The Q4 has officially started and Amazon sellers are busier than ever. Amidst the chaos, if you have missed out on a few Amazon updates, read this article to catch up. In the September edition, we’ll go over the most important stories and updates that have been making news on Amazon.
#1: Prime Day dates announced
For the first time in history, Amazon has skipped its traditional July Prime Day and its whereabouts remained unknown until now. Some of the experts even suggested that Prime Day won’t happen at all. But Amazon has finally put a stop to all the rumors by announcing the official dates of Prime Day 2020. October 13th and 14th it is. Do you have your holiday advertising and sales strategy in place? If not, take a look at our article, where our Amazon seller experts have outlined actionable tips, recommendations, best practices, and innovative approaches to make the most of the year’s biggest event.
#2: Sellers can now upload a video without a brand registry
Most sellers are not able to add videos to their listing and because it was exclusively available only to the brand registered sellers. Until now. Sellers can now add videos to their listing regardless of the brand registry. The only eligibility criteria being that they need to sell for more than a year. The uploaded video
os will be eligible to appear in the images section of product detail pages. If you are a brand owner, you can continue to upload videos for up to 300 ASINs in your brand. Click Upload & Manage Videos under the Inventory tab to get started with this feature. Need any help in creating videos? Contact our Amazon PPC consultants now!
#3: Amazon made GTIN exemption easy
Don’t have a UPC? Listing a product without UPC was a big no for sellers and getting a GTIN exemption was a headache. In order to improve the experience of sellers, Amazon has simplified the process of providing proof for availing GTIN exemption. You can now provide product names along with images showing all the sides of the product and packaging, and will not need to provide a supporting letter from the Brand owner. The changes are gradually in effect from 30th September 2020.
#4: Sponsored Brand Video Ads launched in the U.K. and Germany
Sponsored Brand Video ads are a great way to stand out on the search result pages as they allow the advertisers to leverage the benefits of the most powerful type of content available. In 2019 a selected group of retailers were asked to submit their video assets to Amazon by June 2019. They were then given access to the “video creative” option in their campaign builder. Later it was rolled out to all the U.S. sellers and now, just a few days back, Amazon has launched Sponsored Brand Video Ads in U.K. and Germany marketplaces. The timing is great because Prime Day 2020 is just round the corner and what’s better than video ads to attract more eyeballs. If you need any help in creating videos as per Amazon guidelines or if you want to create videos in the German language, do let us know. We will be happy to help.
Read more about video ads in our blog post.
#5: Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Stores launched in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
On 29th September 2020, Amazon launched Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Stores in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).The suite of Amazon Sponsored Ads will make it easier for the brands selling to increase their reach and brand recall on Amazon.sa. Amazon launched in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, 17th June 2020, replacing Souq.com, the biggest e-commerce hub in the Arab countries. Seems like Amazon will soon launch other features available in the other marketplaces.
#6: Update regarding Auto Cancellation timeline
Amazon automatically cancels the orders that have not been shipped and confirmed within 30 days of the estimated ship date (ESD). To protect and improve the experience of their customers, starting on 30th September, the retail giant will automatically cancel any order which is not shipped and confirmed within 7 business days after the “ship by” date detailed in the “Sold, ship now” notification email. Sellers can set this date by modifying their handle time, but please take note that this date will be part of the delivery time calculation displayed on the offer listing and checkout page.
#7: Policy change for missed FBA shipping appointments
FBA is Amazon’s pride and it continually makes an effort to deliver its FBA products as fast as possible. But no matter how mighty the FBA operation is, mistakes are bound to happen. When carriers miss-delivery appointments at Amazon FBA centers, the processing time for all the shipments increases. To avoid any such situation and improve the efficiency, Amazon has made changes in its policy. As of 25th August 2020, a consistent failure to meet appointments may result in a suspension of FBA shipping privileges. If a seller’s carrier cannot make the FBA shipment delivery appointment, they must notify Amazon at least 24 hours in advance. These changes are made to discourage any carrier mistakes on the part of sellers.
