Amazon Stores are designed to translate your brand aesthetic and replicate your other sales channels, in a functional and organized Amazon microsite. Amazon Stores greatly improve your customer’s shopping experience and can allow for an impressive increase in sales. Previously, brands WITHOUT an Amazon Store would find their brand page to be nothing more than a mishmash of products without any organization or branding:
Recently, a feature has appeared on Amazon granting brands a semblance of a Store but with many things to be desired. The new feature, which seems to have rolled out as an A/B beta test, navigates users to a brand landing page with minor organizational improvements. The new brand page is more visually appealing than previous iterations, but has one glaring change – a top banner that encourages visitors to visit the pages of similar brands. After a visitors selects one of your products and navigates to view all of the items you carry, not only will they see your brand’s lack of design and failure to capitalize on Amazon’s marketing features, but they will also see a collection of brands similar to yours that is comfortably placed below your brand name and before your product mix. Your potential customer will now see brands that you are in direct competition with before they even get the chance the see your offerings:
When companies sign up for Brand Registry, they are able to take back the reins and regain control of representing their brand properly. Brand Registry gives you the ability to enforce sellers and build a custom Store on Amazon. In doing so, you can showcase your brand’s message and products in a lustrous yet defined fashion; giving customers a more satisfying experience. At Amify, we encourage brands to take advantage of Brand Registry and all its facets, in order to accurately represent themselves on Amazon and drive sales. Don’t risk losing a customer because of a non-optimized Amazon presence. Tell your brand’s story the way it is meant to be told, and don’t lose your spotlight to industry adversaries.
Your brand’s next steps:
Partner with Amify.
Reap the benefits of collaborating with the experts of Amazon.
Rest easy knowing your brand is well-represented and fully optimized.
As we ring in the new year and halfheartedly follow through on our evolutionary resolutions that seem wildly different from years past, Amazon fulfillment fees come with great changes as well. Below you can find information to aid your decision making as it relates to your Amazon strategy provided to you by your favorite Amazon experts. Effective February 19, 2019, Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is introducing the following changes:
Amazon will make no changes to fulfillment fees for small standard-size and large standard-size items with a shipping weight of 10 oz or less.
Amazon will implement small increases in fulfillment fees for products in other size tiers to reflect fulfillment and transportation cost changes.
Amazon will change the dimensional billing weight calculation for oversize items. Amazon will apply a minimum width and height of 2 inches when calculating dimensional weight for oversize items, to align with packaging costs.
Amazon will introduce separate fulfillment fees for dangerous goods that contain flammable or pressurized aerosol substances and items that contain lithium-ion batteries.
Amazon will simplify the Subscribe & Save fee structure starting in September 2019. You will be able to fund a flat discount of 5% or 10% for each new item you add to the program.
FBA fulfillment fees
To ensure that your brand can make the most informed decisions, we have supplied you with the adjusted fees below for your convenience. The following fees displayed in the chart take effect February 19, 2019.
Fees for FBA Prep Service will not change at this time.
Dangerous goods fees
Amazon will be introducing separate fulfillment fees for dangerous goods that contain flammable or pressurized aerosol substances and items containing lithium ion batteries.
Subscribe & Save
Another change that Amazon has rolled out is called ‘Subscribe & Save,’ which allows customers to sign up for recurring deliveries of items they frequently purchase. Amazon will simplify the Subscribe & Save fee structure starting in September 2019. You will be able to fund a flat discount of 5% or 10% for each new item you add to the program. The discount percentage option you choose will be applied to all subscriptions for that item. In addition, if a customer gets products from five or more subscriptions a month delivered to the same address, Amazon will give an additional 5% discount to the customer to help grow your sales.
In a marketplace where no two days are the same, change is inevitable and opportunity is yours! To get in contact with one of our Amazon experts today, fill out the form here, and let talk.
