Since joining Kaspien's Inbound Marketing department in 2019, Elizabeth has served both as the Copywriting Intern and as the Social Media Intern. If she is not at work or attending class at Gonzaga University, she is likely found skiing, doing yoga, or catching the sunset.
For sellers on Amazon, price matching may initially be a confusing subject. In the traditional sense, pricing matching is when shoppers can show a seller that a given product is available for less in another store, and ask the seller to match that price. Amazon does not do this.
However, as sellers, we know that doesn’t quite capture the full story. While Amazon may not offer price matching on a case-by-case level, they effectively try to force price matching through their seller contracts, which can penalize sellers if a product is offered for a lower price somewhere else.
Amazon Pricing Parity Provision
Up until 2019, Amazon had a clause within its third-party contracts requiring sellers to set their Amazon prices at or below prices on other marketplaces. This clause, known as the price parity agreement, helped to ensure that shoppers did not find the products elsewhere for cheaper. Amazon stated that they did this in order to provide consumers with the best user experience and lowest prices.
If sellers did not adhere to pricing parity clause Amazon enforced, their Buy Box would roll up, their ASINs would be suppressed, and their accounts may also be suspended. This change in policy was due to political backlash against the company as many individuals claimed that the section was anti-competitive in nature and violated antitrust laws.
So, if Amazon took out the clause that made this occur in 2019, what has happened since then?
Amazon’s Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy
Amazon replaced the price parity clause with their Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy. While this policy was a change, it didn’t actually make much difference in their pricing model. If a seller does not price its products at a competitively low price, Amazon still has the ability to alter the product’s listing. To abide by the new policy, sellers must:
Set a competitive price for products in relation to other platforms (like eBay, Alibaba, Walmart, etc.)
Set shipping fees that are reasonable
Set reference prices that are not misleading for shoppers
If sellers do not abide by these rules, among others within the policy, they may be subject to Buy Box roll up. This “bait and switch” maneuver of pricing parity with the fair pricing policy laid the grounds for the Washington, D.C. attorney general to announce a lawsuit against Amazon in May 2021. The lawsuit argues that Amazon has created an artificially high price floor through both policies, harming business competition and consumers.
What is a Suppressed Buy Box?
Buy Box suppression refers to a condensed Buy Box in comparison to the regular, full size Buy Box consumers are used to seeing.
Here is what consumers expect to see as they go to purchase a product on an Amazon listing:
When rolled up, the Buy Box does not contain the expected “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” option like it usually would. Instead, the listing contains an option forcing shoppers to take the extra step to look through all sellers in order to choose which to purchase from.
While this is only one extra step in the buying process, it has real negative consequences. The Buy Box is a very important selling point for consumers as 82% of purchases happen within the Buy Box. To lose this critical part of your listing could be detrimental to product sales.
Do Sellers Still Have to Price Match on Amazon?
While this change in policy does mean that Amazon will no longer require sellers to sell for the lowest amount on their platform or match prices on other platforms, it does mean that sellers still need to take the steps to stay competitive in order to keep their Buy Box open.
Amazon takes numerous factors into account, specifically your product’s pricing, to determine if the Buy Box is open or suppressed. In order to mitigate the possibility of you losing this important portion of your listing, it is absolutely vital you watch your competitor’s pricing on other online marketplaces.
Which Marketplaces does Amazon Fair Pricing Monitor?
Specifically, Amazon watches Walmart, Target, Alibaba, and eBay. There’s also reason to believe that Amazon monitors category-specific websites, such as Chewy.com for pet products, and larger direct websites, although no official list of monitored sites has ever been publicly shared.
Amazon’s Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy page keeps the details vague, stating that Amazon can “remove the Buy Box, remove the offer, suspend the ship option, or, in serious or repeated cases, suspending or terminating selling privileges” when sellers offer products for “significantly” (another ambiguous term) anywhere on or off Amazon.
How to Craft an Effective Pricing Strategy for eCommerce
With Amazon holding the lion’s share of U.S. ecommerce market share, most consumer goods brands cannot afford to ignore the sales channel. If you want to take a multi-channel approach to ecommerce – selling on Amazon, Target, Walmart, eBay, direct websites, and more – you should know that Amazon isn’t alone in enforcing pricing parity either: Target and Walmart both have similar fair pricing policies for their online marketplaces.
