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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Ways to Start, Grow, or Scale Your Amazon Business with $1400

As the largest and latest round of stimulus checks make their way into bank accounts across the USA, we take a look into how you can use it as an investment into your business.

According to the IRS, about 90 million Americans were sent their $1,400 stimulus checks on Wednesday alone, with more to be sent in the coming weeks.

The newfound financial flexibility creates opportunities previously not afforded for those fortunate enough to receive the $1,400 as “extra” money. One popular way to view the stimulus check is as an avenue into investing, but investing isn’t limited to stocks.

Instead of investing in another company, why not invest in your own?

Whether you’re a longtime seller, beginner, or considering leaping into FBA, there are plenty of ways to rejuvenate or jumpstart your Amazon business with $1,400. By investing in your e-commerce business, you could easily turn your stimulus check into a long-term money-making machine.

[YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: 10 Ways You Can Make Money with Amazon]

We should mention this isn’t necessarily a guide. Every seller’s journey is different. The options we’ll highlight below are merely a few options you may want to consider. With prudent planning, these options present a promising opportunity for you to get a great return on investment from your stimulus check.

Without further ado, let’s dive into it!

Elevate Your Product Research Game

When it comes to selling on Amazon (and in most aspects of life), having the luxury of reliable data to base your decisions on is a tremendous luxury. For Amazon sellers, this is made possible through product research.

Whether you’ve yet to begin your FBA journey or have a catalog full of successful products, product research is crucial for sustained profitability. When you have access to comprehensive market data, it’s almost like having the answers to a test.

While reliable Amazon sales data is crucial at all stages, it’s especially vital for beginners. The research that goes into deciding upon your first product serves as a foundational aspect of your Amazon career. Choosing to source and sell a product without conducting intensive research with data you can trust is a surefire way to make your first product your last product.

So if you’re beginning to look into FBA, test out a few software providers. Most software providers will offer a free trial, giving you time to see if they’re right for you.

How to Find Successful Amazon Products with Viral Launch

Feel free to test trials from different software providers simultaneously to compare and contrast the data. If you notice any inconsistencies, don’t be shy. Ask their customer service team how they arrive at their numbers. With such an important decision that can pay off handsomely, don’t leave any stones unturned.

Aspiring Amazon entrepreneurs aren’t the only ones who can take their product research game up a notch. Often, Amazon sellers don’t utilize all tools within their toolset.

Whether there are underutilized tools in your current software plan or an opportunity to upgrade your plan for additional access, there’s no better time than now to explore unfamiliar tools. Amazon is constantly evolving, so sellers must evolve with it.

Boost Your Business with Captivating Creatives

It’s springtime! You know what that means. Spring cleaning!

For Amazon sellers, the seasonal cleaning isn’t limited to dusting ceiling fans, clearing out the refrigerator, and giving your home a good deep cleaning. It may be worth considering if your listing creatives are due for an upgrade.

Do your listing’s copy and product photography abide by Amazon requirements and follow the style guidelines? Is your competition doing something with their photos that seems to be working? Are you maximizing your visibility by having a keyword-optimized product listing, or are you missing out on indexation for keywords customers are using to products like yours?

These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself when considering updating your creatives.

Even if your product photography is in tip-top shape, additional photos can still provide plenty of benefits for your business. For example, possessing extra product images opens the door for creative advertising.

One way you can spruce up your advertising with enhanced photos is Amazon Posts, a relatively new option to increase brand visibility. Amazon Posts is a social media-like platform within Amazon that allows brand registered sellers to flex their advertising muscle. Appearing on product detail pages selected by Amazon, brands get the ever-important chance to poach customers from competing listings.

How Amazon Posts appears to shoppers.

The best thing about Amazon Posts? It’s totally free. Well, submitting your Posts is free, anyway. You’ll still want professional photos capable of enticing customers to earn a click. Since Amazon Posts is somewhat new, it’s flying under the radar of many sellers, but can be an incredibly efficient weapon for stealing customers from the competition.

Additionally, having extra photos come in handy if you sell outside of Amazon or may consider selling elsewhere at a later time.

Lastly, having extra photos at your disposal provides an even better opportunity to experiment for peak optimization. Once you’ve got premium product photography, don’t forget to split test! With a plethora of split testing sites to choose from, it’s an easy step to maximize your conversions and profitability!

Flex Your Marketing Muscle with PPC

Another great way to invest your stimulus money into your business is by using it to take the next step with Amazon PPC (pay-per-click) advertising.

Although Amazon debuted PPC advertising in 2012, it has grown considerably over the last 2-3 years and shows no sign of slowing down. With Amazon expected to net nearly $13 billion in advertising in the United States marketplace alone, the company has every reason to continue pushing and developing PPC.

Whether this means finally taking that PPC course, creating your first campaign, or trying out an unexplored ad type, doing it with a bonus $1,400 makes it a prime opportunity to experiment with PPC.

For sellers currently selling, it especially makes sense to test out new campaigns now as plenty of customers are flush with their stimulus money and tax season right around the corner.

Want to know more about Amazon PPC? Enroll in our FREE PPC Playbook Course.

After all, you’re not the only one receiving the stimulus. More customers shopping with more money is a recipe for more customer searches. As your product appears more frequently through search and on competitor listings, the sample size for your campaigns grows larger and, thus, more reliable.

Fortunately, the options are flexible for you regarding your PPC campaigns. Set your budgets as low or as high as you feel comfortable with, and barring disaster, let them run until the reporting data begins to stabilize. Once they’ve matured, you’ll have real data on your performance that you can use to optimize to your advantage.

