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.
Amazon releases coupons to marketplace sellers
Coupons that customers can “clip” on Amazon have been available to Vendors (those brands who sell directly to Amazon on a wholesale basis) for a long time. But last week, Amazon quietly unveiled this capability to 3rd Party Marketplace Sellers. This feature is now available in Seller Central for brands to enable right away. There are several options available such as $ off or a % off, and the cost to a seller is $0.60 each time a customer redeems a coupon.
Coupons display prominently on a product detail page and may help with the conversion rate of a product. Skubana has a nice write-up on how the Coupons work for sellers.
Amazon Australia a no-show on Thursday
Foolishly, I was caught up in the rumors that Amazon would be launching in Australia on Thursday last week. I should have known better than to expect anything other than a curveball from Amazon! Sellers were told via email to prepare for a launch last week, but the messaging was a little ambiguous.
I’m interested in the Australia launch for a few reasons. It’s not a particularly large market from a population perspective, and that population is spread out over a land mass that is the world’s sixth largest country. The mechanics of Amazon offering free Prime shipping to Australians is still a mystery.
I’m also Australian and will be thrilled to finally be able to purchase gifts and other conveniences when I travel there. Amazon will really shake up the retail landscape there and offer more competitive prices and more convenient shipping options for consumers.
In related news, Amazon is also rumored to be soon launching in Switzerland.
Amazon’s November Seller Newsletter is here
Amazon started publishing a newsletter for sellers a few months ago. The content seldom breaks any news, but it does give a good overview of programs and features that sellers should be using to capitalize on sales, logistics, and profitability.
Here is what this month’s newsletter will cover:
- Holiday Season Best Practices
It includes information on how to proactively manage your inventory and orders, create promotions and sponsored product ads, and manage feedback and reviews from customers.
- Free Sponsored Products Webinars
Amazon is offering bi-weekly webinars for beginner advertisers. (If you’re looking for additional or advanced information about Amazon PPC, check out our blog posts on this topic).
- Seller Fulfilled Prime
This program allows sellers to ship products directly to customers while making them Prime-eligible, instead of requiring them to first ship inventory to Amazon’s fulfillment centers. The program can be very helpful in some instances, but it’s important to be aware of its challenges too. For one, sellers must ship packages complying with Amazon’s Prime delivery thresholds. This means that all customers can expect guaranteed 2-day delivery. Considering the product, your warehouse location, and the final destination, this could really add up. You can read more about this in our blog post about Seller Fulfilled Prime.
Amazon clamps down on Gluten Free claims
One of Bobsled’s Project Managers, Lori Dinkins, reports that Amazon is asking for copies of 3rd Party Marketplace Sellers’ Gluten Free Certifications as part of an initiative to regulate claims in the copy on product pages, on labels, and in ads. Amazon is recognizing the Gluten-Free Certification Organization as the standard in GF certification: http://www.gfco.org/
As Lori notes, Amazon (especially with the Whole Foods acquisition) is trying to establish themselves as a premier “clean food” option. Requiring certifications like these may be Amazon's way of clearing up the space a bit. Amazon has made similar policy updates to Hazardous Materials - stay tuned for a new blog post this week.
This is all the news I have to share with you this week. Stay tuned for my next update!