The natural conclusion, then, is that your pricing strategy should feature a consistent retail price for all sales channels (remember the D.C. AG’s argument about an artificially high price floor?).
The easiest way to ensure consistent pricing is to limit the number of sellers you work with. The fewer sellers carrying your product, the easier and quicker it is to communicate and enforce your pricing strategy. You can take this all the way to working with just a single third-party seller across all online sales channels and/or being your own seller across all online sales channels.
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Dropshipping can be a powerful tool for ecommerce companies – if it’s utilized well. Amazon dropshipping, especially at an enterprise-level, can protect against supply chain volatility, mitigate warehouse storage fees and inventory limits, and aid in a variety of other operational hardships that come with traditional FBA fulfillment. This was demonstrated most recently when Amazon released FBA Amazon restrictions right before Prime Day 2021.
“Dropshipping” can conjure a few different images, so what exactly do we mean by “enterprise-level dropshipping?” It’s largely a matter of the scale and scope of the operation.
Three Scales of Amazon Dropshipping
Think of your next-door neighbor’s side hustle. They buy product for cheap at Costco, list it for sale online at a higher price, and wait for orders to come in, flipping the product to make a profit. Retail arbitrage is all about the buy-low-sell-high model, and is typically done on a smaller scale by individuals rather than large companies (there are, of course, exceptions).
Retail arbitrage does not require interaction between brands and sellers, which can make it into dangerous for brands by creating a threat to their reputation. The brand has no say in the marketing, customer service, etc. of their product, because the seller is completely separate from the brand itself. That lack of say can be alarming, and rightly so.
Niche dropshipping focuses on exactly what it sounds like: a niche. This type of dropshipping hones in on a single product category, looking at overall supply and availability for that particular area. The niche dropshipper can range in size, from a one-man side hustle to a small or medium business with multiple employees.
These sellers are often the manufacturer or have a formal relationship with the manufacturer. They use dropship to fulfill orders because they sell across many sales channels, sales volume may not justify the costs of using FBA or a third-party logistics provider, and/or their sales come primarily through word-of-mouth marketing at events.
This approach typically requires more customer interaction than retail arbitrage, as the dropshipper is attending events, promoting their brands through social media, directing customers to a website, etc.
Dropshipping for Enterprises
Dropshipping for enterprises is what we do here at Kaspien. We set up dropship capabilities for brands when products do not have high enough sales volume currently, are ineligible for FBA, sell products that are subject to significant fluctuations in sales velocity, or do not have enough inventory space allotted at FBA.
This tactic allows us to offer our partners’ full product catalogs on Amazon while minimizing risk of stagnant inventory fees, as well as protect against stock-outs when Amazon restricts FBA inventory.
Dropshipping at this scale is an integral part to creating a stable foundation from which your brand can grow on Amazon. By diversifying fulfillment strategies with a combination of FBA and dropship, brands gain the agility needed to pivot quickly in a still turbulent marketplace.
Benefits of Working with Kaspien as a Brand-Extension Dropshipper
Mitigate Risk & Labor Expense
As one of the largest third-party sellers on Amazon, Kaspien already operates in economies of scale. We have a 13+ year old seller account with a long history of fulfilling via FBA and dropship for thousands of brands.
Because of this, our team and technology are well equipped to handle any late shipments, order defects, reduce tracking issues, review product compliance, collect and remit sales tax, and provide customer service easier than a seller would be able to do on their own, resulting in a more efficient business and altogether better experience for customers.
Additionally, if your brand were to experience any issues ODR, VTR, or LSR while dropshipping on your own seller account, you could face immediate ramifications. Because Kaspien dropships for many brands on our seller account, any issues you experience will have a diluted impact on our seller performance metrics. That means that we have time to correct the issues before you face any penalties from Amazon.
Working with Kaspien’s dropship team allows you to be paid directly through invoices, rather than waiting on Amazon. Additionally, when selling through Amazon, you run the risk of Amazon shutting down or freezing your account if issues arise, creating some major cash flow troubles. Dropshipping through Kaspien and being paid through invoices helps avoid this risk.
