How to Create Amazon Listings in Seller Central

Setting up listings in Seller Central can be intimidating. Here’s what we’ve learned from creating thousands of Amazon listings over the years.  

When it comes time to creating listings on Amazon, it’s best practice is to have keyword-rich product listing copy already written and optimized. Creating a fully-optimized listing from the start will set you up for success, as it can be difficult to edit your listing post-creation.  

Prior to creating the listing, you should have the following content pieces prepared: product title, key features or bullet points, images, and a standard product description. If you need help writing those, check out our blog post on Amazon listing requirements and best practices. Other content areas in the “backend” of product listings can be more easily modified post-creation, but it doesn’t hurt to have those ready to go from the beginning as well.  

Other details that are required in order to create a new product listing include: a product number (UPC, EAN, etc.), a SKU for internal use, product specifications like dimensions and weight, and pricing information.  

Amazon Listing Content Check List 

The following is a high-level overview of fields you will need to or should fill out when creating an Amazon listing. They are broken out by detail tab in the listing creation page. If you want to make your Amazon listing process as easy as possible, gather these items before you create your listing. 

Amazon Listing Creation Content Checklist

Now let’s walk through the main way to make listings on Amazon. 

Amazon Listing Creation Process 

The process to create a single listing on Amazon is a rather simple and an intuitive one; it’s just a matter of knowing where to go to get started and what fields to fill out. When signed into your Amazon Seller Central, travel to Catalog > Add Products.  

Add a product to Amazon Catalog

On this page, find the “List a new product” box and enter your product name, UPC, EAN, or ISBN to search. If Amazon doesn’t find an existing listing related to your query, you can then click Create a new product listing to start the creation process.  

Add a product to Amazon catalog

The first thing you must determine is the category your product fits into. You can either utilize the search feature to help you narrow down categories, or you can manually click through the product categories to drill down to an appropriate sub-category. Once you find your category, click on that hyperlink to bring you to your listing creation page. This page will display multiple tabs grouping together similar listing fields together, and this is where our content creation process begins. 

 

Create a new product in Amazon

Vital Info 

On the first Vital Info tab, you will need to fill out the Product ID with your UPC, EAN, or ISBN, the product name with your optimized title, your manufacturer, and your brand name. Often times, manufacturer and brand name are the same, but please note that the brand name is what displays just below the title on a product detail page. It is very important the spelling is correct in these two fields from the beginning, as it is one of the harder fields to update post-creation. If you are ever unsure what to input into a field, Amazon provides small information icons next to the fields that can help guide you in the right direction.  

Input vital info into Amazon

 

Offer 

Next, let’s move to the Offer tab. This is where you’ll notate your selling price, create your custom SKU, provide a Condition, and note how this listing’s inventory will be fulfilled. If you do not create a SKU yourself, Amazon will create one for you that is a long alpha-numeric string. If your brand doesn’t already have a SKU naming system, we highly recommend you create a system now before you create any listings. 

Input offer details into Amazon

Compliance 

The Compliance tab is the area where you can provide any battery information (if relevant) to your product, note warnings like Prop 65, and a Safety Data Sheet if that pertains to your product type.  

Add Amazon compliance info

Images 

In the “Images tab, you can submit up to nine images. This is a rather intuitive tab where all you have to do is click “Choose File, navigate to where your images are located on your computer and select to upload. Most categories permit you to upload up to ten images. If you are uploading images to a product that is a variant of a Parent-Child relationship, look for the image slot that is labeled “SWATCH. This will be the image that displays in the variation preview on your listing. Amazon accepts JPEGs, TIFFs, and non-animation GIFs. 

Add images when creating Amazon listing

Description 

The Description tab is what contains the “meat” of your listing; this is where most of your optimized product copy should live. The product description field permits up to 2,000 characters to be submitted. Initiallyyou will only see one Key Product Features field, so you must click the link “Add More” to provide more fields, to a maximum of five. The character permitted in the Key Product Features fields fluctuate between categories, so it is best to hover over the information “i” badge to see what your current category permits. This tab also provides you the opportunity to attach any small parts or choking warnings. 

Add description to Amazon listing

Keywords 

The Keywords tab is full of fields that help improve the discoverability of your product listings, but do not display on your listing anywhere. Similar to the Key Product Features, you can have up to five fields on most of these, but you must click the “Add More” link to make them all appear. Focus on the Search Terms field, as it allows you to add up to 500 characters of keywords you might not have published on the frontend of the listing. 

How to add keywords to an Amazon listing

More Details 

The More Details tab is where all of your nitty-gritty product specifications live. This is a relatively self-explanatory tab, but you will see there could be a lot of fields that do not relate to your product. Amazon generalizes what fields might be needed based on your category, so do not feel pressure to fill out all fields. We recommend screening through all fields and filling out the relatable ones, but below are the minimum requirement fields to create your listing for Fulfillment by Amazon: 

  • Weight 
  • Item Dimensions – Length, Width, Height 
  • Unit Count 
  • Unit Count Type 

Create an Amazon listing with more details

Once you have input all of the above suggested fields, you are now ready to “Save and finish” your new product listing. Once you click this button, Amazon will assign an Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) and you can almost immediately see what your new listing looks like. You can either click on the title in your Amazon catalog, or you can navigate to the following URL with your ASIN replacing the tale end, https://www.amazon.com/dp/*ASIN*. 

Learn More About Amazon Listings 

This blog post is just scratching the tip of the iceberg. Download our in-depth whitepaper, The Ultimate Guide to Creating Amazon Listings, to learn even more about creating optimized listings on Amazon 

HOW TO CREATE OPTIMIZED AMAZON LISTINGS

There’s a lot of buzz around Amazon marketing lately, and with good reason. Marketing is a powerful tool for driving traffic back to your listings, but your marketing campaigns will only perform as well as the content of your listing. If a shopper clicks an ad and lands in a listing that lacks information or compelling images, they’re unlikely to convert. 

