Amazon Publishes And Monetizes Blog For Entrepreneurs ... And Other Amazon News
Each week I share the top news that impacts brands and merchants who sell on Amazon. My digest for this week includes a streamlined fee model for vendors running Lighting Deals, Amazon building (and monetizing) content for entrepreneurs, and Amazon still reigning supreme in corporate reputation despite tensions from various stakeholders.
Lightning deal pricing simplified for vendors
Lightning Deals are a promotional tool used by brands to market their products on Amazon. The deals get promoted to Amazon customers, resulting in a surge of traffic and product sales.
Amazon announced in an email to vendors last week a simplified fee structure that emulates the per promotion fee structure for marketplace sellers on Seller Central. Previously, vendors paid a fee per unit during the promotion - meaning costs could be unpredictable. Now, fees are $150 per deal during "non-event" days, $500 per deal on Prime Day and $300 per deal during Prime Week. Fees during other events like Cyber Monday are yet to be determined.
This is the most recent demonstrations of Amazon bringing their two ecommerce platforms into alignment. Recently I wrote about how Amazon is retiring the Vendor Express platform, streamlining the available selling platforms from three to two. Amazon has been making more tools, like headline search ads and coupons, available to marketplace sellers in recent years. At the same time, vendors often see their fees increasing at the start of the year as they go through contract negotiations with Amazon. All the more reason for brands to consider a marketplace or hybrid selling model on Amazon.
Amazon creates resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses
Amazon launched a new microsite for marketplace sellers called “Day One: Insights for Entrepreneurs,” which features videos, stories and tips about entrepreneurship and personal productivity from the likes of Arianna Huffington and Mark Cuban.
Naturally, this presents an opportunity to promote products on Amazon. Mark Cuban’s page links up to his book as well as a storefont for Cuban’s favorite products on Amazon. This storefront is a feature available to vetted influencers within Amazon’s Associates program. Mark Cuban’s storefront includes brands that he’s invested in, such as Nuts ‘N More and MistoBox.
In a similar vein, Amazon is inviting small brick-and-mortar businesses to promote Amazon products on a dedicated storefront on the website. The Amazon Local Associates program is an extension of the Amazon Associates program, an affiliate program which pays a percentage of sales generated by individuals who promote Amazon products to their audiences.
In their invitation to businesses, Amazon cites the example of a local technology solutions provider who sends customers a link to their Amazon storefront after completing a technology installation job. The storefront includes products that the business recommends.
What do these moves mean for brands selling on Amazon?
With half of all sales on Amazon coming from third-party sellers (as opposed to inventory that Amazon owns), Amazon has a strong constituency of small and midsize businesses. And if Amazon can educate these businesses and facilitate an additional stream of revenue, even better!
Brands selling on Amazon benefit from Amazon ramping up these Affiliate programs, because they ultimately result in more eyeballs and traffic to their product pages.
Amazon’s stellar reputation with consumers
The retailer has come under criticism from various stakeholders recently, from states who want Amazon to facilitate the collection of sales tax, grocery vendors complaining of new merchandising fees, and sellers who fall victim to competitors involved in counterfeiting and claim that Amazon does little to prevent the behavior.
Yet, consumers have ranked Amazon No. 1 for the third year in a row in Harris Poll’s annual corporate reputation survey. This is the tenth year Amazon has made the Top 10 of this list. Amazon also ranked first in the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index.
Despite all the noise, Amazon is still where a very large number of consumers want to shop. Consumers place a lot of trust in Amazon, which plays out in these polls as well as in Amazon’s increasing market share in most product categories.
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!