Dropship for Amazon Business
Using dropship in addition to your other fulfillment tactics can be extremely beneficial for both you and your customers, especially when selling B2B on Amazon Business.
Dropship is a naturally scalable model; as units increase, you are able to sell each unit for less, offering customers a better price. The B2B marketplace provides a natural venue for quantity discounts, as businesses typically purchase in higher volumes.
Given the slew of FBA inventory restrictions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, storing adequate inventory at FBA for bulk B2B orders can be… problematic. Dropshipping allows brands to make those sales, without being limited by FBA.
Amazon incentivizes B2B customers by offering longer payment terms, which means that we, as sellers, get paid slower. This is another area where dropshipping through Kaspien and being paid through invoice benefits your brand.
Marketing Services for Dropship Listings
As you look for companies to partner with for your dropshipping strategy, they should add much more value to your brand than merely dropshipping. A brand-centric partner can add marketing support to your listings, which is an absolute must in the saturated and competitive Amazon world.
A good partner will also boost your product’s buyability. Once consumers enter your listing, they need to be met with a persuasive page. To do this, a good partner will create rich listing content through quality copy and photo assets, create A+ Content, optimize content reviews, and optimize the organization of your listing. By highlighting your product’s differentiating features and benefits, you enhance consumer knowledge and trust of your product, supporting conversions.
Amazon Dropshipping FAQ’s
Do “Dropship” and “FBM” Mean the Same Thing?
Yes and no. FBM, or Fulfilled by Merchant, is any fulfillment model where a non-Amazon party manages order fulfillment for a sale that occurred on Amazon. Dropship is one of these methods, and perhaps the most common.
FBM can also include cases where inventory is stored at a third-party warehouse, so brands still pay warehousing and storage fees like they would at FBA. Some of these third-party warehouses are able to provide Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP), which is when they are certified as being able to provide a Prime-equivalent shipping experience (including speed, quality, returns, and customer service) through a FBM model.
Does FBM sell worse than FBA?
Typically, products fulfilled via FBA sell better than FBM. This is due to the fact that consumers often prefer the fast and free shipments offered through Prime. Prime also impacts SERP placement. If a product is offered through Prime, the Amazon algorithm is more likely to place this listing above an FBM listing on the results page.
Notably, this changed when COVID-19 first strained FBA infrastructure in the spring of 2020, and Kaspien observed FBM listings being prioritized over FBA listings.
Even though FBA does tend to sell better, you can’t capture sales with an FBA listing if you stock out of FBA inventory. With continued inventory restrictions, this is a very real risk. Likewise, products with a low sales velocity can rack up storage fees at FBA, reducing their profitability. For these and other aforementioned reasons, dropship remains a valuable tool for your Amazon toolbox.
Does FBM cost more for brands than FBA?
This depends on a multitude of factors, and the answer will vary for each product and each brand. For some warehouses and logistics, FBA is cheaper and for others, FBM is cheaper. These numbers are dependent on the size, weight, etc. of your product. If you are curious about where your product would lie cost-wise, our team would be happy to go over this with you!
Does FBM put you at higher risk of a seller account shut down than FBA?
When comparing the two options, FBM is riskier. Order Defect Rate and Late Ship Rate are two important factors for rating seller account health. In FBA, Amazon owns these. In FBM, the seller is responsible for keeping them at healthy rates. As such, we pay close attention to these metrics for each of our dropship partner accounts.
What are some indicators that a dropship product should transition to FBA?
Determining if your product should transition to an FBA fulfillment method should be based upon your data and margins. The most important indicators are:
Will you have enough margin left after storage and fulfillment fees?
Does your product sell at high enough velocity that you won’t face long-term storage fees?
Do you have enough inventory space allotted at FBA so you won’t stock out?
Fortunately, Amazon provides ample information about FBA costs, so if you have the data, you can run the numbers. In most cases, we encourage brands to keep dropship enabled as a safety precaution any time they transition a product from dropship to FBA.
Is there a way to automatically switch from FBA to FBM (and vice versa)?