An optimized Amazon listing is the foundation of your success on Amazon, so it’s of the utmost importance that you take full advantage of this space. With that in mind, here’s how we, a top Amazon retailer for the past 12 years, optimize our listings. 

Product Title 

The product title is one of the most valuable parts of your Amazon product listing. In addition to the photo and price, it is one of the first thing potential customers see on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The title has a huge impact on the search performance. Putting top performing keywords strings into the title can help the item move up the SERP quicker.  

Below are the best practices for product titles on Amazon listings along with an example: 

Character Maximum: 200 characters 

Character Suggestion: 80-120 characters 

Structure Suggestion: Brand, Product Line, Material/Key Feature, Product Type, Color, Size, Package/Quantity 

Example: JumpOff Jo Rocksteady Balance Stepping Stones for Kids, Promotes Balance & Coordination, Set of 6 Balance Blocks, Low Set 

Key Product Features 

Key product features are commonly seen as the bullet point sentences near the top of Amazon listings. They are one of the first things consumers see when clicking into a product listing. With five bullets, you have five chances to call out key product features.  

One popular strategy used across the Amazon marketplace is called “two-tiered bullets. A majority of consumers gravitate towards bullet point content displayed in this way. The two-tiered method is the practice of beginning each bullet in all caps, then continuing in normal sentence case. The idea is that the consumer can catch a quick fact about the product in all caps part of the bullet point, even when they’re skimming. If it catches their eyethen they can read the rest of the bullet for more details. 

When populating the SERP, Amazon only takes into consideration up to the 500-character mark of the listings bullet points. Due to this, it is very important to get your target keywords into the first 500 characters of your combined key product features. 

Below are the best practices for the key product features on Amazon listings along with an example: 

Character Maximum: 500 characters per bullet 

Character Suggestion: 100-150 characters 

Structure Suggestion: QUICK CALL OUT – Followed by a more detailed explanation providing another opportunity for more keywords 

Example: BUILT FOR STANDARD U.S. CRIB MATTRESS – Measuring 28 inches by 52 inches, the crib sheet’s fitted sides ensure a smooth, snug, and secure fit.  

Media Gallery 

One of the biggest downsides to shopping online is being unable to physically see and hold a product. This is why it is so vital to have high-quality images and even videos within the media gallery on product listings. When you optimize this gallery, it can visually answer questions consumers may have about your product.  

Per Amazon guidelines, the main image must be the product on a true white background. No additional text, badges, or other products can be included. Additional images can have some of these things, so long as they comply with Amazon guidelines. It is also best to upload images that are at least 1,000 pixels on one side, as this will enable Amazon’s zoom feature.  

There are two main types of photos best for Amazon listings: studio and lifestyle. Studio photos include the product on a pure white background from different viewpoints. These are a great opportunity to show close-up details of your product or overlay text to explain certain features of the product. Lifestyle photos show the product in use in a realistic life setting. They help consumers visualize using the product in their daily life. Start with 2-3 studio photos and then complete the gallery with lifestyle images.  

Learn more about creating visually exciting listings in our post, Why Photography & Video Matter on Amazon.

The last thing you can add to the media gallery (if you are enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry) is product videos. The product video occupies the last tile visible in the media gallery and typically has a “Play” button icon to indicate there is a video. Keep these videos to less than two minutes long so consumers can quickly consume the video and move on to make their purchasing decision. If it’s a longer video, they might not spare the time to watch it.  

Below are the best practices for the media gallery on Amazon listings along with an example: 

Image Suggestions: 1:1 aspect ratio, JPEG format, and at least 1,000 pixels on one side 

Media Gallery Order Suggestion: 2-3 studio images followed by lifestyle images 

Example: 

Product Description 

The product description is an opportunity to get into the heavy details of a product or simply expand upon content already mentioned in the title or key product features. It also provides an opportunity to share your brand’s story and values. Plus, it helps build some brand awareness.  

It’s worth noting that the product description area is replaced by A+ Content submitted through Seller Central, so it may not always be visible. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include a quality description though, Amazon indexes the product description instead of the visible A+ Content. 

Amazon permits up to 2,000 characters in the product description area, 4x the amount allowed in key product features section. Thats a lot of text, and, if not formatted properly, it can come across as a large, intimidating paragraph that consumers will not take the time to read. To alleviate this issue, many Amazon sellerutilize Custom HTML to code in paragraphs, line breaks, bolded headlines, bullets, and more. The Amazon system does not expressly permit the use of HTML, but many sellers have successfully used it. Just know that it isn’t always accepted, and Amazon may remove the HTML without notifying you.  

Below are the best practices for the product description on Amazon listings along with an example: 

Character Maximum: 2,000 characters 

Character Suggestion (non-HTML): 500-1,000 characters 

Standard Description Example: 

HTML Description Example:  

A+ Detail Page 

The A+ Detail Page is accessible through the Brand Registry program and provides brand owners the opportunity to share more information about their products through additional content and images. A+ Detail Pages are strictly a conversion tool, providing additional real estate for a branded product description full of additional details, specifications, and imagery.  

Amazon claims A+ content can improve conversion rate by up to 5% but can get closer to 15%, depending on the current state of product listings. This A+ content will replace the existing standard description in an Amazon listing.  

These A+ pages are incredibly customizable, so you will see a variety of best practices across different brands, but one thing that holds true is the value of the comparison chart module. This module enables you to directly link to other product listings. In other words, it provides an opportunity to show consumers that you have other products available or show them other products that would better fit their needs.  

