In late 2016, Amazon rolled out a brand-new feature to help sellers customize their product pages with images, headers, formatted text bullet points, and more. In theory, the capabilities added with Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) will help brands better market their products, leading to stronger conversion rates, all in the effort to help Amazon customers make better decisions.
We’ve noticed that many brands are hesitant to invest time in EBC, and in part, we can’t blame them. The feature is new, and there isn’t much data to prove its efficacy. Does EBC work? Can it actually affect conversion rates and overall sales numbers? We’ve found that EBC is absolutely capable of pushing conversion rates and generating more sales.
Based on our experience, there are five main reasons why Enhanced Brand Content should be priority for any brand looking to accelerate their presence and push revenues to new heights in the next fiscal year.
Five Reasons to Invest in Amazon Enhanced Brand Content
1. Visual content grabs attention
E-commerce shopping happens incredibly fast—it’s nothing like walking down a street in your city’s shopping district or passing through a mall. Brands have only a few seconds, if that, to impress a customer when they land on a particular listing, and high-resolution images plus a great layout are surefire ways to improve that first impression. It’s like window displays at lightning speed.
The primary feature of EBC is that it allows for listing pages that not only feel more handmade, but also are more consistent with the overall visual aesthetic and branding strategy. You can customize the overall layout, including where the product image is placed, and if it’s done strategically, it can create an immediate conversion. If the customer isn’t quite ready to click the “Add to Cart” button right away, your EBC-enabled listing page just might have made a strong enough impression to have them coming back when the time is right.
All in all, it’s important to remember that brands need to create and maintain consistency across their sales channels. This should be a priority for all brands, even small ones with limited marketing budgets. EBC can be a great way to jumpstart that initiative.
2. Find a cure for the inflexible description and layout
By design, Amazon has not allowed for much flexibility or creativity in how product descriptions are displayed. The only allowed HTML tag is the “break” (<br />), which leaves brands with few options to try something unique or discover some new ways to optimize what they have already created. That said, we’ve discovered some best practices, within the small limits allowed by Amazon, for getting the most out of these descriptions.
Enhanced Brand Content doesn’t actually change this reality, however—Amazon still doesn’t allow more HTML features in product descriptions. Even then, we find that the benefits of EBC, particularly in terms of additional layout options, more than make up for the inflexibility in product descriptions. To its credit, EBC does allow you to test different configurations of image placement, headings, bullet points, and bold, italicized, or underlined text. Once you have a layout that stands out from the crowd, you can start optimizing to increase your sales even further.
3. Give customers the full product picture
Customers are savvy. Once they have a need for a new product, they immediately and intuitively begin a search to balance the features they really need against how much they’re willing to spend, and determine which brands are able to deliver at that precise intersection.
Once your product comes up as a potential match, you need to convince the customer that it’s not even worth researching the remainder of the field, and this is where EBC-enabled layouts really shine. It’s much more than providing high-resolution photography from all angles, although that is one of the first fixes we recommend to improve listing performance. EBC gives brands an opportunity to more prominently display product features and benefits to engage that at-a-glance decision-making process that converts sales.
Sometimes, even the most successful brands make the mistake of thinking that a good picture or a well-crafted description is everything a listing needs to be successful. Instead, brands should take a step back and consider the full picture to present themselves as the last place consumers need to look for their next purchase.
Related: Read more on optimizing product images for Amazon, here.
4. Conversion data looks very positive
Because EBC was enabled just before the holidays, during a time when must brands see a spike in sales, the existing data can be difficult to analyze. That said, we think there’s strong enough evidence to suggest that EBC could increase conversion rates for retailers on Seller Central. How are we making that determination?
Over at Vendor Central, Amazon offers a program called “A+ Enhanced Marketing Content”. The functions and features are similar to EBC, such as more layout features and the ability to insert more custom-made marketing material onto a listing page. Amazon claims that vendor pages enhanced with this service see conversion rates rise by 3 to 10 percent, and we think it’s a safe bet that those numbers will translate over to EBC once brands understand some of the best practices around new and varied layout options.
5. Enhanced Brand Content is free
Currently, EBC is available at no additional cost for listings that are part of Amazon’s Brand Registry program, which is relatively easy to enroll for if you’re the manufacturer or OEM of your product. We highly recommend the Brand Registry program regardless, particularly if you’ve had difficulty with counterfeit or unauthorized products.
Amazon is known for making unexpected changes to their various programs, and it’s not a guarantee that EBC will remain free in the long term. Because EBC is free right now, we recommend that any brand looking to maximize their experience on Amazon should begin the process sooner rather than later. If the cost picture changes, we’ll be the first ones to start tracking down more objective numbers on the potential return on investment.
Related: Learn more about applying for Brand Registry in this article.
With time, we’ll understand more about the value in an EBC-enabled product listing, and establish better optimization strategies and best practices. Until then, use the feature set of Enhanced Brand Content help you better tell your brand’s story through the use of unique layouts and eye-catching imagery. Leveraging it now will only reap greater rewards down the road.
And if our experiences have taught us anything, when it comes to a successful sale strategy on Amazon, it’s that a willingness to try new things—even the little things—is where all growth begins. If you need help navigating this new feature, contact us here.