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Top Amazon Strategy Partner Continues Rapid Growth with Opening of Third U.S. Location
FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE January 7th, 2019 Alexandria, VA – Amify, a four-time Inc. Magazine award-winning Amazon strategy partner focused on maximizing the potential of brands on Amazon, announces the January 2019 opening of a third corporate location in the Cincinnati metro area. With the Cincinnati distribution center, in addition to its headquarters in Alexandria and distribution center in Las Vegas, Amify seeks to further expand its industry presence and increase logistical efficiency for its brand partners. Amify provides a variety of services focusing on brand management, pricing protection, content enhancement, and sales acceleration. Beginning in 2011 as a seller of niche sporting goods on Amazon, Amify has experienced eight consecutive years of growth and has surpassed $100 million in lifetime revenue. In terms of cumulative Amazon revenue, Amify ranks in the top .01% and has facilitated sales with over 200 brands. The addition of the Cincinnati location increases logistical efficiency for Amify and its eastern U.S. partners, offering more strategic fulfillment options and quicker inventory turnaround. The new location at 1310 Cox Avenue in Hebron, Kentucky gives Amify a presence that is proximate to more consumers than any other geographic point in the United States, greatly increasing Amify’s processing capacity and sales velocity. “Our Cincinnati office is strategically located near the Amazon Prime Air hub at the Cincinnati Airport,” says Amify Founder and CEO, Ethan McAfee. “This will allow us to optimize shipping time and shipping costs for our brand partners, giving their customers an even better shopping experience.” About Amify Amify is a four-time Inc. Magazine award-winning Amazon strategy partner focused on maximizing the potential of brands on Amazon. Amify uses industry expertise and a data-driven approach to be a complete Amazon solution, providing a four-pillar approach focused on account management, brand protection, sales acceleration, and content enhancement. With a focus on innovation and brand authenticity, Amify strives to build long-term relationships and offer personalized strategies that are adaptable to the changing Amazon landscape.
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Navigating Amazon’s Sponsored Ads
In an era where every brand is competing for the attention of consumers worldwide, sponsored ads significantly aid brands in their mission to get discovered. While Sponsored Ads/Products allow sellers to increase their discoverability and sales on Amazon, there are a few basics that retailers should be aware of before investing in advertisements that yield a rewarding ROI.
Questions to ask before you start advertising:
What are my company goals and objectives? If increasing sales is your company’s goal, focus on converting ad clicks into orders. This occurs when a customer clicks on your sponsored ad, adds the product to their shopping cart, and actually purchases the item. Your brand can measure this by dividing your total ad spend by total sales from advertising, which is your ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sale). If brand awareness is your enterprise’s priority, focus on impressions, which is the number of times your ad is viewed. Once your brand awareness has developed to a certain degree, customer will then subconsciously think of your brand as the go-to seller for that particular product. This brand recognition will ultimately create a strong brand loyalty where your current customers are likely to refer your business to others.
Which products should my company be advertising? Just how brands forecast best sellers for the holidays using historical sales reports, brands should also reference these reports to determine which products need to be advertised. Additionally, ensure that the products you want to advertise are in stock and are priced competitively. This will allow your ads to appear in searches and get your brand to the finish line by winning the Buy Box. After enough time has elapsed and it is clear which items are winning the Buy Box, your brand will now know with certainty which products to sponsor. You can find information on Buy Box win rate under the ‘Reports’ tab in Seller Central. Click on ‘Business Reports,’ and under the section labeled ‘By ASIN,’ click on ‘Detail Page Sales and Traffic by Child Item.’ Here, you can sort by ‘Buy Box Percentage’ to find your best-performing ASINs. It’s best to look for a high Buy Box percentage paired with a high number of sessions or unique visits to the product detail page. These are your most frequently viewed ASINs
Are my product detail pages ready? Your product detail pages are what potential customers see when they click on one of your products. Brands can assure that their products detail pages are ready by making sure each page includes accurate, descriptive titles, high-quality images, useful product information, hidden keywords, and at least 5 bullet points of copy. Sponsored ads can bring customers to your products, but it is your responsibility to ensure that they have an enjoyable shopping experience with your brand. This can be achieved by having appealing product detail pages that helps customers along their shopping journey.
Getting started with sponsored products
After about 60 days of monitoring the preliminary stages of your brand’s advertising efforts, you are now ready to create your first campaign!