Below are the best practices for the A+ detail page on Amazon listings along with an example: 

Featured Products Max: 6 products 

Comparison Metrics Max: 10 metrics 

Example: 

Looking to Learn More? 

Now that you’ve learned how to create fully-optimized Amazon listings, it’s time to market them! To learn more about the Amazon landscape, strategies, and so much more, download our free whitepaper, The State of Amazon Marketing 

More Free Resources

Why Is Optimized Content So Important? 

Brand owners and retailers alike know that in order to be successful in the commerce world, you must be active on online marketplaces. Now more than ever, consumers are choosing convenience over buying in person from brick and mortar locations. eMarketer forecasts that consumer spend on ecommerce sites will increase by 18% during 2020, while spend in brick and mortars will decrease 14%.  

Instant gratification is perhaps the greatest perk of buying inperson, but marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart are replicating that factor by offering sameday delivery and even 2hour delivery in some areas. With consumer spending patterns shifting to online marketplaces at an increased rate, it’s never been more important for brand owners to curate a strong presence on Amazon,  Walmart.com, and other growing platforms.  

But having a presence alone isn’t enoughsellers must ensure that product detail pages are not only created correctly, but also fully optimized to stand out in the oversaturated world of ecommerce. Any seller can quickly throw together a product listing, but unless you already have an exceptionally loyal audience, that won’t be enough.  

Download our Complete Guide to Creating Optimized Amazon Listings.

The Amazon Algorithm: Finding the Happy Middle 

Many people use search engines every day of their life, whether they realize it or not. Google is obviously the most popular in the industry, and it boasts one of the most sophisticated algorithms to this day. The algorithm uses keyword strings within website content to determine page rankings and placement on their search engine results page (SERP). 

Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and all other ecommerce websites have their own search engines powered by unique algorithms, and brand owners need to take these into consideration when creating product detail pages. Sellers must optimize these pages to strike the perfect balance of discoverability for search engines and buyability for shoppers, but walking that tightrope is a difficult endeavor. 

How to Write Product Detail Pages for Amazon's Algorithm

Discoverability: Optimize for the Amazon Algorithm 

When we talk about discoverability, this is almost always directly referencing the algorithm being able to “read” the content on detail pageswhich it uses to determine relevant keywords and place listings high on the SERP for those keyword searches.  There are numerous ways to optimize your product listings for the algorithm, but the number one thing you need to do is understand the rules of the platform you are working on. If you violate any structural or compliance guidelines, your listing could immediately be removed from the SERP.  

Keyword stuffing is another common optimization strategy for websites and marketplaces alike. Even an untrained eye can easily recognize this tactic: a series of keywords clumped together in a paragraph or listed in an unnatural way. Keyword stuffing is an outdated tactic used to manipulate a page’s rankings in search results by including a plethora of keywords. 

Because it doesn’t guarantee helpful or relevant content, many search engine algorithms have begun penalizing pages for this tactic, so that now, keyword stuffing can actually damage the performance and ranking of your page or listing. It’s also crucial to consider how keyword stuffing affects your potential customer’s experience when they read this content, which directly ties into the buyability portion of optimization strategies.  

Amazon search bar

Buyability: Optimize for the Consumer 

After consumers discover your product, their next action is opening and skimming the product detail pageIf the listing content hasn’t been optimized for the end consumer, then the chances of a conversion are slim. The content should be easy to read and the listing should include high-resolution images, both of which build trust and confidence with the potential customer. 

Referring back to the keyword stuffing strategy, if a consumer can’t easily read the content on a detail page because it’s a nonsensical line of keywords, they’ll have a poor user experience and are far more likely to bounce from the listing. The copy must be compelling, containing practical information while highlighting tangle and intangible benefits. 

Learn more in our blog post, Survey Results: Most Important Listing Features for Amazon Shoppers.

The Best Amazon Listing Strategy

When it comes to optimizing your listing, you can’t focus on just discoverability for the Amazon algorithm or just buyability for the end consumer. Content creators’ ultimate goal is to find that happy medium of optimization for both the given marketplace’s algorithm as well as the end consumer. If you focus on one more than the other, then you risk either not getting any traffic to your listing or, if you do get traffic to your listing, they may not convert.  

By working to achieve a balance of both of these aspects, your marketing copy will bring more traffic to your listings and improve your overall conversion rate.  

This blog post is just scratching the tip of the iceberg. Download our in-depth whitepaper to learn even more about creating Amazon listings. Download our Complete Guide to Creating Optimized Amazon Listings.

More Free Resources

 

A powerful marketing tool that has previously been neglected is finally getting the attention it deserves.  On May 19th, we started seeing Amazon place a greater emphasis on Amazon Brand Store visibility within product listings, and we are all for it.  On product detail pages that are linked to a Brand Store, there is now a direct link to the store that says, “Visit the *Brand Name* Store”, making it much more obvious to consumers that these digital storefronts exist. 

Amazon Brand Store Link

Prior to this update, product listings simply featured the brand name below the product title.  When clicked, the hyperlinked brand name would take users to a search engine results page for that brand name. The results on this page weren’t always the best representation of a brand’s catalog.  This issue was partially fixed by the introduction of Brand Stores through Amazon Brand Registry, which instead linked the brand name on the listing to their Brand Store.  However, not everyone knew this was a way to reach the Brand Store, so the feature received less than ideal use. 

Amazon Brand Stores are and have been an all-around great marketing tool for brand integrity on the Amazon marketplace, as well as a great boon for inbound marketing efforts.  They allow brand owners to create a customized landing page that matches their branding and voice, and now brands can showcase their product catalog all in one place.  The downfall has always been that organic traffic could not always find them.  This latest hyperlink update has been proven to fix that!

While this change has only been in effect for just over 2 weeks at the time of this publication, we are seeing drastic improvements in Brand Store performance.  We pulled organic traffic data to a handful of our Brand Stores, and we’ve seen the below improvements:  

  • Increase in Visits: 63.58% 
  • Increase in Orders: 67.27% 
  • Increase in Sales: 99.90%  

Brand Store Traffic Trend Line

This is only the beginning.  As consumers adapt to this change, they will come to expect brands to have these stores.  If your brand does not have a storefront, or would simply like a revamp, connect with Kaspien through our contact page or our live chat to see what we can do for you. 

Not seeing this change on your computer?  Amazon will often roll out structural changes in phases to note the impact and determine whether a full implementation is necessary.  Sit tight, we expect to see a full roll-out soon. 

Benefits of Amazon Brand Registry

This post will be updated regularly as the offerings through Amazon Brand Registry platform change.

Latest update: November 2019

If you are selling your own products on Amazon, the next best thing you can do for your brand is apply for Amazon Brand Registry. Anyone with an active registered trademark can apply, and once you do, it opens the door to a vast amount of benefits and marketing tools that far too few brand owners are taking advantage of. After your application has been accepted, you’ll gain access to a few immediate benefits, as well as an ever-growing list of powerful marketing and research tools.

Learn How to Enroll in Brand Registry

Benefits of Amazon Brand Registry

Brand Integrity Protection

One of the more common struggles brands encounter while selling on Amazon is keeping their content on the listing detail page accurate and looking as they desire. The fact is that anybody, authorized seller or not, can come into an Amazon listing and publish unauthorized content changes. Sometimes, these listing edits are innocent; other times, they’re malicious and indicate an attempted hijacking.

When your brand is registered with Amazon, only authorized accounts can make changes to your listings. Authorized accounts include your own brand’s account or any other account to which you’ve assigned a role.

There are three tiers of roles you can assign to other Amazon accounts, and each has their own level of permissions. If an account holds any of these roles, they are permitted to make listing edits. If anybody else attempts to edit through a ticket with Amazon, they will immediately receive a rejection notice. The three available roles are:

  1. Administrator: An individual who has full permission to assign roles to user accounts
  2. Rights Owner: An individual who is the rights owner or an employee of the rights owner who is authorized to report violations
  3. Registered Agent: A third party who is authorized by the rights owner to report violations

 

Infringement Reporting Tool/IPR Violations

Amazon will use all the information you provide during your application process to protect your brand on the Amazon market. This tool can alert you when products are incorrectly using your trademarked terms or logos and when product listings are being created with your brand name after you have already listed your full catalog on Amazon. It can even notify you when sellers are shipping products from countries you do not manufacture or distribute to.

There is also a manual search tool you can use to proactively find infringement violations. Whether you are using the global, image, or bulk ASIN search, once you find violators, Amazon will guide you through the steps to submit reports of potential infringement. Once these have been reported, Amazon will investigate the accusations on your behalf and take appropriate action on the potential violators.

Amazon Brand Registry Self-Service Marketing Tools

Now, here’s the fun part of Amazon Brand Registry: You gain access to more marketing tools! These services are ever changing; many services are released through Brand Registry, such as Brand Stores and Enhanced Brand Content, but occasionally, Amazon will phase out services that are either outdated or are no longer of value.

Amazon Attribution Program

Digital marketers have always struggled with attributing sales to their off-Amazon marketing efforts, so the announcement of the Amazon Attribution Program beta was like Christmas for US Amazon sellers. Very similar to building unique campaign tags and URLs for Google Analytics tracking, sellers can now provide unique tags to social media posts, their influencers, and any other off-Amazon digital marketing strategies. Advertisements will receive the attribution if the purchase happens within the 14-day window. If multiple advertisements are engaged by a shopper, only the final ad will be credited. This program is necessary for the data-driven marketer, enabling more strategic adjustments to services and budget.

Amazon Live

This free US-only service allows brands to broadcast live or live-like videos to Amazon consumers. These livestreams can showcase product usage, features, or act almost like an infomercial on the Amazon marketplace. These videos will display on the Amazon Live page and beyond. We’ve even seen livestreams appear in competing product listings. To get the most out of your Amazon Live efforts, it’s best to pair them with promo codes since it provides a clear CTA. And the best part? Amazon Live is currently free.

Brand Dashboard

The Brand Dashboard was one of the more exciting releases in 2019 for registered brands. This dashboard offers a variety of insights that helps brands keep tabs on their brand’s health, monitor new reviews, and check the quality of newly launched ASINs. The main dashboard provides a good snapshot of performance rates as well as conversion and traffic recommendations. The snapshot includes many valuable metrics you may have already been monitoring, but the ability to view them all in one convenient place can help brands better understand the overall state of their Amazon business. Price competitiveness, detail page completion rates, and search terms optimizations are just a few of the metrics hosted on this page.

Brand Analytics

Possibly the best tool Amazon has provided for researching search terms, this reporting platform gives you insight into how your products compare to others in the market. Compare your products to top competitors, see top-performing search terms across the entire channel, or dig into the demographics of your customer base during any given time period. The competitive intelligence offered in this reporting is like none other. This free tool empowers brands to make strategic decisions with their search term and marketing strategies. Just keep in mind that there is a 3-4 day lag in the reported data.

