News & Insights

The Role of Amazon Product Listing Videos in Driving Visibility and Conversions

E-commerce marketing is a crucial aspect of virtually every Amazon business. Often, trends spread quickly among sellers, leaving some struggling to keep up with the competition. For example, in recent years, many have found that incorporating video into a product’s amazon listing can increase conversion rates and improve the overall health of an Amazon seller account.

But integrating a successful Amazon video marketing requires more than a smartphone and a good idea. It requires data-driven video optimization, a solid understanding of Amazon’s product video guidelines, and the skills to execute a plan that can drive visibility and grow product sales. The good news is that if your company is committed to elevating its video content marketing on Amazon, you’re in the right place. 

What is an Amazon product listing video?

Video production by retailers is hardly new or limited to the Amazon marketplace. Direct-to-consumer websites, social media campaigns and even customer service efforts have all begun incorporating videos more frequently and with increasing success. 

However, Amazon product videos can be uniquely effective due to how they can impact listing performance by influencing a product’s placement in Amazon’s search results and persuading shoppers who visit your listing to make a purchase.

Video content marketing can be displayed alongside the product images on any Amazon listing. For most listings, a maximum of six videos can be uploaded. These videos are typically created by sellers and submitted via Seller Central, identifying the relevant Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN). 

Similar to product images, Amazon product videos offer significant flexibility to sellers hoping to showcase a product in the best possible way or create a persuasive connection with buyers. Of course, there are some policies and technical guidelines for sellers to comply with to ensure a product listing video is accepted by Amazon, which we’ll cover in more detail a bit later. First, let’s focus on why a seller would want to consider adding a product video at all. 

The value of product videos on Amazon

In our experience, Amazon product videos can add significant value to a customer’s shopping journey. These videos can offer a more dynamic and engaging product presentation than static images alone. A well-produced product video can showcase the features and benefits of a product, demonstrate its use, and provide context for how it fits into a customer’s life.

Additionally, product videos can help build trust with customers by providing a more transparent look at a product and can even help reduce the number of returns by giving customers a more accurate understanding of what they are buying. Let’s look at how they can achieve these results on Amazon.  

Videos increase a product’s visibility. 

Any path to success on Amazon has to go through the site’s algorithm. Fortunately, adding Amazon video marketing can support Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. In addition, videos can keep people on your page longer and create an additional opportunity to include relevant keywords in your Amazon product listing. 

Compelling videos can also result in more appropriate expectations that reduce negative reviews, which can be devastating to growth goals. These advantages all work together to improve Amazon listing optimization and can help a product rank better.

Videos can convince shoppers to become buyers. 

The main reason to make product videos a part of an Amazon listing is to increase conversions for that item. Videos demonstrate confidence in your product and can be tailored to address any hurdles that are holding back sales. Use them to be sure customers are using their purchases correctly or to address past concerns from unsatisfied customers. 

A high-quality Amazon product video can also strengthen your reputation as a serious seller who goes beyond the minimum requirements to reach customers and will stand by their product. All these factors can influence Amazon shoppers and be the difference between those who “add to cart” and those who move on to other listings.

Videos provide more details and context

Amazon shoppers value the platform’s selection and convenience. With tens of millions of products available, it’s not hard for them to find what they’re looking for. But, in many cases, the bigger conundrum is choosing the product that best meets their needs from all the competition. 

An effective product listing video can address this issue for brands hoping to find an edge against other sellers. While the listing copy and images also play an important role, a well-made video can provide better insight into every aspect of a product and do so more efficiently. 

The amount of time a prospective buyer invests in your listing is limited, and Amazon video marketing can quickly communicate key features to impatient shoppers. In addition, seeing a person interacting with or utilizing a product on video also conveys valuable context for a purchasing decision that is difficult to replicate with words or still pictures. 

Have a goal for your Amazon Product Listing Videos

A clear goal for your Amazon product video is vital to creating an effective and impactful marketing tool. Without a goal, your video may be unfocused and fail to communicate your product’s unique value proposition. Alternatively, a well-defined goal can help you determine your video’s tone, style, and content and lead to a finished product that aligns with your overall e-commerce marketing strategy. Below, we’ve included a rundown of some of the most common types of Amazon product videos. 

Showcase product features

A product highlight video prioritizes the product’s features. They are among the most simple and effective types of product videos. Typically, they display the product from every angle as well as in use. Think of this as a video version of the key features from your listing. 

Provide a how-to video

A how-to video is often similar to one showcasing a product’s features in that it is short and to the point. However, beyond just demonstrating the product in use, these explainer videos can be helpful when a product is complicated to use or designed to aid in completing a task. They can feature step-by-step instructions or be a tutorial on a relevant topic that includes the product in part of the process. 

Strengthen your brand

Despite what some Amazon sellers may fear, reaching the hundreds of millions of shoppers who use the marketplace does not have to come at the cost of sacrificing your brand. In fact, the video feature of a listing is one of several ways a seller can reinforce their brand identity on Amazon. Creating a brand or lifestyle video can tell a product’s story and reach the customers most likely to be interested. These Amazon videos shift the attention to the brand’s personality and the experience users can expect. They may share your company mission or attempt to create a connection with shoppers.  

Capitalize on the unboxing trend

With the evolution of social media and the increasing ease of video production, product unboxing videos have become a staple of the internet. Often hosted by consumers and influencers on their personal channels, these videos feature products being removed from their original packaging and initial impressions of the item. This type of product video can be beneficial for products that require assembly or feature multiple accessories. Additionally, brand owners can consider an unboxing video on Amazon to set expectations and avoid buyer confusion. 

Offer a comparison

If a product stacks up well against a popular competitor, a comparison product video could be the fastest route to more sales. Rather than focusing on the product’s features and functionality alone, these videos do so in comparison to similar products. Be warned that creating a comparison video must be done carefully and deliberately to avoid violating Amazon’s policies against denigrating other brands. Don’t mention any other company’s products by name, and be sure to include evidence for any claims you make. It’s best to focus on your product’s positive aspects rather than spend too much time on negativity toward the competitor. 

Utilize Amazon product listing videos effectively

Regardless of the goal of your Amazon product video, some tactics will raise its quality and effectiveness. Thanks to advances in video technology, brands can manage production in-house and on a minimal budget. Still, bringing in an experienced team to script, produce, light, voice, and edit your product video can often pay dividends regarding time and expectations. 

Amazon Listing Video Best Practices

If you stick with a do-it-yourself approach, you’ll want to abide by some tried-and-true video optimization tactics. Here are a few tips to get you headed in the right direction:

  • The video file format should be either .mov or .mp4, and Amazon recommends keeping the file size below 5GB. Within those limitations, it’s best to upload the best quality video you can, up to 1080p resolution.  
  • Keep the video short and to the point, typically under a minute, whenever possible. If you hope to use the final product in a Sponsored Brand Video ad, you’ll need a version under 45 seconds. 
  • When developing the plan for your video, try to put yourself in the position of a shopper and be sure you’re addressing the questions they seek to answer. 
  • While video quality from phones can be excellent, a professional product video must be done using a stand that keeps your footage stable and smooth. 
  • High-quality audio may require an additional microphone to ensure the clear sound and crisp narration that a proper video requires. 
  • Utilizing natural light can overcome the costs and learning curve accompanying studio lighting, but in either case, your product must look good on the screen. 
  • Finally, consider adding useful on-screen text in post-production that gives your product video value even when watched without sound.
  • Be mindful of the source of any music you include, as royalty-free will likely be your only realistic option. 

Amazon Product Video Mistakes to Avoid

Knowing what factors create successful Amazon video content is essential, but don’t overlook the mistakes that can derail even the best intentions. As usual, following the rules is critical to product listing optimization, especially with video content marketing. Here are a few of the potential pitfalls that you want to avoid:

  • Of course, you will need to be the brand owner of any product you are trying to feature in a video, and access to the video option will require completing the Amazon Brand Registry process. Don’t start your video-planning process until you’ve completed this critical step.
  • Resist the urge to feature any time-sensitive promotional messaging in your product video. Terms like “limited-time sale” or the inclusion of discount codes will likely prevent your submission from being approved. 
  • Don’t use the video to direct shoppers to your company’s website. Amazon won’t allow a video that lures visitors away from the platform. 
  • Keep the focus on the product you’re attempting to sell. It’s okay to mention competitors, but don’t make defamatory statements. Any direct comparisons must be objective, accurate, and backed with clear evidence to support claims. 
  • Steer clear of health claims, explicit language, politics, or controversial topics. The limitations that apply to your listing copy also apply to videos.

Measure the impact of videos

Incorporating product videos into an Amazon listing is just one step of the listing optimization process. In the e-commerce industry, sellers can access an incredible amount of data. The most effective Amazon sellers will understand how to leverage the data to reach more customers and support conversion rate optimization.

Remember, it’s not just about monitoring this enormous cache of data. It must also be appropriately analyzed to reveal actionable insights that optimize and grow sales. In particular, Amazon sellers can utilize the platform’s proprietary reports via Seller Central and supplement those metrics with other online store or marketing data to create a fuller picture of a brand’s strengths and weaknesses. 

It’s always important to monitor these key performance indicators (KPIs). These trackable statistics include website traffic, conversion rates, reviews and more. Depending on your unique business, you can choose the most important metrics to help you identify what’s working, what’s not, and where you may need to redirect your efforts.

Since 2020, Amazon has made data about product listing videos, such as viewing statistics and engagement metrics, available within the seller dashboard to provide direct insights into their effectiveness. 

Sellers can use the status to identify uptick or decrease in video viewership impacts sales trends, compare the performance of listings with and without product videos and refine their video strategies based on shoppers’ reactions to different types of videos. 

Let Amify put your Amazon product in the spotlight

Video content marketing requires skills that many Amazon sellers lack. Scripting and producing Amazon product videos capable of conversion rate optimizations is easier with the right partner. 

Amify has experts ready to assist with all the demands that listing, selling and fulfillment place on your business. Contact us to discover how our experience can address your Amazon challenges and grow your brand.

News & Insights

Amazon’s Choice vs. Best Seller: An Amazon Badge Overview

There are lots of ways to make your listing stand out on Amazon. Optimization, Sponsored Ads and an appealing Storefront are among the ones that sellers can choose to implement. But leveraging other valuable tools offered by the marketplace is more complicated. 

Amazon knows the importance of converting shoppers. After all, when sellers do well, the platform does well. And Amazon is doing really well. That’s why the company developed some unique badging designed to nudge its users toward a purchase. Of course, they want potential buyers to be happy with their choice, so deciding which products get this helpful designation is based on past performance rather than a seller’s willingness to pay the most. 

So let’s take a closer look at how products earn an Amazon’s Choice or Best Seller badge. 

What’s the difference between the Amazon’s Choice and Amazon Best Seller badges?

Products with an Amazon’s Choice badge or an Amazon Best Seller badge are both assigned by the marketplace’s A9 algorithm. They are intended to help shoppers navigate the enormous number of products available on the site and give a credible endorsement to products with a history of meeting customer expectations. Gaining either badge is typically a boon for sales, but earning them requires substantial prior success. 

