Amazon Coupons in Seller Central

As an Amazon seller, you’re undoubtedly familiar with coupons. But this new feature isn’t your ordinary promotional code. Under the Advertising tab in Seller Central, you will now see a Coupons page. You can now create digital coupons in Amazon Seller Central and offer discounts on a single product or set of products.

Digital Coupons Quick Facts

  1. Location: Coupons show up on detail pages, search results, the gold box deals page and even a separate landing page just for coupons. Eligible customers will see an orange badge displaying the discount next to the selling price.
  2. Claims: Customers can claim the discount through the coupon clipping function. All they have to do is clip the coupon, and savings are applied to eligible products when they check out.
  3. Discount: Coupons can be Percentage Off or Money Off. Either way, the discount must be between 5% and 80% off your lowest price in the last 30 days.
  4. Targeting: You have the option to target specific customers by selecting one of five customer segments: Amazon Prime members, Amazon Student members, Amazon Mom members, customers who have viewed certain ASINs, and customers who have purchased certain ASINs. Or, you can target All customers.
  5. Fees/Eligibility: Each coupon redemption is $0.60. You do not have to be brand registered to access Coupons.
  6. Budget: Set your maximum budget for each coupon. The coupon will be deactivated when it reaches 100% utilization. The budget you set will be a combination of the USD equivalent to the discount you are offering and the redemption fees.

What Are Coupons in Amazon Seller Central?

Here’s how Amazon explains Coupons in Amazon Seller Central:

“Simply put, digital coupons are coupons similar to those you find in brick and mortar stores. You can use them to discount a flat dollar or percent off an eligible single product or eligible families of products. Coupons can be a powerful, simple, and easy to use tool for promoting your products.

Coupons will show up throughout, including detail pages, search results, the gold box deals page and even a separate landing page just for coupons. The savings are instantly applied so coupons can help drive customer acquisition and sales by giving customers a reason to buy now. And they’re really simple for customers to use. All they have to do is clip the coupon, and savings are applied to eligible products when they check out, eliminating the need for loyalty cards, promotional codes, and opt-ins.

Getting started is easy. Just choose your products, enter how much of a discount you want, and set your budget. Give your coupon a title, and schedule how long you’d like the coupon to run. If you want, you can even choose to limit the audience of your coupon to a specified customer segment, such as Prime customers, as made available through the Seller Central tool. Find coupons under the advertising tab in Seller Central.

Note: you can only see Coupons when actually logged into your account using your login. You cannot see the page option under the Advertising tab if you’re accessing the seller account via shared Seller Central settings.

How to Set Up a Listing Coupon

Coupon setup is fairly straightforward. Let’s walk through how to submit your coupon(s) inside of Seller Central.

  1. Add your products to your coupon. You can feature up to 50 products in one coupon. While adding multiple products, selecting within the same sub-category/product group will help provide a better customer experience.
  1. Set discount amount and budget. You can offer percentage or money off discounts. Amazon requires the discount to be between 5% and 80% of your lowest price for the product in the last 30 day. The budget you set will be utilized as customers redeem your coupon, and Amazon will deactivate your coupon when your budget is fully utilized. The budget is shared among these two costs: USD equivalent of the discount you are offering and redemption fees ($0.60 for every redemption).
  1. Schedule and target your coupon. You can set a duration for your coupon between 1-90 days. The earliest start date will be three days from today. You have the option to choose to limit the audience of your coupon to one of six customer segments: All customers, Amazon Prime members, Amazon Student members, Amazon Mom members, Customers who have viewed certain ASINs, and customers who have purchased certain ASINs.
  1. Monitor performance. You can monitor and track the performance of your coupon in real time within the Seller Central Coupon page under “Running” coupons.

Are the New Coupons Good for Amazon Sellers?

Our short answer: yes and no.

Yes, because the early adopters who schedule their coupons now will likely see an increase in clicks and conversions initially. Because Amazon is making it easy to find and apply the coupon, these sellers will likely benefit.

Yes, because for sellers willing to take a profit cut and pay the extra $0.60 per sale, they may have a competitive edge over their competitors who cannot afford to run coupons often.

Yes, because you can use the targeting feature to give a bigger discount to those who have viewed or bought other items in your brand or in your competitors’ brands. This provides a pretty cool opportunity to capture traffic that you otherwise may not have!

No, because in the long term, with this feature being widely available to the masses, there is not much exclusivity. The Best Seller badge is special because not everyone has one. But imagine if almost all products had a Best Seller badge … then customers would ignore it completely. Sure, the actual discount can differ between products with these new coupons, but the same principle can apply here. We will be interested to see how many sellers end up using the new coupons and to what magnitude.

No, because coupons have the potential to create price wars and crush margins. If your product’s sale price is currently $20 and you set your widely-available coupon to $2, you’re making $2 less per product (not to mention the extra $0.60 you’re paying Amazon for the sale). At scale, that will add up. And now, between sellers, there is an added competitive component. While you’re offering $2 off your $20 product, your competitor may be offering $3 off their $20 product. Of course, you could choose to just up your selling price to compensate for the discount. At this point, we’re not sure yet whether or not the coupon shows up on a Sponsored Ad. If it does not, charging a higher price to offset the coupon discount will have a negative impact on your sponsored ads performance.


We believe, in the long term, larger sellers will probably benefit most from coupons and smaller sellers may be left behind a bit here. Larger sellers may have the room in their margins to offer these discounts, whereas smaller sellers may need to be more conscious of the profit they are making on each individual item.

Overall, coupons may be worth testing out, and we absolutely think that you should jump ahead of the curve and take advantage of them! You never know, it could turn out to be an awesome opportunity to set yourself apart from others in your market. In our opinion, much like sponsored ads, it will come down to whether or not you are willing to take the profit cut on these purchases. We are excited to see how sellers get inventive with these.