Scale Your Store by Expanding Your Brand

Suppose you feel like you’ve squeezed nearly all the juice you can out of a product. First off, congratulations! It’s every Amazon sellers’ goal to reach and maintain peak performance, but what do you do once you’ve achieved it? For many, it can be a never-ending pursuit of perfection.

However, it may be more beneficial to scale your brand by finding your next home run. Think of your stimulus check as $1,400 off the development of your next product, and this becomes especially beneficial.

Of course, this entirely depends on your goals, resources, and risk appetite. Ideally, the learning curve for launching a new product shortens with each new product. If you’ve built a strong brand on Amazon, the likelihood of your next product being a success increases exponentially.

Instead of squeezing every penny possible out of your current storefront, dig into your sales reporting numbers and do your best to determine the best course of action for your business.

In Conclusion

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to supercharge your Amazon business! Whether jumpstarting your entrepreneurial career or looking to take your existing e-commerce operation up a notch, investing in your business with your stimulus money could provide an excellent, long-lasting return on investment.

No matter what you decide to do with your stimulus money, enjoy it! Without a doubt, extra cash in your pocket is nice. But creating long-lasting, sustainable sources of income is even better.

Thanks for reading! Want Amazon news sent directly to your inbox? Just drop your email below.

Is Amazon Ending The Early Reviewer Program?

The Amazon Early Reviewer Program, a popular way for sellers to earn their first five reviews, is entering its final days.

Effective immediately, enrollments in the Amazon Early Reviewer Program are no longer being accepted. Amazon confirms the discontinuation of the program within the Early Reviewer Program FAQs.

The Amazon Early Review Program proved to be a reliable, trustworthy way to generate authentic reviews by incentivizing customers to leave a review.

In 2016, Amazon updated its policy on reviews in response to a significant uptick in fake reviews. As a result, review generation became difficult, especially for new products entering the marketplace. In response, Amazon created the Early Reviewer Program to provide an option for new sellers to generate their first five reviews, with customers receiving small gift cards once they’ve left a review for a purchased product.

Amazon continuously innovates to improve the shopping and selling experience. Over the past several years, we have made numerous improvements to encourage purchasers to review products on Amazon. These initiatives, such as One Tap Reviews and Global Review Sharing have proven more effective in generating reviews than the Early Reviewer Program. Accordingly, as of March 10, 2021, we will no longer allow new enrollments in the Early Reviewer Program, and will stop offering the service to sellers currently enrolled in the program on April 25, 2021.

Amazon’s statement on the discontinuation of the Early Reviewer Program

Sellers looking to use the service are being notified via email that new enrollments are no longer being accepted. Enrolled sellers actively in the program have been notified of what this means for their business. The official message from Amazon can be seen below.

Message via Reddit u/silverspacegray

At the moment, it remains to be seen what the company has in store for future review generation. Just as the program was born in response to internal changes and seller response, there may be further changes to follow.

[YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program: What It Was & How It Worked]
An example of Amazon’s review generation efforts.

In an attempt to garner more trustworthy reviews, Amazon has increased efforts to amass reviews. As the company referenced in its statement, you’ve likely encountered more opportunities to leave reviews for your past purchases. Whether through pop-ups, emails or, native widgets, Amazon has taken on a more hands-on approach to reviews than in the past. As a result, less control over review generation has been in sellers’ hands.

New sellers looking to drive their first reviews may be tempted to circumvent Amazon’s terms of service. However, sellers who do so open themselves to account restrictions, suspensions, or even bans for violation of terms of service.

While review generation becomes increasingly difficult for new sellers with the removal of the Early Reviewer Program, options to assist your efforts do exist.

With the Request A Review Automation tool within the Market Intelligence Chrome extension, sellers can maximize their review generation efforts. And yes, it’s entirely compliant with Amazon’s terms of service.

The importance of review quantity and quality can’t be understated when it comes to selling on Amazon. By generating social proof of the quality of your products from past purchases, you’re much more inclined to experience more sales in the future.

Did you use the Amazon Early Reviewer Program? How do you feel about the service’s discontinuation? Drop a comment below to let us know!

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Amazon News & Updates: Amazon Launches Marketplace in Poland

The e-commerce giant continues its global expansion in Europe.

On Tuesday, March 2nd, Amazon expanded its reach by launching its Polish marketplace, Amazon.pl.

Upon launching, Amazon.pl boasts more than 100 million products across more than 30 categories, making it one of the company’s most expansive launches yet. As global e-commerce continues growth accelerated by the pandemic, the launch of yet another marketplace signals the world’s largest online retailer is still growing.

“We are thrilled to launch Amazon.pl and to be able to offer Polish customers a selection of more than 100 million products, including tens of thousands of products from local Polish businesses.”

Alex Ootes, VP of EU Expansion at Amazon, to Reuters

[Relevant: 5 Reasons To Start Selling on Amazon Europe]

While not without competition from e-commerce companies such as Poland-based Allegro, the arrival of Amazon into any marketplace or industry undoubtedly changes its landscape.

The Amazon.pl home page.

For Amazon sellers, it’s worthwhile to monitor Amazon’s steady expansion into new countries, as they often provide an opportunity to get your brand in front of a global audience. In most instances, Amazon’s fulfillment network makes it convenient for existing sellers to be listed in international marketplaces.

Additionally, making your products available sooner on any Amazon marketplace could pay off handsomely if the new market adopts it as the e-commerce marketplace of choice. If you’re a seller looking to grow internationally with Amazon, you can get started here.