There are two primary differences between the Amazon’s Choice badge and the Amazon Best Seller. First, a unique combination of metrics determines which products get each badge. Second, while there can be only one Amazon Best Seller product per category, Amazon’s Choice badges are distributed more broadly. That’s because it is based on keyword results. 

For example, Hanz de Fuko, an Amify client, enjoys Best Seller status in the Hair Styling Clays category for their Claymation product. Yet, a search for “men’s hair clay” will reveal a competing product that has achieved an Amazon’s Choice badge for those keywords, in addition to the best-selling Claymation and Best Seller products from related categories such as Hair Styling Putties.

In short, every product category will have an item labeled the Best Seller based on the item’s current sales rank. Simultaneously, the results from most keyword searches will include one item identified as Amazon’s choice based on various Search Engine Optimization (SEO) factors. When a shopper performs a search on Amazon, the results will likely include one item labeled Amazon’s Choice along with similar products with a Best Seller ranking and other non-badged products that the algorithm determines to be of interest to the shopper. 

It’s also worth noting that Amazon does offer an Amazon Best Sellers page for each product category. This is a listing of the top products with a top 100 best sellers rank in that category. However, only the #1 Best Seller benefits from the Best Seller badge when its listing appears in search results. Identifying the other top-selling items in a category requires a shopper to visit a Best Sellers page. 

In addition, a product can be both a Best Seller and an Amazon’s Choice. In those cases, it is typical for the Best Seller badge to be displayed on the item’s search result display, while the Amazon’s Choice badging gets priority within the full listing. 

The benefits of an Amazon’s Choice or Best Seller badge

As mentioned, the goal of both the Amazon’s Choice badge and the Best Seller badge is to drive conversions. However, both are primarily intended to boost Amazon’s credibility as a destination to find reliable and affordable products quickly. Still, the recipients of these badges will benefit significantly for as long as they can hold on to them. 

Both the Best Sellers and Amazon’s Choice badges help products to stand out among the other search results. In addition, customers who trust Amazon enough to use the site will undoubtedly be influenced by both badges’ messages. 

Also, earning a badge ensures that your product is meeting the benchmarks that Amazon’s algorithm values and, therefore, will be among the top results for any relevant search. This added visibility is a huge bonus that drives sales and leads to more revenue. 

Often this increased visibility brings more attention to your brand, leading customers to other products and higher organic traffic. Brands also enjoy higher levels of trust from prospective shoppers thanks to these badges. The ability to consistently display a Best Seller or Amazon’s choice badge elevates a brand’s value and encourages loyalty over competitors. 

How to get an Amazon Best Seller badge

You can’t request or buy a Best Seller badge for your product, but you can earn one. The most effective route to best seller status starts with a solid strategy before you build your listing. The Best Seller badge is quite literally a numbers game. You’ll need to outperform the competition by selling more and doing it more quickly. 

Choose the right category

Since Amazon’s best-selling items are organized by category, you must choose wisely when launching a product for sale on the marketplace. Amazon’s product categories are broad enough that several options may be appropriate for any given item. That’s why choosing the least-competitive category that fits your product and SEO plans is helpful. The more relevant and specific it is to your product, the better chance you’ll have to dominate and gain the Best Seller Badge. 

Elevate your content

Once you find the optimal category for your Amazon product, you need to create an equally targeted listing. Amazon A+ Content is your chance to provide fantastic product details for your Amazon product pages and integrate high-quality images, comparison charts, and more. In a world of e-commerce often driven by social media, shoppers now expect this combination of personalized service, captivating content, and a flawless user experience. Done correctly, it has the power to engage your customers and provide information that can minimize confusion and lead to fewer returns and better reviews.

Opt for Amazon FBA

There are several ways that FBA can help a company sell more efficiently in the Amazon marketplace. It can level the playing field against a brand’s biggest competitors and often improves customer service while minimizing costs. In addition, shifting fulfillment responsibilities to Amazon allows sellers to focus on their true strengths. But, one of the most significant advantages is that using Amazon FBA enables the product to be eligible for Amazon Prime. At Amify, we often see a 50-100 percent increase in sales when a brand moves to Prime eligibility. 

Make the most of product variations

Rather than creating a separate Amazon product listing for every product, it’s imperative that you understand Amazon’s listing variation options and how using them efficiently can improve the performance metrics you value most. Integrating variations into your listings streamlines your customers’ shopping experience and introduces them to more of your products after a single search. These parent-child relationships also support best-seller status since sales for the variations are combined rather than accounted for separately. Just remember to avoid grouping unrelated items.

PPC campaigns can help

Every brand on the platform is looking for new ways to strengthen its Amazon sales. However, while optimization can give sellers the edge when pursuing the top organic search result, it’s not the only path to a better bottom line. Pay-per-click (PPC) Amazon ads can be a more direct way to drive traffic to a product listing or Amazon Storefront. These PPC ads allow e-commerce businesses to break through the immense competition on Amazon and increase their reach. 

Brands can create a targeting strategy based on a similar product or relevant product category or choose to focus on specific types of audiences. This type of product targeting can be helpful when promoting product awareness and attempting to accelerate product discovery. In addition, audience targeting can reach shoppers based on their behaviors and preferences by targeting shoppers outside of Amazon who has previously viewed relevant products and categories or by introducing an item to new customers who are likely to be interested. 

Use customer feedback to improve

There’s no question that positive and negative reviews can impact product sales and conversion metrics. Surveys have shown that nine out of 10 customers read reviews before clicking the buy button, while eight out of 10 give them as much weight as a personal recommendation. While a less-than-stellar evaluation can provide new customers a reason to hesitate before making purchases, it can be an opportunity to gain a new customer. But you must proactively alleviate the concern that a prospective Amazon shopper will have an experience similar to that of an unhappy customer. If you take the time to use any negative reviews to improve your listing or process for the next shopper, your conversion rate will likely rise over time.

How to get an Amazon’s Choice badge

The origins of the Amazon’s Choice badge come from the company’s attempts to encourage shopping via its voice-activated Echo device. The idea was to match keywords to a product and streamline the search. Today, keywords are still near the top of the list for Amazon’s Choice, but they aren’t the only concern for sellers seeking the badge. 

Focus On Keywords

Optimization is not as simple as repeating a specific keyword numerous times. Regarding Amazon’s algorithm and keywords, quality is more important than quantity. In many cases, once a search term appears in your Amazon listing, it has likely added all the value it can. Therefore, adding it repeatedly, especially to the detriment of the copywriting, is unlikely to improve your spot in the search results. 

An effective Amazon SEO plan accounts for both the broadest keywords and the long-tail keywords that help differentiate a brand from its competition and target customers who are closer to the point of purchase. Adding these keywords to engaging copy and taking advantage of Amazon’s backend keyword research tools will help your brand to grow its sales on the platform. 

Embrace Amazon Prime

Unlike the Best Seller badge, Amazon’s Choice badging is limited to products featuring Amazon Prime shipping. An Amazon seller seeking to add their product to the list of Amazon’s Choice items will almost certainly need to use FBA. While there is a seller-fulfilled Prime option, it is out of reach for many sellers since it is limited to sellers invited to participate by Amazon. In addition, the cost requirements and shipping standards are too high for most brands to maintain. 

Listing optimization matters a lot

Amazon content is the lifeblood of businesses selling on the platform. Producing premium Amazon product listings should be a priority for any brand or seller pursuing growth and long-term success on Amazon. However, creating product listings that reach the right shoppers, earn the Buy Box and have high conversion rates is also integral to an Amazon’s Choice badge. 

Effective Amazon product listings are built accurately and organized with your customers in mind. They feature detailed information, high-quality images and, in many cases, helpful videos. The best listings are optimized for Amazon’s search algorithm and benefit from a seller that monitors and reacts to threats from fraud or competitors. And they capitalize on the support that a well-designed Amazon Storefront can lend to a listing’s ability to attract shoppers and close sales. If your listings are falling short in any of these areas, it’s time to begin crafting a plan to rejuvenate your Amazon listing content and reinvigorate your sales. 

Encourage more reviews

An essential step on the way to an Amazon’s Choice badge is to increase the number of customers who submit a review. Human nature means an unhappy customer is more likely to complain than a satisfied one is to leave praise. By increasing the volume of reviews overall, you help to ensure your reviews accurately reflect your product and their customer service experience. 

Consider adding a request for a review to the various places you interact with your customers. For example, include a note inside your packaging, implement an email follow-up and try to funnel your social media followers to your Amazon review link. Remember, Amazon’s policies forbid offering an incentive for reviews or requesting a positive review, so it’s important to word your requests carefully. But encouraging genuine and helpful reviews is acceptable and worth your time. Monitoring reviews also allows you to adjust listings based on the feedback and set more appropriate buyer expectations. This can reduce the number of returns, which can be a hurdle to achieving Amazon’s Choice status. 

Be willing to compete on price

Every brand looking to succeed on Amazon should take a deliberate approach to price. As e-commerce continues its rapid growth, pricing policies will become more critical for retailers and manufacturers. An item’s price significantly influences the decision to award an Amazon’s Choice badge. The product that presents the best combination of price and value will often have an advantage in pursuing this type of badge. 

However, sellers should remember that prioritizing margins and protecting retailers from price wars increases a brand’s value in several ways. Resellers will appreciate the support from the brand that protects their margins and avoids destructive price wars for products that aren’t backed by effective pricing strategies. At the same time, consumers will enjoy more confidence in the value of a product and a less frustrating shopping experience due to the consistency across both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores. 

Manage Your Inventory Properly

Your product can’t be Amazon’s Choice if it isn’t in stock. Amazon’s priority is selling products to shoppers. The instant your item becomes out of stock, it will not only lose any chance of gaining an Amazon badge, but it is also likely to drop out of search rankings altogether. Similarly, brands that can’t provide fast shipping will have trouble breaking through to do well within the algorithm. That’s why a robust inventory management program, often using Amazon FBA, is essential for sellers looking to become an Amazon’s Choice listing. 

Which one is the better badge?

Having an Amazon’s Choice badge or the Best Seller badge on your product listing is clearly better than not having one. Beyond that, it’s difficult to say that one is better. Each badge’s value will vary depending on the product and how long a seller can maintain the designation. 

One advantage that the Best Seller badge does have over its counterpart is that the Best Seller badge will display regardless of the search a shopper inputs. Remember, the Amazon’s Choice badge is tied to specific keywords, so it will not display universally across the marketplace. 

Since the Best Seller badge is based on sales performance, it will appear regardless of where or how a customer finds your listing. Also, the path to the Best Seller badge is slightly more straightforward. It simply requires an intense focus on selling more than competitors in your product category. 

The metrics resulting in an Amazon’s Choice badge are less transparent and harder to target. As a result, it’s more likely to be a welcome reward for optimization efforts than a specific goal to target. 

In both cases, these Amazon badges only last as long as you have the metrics to keep them. Many sellers lose them within days or even hours of earning them. This is why it’s critical to have a comprehensive and forward-looking plan to keep winning on Amazon. 