Developing a daily budget
The first step to start your campaign is to set a daily budget that is high enough to keep your ads live. Amazon recommends a daily budget of at least $10 to warrant that your ad remains online the entire day. Customers looking for products like yours will have a much more difficult time locating your brand if you’re products are only sponsored for a few hours out of the day because your budget was insufficient.
In conjunction to establishing a sufficient budget, brands should take an “always-on’ approach with their campaign by setting a no end date. This approach allows your products to be discovered at any time on Amazon and not just during the busy seasons. Your brand’s sponsored ads are for more than just the average holiday shopper, they are for the customers who find true bliss in obtaining the items you offer and don’t just want them once a year.
The next step is to choose automatic targeting. Automatic targeting is designed to generate more impressions to drive sales and to reach your most likely customers. In this scenario, Amazon matches your ads to customer search terms, which are based on your product information and are updated on a regular basis with changing search trends.
In roughly two weeks, check your search term report in the ‘Reports’ tab to review which search terms are producing in ad clicks and sales. It’s vital that your brand analyzes the successes and failures of the progress you’ve made thus far in order to hone in on what is performing well and ditch what is not in concert with company objectives.
Manual targeting & keywords
Following this, create a Sponsored Products campaign with manual targeting. With manual targeting, users are able to select keywords and target their top-performing keywords. Manual targeting also allows brands to set keyword-level bids and bid more competitively on keywords that are meeting sales goals.
Next, incorporate a range of keywords in your campaign to boost visibility and sales conversions. Amazon says the more keywords you include, the more customers you are likely to reach. For example, say your company sells bikes and your potential customer is looking for a bike for her 4 year-old daughter who loves her belongings to be girly and glamified. Your manual targeting can now include words like ‘kids bike for girls,’ ‘training wheels,’ ‘streamers,’ ‘handlebar basket,’ and so on to appeal to this shopper and other shoppers with the same needs. At this point, you should also become acquainted with keyword match types in order for your brand to continue reaching the right customers.
Broad match: This offers the widest traffic exposure. Your ad may appear when a customer searches for your keyword in any order, including close variations.
Phrase match: Your ad may appear when a shopper searches for either your exact phrase or sequence of words in your keyword. While this is more restrictive than broad match, it can drive more relevant traffic to your ads.
Exact match: In order for your ad to show, a shopper’s search term must match your keyword exactly. This is the most restrictive match type, but can help generate the most relevant traffic.
Negative phrase and exact match: Applying a negative match type to keywords in your campaigns prevents your ads from showing when a customer searches for those terms. This helps you maximize relevant clicks and minimize those that aren’t.
Within the first few weeks of your brand’s advertising adventures, Amazon recommends launching at least 5 Sponsored Products campaigns that includes both automatic and manual targeting. This combination will allow your brand to have the best of both worlds and discover new keywords that are generating sales. By doing this, brands will be able to see which products are indefinitely performing well and will have the insight to bid more strategically on key terms. As your brand becomes more comfortable with the nature of Sponsored Products, Amazon advises that retailers begin incorporating a mix of ad types, such as Sponsored Brand Ads and Amazon Stores. Sponsored Products and Ads can greatly serve your business goals and objectives by increasing sales and by reaching consumers who are searching for products like yours. To start implementing sponsored ads into your Amazon strategy, get in touch with one of our experts today.
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The Importance of a Healthy Inventory During the Holiday Season
The holiday season is the busiest time of year for ecommerce businesses and retailers alike, all looking to maximize their sales during this special time of year. The most effective way to maximize your holiday season is through a robust inventory that is functional year round, but particularly during the holidays. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of sales, but it is critical to remember that inventory management is a core responsibility that cannot be neglected.
What is a healthy inventory?
A healthy inventory can be deemed fit if it possesses optimal stock levels, has the right percentage of each product given present and future demand, and has no unsellable goods in stock. In regards to the holidays, “Brands need to ensure that they have enough product to get them through the busy season and a bit more for the new year,” says Jessie Kunkel, Amify’s Inventory Manager, as she stresses the significance of having a safety stock during the merry months. A safety stock (inventory that serves as a buffer in the event of a sales increase) is indicative of a healthy inventory because it demonstrates that an organization has done its research and is anticipating the future.
