Author Archives: Prabhat S

Amazon Amazon Strategies

New to Brand Metrics – What does this tell us about our new customers?

New to Brand metrics are available for both Seller Central and Vendor Central users. New to Brand data tells us information about the amount of new customers advertising is converting.

It is an interesting metric for all brands and we will talk in detail about these metrics below.  

What is it?

NTB metrics tell us if Amazon is an acquisition channel.  These metrics show us how many customers are new to our brands on Amazon.

Below are NTB metrics: 

  • Percentage of orders NTB—The percentage of total orders that are new-to-brand orders.
  • Percentage of sales NTB—The percentage of total sales (in local currency) that are new-to-brand sales.
  • NTB orders—The number of first-time orders for products within the brand over a one-year lookback window.
  • NTB sales—the total sales (in local currency) of new-to-brand orders.

NTB is calculated based on the last 12 months of a shopper’s purchase history. The orders are NTB if they have not bought within 12 months from their first purchase. 

Where are they?

1.  Once you are in campaign manager, go to customise columns as shown below:

2. Just type in NTB to see all metrics and select them to display:

3. You will see NTB metrics now 

Strategy A – increase your NTB  

  • To get more sales, consider targeting high volume search terms for your ads. 
  • Bid high enough to get placement 

When implementing the above, your cost of conversion is likely to be higher but, as we are expecting these customers to come back and make additional purchases, it is worth the investment.

As seen in the example below, your NTB typically ranges from 80% or more, which just goes to show how most of your sales are coming from new customers.

 Strategy B – leverage your brand awareness

With this strategy, we would target branded keywords. 

It is also a defensive campaign, to ensure your competitors do not appear at the top of search results for your brand name.

Below is a typical example where a competing product is bidding for our brand “symprove” via Sponsored Brand Campaigns. Of course, we want to avoid this the best we can to avoid losing sales to competitors.

Additionally, Sponsored Brand Campaigns are known to appear in google text ads too, so it is in our best interest to bid for our own brand terms. 

 

Branded campaigns also have a lower ACoS and higher conversion rate, and you will find your NTB ranges between 30 – 80%.

So, both of these strategies can help boost your sales 

  • Acquisition of new customers
  • Acquisition brand loyal customers

You can also take a third strategy by targeting competing product brand names where ACoS may be higher but you are getting additional new customers.

Most of the latest developments with Amazon is new and exciting compared to Google. As a brand, it is important to know which products are regularly bought by repeat buyers and by new buyers. You can then focus more on getting new customers on a regular basis with a set budget. 

Questions? Please book a call and we can discuss more. 

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Amazon Events

Amazon Seller Conference in Manchester, 17th October 2019

 

After a successful conference in May, Online Seller UK has organised another #AmafestUK in Manchester. It is a full day conference for Amazon Seller Central and Vendor Central Users. 

When: 17th October 2019 

Time: 0930 – 1700 

Where: UKFast Campus, Birley Fields, Manchester, M15 5QJ

Whether you’re trading on Amazon already or not, this event is right for you.  You will learn from world-class Amazon experts and meet new suppliers within the industry. 

Previously this conference was attended by over 200 sellers, and the feedback was great. In October, there will be 15+ speakers with practical and insightful talks on how to grow your Amazon Seller Central and Vendor Central sales. Check out the full speaker line up here >> https://amafestuk.com/schedule/

There are limited free tickets left and once they are gone, tickets will be £50.00 + VAT.

Grab your ticket here >>   https://amafestuk.com/

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Amazon

Amazon Shipping Settings Changes

 

For a long time, Amazon has only given sellers the option for the same shipping charges to all parts of the UK. This was particularly painful for businesses selling heavy items, for example, furniture including sofas. As a result of this, sellers have in the past cancelled orders which resulted in negative penalty points from Amazon for order cancellation, or they take the hit by paying hefty shipping charges. For example, a customer in Northern Ireland would be getting free delivery and the seller had to take on the shipping charge of £35.00.

Amazon now has a solution for this!

DPD Tariffs

The good news! 

The good news! Amazon listened to the problems and you can now update the template to change shipping prices as needed. This applies to FBM listings only and FBA will continue to provide free delivery throughout the UK.  

Which regions are included in this change?

The shipping charges can be changed to the addresses in Inverness (incl. Scottish Highlands) and offshore locations Shetland Islands, Outer Hebrides, Kirkwall, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. 

However, you cannot exclude shipping to any location and charges must be the same for all addresses within England, Wales and Scotland (excluding the regions detailed above). 

How can I update my shipping template?

Simply make changes via Seller Central via Settings > Shipping Settings.

In the past, it has been common practice to:   

  • Cancel orders to certain regions to avoid extortionate shipping charges
  • Include shipping information in bullet points either barring the delivery or asking for an additional cost as seen below. 

