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Amazon New Seller Incentives Announced

Amazon has just announced new seller incentives designed to attract businesses and brand owners to sell on the marketplace. The new Seller Incentives are based on Amazon’s Perfect Launch playbook for new selling partners. Amazon research shows there are certain steps new selling partners can take to grow their sales even faster when selling in Amazon’s store and they want to assist businesses to launch and accelerate their sales rapidly.

Over 20,000 brands started selling in Amazon’s UK store in the last three years and brands almost doubled their sales year over year (12-month period ending June 30, 2021). With New Seller Incentives, selling partners on Amazon’s Professional selling plan can qualify for a suite of benefits worth more than £40,000 in potential value designed to help them launch and grow on Amazon.

If you’re not already selling on Amazon, these incentives should be reason enough to launch your brand or business onto the marketplace and get your products exposed to consumers through Amazon Stores.

At Amazon, we work hard to provide selling partners the tools and resources they need to launch and grow their business. If a selling partner wants to find customers quickly, selling on Amazon makes it easy for them to connect with hundreds of millions of shoppers around the world. That’s why for selling partners who are new to Amazon, we’re excited to launch New Seller Incentives that consists of a suite of benefits – worth more than £40,000 in potential value for those that are also brand owners – and the Perfect Launch playbook that gives actionable steps to help them succeed even faster.

– Amazon

New Seller Incentives

The following Amazon new seller incentives are available for brands and businesses who launch their businesses on Amazon from today:

Brands

New selling partners can register their brand via Amazon Brand Registry, and be eligible for benefits including:

  • 5% bonus on up to £800,000 in eligible branded sales (up to £40,000 in bonus value);
  • £160 in credits for Amazon Vine, which invites the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new products to help their fellow customers make informed purchase decisions;
  • £80 in credits for Transparency which helps brands proactively prevent counterfeits from reaching customers, engage with customers, improve customer experience, and identify supply chain defects.

FBA

For new selling partners who adopt Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), benefits include £80 in credits for using the Amazon Partnered Carrier program or £160 in credits for using Amazon Global Logistics for inbound shipping fees; auto-enrolment in FBA New Selection, providing free monthly storage, liquidations, and return processing for eligible new-to-FBA products.

Amazon Vouchers

In the UK, new selling partners who adopt Amazon Vouchers benefits include up to £40 in Vouchers credits. Vouchers help brands create targeted and compelling promotions for customers on Amazon.

Large Appliances is Amazon’s most lucrative category

Data from Amazon FBA business acquirer Thrasio has found that books, CDs and vinyl are still big business for Amazon sellers with businesses turning over an average of £230K per month, however large appliances top the revenue list.

Thrasio analysed data from SmartScout on over 18,000 sellers to reveal the makeup of the UK’s booming e-commerce sector. The data reveals surprising patterns about which categories are bringing in revenue for sellers and which see the biggest competition. 

Large appliances top the list for average seller revenues

Amazon sellers in the Large Appliances category had the highest average monthly seller revenue (total category value divided by number of sellers), at £364k. 

Surprisingly, Books (£227K) is still one of the most lucrative categories for sellers, as is CDs & Vinyl (£234k), suggesting that those looking to spring up profitable revenue streams on the platform don’t always need to seek out new product lines or high-value goods.

The data also shows high-value categories like Automotive (£222k), Computers & Accessories (£111k) and Watches (£45k), were beaten out by the likes of clothing (£250k), Sports & Outdoors (£239k) and Pet Supplies (£234k).

Grocery sellers face the most competition online 

As more people turn to selling online either as a side hustle or primary business, the data suggests that there are sustainable revenues to be made across the marketplace, though competition is high.

Of the 27 categories analysed, five had more than 1,400 active GB-based sellers competing for sales. Grocery topped the list, with over 2,275 active sellers, followed by Beauty (2,103) and Home & Kitchen (1,724). 

Of the 27 Amazon categories analysed, more than 17 have an average seller revenue of £100,000 per month. 

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March 2022 FBA fee changes for Amazon 

Amazon has announced 2022 FBA fee Changes which will come into effect on the 31st of March. You will definitely want to make a note of these changes as they are not only an increase in prices for many but there are also some changes to some size and weight tiers that could have an additional impact on your costs.

Amazon describes the prices changes as ‘moderate’, pointing out that their cost has increased over the past two years. 

“Throughout the pandemic, we have worked to support you – postponing and keeping fee changes low, reducing or eliminating select fees like those for customer returns, and absorbing billions of dollars in increased costs on your behalf – all while making significant and necessary investments in people, technology, transportation, and infrastructure. As you’ve seen widely reported in the press and have likely experienced yourselves, costs are rising and we now need to make adjustments to this year’s fee structure in response. We will adjust our fees to partially offset the higher permanent operating costs we face going forward.