How will you use these coupons? Let us know in the comments below!

Amazon Seller Central Video: in Beta and Coming Soon

Amazon Seller Central Video: in Beta and Coming Soon

The rumors have been circulating, and the time has come. Video (now in Beta) is coming to Amazon Seller Central for 3rd party sellers.

Quick Facts:

    • Who has video in Seller Central now? Invited sellers are testing the tool in beta.
    • How do I get video on my Amazon listing once it’s available? If/when Amazon rolls this out, ASINs will have to be under a registered brand to be eligible.
    • Where will the video uploader be located in Seller Central? The video uploader will be within the Enhanced Brand Content page under the Advertising tab.
    • Where will the video show up on my listing? The video will render in two placements: the main image block and the related video shorts widget.


Seller Central Video: Now in Beta

If you’re an FBA seller who wants to add a product video to your listing, you may be able to do so sooner than you think.

Amazon is in the process of launching a new video feature for third-party sellers within the Enhanced Brand Content tool. With this new feature, sellers are able to upload one video to the main image block of brand-owned ASINs.


Amazon has chosen select sellers to participate in beta testing the functionality of the new feature.

The testing will perfect the tool before presumably making it more widely available to brand registered sellers. Amazon is asking beta testers to identify any issues that need to be fixed to provide sellers and customers with the best experience possible. 


How to Add Video to Your Amazon Listing

For those of you who do not have access yet, get your product videos ready so that you can upload your video in Seller Central when Amazon releases the tool.

Here are details Amazon gives beta testers for how to get started:

  1. When you log into the EBC tool, enter a SKU, and click “get started.” You will now see a new button that allows you to add a video to that ASIN.
  2. You must abide by all EBC policies for videos as well. These can be found on EBC help content pages, or by clicking the “Video Guidelines” link shown in the new EBC UI.
  3. Follow the onscreen prompts to upload the following:
    • Video file
    • Image thumbnail (this is the initial screen customers will see before they begin playing the video)
    • Video title (this title will show below below the video in the “related video shorts” widget on the detail page)
    • Video description (this will not show to customers but will be used for video categorization)
    • If the video contains content that is not suitable for minors under 18, then select the adult audience box.
  4. Please wait up to 6 hours for your video to publish to the detail page. Once your video is published to the detail page it will render in the following two placements:
    • Main image block – the video will show at the bottom of the image thumbnails in the upper left hand corner of the detail page
    • Related video shorts widget – the video will also be added to the “related video shorts” widget that shows below the product information section of the detail page
  5. If you would like to remove the video from the detail page at any time
    • Select the “edit” button next to the video SKU in your EBC dashboard
    • Check the box next to “delete video from detail page”
    • Resubmit the changes. Please allow up to 6 hours for your video to be removed.

EBC Video Guidelines

Here are the video guidelines outlined by Amazon for beta video testers.

Avoid the content policy violations below in order to ensure your content is approved:

  • Referencing your company as a seller or distributor, or providing contact information.
  • Mention of competitor’s products or seller authorization such as “product only sold by authorized resellers.”
  • Pricing or promotion information such as “cheap, affordable, on-sale, etc.”
  • Information about shipping details such as “Free shipping,” “shipping timelines.”
  • Boastful comments such as “top selling product,” “hottest item,” “#1 selling item.”
  • Time-sensitive product information: “on sale now” or “best new product of the year.”
  • Information about customer reviews from Amazon or any other site.
  • Adding editorial or third party quotes from external sources such as magazines or television shows.
  • Any warranties or guarantees of any form. E.g., “satisfaction guarantee, money back, etc.”
  • Logos from brands or organizations other than your own or multiple brand logos in a single video view.
  • Web links or language attempting to redirect to other sites inside or outside of Amazon (including your other products).
  • Any mention of products being used for criminal activity.
  • Offensive content such as videos containing nudity, profanity, illegal activities.
  • Videos for which you don’t own the rights, leading to copyright infringement.

Recommended video specifications:

  • Upload the highest quality video files in one of the following formats: 3GP, AAC, AVI, FLV, MOV, MP4, and MPEG-2. We are unable to process Apple ProRes files.
  • For the thumbnail image that shows before your video plays, upload the highest quality image files in JPEG or PNG format. Orientation/aspect ratio: 16.9. Resolution: 1920×1080 (preferred), 1280×720 (minimum). Color Profile: RGB, DPI: 300 (preferred), 72 (minimum).


Prepare for Amazon Product Videos

Here’s how you can get ready for video in Seller Central:

Kissmetrics estimates that viewers are anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video. So “if a picture is worth a thousand words, a product video could very well be worth a thousand sales.”

Evoking emotion and connecting with a shopper can be difficult in ecommerce, especially on Amazon. Video will be a unique way to set yourself apart from the competition, show off your product in a unique way, and capture more conversions.

A word from our in-house expert:

Dustin Kessler, Viral Launch’s lead photographer specializing in Amazon photography with a decade of experience in commercial media and advertising, stresses the importance of video quality.

“Our goal at Viral Launch has always been to tell compelling visual stories about your products and how customers can interact with them, but sometimes due to the limited amount of photos a seller can use on Amazon, not all of a product’s features can be utilized and shown fully in those photos.”

“A product video is not only a great way to showcase your product, but if it is done right, putting a video onto your listing can catapult your product to another level – both on and off Amazon. As with many visual tools, the video can also hurt the product if not done correctly, so investing wisely and not going for the cheapest options available is something I would strongly encourage for sellers who are serious about making their product and listing stand out from the rest of the crowd.”


Amazon Product Videos by Video Review Labs

Looking for an agency who builds compelling e-commerce videos that empower customers to make confident purchasing decisions? Check out Video Review Labs and tell them Viral Launch sent you for a discounted rate.