#8: Amazon buyer-seller communication guidelines update
In the initial days of September, Amazon made its first and most comprehensive changes to its messaging policy. Here’s the highlight:
- Sellers can no more send proactive messages offering customer service
- There is now a clear distinction between permitted necessary messages, non-permitted messages, and proactive messages. Permitted necessary messages include problems with the order and return related-messages. Proactive messages include resolving issues related to fulfillment, sending an invoice, scheduling the delivery of a heavy or bulky item, requesting additional information required to complete the order, verifying the custom product design, etc.
- Sellers cannot send any marketing related messages on or off Amazon
- The styling elements are also changed, i.e., no emojis or GIFs
Sellers will have to comply with these messaging policies from 3rd November 2020. If sellers fail to comply, they will be warned. When they break the rules for the second time, Amazon will suspend their message sending abilities for 30 days. If you are daring enough to still break the rules the third time, your message sending abilities will be permanently suspended.
#9: Sellers can now create and schedule multiple versions of their Storefront
Sellers can now prepare their Amazon Seller Storefront in advance for seasonal promotions, new product launches, or major design updates. Creating versions make it easy to customize your store, so it stays fresh and relevant all the time. To create a new version of your store, copy an existing version of your Store to use as a starting point. (Existing versions will not be affected.) Create or edit pages within your version and then submit for publishing. You can publish it when approved or schedule for a future date. Plus, you can modify or cancel scheduling, or delete a version at any time. Here are a few tips for creating store versions:
- Maintain an “always-on” version: Your store needs one live version with no end date. Always keep this version up to date, so your shoppers will see your latest content whenever a temporary version of your Store expires.
- Keep in mind the short-lived deals: If your temporary store version features a short-lived deal, make sure to reschedule the version when the deal ends. You can always use the “featured deals” widget that displays products with an active discount offer.
- Align end dates with events: If you are creating a version for holidays or any other seasonal event, remember to schedule your version’s end date accordingly.
#10: Launch of Global Express program (invite only)
This new initiative by Amazon allows U.S. sellers to sell and deliver products from their own warehouse in the United States to worldwide customers door to door. By joining this program, shoppers all over the world can browse and purchase your products on Amazon.com. Currently, this program is only eligible for the sellers in the USA and all the eligible sellers will receive an invitation via email.
Benefits of the program:
- Customers from 100+ countries can search and buy your products
- Amazon will help you identify the eligible products
- Amazon handles Import Fee Deposit collection and payment with destination country customers and shipping partners
- You won’t have to create listings or new seller account from scratch
If you haven’t received any email and still want to join the program, send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
#11: Create orders faster with the new MCF order creation tool
The new update in the fulfillment allows the seller to create Multi-Channel Fulfilment (MCF) orders and shipments conveniently. Thanks to the simplified, single-page order creation tool, sellers can now complete the process in half the number of steps as before. Take a look at the new MCF Order Creation page here. Although this update has been made to make sellers’ life easier, we are seeing mixed reactions. In the forums, one of the sellers said that “Well, this is actually helpful for some sellers, but hard to imagine very many needing it when you could create a shipment through your Manage FBA Inventory very similar to this. No doubt there are MANY others things that sellers would like to see more than this.” While others said, “It would be better if we could insert addresses by searching previous orders.”. Try this update and let us know what you think.
#12: Amazon makes it easier for customers to shop sustainable products
Around mid-September, Amazon announced the Climate Pledge Friendly program, a new initiative designed to help customers make a guilt-free purchase. Under this program, sellers can tout their eco-friendly products with a Climate Pledge Friendly label on their listing. This makes searching and buying sustainable products very easy. The Climate Pledge Friendly label is already displayed on more than 25,000 products across Amazon. The retail giant has also made a dedicated storefront for the program that allows shoppers to browse through the products by category or search for a specific product by green label. This program is open to all sellers and there are no fees to participate. Our Amazon SEO Experts have already asked our clients to enroll in the program, are you in?
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Staying updated is as easy as reading our blogs
There are so many updates every day; it’s hard to keep up. But with our updated blog, you can stay on top of all Amazon developments and changes. Every month we round up the most important 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. Our team at eStore Factory collects all the need-to-know updates that affect you as a seller and we post them on our Amazon Seller Updates page. Bookmark this page and stay on top of everything.
If you need Amazon Consultants to take your sales to the next level, Contact Us now!