Amify is ready to help your listings shine

Mastering Seller Central, winning the Buy Box and increasing your sales volume is much easier with the right partner. The experts at Amify can give your brand the advantage of experience in the areas that matter most and the confidence of a strategy refined over a decade.

There are no shortcuts to success on Amazon, but our team of generalists and specialists can give your brand the dedicated commitment to e-commerce growth that it deserves. Contact us today to learn more.

News & Insights

Improve Your Sales Strategy with Amazon’s Buy Box Metrics

Amazon sellers focus a lot of attention on “winning.” That’s because Amazon is an e-commerce marketplace where virtually anyone can sell products, and in many cases, multiple sellers list the same item for sale. The result is that every product listing becomes a competition for customers. 

To simplify customer shopping, Amazon consolidates overlapping products into a single listing. But it awards only one of the sellers with Featured Offer status. Often this is referred to as winning the Buy Box. 

Understanding the Amazon Buy Box

When shoppers visit a listing, they are presented with all of the details that are available about that product, along with the option to purchase it from the seller currently winning the Buy Box. 

An option to view the buying options from alternative sellers is also presented, but shoppers will rarely follow that link. Instead, they have learned to trust Amazon’s decision about the best retailer to purchase the product from. 

That’s why the Amazon Buy Box is crucial to a seller’s success on the platform. The path to rising sales and more efficient conversions is often directly tied to a company’s ability to dominate this aspect of Amazon. 

Without winning the Buy Box consistently, sellers are stuck fighting for a distant second place. Fortunately, capturing the Buy Box isn’t about being lucky. Instead, it starts with understanding the metrics driving Amazon’s decison and building a strategy that beats out the competition. 

The metrics that matter for winning the Amazon Buy Box

When more than one seller carries the same item, chances are high that the Buy Box will occasionally shift between them. In those cases, the goal is for sellers to maximize what Amazon calls their Buy Box Percentage. 

Buy Box Percentage (BBP)

Very simply, the Buy Box Percentage reflects how the Buy Box is displayed to shoppers on behalf of a particular seller. It is the number of times you owned the Buy Box when customers viewed the listing, divided by the total number of page visits. 

In Seller Central, it is currently labeled as Buy Box Wins and displayed for the previous two days and over a 30-day period. Buy Box Percentage does not indicate product sales or gauge customer interest. It only shows your share of the Buy Box compared to your competitors. 

Product Quality

As for the ways to increase your BBP, product quality accounts for a large part of the calculation. Amazon favors products that meet customer expectations, and one metric in particular is weighed heavily when determining which seller earns the Buy Box. 

Amazon’s algorithm prioritizes a seller’s Order Defect Rate. According to Amazon, this is a key measure of your ability to provide a good customer experience. It represents the percentage of orders with one or more indicators of poor customer service during a given 60-day time period. Ideally, less than 1% of your orders during the previous 60-day period should result in negative feedback, a valid A-to-Z Guarantee claim, or a credit card chargeback to maintain an attractive defect rate. 

Relative price

Among the most influential Buy Box metrics is price. Amazon wants every seller to give shoppers the best price possible and responds accordingly with their Buy Box decisions. Everything else being equal, the seller offering the lowest price will have the advantage in pursuing the Buy Box.  

Of course, lowering the price won’t guarantee a seller attains the Buy Box. The other metrics here will still be taken into account. However, a higher price than your competitors will make it much more difficult unless they are severely deficient in one or more relevant categories.  

Fulfillment capabilities

Amazon’s Buy Box decisions also favor Amazon FBA sellers over most other types of fulfillment. Remember, these sellers are automatically eligible to win the Buy Box. However, self-fulfilled sellers have a much more challenging road to the Buy Box simply because they must keep their fulfillment-related metrics high enough to compete with FBA. In these cases, keeping an account healthy means paying close attention to several benchmarks, including:

  • Cancelation Rate – Amazon requires sellers to avoid initiating cancellations and complete at least 97.5% of their orders when they are seller-fulfilled products.
  • Late Shipment Rate – Brands that manage shipping on their own must meet their expected shipping date at least 96% of the time.
  • Valid Tracking Rate – 95% of your customers need to receive an accurate tracking number for their orders.
  • On-Time Delivery Rate – Your orders should arrive when promised more than 97% of the time to be eligible to offer the fastest delivery options on your listings.

Feedback Rating

For FBA sellers and those that self-fulfill, your customers’ satisfaction with your service can be as important as their experience with your product. The consequences of an unsatisfactory customer experience can lead to negative feedback on your seller account in addition to a poor product review.

A recurring deficiency, especially one related to your customer service, shipping practices or item descriptions, could put your claim to the Buy Box at risk due to a declining seller rating. The good news is that reversing such a trend is possible.

First, similar to bad product reviews, you should try to address the problem directly with a dissatisfied customer using Amazon’s response options. A sincere effort to resolve the issue can go a long way toward regaining that buyer’s trust or having them revise their evaluation.

Next, you should eliminate the conditions that led to critical feedback. Weak product descriptions, shipping delays, or poorly packaged items will continue to result in negative feedback but can be solved if you’re willing to make an effort. Your current feedback rating is available in Seller Central and displayed across a 30-day, 90-day and 365-day window, with the most recent feedback having the greatest impact.

Sales Velocity

We’ve already established that winning the Buy Box results in new sales. And, somewhat paradoxically, new sales can help you win the Buy Box. Amazon defines Sales Velocity as the number and dollar amount of Seller account transactions during a month. It plays a substantial role in a product’s performance in the platform’s search algorithm. But it can also influence Buy Box placement. The higher your order volume and corresponding sales velocity, the more likely it is that customers are happy with your products, and the better chance you will have at winning the Buy Box.

Optimize your Amazon product listing to compete for the Buy Box

Now that you know what factors determine the Buy Box winner, you can begin to optimize your product listings to become more competitive. Specifically, there are several areas to focus on, according to Amazon.

Monitor your price competitiveness

Amazon offers a few ways to ensure that you’re pricing items competitively. Within Seller Central, the Manage Pricing page will indicate which seller currently has the featured offer and their price. The Pricing Dashboard provides real-time data about your product prices relative to other sellers. Finally, Amazon’s Selling Coach Pricing report will make pricing recommendations for your product. 

Offer faster shipping and free shipping

The importance of participating in Amazon’s FBA program is evident for most sellers. With Fulfillment by Amazon, your product is already taking advantage of the fastest, most affordable shipping option, so not much more needs to be done. Although, you’ll want to be sure you’re managing inventory appropriately and up-to-date on Amazon’s latest FBA policies

If your company relies on Amazon’s Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP) or other options, it can be a struggle to compete with FBA. That’s primarily because the brand must ship most products via one-day shipping, which is exceedingly expensive. It typically works only when price points are $100 or more. Secondly, maintaining a competitive shipping schedule is challenging for a warehouse. Even FedEx’s delivery standards are not high enough for SFP, leading to many account suspensions. 

Keep stock available

Amazon won’t let you win the Buy Box if you’re out of stock, so it’s critical that you keep your inventory updated and plan for seasonal or promotional surges. One of the tools that Amazon provides to help manage inventory is the Amazon Selling Coach. It provides real-time status reports showing low and out-of-stock inventory alerts, letting you know when to stock up.

These mistakes can cost you the Amazon Buy Box

While it may seem pretty straightforward, there are still plenty of ways for sellers to lose the Buy Box, despite a genuine effort to win it. Often it’s due to a misunderstanding of how to leverage the metrics listed above or a lack of expertise in the business capabilities that underpin these Buy Box metrics. 

Overly aggressive price cuts

For example, some sellers may think slashing prices will be the quickest path to the Buy Box. It may work under certain circumstances, but it’s likely to be only a temporary win. Other sellers, possibly Amazon itself, could follow suit and lead to a devastating price war. Regardless of how important the Buy Box is to your sales goals, reducing your margins too far is never a recipe for success. 

Taking the Buy Box for granted

Just because a seller achieves Buy Box ownership doesn’t mean they’ll get to keep it. It’s not unusual for sellers to forget how eager competitors are to take it away. So even if you have a product listing to yourself now, you should continue to monitor Amazon regularly for new sellers who may join the fight for the Buy Box. Or, when it seems you have the upper hand on your competitors, you should continue to focus on keeping your account healthy and buy box metrics at a high level to avoid a sudden shift due to complacency. 

Running out of stock

As mentioned, an out-of-stock situation may be the fastest way to lose the Buy Box. Amazon will ensure customers have somewhere to buy the products they are searching for. If your brand can’t meet that threshold, the marketplace will quickly pivot to alternative sellers. Whether you’re an FBA seller or not, you cannot underestimate the importance of inventory management and maintaining the ability to fulfill orders consistently. 

Juggling too many Amazon responsibilities 

Amazon can be overwhelming, even for experienced e-commerce retailers. Between the optimization, marketing, logistics and analytics, it’s often too much for a single individual or even small teams. In addition, it’s not unusual for Amazon’s policies or algorithm to change suddenly. Sometimes a lack of capacity or shortage of expertise is enough to make holding on to the Buy Box harder than it would be with the appropriate resources. 

Winning is easier with Amify

Amify helped a natural skincare brand overcome its out-of-stock challenges and improve account health leading 93% Buy Box Percentage. Now, our expert team of Amazon specialists is ready to help your product listings dominate the competition. 

Schedule a free consultation today to learn more about our capabilities. It’s the only way to discover how comprehensive, optimized Amazon services from a full-service business can result in reaching your goals on the world’s largest e-commerce marketplace.

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Explore Options with an Amazon Line of Credit for your Business

The dominance of the Amazon marketplace can be an incredible advantage for e-commerce retailers pursuing new customers and planning to expand their reach. Every seller listing products on the platform has an opportunity to capitalize on millions of loyal shoppers, while Amazon FBA Sellers enjoy a unique competitive fulfillment option. 

But sales potential isn’t the only thing that Amazon offers sellers. As the company has grown, it has diversified its business into many other areas. One of those is financial services for businesses. So whether a seller is looking for inventory financing or wants to access an Amazon Business Line of Credit, it may now be an option from Amazon. Thanks to direct lending and partnerships with financial institutions, Amazon Lending options are offered to select, qualified Amazon sellers. 

Amazon Lending offers exclusive financing for sellers

Amazon Lending offers a range of products to accommodate the financial needs of Amazon sellers. Each has specific qualification requirements, and the various options are designed to meet unique financial needs in different ways. 

Term loans

Amazon’s term loans provide lump-sum financing with a specified period of repayment. Unlike a revolving business credit line, which can be accessed repeatedly, as needed, this type of loan allows Amazon sellers to borrow a set amount of money and sets a deadline for it to be repaid. The borrower is required to make an equal monthly payment that includes both principal and interest on the loan. 

The application for term loans is available to eligible sellers via Seller Central, and the loan does not have lengthy paperwork requirements. The interest rates for a term loan from Amazon will vary depending on current financial conditions and an applicant’s creditworthiness. However, once accepted, the interest rate remains fixed throughout the entire term of the loan. 

