Amazon Weekly News: February 20, 2018

Time for the weekly recap of Amazon news! It's always good to keep up with events related to the fast-moving world of the Amazon ecosystem. I select the most important news updates to share with subscribers each week, which you can sign up to receive right here.

More stories about Amazon’s shady product review loophole

More reports surfaced this past week about people receiving products from Amazon that they didn’t order. I wrote about this phenomenon in my last news recap, explaining how shady sellers are using a current loophole in Amazon’s purchasing and review system to get more product reviews. With more stories coming to light in the press, I’m sure Amazon will do something about this and remove the offending reviews soon.

Half of the sellers would switch to Amazon shipping service

Also covered recently in my news roundup was Amazon's new shipping service which is designed to compete with incumbent shippers UPS, USPS and FedEx. A new survey shows that more than half of online sellers would consider switching to the service. 


Not surprisingly, price is the most important factor in choosing a delivery carrier according to 66% of respondents. 55% of respondents said Amazon's fees would have to be 10% to 20% lower to consider switching. On that front, the services bring great potential benefits, with an estimated savings of up to 45% for shipping versus other shippers.

Would you start using Amazon’s shipping service if it offered savings?

Plant-crazy millennials love Amazon’s new Plant Store

Amazon launched a new Plant Store, which millennial publications Buzzfeed and HelloGiggles are lapping up. Most products available in the ‘Store’(essentially a landing page) are sold by Amazon Vendors. This means that Amazon purchases the inventory from the supplier. Amazon has been launching new special interest storefronts including an “$10 and Under” collection of products, which some commentators say is taking aim at the Dollar Store market. 



Amazon to curb customer emails from sellers

According to the feedback/review solicitation software company Feedback Five, Amazon will soon restrict sellers to sending only ONE “unsolicited” message to customers for each order. 

Many brands use software like Feedback Five to solicit Seller Feedback and Product Reviews from customers, understanding that reviews are essential to building trust and driving organic sales on Amazon. 

"In the past, Amazon limited email communication with buyers based on average daily order volume. The policy currently states, “You may not send more messages than 5 times your average daily order volume, plus an additional 600 messages.” In an effort to ensure customer satisfaction at every level, this guideline is being updated so that merchants may only send one unsolicited feedback message per order. As Amazon confirmed with us in our conversation, they encourage feedback solicitation (seller feedback is an important seller performance metric, after all), but the company is now asking merchants to limit communication to a single message to buyers to avoid email fatigue.

What does this mean for brands currently using the customer outreach strategy? Brands must be prepared to change their approach if the rules do change. And frankly, in the world of Amazon, this is to be expected.  

Firstly, ensure your post-purchase emails are truly adding value to customers. Second, consider how you might trim a multi-part email sequence down to a single, punchy email."

-- Feedback Five


New interface for Advertising Reports in Seller Central

Amazon unveiled a welcome new change to the user interface in Seller Central for interacting with Advertising Reports. This is a familiar layout to the advertising reports in AMS on Vendor Central: in general, more user-friendly and intuitive. Sometimes the smallest changes are the most useful on Amazon.


Subscribe & Save on Amazon

Our blog post last week was all about Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program. This is a great option for products that need regular replenishment, such as shampoo, supplements, household items, office supplies, and health and personal care items. Learn about whether S&S is a good fit for your brand, how to enroll, and how to best use the program to increase sales and re-orders. 


This is all the news I have to share with you this week. Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you receive my news recap next week!