Video Uploads

Videos have been available in the listing media gallery for quite some time, but how to get videos there was an unsolved mystery. Unless you were a large, reputable brand or had a special contact with Amazon, you were out of luck. Amazon now offers a Video Upload Manager under the Inventory tab in seller central. Videos submitted through here must be a .mp4 or .mov format under 500MB and cannot include any website URLs or other marketing materials. When you upload, you must submit a video title, related ASINs, and a video thumbnail. Once submitted, Amazon will review, and it could take up to 72 hours before publishing. Additionally, if your media gallery has more than six images, we’ve seen videos replace the sixth media gallery slot.

Brand Stores

Amazon Brand Stores allow brand owners to create a customized landing page within the Amazon marketplace. It looks like a branded website within Amazon and can be customized with your own images, videos, product listing links, and much more. You can even create a navigation bar to improve the consumer’s experience as they browse through your catalog by category, product line, or in whatever structure makes the most sense for your catalog. Amazon provides a handful of store metrics like number of visitors, views, top performing pages, and any sales that were attributed to the store. Your Amazon store will also have a custom URL that you can use for inbound marketing efforts, and it can work very well with the Amazon Attribution program in helping determine where traffic is coming from.

A+ Content Manager

Registered brands have access to the A+ Content Manager, formerly called Enhanced Brand Content in Seller Central and A+ Detail Pages in Vendor Central. A+ Content is the section of the Amazon listing that appears in either the Product Description (Seller Central) or the From the Manufacturer (Vendor Central) areas of the listing. It is an opportunity for brands to utilize additional image assets and formatted content to help persuade consumers to make their buying decision. Amazon makes claims that A+ Content will improve conversion rate by up to 11%. This is a great opportunity for higher priced items where consumers will need more convincing, or for very technical products that need a lot of details explained.

Brand Registry is an Obvious Choice

I think we can all agree the Amazon marketplace is such an incredible opportunity for brands and manufacturers around the world, but if you aren’t being protective and proactive with your brand, it can also be detrimental. Adapting to the new “normal” in commerce means you will be selling on Amazon, and if you don’t set yourself up for success with Amazon’s Brand Registry program, you could be setting yourself up for failure. Get a trademark, register your brand, and take advantage of these tools to perfect your brand integrity and watch your customer retention and sales grow.

Learn about each of these services and more in our free whitepaper, The State of Amazon Marketing

Reviews play a huge role in shoppers’ purchasing decisions. Since items viewed online cannot be inspected in person, consumers must rely on reviews written by verified buyers to learn what they can expect from a product. Half of Amazon customers report that positive product reviews are one of their main considerations for their purchasing decision, and almost 90 percent of Amazon customers indicated they would not consider purchasing a product with less than 3 stars.  

Additionally, customer reviews can indirectly improve your sponsored ad campaigns. Positive reviews tend to increase velocity, and products with higher velocity are more likely to win the auction for Sponsored Product placement. 

No matter how you look at them, customer reviews are an essential part of your Amazon strategy’s success. 

The tricky part is getting organic reviews for a new productOnly 5-10 percent of customers leave reviews, and even that percentage might be overly generous. Amazon’s Early Review Program was introduced to help sellers gain customer reviews for newer products.  

What is the Early Reviewer Program? 

The Early Reviewer Program is an Amazon-run initiative that can generate up to five new reviews on a selected product. Amazon randomly contacts verified buyers of an enrolled product and offers the customer an incentive to leave a review within the specified offer period. Amazon offers the buyer a small Amazon account credit (typically $1-$3) that can be used on future Amazon purchases.  

Eligibility 

To qualify for the program, products must have a price point of at least $15 and fewer than five reviews. The product can remain in the program up to one year or until it receives five new reviews, whichever comes first.  

Amazon charges $60 per ASIN enrolled in the program. If you’re interested in enrolling in the program, reach out through our contact form or contact your Kaspien account manager. 

Why did Amazon Introduce This Program? 

Not so many years ago, Amazon reviews were the wild west. Amazon didn’t have policies in place to ensure reviews were only left by verified buyers, leading to many fake reviews as brands exchanged discounts for positive reviews. As a result, many shoppers came to distrust customer reviews on Amazon.  

Near the end of 2016, Amazon was faced with the fact that consumers’ distrust of product reviews decreased sales. In response, Amazon banned all incentivized reviews and took it upon themselves to provide an alternative way for brands to generate new reviews: The Early Reviewer Program.  

Unlike its predecessor, the Early Reviewer Program does not require customers to leave positive feedback, and it is limited to new products that need help generating traction 

The Results 

While there is no guarantee that all reviews will be positive, we’ve seen an average 4.8/5 star rating for products we’ve enrolled in the program. To increase the likelihood of positive reviews, we strongly recommend making your listings informative. By presenting clear, compelling information on the front end, you can set accurate expectations, so those who purchase are more likely to be satisfied with their product. 

If you need help writing listing content, you can work with Kaspien’s SEO team and copywriters. If you’re a partner, reach out to your account manager. If you’re not a current partner, you can hire our experts on a contract basis through our in-house Creative & Digital Services agency, 66 Knots.  

Should I Enroll in the Early Reviewer Program? 

If you are launching products on Amazon, you should strongly consider enrolling in the Early Reviewer Program. It’s not the end-all solution for improving velocity and sales, but it can kickstart them and get your product moving 

While reviews play a key role in your listings’ success, they’re only a piece of the puzzle. Kaspien is dedicated to helping you build out full product listings to increase traffic, search placement, and other factors that grow sales. Start the conversation with Kaspien today.  

More Free Resources

One of the scariest things that can happen to a brand on Amazon is having their account suspended or shut down. Amazon suspends accounts for a number of reasons, including Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations, review manipulation, violating community policies, and not meeting Amazon’s strict metrics for customer satisfaction.  