 

Here’s one example of a new shipping template

Check out the example below to see how this works. You can also find out more following the official Amazon  guide >>

Although we now have the option to add additional costs, it is still best to keep shipping free where possible, as one Retail study suggests that 9 out of 10 consumers say free shipping is the number one incentive to shop online more.

 

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Amazon Strategies

Amazon UK Early Reviewer Program FAQs

Some time ago we wrote about Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program in the US, and it was a successful programme for several of our clients, as seen from the screenshot below. Now that it is available in the UK, retailers should take advantage of it to increase and gain more “authentic” reviews.  

This programme in itself shows how important reviews are to buyers to encourage conversion, and we all know that with the more conversions we get the higher the ranking of our products. Check out some of Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program FAQs below.

 

Which SKUs are eligible to be enrolled in this program?

SKU must = £15.00 and have fewer than 5 reviews. With products of less retail prices, we suggest using multibuy variations to reach the threshold retail price.

Is it available in the UK?

Yes but your UK reviews are shown in other EU platforms too. This is provided that they share the same ASIN. 

Am I guaranteed a 5 * reviews?

No, it is not guaranteed 5 *, you will get an honest review.

What’s an incentive for the reviews?

Reviewers get an Amazon gift card after the review is sent. 

Is it max 5 reviews that Amazon help with?

Amazon will continue to request customer reviews for a year or until you have 5 reviews.

How much does it cost? Am I paying per review?

£60.00 for each SKU. If you have a parent listing then you will just enrol one product. The charge applies as soon as you start getting 1 review.

So, based on the US account, the program is successful and will definitely help you get those early reviews. We hope to see this roll out to other EU platforms too. 

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Amazon

Take a look at your Amazon Account Health Today

Selling on Amazon has been a successful venture for many sellers, whether that be private label sellers or resellers. With a rise in sales, it brings enormous responsibility to maintain good customer service and account health. Both of these can take up a lot of time, and ignoring these or letting them slow can lead to losing the privilege of selling on Amazon. In this blog, we are going to run through a quick overview of Amazon Account Health, giving tips on how to keep all of your metrics within the targets.

Let’s see what each of these means…

CUSTOMER SERVICE PERFORMANCE

Order Defect Rate (ODR) – With a target of less than 1%, this is a really difficult metric to manage.

This includes any negative feedback given by customers about the service given an A to Z claims against you allowing Amazon to send a full refund to the buyer.

Amazon automatically emails customers asking them to share their experience of buying on Amazon, which also gives them the opportunity to have their say about the seller.

This metric works with % of total orders in the last 60 days, which means even 1 negative feedback can make this metric drop below the target; so, it is best to keep on top of this.

If you see signs of an unhappy customer, get it sorted immediately. Tools like Xsellco Feedback can help you keep track of feedback and help you improve them.

Another part of ODR is A to Z claims which acts as a guarantee to Amazon customers allowing them to claim money back on transactions they are not happy with. Customers don’t really understand how fatal this can be for a seller, but to avoid claims like this we really recommend trying to understand the nature of the complaint. It is best to refund orders and avoid this situation in most cases.

DELIVERY PERFORMANCE

With a target of 4%, late dispatch is a lot more manageable compared to ODR. This metric is triggered if you dispatch an order later than the promised date of dispatch. If there is no handling time, your orders received must be dispatched the next day.

Your delivery time includes your handling time + more, as seen below.

If you are not confident in dispatch time,  it is best to add handling time by a day or 2 to give you some wiggle room. It is always best to do this rather than to not dispatch on time.

We have also seen many cases, especially during busy periods like Christmas, where sellers have forgotten to dispatch on Amazon, even though they have actually dispatched the product. This is commonly due to staff errors or third-party errors. In this case, customers will receive products on time, however, your metrics will still be affected because you have not dispatched it on Amazon; and Amazon will take this as a late dispatch.

Pre-fulfilment cancellation generally occurs due to overselling of the item. You can easily avoid this by updating stock on time and if you are too busy, use a third party software like Pentymarkets to manage stock automatically.

If you prefer to DIY via CSV, use Qty and Price template file as seen here (login required). It is very easy to use and updates do not take very long.

Another common reason for cancellation is due to orders going out to Jersey or Gurnesday or Scottish highlands or NI.  Cost of shipping to these regions are often very high and Amazon does not allow sellers to increase the price of shipping to these destinations or bar shipping to these destinations, unlike eBay. This is often a big problem for sellers of large items like sofas, for example.

Very often we see sellers trying to prevent this by adding a contact number in their content, but as this is against Amazon’s listing policy it could cause issues. Some examples are below:

 

PRODUCT POLICY COMPLIANCE

The target here is “0”, however, it is not very clear in this area when the account will be suspended; so it is always best to avoid this issue altogether.