Amazon term loans are also available from Lendistry, part of the Amazon Community Lending program. It is a minority-owned Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) designed to serve small businesses in socially and economically distressed communities. 

Interest-only loans

Interest-only loans are another non-revolving business financing option. Unlike a term loan, borrowers opting for this product can repay only the interest that accrues during an initial introductory period. Eventually, after the interest-only period expires, the Amazon business will face an increase in the payment amount that also covers a monthly principal payment in addition to the interest charged on the financing. 

An interest-only loan also has a fixed interest rate based on seller qualifications, and the business loan is offered only to select retailers through a simplified application process within the Seller Central dashboard. 

Amazon Business Line of Credit

If your Amazon business prefers a revolving credit line, the Amazon Business Line of Credit could fit the bill. It is a flexible financing option that gives a seller access to funding up to a predetermined business credit limit. 

An eligible seller can request a draw on the business credit line as funds are needed. This type of financing is typically used to build inventory, fund operations, or quickly take advantage of business opportunities. A fixed interest rate based on the seller’s credit report accrues only on the outstanding balance, not the unused portions of the business credit line. In addition, the interest rate is locked for the life of the line of credit agreement. 

In 2020, Amazon partnered with Marcus by Goldman Sachs to give sellers access to competitively priced financing products, specifically this line of credit tool. The Amazon Business Line of Credit application is available only by invitation to select retailers and exclusively through Seller Central.  

Merchant Cash Advance

Another non-revolving financing option that an Amazon seller can consider is a Merchant Cash Advance. This business loan differs from an Amazon Business Line of Credit because the advance ties repayment to a portion of the sellers’ future sales. Rather than pay a fixed interest rate, a seller that opts for a Merchant Cash Advance will pay a fixed capital fee. No additional fees, personal collateral or late fees are associated with this type of loan. 

Amazon’s Merchant Cash Advance financing is offered through a partnership with Parafin. The business financing provider focuses on helping small businesses grow and originated after the pandemic to provide fast, easy access to capital for companies at risk of being left behind. 

Like the other loan options, the Seller Central portal presents applications for a Merchant Cash Advance to eligible sellers. 

Why choose a corporate credit option from Amazon?

An Amazon seller eligible to apply can benefit from choosing one of these four loan options for several reasons. First, since Amazon is already vetting sellers before it makes these financing tools available to them, approval often comes quickly. Of course, the wait times will depend on the loan product your business chooses to apply for, but it is likely to be faster than other alternatives. 

In addition, the application process for all of these business credit programs is designed to be simple. The applications can be completed online within Seller Central and may allow you to avoid submitting lengthy paperwork that a financial institution lacking familiarity with your Amazon business might require. 

In some cases, an Amazon seller can benefit from the flexibility of accessing more than one of these financing options simultaneously. Businesses that qualify for multiple products via Seller Central can choose the right mix of business credit for their needs. 

Regardless of where the financing originates, accessing business credit strategically can free up cash flow to help cover inventory costs or develop new products. Many Amazon businesses also use the funds for advertising and marketing expenses. An additional credit line can also give a seller the edge when managing inventory, allowing you to bulk buy products to stock up ahead of upcoming sales or prepare for increased seasonal interest. 

Get started with Amazon Lending

As mentioned, Amazon strives to make access to its financing as straightforward as possible for every eligible seller. The marketplace prefers that its retailers have more time to focus on the shopper-centric aspects, such as growing product selection or improving product quality.  

To check your eligibility for any of these Amazon Lending products, sign in to Seller Central and look for the financing option card on your homepage. If it is there, you’ll be able to choose the loan option that works best for your business and apply to borrow up the full amount listed for each program. If no lending options are offered, it is likely because your business has not yet established a steady, growing stream of revenue as an Amazon seller.  

For those who are eligible, the available financing options will direct you to the next steps that are required to complete an online application and provide the estimated wait time for a final approval decision. 

Remember to borrow responsibly

Just because a loan offer from Amazon can make it easy for your business to get financing doesn’t mean it’s the optimal decision. There should be careful consideration before applying for any Amazon Business loan or credit line. 

For one, Amazon is not the only lending partner that a small business can turn to. Depending on your credit history and balance sheet, It’s possible that other alternatives, such as SBA loans or inventory loans from competing lending institutions, are obtainable. Or it may be the case that a simple business credit card is the only financing your Amazon business needs. 

Pursuing financing from other lenders may be less convenient but could result in a higher loan amount or better payment term. Remember, even with a fantastic credit score, taking on any new fixed payment is risky for a growing Amazon business. 

In some cases, Amazon business financing can result in a monthly payment that is automatically withdrawn from your Seller Central account. Repayment won’t adjust to account for a drop in sales, and failure to make required payments can be devastating. Taking advantage of an Amazon corporate credit line can give Amazon a path to holding inventory or restricting the sales of delinquent borrowers. Extreme circumstances could result in the company seizing merchandise to sell it themselves to recoup an unpaid loan. 

So how do business owners make an informed decision about pursuing Amazon seller financing? Start by solidifying your plans for the future and taking a close look at the current trajectory of your small business. 

Be sure you are confident in your growth strategy. For example, have you optimized your listings and created a marketing plan to support your sales goals? Do your reviews indicate that customer loyalty is trending in the right direction, or are there product quality or fulfillment issues that will hinder your growth plans? These questions can help Amazon sellers determine if they are ready for an Amazon loan. 

A partnership with Amify is right on the money

New funding won’t overcome the fundamental challenge of selling on Amazon successfully. Before you commit to a new Amazon financing agreement, consider a conversation with the talented team at Amify to ensure your business is in the best position for growth. 

Schedule a consultation with our experts to discuss how a refreshed approach to optimization, fulfillment or marketing could be the more cost-effective way to reach your goals sooner.  

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Understanding the Amazon A9 Algorithm

The Amazon A9 algorithm is the engine that the massive marketplace uses to determine which and in what order products are displayed in response to a customer search. Recent tweaks to the algorithm have led some to begin referring to it as A10; however, regardless of the moniker, the priority for sellers is to optimize their listings for the current iteration that is behind every Amazon product ranking. 

While Amazon keeps the exact recipe behind the algorithm’s rankings under wraps, a product’s sales performance, availability and relevancy to shoppers’ searches are clearly at the top of the list when it comes to influencing the algorithm. The more closely an in-stock product’s listing content matches a search term, the better the chances it will appear among the top results. Still, there are other less-transparent factors that sellers should be mindful of. And while they are harder to target for ranking optimization, there are steps that every seller pursuing sales growth should take. 

Elevate Amazon SEO by targeting the direct factors

Attempts to help a product listing reach a higher spot in the Amazon A9 Algorithm’s rankings should begin with the areas that most heavily influence results. It should not be surprising that these direct factors are the most closely linked to sales performance and customer satisfaction. Therefore, products with substantial sales numbers, precisely-targeted keyword optimization and industry-leading fulfillment capabilities will be best positioned to conquer Amazon search results. 

Amazon SEO starts with strong sales

Amazon’s priority is selling products to shoppers. That’s why ranking among the marketplace’s top search results requires your products to be available for purchase. The second your item becomes out of stock, it will drop out of search rankings. Similarly, brands that can’t provide fast shipping will have trouble breaking through to do well within the algorithm. That’s why a robust inventory management program is essential for sellers looking to improve their ranking on Amazon. 

It’s also essential that your product is priced competitively without sacrificing too much of your margins. As e-commerce continues its rapid growth, pricing policies are becoming more critical for retailers and manufacturers. The alternative of using a destructive race to the bottom and hoping a lower price will improve your ranking is unlikely to be a successful long-term strategy. Other resellers will become frustrated by brands undercutting their margins on Amazon, and consumers will begin to lose confidence in the product’s value. Instead, prioritizing margins and protecting retailers is the better way to see a bump in Amazon’s ranking of products. That’s why the pricing of products should be monitored continuously to identify threats from illegitimate sellers and avoid missing the opportunities that come with a fast-paced and fluctuating market. 

The reason availability and pricing are so crucial to a seller’s performance within the algorithm is because of the role that sales velocity plays in the A9 algorithm. Amazon defines this metric as the number and dollar amount of Seller account transactions during a month. The ranking algorithm analyzes sales results and increases the rankings for products selling well. Therefore, the more items you sell, the more you will sell in the future, and the better your placement in the search results will be.

How to prioritize keywords for a better product ranking

Another primary tactic for sellers hoping to climb Amazon’s rankings, and achieve sales growth, is to focus on making a product easily searchable. Shoppers need to be able to find your item quickly, and this is accomplished on Amazon via keyword research and optimization.  

Search engine optimization (SEO) on the platform gauges relevance and value to determine how to best leverage a keyword in a product title, feature bullet points, product description or elsewhere. But optimization is also not as simple as repeating keywords numerous times. When it comes to Amazon’s A9 Algorithm, quality is way more important than quantity. In many cases, once a search term appears in your Amazon listing, it has likely added all the value it can. Therefore, adding it repeatedly, especially to the detriment of the copywriting, is unlikely to improve your spot in the search results. 

As part of your keyword research, you should also account for how those terms relate to a user’s objective and whether that purpose adequately aligns with your company’s goals. Focusing on customer search intent reveals the keywords that deserve the most attention. When done effectively, this approach results in lucrative long-tail keywords that target a particular type of customer. 

Long-tail keywords can often take the form of a question or will include one or more defining aspects of a product. For example, “What are the best waterproof shoes for kids?” or “large, white round wall clock” would be long-tail keywords that could be targeted by brands more efficiently than the head keywords of “waterproof shoes” or “wall clock” alone. Typically, a shopper using long-tail keywords for their search is closer to the point of purchase, making them an excellent opportunity to increase your conversion rate. Pinpointing the most relevant long-tail keywords can allow you to outmaneuver competitors and significantly strengthen your Amazon product ranking. 

Since 2021, brands have had access to anonymized data on customer interests, preferences and shopping behavior via the Amazon Brand Analytics Dashboards. The available dashboards provide vital metrics on top search terms and allow sellers to explore where customers lose attention or click away. As a result, they are an incredible resource for companies looking to optimize Amazon listings, manage inventory, plan product development, and boost sales and margins. 

Amazon’s Brand Analytics Dashboards will likely be the most important keyword tool for your optimization plan, but they shouldn’t be the only ones. Google’s Keyword Planner can likewise guide your discovery and ranking of keywords. It can identify popular search terms based on a product or category and provide search data on visitors to brand assets other than your Amazon store, such as your website or social media sites. Several proprietary keyword services are also available for businesses looking to partner with someone on Amazon listing optimization. Regardless, utilizing tools beyond those Amazon provides is a more well-rounded strategy. 

Boost SEO with the right fulfillment model 

When it comes to a seller’s fulfillment strategy, the power of Prime is hard to ignore. Amazon force ranks Prime-eligible items, while users are more inclined to select 2-day free shipping. At Amify, we often see a 50-100 percent increase in sales when a brand moves to Prime eligibility. 

