However, surprisingly, even sellers with years of Amazon sales experience often overlook a very basic but very significant factor in running a successful Amazon business. But sellers, who are currently achieving steady sales growth on Amazon, have in common that they clearly recognize the importance of today’s topic and apply it usefully to their sales activities. Today’s topic, which is “the most fundamental but very important factor” for the success of Amazon business, is the detailed features of Seller Central and Amazon’s rules and guidelines provided to the sellers. You may be wondering if this is too basic to be called a lifehack to success in Amazon business, but it is meaningful in that it is a topic that causes great harm without knowing it.
In the case of Amazon regulations and guidelines, it is necessary to clearly understand the relevant details because it is common for sellers to be penalized by Amazon in areas where it is difficult to even predict violation of rules or in the worst-case scenario, suspension of their Amazon accounts. Indeed, there are limitations to being aware of the numerous regulations and guidelines that exist on Amazon. However, it is possible to minimize unexpected risks by exactly understanding the contents related to one’s own products or sales activities.
Although many Amazon sellers have heard of this somewhere, this is an introduction to detailed features of Amazon Seller Central, which are not being used well in practice, marketing tools, and Amazon regulations that you must understand to avoid being penalized in your sales activities. 1. Product Documents Program The Importance of A+Contents
Customer reviews and detailed pages are the factors that greatly influence the final decisions of customers, who enter the sales page of the product on Amazon. In the case of customer reviews, sellers cannot arbitrarily delete reviews, even if there are negative reviews. Also, manipulating reviews through acquaintances is strictly prohibited, which creates an area of difficulty for sellers to control.
However, in the case of the product A+Contents, sellers can modify them by themselves at any time as long as it does not violate Amazon regulations. Also, it has a lot of utility in that it can significantly increase the customer’s conversion rate according to the completeness of the content.
A+Contents serves as a communication channel to effectively deliver detailed information to Amazon customers, who cannot directly check the form or quality of the product and to display the features and uniqueness of the seller’s product. In addition, it plays a role in increasing consumers’ trust and loyalty to the brand itself beyond a specific product through content about the brand’s value and story.
Amazon A+Contents have the advantage that they can be configured using various contents such as infographic images, videos, and texts. But there is a limit to the number of images and file sizes that can be uploaded. Such disadvantages are perhaps the reason why most sellers are creating A+Contents with main contents like product features, differences, and brand stories, even though they are aware of the positive impact that additional product information such as product user manuals and safety certificates can have on increasing customer conversion rates. It is possible to consider printing the relevant materials and inserting actual documents into the product package. However, it will have low utilization due to additional costs and low exposure to potential customers.
‘Product Documents Program’ that Increases Conversion Rate
In April 2021, Amazon added the ‘Product Documents Program’ to the Amazon Seller Central menu to help sellers solve these problems at once. This is a feature that allows you to upload various information related to a product in a PDF file of 10MB or less on the product page in the path Inventory > Manage Product Documents > Upload new document in the Amazon Seller Central menu.
Through this feature, sellers can expose various documents related to additional product information to consumers without spending space on the A+Contents.
* Document Type: User guide, brochure, Certificate of Analysis (COA), Certificate of Compliance (COC), Compatibility Guide, FAQ, Installation Manual, Instructions for Use, Safety Data Sheet, Size Guide, Specification Manual, User Manual
Lastly, select the language of the written document in the “Language” field, enter the product ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) for upload, and submit to complete the upload request. The product documents will be exposed in the ‘Product guides and documents’ section at the bottom of the ‘Product information’ of the product page after going through Amazon’s guideline compliance review and approval process.
- The reasons for recommending the use of the ‘Product Documents Program’ to sellers are as follows.
- 1) Reduce Return Rates and Prevent Bad Reviews
By providing sufficient information about product details in advance to consumers before they decide to purchase by uploading product documents, it is possible to prevent returns and bad reviews that occur when the product received does not meet consumers’ anticipations and expectations. A clothing category is a good example. It will be possible to increase purchase satisfaction and reduce the return rate by providing a guide document that recommends the size according to the actual product size, body size, and preferred fit.