Because a brand has to ship products into FBA and manually set up logistics in Seller Central, there is no way two automatically switch between the two fulfillment methods.
Do storage limitations shift when you switch from FBA to FBM?
FBA storage limits will not change based if you add FBM capabilities. If you find yourself in a situation where you are not able to stock enough inventory through FBA, FBM would be beneficial to you. This is especially true when you expect your velocity to exceed the inventory you have on hand.
Does Kaspien offer 3PL services as a part of the dropship program?
While we do not offer full 3PL services, we are able to purchase and store inventory. This is our traditional retail partnership. 3PLs are generally more expensive than FBA, so if margins are already tight on Amazon, it may be difficult to move forward with a strategy that would induce even tighter margins.
What is some advice that sellers should know if they are looking to switch to FBM?
If you are looking to dropship for yourself, you should really have a grasp on Amazon’s requirements and fee structure prior to starting. You should also be extremely cognizant of your product dimensions and weights. If you do not measure correctly, you can run up to a $1,000 shipping charge due to abnormal shipping sizes.
Are You Ready to Start Dropshipping on Amazon?
When deciding whether or not your product is ready for dropship, consider:
Is your warehouse or other facilities in your supply chain capable of shipping directly to consumers?
If the answer is no, dropship may not be your best fulfillment option.
Do you know how many days of handling time you need?
Do you have a single-threaded leader who can be your primary contact for orders, inventory, etc.?
These questions will allow you to better understand your product’s dropship viability, protect your brand’s Amazon listing, allow you to keep your 100% uptime.
You’ll need to complete a brief questionnaire, allowing our dropship team to understand the potential risks of dropshipping your product. Before you begin the questionnaire, be ready with a full catalogue of products available for dropship, and their dimensions, weights, and UPCs.
From the information you provided and the knowledge they have for success, they will decide whether or not your product would be a good candidate. That being said, our team is willing to be immensely creative in protecting your brand and doing what we can to best serve you.
As your product gets passed for dropship, we will conduct a manual dropship test, working out any kinks that may take place. Following this test period, you can choose to go live or remain dormant as a backup just in case any volatility in the marketplace occurs. From here you can also move forward with automated DS integration.
Sell on Amazon with Kaspien
If you’d like to explore Amazon dropshipping or FBA with Kaspien, reach out. For more Amazon news and strategy, subscribe to our weekly blog newsletter!
Kaspien’s Digital Marketing Manager, Jeremy Rossow, stressed the importance of Amazon ads:
Having a sponsored ads strategy on Amazon has become an absolute necessity for brands to be successful on the platform. Brands should view advertising in the same way they view inventory management and listing optimization: it’s a must for continued sales and growth on Amazon.
When starting your advertising campaign, determining which types of ads would be the most beneficial for you can be confusing. Generally, Sponsored Product Ads are a great place to start.
What are Amazon Sponsored Product Ads?
Amazon’s Sponsored Product Ads are likely a familiar sight to those who frequent the marketplace. These types of ads appear in many places throughout the SERP (nine times to be exact) and look like regular listings. The only difference between these listings and non-sponsored listings is that these have the word “Sponsored” located near the lower left corner of the product photo.
The resemblance to a normal listing can decrease buyer hesitation. Sometimes, consumers are hesitant to engage with advertisements as they can seem ingenuine or forced. A study done by the American Association of Advertising Agencies showed that 96% of consumers don’t trust advertisers — which also means they don’t trust the ads they produce.
However, this study was not specific to Amazon, and that’s important. When consumers are going about their daily lives, it makes sense that receiving an ad can be intrusive. But, when consumers are on Amazon, they are looking to buy, or at the very least considering a purchase for the future. That shift in headspace is key, and a big reason why Sponsored Product Ads perform so well. In the last twelve months, Kaspien’s Sponsored Product Ads have averaged an 11% conversion rate!
How Amazon Sponsored Product Ads Work
Sponsored Product Ads work in a similar fashion to other forms of advertising on Amazon: They run on Amazon’s PPC (pay-per-click) model. This allows brands to pay only for the ads that are clicked on, which is extremely beneficial for companies as they are not paying for ad campaigns that are unsuccessful in boosting recognition or revenue.
