Amazon Launches Brand Referral Bonus Program

Want to make some extra cash through Amazon? Of course you do! Here’s how.

On July 15, Amazon announced the launch of a new Brand Referral Bonus Program. Available exclusively to brand owners enrolled in Brand Registry, the program further incentivizes sellers to accelerate growth from referral traffic.

In short, Amazon is giving you even more reason to level up your external traffic. Not only will registered sellers be able to profit by driving promotions from outside of Amazon, they’ll effectively be able to earn even more money from these sales.

Amazon estimates that on average, registered brands can earn a 10% bonus from qualifying sales. The bonus rate depends on the category for each product, with minor variables such as shipping and gift wrapping charges.

Before you start bumping up your marketing efforts, be sure to register for the program and then Amazon Attribution, if you haven’t already. For sellers already registered in Amazon Attribution, traffic from previous tags will still qualify for your bonus once you’ve registered for the bonus program.

Once you’ve successfully accomplished those tasks, you can create tags through Amazon Attribution that will track your performance and your bonus. Without Amazon Attribution tags, traffic will not count as qualifying credits toward your eventual bonus.

For those who are interested in monetizing traffic to their Amazon listings but don’t own a brand, the Amazon Associates program presents a similar opportunity by providing commissions for purchases brought in by their marketing efforts.

As you begin to see sales as a result of your external marketing efforts, you’ll be able to find and monitor your bonus amount within the Transaction Details page within the seller account.

Some patience will be required from sellers, as they will have to wait two months before they can use the bonuses so that Amazon can properly account for order cancelations and customer returns.

Summary

All in all, this Brand Referral Bonus Program presents a tremendous opportunity to scale your business. Sellers who make the most of this initiative will accelerate growth while saving money, improving the efficiency of their marketing efforts outside of Amazon.

Driving external traffic should always be on the mind of Amazon sellers, especially with the rising cost of advertising on Amazon. With an opportunity to earn money by executing strategies that were already beneficial by driving sales and boosting rank, it makes emphasizing traffic a no-brainer.

For sellers who have been executing strategies centering around external traffic, this bonus is free money. Amazon business owners unfamiliar with advertising outside of the confines of Amazon may find this to be the perfect opportunity to expand their reach. There may never be a greater time to experiment with ads on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

If you’ve been on the fence about ramping up your external traffic efforts, now is the time to unleash your inner influencer and make some extra dough!

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Amazon Prime Day 2021: Small and Medium-Sized Businesses See Huge Wins

Amazon Prime Day 2021 met and surpassed mammoth expectations, with small and medium-sized businesses reaping much of the benefits.

Customers taking advantage of steep discounts unquestionably weren’t the biggest winners of Amazon Prime Day. Third-party sellers on the Amazon marketplace, comprised almost entirely of small and medium-sized business, took home record-setting sales numbers during the mega sales event.

Lasting 48 hours, this Prime Day proved to be the biggest two-day period ever for Amazon’s third-party sellers.

According to Amazon, shoppers spent more than $1.9 billion on more than 70 million products from third-party sellers during the promotional period. Compared to Prime Day 2020, held in October due to the global pandemic, these small and medium-sized businesses experienced more than a 100% year-over-year sales increase.

Furthermore, the report stated the deals were available to more than 200 million paid Amazon prime members. The massive figure was first announced in late April, within a letter from Jeff Bezos to shareholders.

In January 2020, Amazon revealed it had reached 150 million Prime members. Picking up over 50 million subscribers in less than two years is a remarkable sum, even for a company as large as Amazon. While the pandemic created issues for many industries, the surging amount of Prime subscribers showcases the strength of e-commerce that has yet to show signs of slowing down.

Indeed, these numbers are incredibly encouraging for the current and future state of the industry. Likewise, the continued rise of Prime subscribers and massive sales numbers underline the tremendous opportunity afforded to third-party Amazon sellers.

More Notes from Prime Day 2021

In addition to the impressive sales numbers, Amazon also released a few interesting tidbits related to categories and specific products that crushed it during the sales holiday.