Why is it important to have a healthy inventory?
It is essential for retailers to hold inventory at the top of their priority list. Not having inventory means that a company is not generating sales, which ultimately jeopardizes the longevity of the organization. It is much better for an inventory team to be proactive rather than reactive to avoid costly sales losses that have the potential to ignite a chaotic, internal fire. In addition to the preceding premise, a healthy inventory is important because it makes cash available for other company expenses and operations. When an inventory is unhealthy, capital is tied up in stock that is expensive to acquire and hold. Inventory is expected to be sold, but when it doesn’t, its value and projected profit is inaccessible. Having a healthy inventory is important because it allows an organization to compile accurate financial reports. Companies that have an inventory to manage must reference their inventory against accounting data to prevent major discrepancies, which is critical information for investors and shareholders. An unhealthy inventory and inaccurate financial reports may cause stakeholders to withdraw their assets, resulting in another house fire.
How to achieve a healthy inventory?
A brand can have a healthy inventory by avoiding stockout, also known as running out of stock. Not only does running out of stock cause companies to miss out on the money generated from individual sales, but it also causes companies to lose customers permanently, which is an even greater loss. The key to prevent going out of stock is to forecast the right stock and the best sellers. Predicting which inventory elements need to be purchased ahead of time means that high-demand products will be readily accessible when the crazed customers are geared up to make their holiday purchases. Additionally, a company can have sound inventory by avoiding overstock. When there is an overload of certain items it can be extremely difficult to get rid of the overstock due to a couple of factors. For starters, unsold inventory tends to go out of style the longer it sits on the shelves. Furthermore, products that linger around storage units have a higher chance of getting damaged or stolen. As a direct result of overstock, brands will have to write off or discount costly inventory, dramatically affecting their bottom line and revenue streams. Nonetheless, meticulous forecasting can save the day before the flame even recognizes its potential. Referencing historical sales reports from years prior can give brands the insight they need to purchase the right assortment of product based on the seasonality of their items. The online retail industry is already well into the holiday spirit and it is particularly imperative for brands to have a healthy inventory, otherwise they will miss their window to send in product and capitalize on the societal notion of holiday consumerism. To learn how Amify can whip your inventory into shape this holiday season or the next, get in contact with one of our experts today!
Did you know that Crystal City is less than two miles away from Amify’s Alexandria headquarters? Once construction is completed, Amazon and Amify will essentially be next-door neighbors, sharing business-related thoughts and bonding over the success of the online retail giant.
Secondary to proximity, Amify will be more visible in the eyes of Amazon and its associates after their move to the D.C metro area. As a direct result of Amify physically being at the doorsteps of Amazon’s new residence, Amify will be able to forge relationships with the ecommerce legend. As meetings are held and Amazon becomes more familiar with Amify, Amify will be in the ideal position to grow its influence in the ecommerce industry and be recognized by ecommerce experts far and wide.
Another point of leverage that Amify will benefit from is gaining insight into Amazon’s future moves and decisions. As next-door neighbors, the walls are thin and the flow of information is constant. Amify will be in a better position to gain insight on Amazon before news is released to the public, giving Amify the upper hand over many third party sellers.
Like the Batman signal casted up into the sky, investors and ecommerce professionals alike will be galvanized and unable to turn down the opportunity of getting a foot in the revolving Amazon door. In due time, the DC metro area will be enriched with the finest ecommerce experts who are willing and eager to make the most out of the cards at hand. Having a new and exciting Amazon presence in Amify’s backyard sets the stage for further ecommerce investment, leaving continual growth for all parties involved as the likely outcome. When times change, it is wise to adapt and move with the current. What is even wiser is to take advantage of that change and benefit from all the aspects that come along with it – that is what Amify plans to do, welcoming Amazon with open arms. Be at the forefront, work with Amify today!
Ever find yourself unable to make changes to your product listing on Amazon? Unable to fix incorrect product information? You likely need the permissions only granted with Amazon Brand Registry. Amazon Brand Registry is a program designed to help brands protect their intellectual property and “create an accurate experience for customers on Amazon” (Amazon, 2018).