 

IP Complaints can occur if you use a competing brand name on listings; this can be within the hidden search term are found in the backend of Seller Central. The screenshot at the very top of this post and just above shows the account getting IP complaints because of the use of competitor brand names in content.  Both accounts are active but listings were removed.

Product Authenticity Complaints can easily happen when products are sent without the original packaging or if the product does not match the image or description of the product. You can avoid this by sending the product in the original packaging and any documents that come with the original packaging.

Listing Policy Violations can happen if your product description is misleading or content is not accurate.

 

To conclude…

Amazon’s metric method allows them to keep seller performance in the interest of customers and ensures all sellers are at the same level, whether you are a new private label seller or a top brand.

Another key metric Amazon is hot on is email response time. Amazon expects you to reply to all emails within a 24-hour window, which includes weekends. If you don’t hit this target, Amazon will warn you and suggest there may be a chance you’ll lose the privilege of selling on Amazon. The most common time this becomes an issue is during busy periods like Christmas when there are staff shortages.

If you’re struggling with Account Health, and you think you may be at risk of losing the privilege to sell on Amazon, you can outsource this to an experienced agent based in the UK and USA, leaving you to focus on generating and improving sales

ZonSupport starts as low as $5.00 a day, but costs vary depending on the level of service you want.

Find out more here — ZonSupport

 

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Amazon

A to Z Guide to Amazon Adverting

Amazon undoubtedly has disrupted retail and has often raised the bar to reach customer expectation. Sunday deliveries were not usual until Amazon started to deliver on Sundays, Next delivery was not normal and it has become normal now with Amazon’s Prime delivery.  

Amazon is now set to disrupt advertising, where Google and Facebook are dominant players. We are already seeing this, with some brands shifting up to 60% of Google search budgets to Amazon. No wonder digital agencies are jumping into this.

If you are thinking of digging deep into Amazon Advertising, check out our  Amazon Advertising and SEO training at #BrightonSEO  

For any Amazon seller to succeed on Amazon it is important that we know the whole ecosystem of Amazon. In fact, successful advertisers can be the seller themselves because they understand how Amazon actually works.

Amazon advertising is a unique opportunity that was not available10 years ago when I first started working with Amazon sellers. We must understand how the buy box works, how reviews work, how Amazon FBA works to succeed. Sometimes, it is best not to work with typical KPIs like ROI, because Amazon Advertising is a great way to raise your brand awareness which in itself is a positive outcome.

In this simple guide, I have focused more on Sponsored Product Ads, giving practical tips and information that can be implemented immediately to help grow your sales. In the second phase, I will be writing more about Sponsored Brands and Product Display Ads. Happy reading!

Get A to Z Guide to Amazon Advertising >>

Amazon Advertising Guide - Prabhat Shah

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Amazon

Amazon Vendor Training and Consultancy

According to recently published research, 59% of millennials ‘always’ or ‘often’ start their online shopping journey on Amazon, with 1 in 5 16-36-year-olds always heading to Amazon when looking to make an online purchase.

With such a significant amount of shoppers shopping on Amazon, it is a huge missed opportunity if your products aren’t available on Amazon, and this applies to all categories and product types. We can even buy fresh flowers on Amazon now! This just goes to show how eager Amazon is to increase its available categories and products. There is an opportunity for everyone, whatever the product! 

Very recently I had the opportunity to provide a bespoke Amazon Vendor Central training day in Sheffield for a business selling kitchen tools. They had new recruits in the business to manage their Amazon Vendor Account, who were keen to learn more. We spent the day discussing the best possible way to increase sales via Amazon Advertising and how to successfully build a brand on Amazon.  Some of the key areas we discussed were:

–          Amazon Search Engine Optimisation (SEO),

–          Amazon Advertising best practices and research processes,

–          Amazon Stores and A + Content.

It was a practical session, providing each member of the team with practical tips and ideas that they could go away and confidently implement with their new knowledge. We also spent some time piecing together an Amazon Growth Plan, which outlines a process on how to implement what had been learning during the days training and to help give direction to the business.

Whether you are an experienced Amazon Vendor Central Seller, or you have been invited by Amazon to join their Vendor Programme, our onsite training session helps you to get the best out of the Amazon Vendor Central platform.

I am based in Loughborough and will easily commute to Sheffield, Derby, Leicester and Nottingham.

Find out more about Amazon Vendor Training

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Events

#AmafestUK Speaker Slide-deck: Amazon listing optimisation

In the UK, third-party marketplaces like Amazon and eBay dominate online sales. There are a number of other marketplaces including Tmall, JD.com and Jet.com which promote the growth of third-party sellers, however, the demand for cheap products on these marketplaces is far fewer now. Especially with the likes of Amazon offering the promise of next day delivery, even on Sundays.