  • Amazon reports the best-selling categories worldwide included tools, beauty, nutrition, baby care, electronics, apparel, and household products.
  • Top-selling products worldwide for Prime Day 2021 included iRobot Roomba 692 Robot Vacuum, Keurig K-Slim Coffee Maker, Apple Cider Vinegar Gummy Vitamins by Goli Nutrition, and Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips.
  • Prime members worldwide saved while gearing up for back to school purchasing more than 600,000 backpacks, 1 million laptops, 1 million headphones, 240,000 notebooks, 40,000 calculators, and 220,000 Crayola products.
  • In the United States, top-selling deals included the Waterpik Electric Water Flosser, Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder, 23andMe Health DNA Test, iRobot Roomba 692 Robot Vacuum, Instant Pot Duo Plus 6 Quart 9-in-1 Pressure Cooker.

Overall, Prime Day 2021 was undoubtedly a major success even when compared to its lofty standards.

With the accelerated prominence of Amazon and e-commerce, it’s never been a better time to be one of the hundreds of thousands of third-party sellers who have realized their entrepreneurial dreams on Amazon.

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Nearly 100 Countries Added to Amazon’s Approved Sellers List

The world of Amazon sellers just grew more extensive, adding 85 new countries to the Amazon Approved Sellers’ list.

At last, Amazon appended to its list of approved countries for seller registration to many previously barred from registration. In all, the latest update to the list includes 85 brand-new additions.

To many, it serves as a bit of surprise that such a substantial number of countries could still be added to the Amazon marketplace. Although Amazon’s grown into one of the world’s largest companies since its founding in 1994, the recent inclusion of nearly 100 new countries to the approved sellers’ list shows it’s still growing.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Venezuela are among the notable new additions to the marketplace. With this revision, few countries are omitted from the directory of approved countries, with 188 countries now approved for seller registration. For the most part, only countries with strict sanctions, such as North Korea and Cuba, remain excluded from the Amazon Approved Sellers list.

What this means

After record growth in Q1 2021 and setting up more international marketplaces, Amazon shows no signs of slowing down. Allowing more sellers into the marketplace only figures to accelerate that upward trajectory.

For aspiring Amazon sellers in the newly approved countries, this update encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to enter the marketplace by removing a major barrier to entry. Now, they can get in on the growing number of third-party sellers cashing in on the billions of dollars generated in the marketplace.

In the past, sellers from these newly added countries could still sell on Amazon. However, they’d be forced to establish their business in a country on the approved sellers’ list.

However, exclusion from the list served as a hurdle for those looking to enter the Amazon marketplace. For example, Pakistan stands out as a new addition among newly approved countries as the home of one of the largest Amazon seller groups in the world.

While many in the group sold on Amazon before Pakistan was approved, countless others entered the Amazon marketplace as virtual assistants. Certainly, removing restrictions and breaking down barriers to entry may stimulate them to become sellers in their own right.

Our interview with Saqib Azhar, serial entrepreneur, Amazon mentor, and leader of the Ecommerce by Enablers Facebook group

In previously banned countries with a strong Amazon presence like Pakistan, many celebrated the newly opened doors. As Azhar notes, Amazon represents a massive opportunity for Pakistan to improve the country’s economy. Additionally, he believes FBA can be a promising opportunity for the country’s youth to discover financial freedom.

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) has proven to be an incredibly rewarding opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs. After a record-setting 2020, e-commerce continues to thrive in 2021. Even more encouraging, market analysis projects Amazon to be responsible for 50% of all e-commerce retail sales in 2021.

Our guide on how to become an Amazon seller.

All in all, the excitement from newly added countries underlines the opportunity provided with FBA. While many industries experience turbulence and many unknowns, selling on Amazon offers a tremendous opportunity with an even brighter outlook.

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Get Rid of HTML Tags In Your Amazon Listing ASAP

On Monday, Amazon announced an upcoming change that will affect plenty of product listings. Starting July 17, 2021, Amazon will no longer support HTML tags in the product description of product detail pages.

You can view the entire statement from Seller Central below:

In order to provide security for our customers as well as versatility to list products on non-HTML devices, after July 17, 2021, we will stop supporting the use of HTML tags in the product description on product detail pages. Please refrain from using HTML content on detail pages as outlined on our Product detail page rules 260 Help page.

We encourage you to update any product detail page for your listings with an HTML tag. You can use Seller Central or your usual channel for such updates.

Any product description containing HTML tags in the product detail page which are not supported after July 17, 2021, will stop showing HTML formatting. For example, if you use HTML tags in one line of a product description, the line might be removed or shown without HTML formatting, depending on the usage of the tag.

Seller Central

The statement reads somewhat confusing, especially as the Product Detail Page guide referenced mentions that line breaks (written as “</br>”) can be included in the description as a special case. HTML line breaks in listings, as they break up text into smaller, more readable text blocks.