Video Review Labs offers an array of different styles of high-quality videos, ranging from simple product videos to lifestyle videos that put products in a contextual environment. They are a full-service product agency that will take your brand to the next level through conceptualized product videos.

Here’s a look at some of their work:

Amazon Seller Central Video: In Beta and Coming Soon

Related Brand Registry features:

Amazon EBC & A+ Content Visible on Mobile

Amazon Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) and A+ Pages are now visible on main product pages on Amazon mobile and the Amazon mobile app for many products.

During the 2016 holiday season, Amazon reported that more than 72 percent of Amazon customers worldwide shopped using a mobile device. Now that Enhanced Brand Content and A+ Pages are available for many products for this massive load of sellers, EBC and A+ may prove to be a key ingredient to increasing conversions.

EBC and A+ on Amazon Mobile

Enhanced Brand Content includes enhanced images and text placements on a product listing. A+ Pages include high quality photos, video, and comparison charts.

Previously, Amazon hid all Enhanced Brand Content and A+ Pages from mobile shoppers. To view the enhanced content on mobile, shoppers needed to click into the Product Description.

Now for many products, Enhanced Brand Content and A+ Pages is showing up just under “Have a question?” as the first “About this item” element. They even show up ahead of the description, features & details. There are still products that require clicking into the description, but Amazon may continue rolling out this feature to all.

For those products with enhanced content showing on the main page, with just a few scrolls on a mobile device, Enhanced Brand Content and A+ pages are available to convince a shopper to buy. This is an awesome opportunity to show off your product in a super simple and visual way to shoppers looking for more information.

Enhanced Brand Content still is not indexed, meaning Amazon does not pull the copy for search queries. So far, we have not seen an incredible uptick in conversion rates with EBC. But according to Amazon, A+ enhanced marketing content “increases sales an average of 3-10% by increasing conversion, SEO relevance, and customer purchase confidence.”

As you’re prepping for the 2017 holiday season, optimizing for mobile is crucial. Shopping on the Amazon mobile app grew by 56% in 2016 from the previous year, and that number will likely only continue to climb.

This addition of EBC and A+ on the main mobile page for tons of products could certainly have a positive impact on how these listings convert on mobile.

How to Get Amazon Enhanced Brand Content or A+ Pages

Enhanced Brand Content is only available for approved brand owners, which requires enrolling in Amazon’s Brand Registry program. Requirements include a registered trademark and product/packaging that carries the registered brand name.

A+ Pages are only available to Amazon Vendors. Vendor Central requires an invitation from Amazon, and Vendor Express allows sellers to sell products directly to Amazon.

The Latest Benefit to Brand Registry

Amazon has been aggressively adding to its Brand Registry program benefits. Notable features of Brand Registry 2.0 include:

If you aren’t brand registered yet, it’s time to talk with your lawyer about registering a trademark. We’ve got a good feeling that there is a lot more to come for brand registered sellers.

Amazon Headline Search Ads Now Available in Seller Central

*Update: Amazon is currently rolling out this new feature. Headline Search Ads are currently only available for registered brands through Brand Registry 1.0 and Brand Registry 2.0.

Headline Search Ads are no longer just for Amazon vendors… they are available in Seller Central.

What are Headline Search Ads?

Amazon defines Headline Search Ads as “keyword targeted cost-per-click ads that allow brands to promote 3 or more products and drive traffic to a brand page or to a custom landing page on Amazon.”

Here’s how they work:

  1. A seller chooses which 3+ products will be advertised.
  2. Editable creative elements include ad headlines and size/order of product images.
  3. Ads are set up with a bid, budget, and target keywords.
  4. Banner ads are displayed above Amazon search results.
  5. A seller can specify where an ad click will lead to: a custom landing page on Amazon or the brand’s Amazon Store.


Headline Search Ads in Seller Central

Before, Headline Search Ads were only available to all approved Amazon Marketing Services (commonly referred to as “AMS”) accounts. To be eligible for AMS, a seller had to be included in one of the following groups:

Now, Search Ads are available to brands through Seller Central.

To locate Headline Search Ads, go to Seller Central > Advertising > Campaign Manager.

Amazon describes Headline Search Ads in Seller Central as “A new way to advertise your brands. Build a custom ad that has a prominent placement in search results and drives shoppers to pages that showcase a collection of your products.”


What Does This Mean for Sellers?

Amazon Headline Search Ads just got a lot more accessible and a lot less profitable.

Vendors were part of an exclusive group with access to a profitable competitive advantage. Now, that advantage is available to the masses.

With more competition and more sellers bidding on keywords, bids will go up and profitability will go down. But, that’s not to say you shouldn’t try them out and see if running Headline Search Ads is beneficial for your brand.

While Headline Search Ads aren’t a necessary component to a successful Amazon strategy, they will be a great opportunity to drive increased visibility and traffic, similar to Sponsored Products ads.

Amazon has been steadily making changes and adding features recently, especially for their Brand Registry program, including Amazon Stores for registered brands and the Amazon Early Reviewer Program. It’s important for sellers to stay in the know in order to take advantage of every opportunity to dominate their markets.

Viral Launch is committed to keeping you informed and knowledgeable about what each change means for you.


Claim Your Competitive Advantage

Amazon is releasing new tools and better methods each month, but there is one thing that will always set a brand up for success on Amazon… an outstanding listing.

Optimize Your Listing

You can drive all the traffic you want to your products, but if your listings are not set up to convert, you’re wasting time and money. To ensure your listing is fully optimized for sales, you need outstanding product photos and a reader-friendly, keyword-rich listing.

And, with each sale, a keyword-optimized listing helps to drive keyword ranking in organic search. Every sale you make without an optimized listing is a missed opportunity to boost rank.

So, be sure to claim your competitive advantage with an outstanding listing. Viral Launch offers stunning Amazon Product Photography and professional Listing Optimizations if you’re not sure where to start!

Utilizing the very reasonably priced photography services Viral Launch has led to increased impressions and conversions daily, ultimately driving record sales day again, and again. Simply put, Viral Launch’s creative photography services are second to none. Utilizing Viral Launch’s copywriting services has led to increased sales, and hundreds of satisfied customers.  We are constantly inundated with Seller Feedback that the product was exactly as described and more.  The copywriting team at Viral Launch are smart, clever, and take great personal care to make your listings sound amazing to your customers.” – Tim | Amazon Seller


We’d like to hear from you! What do you think of Amazon making Headline Search Ads available in Seller Central? Leave your comments below.

How to Make an Amazon Store: Brand Registry 2.0

The newest feature of Brand Registry 2.0 has arrived: Amazon Stores. Here, Viral Launch will explain how to make an Amazon Store and take advantage of the new Brand Registry updates .

Amazon is constantly introducing benefits to their Brand Registry program: trademark/copyright protection, Enhanced Brand Content, and now the ability to create Amazon Stores.

What are Amazon Stores?

According to Amazon, Amazon Stores is a free self-service product that allows brands to create single or multi-page Stores to showcase their brand value and product selection. Features of Amazon Stores include:

  • Own a unique Amazon web address (
  • Create multiple pages to showcase your product catalog
  • Start with pre-made mobile and desktop layouts
  • Receive traffic from Amazon search and detail pages

Each Amazon Store page is made up of a header, footer, and content tiles in between.

How do you set up an Amazon Store?

To access Amazon Stores, login to your Seller Central account and click Storefronts > Manage Stores.

If your brand is enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry, you’ll see a “Create Store” button. If your brand is not enrolled, you will see a “Register a brand.” button, as only registered brand owners are eligible to create Stores.

If your brand is registered, you’ll head to the Store setup page. First, you’ll add your brand’s logo and then select your page template. There are four template options:

  1. Marquee: designed to act as a brand or sub-brand gateway page.
  2. Highlight: showcase related products and related content.
  3. Product Grid: display large number of products.
  4. Blank: customize your own layout.

With a template selected, you can edit everything in the Amazon Store builder. Amazon outlines the Amazon Store Builder this way:

  1. Page Manager: used to create, select, move, and delete pages from the Amazon store.
  2. Preview Window: provides a live view of the current page. It can also be used to select a tile to edit in the Tile Manager.
  3. Tile Manager: used to add, edit, move, and delete tiles from the Amazon store. Tiles options include product, text, video, and image.
  4. Status Bar: provides the current moderation status of the Amazon Store (not submitted, in progress, approved, or failed) and displays any error messages.”

As you’re editing, you can preview your Amazon Store to see what it will look like. Once you’re happy with your Store, you can “Submit for publishing.” The review and approval process may take several days, and you cannot edit your draft during the moderation process. To avoid a Store rejection, follow the Amazon Store Brand Guidelines.

For a more detailed breakdown of Amazon Stores, brand guidelines, and how they work, check out the Amazon Stores User Guide.

For inspiration, check out Amazon Basics’ Store, which is a great example of Amazon Stores in action.

What does this mean for sellers?

Amazon’s main priority is its customers. It always has been, and it always will be. Let’s be honest… the overall aesthetic and UI/UX of Amazon isn’t the best in the world. So it’s no surprise that the company is rolling out features that will enhance the shopping experience.

Honestly at this point, we’re not sure how Amazon Stores will affect the overall shopping experience. Right now, a shopper finds what they are looking for by typing in a search term, looking through results, and selecting a product that fits their needs.

However, it would make sense that Amazon is setting up for an additional way to drive traffic through these storefronts in order to make the shopping experience more enjoyable. After all, Amazon does advertise that Amazon Stores will “build a new shopping experience.” Here at Viral Launch, we are just really interested to see how brands building Amazon storefronts will change the Amazon shopping experience.

Is Amazon taking a note from Macy’s by including branded sections located throughout the store? In case you haven’t noticed, Amazon has been actively making changes to the shopping experience already. When searching keywords such as mens watches or womens shoes, Amazon no longer shows search results directly.

Will Amazon start to identify “trusted” or “popular” brands for particular product markets, such as a search for vitamin c serum resulting in a few popular brands plus a few search results? We’re interested to see.

This could be Amazon’s way of weeding out sellers who aren’t serious about their business and rewarding those who are. After all, Amazon is a better place for consumers when their merchants are serious about providing a good product from a good brand.

For this reason, take advantage of Amazon Brand Registry, if you’ve been reluctant to pull the trigger thus far. Along with the brand protection, brand support, and access to EBC, the program allows for Amazon Stores, which could become increasingly valuable as Amazon continues to evolve.


Amazon Store Brand Guidelines

Amazon Stores User Guide

Example of an Amazon Storefront

Enroll in Amazon Brand Registry

What do you think of this new feature for Brand Registered sellers? We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

Prime Day Sales Trends Reflect Amazon’s Biggest Sales Day Ever

“Prime Day Sales Trends Reflect Amazon’s Biggest Sales Day Ever”

Amazon experienced its biggest sales day in history on Prime Day 2017.

How big?

Prime Day 2016 was previously the largest sales day for Amazon, but Prime Day 2017 just blew it out of the water by a 60% increase over last year’s Prime Day event.

Take all Amazon sales from Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2016, combine them, and the numbers still fall short of this year’s Prime Day sales.

And, Prime Day brought more new Prime membership signups than any other single day in the company’s history.

It’s safe to say that June 12th, 2017 was a huge day for the e-commerce giant.

Prime Day Sales

The most popular product sold on Prime Day was Amazon’s Echo Dot, which had a $15 discount to $34.99 during the sale.

But how did other categories perform? What did the sales trends look like across the board?

For Prime Day 2017, Viral Launch set up interactive graphs to compare Prime Day sales to a 30-day baseline average. These graphs showed sales trends for all categories combined, along with many individual categories: Beauty & Personal Care, Health & Household, Office Products, and more.

Our findings confirmed that Prime Day was indeed massive.

We found that our largest tracked member saw a 6,000% increase in sales throughout the 30-hour window! The real winners of Prime Day were those that took the time to tighten up their listings and run promotions to rank well on page one for relevant, high volume search terms. Many sellers saw over a 1,000% increase in sales.

VL Findings: All Categories

We took a baseline average of the same 30-hour window, two weeks earlier, to compare with Prime Day sales. This way, we have a reference for just how awesome Prime Day sales really were. Estimates come from Market Intelligence, our Amazon product research tool.

Viral Launch estimates a ~252% Prime Day sales increase compared to baseline sales across All Categories!

This graph shows how sales trended throughout the entire day, as compared to that baseline.

And here, you can see an hour-by-hour comparison of Prime Day’s percentage of average daily sales.

VL Findings: Individual Categories

We also looked at some individual categories to see which categories were outperforming others. Some of our largest percentage changes included Office Products and Electronics.

Take a look at the Office Products hourly graph, displaying a whopping 647.26% increase!

Other category percentage increases included:

Electronics: 412%

Beauty: 211%

Home & Kitchen: 376%

Kitchen & Dining: 400%

Pets: 346%


Viral Launch’s Prime Day trends reflect just how much of an impact Prime Day had on overall sales. In April, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated 80 million US Prime members… and Prime Day has since increased that number even further!

As Amazon continues to grow its Prime membership program, having that sought-after Prime badge is becoming more important with each passing day.

Appeal to this enormous pool of buy-ready shoppers coupled with the additional Amazon Prime benefits creates an amazing opportunity for Amazon private label sellers.

And if Prime Day 2017 was any indication of what’s to come for Amazon Prime, I’d say it’s time to leverage this rapidly expanding membership program on the largest e-commerce site in the world.

Amazon Early Reviewer Program: What You Need to Know

UPDATE: On March 10, 2021, Amazon announced they are no longer offering the Amazon Early Reviewer Program. For more information on the update, please read more here.

Gathering initial reviews on new Amazon products has become more and more difficult.

You know it, I know it, and Amazon knows it. You need sales to get reviews, and you need reviews to get sales … it’s a vicious cycle.

We’re excited to report that Amazon has introduced a new way to rack up those first reviews: the Amazon Early Reviewer Program.

What is the Amazon Early Reviewer Program

The early reviewer program incentivizes authentic reviews from Amazon shoppers for new products.

According to Amazon, the goal of the program is “to help brand owners acquire early reviews, which helps shoppers make smarter buying decisions and can lead to an increase in page views, search click-throughs, and sales.”

This is a win-win for buyers and shoppers; buyers get a reward for sharing their opinion, and sellers more easily gain traction for a new product.

7 Things You Need to Know

  1. The Early Reviewer Program is only available to U.S. brand registered Amazon sellers. You may be eligible to apply for Brand Registry if you own the trademark to your brand name that appears on your product and packaging.
  2. In order for an ASIN to be eligible for the Early Reviewer Program, it must have fewer than 5 reviews and must be priced above $15.00.
  3. A seller will pay $60 for each SKU enrolled in the program after the first program generated review rolls in. Amazon will continue to solicit reviews for each SKU for 1 year, or until 5 reviews are received through the program (whichever is sooner).
  4. Sellers can choose ASINs to enroll in the Early Reviewer Program, but they cannot influence the content or star rating of reviews in any way. Amazon does not modify or remove reviews from the Early Review Program, so long as they are within the community guidelines.
  5. Amazon randomly selects customers from a list of all customers who have purchased products participating in the program, so long as they have no history of abusive or dishonest reviews and meet Amazon’s criteria. So, not all customers who purchased will receive reward offers.
  6. Reviewers will receive a small reward (a $1-$3 Amazon gift card, for example) after submitting their review that meets the community guidelines. The reward is a token of appreciation for the genuine review, regardless of the star rating.
  7. Early Reviewer Program reviews are denoted with an orange badge that reads “Early Reviewer Rewards.”

Why Amazon Offers the Early Reviewer Program

Reviews can be one of the largest barriers to entry in a given market. Without a competitive number of reviews, it’s difficult to drive sales and compete with top sellers.

Not too long ago, initial reviews were fairly easy to gather for a new Amazon product. Sellers could give away products in exchange for “honest” reviews. Complaints about manipulated reviews rolled in, and Amazon shut it down.

Last October, Amazon banned incentivizing product reviews. Furthermore, this change rattled the seller community, as sellers no longer knew how to gather reviews to successfully launch new products.

Sellers are able to send email follow-up sequences to gather reviews. Again, Amazon got complaints, and in March they offered the ability for Amazon customers to opt out of all Seller Communication, which makes generating reviews even more difficult.

Since then, sellers have been left wondering how to grow their review base to compete with established products. The industry average review rate is estimated to be around 1%. But with an optimized email follow-up sequence, a seller may see around a 5% review rate.

So even with a stellar email strategy, a seller may only see 5 reviews come from 100 sales. For an established product, that sounds pretty tough. But for a brand new product, it sounds almost impossible.

We often get this question: “I just launched my product and am seeing 1-2 sales/day. How in the world am I supposed to reach 5-10 reviews so that others will feel confident purchasing my product?”

Some sellers were asking friends and family to leave reviews, which is against TOS. Amazon has been serving policy violations and suspensions for this tactic, and we highly advise against it!

What can you do?

Typical suggestions within Amazon’s TOS include: run PPC, drive external traffic, run a promotion, and of course send follow-up emails. But for a brand new product, those are expensive and/or slow methods of gathering reviews.

Amazon understands this uphill battle and is giving sellers a little boost. (It’s also working in their favor, as this program will likely draw more people into their Brand Registry Program). The Early Reviewer Program speeds up the process of gaining those initial, essential reviews, AND those reviews will be genuine.

If you have a terrible product, your reviews are going to be terrible. If you have a great product, your reviews will likely follow suit. No extra perks for a positive review. No risk of backlash for a negative review. Buyers will leave their honest opinions for other Amazon shoppers to consider in their purchasing decision, and this is exactly how Amazon wants it to be.

How to Enroll in Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program

Gather 5 initial reviews by enrolling in the program. Here’s how:

1. Enroll Your Brand in Amazon’s Brand Registry

To be eligible for the Early Reviewer Program, you must be brand registered. Once your brand is enrolled in Amazon’s Brand Registry, you can access the Early Reviewer Program portal in Seller Central.

2. Prepare Your CSV Template

For brand registered sellers, the Early Reviewer Program portal can be found in Seller Central under the Advertising tab. To submit products for enrollment, sellers will upload their eligible SKUs through the template shown below, provided by Amazon. Additionally, up to 100 SKUs can be uploaded at once.

Product eligibility requirements include:

  • Must have fewer than 5 reviews on the listing
  • SKUs must be parent-level or stand-alone. No variations can be enrolled. Child SKUs are automatically enrolled with the parent.
  • Offer price of each product must be greater than $15. If the offer price falls below $15, we may cease requesting reviews from customers.

3. Upload Your Products Into the Early Reviewer Program

A seller will then upload the completed template containing eligible SKUs. Each enrolled SKU is $60, charged upon receipt of the first Early Reviewer Program review. Amazon will stop soliciting reviews when 5 reviews are collected through the program, or after one year, whichever happens first.

4. Refresh Submission Status

Finally, a seller can view the status of his or her submission within the portal. The uploaded file, along with the number of accepted products, number of products not accepted, and total uploaded products will show up in the Submission History & Product Enrollment Details section at the bottom of the page.

Moving Forward

Does this program mean that getting reviews is now super easy? Unfortunately, no.

But, it does show us that Amazon hasn’t left you all alone in the jungle to fend for yourself. If you’re launching a new product and are struggling with the need sales/need reviews cycle, Amazon is offering a helping hand to break you out of the cycle.

Perhaps now instead of driving 100-150 sales for 5 reviews, you’ll only need to drive 20 or 30. Of course, Amazon is incentivizing those reviews for you, which is an awesome opportunity for new products that need a little push.

As always, just be sure your product, listing, and customer service are outstanding. As a result, it will set you up for a great customer experience and help translate to positive reviews.

If you haven’t already, enroll your brand in Amazon’s Brand Registry. Without a doubt, the Early Reviewer Program is one of the many benefits of being brand registered, and we’ve got a good feeling there are more benefits to come.

*Note: After you register your brand, it may take up to 72 hours before you can access the Early Reviewer Program portal.

Are you brand registered? Are you enrolled in Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program? What do you think of Amazon’s new review program?

We’d love to hear from you! Before you go, leave your comments below!


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Amazon Email Opt-Out Option: Warning To Amazon Sellers

The Amazon-seller community was sent into a bit of a frenzy yesterday after Amazon sent out a rather puzzling email. The message warned sellers about contacting buyers who have chosen to opt out of receiving unsolicited messages from sellers.

But don’t worry. Contrary to what you may have read in Facebook groups, the world isn’t ending, and email follow-up sequences aren’t dead (for the time being, anyways).

What actually happened?

What we know so far is this: Amazon added an option for buyers to opt out of all Seller Feedback in their Amazon account.

Then, Amazon sent an email to sellers informing them that “unsolicited” messages cannot be delivered to buyers who have chosen to opt out of receiving Seller Communication/Feedback emails.

Let’s take a look at the email from Amazon:

“Dear Seller,

We were unable to deliver the message you sent for order [002-xxxxxxx-1234567] because the buyer has chosen to opt out of receiving unsolicited messages from sellers.

However, even if a buyer has opted out of unsolicited messages, if you need to send them a message critical to completing his or her order, you can do it using Buyer-Seller Messaging:

Go to Manage Orders.

Click the buyer’s name in the list, which will take you to Buyer-Seller Messaging.

Select “Additional Information Required” as your subject, write your message, and click Send

If you tried to respond to a buyer and received a message that the buyer has opted out of unsolicited seller messages, please respond to the buyer on the original message thread (instead of starting a new thread) and make sure that his or her original message is included in your reply.

For your reference, the following messages are considered “critical” to complete the order:

Product customization questions

Delivery scheduling

Issues with a shipping address

The following messages are “not critical” to complete the order:

Requests for seller feedback or customer reviews

Order, shipment, or delivery confirmations

Proactive customer service (for example: product manuals, tips for using the product, FAQs, suggestions if something goes wrong)

Out-of-stock or delay notifications and offers of alternate products (please cancel the order instead)

Please don’t send messages to opted-out buyers for correspondence that isn’t critical to completing the order. Repeated violations of this policy may result in enforcement actions or loss of selling privileges.

Learn more about Buyer-Seller Messaging and what messages are considered critical to completing orders.


Amazon Seller Support”

How does a buyer opt out of Seller Feedback?

Buyers can opt out, or unsubscribe from all Seller Feedback, a couple different ways.