Starting March 31, 2022, certain selling fees will be adjusted in our Amazon Europe stores. Most referral fees will not change, and we are making only moderate increases to fulfillment fees. Review the detailed fee change pages below for more information.”

– Amazon

2022 FBA fee changes include new bands

As an example, currently, the service for a Large Envelope 960g is defined as ≤ 33 cm x 23 cm x 5 cm. From the 31st of March, this will become two bands – one for a Large Envelope ≤ 33 x 23 x 4 cm and a new Extra Large Envelope ≤ 33 x 23 x 6 cm. You’ll find similar bands added for parcels with additional weight tiers introduced.

Dimensional weight introduced

Amazon will also start to use the greater unit or dimensional weight to determine the weight tier of the product. This will impact you if you have very lightweight but large items. The dimensional weight in kilograms is calculated as (length x width x height cm3) divided by 5000. This change in itself could have a greater impact on your fees than the price rises or new bands, so take the time over the next two months to assess how the changes will impact you and which of your product set will be most impacted by dimensional weight measurement.

Small and Light

Amazon will also introduce three new size and weight tiers for Small and Light. These include extra-large envelope 225g, small parcel 150g and small parcel 400g. All other Small and Light size and weight tiers will remain the same.

Whistl added as an Amazon-integrated carrier for merchant-fulfilled shipments

From February 3rd, 2022, Whistl will be added to the list of Amazon-integrated carriers. With this integration, Amazon is further improving the customer’s ability to track their packages and help reduce buyer contacts, order defects, lost order costs, and protect you from A-to-Z guarantee claims. 

Effective February 3rd, 2022, if you are using Whistl for your merchant-fulfilled orders, you must provide valid tracking IDs by selecting ‘Whistl’ from the drop-down on the shipment confirm page on Seller Central. 

Amazon is giving users a 2-month grace period, from February 3rd 2022, to adjust to this change. During this grace period, you can select Whistl to add tracking information. However, it will not impact your VTR rate or program eligibility. 

Here is the stepwise guide for adding valid tracking for Whistl: 

During the dispatch-confirm process for every merchant-fulfilled shipment, you must provide:

  1. The carrier name: Whistl in this case
  2. The delivery service
  3. The tracking ID or unique parcel ID for shipments delivered sith a tracked delivery service. 

Enter the above information as soon as you hand over your package to the carrier, as it takes up to 72 hours for the VTR report and metric to reflect the tracking information changes. If you provide tracking or parcel IDs post-delivery, the shipment will be counted as a VTR defect. 

FAQ: I shipped a Whistl parcel via a 3rd party carrier such as Yodel. Which carrier should I select in the drop-down, Yodel or Whistl?

As you are shipping your parcels via Whistl, you should select Whistl as the carrier name from the drop-down, regardless of which 3rd party carrier is doing the final mile delivery to the customer. You should still select Whistl even if you have been given a 3rd party carrier tracking ID for your shipment, such as Yodel tracking number.

Amazon reverses cancellation of Visa Credit Cards

Amazon has back-pedaled and retracted the Visa cancellation on their platform. Amazon had previously announced that from the 19th of January, Amazon would stop accepting Visa credit cards due to high payment transaction fees. Visa had always said that they were trying to work toward a resolution to enable their cards to continue to be...

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Visa credit cards not welcome on Amazon from 19th January

As previously announced, in just over a weeks’ time on the 19th of January, Amazon will stop accepting payments via Visa credit cards. They have emailed all customers who pay by Visa to remind them.

“Please update your Amazon Prime payment method. Starting 19 January 2022, we will unfortunately no longer accept any Visa credit cards issued in the UK, due to the high fees Visa charges for processing credit card transactions.

Our records indicate that you currently use a Visa credit card to pay for your Prime Membership. To ensure you continue to have access to unlimited fast delivery, endless streaming with Prime Video, millions of songs and podcasts with Amazon Music Prime and the many other Prime benefits you enjoy, you’ll need to update your payment card.”

– Amazon email to customers using Visa credit card payments

The decision to stop accepting Visa credit cards and create payment limitations is due to high transaction fees. Visa had said that they were working to resolve the issue of these restrictions being imposed by Amazon but no resolution appears to have been found. The restrictions will only be implemented for Visa credit cards, customers will still be able to use Visa debit cards and other payment providers.

Visa and MasterCard increased their UK-EU interchange fees this year due to the EU fee cap for the UK being removed after Brexit. Amazon have expressed their disapproval towards Visa applying such high fees and Visa are disappointed that the marketplace will be restricting customer choice.

You might think that this will only impact consumers, but if you pay for any Amazon services with Visa credit cards then you could also be impacted. Typically, this may well include business customers signed up for Business Prime and it will impact both subscriptions such as Prime and purchases of goods on Amazon.

What’s not yet clear is what will happen if you accept Amazon Payments on your website – if Amazon puts a block on all Visa payments your customers may discover they can no longer purchase from your website using their Visa credit card.

