Amazon Seller News: Selling & Advertising Changes in 2022 & 2023 predictions
Amazon is constantly updating and changing its platform, making it difficult for sellers to keep up. Moreover, these changes can have a huge impact on your Amazon business, from your sales numbers and product rankings all the way down to your ability to drive new customers through ads or sponsored products.
The marketplace has gotten more crowded with sellers as more people become aware of Amazon as a potential source of revenue and sales volume. According to JungleScout, around 3,700 new sellers join Amazon each day, so it’s no wonder that competition is the fiercest it's ever been. That’s why it's important that we regularly monitor what’s new at Amazon so you can stay ahead of the curve when developing your strategy (or simply figure out how to grow). So without further ado, here is our round-up of some key changes implemented over the past year plus some predictions for 2023.
Here are just a couple of the changes that have taken place:
- Amazon is in the process of rolling out Buy With Prime (beta), which allows merchants to add a new button for Prime checkout (and all the benefits that entails, such as free shipping and a familiar checkout process) to their own online store demonstrating Amazon’s concerted effort to expand its reach to existing D2C sites and beyond.
- New reporting functionality added in Brand Analytics for sellers enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry: Search Catalog Performance, and Search Query Performance , both are focused on the search aspect of customer acquisition, and aim to help sellers gain a handle on where they might be losing customers in their funnel so they can optimize listings quickly.
Amazon Advertising Landscape
We saw some particularly interesting announcements this year at Amazon Unboxed 2022, with a renewed focus on expanding the reach of Amazon ads beyond Amazon itself, as well as increasing emphasis on brand-building at the top of the funnel. Here are some of the major changes trialed and introduced this year:
Buy with Prime for DTC sites
Amazon is looking to expand Prime benefits, and they’re doing so by adding more routes for sellers to push traffic back to Amazon with a new ‘Buy With Prime’ button For many consumers, this means much more choice on where they purchase, and a reduction in the number of online accounts they hold, since they can use their existing Prime account. For sellers, this represents an even more attractive offering, enabling a direct relationship between customer and seller, while still maintaining the ease and efficiency of FBA.
There are some potential upsides here for non-Amazon sellers too: if you’re an eCommerce store owner who’s had trouble getting traction with other platforms like Shopify or Etsy, this could be good news for you! It means that even if your product isn’t quite right for Shopify or Etsy (or both), there will still be shoppers who want it and are willing to pay full price – just as long as they can get access through their Prime membership.
Ability to contact your Amazon customers
Launched at Accelerate this year, Amazon has been testing a new feature that allows sellers to contact customers directly, namely ‘Tailored Audiences’. This long-awaited and often requested feature will finally allow brands to boost their email marketing reach to increase loyalty, effectively giving greater ownership of the customer relationship to sellers.
This is an improvement on the previous system, which allowed sellers to contact customers only through Amazon. Amazon is testing this in the US and UK. This will create far greater opportunities for sellers to boost their brand profile and increase loyalty from existing customers. VP of Amazon Selling Partner Services (Amazon North America), Benjamin Hartman, said about the feature:
“Brands are able to quickly acquire new customers in the Amazon store, but they expressed a need for improved tools to increase customer lifetime value”
This new marketing angle, alongside accurate customer lifetime value (CLV) data will help sellers that want to build brand loyalty to achieve that aim much faster. As Amazon sellers that want to grow fast know, understanding your Amazon customer lifetime value (CLV) is a critical piece of the puzzle still missing from out-of-the-box Amazon reports!
📰 Further reading: Mastering customer lifetime value on Amazon
Amazon Brand Lift is now available in the UK
First launched in October 2021 in beta, Amazon Brand Lift has now been expanded for sellers in the UK. Amazon Brand Lift is a relatively new service that helps sellers to promote their brand on Amazon. It's designed to help you get more reviews, increase sales and improve your product’s performance by utilizing survey data from a control group (who haven’t seen your ads) vs. ad-exposed audiences. It’s a very powerful tool that can help larger sellers with lots of traffic understand the best ways to promote their products and brand.
Amazon Brand Lift can be accessed by the DSP console and is only currently available to sellers in the US & UK.
Sponsored display & sponsored brands opened up to non-endemics
This opens up sponsored brands to non-endemics, which means you can now advertise as an Amazon seller without being an Amazon brand. This new feature will help you reach customers who are in the market for products that aren’t already offered by your company.
To be eligible for this program, you need to have at least $100,000 in sales on a single SKU within the last 12 months and have at least 10 reviews with a rating of 4 stars or higher. You can also opt into the program if your product is sold through another marketplace like eBay or Walmart (but not third-party marketplaces).
Contextual targeting introduced
This new feature will allow advertisers to direct their ads to customers who have previously viewed similar products. This is a great way to reach customers who have already shown interest in similar products, making it easier for you to sell the product that they're most interested in buying.
Digital signage available in physical stores (DSP)
Amazon Ads now allows sellers to use Amazon DSP and programmatically run ads on digital signage displays in physical stores (Amazon Fresh & Go, for example), giving yet more opportunity to increase brand awareness. Ads campaigns can be targeted around geolocation, daypart, and nearby product categories to maximize relevancy.
How will changes to Amazon Advertising affect your brand?
As Amazon Advertising becomes more complex and sophisticated, how will it affect your brand?
