Your Houzz Seller Score can help you improve your service levels, drive more sales, and create happier customers. Read on for best practices:
Ship On Time
Shipping orders on time is the single most important thing you can do to keep your Seller Score high. Late shipments create customer frustration and disappointment.
If you find that you are consistently shipping late, consider trying the following things:
- Review the lead times for all of your products to make sure that you can consistently ship the products within the specified window of time. If you cannot, consider increasing the lead time for those products. Keep in mind, however, that short lead times are a key factor when buyers decide from which seller to purchase a product.
- Be sure to mark orders as shipped as soon as they have been sent with a carrier.
- In the event that an item is out-of-stock, you must immediately notify the customer and follow the backorder process. Simply keeping the order open with the original ship date will incur a severe penalty, while updating the ship date will count as a backorder, but not a late shipment.
- Identify areas in your order fulfilment process that can speed the shipment process.
Update Your Inventory Weekly
Updating your inventory on a regular basis ensures customers on Houzz have the best possible experience shopping and ordering your products.
Prices for your products on Houzz should be competitive with other websites, including your own.
Minimise Cancellations and Returns
Eliminating cancellations is also critical to maintaining a high Seller Score. Most seller-faulted cancellations are a result of out-of-stock or backordered items. While some out-of-stock events may be unavoidable, you should strive to keep your cancellation rate as low as possible.
Similarly, returns that are driven by seller issues, such as prices that are set too high or errors in fulfilment (shipping wrong product or item arriving damaged) will negatively impact your score.
If cancellations are hurting your Seller Score, here are some things to try:
- Keep your inventory up-to-date by regularly supplying Houzz with inventory feeds (we recommend once per hour) that contain an accurate count of available items. Automated methods of updating inventory (FTP and API) are available.
- Be sure to immediately remove or deactivate listings for products that have been discontinued.
- Ensure that the prices of your products on Houzz match the price that you list on other sites. If a buyer cancels or returns an item because they found it at a lower price on another site to which you distribute, you will be penalised.
- Make sure your products are accurately described and represented in your listings. Pictures or descriptions that misrepresent the product can lead to higher buyer return rates.
Respond to Customer Messages Within 24 Hours
It's critical to respond promptly to all customer inquiries within 24 hours, including over weekends and holidays. All customer messages can be viewed on Your Messages page and you will also receive an email notification for each message that is sent.
Here are some tips to improve your responsiveness:
- Respond to message inquiries within 24 hours, even if you can't solve the issue immediately. A simple response that indicates you are actively working on their inquiry and when they can expect a resolution helps build confidence with the customer and ensures your response is not late.
- Be sure to respond to every message. Even if a message doesn't warrant a specific response (such as a "Thank you" from the buyer), you must still respond with a note and, essentially, "close" the thread. Consider adding a sentence at the bottom of your correspondence that asks the buyer not to respond if their question or issue has been sufficiently resolved.
- All unread messages on Your Messages page appear in bold. If you have replied to a message, it will contain a "reply arrow" to the left of the message subject.
- Make sure that all notification emails from Houzz that alert you of a new customer message are not filtered by spam. You may also consider setting up a filter to specifically flag the "New Message" emails.
Cultivate Positive Reviews
After each purchase, customers have the option of leaving a review for the seller and the products they purchased. Reviews can be subjective, but shipping on-time, being responsive to customers, and generally providing good customer service are key factors to positive reviews.
Use Houzz Packaging Materials and Stickers
Houzz branded packaging materials are an important part of the customer experience on Houzz. Watch our short Best Practices video to see how easy it is to delight customers: