Amazon Brand Stores

What are Amazon Brand Stores? 

Amazon Brand Stores are a digital storefront native to the Amazon marketplace. These stores are made by Amazon sellers using templates provided by Amazon, which can be customized to use a brand’s colors, images, and copy.  

Brand Stores provide many benefits, not the least of which is they feature a brand’s products in a centralized location largely removed from the competition. Once a shopper is in a Brand Store, they are browsing only your products. Brand Stores can also be used in conjunction with Amazon advertising and social media marketing, but more on that later. 

For their first few years, Amazon Brand Stores were hard to find organically. There was not a “shop by Brand Store” option, nor were links to Brand Stores easily identified. Amazon seems to have recognized that this experience was ideal for neither shoppers nor sellers, and has taken steps to make Brand Stores easier to discover. Such efforts include:   

  • Links to Brand Stores within listings now say “Shop [Brand]” instead of simply stating the brand name. This sets clearer expectations for what will happen when a shopper clicks the link. 
  • Sponsored Brand Ads can direct shoppers to Brand Stores. 
  • Amazon has stated that Sponsored Brand Videos will be able to direct to Brand Stores in the near future. 

Amazon Brand Store Link

Amazon Brand Store Guidelines & Requirements 

To be eligible to create a Brand Store, the brand must be enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry. If you need help enrolling in the program, check out this handy guide. If you want to learn more about Brand Registry benefits, check out this blog post 

In addition to Brand Registry, brands will also need an abundance of images and perhaps a few videos. Brand Stores are designed to be highly visual and engaging experiences for shoppers. If you do not have many original images for your products and brands, you can use stock photos, but that’s a very lackluster customer experience.  

Alternatively, you can hire someone to create custom visuals for your brand, such as an Amazon agency, Creative Services studio, a local photographer, or even influencers. The most cost-effective options will either be influencers or a local photographer, depending on their rates, though you may find higher quality going through an agency or studio. 

Getting into the grittier details, here are some requirements for each section of the Brand Store: 

Page Requirements 

Header image – can vary or be consistent across different pages 

  • Required 
  • 3,000 x 600 Pixels 

Meta Description – should target a single keyword for the page 

  • Required 
  • 2-3 sentences describing what can be found on the page 

How to Create an Amazon Brand Store 

Brand Stores are fairly straightforward. Brand Stores are made up of pages and subpages. Each page is made of multiple sections, and each section is made of multiple tiles. You can think of it nested like such: 

  • Page or Subpage 
    • Section 1 
      • Tile 1 
      • Tile 2 
      • Tile 3 
    • Section 2 
      • Tile 1 
      • Tile 2 
    • Etc. 

Amazon Brand Store Modules

Manual Tile Types for Amazon Brand Stores 

There are many types of tiles, each with their own set of uses and requirements. Manual tiles are those that are created manually; any text or images for the given tile are uploaded on a case-by-case basis. The following requirements are for tiles that fill the width of the page (the entire section). 

Product 

  • Display title and bullets from product detail page 
  • Or, write custom title and description 

Image 

  • 3,000 pixels wide, 16 – 2,400 pixels in height 
  • Optional title (1 line) 
  • Optional link to product detail page or Brand Store Page 

Image with Text 

  • 3,000 pixels wide, 16-2,400 pixels in height 
  • Optional prefix (1 line) 
  • Header required (1 line) 
  • Optional body (7 lines) 
  • Optional link to product detail page or Brand Store page 

Text 

  • 20 lines 
  • Optional link to product detail page or Brand Store page 

Video 

  • Video must be at least 1,280 x 640 pixels and less than 100MB 
  • Supported files: avi, mov, mpg, mpeg, mp4, m4a, m4v, and m4p 
  • Thumbnail image required: 3,000 x 1,500 pixels 

Background Video 

  • Silently autoplays and loops 
  • Video must be 1,280 x 640, with a max height of 1,500, and must be 2-20 seconds in length 
  • Supported files: avi, mov, mpg, mpeg, mp3, m4a, m4v, and m4p 

Product Grid 

  • Can automatically add products using keywords, or manually assign products 
  • Title, price, and reviews automatically pulled from listing 

Gallery 

  • Video must be at least 1,280 x 640 pixels, and less than 100MB 
  • Supported files: avi, mov, mpg, mpeg, mp4, m4a, m4v, and m4p 
  • Thumbnail image required: 3,000 x 1,500 pixels 

Automatic Tile Types for Amazon Brand Stores 

Automatic tiles are tiles that pull in information from elsewhere on Amazon, so they don’t have to updated manually. Below are some automatic tile types. 

Best Selling Products 

  • Title automatically updates to reflect best-selling products 

Recommended Products 

  • Automatically generated for each visitor of your store 

Featured Deals 

  • When there are active promotions, they will automatically display here 

Using these pages, sections, and tiles, you construct each page of your Brand Store. The best Brand Stores look like a well-crafted professional website.  

A laptop displaying an Amazon Store for brands and sellers

Amazon Brand Store Templates 

If creating a Brand Store from scratch sounds a little intimidating and you’d like to just find a design template, you have a couple options.  

Use Amazon’s Brand Store Templates

Amazon provides three generic templates for Brand Stores. These make creating a Brand Store much easier, but you may find the templates don’t work well with your catalog’s organization or art assets. In that case, you can look to the other two options. 

Hire an Amazon Agency to Create Your Brand Store 

Experienced Amazon agencies are likely to have created dozens or hundreds of Brand Stores. If you already work with an Amazon agency, ask if they can create a Brand Store for you. If you work independently on Amazon, you may be able to find an agency that is willing to create a Brand Store for you for an hourly rate or a set fee, though this will vary by agency.  

If you work with a third-party seller on Amazon, ask them if they can create a Brand Store for your brand. Some third-party sellers will create Brand Stores for free.  

Take Inspiration from an Existing Brand Store 

If you want to create the Brand Store yourself, there’s no reason you can’t look up other brands on Amazon and review their Brand Stores. Find page layouts that you like, potentially taking inspiration from multiple sources. This can be a great jumping off point for creating a new design, and you can modify it as you get more comfortable with the page. 

Amazon Brand Store Best Practices 

What are the do’s and don’ts of Brand Stores? Why, thank you for asking! At Kaspien, we’ve made dozens of Brand Stores for our partners. In each case, we strive to learn from previous efforts so we continually improve. Here are some of our recommended best practices: 

Use Many High-Quality Visuals 

As mentioned earlier, Brand Stores are designed to be highly visual experiences. When a shopper lands on your Brand Store page, they should be immediately excited by what they see. That means not only professional quality product images, but also images for your brand. This is YOUR Brand Store. Shoppers should know your story and what your brand is all about, and images and videos play a key role in telling that story. 

Create an “About Us” Page 

Keeping with that train of thought, your Brand Store should include an “About Us” section or page. What’s your story? What sets your brand apart? Why should shoppers trust you and give you their business? The most successful brands are those that delight their customers, and establishing a rapport with them is a key part of that. 

Create an Intuitive Navigation Menu 

Organize your pages and subpages by age, category, product line, or interest. For example, Toys & Games and Baby brands may organize their Brand Store by age since that’s how shoppers often search for products in those categories. A Sports company might organize their story by product type – apparel, supplements, accessories – or by sport – running, climbing, baseball, football.  

Ultimately, organize your Brand Store in whatever way will make it easiest for your customers to navigate. Amazon’s success is rooted in being “customer obsessed.” Take a lesson from their book.  

Feature Your Full Catalog 

Surprisingly, some brands fail to connect all of their product listings to their Brand Store even after they have created it. This is a poor customer experience, as clicking “Shop [Brand]” on one listing will take you to the Brand Store while clicking the same link on another listing will take you to a search results page.  

Consistency is key to creating a positive customer experience, so make sure your Brand Store is connected to all of your listings. The only exceptions to this practice is if you have one listing that performs exceptionally poor, in which case you may not wish to showcase it next to the rest of your catalog that performs well.  

Leverage Your Brand Store for Marketing 

Brand Stores are an incredibly valuable asset for your Amazon business, but their usefulness really shines when used in coordination with other marketing efforts. Sponsored Brand AdsSponsored Brand Videossocial media advertising, and influencer marketing all work wondrously well with Brand Stores. 

Amazon Brand Store Examples

Because examples are always helpful, we’ve included a handful of Brand Stores that are structured for different product categories.  

Amazon Brand Store Example for Pet Brands

Amazon Brand Store Example

 

Amazon Brand Store for Electronics Brand

 

Amazon Brand Store Example for Baby Brands

 

Amazon Brand Store Example for Outdoors Brand

Learn More About Amazon Marketing Strategies

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There has been a great deal of attention recently on the legality of collecting and utilizing online consumer information. The UK Data Protection Act in 2018 requires, among other things, that consumers be notified of data collection and given the opportunity to opt out. While this law is applicable only in the EU, ecommerce companies that are based in the US and sell in the EU need to be aware of how these laws impact their business.

iOS 14 policies on Facebook Ads and Google’s announcement of its new policy to eliminate the use of third-party cookies from their Chrome browser have also garnered attention in recent months 

What DThese Laws Say?  

Have you noticed while cruising the web the large and in-your-face pop-ups asking if you’d like to accept cookies for this site? Those are a direct result of the UK Data Protection Act 

Third-party cookies are packets of non-identifying information that is gathered as consumers browse the internet on connected devices. This information is then used to place targeted advertisements across that user’s entire online experience on that device. We will talk about what types of data is collected shortly, but let’s start with what is not collected.  

As consumers concern about privacy grows, more governments and corporations are tightening their restrictions of what information can be collected and how it can be used. The most wide-sweeping government regulations to date were enacted in 2018 with the UK Data Protection Act. This act states that information must be:  

  • used fairly, lawfully, and transparently 
  • used for specified, explicit purposes 
  • used in a way that is adequate, relevant, and limited to only what is necessary   

In addition, stronger legal implications are involved for information considered to be more sensitive, including:  

  • race 
  • ethnic background 
  • political opinions 
  • religious beliefs 
  • trade union membership 
  • genetics 
  • biometrics (where used for identification) 
  • health 
  • sex life or orientation   

While these specific laws only govern the UK (with similar laws enacted in California in 2020), online businesses easily cross international lines. As companies scale to international markets, these restrictions become quite applicable 

What Information Does Amazon Collect? 

Amazon gathers a plethora of information about customers, including names, addresses, credit card information, logins, and passwords. Because of the aforementioned laws, this data is stored securely and is not used for advertising purposes. However, Amazon gathers a great deal of less specific information that helps advertisers better understand consumer searching behavior, making it ideal for optimizing advertising.  

Some of the useful information collected includes: 

  • Content interaction on Amazon.com – this includes what is downloaded, streamed, and whether it was viewed/downloaded multiple times 
  • What device was used to access Amazon  smart phone, a desktop computer, an Alexa device, etc. 
  • Information about the connection itself  including the service provider, the quality of the connection, and even if the customer experienced errors 
  • Amazon purchase and content use history 
  • The full URL chain that leads a customer to, through, and from Amazon’s websites 

This data cannot be used by either Amazon or businesses to see which sites or items specific shoppers interacted with. It simply categorizes actions so that users who have exhibited certain behaviors can be served your ad. 

How Is This Information Used For SEO? 

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a critical part of any business selling on Amazon. Optimizing your listings to give them the best chance of appearing on the search engine result page (SERP) is critical to making sure that customers who are looking for your product actually find it. 

Amazon gathers the terms that people search. Knowing what customers are actively looking for versus what you think they might call your product is invaluable to the optimization of your product detail pageIt’s important when optimizing your product to do more than tell customers what the product is and what it does. The next step is to figure out what questions your product answers. Knowing what customers are searching for is the first step. 

Amazon has a report that shows you for what keywords your products are ranking highly. This report can be found in Seller Central by going to the Brands tab. From there, click Brand Analytics. Among other reports on the Consumer Behavior Dashboard, you will see Amazon Search Terms. This report is ideal for analyzing and improving existing products that have performed decently to identify which keywords have contributed to traffic.  

For more detail reports and to research keywords for new products, SEO marketers turn to thirdparty tools such as SEMRush and JungleScoutSEMRush is one of many services that provides powerful tools fueled by information gathered from third-party cookies. Information in these tools is based on information searched for in search engines such as Google. There are 3 ways to access this information: 

  • Utilize the free account for basic analytic information 
  • Subscribe to one of their professional subscription plans 
  • Partner with an agency such as Kaspien who have access to tools such as this and much more! 

Other tools are more specific to what customers are searching for on Amazon, namely JungleScoutPaid tools such as these allow you to discover how often keywords are searched within a month, find new related keywords that you might never have thought of, and many other insights. These tools can be used for a monthly subscription. 

How Is This Information Used For Search Marketing? 

The data collected by Amazon and thirdparty sources are crucial to maximizing your advertising dollars. On Amazon, the goal is to keep your Advertising Cost of Sale (ACoS) as low as possible and your Return on Advertising Spend (RoAS) as high as possible. To do this, you need to be able to reach the right people at the right moment in the right place.  

Let’s explore how consumer information helps improve ACoS and RoAS by examining the who, what, where, when and why. 

To Whom to Advertise? 

Traditional marketing, such as billboards and radio advertising, take a blanket approach. You’ll reach more people, but only a small portion of those reached are the right peopleThe collective pool of consumer information allows Amazon Advertising to serve ads to people who have shown interest in your product, similar products, or who have searched for similar keywords in the past. 

What to Advertise? 

As people search Amazon and the internet, there search queries reveal their interests. By utilizing this information, your ad for a new baby product can be served to people who have been showing interest in parenting, pregnancy, children, and other relevant topicsYour trickedout survival gear can be shown to those who have searched for outdoor gear, camping, hiking, survival, and more. 

Where to Advertise? 

Thinking about where to advertise is a little different than placing your ad in a physical location. Advertisers have to consider which platform shoppers tend to use and tailor their ads to meet them in that space. Sponsored Brand Video Ads are great for shoppers on mobile devices, while Deals and Sponsored Product Ads tend to be more appealing on desktop. 

When to Advertise? 

There are several ways to time your ads in Amazon Advertising, but often ads are placed with a daily budget. Once that budget is depleted, your ads stop showing. That means there are many ads shown early in the day, but not reaching as many of the evening shoppers.  

Kaspien has addressed this issue by adding a brand new feature to our Amazon campaign management software, AdManager, called Day Parting. This industry-leading features allows us to serve ads to customers when data has shown they are online to see them. The first six weeks since implementing this feature have shown an amazing 40% decrease to ACoS! 

Why Advertise? 

Data-driven advertising provides customers with a much stronger answer to the question “why should I click?” No one likes to be pestered with advertisements for products that they will never use. Thanks to consumer information, they are more likely to pay attention to the advertisements in the first place because they are used to being shown useful, tailored products. With more attention paid, directed ads translate to higher click-through and conversion rates, too! 

Need Help Applying Consumer Data To Your Company? 

We know that data can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can be transformative to a business that knows how to harness it. On the other, it can be overwhelming for those who don’t know where to start in the analysis and implementation of the inferences derived from this data.  

Kaspien’s digital marketing experts are industry leaders in SEO and Search Marketing and are ready to partner with your company to tackle any project, whether you have one campaign or are looking to optimize your entire portfolio of Amazon products. Subscribe to our weekly blog newsletter to ensure you stay up-to-date with the latest news and strategies.


When is Amazon Prime Day this Year? 

UPDATE – Amazon Prime Day will be June 21-22, according to Bloomberg.

Amazon has not yet announced the exact dates for Prime Day, but it is reportedly scheduled for June this year. An Amazon source also stated to Kaspien that June will be the likely date. While normally held in July, Prime Day was delayed until October 13th-14th in 2020. Deadlines for deal submissions and inventory are in April and May, giving credence that the event could occur in late June.  

According to Recode, the decision to move Prime Day slightly earlier than usual may be to boost Amazon’s quarterly earnings in Q2, which saw massive growth driven by the global pandemic in 2020. Amazon’s spokesperson denied that the earnings calendar was a factor for scheduling Prime Day.

How Big Will Prime Day Be? 

2021 will mark the Amazon’s sixth Prime Day, each of which has generated more sales than the last. Amazon now boasts more than 150 million Prime members globally, over 100 million of which for the US marketplace. 

Prime Day 2020 Results 

According to Statista, Prime Day’s global sales exceeded $10.4 billion in 2020, growing from $0.9 billion in its inaugural year of 2015. 

A Rolling Stones Magazine poll found that on Prime Day, the top ten selling products were: 

  1. Apple AirPods with Charging Case 
  2. Bose Solo 5 TV Soundbar 
  3. YI 1080p HD Wireless Home Security Camera 
  4. VANKYO LEISURE 3 Mini Projector 
  5. Echo Show 5 
  6. Amazon Smart Plug 
  7. Back Bay Wireless Bluetooth Shower Speaker 
  8. 23andMe Health + Ancestry Service 
  9. Pure Clean Automatic Vacuum Cleaner 
  10. YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike 

 

During Prime Day 2020, Amazon 1P accounted for half of the top ten selling products. Eight of the top ten selling products were from the Electronics category, including the top seven products. Digital Commerce 360 estimates that Amazon claimed 65% of the $10.4 billion in sales on Prime Day 2020. 

Source

Prime Day 2021 Expectations

While 2021 thankfully lacks the same degree of pressure driving shoppers to buy online as 2020, we expect Prime Day to deliver another strong showing. COVID-19 forced more consumers than ever to use digital shopping. Even as more physical stores re-open at greater capacities, the body of online shoppers has permanently grown, and their numbers will support Prime Day sales. 

At Kaspien, we’ve seen strong sales results for the first quarter of the year compared to last year, indicating that Prime Day 2021 is on track for a sixth record-breaking year. 

What are Walmart and Target Doing on Prime Day? 

Amazon’s made up holiday to boost summer sales drew the envy of many competitors, and in 2020, we saw other online marketplaces launch promotional events during the same period. Walmart announced a “Big Save” event that ran October 11th-October 15th. Target brought back Target Deal Days on October 13th-October 14th. 

It’s likely that these competitors will run coinciding events to Prime Day. Shoppers are already looking for deals online for Prime Day. By launching competitive events, these marketplaces can capture some of that traffic. 

Neither marketplace has announced such an event yet. Like last year, they may be waiting to hear Amazon’s official dates for Prime Day before they announce their own. By delaying the announcement of their own events, these retailers make it more difficult for sellers on their platforms to prepare. 

Amazon Prime Day 2021 Deadlines 

Deadline to Submit Amazon Lightning Deals for Prime Day 

  • April 16, 2021: Last day to submit Lightning Deals for North American marketplaces 
  • April 23, 2021: Last day to submit Lightning Deals in Europe, Australia, Turkey, AUE, Saudi Arabia, and Japan 

Deadline to Submit Amazon Coupons for Prime Day 

  • May 28, 2021: Last day to submit Amazon Coupons 

Deadlines for FBA Inventory for Prime Day 

  • May 30, 2021: Last day for inventory to be received at FBA centers in India 
  • May 31, 2021: Last day for inventory to be received at FBA centers in the US and Canada 
  • June 1, 2021: Last day for inventory to be received at FBA centers in Australia and Mexico 
  • June 6, 2021: Last day for inventory to be received at FBA centers in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the UK 
  • June 7, 2021: Last day for inventory to be received at FBA centers in UAE and Saudi Arabia 
  • June 13, 2021:Last day for inventory to be received at FBA centers in Japan 

Amazon Marketing Strategies for Prime Day 

Amazon Prime Deals 

Prime Day Deals are the big attraction, with sellers offering some of the steepest discounts of the year for highly desired products. Prime Day Deals are featured on a dedicated page and Amazon’s homepage, resulting in huge spikes in traffic and sales. The deals are limited by quantity or time, further motivating shoppers to act now. 

Amazon Coupons 

If you’re too late or aren’t eligible to submit Lightning Deals for Prime Day, Amazon coupons are your next best bet. Amazon reports that coupons increase sales by 12%. The coupon “tag” that appears on both the product listing and the search results page helps catch the eye, and the discount can be enough to pull shoppers over the finish line. Coupons also indirectly support product rank improvement, which is especially helpful during the intense competition of Prime Day. 

Kaspien has conducted numerous tests to determine the most effective ways to deploy coupons. Check out this post to read about best practices for Amazon coupons. 

Prime Exclusive Discounts 

Amazon launched Prime Exclusive Discounts in June 2019. As the name suggests, Prime Exclusive Discounts are seller-funded discounts visible and accessible only to Amazon Prime members.   

From a consumer’s perspective, there is little difference between coupons and Prime Exclusive Discounts except for the exclusivity. From a seller’s perspective, Prime Exclusive Discounts don’t come with a $0.60 redemption fee, but they are much more burdensome to set up and do not deliver substantially different results.  

That said, if there ever was a time to try Prime Exclusive Discounts, Prime Day is the day. 

Amazon Advertising 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Amazon advertising is the most effective marketing tool in an Amazon marketer’s toolbox. Of course, the efficacy of this tool is influenced by many other factors, including if the product listing is fully optimized. Assuming it is, Amazon ads will often drive the highest return on ad spend out of all your paid marketing efforts. 

We’ve written several pieces about how to get the most out of your Amazon sponsored ads, including: 

In general, start running Amazon ads at least 1-2 months before Prime Day, as Amazon sponsored ads take time to build traction, and you want to be well positioned going into the fierce competition of Prime Day. 

Amazon Live 

In 2020, Amazon Live reached a whole new level as celebrity influencers like Demi Lovato were featured in product endorsements streams.  

Amazon Live Demi Lovato

Amazon Live is a great way to feature your products on more pages during Prime Day, helping bring in more traffic. The service is free, so all it requires is a little forethought and time.  

Social Media Marketing for Amazon 

While traffic surges on Amazon during Prime Day, you can direct more of it to your product listings through social media marketing for AmazonUsing a combination of organic and paid efforts, including influencer marketing, brands can build excitement and bypass competitors’ Amazon ads by promoting their products where shoppers are already at. 

Apply Findings from Amazon Prime Day to Q4 

Prime Day is one of the single largest sales events of the year for brands on Amazon, making it an excellent way to test the waters and prepare for Q4 on Amazon. If you want to get even more prepared for future peak seasons, subscribe to our blog and we’ll send you info on the latest Amazon news and proven best practices. 

 

The two cornerstones of Amazon marketing are search engine optimization (SEO) and paid sponsored advertising. Combining both efforts is a crucial strategy for growth on Amazon. In this blog post, we’ll explain how SEO and search marketing works on Amazon and how the two can be combined to improve overall results. 

Amazon Search Engine Optimization Overview 

When discussing SEO, we are referring to the overall optimization of product listing content with the end goal of high placement on the Amazon search engine results page (SERP). Optimizing listings means optimizing copy. You can put down whatever copy you want, but if you wish to rank on the SERP and convert sales, you must optimize for both the A9 algorithm and your consumer. For example, below is a keyword-stuffed title that might be well optimized for the algorithm, but not for the consumer: 

The title is long and difficult to understand. If consumers saw this title on a SERP, they would likely keep scrolling to other listings. Brands must find a balance between titles and copy optimized for the algorithm but are also consumer-friendly.    

When optimizing your listing, there are primary and secondary focuses. The primary focus should be your title, the key features, and the standard product description. These are what the A9 algorithm scrapes for when determining relevancy to consumers.   

Second, focus on your A+ Content, Media Gallery, Pricing, Search Terms, and Reviews. These secondary focuses help drive conversions. A+ Content, photos, videos, and reviews are among the few ways consumers can connect with your product without physically touching it. Pricing is also important because if your price is too high, consumers will choose cheaper comparable products instead. 

Amazon Advertising Overview 

When talking about advertising on Amazon, we are referring to paid advertisements seen throughout the Amazon marketplace. This paid advertising includes Sponsored Product Ads, Sponsored Brand Ads, and Sponsored Display Ads. Paid advertising is the fastest-growing division within Amazon, and as such, the platform is steadily becoming a pay to play marketplace.    

When should you use paid advertising? That depends on your goals. Are you trying to drive additional impressions and clicks? Are you trying to increase sales on specific ASINs? Are you trying to raise brand awareness? Are you launching a new product on Amazon? These questions will influence which types of ads to use.   

Below are the types of sponsored ads on Amazon: 

Amazon Sponsored Product Ads

Pay-per-click (PPC) ads that appear in strategic areas on Amazon, such as the top of the search results page and within a product detail page. These ads give brands’ products more visibility and increase the likelihood of purchase by consumers. 

Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads

Formerly called Headline Search Ads, this ad type displays a banner ad at the top of the search results page. The banner ad contains a brand image and features up to three products. This ad type is typically best suited for generating brand awareness. 

Amazon Sponsored Display Ads

PPC ads on Amazon and Amazon-owned websites and apps that target shoppers by searches, views, purchases, or products. 

Interdependency Between Search Engine Optimization and Amazon Advertising 

Now that we’ve covered the basics of SEO and Amazon advertising, dive into the interconnectedness of the two. The intersection takes place amdist keyword research, gathering reviews, setting up variations, setting up your listing media gallery, and Amazon compliance. 

Keyword Research 

Keyword research identifies top trending keywords for your products that improve the chances of placing in relevant search results. SEO for product listings and search marketing both rely on keyword research to be effectiveAdd focus keywords into title and listing copy to build organic relevancy, improve ad performance, and overall placement.  

Customer Reviews 

The process of growing reviews compliantly is time-consuming, but they provide a level of trust that sellers need in order to persuade consumers to purchase. The number of reviews also directly impacts the performance of organic and paid placement. To improve your placement, you can run paid advertising to bring more converting traffic to listings, which will naturally help increase review numbers. Even more so if SEO has already implemented their review generation efforts. 

Unfortunately, Amazon retired the Amazon Early Reviewer Program in April 2021, making it more difficult for new products to acquire new reviews. 

Variation Listings 

Variations put like items together within a single Amazon listing, giving consumers the ultimate shopping experience. Variation listings accomplish two things that help improve SEO and search marketing performance:   

  1. Variations can aggregate reviews and make a listing look more trustworthy. Will encourage more traffic to click ad.   
  2. You can consolidate ads to focus on top child ASIN, but it will drive sales to the whole variation and improve rank. 

Media Gallery 

The media gallery is the carousel of images and possibly videos that appears above the fold of a listing. Optimizing the media gallery entails uploading high-resolution, compliant images, and videos. For many ad types, the hero image is displayed in the sponsored placement. Additionally, you can use Sponsored Brand Videos to show specific features to shoppers. 

Amazon Compliance 

Keeping up with Amazon’s terms of services is a full-time job, but doing so will ensure your listings and ads stay active. When working on Amazon SEO and search marketing, be sure to omit restricted keywords from listings to reduce the risk of listing suppression. You should also ensure that target keywords are within character restrictions, so they have weight in listing relevancy. It’s also worth noting that you can bid on phrases related to but not including restricted keywords to improve placement for those searches. Listen to podcast episode, Resolving Compliance Issues on Amazon, with Amazon Sellers Lawyer.

Stay Up-to-Date with Amazon Advertising 

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SEO is an ever-evolving part of the Amazon selling experience. Keeping content updated, engaging, keyword optimized, and compliant can be quite a balancing act. Amazon is always seeking to improve customer experience, and that includes updating content guidelines. Recentlythere’s been a change in attitude toward all caps text in bullet points and HTML in product descriptions.  

In this post, we’ll break down this recent change and why implementing these recommendations can help improve your listing compliance. 

Experiments in Style: Two-Tiered Bullet Points and Amazon SEO Optimization 

If you’re a frequent shopper on Amazon, you’ve definitely seen “Two Tiered” bullet points in product listings. “Two-Tiered” bullet points are popular choice for many sellers and are formatted like so:  

Each bullet starts with a hook in ALL CAPS to garner attention, followed by copy in sentence case that expands on the hook. 

Tests Indicated Shoppers Like “Two Tier” Formatting 

Kaspien has run many tests surrounding the efficacy of two tiered bullet points, but every result was inconclusive. In June of 2019, wsurveyed Amazon shoppers to dig in deeper into the “why” behind this formatting practiceWe found that 56% of our sample preferred a key feature format that began with ALL CAPS, and then continued in normal sentence case 

Because the majority prefer this style, we deduced that this formatting structure ia positive user experience benefitThe ALL CAPS provides the quick facts, then the trailing sentence gives more details if the shopper desires to continue reading. 

The ALL CAPS strategy really started to take off a few years ago, and Amazon SEO leaders latched onto this strategyAmazon sellers, agencies, and strategists began implementing this format in their listings to better catch buyers’ eyes. 

Amazon Bans ALL CAPS  

Unfortunately, Amazon changed their outlook on listings that contain all caps in the bullet points, notifying sellers that having all caps in the bullet structure is no longer recommended and can result in listing suppressions.  

Updating listings to reflect this change will ensure that the listings are not removed from the site for non-compliance. We believe Amazon changed their policy to present a more uniform content experience for consumers. Per Amazon’s advice, Kaspien is updating bullet points to remove any all-caps text to ensure that we meet compliance standards.  

Product Description Breakdown: New HTML Recommendations for Amazon Listings 

Product descriptions on Amazon represent an important piece of SEO territory that can be used to improve SERP (Search Engine Result Placement) for products. A robust description can be the deciding factor in a buyer’s decision, so it’s critical to include as much relevant information as possible while maintaining shopper engagement.  

Amazon product descriptions appear on the site as a plain block text that’s tucked below the fold and above the product detail section, making it easy to miss. Many Amazon content creators use HTML in their description text to help break up text blocks. Common examples of HTML formatting include creating lists and adding bold and italic text to differentiate the content. 

Amazon is now notifying sellers to remove all HTML text from the product description except for simple line breaks: <br>. Line breaks are arguably the most important HTML formatting in the product description. You can still create lists with line breaks – and of course, paragraph breaks help make lengthy text more digestible.  

We believe Amazon made this change to alleviate some of the pressure on their servers when loading a listing detail page and – similar to the changes with bullet points – promote consistent formatting to shoppers 

Moving forward, Kaspien is implementing these content updates across product listings to ensure that we meet all style and compliance guidelines. We recommend that sellers start removing HTML from product descriptions and update their bullet points to reflect Amazon’s change in listing content strategy 

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Amazon Ends Early Reviewer Program

Amazon Early Reviewer Program No Longer Accepting Applicants 

On March 10, 2021, Amazon Seller Support noticed sellers that the Early Reviewer Program (ERP) will no longer accept new ASINs into the program as of March 10, 2021 and that Amazon will discontinue the service completely on April 25, 2021. 

Amazon’s Notification to Sellers 

Transcribed

Hello from Amazon Selling Partner Support,  

“We understand your concern regarding the Amazon Early Reviewer Program. 

Amazon continuously innovates to improve the shopping and selling experience. Over the past several years, we have made numerous improvements to encourage purchasers to review products on Amazon. These initiatives, such as One Tap Reviews and Global Review Sharing have proven more effective in generating reviews than the Early Reviewer Program. 

Accordingly, as of March 10, 2021, we will no longer allow new enrollments in the Early Reviewer Program, and will stop offering the service to sellers currently enrolled in the program on April 25, 2021.” 

Amazon added the same message to their Early Reviewer Program FAQ page. 

Will Sellers be Refunded? 

Amazon states they will return sellers’ program fees “within three (3) months after the closure date, for any active enrollments with more than 1 review and not completed by April 25, 2021.” 

Will New Reviews Incur Charges? 

For sellers concerned about being charged for new product reviews after April 25th, Amazon states, “You will not be charged the program fee for reviews published after Early Reviewer Program closure date of April 25, 2021.” 

Why Did Amazon End the Early Reviewer Program? 

Amazon’s official reason for ending the Early Reviewer Program is that other review generating initiatives are more effective, such as One Tap Reviews and Global Review Sharing.  

Other potential factors may include the $60/ASIN fee was not financially justifiable, the amount of time it took for the Early Reviewer Program to generate reviews, and critiques that Amazon was biasing reviews by offering a small Amazon credit 

There are concerns that the retirement of the Early Reviewer Program will contribute to more black hat tactics for review generation on Amazon. 

This isn’t the first Amazon program to get the ax. In 2019, Amazon retired the Amazon Giveaways program. Similar the the Early Reviewer Program, Amazon Giveaways was a popular service among sellers and shoppers, but internal factors led the company to discontinue it anyway.

Other Ways to Generate Amazon Reviews 

Post-Purchase Emails 

On November, Amazon introduced a policy update that expressly permits sellers to email consumers through Amazon Seller Messaging after they’ve purchased your product, asking for a non-biased review. We’ve seen this approach to be a highly effective method to accumulate more, honest reviews that help products climb the search results page, all while remaining compliant with Amazon’s policies. 

Leverage Social Media & Websites 

While reviews on Amazon are ideal, many shoppers still use social media and direct websites to inform their buying decisions. Brands can use social media to engage their community, which helps motivate repeat buyers to leave reviews on Amazon. Brands can also quote reviews from Amazon and social media on their direct website to engage shoppers conducting research outside of the marketplace.

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Turn SEO into a Measurable Revenue Generator

Search engine optimization is an essential ingredient for success on Amazon. The problem? Attributing revenue to SEO can be tricky, and as a result, SEO doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. 

We’re hosting a new webinar about measuring how SEO impacts Amazon revenue. This is a must-watch for marketing leaders interested in Amazon.  

The webinar will be held on March 23rd at 10am PT / 1pm ET. 

5 Reasons to Attend our Amazon SEO Webinar 

1 – Learn How Much to Budget for SEO 

SEO efforts don’t require an ad budget, but that doesn’t mean it’s free. In this webinar, we’ll explain how to build an SEO team for the Amazon marketplace, including how much of your marketing budget should be devoted to SEO and critical hires. 

2 – Learn How to Measure Key SEO Metrics 

Good decisions rely on good reporting. We’ll share how to structure your metrics for reporting so you can track, measure, and act upon the most meaningful KPIs. 

3 – Industry Experts are Hosting 

Two of Kaspien’s best are hosting the webinar. In her 6 years at Kaspien, Jennifer Johnston has been pivotal in Kaspien’s mastery of SEO on the Amazon marketplace, helping build the team from the ground up. In her current role as Digital Marketing Specialist, Jenn provides marketing support of all types for critical initiatives. 

Autumn has an MBA from Gonzaga University and a background in small business consulting and digital marketing. Drawing on over 5 years of experience in traditional and ecommerce SEO, Autumn leads Kaspien’s SEO Team in servicing Kaspien’s partner brands.  

 

4 – Review Test Results and Case Studies 

Our SEO team has optimized tens of thousands of listings and conducted countless tests to determine which features have the greatest impact on product placement and conversions. In this webinar, we’ll share some of our findings, including examples of how enacting SEO best practices tangibly impacts Amazon revenue.  

5 – You’ll Get a Free Copy of our Whitepaper, The Ultimate Guide to Creating Amazon Listings 

In addition to tactical advice in the webinar, you’ll also receive a free copy of our popular whitepaper, The Ultimate Guide to Creating Amazon Listings. Authored by one of our hosts, Jenn Johnston, the whitepaper shares tips on how to write listing content for both the Amazon algorithm and the consumer, best practices backed by our tests, and a step-by-step guide to uploading listing content. 

Register for the Webinar 

Date: March 23rd at 10am PT / 1pm ET 

Duration: 60 minutes 

illustration with three people and the words amazon brand registry roles

The Amazon ecosystem is getting more competitive and complex each day. Counterfeit goods slipping into listings and rising marketing costs are just two of the many issues brands face when selling on Amazon. Luckily, one tool brands can use to overcome some of these issues is Amazon Brand Registry.

What is Amazon Brand Registry?  

Amazon Brand Registry is an Amazon program that provides brands additional protection and access to other marketing services, including: 

Enrollment in Brand Registry is free but requires a trademark registration number with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Learn more about all the benefits in our Always Up-to-Date List of Amazon Brand Registry Benefits. 

What are Amazon Brand Registry Roles? 

One big issue for unregistered brands is the lack of control over their listings. When your brand is not part of the Amazon Brand Registry, unauthorized sellers can come into your listing and change content. As brand trust becomes more important to consumers, it is crucial to maintain control of your listings.    

When brands are brand registered with Amazon, only authorized accounts can change listings. Authorized accounts can include your employees or another account to which you have assigned a role, such as an authorized agency. There are currently three types of Amazon Brand Registry roles: Administrator, Rights Owner, and Registered Agent. Each comes with a different level of permissions.   

  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.   

 

If you wish to give a seller the authority to report violations on your behalf and have extra authority within your listings, you must add them as a Registered Agent, Rights Owner, or Administrator. 

How to Assign Brand Registry Roles 

To assign roles for Amazon Brand Registry, follow these steps: 

1 – On the Amazon Brand Registry platform, click on Brand Registry Support. 

screenshot of amazon dashboard for Welcome to the Brand Registry

2 – Click through Update your brand profile > Update role or add new user to account 

screenshot of Amazon Brand Registry Support

3 – Follow the on-screen form to submit the seller’s email as the role you desire them to have. 

Apply for Amazon Brand Registry 

Learn how to apply to Amazon Brand Registry.

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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 

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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.  

Amazon Policy Update: ALL CAPS Banned

Amazon updated their listing content policy in late 2020 to forbid the use of ALL CAPS in Amazon listings. We recommend maintaining the two-tiered styling (key callout followed by more description), but in sentence case. For 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.” would change to “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.

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The Ultimate Guide to Prepare for Q4 on Amazon

UPDATED ON APRIL 14, 2021

Remember the days when Q4 was the focal point of the year for retailers? 2020 certainly stole that spotlight and pushed any semblance of normalcy to the back seat for much of the year. But thankfully, we are gradually shifting back to normalcy and it’s go time.  

Year over year, restrictions on Amazon continue to increase, so it’s imperative that you start planning no later than late June. Which is now, folks! That’s why we’ve put together this prep guide. This guide will help you put Amazon Q4 prep back on the roadmap and set yourself up for success. (Here’s hoping we don’t get yet another curveball – like locusts, that would be very bad.) 

How to Start Q4 Planning for Amazon

Designate Leaders to Guide Strategy 

Your future success ties back to your team and partners. You need to start with a look at your internal teams. Who within your organization is taking ownership of Amazon? Does that person need additional support? Who are your warehouse and shipping partners? Do you have SLA’s in place that you can count on? Many brands turn to an expert partner to help fill those gaps, leaning on Amazon-focused digital agencies or retail partners that conveniently come with a fully stocked tool belt of standard operating practices and resources.  

Regardless of what your team looks like, you need to finesse and develop an org-chart that explicitly designates working procedures, growth targets, demand forecasting, warehousing solutions, and marketing per person. Your success is tied to those KPI’s, and your team should have them top of mind as well.  

If you don’t already, begin scheduling quarterly business reviews to allow for pivot time if the KPI’s are not lining up with targeted goals. Take inventory of segmented portions of your operation: What do stock levels look like? Have we heard of sourcing issues? What are our customers saying? Are there any product issues noted from reviews? What does your Amazon presence look like? How are advertising budgets performing? The answers to those questions will drive the strategic implementation and changes for the upcoming quarter and help position you well heading into Q4 on Amazon and beyond. 

Conduct a Content Audit 

In line with the basics, commence an audit of your catalog and corresponding creative assets. As Kaspien says, “People remember 80% of what they’ve seen and just 20% of what they read, which is an important reminder. At minimum, the top 20% of your product catalog should have Amazon-compliant and visually exciting A+ Content to boost shopper buying confidence. Then stroll on over to your Storefront – have you organized your product categories in a logical fashion? Is your brand story being portrayed to meet customers at an emotional level?  

Check out our on-demand webinar, 12 Amazon Marketing Opportunities & How to Use Them.

A+ Content and Branded Storeare one of the simplest ways to communicate who you are as a brand and reduce negative reviews. If you can write a big green check mark next to that advice, then take it one step further. Determine which products could use a ‘seasonal facelift’ and find ways to incorporate holiday themes into the gallery of your product detail pages. If you are a manufacturer of photo frames, could you photoshop a snowflake into the frame? Small changes to your organic marketing efforts can make a big difference when customers are scrolling through hundreds of products trying to find a gift. Simple images that naturally connect dots in our brain are a surefire way to stand out from the crowd. 

A+ Content Page on Amazon

COVID-19 Impact to Supply Chains in 2020 and Q4

Remember the wonderful year of 2020? Yeah, me neither. What we do remember are extended lead times and quantity restrictions imposed by Amazon. Our Purchase Order Director, Ned Woodward, shared his thoughts on the turbulent year:

“Lead times actually started to spike in March of 2020 when COVID hit due to the fact that many brands source directly out of China. COVID shut down many factories and port operations, triggering a domino effect as the virus spread globally and started impacting supply chain stateside. This led to anything from several-week delays to complete halts on production in more extreme cases.

“Brands were also forced to re-forecast production/sailing from China based on all of the supply chain constraints with COVID. Instead of planning 4 weeks out, brands had to coordinate 8+ weeks in advance to guarantee vessel space from China. In addition to delays, brands have seen spikes in container freight rates out of China, 45%-50% higher than normal rates in some cases.

“To make matters worse, Amazon also imposed Amazon Quantity Limits (AQLs), which limited how much inventory Sellers can send into FBA at the ASIN level. Prior to AQLs, brands could send in enough inventory to satisfy whatever coverage they wanted, as long as they had storage capacity. Now, brands can only send in what they are limited to, and cannot replenish until the AQLs will allow. In some cases, this forces out of stock on FBA, which can negatively impact listing ranks, pricing, customer experience, and overall brand presence.”

How to Plan Earlier for Q4

Given the turbulence of 2020, we asked Ned to share some advice for why and how brands should be planning for Q4 earlier this year. He recommended:

  • Start talking to your manufacturers earlier to ensure you can source inventory to support your holiday sales. You may need to arrange sailings at origin a month or two earlier than you would have in past years. Source domestically as much as possible.
  • Budget for higher freight costs when sourcing out of China. The 45%-50% freight increases could be here to stay well into Q3 and beyond based on market expert predictions.
  • Have fulfillment options to back up your FBA stock (MFN, SFP, Deliverr) in case AQLs are still around come Q4. AQLs will limit what you can send in and tight timelines for replenishment into FBA could lead to out of stocks. Brands can no longer rely solely on FBA to ensure success through the holiday season on Amazon.

AMAZON Q4 TIMELINE 

Determine Q4 Stock & Lead Times 

Given how tough Q4 was in 2020, it’s even more important to do your due diligence this year. Determiningg stock and lead times is one of those tasks that will be critical for a brand to take ownership of. You need to know what your expected lead times will be, based on where your product is manufactured.

If that’s proving difficult due to the Coronavirus affecting predicted ship windows, you’ll need to be ready to invest in more expensive options. Air freight is the most expensive option, but it delivers results. Costs range greatly by product and day, and fees are based on “dimensional weight,” so cost also varies greatly by the volume you ship. Due to COVID-19, the costs of air freight have increased dramatically from where they were a year ago, so this should be a last resort.  

Get creative with your strategy and think outside the box. If you have sourcing issues with your manufacturer, look for unique ways to fill in the gaps. Are portions of the product or packaging not sustainable? Could you find a U.S. based manufacturer that can make the product out of recycled materials instead? Invest in new partnerships right now to ensure you don’t reach 10x growth without inventory to continue the trend.  

Some sellers have learned a hard lesson about tardiness in past years, and we’ve all learned from those mistakes. Amazon implemented key FBA holiday selling dates for Amazon.com that can act as a guide right now. Below are deadlines for Q4 in 2020. Dates for 2021 are still being finalized by Amazon.

Amazon Seller Q4 Timeline with Key Dates

Apply to Applicable Categories ASAP 

New brands and products have an increased hurdle this year, as Amazon continues to increase its barrier of entry for some categories. Recently, our brands have experienced issues in gaining access to the Personal Safety and Household & Medical Supplies and Equipment categories, requiring them to apply and, in some cases, wait over a month for any response.  

Start this process immediately to ensure you gain access prior to using expensive shipping methods to get your product here in time. On this note, it never hurts to have a marketplace back-up plan. Is Walmart a good fit for your products? If so, begin the process of either finding a partner to help you launch there or apply on your own. For more information about Walmart, read our blog here.  

Use Prime Day to Inform Amazon Q4 Strategy 

While certainly not its primary purpose, Amazon does provide a convenient holiday that is a perfect opportunity to analyze sales, brand visibility, and advertising performance – Prime Day! Prime Day is a phenomenal opportunity to get a peek into the future and collect data points that should be used to develop a Q4 strategy. The increased volume of shoppers, increased ad spend, and heightened opportunity to rope in new loyal customers creates a similar landscape to what Q4 looks like on Amazon – namely, weeks prior to Black Friday and up until December 15th. Check out our top 5 tips for how to maximize Prime Day sales.

There are whispers that Prime Day will be moved to September, given the current situation, which is considerably later than past years July dates. While that reduces the time you have to use Prime Day stats to your Q4 advantage, don’t cut it short. Sources say there could be a ‘Summer Sale’ that can act as a great segue into Prime Day and thus provide two pools of data from which you can develop strategy 

Meltables Will be Accepted Starting October 

There are a few additional key dates that are certainly worth sharing for the world of meltable products. Per Amazon, meltable products are accepted at FBA centers from October 16th to April 14th only. Meltable’ refers to heat-sensitive grocery, health, and personal care products that are eaten or swallowed, including chocolate, gummies, and probiotics.” Brands that fall into this category should work backwards, using their lead time, to understand when inventory should be prepped and ready to send back into FBA. 

AMAZON MARKETING FOR Q4 

Create a Product-Level Advertising Strategy 

If ever there was a secret sauce for Amazon, advertising is it. Amazon Advertising is one of the most profitable areas of Amazon, and Pivotal Research reported that, Amazon is expected to reach $38 billion in advertising sales by 2023.” If something is making Amazon money, you need to pay attention to it, because you can guarantee they are.  

Many brands find this planning metric quite difficult, given the variety of aspects that span budget constraints, inability to see into the landscape future, and catalog size. To avoid a drinking from the firehose situation, go back to your basic target planning. If you have a partner, sit down with them and discuss what your high-level goals are. Use resources around you to understand target ACoS, ROI, ROAS, and budgets. Spend some time doing the math to understand your per product margin, and work backwards to figure out how much you’re willing to spend on customer acquisition. 

Watch our on-demand webinar about How to Create High-Performing Amazon Ad Campaigns.

Many brands fall victim to assigning one target for their entire catalog, but if you have multiple products with varying price points, then you should be developing an advertising strategy at the product-levelA product that’s 5% over the target ACoS needs to be optimized differently than a product that’s 20% over the target ACoSEven if your target ACoS is the same across the board, varying price points necessitate a product-level strategy. A $10 product with a 10% target ACoS needs to be optimized differently than a $100 product with a 10% target ACoS. 

Amazon PPC Management Software Can Help

This is no small feat, so find time and cost saving tools to help you do this. We’ve even built one: Kaspien AdManager. Our 30-day trial allows brands to test our strategies and see results before committing to a subscription. Explore your resources and network with others in the industry to help yourself.  

Request a demo

Work Backwards from Goals 

To understand performance and refine strategy, you’ll need to track advertising KPI’s. Start with goals: Define when you will bid up and bid down, how you’ll mine high-converting search terms and at what frequencyin what ways you will identify low converting keywords to be added as negative keywords, and finally, what your daily spend budgets need to be in order to work within your product level marginRemember, Amazon only gives you advertising data for about two months, so find a way to store this insight and lean on the findings once Q4 rolls around. 

Use Amazon Promotions Before Q4 

Seemingly overshadowed by the power of Amazon Advertising are evergreen marketing tactics that deserve a fighting chance: Promotions! Start running promotions now, collect the data, store it, and analyze it. Lean on a combination of tactics, including coupons, Deals, BOGOs. While each targets a different subgroup of shoppers, you’re gaining insight into what lowered price points increase sales and which promotion types yield successful results and should be used during Q4. Hot tip: Today’s Deals during Q4 are about as crowded as B&M stores on Black Friday, so think about using other promotions, like coupons, to help carve out a space for your products in the rush.  

beauty products with a bow

Advertise Beyond Amazon 

Additionally, one of the most successful tools Kaspien has used to circumnavigate the crowded Deals section during Q4 is off-Amazon advertising. Inventory your visibility on other platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc., and start A/B testing ad types on those platforms. While some categories are better fit for social advertising, don’t be afraid to get creative here. Who would have thought that a face shield would be a prized holiday gift? Use that to your advantage and sync up with partners in the space to help build content and advertise your product in ways that you hadn’t previously 

Social media marketing for Amazon

Influencers are another incredible way to call out to both niche and major segments of the population and get eyes on your brand. Many brands halt at the thought, thinking their products just aren’t a great fit – but you’d be surprised. And you don’t have to spend a fortune, tapping into micro influencers can be a powerful option.  

Take this example:
Watchmaker Daniel Wellington is known for collaborations with fashion and travel influencers, but the brand also frequently works with CanadianBros (@CanadianBros), an Instagram account for two dogs named Jasper and Louie. Though dog lovers isn’t an obvious audience for a watch company, the fact that the account has featured Daniel Wellington on more than one occasion indicates it’s working. In one post, Louie gazes up at his owner who just happens to be wearing a Daniel Wellington watch. Like many of the account’s other posts, the caption is from the pup’s point of view.  

The big bonus here is most influencers allow brands to have rights to the content they develop which can be used on your direct sites, social pages and even Amazon. 

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Q4 Planning Starts Now 

We are living in a different time, and while nothing is certain, being a brand on Amazon puts you at an advantage during the holidays. Customers can shop from the safety of their couch, and you can help put a smile on the face of recipients around the country. 

Think of the extra time you have as an opportunity to really give Amazon Q4 the planning it deserves. Sit down with your teams, cultivate your goals, develop new relationships, and talk reality with your suppliers. Look at your products through a new lens, play around with organic marketing tactics, and take the time to implement an advertising strategy that spans both marketplace and beyond. The time is now. And if you need support, you can always reach outWe’d love to chat about your goals and the tools and services we have to help you reach them. 

Happy Q4 planning! 

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