  1. In the Communication Preferences Center in their Amazon settings
  2. Unsubscribing from emails sent from the Amazon Marketplace:

1. Communication Preferences Center

In their Amazon account, a buyer can change their email preferences in the Communication Preferences Center. To do this, a buyer will go to Your Account > Message Center > Communication Preferences

From there, a buyer can update their Promotional Email preferences. By default, all boxes are checked, meaning that the buyer will receive emails about all topics listed.

A seller can choose to opt out of a few categories, or they can choose to check the box marked “Do not send me any marketing email for now” to opt out of all promotional emails.

Opting out of all marketing emails does include unsubscribing from all Seller Communications and Feedback, which are two boxes under Promotional Emails.

2. Unsubscribing from a Marketplace Email

Another way Amazon buyers can opt out of Seller Feedback is by clicking the unsubscribe link from a Marketplace email. When a seller sends an email from the Amazon Marketplace (email address: to a buyer seeking feedback, there is an unsubscribe option in the footer.

If a buyer follows the Unsubscribe link, they’re directed to a page on Amazon where they can unsubscribe from Seller Feedback specifically or from all marketing communications.

Can buyers opt out of emails from 3rd party services?


When a buyer opts-out of emails from either the Communication Preferences Center in Amazon or through the Amazon Marketplace, they will, as far as we can tell, no longer receive marketing emails from any seller.

But wait… there’s more!

Thanks to the SPAM CAN Act of 2003, every email must include some form of opt-out. For this reason, Amazon and 3rd party Amazon Email Marketing Platforms include an unsubscribe option in the footer of every email sent.

Many of the major email follow-up tools in the Amazon space send out emails from addresses like this: Because the email isn’t coming directly from as mentioned above, the “Unsubscribe” in the footer of the email does not take the buyer to Amazon to opt out of Seller Feedback.

Instead, if a seller sends emails through a 3rd party Amazon email marketing platform, and a buyer unsubscribes from the unsubscribe button in at the bottom of that email, the buyer’s email is only blacklisted from email sends from that specific seller.

Example: your buyer unsubscribes from your email you sent out using a 3rd party platform. You will not be able to send an email to that buyer through that platform, but other sellers with that same buyer’s information, will be able to send to them through any other 3rd party platform. (unless that buyer has already opted-out through the Communication Preferences Center or the Amazon Marketplace. In that case, the seller will receive the email from Amazon stating the buyer has opted-out)

As far as we know, there is currently no way for a 3rd party Amazon email platforms to know if that buyer has opted-out through either the Communication Preferences Center or the Amazon Marketplace.

One source did say there’s no current API that informs sellers and 3rd party marketing platforms of opted out buyers. And, according to that source, continuing to send emails to your buyers is just fine, until the API is finalized. In the near future, it is likely that the API will show which buyers have opted out.

Once this API is in place, sellers will, more than likely, stop receiving the opt out message from Seller Feedback, as 3rd party tools will implement a filter for opted out buyers.

Did a bunch of Amazon buyers opt out all at once?

Our theory is no. Some buyers on Amazon had already opted out of receiving marketing communications from Amazon. From the information we’ve gathered, we’re hypothesizing that when Amazon added the option to opt out of Seller Feedback, it was added to the list of marketing communications.

For buyers who already opted out, they were automatically unsubscribed from Seller Feedback emails.  

Should I pause my current email campaigns?

According to our source, you can continue running email follow up campaigns until there is a feature to view which buyers have opted out. However, keep in mind that pushing the envelope here hasn’t yet been tested, so results are unknown. The initial email from Amazon states, “Repeated violations of this policy may result in enforcement actions or loss of selling privileges.”

To feel more confident running your email campaigns, we recommend contacting Seller Support directly (and this may take a few tries as some representatives may not be informed of the situation). Explain that you have received these emails, you use Amazon’s API to get buyer information and send out follow-up emails, and you are aware that the API does not currently give information about whether or not a buyer has opted out of Seller Communications and Feedback. Then, ask for confirmation to continue sending follow-up emails until there is a way to determine if a buyer has opted out or not.


Are email follow ups dead? No way.

Put simply, Amazon is stopping emails from going to people who have unsubscribed from Seller Communications and Feedback in either the Communication Preferences Center or in the Amazon Marketplace. The company has implemented an email that triggers when a seller sends an email to a buyer who has opted out of Seller Feedback.

Since the Amazon review TOS change in late 2016, reviews have become increasingly more difficult to obtain. This has resulted in a massive increase in the number of emails being sent to buyers.

Inboxes full of feedback emails don’t make for happy customers. And we know that Amazon is all about the customer.

Before all of this, shoppers didn’t have an easy one-time unsubscribe. Yesterday, Amazon added that option in the buyer’s best interest. Now, it’s more important than ever to make sure your feedback emails are straight, to the point, and engaging.

Is the world ending? No. Many buyers will not opt out of Seller Feedback and Communications. Once the API provides a way to view a buyer’s opt out status, email follow-up tools will implement a feature to smooth out the bumps.

Gathering reviews is now even more difficult as the pool of potential reviewers gets smaller and smaller. Be on the lookout for new, inventive ways to gather reviews as Viral Launch is working on a number of creative solutions to this issue and is excited to let everyone know more soon.

Please leave questions and comments in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!

The Amazon Canonical URL: Keyword Placement

Amazon is an incredibly vast and complex machine. While intimidating to some who have yet to find their footing, to others the complexity creates an immense frontier waiting to be explored and conquered. It seems that every day some frontiersman discovers a new trick or topic that somehow changes the Amazon private label community’s mindset or selling practices.

The brilliant Viral Launch Team made an interesting discovery over the holiday season. Have you ever been curious how Amazon decides which words to place in a product’s Canonical URL? Do you know how to influence the words that Amazon places in the canonical?

We’ve cracked the code and uncovered some key truths to keep in mind when building your listing’s title. With this understanding, you can dictate to Amazon which keywords should be in your product’s canonical URL.