How It Appears

Additionally, the inclusion of “non-HTML devices” is a headscratcher, as most devices can read and display HTML markups without issue.

Nonetheless, Amazon sellers should prepare accordingly.

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While product descriptions don’t make a significant impact on keyword indexation, it allows an excellent opportunity to describe your product, explain crucial product details, and close the deal with a customer.

If segments of your product description are removed or displayed in an undesirable manner, it could consequently lead to lower conversions. Making sure your product description answers potential customer questions, highlights differentiating points, and is reader-friendly can certainly go a long way toward giving your product listing an edge over the competition. Any failure to do so invites customers to click off and check out your market rivals.

Of course, we’ll continue to monitor the situation as more information becomes available regarding the update. The announcement serves as the latest update in what’s been a rather busy week for Amazon news. Stay tuned for more regarding HTML tags on Amazon.

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What’s Going On with Amazon Search Results?

Recently, Amazon search results have gotten a little wonky. What’s the deal?

Over the weekend, attentive Amazon sellers started noticing strange, extreme changes in organic rank for their products. Suddenly, products that were mainstays atop organic search results vanished. Instead of appearing in the most desirable digital real estate on Amazon, they could be found deeper in the seldom seen pages of search.

As a result, sales plummeted for many top sellers as visibility severely declined. Meanwhile, product listings that typically don’t receive much traction benefitted from taking up top spots usually held by competitors.

Destaney Wishon of BetterAMS discovered the issue early on, and made a quick and helpful explainer outlining an example of the issue with Amazon search results.

At first, the sudden change flummoxed Amazon sellers. Was Amazon continuing to crackdown on sellers generating fake reviews? Did the ranking algorithm change?

According to Amazon, it’s simply an error that’s in the process of being corrected.

We are aware some customers are having issues with search results. We are working to resolve this as quickly as possible.

Amazon Technical Support

While many Amazon sellers state things have returned to normal for them, some sellers report the glitch has not been resolved as of Tuesday. Additionally, Amazon has not released a statement indicating that the issue has been completely resolved.

As any Amazon seller will tell you, organic rank remains the holy grail for Amazon sellers. Any rise or drop will significantly impact a product’s bottom line. With this in mind, monitoring your organic or advertising rank can be vital for tracking your product’s performance.

ALWAYS know when your keywords are rising or falling within Amazon search results with Keyword Manager

Of course, we’ll continue to monitor the situation as more information becomes available.

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When is Amazon Prime Day 2021?

Tucked away in Amazon’s Q1 Earnings Call was an announcement of important intel regarding Amazon Prime Day 2021.

Unfortunately, Amazon did not announce an exact date for Amazon sellers and customers alike to circle on the calendar. But Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky did drop some hints and key information about Amazon’s signature sales event.

“I will remind you that Prime Day has been scheduled for later in Q2, and we’ll have more on that as the quarter unfolds.” This would mean Prime Day would take place in April, May, or June.

With April in our rear-view and roughly a week into May, it’s highly unlikely Amazon would make a surprise Prime Day without giving sellers a few weeks in advance to prepare for the massive wave of sales that come with Prime Day.

For that reason, we’d imagine that an official announcement regarding the date of Amazon Prime Day 2021 is coming soon. At the present time, we’d recommend planning on Prime Day kicking off in mid-late June.

Additionally, Olsavsky mentioned Prime Day 2021 is slated to be a two-day event. As Amazon did for Prime Day 2020, he stated it will heavily emphasize small businesses.

“Another popular benefit of Prime membership is Prime Day. And we are excited to announce that we will hold the two-day savings event during the second quarter. Prime Day is also a great opportunity for our selling partners to reach more customers and will make supporting small businesses a big focus again this year.”

Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky

When is Prime Day typically?

Since its initial launch in 2015, Amazon Prime Day has been held in mid-late July with one exception. In 2020, the mid-summer sales event was postponed until October, making one of the world’s largest shopping days the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season.

The usual mid-July date marks the anniversary of Amazon.com going live in 1995. Known for massive markdowns and discounted deals, it’s estimated that sales on Amazon surpassed $10 billion over Prime Day 2020.

Over the years, Prime Day has grown into one of the largest shopping days globally.

In summary, the tidbits of information gleaned from Olavsky’s comments certainly deserve much attention. With a blockbuster Q1 behind us, the return of a mid-summer Prime Day marks another reason to believe Amazon sellers can keep the sales momentum going.