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is when a brand ships its products into an Amazon warehouse. When a customer buys a product on Amazon, the product is shipped from an Amazon warehouse to the end customer. The products are Prime-eligible, and sellers can offer 1-2-day shipping to their customers. Shipping costs are also typically much less than seller fulfillment via other providers, and Amazon takes responsibility for customer service and return processing. 

Of course, relying on FBA won’t guarantee a top ranking, and it comes with its own challenges. The brand must ship products into Amazon warehouses, thus creating a separate “warehouse” just for Amazon products. Also, the products must comply with all of Amazon’s requirements, including labels, temperature, and expiration dates. Once the product is at Amazon, changing, inspecting or fixing problems is challenging. Finally, Amazon controls the amount of inventory allocated to each product, frequently resulting in stock-outs during busy seasons. If FBA is managed poorly, it can quickly lead to unavailable products that cause your search rankings to nosedive. 

Indirect factors also impact the A9 algorithm

A product’s popularity with customers may be enough to rocket it to the top of the rankings, but that is highly unlikely. Instead, most sellers will probably need to rely on product listing optimization of both the direct and indirect factors that influence the Amazon A9 Algorithm. The indirect factors include many parts of an Amazon listing, buyer feedback and how well a seller’s marketing strategy drives traffic to listings from outside the marketplace. 

Product Title

The interaction between a prospective customer and your product listing often begins with your Amazon product title. A well-constructed and optimized product title can be the difference between profitable shopper conversions and a struggle to get your item in front of the appropriate audience. 

An optimized product title is more than just a description of your Amazon listing. It needs to be a concise balance of accuracy and detail that targets the most valuable keywords for your brand. One of the challenges of listing optimization is crafting a title that simultaneously satisfies the expectations of Amazon users and strategically influences the site’s algorithm. While it may take up less real estate than other parts of an Amazon listing, it certainly plays an outsized role in results. 

Images & Video

Images have a huge influence on a shopper’s decision to buy. Great-looking, high-quality images help customers feel confident in their purchases. In fact, they are among the most influential pieces of Amazon content are high-quality images. Seventy-eight percent of people say video has convinced them to buy a product, while 30 percent of shoppers won’t even consider a product that presents low-quality images

However, optimizing photos means more than just good resolution and high resolution. The media on your product page should tell a story. Your products should be showcased from multiple angles and also in use by consumers. Well-designed and appealing infographics that add compelling text overlays and use precise measurements and comparisons to establish size and function are essential to this area of Amazon listing optimization. 

In addition to increasing the chance of converting a shopper to a buyer, videos can keep people on your page longer and offer another opportunity to include relevant keywords in your Amazon product listing. Videos can also result in more appropriate expectations that can reduce negative reviews. These advantages all work together to improve Amazon listing optimization and can help a product rise in the rankings.

Features & Description

While some brands might see much difference between their product’s key features and description, the ones that take A9 algorithm optimization seriously know better. Amazon’s Key Feature section relies only on short bullets to communicate the essential aspects of a product to consumers. The text displayed in the key features can also weigh more heavily in the ranking done by the platform’s algorithm, making keyword placement critical. 

Alternatively, the product description is the place to provide detailed information about product features and product usage to guide a customer’s purchase decision. It’s the place to highlight specific product information not included in other areas of an Amazon listing but may still influence Amazon shoppers. In both the features and description areas, sellers must follow Amazon policies, such as the restrictions on mentioning competition or promoting temporary price cuts. 

Developing a Key Features section and product description that complement one another, taking advantage of keywords and captivating the audience with an eye toward conversions is not easy. Like so many parts of an Amazon listing, a single weak link can harm the entire listing and result in long-term problems for an Amazon seller. 

Ratings & Reviews

Poorly reviewed products are seldom purchased. Conversely, listings with higher reviews (3/5 stars and up) are likelier to be bought, resulting in higher sales velocity. That’s why product ratings and reviews play a substantial role in your listings’ success. But beyond how they can influence your performance within Amazon’s algorithm, product reviews offer you insights that can grow your company. Whether positive or negative, they can be a guide to improving your listing descriptions, product photos, packaging, shipping methods or even the product itself. They’re worth too much to ignore

Implementing a proactive approach to reviews will allow you to identify the reasons that a customer chooses to buy your product and may provide better awareness of the key benefits you might use as keywords to lead prospective buyers to a completed purchase. 

Similar to ratings and reviews, customer questions offer a glimpse into the minds of your customers. Someone on your team should be mining this area of your Amazon listings to spot deficiencies and find new keyword opportunities that might otherwise be missed.

Amazon Advertising

One overlooked way to increase sales velocity and sales rank is through Amazon PPC advertising which helps to put your product in front of interested customers. While getting to the top of Amazon’s Search Engine Results Page is important, staying on a shopper’s radar throughout the decision-making process is often just as critical. Amazon’s research has shown that only four percent of shoppers buy a product after their first search. Instead, it can take them an average of six to seven days to make a purchase. 

One of the most effective ways to avoid losing prospective customers during this purchase journey of comparisons, evaluations and distractions is to utilize Amazon Sponsored ads. When used correctly, this specialized Amazon tool can reach the relevant shoppers at the most critical points of their search and substantially boost conversions for an Amazon seller’s product listing. 

Since the most recent updates to the A9 algorithm emphasize listing traffic originating from off the platform, PPC ads are a direct way to drive people to your product listings while improving the item’s placement in Amazon search results. Due to its multi-faceted benefits on Amazon, online advertising can be quite cost-effective. But a poorly planned campaign will have very little Return on Ad Spend (RoAS), meaning you will have paid too much, no matter the cost. A solid plan, ongoing data analysis, and coordination with other digital marketing initiatives are also necessary to create and maintain sales impacts that will organically improve product rankings.

Amify can put a top spot on Amazon within reach

The path to dominating the A9 algorithm can seem overwhelming. But the right partner can make getting your business where you want it to be easier. The pros at Amify are ready to discuss how an Amazon SEO plan can help you climb the search result rankings. 

From Amazon keyword research to actionable data analysis, reach out to our experts today to discover the difference we can make for your brand.

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Go Green, Save Green with Frustration-Free Packaging

Traditional packaging was designed to showcase products on a store shelf, not protect the item as it makes its way through a global e-commerce supply chain. But the growing e-commerce industry has changed the way retailers view packaging priorities. 

The effort has been boosted by Amazon’s 15-year push for Frustration-Free Packaging and increasing pressure on companies to minimize excess packaging material. And as an Amazon seller, you can’t afford to be left behind by spending too much on packing and shipping while your competition finds ways to spend less and make customers happier. Fortunately, we’re here to help get you up to speed. 

What is Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging?

In 2008, Amazon launched Frustration-Free Packaging (FFP) to promote its commitment to reducing waste and enacting environmentally-friendly policies. The program encourages sellers to change how items are packaged by focusing on the realities of e-commerce rather than the traditional emphasis on how an item might appear on a shelf in a brick-and-mortar store. 

According to Amazon, Frustration-Free Packaging is designed to adhere to four primary tenets. Every package should be:

  • Easy-to-Open
  • Protective
  • Low Waste
  • Cost Effective 

The problem with standard packaging

As the leading online marketplace, Amazon believes that the tenets of Frustration-Free Packaging will result in a better unboxing experience for customers and reduced waste for the planet. Simultaneously, program participants, such as vendors and sellers, will enjoy lower costs due to the minimal packing materials. 

As the e-commerce industry exploded, so did the amount of waste it produced. As online shipments became a larger proportion of sales for many businesses, moving them around the world became more expensive, particularly items that were not designed to be transported that way.  

With growing concerns about sustainability and poor packaging design contributing to unnecessary costs, it was only a matter of time before Amazon and sellers would both realize the value of revamping their approach to packaging. Furthermore, the link between online sales and customer reviews resulted in buyers who struggled with hard-to-open packaging could quickly share their frustrations with prospective buyers everywhere. 

Frustration-Free Packaging Certification

Initially, Amazon Frustration-Free packaging certification eligibility was open to any seller who could meet stringent packaging requirements. Not surprisingly, Amazon FFP certification aligns with the previously-mentioned tents and featured standards for each area. 

FFP packaging must be easy to open and require minimal scissors or a box cutter. In addition, the packaging cannot contain blister packs, plastic inserts, packaging peanuts, wire ties, shredded paper, or a plastic clamshell. By avoiding these obstacles, Amazon expects that the contents will be removable from the package within 120 seconds.

Despite being easy to open, packaging must protect its contents during transit. In many cases, Amazon packaging certification eligibility requires ISTA 6 compliance. Originally this required independent testing at an International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) lab. Later, a self-administered drop testing process was implemented as an option for some non-fragile products. This allows sellers to document how a packaged product performed when dropped repeatedly from varying heights and submit the results to Amazon. In addition, fragile products can be submitted to the Amazon Packaging Lab for testing rather than using an ISTA lab. 

Frustration-Free Packaging certification also requires all the packing materials to be made of 100% curbside recyclable materials to reduce packaging waste. Acceptable materials include corrugated and other paper-based materials or plastic components marked with SPI codes 1 (PET), 2 (HDPE), and 5 (PP). 

After a successful rollout, Amazon launched an E-commerce Ready Packaging (ECR) 

program in 2014. This allowed product packaging that meets ISTA 6 requirements but is not fully recyclable to be considered for a lower tier of the packaging certification program, known as Ships in own Container (SIOC). Similarly, items that need Amazon over boxing but no other packing materials are called Prep-Free Packaging. 

In 2021, Amazon began an incentive program for Vendor Central sellers to meet the FFP or Amazon SIOC requirements. And while there are currently more than 2 million FFP-certified products for sale on Amazon, the company is not now taking new requests for certification. However, the Frustration-Free Packaging initiative is still underway via an expanded incentive program. This is likely because most online retailers understand the advantages of optimizing their packaging for e-commerce demands and better sustainability. 

Amazon’s general packaging rules

Beyond its FFP and other packaging certification tiers, Amazon takes product packaging very seriously. When selling via Amazon FBA, sellers must follow all general requirements for shipping inventory to Amazon’s fulfillment centers and realize that the company can refuse, return, or repackage any product that does not meet its standards. Occasionally, these mistakes may also lead to a fee for failing to satisfy product compliance rules.

First and foremost, every product must have a unique FNSKU (Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit). An FNSKU label identifies a product as a Fulfillment by Amazon product and by an SKU. Sellers who market similar items, where the only differences between the products are size, shape, or color, must give each product variation a new FNSKU. Each package must also have an exterior barcode or label, which can be scanned for tracking purposes. The label must be accessible and readable.

In addition to the above requirements, packaging rules can vary slightly according to the product type. If an item fits multiple categories, it must be prepared for shipment according to all applicable categories’ regulations. Amazon also has specific rules for the different types of packaging options. 

Amazon may also impose further requirements such as additional taping or case quantity limits to ensure products can be fulfilled efficiently and delivered in good condition. Items with expiration dates must include the date in MM-DD-YYYY format on both the individual unit and the shipping container. Approved supplies can be purchased directly from Amazon to simplify the packaging demands for sellers.