Amongst all of these platforms, Amazon is very influential and we have already seen Amazon significantly affect the retail industry; this is why is it important to understand how the Amazon marketplace works and how to gain a competitive edge.

This is one of the reasons why AmafestUK was formed, to help Amazon sellers. It’s a full day conference organised by our parent company Online Seller UK, and our in-house expert Jess Howes presented on Amazon Listing Optimisation. 

Attended by 200 attendees from the UK and across Europe, it was one of the first Amazon focussed conferences in the North. There were 11 world class speakers, and some of them travelled as far as from the USA, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Turkey and Siberia.

Download this slide-deck

 

We are a team of experts helping you sell better on Amazon. If you already sell but need help with listing optimisation or advertising or, even if you are new to Amazon please get in touch to understand how Amazon works and we will help you to grow your sales.

 

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Exclusive Interview with AmafestUK Speaker – Jess Howes

AmafestUK , a dedicated full-day Amazon Seller’s Conference is less than a month away. The venue and drinks are sponsored by UK Fast, Manchester.

This conference holds a lot of value to both Seller Central and Vendor central users with talks from over 10 world class Amazon experts.  The talks include optimisation, advertising to private labels. Check out our in-house marketplace expert’s interview.

 Jess Howes – Increase Conversions & Sales with Amazon Listing Optimisation

 

AmafestUK_Jess Howes

What can people expect to take away from your talk at Amafest 2019?

Tips on how to optimise their product pages to help improve conversion rate and sales.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background? What experience do you have working with Amazon?

I started my career working at an agency where I worked with several e-commerce clients. Then, 3 years ago I started working client-side for a company, which is where I first started working with Amazon. 3 years later and I am now freelance, working with some of the best UK brands.

Do you think Amazon is a threat to traditional brick and mortar retail?

Definitely. Amazon is making it easier and easier and more convenient for shoppers to sit at home and order. Especially now you can order and even set up repeat orders via Alexa!

What are the main benefits of selling products on Amazon as opposed to other platforms such as eBay?

Amazon has spent time building the trust of consumers, which gives them a competitive edge over eBay.They also have the well-trusted and well-loved Prime programme. It is also a benefit in itself that in 2018 it was estimated 51% of shoppers started their online shopping journey on Amazon, and that 35% of UK online spend goes through Amazon. 

What’s your top tip for someone who is just starting to sell on Amazon and someone who is trading for a few years?

Optimise product detail pages for search, and continually improve them by adding new keywords, additional content (EBC/A+ Content). Amazon is a crowded marketplace full of competition and shoppers aren’t just going to stumble upon your product. You need to help them find it.


Get your AmafestUK ticket — https://amafestuk.com/

 

 

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Amazon Training

#BrightonSEO Amazon SEO and Marketing Training

“59% of respondents said they have shopped on Amazon. That’s an increase of 3 percentage points from a year prior.”   Emarketer

 

We can all agree, Amazon have done things right. And with years of customer satisfaction and trust building, Amazon is overtaking any other marketplace and is by far the major player in e-commerce. One of its success is the “prime programme” which aims to deliver products the next day.  

Sellers that aren’t selling on Amazon are finding it hard to grow their brand, and so begin selling on Amazon or selling to Amazon. Whichever way you work, Amazon is a complicated platform and learning the full aspect of Amazon is crucial for your business’ success. This is why we have developed the successful Amazon SEO and Marketing course.

And last week it was another exciting BrightonSEO training day on Amazon SEO and Marketing. We have been running this course for the last few years and it is never the same. Amazon as a platform is dynamic and our training programme adapts to this change. If you have never attended this course check out the full outline here >>

In the audience, we had a mix of agencies and brands. It was a good opportunity to share my experience of working with Amazon for the last 10 years. Having Amazon operation knowledge is significant to do the best on Amazon, unlike Google SEO / PPC. This is why this course is created with practical knowledge and is adapted based on attendees profile each time.

Who has attended?

Alongside our content, we were also able to talk through core challenges attendees shared during the day: Core challenges faced by Amazon sellers

  • Product reviews best practices and tools
  • Creating a progressive advertising plan that anyone can implement
  • Some of the best Amazon tools
  • Enhanced content, A+ best practices
  • How to improve rankings?
  • Dealing with Multiple languages & SEO
  • How to deal with support to get a quicker resolution?
  • How to ensure listings are compatible for Alexa?
  • Optimising PPC for a low ACoS  
  • Product listing best practices
  • Moving between vendor and FBA, potential pros and cons
  • Getting focus for an investment: advertising, deals or vine reviews

With a small group, there was plenty of opportunity for an attendee to ask individual questions and the session with engaging with practical work, quizzes throughout the day. And at last, attendee went away with an Amazon Growth Plan for their business.  

Our next session is in September and get your ticket here >>

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