Sponsored Product Ads also work on an auction model. Sellers bid on specific keywords, telling Amazon that if a shopper searches “____,” they are willing to pay X dollars or cents for their ad to appear on the SERP.
When setting up their campaign, sellers specify the greatest amount they would be willing to pay to be featured as a Sponsored Product for the specified keyword. As various sellers bid on keywords, Amazon assesses the bids in order to determine who wins the auction. Amazon’s algorithm considers product rank, product ratings, customer reviews, product relevancy, and various other attributes to make the decision. Amazon charges the winner of the auction only $0.01 more than the second highest bidder. For example, if the highest bidder bid $1.00 and the second highest bid $0.55, the winner would only pay $0.56.
What are Good Performance Metrics for Sponsored Product Ads?
When implementing a Sponsored Product Ad campaign, it is important to keep your ideal metrics in mind. Key performance indicators include:
The CTR is an extremely important KPI, as it measures your ad’s effectiveness with the target audience. To calculate, divide the number of ad clicks by the impressions that it received on the SERP (clicks/impressions). If your CTR is low, it indicates that your ad is either targeting a non-ideal audience or the audience is not intrigued enough by your product.
To improve CTR, you may need to adjust which keywords you’re targeting and/or update your listing title and image, since the title and image appear in the ad. Finally, you may need to consider pricing and reviews. If your product is priced too high or has few or poor reviews, that can also impact CTR.
Conversion Rate (CR)
Conversion rate measures your listing’s ability to attract Amazon users and convert them into customers. This metric is measured by dividing the number of orders you received by the number of clicks your listing got (orders/clicks). The result indicates how well your listing is optimized for converting shoppers who clicked your ad.
To increase your conversion rate, it may be a good idea to review your listing copy, work to increase positive reviews, alter your optimized keywords, or review your competitor tactics and respond appropriately. All these changes can make a big difference in your ability to convert more shoppers.
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
Return on ad spend shows how much revenue you received from an ad campaign vs how much you spent. It can be calculated by dividing your ad revenue by the ad spend (ad revenue/ad spend).
If your ROAS is not where you would like it to be, you may not be taking full advantage of the opportunities presented to you. To increase your ROAS, take advantage of Amazon promotions, optimize for less competitive keywords, or use exact match bids.
Advertising Cost of Sale (ACOS)
Advertising Cost of Sale measures how much you spent on advertising to obtain your product revenue. ACOS is the inverse of ROAS, though ACOS is used more often in the industry. This metric is calculated by dividing the amount you spent on advertising by the revenue you received from product sales. As a good rule of thumb, you will want your ACoS to be around 15-20%, though lower is better.
If your ACOS is too high, it suggests that your ads are not targeting ideal shoppers and/or, similar to conversion rate, that your listing is not optimized to convert shoppers after they click into your listing. Amazon ad costs are rising in 2021, but we’ve written a blog post about key ways to reduce Amazon ad costs without sacrificing sales.
Kaspien’s Advertising Performance Metrics
At Kaspien, our average 2020 metrics across all product categories included a CTR of 0.42%, a Conversion Rate of 10.48%, ROAS of 12.43, and an ACOS of 8.04%. Our digital marketing efforts boost total sales by 30% on average. If you are looking for help to increase your Amazon advertising performance, feel free to contact us!
Amazon Sponsored Product Ads Best Practices
Set Competitive Bids
For keywords that are long-tail and specific to your product, set aggressive and competitive bids. This will allow you to have a better chance against your competitors and will boost your chances of being featured. For keywords that are broader and more generic, we recommend you still bid, but at a lower value, as you’ll reach a broader and potentially less relevant audience with these keywords.
Keep a Close Eye on Trends
Shopper habits and trends ebb and flow easily, so it is vital to stay ahead of these trends and notice them as they are happening. Keep a close eye on trending keywords and adjust your ads and listing as needed. Just be careful not to make edits too frequently, as doing so means there isn’t enough time to collect data on how your previous edits impacted performance.
Do not “Set It and Forget It”
Shopper habits change, as do competitors’ ad strategies. Because of this, merely setting bids and leaving them will not work. Amazon is a dynamic and ever-shifting marketplace, so in order to maximize advertising profitability, you must regularly manage and optimize your ad campaigns.