If this happens to you, pay close attention to the suspension notification, accept responsibility for any violations, and create a specific plan of action that addresses the reason for the suspension. If you have any questions or would like help with getting your account reinstated, Kaspien’s expert compliance team can help you resolve account suspensions. 

Account shutdowns are a major problem when they occur, but fortunately, they are one of the less frequent obstacles. What about some more frequent issues that can occur as you sell on Amazon? 

We sat down with three experts from our Search Engine Optimization, Purchase Order Management, and Product Compliance teams to discuss some of the most common Amazon issues and their solutions.  

In this post, we’ll cover: 

  • Reasons sellers cannot edit listing content and how to expedite listing updates 
  • How to package, label, and ship products successfully to Amazon fulfillment centers 
  • The most common compliance violations and how to reinstate your listings 

Amazon Listings 

1. What is the most common issue sellers encounter regarding their listings? 

The most common issue is likely related to listing content, and more specifically, why sellers aren’t able to edit this content. 

Most brands whose products are sold on Amazon know that the more sellers involved in their listing, the harder it is to update content. That’s because every seller in the listing is potentially fighting for their content to be published. The struggle can be so great that when your content finally does get published, you feel like you’ve won the lottery. 

2. How do you resolve these issues?

If you’re struggling to get updates to publish, you’ll have to resort to making a case with Amazon. When doing, you should know that the information you provide when opening a case can drastically affect how long your case is open. Amazon cases can range from a couple hours to several months before you reach a resolution, so providing the best information first can really help you out in the long run.  

What can you do to accelerate the process? 

Best practice is to be as specific as possible and make sure that you complete the form as it was intended. Don’t lump together a handful of edits into the “other” option. If you want to update the title, bullets, and images, make sure you select each of those fields individually and input content accordingly. 

Additionally, providing a valid Manufacturer’s URL is crucial. If the URL isn’t “secure,” then Amazon cannot accept it. Another pro tip: If you want your content published in record time, ensure that the exact content you want to implement on Amazon is also on the manufacturer’s website to Amazon, this is proof that the listing updates are correct and not misleading. When you provide a Manufacture’s URL, Amazon won’t need to do further digging to ensure the suggested content is accurate.  

Other items that could help support your proof for updating content would be a product catalog or price sheet that clearly show the product name and UPC associated to that detail page. Sometimes, Amazon will even accept a simple cell phone picture of the product packaging, so long as it shows the UPC. 

3. What steps can you take to avoid those issues in the future?

One solution with strong potential is registering your trademark with Amazon’s Brand Registry program. While you still may have to make cases with Amazon, we’ve seen that communication sent through the registry platform is significantly expedited and has a far higher success rate. You can read our Brand Registry blog post, which walks you through how to apply for Brand Registry.

If you don’t have a trademark, then limiting whom you permit to resell your products on the market will be your best path to preserving brand control. That way you know who is actively updating your content, and you can work with them to make any desired changes. 

Shipping to Amazon Fulfillment Centers 

1. What are the most common issues sellers see regarding inventory and fulfillment? 

The most common issues revolve around inbound compliance requirements: Amazon has very complex, specific requirements for receiving inventory at its fulfillment centers. These packaging and shipping requirements may go beyond the scope of what brand owners are used to handling. Amazon’s shipping requirements pertain to prepping products, boxes, and pallets to ship with FBA. 

The issues we see most frequently are overweight or oversized cartons, barcodes on master cases, or FBA labels being applied incorrectly or not at all Non-compliant inbound shipping can result in fees and an adverse impact on a brand’s shipment creation abilities. 

2. How do you resolve issues with Amazon’s shipping and packaging requirements?

It comes down to learning Amazon’s requirements and complying with them. With shipping and fulfillment, there isn’t much room to file an appeal with Amazon. Your products either are or are not compliant with their policies, and therefore will or will not be accepted by an Amazon fulfillment center. Your only recourse to ensure your packaging, labelling, and shipping is compliant, and that requires great attention to detail. 

3. What steps can you take to avoid these issues in the future? 

At Kaspien, we work on partner education, explaining what was non-compliant with Amazon’s packaging, labelling, or shipping requirements in each instance and coaching brand owners on how to avoid those errors in the future. Our coaching conversations ensure that our partners have the tools and knowledge they need to correctly process inventory to Amazon in the future. 

We’ve also created several tools and resources for our partners to guide them through the inbound shipping requirements, and we email periodic updates about current requirements to our partners with all PO’s. 

Amazon Compliance 

1. What are the most common issues sellers see in compliance? 

There are three areas where we see the most issues for Amazon compliance: Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), restricted products, and safety issues.  

Intellectual Property Rights. IPR violations are always a hot topic, but there’s even more interest as Amazon works to address legitimate concerns about intellectual property. IPR violations filed against your brand can result in your listing being taken down, your inventory blocked from removal, and even the suspension of your Amazon account. If Amazon receives a report that your brand is violating IPR, it will act before waiting for you to offer an explanation, which can result in enormous lost revenue. 

Restricted Products. Amazon will remove products that are flagged for violating an Amazon policy. Oftentimes, these flagged listings are not actually restricted products, but they do contain claims that make Amazon designate them as such. Once, we even saw an ignition coil get flagged as a flame thrower.  

Safety Issues. Sometimes, products have a feature or malfunction that results in a safety incident, such as causing respiratory issues, catching fire, or arriving to customers contaminated. When this occurs, Amazon blocks the listing and marks the inventory as unsellable. This decision is appealable. If the brand can provide proper documentation proving the product meets all applicable regulations, that the customer may have miss-used the product, and that the product is indeed safe for use, then Amazon, at its discretion, may reinstate the listing. 