The addition of an Amazon marketplace in Poland brings Amazon’s total marketplaces to 19, spanning North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

The 19 Amazon Global Marketplaces as of March 2021

The Amazon Poland Launch comes less than six months after the arrival of Amazon Sweden. While no announcements regarding further expansion have been made, we’ll be monitoring Amazon’s ongoing expansion efforts.

[Recommended: Find International Products with Product Discovery!]

Want the latest Amazon news and updates sent to your inbox? Stay in the loop with all things Amazon by dropping your email below!

10 Ways You Can Make Money on Amazon

Whether you’re searching for a side hustle or a full-time gig, here’s how to make money on Amazon.

As Amazon has grown, so has the opportunity for everyday folks like me and you to make money through the e-commerce mega-power.

Much of Amazon’s immense success comes from its ability to create and host marketplaces and charging for its platform and services. While millions and millions of people will pay Amazon for products this year, you can instead use Amazon to make money.

No matter your background, resources, or time commitment, Amazon has a money-making proposition for you. To prove that, check out this list for 10 ways how you can make money on Amazon.

1. Start Your Own Private Label Business

Through the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program, selling on Amazon remains a tremendous opportunity for those looking for high-upside, sustainable income. You’ve probably purchased plenty of products on Amazon, but did you know you might be buying from an independent seller not much different than yourself? Independent third-party sellers sell over half of the products sold on Amazon.

Private label refers to sellers who manufacture a product to be sold under a retailer’s brand. Third-party sellers are independent sellers who own a product to be sold. Thanks to the seller-friendly Amazon FBA program, starting your own online business has never been easier.

Enrolling in FBA gives you access to Amazon’s seemingly endless warehouse storage space, two-day Amazon Prime shipping service, and customer service team. These features eliminate the most challenging barriers of starting an online business while simultaneously placing your product on a platform with hundreds of millions of built-in customers.

The process for kickstarting an Amazon business is more simple than you’d think!
  • Find a product to source and sell with help from a product research tool like Product Discovery. With access to sales data for product markets and customizable filters, you can efficiently perform data-driven research and dig deep to find a winning product.
  • Once you’ve broken down the numbers and decided upon a product that is right for you, find a manufacturer. Sites like Alibaba specialize in manufacturing products for independent sellers.
  • Sign up for FBA and ship your product to Amazon’s warehouse. Just complete your listing, and you’re ready to start generating sales. Your listing automatically is equipped with the Amazon Prime badge!

While selling on Amazon requires ongoing work in various business aspects, the startup is affordable and straightforward. With literally billions of dollars going to Amazon sellers, the prospect of selling on Amazon provides limitless potential for ongoing success.

2. Resell Goods Through Retail Arbitrage

Want to make money on Amazon without the cost or commitment of FBA? Retail arbitrage might be for you!

Retail arbitrage is the practice of buying an item from one marketplace and reselling it on another at a higher price. Recently, buying sports cards and collectibles at garage sales to resell online at a marked up price increased in popularity.

Because this often includes finding products on other websites (like eBay) or physically purchase products in stores, this option may not make sense for everyone. This makes scalability difficult but allows many to dip their toes into the water without diving in headfirst.

However, if you find a product you can reliably flip for a profit, it’s not much different than finding cash! Retail arbitrage is especially appealing for those who find joy in the hustle and grind.

3. Find A Wholesale Distributor and Sell Products from an Established Brand

Wouldn’t it be nice to skip building your own brand and sell products from name brands? If this sounds intriguing to you, wholesaling might be your route to success!

In a way, wholesale mixes of #1 and #2 on this list.

Wholesaling on Amazon typically involves buying products in bulk from an established company to resell for a profit. The process of finding an excellent wholesale product would be identical to private label until it’s time to purchase.

Once you’ve found a perfect product, you would go directly to the brand instead of sourcing from a manufacturer and slapping your logo on it. Instead, you’d purchase the inventory and ship it to Amazon’s warehouses under the brand name.

For example, Nike stopped shipping directly to Amazon in 2019, yet people still search for Nike gear. Hypothetically, you could research Nike’s wholesale policy and apply to become a wholesaler. If approved, you could sell a globally recognized brand that people are already looking to buy.

Of course, this is dependent upon their approval, your ability to gain the necessary certificates and documentation, and the negotiated prices that impact your profitability.

4. Start Dropshipping on Amazon

Similar to retail arbitrage, dropshipping features even less seller responsibility, although it often requires even more research and lower profit margins.

Dropshipping is an order fulfillment method in which the seller does not keep product in stock. Instead, the seller receives an order and passes it to a third-party supplier who ships and completes the order.

The appeal of dropshipping is apparent, you never touch or store the product, saving you a ton in manufacturing and inventory fees! However, the downside is equally prominent. Most of the money received will end up in the hands of the manufacturer, making it difficult to turn a profit.

For many dropshippers, it requires a high volume of sales for it to be worth the time and effort. Although it requires less

While there are plenty of pros and cons, dropshipping can be a winning method to making money on Amazon, or a way to give selling on Amazon without the long-term responsibility and fees of FBA.

5. Author Your Amazon Success Story with Kindle Direct Publishing

Amazon famously began as an online bookstore. Since then, it’s continued to look for ways to revolutionize bookstores.

Kindle Direct Publishing generates recurring income for authors.

In late 2007, Amazon launched the initial Kindle. While most of the emphasis centered around the way we read, Amazon also looked to revolutionize book publishing with the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform. KDP allows authors to publish their books directly to the Kindle Store independently.

Passionate writers no longer need to rely upon lengthy, expensive publishing companies for their words to reach the masses.

If you’re willing to give Amazon exclusivity to your e-book, you can earn even more money through KDP Select. Utilizing KDP Select makes your e-book “free” for anyone with Kindle Unlimited. Authors get paid per page read, which can be incredibly rewarding and makes it possible to earn money in perpetuity for your writing skills.

Now that I mention it, maybe this article would look better in an e-book…

6. Show Off Your Design Skills with Merch by Amazon

Merch by Amazon extends a golden opportunity to those with a passion for graphic design. And the best part? Selling on Merch by Amazon features zero upfront fees, making it completely risk-free!

To be a Merch designer, you must first submit an application stating your information and goals. Then, upload your artwork and click submit. Amazon takes care of the rest, placing your art on merchandise like shirts, phone cases, tote bags, and throw pillows. As orders come in for your artwork, you earn royalties for each item purchased with your design.

For designers selling goods, the issue of ordering the optimal amount of a product often presents problems. Make too many of an item, and your profits take a significant cut from excess inventory. Make too little and miss out on potential sales.

Merch by Amazon alleviates creators of any inventory concerns or other selling responsibilities, allowing designers to do what they do best.

7. Flex Your Marketing Muscle With Amazon Associates

Ask any seller on Amazon; visibility is the name of the game. With millions of product listings in the marketplace, sellers need to position their products for maximum visibility.

Enter Amazon Associates – an affiliate marketing program created to help influencers of all backgrounds monetize their audience.

Have you ever read something on the internet with a message like this?

Via GQ

Affiliate commissions are rapidly surging in popularity, from social media influencers to major publications to popular Facebook groups or other internet forums. And for a good reason.

Affiliate marketing commissions create continuous, recurring revenue. A written article, social media post, or video that drives continuously drives traffic can create a constant stream of passive income.

8. Monetize Your Large Following within the Amazon Influencer Platform

An extension of the Amazon Associates program, the Amazon Influencer Platform fits the specific needs of influencers.

How an Amazon Influencer storefront looks to viewers

To be accepted into the influencer program, Amazon requires a larger following than the Affiliates. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t state the magic number of followers for acceptance into the program.

But if you have a sizable following up to the program’s standards, it can be incredibly rewarding with little work!

However, being an Influencer gives you access not just to purchasable links but to an entire storefront. Add your storefront to your bio or high-visibility sections of your social media profile of choice and gain commissions as followers purchase from your curated list of favorites.

Just keep generating click-worthy content, build your following, and watch as your commissions pile up!

9. Be A Part of Amazon’s Revolutionary Fulfillment Process

In 2005, Amazon debuted Amazon Prime, its membership program boasting free two-day shipping, among other perks. As of January 2020, more than 150 million people are Prime members.

Fulfilling orders so quickly requires a massive team of workers.

To fulfill the massive amount of orders, Amazon needs plenty of laborers in its warehouses and delivery network.

Amazon employs more than a million people, many of whom work in logistics at one of the company’s many warehouses. In the wake of COVID-19, Amazon added over 150,000 employees to handle the booming workload.

In late 2018, Amazon announced it raised the minimum wage for U.S. employees to $15 an hour, more than double the country’s minimum wage. For full-time workers, that comes out to $31,200 before taxes!

Unlike most retail businesses that open and close daily, Amazon is open 24/7, allowing for flexible scheduling for warehouse workers and delivery drivers. Whether looking for full-time or part-time work during the day or night, there’s a shift for you at Amazon.

While most of the other jobs are a little more unconventional, being a part of Amazon’s logistics team provides a safe, traditional way to earn money for your time.

10. Craft A Worldwide Business with Amazon Handmade

Amazon Handmade allows artisans to scale their business internationally. Amazon boasts creators from over 80 countries through Amazon Handmade.

In eight categories (Jewelry, Home Décor, Kitchen & Dining, Beauty & Grooming, Handbags & Totes, Stationery & Party Supplies, Clothing & Accessories, and Toys & Games), craftspersons can easily take their local business global.

Amazon Handmade presents another option for artisans, in addition to platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Shopify stores, and Etsy shops. By adding Amazon Handmade to the mix, handcrafted items reach a larger audience than ever before. For business owners selling do-it-yourself crafts, maintaining a presence on these platforms can pay off exponentially.

Conclusion

As the leader in e-commerce, Amazon presents plenty of excellent ways for people of all walks of life to make money. Of course, there are more than 10 ways to make money Amazon, and likely, even more will spawn as Amazon continues its explosive growth.

Thanks to Amazon’s massive, far-reaching marketplace, anyone can get involved and find a way to make money on Amazon.

At Viral Launch, we’re constantly amazed at the diverse backgrounds and stories behind those utilizing Amazon in the pursuit of financial freedom. For instance, we’ve witnessed college students pay for school via dropshipping and grandparents starting an online business with hopes to pass it down for generations.

No matter who you are, Amazon offers a way for you to make money online!

Have any questions or experience making money on Amazon! Feel free to leave a comment and join the conversation!

Amazon Posts: A Powerful Secret Weapon for Growing Your Brand

Your introductory guide to Amazon Posts: Amazon’s own social media-like platform that savvy sellers are weaponizing to amplify brand exposure and sales.

At Viral Launch, we get plenty of questions from Amazon sellers looking to optimize their FBA experience. By far, the topics of boosting sales, increasing visibility, and building a brand on Amazon are the most frequently broached subjects.

Methods to achieving these goals exist. However, they can be intimidating for sellers due to a combination of complexity, cost, and time-consumption.

Enter Amazon Posts.

With an aesthetic and interface similar to Instagram, Posts allows sellers to promote their brand and products to a potentially massive audience. Additionally, it’s simple to setup and use, easy-to-understand, and best of all, it’s 100% free!

How Amazon Posts appear for shoppers

Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest have invested heavily in integrating eCommerce into their social media platforms; Amazon already has a massive user base and eCommerce engine.

Although Posts is in beta, forward-thinking sellers are already building substantial follower counts and generating impressions by the thousands.

Unquestionably, sellers should familiarize themselves with Amazon Posts as soon as possible to start raking in followers and sales while building brand loyalty. With limitless potential, it only figures to become an even more significant aspect of the Amazon marketing mix.

To help you get up to speed, we’ve answered a few of the frequently asked questions about the powerful new feature below!

What is Amazon Posts?

Let’s go straight to the source on this one.

Currently in beta, Posts delivers your brand story to relevant shoppers as they browse your categories on Amazon. Shoppers can click through Posts to explore your brand’s feed, and discover product pages directly from your feed. Click through from your brand’s feed to your product pages. Posts appear on the Amazon mobile shopping app (iOS and Android) and on mobile web.

Amazon

Mobile customers will be shown Posts for related products on the Product Detail page, presenting the opportunity to poach customers from rivals in the market.

Previously, sellers had to purchase this advertising space through PPC! Now, eligible sellers can do so for free.

An example of how Posts are displayed on the Amazon app

Additionally, Amazon states that systems are in place to automatically place your Posts in feeds and product detail pages based on relevance and customer engagement. Just post your content and they’ll take care of the rest!

Who can use Posts?

At the present time, it’s exclusive to sellers in the U.S. marketplace in the Amazon Brand Registry program. Sorry, international sellers!

How do I access Amazon Posts?

Eligible sellers must first set up a profile in the Advertising Console to establish your brand’s feed. Follow these simple steps to start posting sales-inducing content that stands out amongst the competition!

To create a profile:

  • Go to Posts Publisher and sign-in using your credentials.
  • Click Create profile for the Store that you’d like to link Posts profile to.
  • Enter the appropriate information for your profile.
    a. Profile name: The profile name is shopper-facing and filled in based on the brand name. You have an option to edit it.
    b. Profile logo: Choose a 640×640 pixel or larger image under 100MB in RBG color format.
  • Select the checkbox for the Terms and Conditions and submit your profile for review. You can proceed with creating a Post while the profile is under construction.

To create a Post:

  • In Posts Publisher, click Create Post.
  • Upload an image: Choose a 640×640 pixel or larger image under 100MB.
  • Write a caption for your Post.
  • Add the ASIN related to your Post. If the ASIN is out of stock or there is no image on the product detail page, your Post will not be shown.
  • Submit Post for review. Before submitting, review all of the information to ensure each aspect is as desired.

Once you’ve submitted a Post, it goes into Amazon’s review process before going live. Within the Posts Dashboard, you can track the status of your submission. Typically, the review process takes no more than 4 hours.

Per Amazon Posts Creative Policy, sellers are encouraged to tell a story using their product, not just rehash aspects of the product listing

Is there any way to monitor the performance of my Posts?

As a part of the Amazon Advertising Console, you’re able to track multiple metrics to gauge performance. Viewable impressions, engagement, and engagement rate in the console inform you of your reach.

Perhaps more importantly, customers have the option to follow your brand on Amazon. Furthermore, this allows a chance to retain customers and build brand loyalty like never before!

Should I be using Amazon Posts?

As veteran sellers know, any possible edge you can get on your Amazon competition can make a tremendous difference in your bottom line. With this in mind, a successful seller leaves no stone unturned in their pursuit of growth and eCommerce dominance.

Amazon’s simple and uniform shopping experience is one of many reasons why it’s the eCommerce platform of choice. Consequently, the uniformity in presentation, sellers are given few options to stand out. Because of this, all opportunities to distinguish your product should be explored and exhausted to maximize your chance at longstanding success.

With Amazon Posts, sellers get a golden opportunity to differentiate themselves with creative, inspiring content. Presently, too few sellers are taking advantage of this, making it a market inefficiency you can leverage into exponential brand recognition and growth.

If you’re already utilizing Instagram or other avenues to promote your business visually, you’re likely already doing a bulk of the work. All you need to do is set up your account and let the followers, impressions, and purchases flow in.

For your brand to have an opportunity to be promoted under competing listings at no cost is genuinely an unheard-of opportunity and should not be ignored! If we’re allowed to speculate, we hypothesize it may not be free forever.

Don’t let this opportunity go to waste! Sign up for Amazon Posts as soon as possible to take your brand to the next level.

Amazon Officially Delays Prime Day 2020

As speculated, Amazon has shelved its signature summertime shopping holiday for a later date than usual this year. 

The annual e-commerce mega-event typically kicks off in mid-July, so the cornoravirus complications causing the postponement comes as no surprise. Amazon did not provide a replacement date for Prime Day, only giving away that “This year we’ll be holding Prime Day later than usual.” via an Amazon spokesperson. Despite an officially announced date, rumors persist that Prime Day will occur sometime in September of this year.

Prime Day started in 2015 with heavily discounted products available exclusively to Amazon Prime subscribers to celebrate Amazon’s 20th birthday. Since the inception of Prime Day, it has rivaled Black Friday and Cyber Monday for the calendar’s most massive commerce days.

In 2019, Prime Day extended to 48 hours, with 18 participating countries. The sales extravaganza spurred over 175 million items purchased, surpassing totals from Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 combined.

Prime Day Over The Years

Prime Day sales per year, from Statista

With this immense influx of sales from the over 150 million Amazon Prime subscribers, Prime Day has been an incredible opportunity for sellers to extend their reach and boost their sales. Like the holiday season, it requires unique planning for sellers as they gear up to optimize their chance to make the most of the sales spectacular.

All sellers should circle the eventual date of Prime Day once Amazon announces the new date. In the meantime, we recommend penciling in September for the expected Prime Day 2020.

Prime Day always presents a humongous opportunity for sellers to take advantage of the sales promotion and deep discounts.

For sellers, Prime Day prep begins well before the event kicks off. Be sure to optimize marketing and inventory planning to get peak value as a result of the additional exposure.

Be sure to stay posted to our blog! We’ll keep you updated and informed on the latest happenings surrounding Prime Day and other aspects of selling on Amazon.

Product and market research is absolutely critical to ensuring you’ve got the edge on your competition all of the time. But, the importance of that edge amplifies during times of increased sales.

Make sure you’re the most informed seller in your market by utilizing tools like Market Intelligence and Competitor Intelligence to have the upper hand and dominate your market!

How To Get Amazon Reviews: Automated Review Conversion From Viral Launch

Email Follow-Ups. Are. Dead. 

     As an Amazon seller you know first-hand how difficult getting product reviews can be; as well as how important they are to the success of your product. Reviews are the social proof that many shoppers ultimately base their purchasing decisions on. With feedback being so vital to a product’s performance, some sellers even resort to less-than-legitimate ways of generating reviews such crafty email follow-ups that contain manipulative messaging. Sellers may offer a free product in exchange for an “honest review” and some may even go so far as to buy product reviews through a third-party (these practices are against Amazon Terms of Service and could result in account suspension.) 

     Of course, not all sellers are violating ToS with email follow-ups that use these kinds of black-hat tactics. In the past, a legitimate email follow-up was arguably the best way to get real reviews from your customers. However, the rules around the type of language that is appropriate for email follow-ups changes frequently and staying on top of the current allowed verbiage is very difficult. Luckily, in Q4 of 2019, Amazon quietly released a feature within Seller Central that is disrupting this outdated method and offering much better results. Not to mention, this practice is 100% Amazon-sanctioned! 

Amazon’s ‘Request a Review’ button

    As some of you may have noticed, there is a new button located on your Order Details page within the Seller Central dashboard. You can find this by navigating to a completed order, clicking on “order details,” and then in the upper right-hand corner should be a button labeled “request a review.” This button will send an email, from Amazon, requesting feedback. See figure below. 

     Once this button is pressed, Amazon will prompt you with a few notifications as they send an email to the customer requesting a product review. The messaging is simple and straightforward allowing for quick feedback from the customer. The email customers receive allows them to simply leave a star rating (a 1-5 star rating with no written review) which greatly increases the likelihood of product feedback. 

     Reviews can only be requested on orders that are completed and can also only be requested once. This limits the amount of messages customers are receiving and prevents sellers from abusing this feature by spamming past buyers with emails. Shown below is an example of a product review email a customer might receive. 

VL’s programmatic solution to requesting reviews

     Since the “request a review” button is found within the orders details of each individual purchase, even medium-sized sellers would need to navigate hundreds of unique pages in order to request reviews for daily purchases. However, Viral Launch has automated this process with the release of Review Automation. As an add-on to the Market Intelligence chrome extension, VL subscribers will have the functionality of requesting reviews for all eligible orders with just a few clicks!

The first step is to grant permissions in order for the extension to function properly. From the “Manage Orders” page in Seller Central, click on the extension icon and follow the prompt to grant permissions. From there, you can begin requesting reviews in bulk for all of your eligible orders!

Click “request reviews” to have Amazon reach out to your customers on your behalf and request product feedback. Then just sit back and watch the reviews and ratings start flooding in!

     With this new capability offered by Viral Launch, sellers are able to request reviews from individual orders without navigating into the order details for each. To simplify things even further, sellers can request reviews from all eligible orders within a specified date range! The extension will then denote which orders have a pending review request as to make sure sellers aren’t attempting to send more than one email. 

What impact will Amazon’s ‘Request a Review’ button have on my business?

     There are several ways this new feature will impact sellers. Converting sales into reviews has never been easier so it’s something everyone should be taking advantage of to help better their product’s positioning in the eyes of potential customers. Our take on the impacts of this update are as follows:

  • Email follow-ups will quickly become old news…
    • Review rates from email follow-ups have always been very low and relatively ineffective compared to the early results of Amazon’s new ‘Request a Review’ button. 
  • New products will be able to build a solid review base much more quickly… 
    • With review rates being up to 5x higher than traditional email-follow ups, new products will gain traction in their markets and become legitimate competitors.
  • Review counts for high-volume products will skyrocket… 
    • While new products will find it easier to build an initial base of reviews, top sellers will see review numbers increasing at an exponential rate. 
  • Average product star ratings will begin to improve… 
    • Since feedback is often left when a shopper has a negative experience, the ease of leaving a 5-star review will balance out the average rating on less-than-stellar products. 

     A study done by Marketplace Pulse is reinforcing some of our theories around the impacts this new feature will have. Since September (when the ‘request a review’ button was added) the Amazon listing for Apple Airpods has increased its number of reviews from less than 3,000 at a 4.4 star rating to over 38,000 with a 4.6 star rating! Since peak Q4, this listing has been generating over 600 product ratings/day. Another interesting thing to note is that the majority of feedback left has been in the form of star ratings without a written review. The screenshot below comes from a Marketplace Pulse article analyzing the rate at which Apple Airpods have received reviews vs ratings. As illustrated, it’s easy to tell that shoppers are much more inclined to leave feedback on past purchases if the process is simplified down to just one click.