Using these fundamentals leads to results like this (read the full JumpOff Jo case study here):
To create Sponsored Product Ads, sellers must comply with a list of guidelines and requirements set out by Amazon. Fortunately, these guidelines are quite easy to meet. They include:
Content must be suitable for a general audience
Content must accurately depict advertised product with correct information
Only advertise products you have the right to advertise as you are the registered seller or brand itself
Amazon also has a list of prohibited content for Sponsored Product Ads. This content is restricted for a variety of reasons, from trademarks to the glorification of harmful activities. Some of this prohibited content includes:
Amazon Trademarked products or services
Content that promotes drug use
Culturally inappropriate content
Content that promotes dangerous activities
Amazon also prohibits certain types of photos and videos to be used within their Sponsored Product Ads. These visuals include:
Content of weapons that are threatening, gruesome, directed, or associated with a minor
Visible intimate body parts
For a full list of Amazon Sponsored Product Ads prohibited content, hop over to their website for the full list!
If you are looking for a place to start your Amazon Advertising campaign, then Sponsored Products are likely an advantageous option for you and your company. They are a great option and prove to be beneficial to companies of all sizes!
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It is no secret that social media has become well integrated into every portion of our lives. We have channels for our personal lives, professional lives, and now we have another channel for our lives as consumers: Amazon Posts.
What are Amazon Posts?
Amazon Posts are a social-media style outlet that brings the type of content we are accustomed to seeing on social channels to the Amazon marketplace. Amazon launched the beta version of Amazon Posts in October 2019, and the feature is still in its beta trial. Brands can create posts that have an Instagram-style feel to them but are posted directly to the Amazon platform. This feature is available to U.S. brands enrolled in Brand Registry and their designated agents, such as a third-party seller or Amazon agency.
Where do Amazon Posts Appear?
Your Amazon Brand Store
For most product categories, Amazon Posts are available to view on the company’s Amazon Brand Store. This addition is located at the far right of the Brand Store menu. Here, shoppers can also choose to “Follow” the brand, staying up-to-date every time the brand shares a new Post.
When shoppers follow your brand, you can also use Amazon’s “Manage Your Customer Engagement” tool to directly email shoppers whenever you launch a new product or promotion.
Once you publish an Amazon Post, it appears on your brand’s “Posts” feed as well as four other locations, which is determined by the Amazon algorithm. The places that the posts can appear include:
Your product’s brand listing
Within your listing, Amazon Posts lie between “Customers who bought this item also bought” and “Customer Questions.” This location allows consumers who are interested in your listing to learn more about the specific product, other products in your lines, and your brand as a whole.
Similar to the post placement on your product listing, your Amazon Post can land on related brand’s listings. This is a benefit to you, as your products are showcased against theirs, but it also works vice-versa, as competitor posts can land on your listings.
Related post feed
Your post can also land on the related post feed, which highlights various products related to your own. Products in this feed get placed on the specific page through a tagging process where the A9 Algorithm links similar products to each other. The related post feed can be found by clicking on the three dots in the upper right corner of the post then clicking on “See more like this.”
The Related Posts Feed benefits shoppers and brands, as shoppers can view various items they may be interested in while the brands enjoy increased exposure.
The final place where your post can be featured is on the category-based feed. When you publish your post, Amazon places category tags at the bottom of the post that are custom to your product. The specific tag determines the category-based feed your post can end up on. This feed is like the Related Post feed, but it includes a broader array of products. To view this feed, click on one of the category tags at the bottom of a post. The link will then take you to the feed featuring products within the specified category.
How Amazon Posts Compare to Other Social Media Platforms
While Amazon Posts are similar in fashion to other social media platforms, they are also quite different. Most notably, on traditional sites, the main goal of the network is to create connections between users. This connection fuels engagement, which is one of the primary performance indicators that both brands and individuals measure when determining success.
Amazon Posts, rather than being used to drive engagement, are used to help with consumer conversions. Posts allow brands to showcase more of who they are and what their products are with the hope of increasing revenue.
