplace management is done manually. This is where the use of an e-commerce feed manager like BeezUP makes sense. Automating your sales processes will allow you to meet marketplaces’ requirements and their SLAs as thoroughly as possible.
Although seen as a constraint, this contract of trust between marketplaces, sellers and customers is beneficial for all 3 parties. Because don’t forget that it’s your products and your brand that are at stake. 😏
Alix OUDIN, Head of Marketing & Communication at BeezUP
Elodie TOROSSIAN, Developer Analyst at BeezUP