The benefits of sustainable packaging

Although Amazon’s FFP certification is currently unavailable for products that haven’t already received the designation, it should not be a surprise that many online retailers are moving away from standard packaging, regardless of which channels they use to sell. 

More efficient packaging reduces the expense of packing materials. Sellers who ship their products can improve their bottom line by spending less on bulky, unnecessary packaging and creating right-sized packaging that protects items sufficiently during transit without the requirement of over boxing. Of course, it’s essential to consider how packaging may impact a customer’s perception of the value of your product. While an item may be able to ship in a poly bag, a branded and well-designed box could still be the most appropriate option. 

As mentioned, easy-to-open packaging is also critical in e-commerce since buyers can easily complain if their purchase is difficult to unbox. In addition, certain customers, such as older shoppers, may be more vulnerable to struggling with packaging that isn’t accessible. Ensuring your products arrive safely and can be enjoyed immediately will improve the customer experience and result in better seller feedback and more sales. 

Finally, many shoppers want to buy from companies that take an environmentally friendly approach to their business. Customers who connect emotionally with a brand name have three times higher lifetime value. And according to Deloitte research, 80 percent of consumers would pay more for products if the company committed itself to being socially responsible, environmentally responsible or paid higher wages. Avoiding packaging that is difficult to dispose of or not environmentally friendly should also be a consideration for sellers seeking to maximize the quality of their reviews. Investing in high-quality packaging for fulfillment is one of the best ways to protect a brand’s reputation.

Think outside the box with Amify

Reaching your company’s full potential will take more than just implementing a frustration-free packaging program. But you can uncover the fastest and most efficient way to optimize every part of your Amazon business by partnering with the experts at Amify

Contact us today to learn why so many brand owners chose us to help them navigate the challenge of reaching the right Amazon customers and achieving their e-commerce goals.

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Explore the Ups and Downs of Amazon’s Automated Pricing

Every seller on the platform hopes to see their Amazon sales grow. Signing up for Fulfillment by Amazon or building and maintaining an optimized Amazon store are among the most common ways that retailers try to capitalize on the marketplace’s massive base of shoppers. 

But many merchants may overlook an option that can help them reach their goal. Whether looking for a way to manage inventory better, trying to find the perfect price for a new product, or one of several sellers competing for the Buy Box on a product listing, Amazon’s automated pricing service is worth exploring. Utilized correctly, the automation service can free up time for other responsibilities and give sellers an all-important edge against the competition.

Fight for the Buy Box with automated pricing rules

Amazon’s automated pricing system relies on rules customized by an Amazon seller to automatically adjust prices on designated SKUs in response to specific events. For example, this could include creating a repricing rule to lower the price of a product when the Buy Box win percentage for that item drops below a certain threshold or when another seller drops their pricing for the same item. 

While the automate pricing tool may sound like it takes control out of the hands of a seller, it is entirely dependent on the parameters you set. The automation is designed to save you the time and hassle of manually monitoring every aspect of a product’s status or competition and avoid delays in responding to changing circumstances. Automated pricing only applies to selected SKUs rather than a seller’s entire catalog, and the system can be started or stopped at any time. Sellers using the system can set minimum and maximum prices and other optional boundaries to keep any adjustments within their pricing strategy. 

Clearly, winning the Amazon Buy Box is the goal for competing retailers, but automated repricing can also play a role in growing sales for brands that are the exclusive seller of their products on the platform. In addition to creating rules designed to win the Featured Offer, it’s also possible to create an automated pricing structure that helps retailers manage inventory or find the right price for a new product. You can accomplish this by designating how many units you hope to sell during a set time frame and letting the system reprice accordingly. 

Getting started with automated pricing on Amazon

Of course, automated pricing is not a strategy to rush into without a proper plan, the good news is that implementing the tool is simple once you’re ready. More importantly, the ability to utilize the service is included in the cost of your selling plan at no additional charge. 

As with most of Amazon’s seller resources, automated pricing is initiated via Amazon Seller Central. A “Get Started” button is available within the Pricing tab under the Automate Pricing option. From there, you can create a new rule from scratch or choose from a pre-defined “competitive price rule.” As mentioned, custom rules can be built around pricing, inventory, feedback rating, fulfillment channel or other options. 

Once you have selected the appropriate rule, you may choose the SKUs you want it to apply to and the upper and lower pricing limits for that item. Setting the minimum price is especially important to maintaining proper margins for your sales. Assigning rules to SKUs can be done individually or in bulk if you intend automated pricing to work similarly across an extensive catalog of products. 

Automated pricing rules will be effective almost immediately. While it may take up to 15 minutes for price changes to appear in product listings, the repricing adjustments will occur as soon as actions within the Amazon marketplace trigger a rule to direct an adjustment. 

Even with this Amazon automation tool in place, monitoring your price updates is important. This can be done via the automate pricing page and by accessing the business sales reports that are available in Amazon Seller Central. One metric to pay particular attention to is how automated pricing impacts your Buy Box win percentage.

Pricing strategies can avoid a race to the bottom

Whether they are the only retailer carrying a product, or one of many, every brand looking to succeed on Amazon should take a deliberate approach to price. As e-commerce continues its rapid growth, pricing policies will become more critical for retailers and manufacturers. Online sales will likely continue their growth trend while consolidating among the largest online retailers, including Amazon. As this happens, the desire of smaller resellers to compete with industry leaders is more likely to lead to destructive price wars for products that aren’t backed by effective pricing strategies. 

Implementing effective pricing policies can help companies create mutually-beneficial relationships with retailers and shoppers. Any resellers, whether on Amazon or elsewhere, will appreciate the support from the brand that protects their margins. At the same time, consumers will enjoy more confidence in the value of a product and a less frustrating shopping experience due to the consistency across both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores. In addition to the positive impacts a successful Amazon pricing strategy can have on a company’s retailers and customers, there are also substantial benefits for the brand. Prioritizing margins and protecting retailers from price wars significantly increases a brand’s value. 

If your business operates under a Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policy, be sure to account for it with any automated pricing rules you create. MAP is the minimum price a retailer can advertise for a product it sells. It applies to any retailer who carries the item and is intended to level the competition among sellers and avoid price wars. It differs from the more familiar Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price or MSRP, which refers to the amount a manufacturer thinks a product should sell for. It does not create any restrictions on the advertised price. Brands can use MAP pricing to control the gap between MSRP and advertised prices. In this way, they can avoid the less-than-ideal message that a product is worth substantially lower than what the brand suggests. 

If other retailers sell your product on Amazon, you don’t want your focus on winning the Buy Box to undercut your MAP policy and create a race to the bottom. When a reseller opts to go below an established MAP price, automated pricing can lead you to follow suit and quickly eat into your profits. Therefore, monitoring and enforcing MAP violations diligently as they arise is critical.

Unfortunately, Amazon does not proactively enforce a MAP pricing policy and, in some cases, can be guilty of violations itself. Therefore, to truly protect your brand value, you’ll need effective MAP monitoring of the sales of your products. However, patrolling physical stores and online retailers like Amazon and Google shopping can be time-consuming, so you may need to use a third-party tool or agency team to do so correctly. Also, remember that platforms hosting your authorized or unauthorized retailers may not be active participants in your efforts. 

Automated pricing won’t make winning automatic 

While it may make your efforts to succeed on Amazon more efficient, automated pricing won’t guarantee growth. For one, you may not always be able to beat a competitor. Multiple sellers may have a rule directing a SKU to drop below the lowest listed price. In this scenario, the pricing will adjust immediately to the lowest minimum price for all sellers. 

Automated pricing could also leave money on the table for companies with an exclusive product. If a competing retailer exits the marketplace, the remaining seller’s prices won’t increase automatically. The opportunity to raise a product price due to being the only seller must be done manually and requires paying close attention to the current market.

Due to shipping costs and time, many shoppers are attracted to products that are fulfilled by Amazon and opt to buy from an Amazon FBA seller rather than purchase the identical product from a third-party merchant. However, creating a pricing rule that accounts for those preferences can be complicated, especially for sellers new to automated pricing. If your product faces competition from both FBA and Merchant-fulfilled sellers, it may require additional effort and expertise to create a set of rules that responds appropriately to maximize sales and profit margin. 

Trust Amify to grow your Amazon business

If building dynamic pricing rules to support your business seems overwhelming, you don’t have to face the challenge on your own. Since 2011, Amazon sellers have trusted Amify to help them win the competitive Buy Box and achieve success in the marketplace.

Our team of experts can help you navigate the platform’s extensive landscape of options and fill the gaps holding back your brand’s growth on Amazon. Contact us today to ask how.

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Review Hijacking Puts Your Brand at Risk

Fierce competition is a hallmark of the Amazon marketplace. Hundreds of millions of products from countless sellers are listed for sale, and they are all striving to be among the top results when a customer begins their search for a product. As we’ve mentioned before, one of the things that can push a product to the top of Amazon’s rankings is a significant number of positive reviews. 

Reviews improve the chances of landing on the coveted first page of search results, and substantial and credible reviews also increase a seller’s ability to convert potential customers. Since volume and sales velocity are vital factors for Amazon’s A9 algorithm, a steady supply of positive reviews is a great way to double-dip listing optimization efforts. 

So it should not come as a surprise, then, that some sellers may seek shortcuts to boost the positive reviews for items that might otherwise struggle to compete. Fake reviews, left by individuals or companies that didn’t make a purchase, is the underhanded approach most retailers and shoppers are familiar with, but it’s not the only tactic. Review hijacking is a more recent problem that is growing, particularly on Amazon, where it recently attracted the attention of the Federal Trade Commission. 

What is review hijacking?

Unlike phony reviews, which are invented and posted to give the appearance that a product is more popular or of better quality than reality would show, review hijacking shifts genuine reviews for one product to a completely different item in an effort to mislead consumers. 

Review hijacking can be accomplished by nefarious sellers who target dormant or out-of-stock listings with positive ratings. Then, counting on the fact that little attention is paid to these detail pages, savvy sellers with bad intentions will attach an unrelated product to these pages or sometimes combine several listings through Amazon’s listing variation options to capitalize on as many existing reviews as possible to prop up their own product. 

In other cases, sellers will change their product listings so that an existing page can be used to sell a newly-launched product. The reviews for the previous item will remain and appear to be reviews for the new product. However, on closer inspection, the comments from buyers will clearly reflect an entirely different purchase. 

As mentioned above, the FTC levied its first fine for review hijacking in February 2023. The penalized company abused Amazon’s listing variation system after its newest supplements failed to meet sales expectations as standalone listings. By changing the new supplements’ status to a variant of more established products, despite completely different formulations, the poor-performing supplements received a boost in sales. Of course, many of these purchases were likely due to the quantity and quality of reviews on the product detail page. Shoppers were misled to believe that positive reviews for older supplements were also relevant to the newer ones. In addition, as variations, the new items could capitalize on the “#1 Bestseller” and “Amazon Choice” badging that the older products had earned. 

Why do retailers target customers with review hijacking?