The short answer is: The same way it affects everyone else. If you’re not already advertising on Amazon, then the benefits of advertising can still be realized through using other techniques such as sponsored product ads, non-incentivized reviews, and influencer marketing. However, if you are currently using sponsored product ads or CPC campaigns (which are likely to last longer), then adapting your strategy could be beneficial.
Your best bet is to understand the changes and understand how your Amazon customer acquisition cost is impacted by monitoring data over time whilst taking these changes into account.
📰 Further reading: Improving Your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
Amazon Selling Tactics & Strategies
Product Detail Page Enhancements
Product Detail Page (PDP) enhancements is now available in beta (US only) until January 2023, with the goal of helping sellers increase brand awareness.
The main addition to the PDP in the beta program is the addition of a banner featuring other products available from your brand. The obvious benefit of this banner is twofold:
- Any real-estate dedicated to showcasing your product keeps competitors' products off your PDP
- There’s increased opportunity for shoppers to remain within your Amazon store, and allows greater awareness of your product catalog.
There is every chance that following the beta program that this could become a paid placement in the future but it’ll be interesting to see if and how this is rolled out more widely after January. In the meantime, here are some tips to optimize your Amazon product listings using what we know now.
Launch of Amazon Creative Services
Amazon Creative Services is a marketplace of vetted, industry-leading professionals that can help you create compelling, adhering to brand guidelines, creatives. With this simplified service, advertisers will be able to: search and browse a network of pre-qualified service providers; read reviews and samples of their work, and connect directly with the service provider to manage end-to-end creative delivery.
Again this attention to improving branding, creative content, and ad quality reinforces Amazon’s recognition that sellers need to be thinking more about brand building to thrive on Amazon. Allowing sellers easy access to the skills of professionals at this level will help elevate brands from ‘just an Amazon seller’ to loyalty-building machines.
Prime early access sale in October
At the end of October, Amazon introduced a new event called Prime Early Access. The event took place before Black Friday with the goal of getting more people shopping at Amazon before Black Friday begins in earnest, with items available only to Prime members.
We did see some deviation from the norm in terms of the product categories that were purchased during the event compared to Amazon Prime Day in July.
Overall, the event was deemed rather a flop, with sales at the volume of Prime Day in July not really materializing, potentially caused by uncertainty around cost of living crises, and consumers spending less on average.
However, we at Nozzle always say that for sellers these sorts of events present another opportunity to experiment with product listing optimization, increase brand awareness, and assess and the effectiveness of promotions given the influx of additional traffic to Amazon over the course of the sale.
📰 Further reading: A better way to measure whether Prime Day is actually worth it
Amazon Inspire - social shopping experiences
There’s a new feature coming to Amazon that could make it even easier for shoppers to find products based on their interests. Amazon Inspire is a new section of the site that enables shoppers to discover and shop for products based on the content they are interested in.
The idea is that it will encourage people to shop more frequently on Amazon via influencer-created video and photo ‘feed’ content. The feature is currently only available on the iOS & Android Amazon Mobile App (and only in the USA right now), but it's expected that this will be rolled out globally over time.
It's not known yet whether Amazon’s foray into social commerce by tapping into behaviors common on TikTok and Instagram (scrolling through curated content) will be successful - past efforts have certainly proven fruitless so far! If successful, sellers may need to start thinking about their products as content and engaging more with influencers, adding yet another competitive channel to maintain and track.
Changes to Referral & FBA Fees in 2023
From January 17 2023 the Amazon Fulfillment Fee (the fee that Amazon charges you when you use them to store and ship your items) will be increasing again.
As of December 2022, there are no changes to the referral fees, but Amazon Sellers should familiarize themselves with the changes to fees to make sure that any metrics calculated including Cost of Goods Sold (CoGS), such as your profit margin, Breakeven ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sale), etc. are updated and accurate for January 2023.
Check out the 2023 US referral and FBA fee changes summary for more information
Veeqo acquisition & impact on inventory management
Veeqo, the Amazon inventory management tool for sellers, was acquired by Amazon earlier this year, and was integrated into Seller Central from November 2022. It’s offered as an add-on service to help sellers manage inventory across all channels.
This means sellers can use Veeqo - which is free for Amazon sellers at the time of writing - to manage their entire inventory from a single dashboard without having to download order reports manually every day or rely on spreadsheets for tracking what's selling where. This is really useful for those with complex supply chains or multiple products—you don't have to worry about making sure everything gets shipped out at once anymore because you're in charge of managing everything yourself!
Final Thoughts: Off-Amazon ads, new marketing channels will become the norm in 2023, with brand-building coming more into focus
If you are a small business, it is essential that you stay ahead of the game when it comes to promoting your products. As Amazon’s marketplace has matured, so too has their advertising and marketing services.
In order to compete in an increasingly crowded market, sellers need to evolve with the times. This means adapting your strategy and marketing channels accordingly in order to achieve success on Amazon. Sellers will need to experiment with new techniques and be able to track the impact of what works best with their brand, so having access to customer data via Amazon FBA tools will become even more critical in 2023.
We’re excited to see the changes that are going on at Amazon and continue to watch how this will impact sellers and brands. We hope you found this article helpful, and if you have any questions about Amazon Analytics, Amazon Marketing or Amazon Advertising then get in touch with us here at Nozzle!