Brands should take advantage of Amazon Posts for a variety of reasons, including:
Amazon Posts are a new way to market your products
Because Amazon Posts are a relatively new addition to the Amazon marketplace, they are a great way to stay competitive. Being an early adopter of this service can allow you to stand out among your competition. Also, because Amazon Posts is new and not yet competitive, it provides the opportunity for your posts to be more easily accessible to Amazon users. The market saturation is low, which means that you have a great chance of being highlighted.
Opportunity to cross-sell products
Because Amazon Posts can appear in numerous locations on Amazon, using Amazon Posts also helps you cross-sell your products. While this can also happen on other places within the listing, Amazon Posts is yet another advantageous space for you to highlight your various products.
Increased brand and product awareness
As Amazon Posts are displayed in a variety of places, they increase your likelihood to be discovered by new consumers. These new consumers may not have been looking for your products specifically, but they found them through Posts.
Amazon Posts Best Practices & Recommendations
Repurpose your social media content
Let’s be real; creating content can be time-consuming and difficult. We recommend taking posts that you have already shared on other platforms — e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter — and repurposing them for Amazon Posts. Not only will this save you time and energy, but it will also ensure your brand is consistent across numerous social channels.
Keep your captions short & sweet
When your Amazon Post publishes, only the first two lines are shown by default. Because of this, it is extremely important to say what is necessary and do it quickly. This can be accomplished through short captions or by using the first two lines as a header, then going into greater detail later in the post. You do have 2,200 characters to work with, but brevity is a virtue.
Utilize lifestyle photos
Depending on the product, it may be hard to understand how it’s used. By highlighting various uses or showing the product being used in real life, you help consumers understand what they should expect. Lifestyle photos also allow consumers to place themselves within the context of the post. If the person in the photo seems to be enjoying the product, they’ll probably enjoy the product too.
Share your Story
Humanizing your companyis a great way to market your products. Showing consumers your company values and mission while also highlighting stories can grant you the opportunity to connect with them on a deeper level. These deeper connections allow for stronger relationships and bonds, thus creating a more loyal customer base.
Get posting & do it often
As is with all social channels, consistency is key. Consistently utilizing Amazon Posts to share content with your audience allows your content to be found more easily. Because Amazon Posts is in its early stage and is not being widely utilized, there is even more of a reason to start posting.
Post quality content
When you do decide to start posting, only post high-quality content. Lower quality photos or captions can negatively reflect on the quality of your brand and products, which is the last thing you want to happen. If your post is the first way a consumer encounters your brand, you want to make a good first impression.
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It’s no secret that there are tricks of the trade when it comes to boosting your Amazon listing and increasing its conversions. One of those tricks is implementing Amazon A+ Content.
Amazon claims that implementing A+ Content into a listing can improve conversion rates by 5% but internally, we have seen even greater returns. Kaspien performed an internal study that showed a 12% growth in orders for one of our partners that added A+ Content into their listing! They also saw a 7% growth in overall sessions and a 10% increase in conversions.
OK but What is Amazon A+ Content?
Amazon A+ Content – previously known as Enhanced Brand Content in Seller Central – offers an opportunity for brands to give consumers a better idea of who they are and what they have to offer. A+ Content is supplementary material that can be found underneath a product’s Amazon listing, allowing brand registered sellers and vendors increased space to share more info about their products and brand. It’s designed and provided by the brand themselves (or their seller), which allows for increased branding opportunities and improved discoverability.
Amazon A+ Content is a free tool offered to sellers, adding yet another reason why brands should utilize it. (Fun fact: A+ Content used to cost $600 for brands retailing through Vendor Central). While this additional content does not increase a product’s SERP ranking, it does help persuade shoppers to buy. As seen in our study, the more info provided to consumers, the more they are likely to trust your brand, and the more likely they are to convert. Also, although A+ Content is not indexed by Amazon’s algorithm, it is indexed by Google. It gives more context to the listing, allowing Google’s algorithm to better match user searches to the products they are looking for.
How to Create A+ Content
First off, to create A+ Content, you must be either Brand Registered or have a Vendor Central account on Amazon. Once this essential step is complete, just head to your Seller Central account and you’re ready to follow these steps:
Click the “A+ Content” tab in the Advertising menu. From there, to create the content you want, click “Start Creating A+ Content” and choose your desired content.