Why are reviews so attractive to sellers that they would risk running afoul of Amazon’s policies or even federal law? Well, one study found that product reviews are trusted 12 times more than the product descriptions written by brands. Even more notably, the same survey found that customer reviews can grow sales by 18 percent

For Amazon sellers, this results in new buyers to the brand via the theory of social proof. Consumers understand the purchase of a product by others as an indication of the item’s desirability and value. Similarly, shoppers with knowledge or expertise about a product can exert a lot of influence by recommending a particular purchase via a positive review. This means the more people prospective buyers see buying or praising a product, the bigger the impact it will have.  

Beyond its impact on buyer behavior, review hijacking also gets products backed by these fraudulent but persuasive reviews in front of more Amazon shoppers. Obviously, relevancy and availability are at the top of the list when it comes to influencing the algorithm. The more closely an in-stock product matches a search term, the better the chances it will appear among the top results. However, the quantity and quality of reviews matter as well. That’s why many Amazon sellers try to encourage reviews and do everything possible to provide a positive customer experience. 

Whether it’s an outright effort to deceive customers or a legitimate ignorance of Amazon’s rules, review hijacking is never worth the severe consequences it can bring to a bona fide business looking for long-term growth. 

The dos and don’ts of Amazon variations

Just because listing variations play a role in many attempts at review hijacking doesn’t mean you should avoid this powerful Amazon tool. On the contrary, the platform encourages sellers to use variations appropriately due to the convenience it provides shoppers. Furthermore, pooling reviews for actual variations of the same product is an effective way to optimize your product listings. 

Where it makes sense or is required by Amazon, utilize these parent-child relationships to offer multiple buying options simultaneously. Creating product listings that combine options such as color, size or flavor into a single encounter improves your listings’ discoverability and conversion rate.

Determining valid variations isn’t always as apparent as size or color. In those cases, it can depend on several factors. Primarily, the key is ensuring that variations are limited to products that are essentially the same but vary in a single way that doesn’t affect functionality. Use these dos and don’ts to help guide your parent-child families. 


  • Keep variations limited to products that are fundamentally the same and could share the same product title
  • Use variations when customers would expect to find them under a single product page
  • Describe each child product appropriately and identify the variation correctly in the ASIN’s title
  • Stick to the variation themes that are approved for use


  • Exceed Amazon’s limit of 2,000 child ASINs per variation family
  • Create variations that include different brands or product types 
  • List more than one feature as a variation attribute
  • Include price, quantity or variation characteristic in the parent product

Benefit from an experienced Amazon partner

Working with a qualified Amazon agency won’t guarantee your business avoids legal problems. Still, it can make it easier to ensure all of your listings are set up in compliance with Amazon’s Terms of Service. In addition, experienced Amazon partners already know the mistakes that novice sellers are most likely to make and can help their clients navigate or avoid pitfalls that can lead to a loss of selling privileges, fines or worse. 

Amazon is constantly evolving, so staying informed about the latest policy changes, newest tools and fluctuating costs without help is nearly impossible for most businesses. Retailers who try a do-it-yourself approach can struggle to develop a consistent strategy for their brand. This can lead to unpredictable sales rather than steady growth.

A successful partnership with an Amazon agency can minimize surprises and help companies anticipate what lies ahead for sellers on the platform. They will also be able to set up your listings and respond to customer inquiries or negative product reviews promptly and courteously. In other words, an agency can take the fundamental tasks accompanying selling on Amazon off your plate and likely complete them more efficiently. And because most effective agencies are plugged into Amazon’s current trends and deeply understand the status quo, they can make your brand’s experience on the site much less volatile. 

Amify is ready to help

The pros at Amify know that the Buy Box is just the first step to winning on Amazon. To be successful, a business needs an integrated and interconnected approach. That’s why we operate as your business partner, providing comprehensive strategy and execution throughout the product life cycle on Amazon. Whether it’s warehousing, listing management, or data analytics, Amify helps you drive growth with a proven, long-term strategy. Schedule your Amazon Account Consultation today.

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Is Amazon’s Buy With Prime Right for your Ecommerce Brand?

For the past decade, Amazon has offered Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to brands. This service made it easy for brands to ship their products to Amazon warehouses, have Amazon customers buy the products on Amazon, and have Amazon ship it to the customer using Amazon Prime. The products are considered Prime eligible, and sellers can offer their customers one- or two-day shipping. Shipping costs are typically much less than seller fulfillment via other providers, and Amazon takes responsibility for customer service and return processing. 

However, FBA does come with its own set of challenges. First, it doesn’t really help brands selling products on their own .com websites. Secondly, the brand must ship products into Amazon warehouses, thus creating a separate “warehouse” just for Amazon products. This means the products must comply with all of Amazon’s requirements, including labels, temperature, and expiration dates. Then, once the product is at Amazon, it’s challenging to change, inspect or fix problems. Worst of all, Amazon controls the amount of inventory allocated to each product, frequently resulting in stock-outs during busy seasons. 

In late 2022, Amazon stated its goal was to move into the warehouse space to help solve some of these problems for brands. Their first major announcement was the launch of Buy with Prime. 

Buy with Prime 101

Buy with Prime is a checkout button that brands put on their website, similar to the Paypal option many shoppers already see throughout ecommerce. The offering integrates directly with the Amazon FBA warehouse system. In other words, a customer comes to a brand’s website, finds something they want to purchase, clicks the Buy with Prime button, pays through their Amazon account, and the product ships from an Amazon FBA warehouse using two-day shipping. 

Key Benefits

Buy with Prime offers some key benefits for both customers and the brands. For customers, they get an easy checkout experience that is combined with their Amazon Prime membership. By buying through their existing Amazon account, they won’t have to create new passwords for each website. Customers also get Prime two-day shipping instead of the extended shipping times many direct-to-consumer sites offer by default. 

Brands offering Buy with Prime can rely on an integrated single warehouse system for sales on and off the Amazon marketplace. Instead of having a separate warehouse for their .com site and Amazon, they can run the entire business off a single warehouse using Amazon FBA. Also, the streamlined checkout process and Amazon Prime shipping will likely increase customer conversion rates. 

Amazon is also promoting the digital marketing advantages of becoming a Buy with Prime merchant. A collaboration with Meta allows sellers to sync their Buy with Prime and Meta catalogs to streamline ad creation for Facebook and Instagram. Some invited sellers will also have exclusive access to a Sponsored Brands option for Buy with Prime. These brands can purchase advertising on Amazon that promotes Buy with Prime on their company website. The opportunity to send customers from Amazon to a different ecommerce site is unusual but highlights Amazon’s emphasis on the fulfillment side of their business.  

This sounds great! But what are the downsides? 

At first, using Buy with Prime seems like a no-brainer for many brands. But, in reality, two significant obstacles prevent it from being a viable option for many sellers. 

The most important is cost, specifically concerning the free shipping requirement. Buy with Prime requires free shipping to the customers. Therefore, the cost of shipping must be paid for by the brand and, effectively, included in the sales price. 

As you can see below, shipping a one-pound standard-size package using Buy with Prime will cost a brand over $10. With many products selling below $20, the economics don’t make sense. Our analysis shows that it will be difficult to capitalize on Buy with Prime for products sold below $50. Furthermore, the appeal of the new option only really materializes when the product price point hits $100. 

The additional downside of Buy with Prime is that it results in putting all your eggs in the Amazon basket. If the goal is to simplify your warehouse needs by only using Amazon warehouses, then you should have confidence that Amazon will be able to deliver. However, anyone who has worked with Amazon in the recent past knows the difficulties of getting inventory into Amazon warehouses. The hurdles of low storage limits and significant delays can be hard to overcome. With all of your inventory in one location, you run the risk of having it get stuck on a receiving dock while you run out of stock to sell to buyers. 

Buy with Prime Rate Card

Adding Buy with Prime to your online store

The addition of Buy with Prime is relatively simple for sellers who already have their products in an Amazon warehouse and use FBA. First, you’ll need to sign up for the service by creating a Buy with Prime account. Then you can then link the registration to your Seller Central or Amazon Supply Chain account. After this, the products you wish to sell using this new option can be imported into the Buy with Prime account, along with your Amazon Pay information. Remember to confirm all SKUs and pricing information. Finally, customize and install the Buy with Button to your direct-to-consumer site using the provided coding.

Maximize efficiency and minimize Buy with Prime costs

Whether through Buy with Prime or traditional FBA, retailers using Amazon for order fulfillment face expensive storage fees. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize those costs.

Manage Inventory Levels

One of the most obvious ways to avoid high storage costs when participating in the FBA program is to efficiently manage inventory health at the FBA warehouse. Since storage fees are based on the average daily units within the facility, finding a balance between the amount of product in stock at a given time and sales is critical.  

While the shipping and transportation costs of delivering your products to Amazon’s warehouses may benefit from larger shipments of FBA inventory, you will likely lose those savings to higher storage costs that result from more cubic feet of space and having more items stored there. Instead, it can be more effective to plan monthly deliveries of inventory that will be nearly depleted before the next shipment. This approach will minimize both the space and number of units used to calculate FBA storage costs. 

Adjust Pricing

Skyrocketing Amazon storage fees are often the result of inventory not selling as quickly as expected. Not only can sellers struggle to deal with declining sales, but they also face an increased bill for their warehousing costs due to products taking up more space than planned and sometimes the inability to adjust incoming shipments of new products accordingly. 

If your inventory is piling up at an Amazon fulfillment center, it can be helpful to consider a price adjustment that will increase sales and allow you to avoid a higher-than-usual FBA storage fee. While a lower price will also impact your bottom line, it will be offset, or possibly even less damaging, than the increased FBA costs. Sellers may also benefit from a comprehensive digital promotion, such as Amazon Sponsored Product ads or other tools that can strengthen the influence of a sale. 

Remove Aging Inventory

Amazon’s aged inventory surcharge is designed to discourage sellers from allowing products to take up space for more than a year. However, in some circumstances, the extra charge could increase per-cubic-foot fees by more than 700 percent on some inventory. That is a substantial cost that virtually every retailer would want to avoid. 

If managing inventory and pricing adjustments are not enough to keep your products cycling through amazon fulfillment at the right pace, there is one other option. Amazon FBA allows sellers to remove unsold inventory from their warehouses. Of course, there will still be a cost for this service. Pricing for a removal order starts at 52 cents per unit and increases with the item’s weight, up to $5.05 for products between 4 and 10 pounds. Products requiring special handling or that exceed 10 pounds can cost more to remove.

When placing a removal order, sellers will have the option to have the items returned or destroyed. Similarly, FBA offers a liquidation option to avoid continuing to pay storage fees. Liquidation requires sellers to pay both a per-item processing fee and a 15 percent referral fee on top of the liquidator’s contracted rate. Still, it may allow a company to recoup some of the inventory’s value.

Streamline your selling with Amify 

The team at Amify can help you find the best ways to grow your ecommerce brand on Amazon. More than 60 experts in warehousing, logistics, optimization, content and more are waiting to help you focus your efforts where they matter most. 