How can I get this awesome functionality?!?!

     For those of you with a current Market Intelligence subscription, you can access this new review tool now at no extra fee. So log into Seller Central today and start building reviews at 5x the rate of your outdated email follow-up!

     For anyone without an active Viral Launch subscription, don’t worry! For a limited time, we’re offering a subscription to Market Intelligence and Review Automation for only $10/month when you use coupon code REVIEWSPLEASE at checkout! This discounted offer will only be available through 3/7/2020 so click here to subscribe today! 

How To Prepare for the Amazon Policy Crackdown on Product Titles

The title of a product on Amazon carries a lot of weight when it comes to organic rank and click-through rates, and if your listing isn’t in step with the official style requirements, the upcoming Amazon policy enforcement should motivate you to make some changes.

Amazon recently announced that on July 22 it will be “suppressing ASINs from Amazon Search that violate Amazon’s title guidelines.” According to the announcement, the reason behind this new enforcement is that titles that don’t comply with Amazon’s guidelines “result in a poor customer experience.”

As shown in the news release above, the announcement mentions some specific requirements:

  • No promotional language can be used, such as “free shipping” or “100% quality guaranteed.”
  • Other examples would be “Best Seller” or “Hot Item.”
  • No non-readable characters can be used, such as HTML code.
  • The length of a title can’t exceed 200 characters. Titles must include “product identifying information,” which describes what the product is, such as a garlic press or first aid kit. 

Although not mentioned in the announcement, the Amazon Style Guide also contains a number of further requirements, such as prohibiting the use of all caps or special characters (such as ! or $.) 

No one wants their business disrupted, so it’s important to understand the effect of what this new level of Amazon policy enforcement may have on your brand, and then take some practical steps to ensure you can maintain your visibility and sales.

What This Means for Amazon Sellers

The most important element of a product listing is its title, and having it optimized for organic search is a vital part of gaining visibility under any conditions. 

The “suppression from search” for those who violate the title guidelines is open to interpretation,  but the announcement indicates that this suppression would actually be a removal from search entirely. 

Amazon mentions that if a product title is penalized, “[o]nce the issue is fixed, we will remove the search suppression and the ASIN will appear back on Amazon search.”

From this statement, the penalization wouldn’t be a matter of your product taking a drop in organic ranking and be languishing many pages deep in a search. It would be an outright elimination from organic search, and the effect on your product’s visibility and sales would bring your business to a halt.

Considering the amount of products that exist in Amazon’s marketplace, how quickly they will be able to roll out this tighter enforcement is uncertain. It likely won’t happen immediately, yet ensuring your title is compliant with the style guide so that your product remains searchable should be your current top priority. 

Getting Your Listing Ready for Compliance 

To avoid losing visibility, ranking, and sales, we’ve provided a list of crucial steps for becoming compliant with the title guidelines.

In case you aren’t clear on the guidelines or need access to them, we’ve created a downloadable spreadsheet, Amazon Style Guides by Category. It breaks down what the title counts have previously been for each category and provides links to the style guides for each category. The announcement states title character counts cannot exceed 200 characters, so it remains to be seen if certain categories will continue to be limited to 50 characters. 

Another requirement in some categories is that businesses must include their brand name in their product titles. Although this helps promote your brand, it essentially restricts the character limit even more, forcing business to balance visibility, precision, and helpful information.

How To Stay Compliant

Before the deadline arrives, follow these five tasks help you stay compliant and avoid any issues:

1. Access your style guide from our spreadsheet and track down the category-specific limitations for your title. Find the exact character count and if you’re exempt from having to include your brand name. Keep in mind that Amazon updates style guides regularly, so be sure to stay up-to-date.

2. Write a new title, staying within the new limit for your category and including your brand name, if required. Our tool Listing Builder can help you quickly devise a new one and move any previous info from your title into your bullet points.

3. Set up organic rank notifications for a particular keyword in Keyword Manager. Go to the Notification Settings, and under Rank Change Notifications, choose to receive messages based on whether the rank increases or drops, or only if it drops. You can then specify how high or low you want the rank positions to be and in this instance you should set wide parameters for the notifications. The tool will then message you if your organic rank changes after the new policy goes into effect. (You can also receive notifications on your Sponsored Rank, as shown in the GIF below.)

4. Set up buy box and Best Seller Rank notifications in Competitor Intelligence for your ASINs. If any changes occur, we send an alert to keep you informed. Using CI, you can track keywords a competitor is targeting and indexed for, and see the keywords’ organic rank. You can then choose to receive change alerts for the keywords’ ranking. This can occur on an hourly basis, as shown below.

5. If notified that your ASIN is affected, implement your new title and bullets to your product listing. After you make this update, Amazon will re-index your listing. As a result, you’ll temporarily see a drop in your organic ranking. But based on your sales history, reviews, and traffic, you’ll see your rank resume its position.

Stay Compliant, Stay Successful

The recent announcement regarding titles has received a variety of different reactions. And many sellers may be asking why it took Amazon so long to enforce its own policy. No matter how you feel, ensuring your title meets Amazon’s policy requirements safeguards your listing. Since visibility remains crucial, avoiding penalization and a loss in visibility helps maintain your sales opportunities. 

