Amazon doesn’t always believe in formally making announcements. So it’s easy for sellers to miss out on a few of them. Besides, amidst the chaos and the hustle, it can be difficult to keep up, which is why we have brought our monthly updates blog. Continue reading for more Amazon news and happenings.
#1: Key FBA dates & deadlines for Q4 2021
A big part of a successful Q4 depends on creating a well-planned strategy that ensures you stay in stock during the peak shopping days. FBA sellers struggle to identify when they should send in their inventory or when the deadline for lightning deals submission? To help you prepare, we’ve created a list of the most important dates and deadlines for Q4:
October 21 to November 17
Inbound shipping cutoff for vendors: Deal inventory must be in transit.
- October 21: the United States
- November 5: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom
- November 14: Japan
- November 17: Singapore
October 24 to November 17
FBA Inventory cutoff date for sellers: Make sure your shipments arrive at Amazon well in advance of key shopping dates. Inventory should arrive at our fulfillment centers by this date to ensure your products are available to the customers during the holiday.
- October 24: Canada and Mexico
- November 3: The United States
- November 5: France, Germany, Italy, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom
- November 12: Australia
- November 14: Japan
- November 17: Singapore
Black Friday begins on this day and promotions end on November 28.
Cyber Monday begins and coupon submission closes on this day.
#2: Store Engagement Insights introduced in Amazon Storefront
As the name suggests, Store Engagement Insights allows brands to understand how shoppers interact with their Amazon seller storefront, identify the top-performing and most viewed products on the store, spot the products with the highest engagement and sales and utilize key metrics like click-through-rate and conversion ratio to understand the customer trends. Brands will also have access to key metrics like views, clicks, add to cart, conversions, and purchases. You’ll find Store Engagement Insights in the new “Engagement” page of the Store Insights dashboard.
Related blog post: Top 10 Amazon Storefront Designs (2021) & Best Practices
#3: Amazon A Plus Content update: Brand Story
A revamped version of Brand Story is expected to launch very soon. The new Brand Story experience will help sellers educate customers about the brand’s history, ethics and values in a more engaging way. If you would like to replace your existing Brand Story content using the new module experience, simply navigate to the A+ Content Manager in Seller Central and select ‘Brand Story’ on the A+ content selection page.
New features include:
- Carousel display with full-screen background on desktop and mobile devices
- Image and text cards
- Links to other products and the brand store
- Appears in the From the Brand section of the Amazon detail page
Related post: Top 10 Amazon Enhanced Brand Content
#4: Brand Referral Bonus Program incentivizes sellers who bring off Amazon traffic on their listing
On July 15, Amazon launched the Brand Referral Bonus, a program that lets brands earn some extra dough by routing external traffic to their Amazon listing. Not only will you see an increase in sales, but you’ll also receive a bonus averaging 10% from qualifying sales. But before you start bumping your off Amazon marketing efforts, make sure to register for the Amazon Attribution program, if you haven’t already. Any sales that do not come through attribution tags won’t be credits toward your eventual bonus.
When your external marketing efforts begin to bring in sales, you will receive a bonus as a discount on your referral fees. You can monitor the bonus amount within the Transaction Details page in your seller account.
#5: Important updates to logo requirements for Sponsored Brand Ads
Starting on August 31, 2021, new Sponsored Brands campaigns will require the use of a true brand logo. According to Amazon, with true brand logos, shoppers engage 20% more on desktop and 13% more on mobile. All Sponsored Brands creative types will be impacted, including product collection, custom image, and Store spotlight. Here are some of the basic requirements for your brand logo:
- Your brand logo must fill the entire image or be on a white or transparent background.
- It should not contain any crowded or cluttered elements
- It cannot be a product ASIN or lifestyle
- It should not contain any additional text
#6: Amazon Storefront and A+ Content launched in AU
After 3 long years, Amazon A+ Content and Brand Store are now available in Amazon Australia. The AU marketplace was launched in 2017 and since then, Amazon has been gradually launching features like Sponsored Brand Ads and more. Now sellers can create A+ Page and storefronts to better connect with the customers and improve brand recall.
If you need help setting up your brand store or A+ Page in Amazon AU or any other marketplace, please contact us.