As you face a shifting landscape of options on Amazon and rising costs within your fulfillment strategy, you need a partner ready to respond with the right approach. Contact us today for a free consultation, or read more about the $400 million in sales we’ve already helped our clients generate on Amazon.

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Find a Full-Service Amazon Agency for your Brand

The demands of selling successfully on Amazon are easily a full-time responsibility – if not more. Whether launching new product listings, optimizing them for your customers and the algorithm, setting up and maintaining your Storefront, or integrating your social media plan, there’s a nearly endless list of to-dos. 

Rather than spend your time trying to stay up-to-date on Amazon’s latest trends, tools and features, wouldn’t you prefer to have a team of experts who are passionate about doing precisely that? More importantly, relying on experienced professionals can give you insight into the areas you should focus on and which tactics will have the most significant impact on your business goals.

One of the primary advantages of working with a full-service Amazon marketing agency is that it allows you to enjoy a more robust team at a lower cost. While you could hire an internal team to achieve similar capacity, it would be expensive. And in most cases, you would need to prioritize specific skills over others, resulting in expertise gaps that an Amazon agency would have provided. 

For a cost similar to just one or two full-time employees, you can outsource various Amazon marketing services and enjoy better results. In addition, an experienced external team already has the expertise you seek and will be poised to make the proper adjustments quickly instead of risking missed opportunities while you hire and train new employees. 

Of course, the bottom line is that outsourcing your Amazon services is only viable when accompanied by increased sales. While every business is unique, the advantages that come from an outsourcing partnership are impressive. In most cases, this is thanks to the increased number of people laser-focused on your success. 

What can an Amazon agency help with?

With a full-service agency partner, you’ll have the knowledge and experience of Amazon specialists to grow brand awareness and assist your company in the most important areas. Their in-depth data analysis can guide your creative content, ad spending and inventory management. And you can rest easy knowing your customer service and returns are handled with industry-leading professionalism. 

Still unsure if outsourcing Amazon marketing services is the right option? Read more about how they can help your business grow. 

Launching listings better & faster

Your Amazon sales start with your product listings. Creating, organizing, and tracking is only part of the process but can be among the most time-consuming. It’s particularly true when your product catalog is constantly expanding. Onboarding and training in-house specialists is one option but not necessarily the best approach. 

If you want to deploy your products quickly on Amazon, a better strategy is to outsource the work to a partner with a staff that already understands all of the elements that underpin a successful Amazon product listing. Doing so can also help you avoid the negative ramifications of a trial-and-error learning curve or the possibility that your sales will suffer due to employee turnover. 

Once your products are listed, you still need a comprehensive optimization plan. It’s really the only way to compete for the Buy Box and achieve the conversion rates that will allow you to excel. 

All of your listings need accurate details, high-quality images and, in many cases, helpful videos. They should also be monitored for threats from fraud or competition. Creating an Amazon Storefront and crafting A+ Content that includes engaging copywriting and answers to FAQs is not a simple task. But it can substantially improve a listing’s ability to attract shoppers and close sales. 

A failure in your product listing optimization can be challenging to spot and nearly impossible to overcome. However, outsourcing to an Amazon marketing agency means your listings will have the perfect title, a description your customers will appreciate and the keywords to ensure they can find them. 

Maximizing PPC advertising

Every brand on the platform is looking for ways to strengthen its Amazon sales. However, while Amazon SEO can give sellers the edge when it comes to organic search results, it’s not the only path to a better bottom line. 

Pay-per-click (PPC) Amazon ads can be a more direct way to drive traffic to your product listings or Storefront. Paid advertising, like Sponsored Product, Sponsored Brand and Amazon DSP, allows e-commerce businesses to break through the immense competition on Amazon and increase their reach. But it requires a solid plan, a broad understanding of the tools available and skilled execution on behalf of the advertiser. For many sellers, turning to an agency with experience in managing Amazon advertising is the best way to achieve digital marketing success and control your ad spend. 

Streamlining warehousing & logistics

Amazon seller success hinges on a company’s ability to get its products to customers quickly. Whether a brand is shipping to Amazon as a vendor, supplying Amazon FBA inventory, or fulfilling customer orders directly, the storage, packing, labeling and shipping of a product need to be expertly managed. Long-term growth is unlikely if your products don’t arrive on time, show up damaged or don’t match what a customer ordered.

In addition, poorly-managed inventory can negatively affect a company’s bottom line. Customers who find the products they are shopping for are out-of-stock often turn to alternatives. At the same time, companies can end up paying extremely high prices for storage fees and penalties if their inventory is not managed correctly. Brands struggling with warehousing and logistics are ideal candidates to partner with a company experienced with overcoming these hurdles for an Amazon seller. 

Optimizing FBA operations

Selling on Amazon is complex, and fulfillment is just one of many challenges. Fortunately, the launch of Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) services simplified this aspect of running an Amazon business. Seller Central brands now have the option of letting Amazon handle much of the packing, shipping and customer service duties necessary to meet shopper expectations. 

While selling FBA products can be less costly and more streamlined than managing all the logistics independently, it’s not the only step brands can take to optimize their Amazon sales. Integrating Amazon FBA consulting into their operations can ensure a company has the support and expertise necessary to make the most of the FBA option. 

Managing an Amazon Storefront

Amazon store setup is designed to be relatively simple for brands utilizing the platform. While joining the Amazon Brand Registry, and other necessary steps, are within the capabilities of most sellers, achieving the desired results is often more complicated. Successfully pursuing the initiative requires a strategic approach similar to developing a direct-to-consumer website. 

Product organization, enhanced brand content, creativity and ongoing refinement are essential on the Amazon platform. However, an Amazon Store also unlocks access to new customer data that can increase conversions and ROI if used effectively. So, rather than an isolated tactic, Storefronts should be implemented as part of a broader campaign to develop followers and strengthen your Amazon business. If this combination of creative design, data analysis and campaign synergy seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. That’s why, for many Amazon businesses, choosing a partner to help build and manage an Amazon brand store is the ideal solution. 

Identifying weaknesses 

Mistakes that lead to listing suppression, descriptions that give customers the wrong expectations and products that aren’t optimized for your most valuable prospects will all be detrimental to your conversion rate. And they are all realistic possibilities for an overwhelmed Amazon seller. But if weaknesses are an opportunity to grow, the more people you have trying to identify deficiencies, the more opportunities you’ll find. 

Instead of waiting for problems to appear in your sales statistics, a capable Amazon marketing agency can resolve them quickly and create an improvement plan. Experienced Amazon partners can unlock opportunities and provide actionable insights to optimize and grow sales by leveraging data you might have overlooked.

Unfortunately, experience alone is not enough to guarantee that a service provider will be a good fit for your company. It’s also critical that any Amazon partner aligns with your brand’s goals, team and budget. 

Finding an agency match means knowing your needs

Judging experience may seem straightforward, but examining a prospective agency’s claims is helpful. Focus on more than just how long the agency has existed. For example, a newer Amazon consulting service may have a talented team with decades of relevant experience. In contrast, an established agency could have had lots of turnover resulting in leadership or specialists who have spent minimal time in the industry. 

Remember to also pay close attention to an agency’s current roster of clients and past results. Any reputable agency should be able to provide detailed case studies that shed light on their capabilities and tactics. Ask for examples that have parallels to your company’s challenges and will reveal whether the agency would be a good fit as an Amazon consulting expert. As important as who they have been able to assist is when their seller support took place. Amazon’s tools and policies are constantly evolving, and a service provider needs to be able to adjust accordingly. An agency with continuous success over time is more likely to be effective regardless of what lies ahead for the platform.

You should also inquire how the resume of those managing your Amazon account matches your company’s goals. An agency with direct experience in your product category may seem ideal, but sellers are often better served by comparing an agency’s strengths with the brand’s goals.

Of course, experience alone is not enough to guarantee that a service provider will be a good fit for your company. It’s also critical that any Amazon partner aligns with your brand’s goals, team and budget. 

Set your goals

The Amazon marketplace is an $800 billion business. The services needed by the largest companies on the platform vary drastically compared to smaller brands. Finding an Amazon agency that aligns with your brand’s business model, sales level and service requirements is crucial. 

Providers usually break down into those serving brands with less than $500k in annual sales, agencies specializing in mid-sized sellers with $500k-$2 million of annual sales, and partners targeting companies with more than $2 million in sales each year. Your brand should align with the size the provider focuses on to limit the risk of low-quality service, overly-high costs, or the possibility of not being a priority for the provider.

Amazon consulting services are typically split between firms that help brands following a 1P Vendor Central model (selling products to Amazon) and those pursuing growth on the 3P Seller Central marketplace (selling products on the Amazon marketplace). Therefore, picking a provider that focuses on your brand’s business model is best. If a provider says they do everything, you may find they are not good at either. 

In your search for an optimization partner, consider creating a list of the functions necessary to run your Amazon business. Then, when comparing proposals from partners, confirm who will be responsible for each of those tasks. It’s a common mistake to overlook the specific services offered and simply choose the lowest-priced provider before realizing that some responsibilities will still need to be done internally and for an additional cost.  

Align your teams

It is easy for firms to claim to be Amazon Buy Box experts, but what differentiates most providers is their ability to deliver the quality level that a brand expects at a reasonable cost. The number one reason brands leave Amazon seller consulting services is a misalignment of the quality of the team they are working with. By asking to meet the team upfront, a brand will quickly see if there is an appropriate alignment. 

Sometimes, a service provider consists of five people in a townhouse claiming to offer expert Amazon marketing services. These smaller providers have difficulty providing the consistency and breadth of the service many brands require. Larger, established companies have learned from their mistakes with previous clients and can likely provide a higher quality of consistent service. In addition, understaffed providers that rely heavily on contractors usually have difficulty delivering high-quality work. 

A brand should look at the provider’s client roster to determine if they match up well in size and product category. If the brands that a prospective Amazon consultant is currently working with have similarities to your business, the likelihood of success is much higher. 

Coordinate your budget

Amazon claims it is easy to run a brand on its platform. In reality, it requires a lot of expertise in various areas ranging from graphic design and customer service to copywriting and advertising strategy. All of these specialties cost money and need to work together flawlessly. As a result, it is easy for a brand to underestimate how much work is involved and focus on price rather than quality. 

Low-cost Amazon consulting is more likely to rely on offshore teams with less quality control, while the most expensive Amazon consulting experts will often provide your brand with director-level staff capable of accelerating growth. 

People with valuable Amazon marketing experience are expensive to hire, and it’s important to remember you get what you pay for. A common rule of thumb is that it requires one employee for each $1 to $2 million of Amazon revenue. 

Amazon is a huge opportunity, but it is also very competitive. It will take a brand many months or years to reach its potential on Amazon. Brands that expect huge success in the short term will usually be disappointed by the results, regardless of which agency they choose. 

Partner with Amify

At Amify, we have helped premium brands achieve their Amazon goals for more than a decade. Our Amazon experts give your marketing strategy world-class, up-to-the-minute platform knowledge to unlock the full potential of a product listing. 

If you’re looking for a comprehensive, results-oriented approach to building a successful sales campaign and growing your Amazon presence, contact us today to learn more.