2. How do you resolve issues regarding IPR, restricted products, or safety issues? 

Intellectual Property Rights. Brands who fear IPR violations can enroll in Amazon’s Brand Registry program. In August 2018, Amazon reported that it takes action on more than 95% of all notices of potential infringement received from brands in Brand Registry within eight hours. Amazon also reported that “on average, enrolled brands are finding and reporting 99% fewer suspected infringements than before Brand Registry’s launch.” 

Restricted Products. Ithe vast majority of cases, we are able to get listings reinstated. The problem can often be resolved by removing a claim or other incorrect content from the listing. If your listing is flagged as a restricted product, some of your claims may be overstepping or misleading. Review Amazon’s notes to see if you can determine why they flagged your listing, and then revise the text and images as necessary. 

Safety Issues. Brands must identify what might have caused the issue and create a plan of action to address the safety concern. As long as the product has the safety testing, follows Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), and can provide concrete steps to fix the issue, the listing can normally be reinstated. 

3. What steps can you take to avoid those issues in the future? 

Intellectual Property Rights. To protect your IPR on Amazon, makes sure that your products are properly trademarked, patented, and that your box copy is copyright registered. This will allow you to use the Amazon IPR Infringement tool to report violation of your IPRYou should also use your trademark to enroll in Brand Registry, as this gives brands more leverage in filing IPR infringement complaints and getting counterfeit products removed. 

Restricted Products. When creating listings, ensure that your claims comply with Amazon’s guidelines. Amazon has a thorough description of restricted products and prohibited product claims.  Brand owners would be wise to review the sections that apply to their product when preparing their listings. 

At Kaspien, we evaluate listings for keywords that trigger restricted products and update them to ensure they comply with Amazon policy. Brands should also maintain thorough documentation of their products to prove that they are legal to sell and that they do not violate Amazon policy. Having these documents at the ready will expedite the appeals process should a listing be wrongfully removed. 

Safety Issues. Brands must have the requisite testing, GMP processes, and a strong safety track record. It puts a greater burden on brands at the start of the process, but it safeguards your customers and your brands further down the road. 

 

If you have specific questions about resolving Amazon issues, contact your Kaspien account manager or reach out to us through our contact form. We’re always happy to be of service. 

Even though the Amazon Search Engine is shrouded in mystery, there are still concrete strategies you can employ to improve the discoverability of your listings on Amazon. According to Amazon, only 19% of customers will click onto the second page of search results when looking for products. Moving your product up on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is one of the most powerful ways to increase your discoverability on the world’s largest marketplace. If consumers can’t find your product listing on Amazon, you risk being left with extra inventory sitting in a warehouse and loss of potential revenue. To prevent this from happening, we’ve recommended our top five tips for your Amazon SEO strategy to help increase the discoverability of your Amazon listings.

The Amazon Search Engine Results Page Explained

With the consumer view in mind, Amazon displays the products that they deem to have the best listings and prices. Amazon’s Search Engine focuses the SERP on products and their prices, which creates a natural incentive for third party sellers to increase the overall number of sessions to a product detail page. Optimizing your listing is the easiest way to increase discoverability and drive organic traffic, which is, in many ways, the foundation of your Amazon marketing. 

Discoverability refers to how easy a product listing can be found on Amazon. To maximize the discoverability of your listings, you can optimize the following areas: Titles, descriptions, and images. However, there are additional factors that play a huge role in product discoverability, including: Inventory, price, product reviews, relevancy, sales history, sales performance, advertising efforts, and types of fulfillment. Since there are numerous factors impacting discoverability, many of which may be out of your control, it is vital to optimize the parts of your listings you can control.

5 Ways to Optimize Your Listings to Improve Discoverability

1. Use a Descriptive, Informative, Consumer Friendly Title

The product title is the most heavily weighted aspect of product content on Amazon, as well as the first impression customers will have of your brand when searching for products. By optimizing your product title, you have the ability to include more relevant product information as well as name variations right off the bat. For your best title content, you should consider the following: Brand and description, product line, material or key ingredient, color, size, and quantity. Perform keyword research to identify top keywords and include something that adds value, like a product benefit or a key element that sets it apart from competitors. Although Amazon has algorithms, your title should be written for humans, because the algorithms will be based on what real people are searching for. In fact, “keyword stuffing” your title can have a negative impact on the way Amazon’s Search Engine ranks it.

2. Use High-Quality, Zoom-able Product Images

A service we provide and advocate for is high-quality, zoom-able product images. Regardless of the ecommerce channel, this is a best practice to represent your company well. Images influence click-through-rates on the SERP and the overall buyability of your listing. Depending on your product category, you can have nine additional images and we encourage you to use them. The images you add to your listing greatly impact customers’ opinions of your product, and our own research shows that images are a significant factor in customer’s decision to purchase. Make sure the images you use are high-resolution. Show your product from different angles, zoomed in and out. Show how your product can be used by providing lifestyle images. Overall, be creative and showcase your product well.

3. Use Product Features to Inform Customers About Your Product

It’s recommended to use all five bullet points in your listing. This is your opportunity to communicate your product’s value to your consumers. Most viewers skim the bullet section, so put your most important features at the top. You can use the product feature section to answer consumer questions that have come up or any objections that may surface. Be sure to mention what the product is made of; consumers want to know they’re buying a quality product. If your product solves a specific problem, be sure to highlight exactly how in a bullet point.

4. Use the Product Description to Improve Discoverability and Search Relevance

When it comes to enhancing discoverability and search relevance, the product description is heavily weighted. Every relevant product detail should be included. Use up your character count describing what your product is, what it does, and why it’s the best product on the market in your niche. Lead with an elaboration on your product’s features and the benefits to the consumer, then talk about the product. By making your listing relatable, you can make the visitor believe your product is something they need. A storytelling approach could be something creative you can use to catch the consumer’s attention.