- 2) Increase Customer Satisfaction and Reliability
Product documents can help increase customer satisfaction and brand reliability by proactively addressing customer questions and concerns. For example, it is possible to minimize the workload of staff in response to customer support by providing FAQ data that collects frequently asked questions by consumers.
- 3) Free Access and Reduce Costs
The advantage of this feature is that sellers, who have completed the brand registry, can use this function without any additional fees. In addition, there is an advantage in that it is not necessary to insert materials such as product assembly instructions and user guides into the product package at a separate printing cost, thereby reducing overall costs.
- 4) Differentiate from Competing Listings
By emphasizing the superiority of products through documents such as award details, quality certificates, and safety data sheets, consumers can increase their conversion rate. These data become a differencing element for the products in the Amazon marketplace, where there are numerous competitors.
Finally, there is one practical tip for using the ‘Product Documents Program.’ That is, to add a bullet point at the top of the product page that states to check the ‘Product guides and documents’ section. Product documents are exposed at the bottom of the detail page that consumers can overlook, so it is good to clearly recognize the existence of the product document through bullet point phrases. Meanwhile, the ‘Product Documents Program’ is currently only available to brand sellers, who have completed the Amazon Brand Registry. Therefore, we recommend using it, if you are a seller who is preparing or has completed a brand registry.
2. Risky Words to Watch Out for (Pesticides, Whitening) The ‘keyword optimization’ in Amazon’s business operation is a process of reflecting keywords that can accurately represent the key selling points of the products in product names, bullet points, and backend keywords (search term, subject matter), while having high consumer search demand. The reason behind keyword optimization is repeatedly emphasized is that Amazon’s product indexing and PPC automatic ad exposure algorithm work based on the keywords. Keyword optimization in Amazon Selling is essential in that it is a factor that directly affects the exposure of your products and advertising efficiency.
However, even if you find a keyword that has a lot of searches and is highly related to a product, you could be in trouble if they are blindly included in your listing. Without a clear understanding of Amazon’s rules and guidelines, careless keywords can lead to unexpected product-related documentary evidence or the worst result of listing suspension.
In this regard, a frequent occurrence among current Amazon sellers is the ‘Pesticides related keyword’ issue. In fact, it is not uncommon for a seller’s product, which was selling smoothly on Amazon, to be classified as a pesticide one day, and the listing is suspended, and related certificates are requested. Even though my product is a product that has nothing to do with pesticides and pesticide devices, there are many sellers, who are experiencing the unfair situation of receiving the warning and sales restrictions. The reason why products that have nothing to do with pesticides are classified as pesticides and suffer a disadvantage lies in the above-mentioned ‘keywords’.
In 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined Amazon 1.3 billion won for selling unapproved pesticide products. Since then, Amazon has significantly strengthened its monitoring system for pesticide-related product categories. First, the number of listed products was drastically reduced by limiting the sales of pesticide categories by overseas sellers. In addition, by substituting keywords related to pesticides in the Amazon database, a system was applied that automatically restricts listings containing the keyword according to its own algorithm. However, Amazon’s censorship algorithm has a limitation in that it is not advanced enough to accurately identify and decide product details. As a result, listings are simply censored by determining the presence or absence of specific keywords, resulting in an unfair situation in which products that have nothing to do with pesticides are classified as related products.
On the other hand, sellers who are already aware of this situation will have one big concern. It is difficult to identify specific examples of the keywords in the pesticide-related regulations that are announced by Amazon.
To remove the anxiety of sellers and provide a reference when optimizing listing keywords, let’s introduce typical pesticide-related keywords assumed through Amazon regulations related to pesticides and a number of cases covered by Kontactic.
If a product has already been categorized as a pesticide and has been restricted on the listing, then you must first carefully check whether there are any suspicious keywords in your listing and then delete them. However, if the listing is suspended due to the issue, there may be cases, where the ‘edit’ button is inactive and editing itself is not possible. In this situation, first, delete the listing in which the problem occurred, and then proceed with product registration with the modified keyword after 24 hours. It is important to note that the product must be registered with the same ASIN as before, so that customer reviews, inventory, and product information can be synchronized.