Related blog post: All You Need To Know About Amazon Enhanced Brand Content
#7: Amazon introduces Creative Asset Library within the Advertising Console
Creative Asset library allows you to store, organize and reuse your branded content (logos, images, etc.). Amazon believes “Creative Assets” will help brands provide a consistent shopping experience by re-using brand content across Amazon through a single interface. You can search, sort and filter by name, tag, products, and other attributes to easily find the asset you’re looking for. When building a brand store or sponsored brand ads, brands can access the Creative Asset library directly in the builder, allowing you to select and upload content without leaving the page.
North America: United States, Canada, Mexico
Vendors, sellers and KDP authors.
At present, you can find only logos and images, but video assets will also be supported in the coming months.
#8: Brand registered sellers can now contact customers who’ve left a negative review
Negative reviews and feedback are stuff nightmares are made of. In fact, a shopper is more likely to leave a poor review when they’re unhappy than when they’re satisfied with your product. The first thing you’ll want to do when you see a negative review on your listing is contacting the person who left it. But unfortunately, because of Amazon’s obsessively possessive nature for its customer, sellers were not allowed to contact customers for reviews, be it good or bad. You can always comment below the review, but Amazon discontinued that feature in December 2020, making it extremely challenging for the sellers to deal with poor reviews. Not anymore. Amazon rolled out a new brand registry feature that allows sellers to contact shoppers who left a negative review (star rating 1-3).
How to use the tool?
If you’re a brand registered seller, go to the Brands menu and select Customer Reviews. Here you’ll find all the reviews that your shoppers left for your products. Please note that any ASIN that is not enrolled in the brand registry would not show up here. If your product has a poor review (3 stars or less), you’ll see a “Contact Buyer” button.
You’ll see two options: You can either choose to refund the buyer or directly contact and ask about the review.
If you choose to refund the buyer, Amazon creates a pre-written message for you, offering a full refund or replacement. You cannot update the message.
If you choose to hit the Contact Buyer button, again, Amazon has a full template written out for you and you cannot edit it. You can use this option to identify the flaws in your product and prevent the same situation from happening again.
We think this tool is a game-changer for brands. You can improve your overall ratings and know how you can improve your customer’s post-purchase experience.
Amazon continues to bring great features and tools for brand-registered sellers. If you haven’t registered your brand yet, get the application process started ASAP. You can always take help from our Amazon seller consultants to get through the tedious process of the brand registry.
#9: Custom bid optimization available in Sponsored Display ads
The custom bid optimization feature lets you select “Maximize Page Visits” or “Maximize Conversions” to drive visits and conversion. This allows advertisers and Amazon PPC experts to select bids based on their campaign objective: increase awareness or increase sales. They can now have better control over their campaigns without being restricted by re-defined bid optimizations. All the existing campaigns will default to “Maximize Page Visits.”
This feature is available in the following marketplaces:
North America: United States, Canada
Europe: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain
Middle East: United Arab Emirates
Asia Pacific: Japan
#10 2021 FBA fulfillment fee changes, reductions and promotions for EU
FBA fulfillment fees will be adjusted across local FBA, Pan-European FBA and the European Fulfillment Network to reflect changing supply chain costs. In addition to these adjustments, the below changes will also go into effect starting June 8, 2021:
- From June 8, 2021, Amazon will eliminate the packaging weight adjustment in their fulfillment fee rate card and adjust the weight limits for each size tier accordingly. This change will be applicable to all Amazon EU stores: UK, DE, FR, IT, ES, NL, SE and PL.
- Amazon will align the size tiers of the FBA Small and Light programme with the standard FBA programme
- The per-unit surcharge will be decreased from €0.50 to €0.35 for sellers who dispatch from fulfilment centres in Germany and do not participate in the fulfilment Network Expansion (Central Europe Programme).
- From April 1, 2021, Amazon will extend the limits of their fulfilment size tiers to account for fulfilment of heavy and bulky products, with associated fees for this service. Products greater than 31.5 kg or 175 cm in length can now be fulfilled in the UK, DE, FR, IT and ES as part of the domestic FBA programme.
- Along with FBA fees, sellers will pay a minimum referral fee of £15/€15 for each item sold via Heavy and bulky FBA.
Staying updated is as easy as reading weekly blogs
There are so many updates going on within the Amazon ecosystem every day; it’s hard to keep up. But with our monthly updates blog, you can stay on top of all Amazon developments and changes. Every month we round up the most essential and need-to-know updates for and relating to Amazon sellers. Check in here every month and catch up on what’s making news on Amazon lately.
There’s more. Amazon Consultants at eStore Factory collect all the need-to-know updates that concern you as a seller and we post them on our Amazon Seller News page. Bookmark this page and return every week to stay updated.