News & Insights
The Jargon Every Amazon Seller Needs to Know
Let’s be honest— setting your brand up to win on Amazon is tough. A major part of the challenge is the endless sea of competition on the platform, but perhaps the biggest barrier for entry is all of the LINGO. Becoming a successful Amazon seller requires stellar customer service, a strategic advertising plan, and a great Amazon Brand Store, but it also requires a working knowledge of an ever-growing list of acronyms and technical jargon. Don’t fear, we’re here to help! We’ve compiled a glossary of the most commonly used Amazon phrases that you can commit to memory or bookmark for future use. If you’re looking for a deeper dive, be sure to follow the linked terms to other posts focused on specific Amazon strategies and best practices. A+ Content: Amazon A+ Content (also called “Enhanced Content”) enables brands to include additional copy and imagery on their product listing pages in order to make a more compelling case for their products. ACoS: The Average Cost of Sale is the metric Amazon uses to evaluate the performance of pay-per-click (PPC; see below) ad campaigns on their platform. ACoS captures the ratio, stated as a percentage, between the cost of a campaign and the revenue that the campaign generated. So, if a PPC campaign cost $250 and it generated $1,000 in sales, the ACoS would be 250/1,000 or 25%.ASP: The Average Selling Price is how much, on average, you sell a particular product for on Amazon. It’s a simple calculation: the total amount of sales divided by the number of a product sold. Amazon Brand Store: Imagine having a mini website within the Amazon ecosystem dedicated to your brand and its products. Surprise – you can! An Amazon Brand Store serves as a “store within a store,” giving brands the opportunity to tell a deeper story and to highlight product features and benefits via video and more. Amazon Brand Registry: This registry is the means by which Amazon identifies the true owner of a particular brand. Being appropriately registered helps your brand protect its intellectual property and other assets should another seller encroach upon them. Amazon Seller Central: Amazon Seller Central is the Amazon platform that allows brands and companies to sell product directly to consumers via Amazon. These sellers are also referred to as “3P,” as in “third-party.” (Compare to Amazon Vendor Central.)Amazon Vendor Central: Amazon Vendor Central allows certain brands or companies to sell product in bulk to Amazon who then, in turn, sells those items on its platform and on its own terms. These sellers are referred to as “1P” as in “first-party”. (Compare to Amazon Seller Central.) Brands give up considerable control when they sell via Vendor Central. ASIN: The Amazon Standard Identification Number is a 10-character alphanumeric symbol that Amazon uses to catalog every product on its platform. You can think of ASINs as Amazon’s version of the traditional retail SKU (Stock Keeping Unit).BSR: The Amazon Best Seller Rank, included in the Product Information section on every product page, identifies how well a product is selling in its particular category. This calculation is made and revised frequently, even hourly in some cases. Note that the BSR is based entirely on sales. Customer reviews (whether great or horrific) are not factored into the BSR. Buy Box:The Amazon Buy Box is the magical area in the upper right corner of a product listing page where shoppers select a certain quantity of an item and then add it to their cart. Since more than 80% of all Amazon sales happen through the Buy Box, it’s extremely valuable territory that brands seek to win. The best methods for success are strong sales, excellent customer service, and a stellar Star Rating (see below). Conquesting: A common and extremely successful tactic, conquesting is when brands use strategic Amazon ad buys to lure customers away from their competitors. The primary methods are advertising on SERPs (see below) and directly on a competitor’s product listing pages. Enhanced Brand Content (EBC): This is the former name of A+ Content. (See above.)FBA: Fulfillment by Amazon refers to the program in which sellers elect to pay Amazon to handle shipping, returns, and related logistics. (Compare to FBM.)FBM: Fulfillment by Merchant refers to sellers who manage their own shipping, returns, and related logistics. (Compare to FBA.)MAP: The Minimum Advertised Price is the lowest price a brand allows its products to be advertised for (as opposed to actually sold for). MAP is primarily a tool for preventing multiple resellers from “racing to the bottom” on price. Brands need to monitor MAP compliance carefully on Amazon. Vendor Central sellers should know that Amazon doesn’t commit to adhering to a manufacturer’s MAP. This is one of several substantive ways in which brands lose control when they choose to go the Vendor Central versus the Seller Central route. MSRP: A Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is the amount a manufacturer recommends that their product should be sold for. It’s sometimes referred to as the “list price.” As with MAP (see above), brands need to monitor their MSRP carefully on Amazon. And just like MAP, Amazon does not commit to honoring MSRP with their Vendor Central partners. NARF: The North America Remote Fulfillment program allows sellers to display their U.S. inventory on Amazon’s country-specific sites for Canada and Mexico. Shoppers on these sites are shown the available inventory at your price, plus a premium for import duties. To qualify, sellers must participate in FBA (see above).PPC: Pay-per-Click ads are those a brand can purchase on Amazon for which it pays only when a shopper clicks on the ad. You pay for each click regardless of whether or not it results in a sale. ROAS: Return on Ad Spend is a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) that is used to determine media effectiveness. It is the retail sales return on the ad dollars you spend on Amazon. SERP: A Search Engine Results Page is exactly what it sounds like: the page of results that appears after conducting a search on Amazon. Star Rating: The higher the average number of stars your products earn, the more likely your brand is likely to sell. More stars also increase your products’ odds of finding their way into the coveted Buy Box (see above). And your products’ star rating is not simply an average; Amazon also considers the age of reviews and whether they are Verified or Unverified Reviews (see below).Top Reviewers: Every time a shopper reads a review, they are asked if they found it helpful. Those reviewers who receive the most “yes” votes for writing informative, useful reviews earn a Top Reviewer badge (e.g., “Top 1000 Reviewer,” “Top 50 Reviewer,” etc.) These reviewers’ opinions carry extra weight with shoppers and can increase or hinder your sales. Unauthorized Sellers: Manufacturers and brands need to be diligent about monitoring unauthorized sellers on Amazon, particularly those selling below your MAP or MSRP (see above). Don’t expect Amazon to be of much help here (they see lower prices as a good thing for their consumers), but there are some steps you can take. If you encounter unauthorized sellers who are peddling defective or expired products, Amazon will help you resolve the matter. Unverified Reviews: These are reviews written by people whose accounts suggest that they did not purchase the product in question on Amazon, or who bought it at a discounted price. (Compare to Verified Reviews). Most shoppers are at least a tad skeptical about the reliability of these reviews. Verified Reviews: These are reviews written by someone whose Amazon account did indeed purchase the product being rated. (Compare to Unverified Reviews.) Shoppers typically place more confidence in these opinions. To discuss how Amify can help your brand excel on Amazon, contact us. We never tire of helping brands talk the walk and walk the talk on Amazon.