Risky Keywords for Functional Cosmetics Category
Even in the cosmetics category, there are cases in which the Amazon algorithm takes a specific keyword as a problem and requests documents or suspends listing. Cosmetics with specific efficacy under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of the United States are all classified as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, so they are not only used as cosmetics but also as pharmaceuticals in the United States. It is subject to the management and supervision of government agencies. Therefore, Amazon requires filtering and submission of supporting documents for functional cosmetics such as sunscreens, wrinkle-improving cosmetics, and whitening cosmetics in the same way as censoring pesticide categories.
Typical keywords that can be classified as functional cosmetics by Amazon include keywords such as “whitening, brightening, brighten, lightening, and lighten”. If the keyword is included in the listing information, Amazon considers the product to be a ‘skin lightening’ product and requires the sellers to provide documents to prove its whitening feature. The type of documentary evidence required by Amazon is quite difficult, and listing may be suspended if it is not submitted within a certain period. If the listing is suspended, a considerable amount of time and effort is required to restore it. Unless the product is a functional cosmetic product, the keyword should never be included in the listing process. Even if the product is a functional cosmetic, if there are no documents such as FDA and ISO/IEC 17025 certification test results required by Amazon, then it would be better to exclude related keywords from the listing until the relevant documents are available. If this issue has occurred, the problem must be resolved by proving that it is not related to skin lightening products through an Amazon Case objection attached to the actual image of the product and package after deletion of keywords related to functional cosmetics. 3. Small but Useful ‘Insert Cards’ The purchasing journey of Amazon consumers leads to product discovery, transaction, use, and sharing. In the ‘sharing’ stage, if the consumers directly try the product they bought and decide that they are highly satisfied, then they can write a review and share the product information with others. In this sharing stage, there is an ‘insert card’ as a marketing tool that sellers can take to enhance consumers’ positive purchasing experience.
The ‘Insert Card’ is the size of a business card or postcard that can be enclosed in a product package. The 'Insert Card' consists of content different from A+Contents containing main information about the product in that it is provided to consumers, who have purchased the product. The reasons for recommending the use of 'Insert Card' include acquiring reviews, increasing the repurchase rate, and increasing brand value.
Sellers can use the 'Insert Card' to request product improvement and write honest reviews from consumers, and through a thank you letter, they can improve their liking for the brand. In addition, it has high effectiveness as it can be used as a marketing tool for the purpose of promoting other product groups of the brand by using QR codes.
Tips for Making Amazon ‘Insert Cards’
1) Create an ‘Insert Card’ that Fits the Purpose.
What should precede the creation of Amazon ‘Insert Card’ is to establish a clear purpose that the seller wants to achieve through ‘Insert Card’. For example, if the purpose is to increase the review rate of buyers, it should consist of a thank-you message and a request to write a review. On the other hand, if your goal is to promote your brand or to increase brand loyalty from consumers, you can increase the purchase satisfaction of consumers by enclosing a simple gift with an introductory text that can indicate your brand identity. Finally, to increase the repurchase rate of purchasing customers, you can use an 'Insert Card' with an Amazon purchase discount code.
2) Attract Consumer’s Attention in Creative Ways.
From the consumer's perspective, the obvious 'Insert Card' that has no features and does not attract the attention of consumers, is recognized as a piece of package waste and cannot achieve the intended purpose of the seller.
A creative 'Insert Card' has a positive impact on brand awareness. For example, if consumers see postcards with beautiful images of Korean landmarks and brand logos that make them want to put them on a wall or a refrigerator, then a certain “Insert Card” will remind them of your brand when they see it. Also, there is no need to be bound by the form of a ‘card’ or a ‘postcard’. There is also a way to increase brand awareness by providing highly practical brand logo stickers or bookmarks.
You can also use it by inserting a QR code. Various marketing effects can be achieved by guiding consumers to a landing page containing various contents related to other products and brands through QR codes.
B) Thank-you message : As part of customer care service, these are words of gratitude for deciding to purchase the product.
