Amazon’s Recent Handling Time Changes and What They Mean for You

September 14, 2017

Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By Alison Held

In early August, Amazon announced that it is updating its approach to handling time changes in all seller accounts in both the US and the EU. We want to break down these changes into two parts for you as a seller, and talk a bit about how this can impact your performance in Q4.

Amazon now has a handling time of one business day available for all sellers.

Consumer demands (and the rise of Amazon Prime) have changed the shipping game. This is definitely clear with the newest option available to sellers to set a handling time of one business day on products sold on the Amazon marketplace. Previously, the shortest handling time available to all sellers was the default one-to-two business days. Amazon has made it more granular so you have increased control over what delivery service level agreements you want to communicate to buyers.

If you do not currently have a handling time configured for your account, it will default to one business day.

If you are someone who currently ships within one business day all the time, GREAT! If not, then you need to make some changes in your account to make sure that you don’t get dinged this holiday season or see a spike in your late shipment rate.

Amazon requires that sellers maintain a Late Shipment Rate (LSR) of less that 4%; any delays resulting in a greater handling time than what is specified will negatively impact your LSR.  

According to Amazon, “The Late Shipment Rate is the number of seller-fulfilled orders with a ship confirmation that is completed after the expected ship date divided by the number of seller-fulfilled orders in the relevant time period.” Essentially, as a seller, you need to make sure that you are confirming and adding tracking details to the order by the end of the handling time period that you configure for your account. If you don’t, you risk LSR going through the roof.

To set or check your handling time setup, go to Marketplaces > Amazon > Product Mapping > Template. Click into your Amazon template and, on the Common tab, find the Lead Time to Ship field. Here you can choose the option to set the same value for all of your products, via the text option, or configure something dynamic by using an attribute or a business rule.

It is always important to maintain high seller metrics with Amazon. However, it’s especially critical in Q4, when you can’t afford to get kicked off the marketplace. Set yourself up for success by setting a reasonable handling time for your business!