For any help getting in step with Amazon’s product title guidelines, contact us at service@viral-launch.com. Our team ensures your product listing complies with Amazon’s style guide and remains optimized to increase your visibility, conversions, and business growth.

The Importance of Ad Position in Your Amazon Sponsored Ads

What items are at the top of your Amazon to-do list? When it comes to maintaining your sales, you should be dedicating a significant amount of time to tracking and improving your Amazon Sponsored Ad campaign performance. Identifying potential issues and fixing them before your campaigns start to perform poorly can save lots of time and headache in the long-run.

Let’s dive into the most important metrics to monitor in your Sponsored Ads, and how you can add smart automation to increase your success rate on Amazon.

A Common Amazon Sponsored Ads Mistake

Constantly optimizing your ad campaigns is so important because Amazon’s algorithms are designed to reward products that perform well, and even a single day with low sales volume will negatively impact your sales velocity. As a result, both your organic rank and paid rank will suffer.  

As you’re managing Sponsored Ads campaigns, it is very important that you pay attention to every single ranking movement, ensuring that you know when your ad is performing well. Getting this right will not only result in a well-performing campaign, but it will also help your promoted listing gain organic positions. (If your goal is to push organic rankings via sponsored ads, make sure that your listing is optimized for your targeted keywords before starting the campaign.)

Many advertisers fail with Sponsored Ads because they don’t know how the platform works. They’ll throw marketing dollars into this advertising channel without any sort of plan in place. One of the causes of this behaviour is that Sponsored Ads is one of the hottest topics in the Amazon space and every Amazon “guru” out there is trying to monetize this trend by selling information that is often not backed by data. The result is hundreds of new sellers starting to advertise on Amazon only because they’ve been told to do so, and they’re afraid of missing out if they don’t join the trend. Classic FOMO.

Guess what? This behaviour will get you in big trouble.

The Ad Strategy that Can Change Everything

Amazon’s Sponsored Ads engine is run by a sophisticated algorithm. Understanding its mechanism is not easy, even if you have some previous experience running campaigns on Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords). There are so many moving parts that it takes just one of them performing poorly to jeopardize your whole campaign.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that building campaigns in Amazon’s Sponsored Ads is just the same as in Google Ads. Unfortunately, this is not the case. While Google Ads is designed to drive traffic from different channels and optimize based on the trackable goals that you specify (eg. lead, purchase, view of a key page, etc.), Amazon’s Sponsored Ads optimization algorithm is designed to favour ads that make Amazon more money.

This, of course, changes everything.

One of the things that I’ve learned over years of managing campaigns on Google Ads is that your campaign performance will only be as good as you are at managing it. For instance, the mistake that most people make with Sponsored Ads is to focus solely on ACoS which is not the best KPI (Key Performance Indicator).

For a campaign to be profitable, you need to first know your breakeven point. This is determined by your listing’s conversion rate, cost-per-click and, of course, the maximum cost that you are willing to pay to acquire a customer (Max CPA). Once you have these metrics, you need to calculate your maximum cost-per-click that you can afford to pay to be profitable.

You can use the following formula to calculate your maximum cost-per-click:

The table below will help you to calculate what your Max CPC should be based on the metrics mentioned above:

  • Sale Price = The price at which your product sells or is sold at after its price has been reduced.
  • CoGS = Cost of Good sold including Amazon fees and various manufacturing costs.
  • Max CPA = (Sale Price – CoGS = CPA) The maximum cost you can afford to pay to acquire a customer and break even.
  • Listing CR = Your current listing’s conversion rate (you can find this number in your Seller Central’s business reports)
  • Max CPC = The maximum cost you can afford to pay for a click and still make money.

This formula will change everything, as you will learn that, often, the keywords you’re currently targeting are not the best-performing. Consequently, you will be more profitable if you focus on those that you can afford to buy clicks for (based on your max CPC).

Once you have this step figured out, the next big metric to monitor is your ad position.

If you are familiar with Google Ads, you probably know that one of the most popular bidding strategies is the “bid to position.” In fact,Search Engine Land even wrote a script to automate this. Of course, having your ad show in position one is the goal for most advertisers, as this will not only increase the ad visibility but get you the highest CTR (ad copy plays a big role here)  which means more traffic. This rule is significantly more important with Amazon Sponsored Ads given that nearly 70% of Amazon.com shoppers place orders using a mobile device.

Keep in mind that higher position means, often, higher CPC so you have to focus on conversion rate optimization first (if you listing’s conversion rate is low) and ensure that you can afford to pay a higher CPC that allows you to compete for position #1.

Now that you know how important your ad position is, it is imperative that you build and structure your campaigns in a way that allows you to achieve this result while minimizing your ad spend.

Keep Track of Your Ad Position

After testing this theory with outstanding results for the past nine months, we decided to build a tool that allows Amazon advertisers to monitor their ad position and receive notifications alerting you when your ad is losing positions. Keyword Manager shows exactly where your product is ranking so that you can precisely measure the results of your efforts. You can even view historical data to see where your ads are at now compared to where they’ve been in the past.

Alongside your Sponsored Ad rank, Keyword Manager shows helpful metrics such as Amazon’s Choice Badge notifications, Amazon’s relevancy score, search volumes, suggested CPC bids, organic rank position, whether or not you’re indexed, and more. No other tool shows you these many keyword insights.

Try Keyword Manager out for yourself. Whether you’re implementing a new Sponsored Ads strategy with profitability in mind, or you’re monitoring your indexation and keyword rank, Keyword Manager equips you with the metrics you need to position your listing for success.

Track Your Ad Position