C) Phrases for brand introduction : Brand loyalty can be increased by sharing direction, goals, and values pursued by the brand.
D) Request Review : Product reviews can help you understand customer needs and improvements. Also, recommendations and reviews from buyers are more persuasive than sellers, so they help potential consumers make purchase decisions. However, in accordance with Amazon regulations, a request for a neutral and honest review must be included. Guiding consumers how to write Amazon reviews is also a good tip.
E) QR Code : This can lead consumers to a landing page with various contents related to other products and brands.
The main goal of the ‘Insert Card’ mentioned above is to increase brand awareness and request customer reviews. The brand logo, thank-you message, and QR code are basic components, and it is recommended to adjust the design and components according to your brand identity and purpose.
Normally, an ‘Insert Card’ contains information such as the seller’s contact information, a thank-you message, and a URL or QR code of the company’s mall store. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using insert cards as a means of communicating with buyers on Amazon.
Cautions When Creating ‘Insert Cards’
Amazon does not directly publish regulations regarding “Insert Cards”. Referring to Amazon's sales policy and seller code of conduct, you can infer what not to do with an ‘Insert Card’, and these are as follows.
1) Directing Buyers from Amazon to Your Website
It is strictly prohibited to direct Amazon customers to visit the buyer’s own website.
2) Providing Incentives in Return for Accumulating Reviews
It is strictly prohibited to offer any incentives in return, such as coupons, free giveaways, gift cards, or cash, for the purpose of encouraging reviews. So, the request for review and providing discount code should not be written on one page at the same time.
3) Requesting Positive Reviews
Requesting honest product reviews from consumers through an ‘Insert Card’ is possible, but directly asking for positive reviews is strictly prohibited. For example, you can request a neutral review like “Please share your thoughts about our products to other customers.” However, you cannot request a positive review like “Please leave positive reviews.”
If Amazon regulations related to ‘Insert Card’ are violated, then you will face penalties such as suspension of listing and cancellation of sales payment. So, it should be created with careful attention to the contents.
4. Samsung SDS’s Cello Square, a Stout Support to the Success of Amazon Business So far, we've looked at the “basic, but very important” factors that sellers can use to build a successful Amazon business. By optimizing listing keywords while paying attention to risky keywords, you will be able to provide various product information to consumers through the ‘Product Documents Program’. In addition, we hope that the ‘Insert Card’ will enhance the customer’s positive purchasing experience.
If the sales volume is continuously growing through various strategies that can be used in the Amazon business as introduced today, you should choose a high-level logistics service provider that can support a stable Amazon business while ensuring logistics and inventory stability.
This is because it is near impossible to succeed in Amazon Selling without reliable logistics management.
Samsung SDS’s digital forwarding service, ‘Cello Square’, based on innovative technology provides reliable and affordable warehousing services to Korean Amazon sellers through regional logistics hubs. You can request a quote for each route by simply entering information on the Cello Square homepage, and all processes such as acquisition and shipment reservation are systematized on the platform to minimize document creation. Also, various export documents such as B/L and commercial invoices are stored in the cloud, so there is no need for separate management.
Samsung SDS provides ‘Amazon FBA service’ rather than simple logistics. If you wish to become an Amazon seller, then it is worth taking advantage of.
- 1) Amazon FBA Express Shipping Service (Global)
From preparation of local import customs clearance to warehousing on Amazon, this provides an optimal solution to provide fast and accurate delivery including competitive freight rates.
- 2) Amazon FBA Maritime Shipping Service (United States, Japan)
This provides door-to-door services including shipping and warehousing services in cooperation with overseas bases and logistics partners.
Cello Square’s FBA service is provided with a customized service so that sellers can use the service more easily and conveniently due to a dedicated customer-specific logistics manager (NAVY) made up of Amazon experts that are assigned to sellers. It has the advantage of providing a guide for novice sellers to enter Amazon, so it is an important point to consider for a successful Amazon business. # References
-  Amazon to pay $1.2 million in illegal pesticide settlement., AP News https://apnews.com/article/fc46d817db5c427fae1be37e02fdbc75
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