How Does Brand Registry Work?
The Brand Registry exists to help protect brands from an array of fraudulent activity and is for any brand on Amazon with a registered trademark. As mentioned above, this program allows registered brands to quickly make changes to their product listings. Simultaneously, it enables registered brands to override changes made to their listings by unknown, unauthorized sellers. The Brand Registry is able to do this by prioritizing information from the registered brands over all other sellers on the listing, which in turn, restores control back to the appropriate seller (Lindsey, 2017).
What Are the Benefits of Brand Registry?
Aside from the main features of Brand Registry, there are also many benefits and tools that come along with this program. For starters, when registered with this Amazon program, there is a great potential for increased conversions and sales. When a brand is registered, they are able to add Enhanced Brand Content (A+ Content) to their account, which can be seen below the listing and on the company’s storefront. A huge advantage to Enhanced Brand Content is the ability for a brand to sell their story and improve the customer’s experience through visually appealing text, images, and videos. As a direct outcome of improved product listings and brand presence, customers have a more enjoyable shopping experience and are more inclined to purchase.
Another benefit of Brand Registry is the capability to report and kick brands off of listings. With this tool, registered brands can submit a case to customer service to have their concerns addressed and rectified. Additionally, the customer service brands receive is much more accurate and prompt in comparison to the service brands receive when using Seller Central. In conjunction with the tools and benefits mentioned above, brands also have the luxury of enjoying quicker ad approval time. This means that a brand will not experience pauses on ad campaigns when adjusting the details and information. This is a major advantage because it allows for brands and their products to be seen by the their target customer at the time when customers are searching for that product, creating yet another opportunity to increase conversions and sales. Enrolling in Amazon Brand Registry is a wise and strategic business move for brands interested in improving their sales and overall experience on Amazon. Brand Registry is the single best way to protect your brand’s property and keep it represented appropriately. To speak further about your Amazon strategy, get in contact with one of our Amazon experts today: Get your free assessment.
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Webinar – How to Remain Agile on Amazon During the Holiday Season
Amazon Storage Fees Have Changed – What Does this Mean for You?
Over the past several months, Amazon has implemented an array of new storage fees in their Amazon Fulfillment Centers. Amazon has adjusted these storage fees to more clearly represent their true purpose as fulfillment centers, not storage warehouses. Below you can find information to aid your brand’s strategy and decision making as it relates to inventory, fulfillment, and storage.
Monthly Inventory Storage Fees – As of April 1, 2018, monthly inventory storage fees at Amazon fulfillment centers will increase by $0.05 per cubic foot for standard-size and oversize items.
Inventory Performance Index (IPI) – As of July 1, 2018, Amazon has begun to rate sellers on a scale of 0 to 1000 based on turns and overall inventory performance. Sellers who maintain a score greater than 350 will have unlimited storage capacity within Amazon warehouses for standard and oversize items. Sellers that score below 350 will have their inventory space restricted and may not be able to send in additional products for FBA, ultimately limiting their ability to capture sales. While it would seem logical to aim for the highest score possible, a score of 800+ likely means products are consistently out of stock and the brand is not maximizing their sales potential.
According to Amazon, sellers should aim for a score of 400-800.
Minimum Long-Term Storage Fees – As of August 15, 2018, Amazon will charge $0.50 per unit per month for items in fulfillment centers longer than 365 days. The greater of the applicable total long-term storage fee or minimum long-term storage fee will be charged.
Long-Term Storage Fees – As of September 15, 2018, long-term storage fees will be lowered from $11.25 per cubic foot, to $3.45 per cubic foot, while the assessment dates will be changed from semi-annually to monthly. While this change will penalize FBA sellers that do not appropriately manage their inventory, it will not result in increased fees.
If you are a brand selling on Amazon, it is imperative that you are in the know of all things inventory to avoid being caught in a longtail of negative implications. Working with a trusted and reputable Amazon Strategy Partner like Amify puts your business at best odds and prevents your enterprise from losing money due to unforeseen fees. To receive more information about the best way to manage your brand’s storage and fulfillment game plan, please fill out the form below.