Amazon Accelerate 2022: New and Enhanced Tools Take Center Stage To Help Sellers Succeed on and off the Marketplace Platform
With Amazon’s annual seller conference Amazon Accelerate behind us, here is a look at some of the new seller tools announced by the company.
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Amazon Warehousing & Distribution (AWD)
This new service was actually announced before the conference, but Amazon discussed it further during the event.
AWD will allow sellers to inventory master cartons at designated warehouse locations which can be broken up into individual units for sale and shipped to fulfillment warehouses when inventory runs low.
This inventory strategy is a more economical approach to stock products while still being integrated into the Amazon logistics eco-system.
In addition, starting in 2023, sellers can also use AWD to ship orders to other non-Amazon fulfillment centers and retailers, enabling sellers to offer wholesale pricing and distribution for their products without having to manage their own warehouse.
Amazon AWD is available now for US sellers.
New Email Marketing Marketing Capabilities
To help sellers increase their email marketing reach for free, Amazon introduced three new audience types within the Amazon Customer Engagement tool.
Now sellers can expand beyond brand followers, reaching their most loyal customers, such as repeat customers, recent customers, and high-spend customers, when sending free marketing emails.
With Amazon Customer Engagement’s Tailored Audiences, sellers can also measure the success of their email marketing campaigns and customer engagement using performance and reporting metrics, including open rates, click-through rates, emails delivered, opt-out rates, sales, and conversions.
It’s also easy to use. Sellers select customer audience types and Amazon will send email marketing directly to those customers.
The tool will be available at no cost in Seller Central. The company plans to enhance design capabilities with custom HTML content and improved templates soon.
Premium A+ Content
Amazon also recently rolled out Premium A+ Content, an upgrade to the standard content management system (CMS).
This upgrade supports new, larger modules on product pages, such as video, interactive hover hotspots, image carousels and Q&A, and is available to all brands worldwide.
Sellers must be registered brand owners to have access to this new feature. Read more here about the criteria to use Premium A+ Content.
Advertising Buy with Prime Products on Amazon
Buy with Prime is a feature launched earlier this year, enabling sellers to use Amazon’s fulfillment solution Amazon FBA to integrate into independently operated Direct to Consumer (DTC) stores.
While there is a little more to Buy with Prime than just using Amazon FBA, it effectively allows merchants to offer the service and delivery levels Amazon Prime members expect without having to buy the item on the Amazon shopping platform.
In addition to the existing Buy with Prime features, sellers can now showcase their DTC products on Amazon with a new Buy with Prime page within their brand’s store.
This enables sellers to direct Amazon shoppers to those DTC products using Sponsored Brands, which are customizable ads for brands.
These Sponsored Brands ads can now appear in prominent places while shoppers search for products on the Amazon marketplace.
When a shopper clicks on a Sponsored Brands ad, it will take them to the brand’s Buy with Prime page. From there, shoppers can preview product details and select to purchase the product directly from the seller, off Amazon, by using Buy with Prime.
Together, Sponsored Brands ads and the new Buy with Prime stores pages help Buy with Prime sellers reach relevant shoppers on Amazon and direct them to their own DTC sites the company said.
This new solution is currently available in an invitation-only beta.
Buy with Prime Co-Branded Social Media Ads
Participants in Buy with Prime can now reach shoppers on Facebook and Instagram through co-branded social media ads funded and managed by Amazon, driving traffic to their DTC sites.
Shoppers will see ads from Amazon’s Buy with Prime page on Facebook and Instagram featuring specific sellers.
When the shopper clicks on the ad, they’re taken to the seller’s DTC site allowing them to make the purchase directly from the seller using Buy with Prime.
This new feature is available now in an invitation-only beta.
Buy with Prime Marketing Toolkit
With the Buy with Prime Marketing Toolkit, sellers can now leverage Amazon’s Prime brand equity to drive shoppers to their independently run DTC site.
Using the toolkit equips sellers to feature the Buy with Prime badge in their product marketing alongside their own brand.
Sellers can now show they offer Prime shopping benefits on their own DTC site, including fast, free delivery, a seamless checkout experience, and free returns on eligible orders.
The Buy with Prime Marketing Toolkit is a free resource now available for participating sellers with active Buy with Prime product listings.
New Additional Analytics and Data To Help Sellers Succeed
Amazon announced new features to Manage Your Experiments, the tool that helps sellers optimize the content on product detail pages to help increase conversion rates.
In addition to the standard A/B testing options of titles and main images, sellers can now test bullet points and descriptions as well as review machine learning-based recommendations for product images and titles to increase conversion.
The company also enhanced the Search Analytics Dashboard and Product Opportunity Explorer with new capabilities, enabling sellers to analyze marketing campaigns better.
Through the Search Analytics Dashboard, sellers can now download Search Query and Catalog Performance data and new ASIN-level details.
And with Product Opportunity Explorer, sellers are able to analyze customer reviews to determine what features they should build and prioritize as they consider launching new products or modifying existing ones.
Marketplace Product Guidance has also been enhanced to provide selection recommendations — identifying products in high demand — for US sellers wanting to expand internationally to France, Italy, and Spain.
Amazon says this new set of industry-leading tools makes it easier for sellers to tap into customer insights and analytics data to launch new products and increase sales.
Amazon Launches Free Shipping Software Veqoo
Acquired by Amazon earlier this year, Veeqo is a free multi-channel shipping solution to simplify eCommerce across multiple sales channels.
Amazon sellers can connect their popular sales channels, such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Shopify — access discounted rates on USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL — to find the lowest shipping rate available based on product size and weight.
Veqoo is now available to US and UK sellers the company announced at Amazon Accelerate, with more features to come later this year. Read more about the Veqoo launch here.
Amazon Accelerate in Review
These new enhancements and solutions by Amazon announced at this year’s Amazon Accelerate conference point to a broader strategy of enabling sellers to use its vast logistics network to manage their entire online business.
Amazon didn’t just improve seller experiences and opportunities for sales on its marketplace but went beyond that.
It seems the company realizes that while Amazon is usually a key sales channel for small online merchants, merchants are increasingly looking to broaden their reach.
The eCommerce space is not short of tools and solutions that can help merchants operate a multi-channel strategy. With these new tools and enhancements, Amazon appears to lean on its logistics network to entice sellers to use its services instead.
The positive is that this strategy by Amazon makes the company more of a one-stop solution for all eCommerce allowing sellers to leverage the company’s resources to quickly fulfill orders from their own DTC site or even other marketplaces.
However, with Amazon having been accused of copying great selling products under one of its own brands, it also means Amazon gets more sales data. This might slow the adaption of new tools by some sellers.
Earlier this year, it had been reported that Amazon was considering shutting down all or some in-house brands, but the company quickly pushed back, claiming it had no such plans.
If the company went down this route and shut down private label brands, it certainly would make its off-site tools and solutions more appealing.
Overall, there was a lot to take in at Amazon Accelerate. While some features are still in the early stages, Amazon continues to invest in its seller ecosystem and logistics network to make selling easier for small businesses.
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Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.