For Amazon sellers positioned to take advantage of Prime Day, the potential for record-breaking sales is stronger than ever.

UPDATE: In order to ensure your inventory is properly stocked for Prime Day, Amazon advised sellers to the following countries by these dates:
June 1: Australia
June 6: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Turkey
June 7: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia
June 13: Japan

As more information becomes available, we’ll be sure to update. Lastly, feel free to let us know how you feel about Amazon Prime Day 2021 in June in the comments!

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Amazon Marketplace Sets Record Growth in Q1 2021

After a record-breaking 2020, the Amazon marketplace shows no signs of slowing down. In Amazon’s quarterly earnings report for Q1 2021, the results show the marketplace is only growing larger and third-party sellers remain the backbone of Amazon’s signature retail platform.

It’s estimated that third-party Amazon sellers were responsible for 55% of all products sold on the Amazon marketplace, matching Q4 2020 and up from 52% from a year earlier. Even more encouraging for Amazon sellers, that percentage hasn’t budged even as the amount of products sold has risen.

Overall, Amazon reports $52.9 billion in retail sales in Q1 2021. For comparison, that number represents 44% year-over-year growth from 2020.

Emphatically, the record-breaking numbers are encouraging in any context. However, the sales data becomes even more impressive when taking the events of the past year into context.

[Interested in selling on Amazon? Get started building your entrepreneurial empire today!]

As the COVID-19 pandemic caused lockdowns that pushed customers online, it goes without saying Amazon sales would dramatically increase. If there were any doubts on if customers would ditch digital shopping once restrictions loosened up, this quarter serves as the first indicator of e-commerce’s staying power.

While the year-over-year results may be partially skewed due to the pandemic only impacting the last month or so, the numbers represent a significant increase from Q2 and Q3 2020, when the pandemic and its subsequent restrictions were more prevalent.

Regarding what’s ahead for Amazon, the company projects year-over-year growth between 24% and 30% for Q2 2021. This projection is company-wide and not solely for the marketplace. With this in mind, the Amazon marketplace continues to thrive and appears poised for continued growth for the foreseeable future.

Without a doubt, there’s never been more opportunity to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true on Amazon.

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FBA Storage Update: No More ASIN-Level Restock Limits

Effective April 22, 2021, FBA restock limits are now set at the storage-type level instead of at the ASIN-level.

You may remember in July 2020, Amazon introduced ASIN-level quantity limits on FBA products amidst supply chain issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that announcement, Amazon notes changes in preparation for the peak towards the end of the year.

According to the official announcement, the change is a result of seller feedback and designed to allow more inventory flexibility. “We’ve heard your feedback and are continuously improving our policies and programs to better receive and store your products.”

As always, we’re here to help make sense of the change, help you navigate through the important questions, and monitor the situation. For more personalized information, be sure to review your restock limits and maximum shipment quantity within Inventory performance or Shipping Queue.

How are restock limits any different from storage limits?

Storage limits are based on volume, measured in cubic feet, and determine the fulfillment center capacity you can use. Restock limits are based on units and determine how much inventory you can send to fulfillment centers. Restock limits apply regardless of your IPI score.

Amazon limits by storage type FAQ

To sum up, this can be interpreted as your inventory limits being based on space, not units.

Amazon Inventory Management: What You Need to Know

Letting your products go out of stock can spell disaster for your listing. And on the other hand, overstocking can lead to costly storage fees that damage your bottom line. How do tiptoe the line of optimal inventory management? We look at into what to consider and what it takes to find the balance for FBA storage.

How are the restock limits decided?

Restock limits are determined based on past and forecasted sales. Subsequently, this would mean your restock limitations are never too little or too much, which should be a sigh of relief for sellers.

Regarding shipment orders, the maximum shipment quantity is calculated by the maximum inventory level allowed minus utilization. To avoid confusion, utilization counts include the inventory and all incoming shipments, including shipments with a Working, In transit, or Receiving status.

Therefore, as you grow your business or encounter seasonality, the changes should be reflected in some sort to your personalized limits.

Are my restock limits going to remain the same?

No. Amazon claims they will continually assess its network capacity to adjust restock limits to best support your business. You can view your restock limits by storage type and maximum shipment quantity from Inventory performance or Shipping Queue, by expanding your restock limits monitor at the bottom of the page.

Especially early on, you may consider monitoring your restock limits over time to gain a better understanding of how frequently it updates and how volatile the limits change with each update.