Including relevant search terms within your description help you better target your customers. Amazon states, “By providing relevant and complete information for your product, you can increase your product’s visibility and sales”.

5. Use Back End Search Terms to Help Shoppers Find Your Listing

In order to properly optimize your back end search terms, you want to ensure your main Amazon keywords are in at least your product name, bullet points, or description. It’s important to use variations of words consumers might search when searching for your product. For example, if you sell garlic presses, you’d want to prioritize putting popular keywords like ‘garlic mincer’ and ‘garlic squeezer’ into your listing. You can include many search terms in the back end, but do not include competitor names or products. In your back end search terms, you should eliminate all duplicate words. If the word is used once within the listing, that is enough for Amazon’s algorithm to pick up on.

While the ins and outs of the Amazon SERP can be confusing, optimizing your title, images, description, product features and search terms based on what your consumers will be searching for will improve the discoverability of your listing. Using our top five tips for Amazon SEO optimization, you can drive traffic and move your listing up on the Amazon SERP.

More Free Resources

We see it all on Amazon: Bare-bones listings that give no product details and listings with novel-length titles and bullet points, so overwhelming you don’t know where to start reading. The detail of your page content has a huge impact on your product discoverability and conversion rates, so getting it right is vital.  Finding the right balance between sharing relevant information and keyword stuffing can be tricky, but it’s an important part of your Amazon marketing strategy. Now that you’ve gotten rid of duplicate product pages, here’s how we recommend optimizing each section of text in your Amazon listings.

1. Title

  • Check category guidelines for length – Each category has different maximum lengths. Even though you may find listing titles that clearly exceed the category limit, don’t try to do the same. Those listings risk being suppressed.
  • Keep the visual in mind – Customers are going to skim the title. Make sure that the title format allows them to digest the important information quickly. You always want to include brand, product name, type of product and relevant size or color information. Break up the information with dashes and spaces to make it easy-to-read.
  • Include important keywords – Determine which terms are the most relevant and most likely searched and try to include them. Do not go overboard. There are other places in the listing to add search terms.
  • Example: Domestic Corner – Vienne Automatic Milk Frother and Heater – Stainless Steel Electric Carafe – Frother, Warmer and Cappuccino Maker

2. Bullet Points

  • Highlight the important features – Most customers don’t venture down the listing page so the bullets may be your only chance to convert the shopper. Use the bullets to describe the most important aspects of the product and features that differentiate it from its competitors. Include information that answers commonly asked questions.
  • Place relevant keywords – Anticipate the common search terms that your customers are using and try to place them in the bullets. Thorough keyword research here can pay dividends. 
  • USE FORMATTING STRATEGICALLY – When you want to include a lot of text in your bullet points, consider using a format like in this bullet point. By putting the main idea of the bullet in caps and elaborating in lowercase, you allow the shopper to skim the bullets and still gain a basic understanding of the product.

3. Description

  • Give in-depth detail – The description is where you can give an even fuller picture of your product and its benefits. The description often contains similar information to the bullet points, and that’s okay. It’s helpful to have the keywords in the description for increased discoverability. This is also a great place to highlight additional uses, care instructions, and product warnings. The description character limit is 2500.
  • Tell your story – Knowing your brand story and company history can help promote customer loyalty. Was the product created in response to a common problem? Has the company been around for decades? Craft your narrative in a compelling way and it will resonate with consumers.
  • Take it to the next level – Though you will find many descriptions with custom HTML, it’s not technically allowed. Brands use HTML to enhance the appearance of the description to make it easier to read. Brands that have access can greatly benefit from Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) or an A+ Detail Page. Both of these provide text formatting and image options for superior product descriptions. A+ Detail Pages are free with a Vendor Central code and EBC is free with brand registry.

4. Search Terms

  • Stay relevant – Use descriptive terms like “organic” and “natural” but only if they apply to your product. Don’t try to pull in customers with deceiving terms that don’t apply. Those customers won’t convert anyway!
  • Don’t mention your competitors – Including other brands in your search terms is against the Amazon Terms of Service. Doing so puts your listings at risk of being suppressed.
  • No need to repeat – Unlike in a keyword cost-per-click campaign, you don’t need to include every possible phrase like “baby diaper” and “diaper for baby.” You can include “diaper” and “baby” and Amazon’s A9 algorithm intuits the different combinations.

More Free Resources

The Amazon listing page gives customers the information they need as they consider a purchase. A quality listing includes detailed product information in the bullet points and description, as well as good product images. Ideally, this product information should come from the brand manufacturer, the product expert who already has a marketing plan. However, the content on the Amazon listing page can come from multiple sources. Any seller who is involved in the listing can make content contributions, and Amazon looks at all contributions in an effort to create the best listing. In practice, this can result in a patchwork listing, with bullets, title and description information all coming from different sellers.

To prevent this patchwork listing, manufacturers can enroll their brands in Amazon Brand Registry: this provides brand owners or an authorized reseller of their choosing to control the listing content.

Brand registry gives more control in 2 ways:

  1. It expedites your content uploads
  2. It gates other sellers from editing your content

 

For many brand owners, this is reason enough to apply for brand registry. Brands that authorize a reseller to have brand registry can rest assured that they can always remove it later.

Another reason to apply for brand registry is that it gives access to Amazon’s Beta programs, like Enhanced Brand Content (EBC). EBC replaces the standard product description with formatted text and images for a better customer experience and hopefully, an increased conversion rate. Brand owners value the opportunity to share their brand story and enhanced product information.

In the cutthroat online retail landscape, brand registry is one more tool to help differentiate your brand from your competitors.