Available content includes an Enhanced Product Description, which provides more details on product details while offering the ability to answer questions customers may have.
Name the content you are creating, following the provided cues to design your desired A+ Content.
Add in your images and captions. During this stage of the process, you can click “Preview” at any point to see what it looks like on both desktop and mobile.
To add photos, you need to first add them to the Creative Assets Library. This holds content from other initiatives like Sponsored Brands and other A+ Content you may have created in the past.
You must include image alt-text keywords. This text does not appear within the traditional A+ Content but does give context to those with screen reader apps. When writing the alt-text, think of simple sentences like “Child floating on pool noodle in the water.”
Add desired and applicable ASINs to the content through the ASINs management portion.
Create language variations. Language variations copies your created content and ASINs so you can use them as translated content.
Not everyone shopping on your listing is going to be speaking your native language, so to address this you must create numerous variations of the A+ Content.
Click “Review & Submit”, look over your created A+ Content, and when satisfied click “Submit for Approval”.
Your content may take up to 7 business days to either receive approval or be sent back for necessary changes to be made.
After approval, it can take up to 24 hours to be applied to the specified ASINs.
Requirements for Creating Amazon A+ Content
In order to create A+ Content, there are a couple of must-haves:
You must be Brand Registered or have a Vendor Central account
A+ Content has been designed to increase customer conversion so that the people who visit the listing are more likely to make a purchase.
You must have high-quality assets
It is absolutely necessary to include high-quality images and graphics on the page. A+ Content is designed to give shoppers more information about the brand and provide additional resources in order to increase their conversion rate. By providing less than high-quality materials, a brand risks being perceived as lower quality by consumers, which is the last thing they want to do.
So, How do You Provide Consumers the Content They Want?
Make it exciting! Create graphics that are eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing so that the shopper pays attention and retains the info provided. Nobody wants to read content that is boring and difficult to follow, so make sure you compose your A+ Content in a way that is captivating for consumers.
Best Practices for Amazon A+ Content
When designing your A+ Content, some best practices to keep in the forefront of your mind are:
Craft Comparison Charts
Comparison Charts are particularly helpful when you have products with slight variances. Highlighting the differences between products helps consumers better understand what each product offers. This prepares shoppers to make more informed purchasing decisions, which is advantageous to both the consumer and your brand. When customers make confident, informed buying decisions, they are more likely to be satisfied with the product and your company.
Another benefit of the Comparison Chart is the ability to cross-sell other products that they may be interested in. These may be products that complimentary to the one the consumer is already viewing or products from your other lines.
Highlight Your Competitive Differences
How are you different than your competitors? What makes your brand and your products unique? Highlight these things! It’s important to show customers how you are exceptional and how you will benefit them. While doing this, you must avoid directly criticizing your competitors as Amazon will penalize this practice.
Keep it Simple
Your A+ Content should be to the point and simple. Instead of writing long sections, try including pictures, graphics, and succinct sentences. This will keep your audience informed and engaged at the same time.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!
Bypassing any possible grammatical and/or informational errors is vital in sustaining your brand’s authority. Not only will Amazon not publish your content if it has these errors, but you want to make sure you are putting your best foot forward with your customers. As Amazon is an extremely saturated marketplace, it is essential to make the best impression to customers visiting your page. Mitigating errors within your listing helps with product conversion.
Tell Your Brand’s Story
Personifying your brand and highlighting your “why” through storytelling creates a much stronger first impression with your base than straightforward, black-and-white information. This can be accomplished by featuring your founders and their stories and/or explaining why your brand exists and the beliefs that fuel it. From here, consumers are more likely to have created an emotional bond to your company, increasing their likelihood to convert.
Highlight Brand Safety & Reliability
Another promising A+ strategy is sharing safety and reliability stats pertaining to your product. Using this extra space to share your product’s superiority and dependability in comparison to its competition further differentiates your products. Amazon market saturation can be a tough space for sellers to navigate, so using the A+ Content to separate your product can be advantageous.
Learn More About Amazon Marketing Strategies
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