If you believe your restock and inventory information isn’t correct at any point, reach out to Seller Central support to solve or better understand the issue.

Will pending shipments be affected?

According to Amazon moderators, there should be no issue as long the shipment was created before the change went into effect.

“Shipments created under the previous ASIN Quantity Limits policy, including shipments which are already on the way, will continue to be received as normal and will not be canceled.”

Amazon Forums Moderator

Wrapping Things Up

Based on the early reaction in the seller community, there are certainly mixed feelings about the recent change.

For many sellers unsatisfied with the July update, the change comes as a breath of fresh air and appears to suit their needs better.

To all sellers, try not to panic. As longtime sellers know, Amazon continually tweaks policies in attempts to optimize the seller and customer experience. Although change can be scary and impact your success, flexibility remains essential for successful sellers.

Unquestionably, those who optimize their business with the evolution of Amazon are best served to come out on top.

Whether or not this positively or negatively impacts your business, it’s undoubtedly a change worth monitoring. Since the changes were made due to seller feedback, be sure to make your voice heard regarding the new FBA storage limits.

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Amazon Sends Major Reminder Regarding GTINs

On Thursday, Amazon Seller Central shared a reminder regarding GTINs that could result in products becoming invalid.

In a recent Seller Central update, Amazon reminded sellers that unique GTINs (Global Trade Item Number) are a requirement for its marketplace in most categories. Amazon warned that listed products without an acceptable GTIN would be removed if corrective actions aren’t taken in time.

As the update states, “GTINs are considered invalid if they are not GS1-vended or not recognized by the brand owner.”

The reminder arrives as Amazon continues to ensure its marketplace is up-to-code and worthy of consumer trust. Above all, GS1 provides standards for industries to allow products, services, and information to move efficiently and securely to benefit of businesses and consumers.

What You Can Do

Sellers can check to see if their products are in danger of being considered invalid due to the GTIN policy by visiting the Fix Your Product tool in Seller Central.

Affected listings will be displayed in the At Risk listings section.

[RELATED: UPC Codes for Amazon: Everything You Need To Know]

If you don’t have any at-risk listings, no further actions are needed.

To fix any affected ASINs, you can submit a letter of authorization or a licensing agreement that meets the following criteria:

  • Includes the name and address of the brand’s rights owner
  • Legible: it is not too blurry and not too light or dark
  • Displays the manufacturer name and contact information
  • Includes the seller’s legal business name or the seller name that corresponds to your Account information page in Seller Central
  • Includes the seller’s physical address
  • Must be in English
  • Includes a GS1 certificate
    Note: We recommend that you obtain your GTINs directly from GS1 (and not from other third parties selling GTIN licenses) to ensure that the appropriate information is reflected in the GS1 database. For more information on licensing EANs or UPCs from GS1, refer to the GS1 website.

Also, it should be noted this is not a change of policy, but a reminder of the rules and guidelines. For the official statement from Amazon, please refer to the Seller Central statement.

Lastly, be sure to check your status within Seller Central immediately to avoid any future complications.

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Amazon Announces Upcoming Changes to FBA and Referral Fees

Amazon announced an upcoming change to their referral and FBA fees for U.S. sellers that will impact their bottom line.

Attention Amazon sellers, upcoming Amazon fee changes may impact your profitability. Last week, Amazon announced tweaks to the common referral and FBA fees that will go into effect on June 1, 2021.

Before you panic, most referral fees will not change and the changes are modest in most instances.

For the uninitiated, the Amazon referral fee is a fee charged by Amazon every time a product is sold. Consider it the cost of doing business on Amazon, or the cost of being visible to the millions of people Amazon brings to its platform.

Typically between 8% and 15% of the price the customer pays, the referral fee plays a significant part of profitability and needs to be accounted for by every seller.

[How Much Are Amazon Seller Fees?]

In addition to the updated referral fee, Amazon will be updating FBA fees as well. As defined by Amazon, the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) fee is a per-unit fee, based on the dimensions and weight of the item.

Additionally, not all changes negatively impact profitability. Amazon stated, “We will also reduce certain fees, like the returns processing fee, which reflects feedback we have received from sellers and our continued efforts to reduce costs.”

In case you’re affected by the change, you can utilize an FBA Cost Calculator to discover how it impacts profitability.

Lastly, click here to view the official, complete announcement from Amazon. Check out the links below to dig through the changes and find specifics on how you’re impacted.

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