What Is An Amazon Canonical URL?

A Canonical URL is a direct link to a product’s detail page that contains keywords pulled by Amazon, seemingly arbitrarily, from the product’s title and separated by hyphens. In the SEO world, this is generally referred to as the URL slug.

           The Canonical URL follows this structure:

            Here is the Canonical URL for the Amazon Echo:

            This is not a Canonical URL:

To find a product’s canonical URL you can either visit the product’s page through a search result or you can inspect the page elements using your browser’s developer tools: search the word “canonical” using Command + F (or Control + F for PC users), and copy the given Canonical URL. Side Note: the only reason I mention inspecting the page elements is because we have seen discrepancies in the canonical URL that shows in the address bar and the canonical that shows in the page’s code. We’ve found the inline canonical to be the “true” canonical.

The Benefit of Keywords In Your Amazon Canonical URL

Google SEO

The canonical URL is the Amazon product URL that Google indexes for search results. Run a search for “iphone scratch resistant case amazon”, and you’ll see the URLs they are indexing.

As you can see from this screenshot, Google is highlighting the keywords from the search that are found within the product’s canonical URL. We have done our fair share of Google SEO, and the Canonical URL is one element of an Amazon product listing that is ripe for leveraging ranking!

Amazon SEO

Unfortunately we don’t have a definitive answer as to whether or not the keywords in a listing’s canonical URL have impact on keyword ranking within Amazon. There have been rumors without any supporting evidence that it does. However, it is very difficult to discern with much confidence.

The reason it is so hard to properly attribute keyword ranking to the content in the canonical is that the same keywords are also found in the title, which has major influence on keyword ranking. Discerning where the keyword ranking attribution is derived from is next to impossible.

We are working to leverage our keyword data to help find any potential evidence, and we’ll let you know if we make a discovery. If you have more definitive data, we would love to hear it! Please, shoot us an email or leave a comment down below. 

Get the power of an optimized canonical URL and expert Amazon SEO when you use our Amazon product listing optimization service. 

Another Minor Amazon Policy Update Targeting Non-Verified Reviews

From September of this year forward, we have seen an unprecedented number of Amazon policy changes. Some changes have had major repercussions such as the TOS update posted on October 3rd of this year, and some updates have had minor impact such as the requirement of a customer account to have spent $50 in order to be eligible to leave a review. Posted the weekend of the 18th, we have yet another update, which from our perspective, should be chalked up as a minor change.

What Is The Policy Change

Over the weekend, Amazon updated their customer’s Community Guidelines, specifically under the section “Additional Guidelines for Customer Reviews”.

The new statement reads:

Customers can submit 5 non-Amazon Verified Purchase reviews each week, starting on Sundays.”

Just below that bullet is a statement that reads:

When we find unusually high numbers of reviews for a product posted in a short period of time, we may restrict reviews of these Amazon Verified Purchase reviews.”

I am not sure if the second statement is new or how long it has been there, but I find it a bit peculiar which I explain down below.

What It Means For Your And Your Business Moving Forward

A month and a half later and there still seems to be plenty of debate as to whether or not it is okay for reviews to be solicited/left on purchases made at a discount. In a blog post published a week or so after the TOS update of October 3rd banning the practice of giving products away at a discount, we stated that Amazon’s legal department had said specifically that reviews received from promotional sales were within Amazon’s Terms of Service. Naturally, there were still many skeptics, which I completely understand. However, with this update I imagine the air will be cleared.

In my opinion the most significant aspect of this change is simply that it serves as public proof that Amazon is accepting of unverified reviews. It seems as though there is no further room for debate as to whether or not soliciting honest feedback from discounted purchasers is within TOS. While we have known this for a few reasons, there were a lot of rumors floating about in various groups that receiving un-verified purchase reviews could result in a suspension from Amazon, or worse. If you have read some of my other posts, you know of my disdain for misleading rumors. I’m glad Amazon has disproven yet another.


How will this limit the number of reviews you are able to obtain from running promotions? I’m not quite sure the answer to this and I am even a bit confused.

There are two known limitations given by Amazon (from the customer’s perspective) when it comes to the quantity of reviews a seller is able to receive. The first limitation states that each customer is able to leave just five non-Amazon Verified Purchase reviews each week. While we are not allowed to track review rates from the promotions being run through Viral Launch, we know simply from what our seller’s report that the review rates are low. There is little expectation that this will have any measurable negative impact on the value of promotions as the previous benefit from receiving reviews was marginal.  

The next bullet point also talks about limiting reviews, but it is odd because it is referring specifically to limiting Verified Purchase reviews not non-Amazon Verified Purchase reviews. I am pretty well connected and well aware of a lot of things going on in the space. I am not, however, currently aware of any common methods of quickly driving inauthentic Amazon Verified Purchase reviews (not that I want to partake, it is my job to know however). Obviously I am not aware of everything going on, but I am curious if this will have an impact on sellers that are great at running external traffic to drive high volumes of sales and that also have a great feedback funnel (just wait until you see what we’re launching to help you with both of these aspects 😉 ). It will be interesting to see what Amazon means specifically with the phrases  “unusually high” and “in a short period of time”.  I would hate for sellers to be limited in their ability to generate authentic verified purchase reviews knowing just how valuable each and every review is in this day and age.

All in all, this new Amazon policy update is a great thing in my opinion! There is a lot of blackhat and underhanded activity going on in the marketplace that most sellers are not aware of. The more Amazon reigns in those activities, the greater your chances will be at succeeding so long as you focus on executing all aspects of your private label business well. This is a blow to dishonest sellers accumulating reviews from dishonest practices. I think Amazon deserves a “thanks” here. 🙂

As always, we’re here to help you succeed in everything you do. Let us know how/if we can be of any help in your journey to achieving success.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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