Whilst the situation is regrettable, other credit cards are available such as Mastercard and AMEX. Amazon are also offering many customers an incentive to register a new card – £20 for Prime members and £10 for non-Prime members.

Amazon IPI threshold reduced to 400

Great news for many sellers – as of the 1st of January we’ve seen the Amazon IPI threshold reduced to 400.

Seeing the Amazon IPI threshold reduced (Inventory Performance Index threshold) means that you should be able to store more product in Amazon FBA warehouses and your storage volume limits should be under less pressure. IPI, is a metric to gauge your inventory performance over time and your IPI score measures how efficient and productive you are in managing your FBA inventory. Multiple factors could influence your IPI score, however, the most important ones are to:

  • Maintain a balanced inventory level between sold and on-hand inventory and avoid excess and aged inventory.
  • Avoid long-term storage fees.
  • Fix listing problems.
  • Keep your most popular products in stock at the right levels, when possible, to meet customer demand and maximize customer satisfaction.

With Amazon IPI threshold reduced, Amazon estimates that less than 10% of sellers will have storage volume limits as we enter 2022. However, be aware that throughout the pandemic we’ve seen IPI thresholds change rapidly with little warning so this shouldn’t be an excuse to simply stuff FBA with inventory. A good guideline is to maintain enough inventory to cover 30 to 60 days of your expected sales. Amazon considers an item to be excess if it has over 90 days of supply based on the forecasted demand and with Christmas over if you have stock which is likely to hang around it’s worth considering how to deal with it.

Reducing prices, removing, disposal are all options and the reason this is critical is if IPI thresholds change again then stock which has sat in an Amazon warehouse for over three months could easily put you over the limit and impact restocking just at the wrong time of year.

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January means a New year, New start and sadly customer RETURNS!

Do you sell on Amazon? Follow this guide to 2022 Amazon returns. January 3rd 2022 is fast approaching, which means that the dreaded ‘Takeback Monday’ is imminent. According to Statista, almost 50% of all people returned something in 2021. Therefore, in 2022, it is anticipated that there will be a significant amount of returns once...

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The Amazon Insider – Part one

The first part of a regular series on 'The Amazon Insider'

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6 ways to stand out during Q4

After the huge growth of ecommerce during the pandemic, it is predicted that another substantial increase in online sales will occur during the approaching holiday months. Worldwide selling in Q4 will be more crucial than ever as Amazon has recently taken over two additional European markets, Poland and Sweden. 

Christine Lippmann, Ecommerce Marketing Specialist at InterCultural Elements, gives her recommendations for global selling in Q4. The 6 steps below represent how retailers can triumph global competition through the Q4 period. 

Global selling in Q4 

  1. Concentrate on your bestsellers and optimise listings

Analyse what you sell and the market you sell in cautiously. It is important to ask yourself, which items have sold the best on which market place? In order to rank as high as possible on the search result pages, focus on your bestsellers and spend time developing them to match the exact needs of the respective marketplace. Only use these optimised listings to new marketplaces, while also taking into account the target audience of the particular country in addition to the cultural differences. 

  1. Adapt your product descriptions to fit the local audience

Local sellers tend to be more favourable to customers, despite the huge range of products available on the market. A perfectly localised product description can have a great impact on a customer’s purchasing decision. Buyers want to know that if they face a problem, they are able to speak to someone in their own language. This is even more important in a new market or with an unfamiliar brand, customers can instantly trust a seller with a flawless translated listing. 

  1. Increase visibility with the right marketing campaigns and enhanced brand content

It is crucial that your customers can easily find your products. Your best selling products should be clearly emphasised with marketing campaigns and magnified brand content. A lot of customers will start buying presents earlier this year due to the delivery delays associated with supply shortages. Take advantage of this by investing in marketing campaigns ahead of Black Friday, while costs are lower. As a result, by the time the holiday sales begin, you will already have lots of positive customer feedback which leads to better product rankings. 

  1. Understand your customers 

A plain sailing customer service experience ensures your account doesn’t become prone to suspension. A well looked after FAQ section is great for common problems a customer may face. Ensure they are kept up to date and you’ll see a significantly reduced inflow of queries from customers. It is recommended that if you outsource any customer concerns if they are in a language you can’t comprehend. A pay-as-you-go service is a cost effective way of providing a multilingual customer service experience to your customers. However, make sure you contact them as soon as you can as capacity may be limited during the busy holiday season. 

  1. Keep your Amazon account healthy

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the occurrence of random account suspensions have become increasingly prevalent. Reasons have previously included: alleged multiple accounts, algorithm errors to hack attacks, sometimes the seller isn’t even at fault. Therefore, you should focus your efforts on things that you are able to control. For example, keep track of your performance figures, keep an eye on notifications or alerts and brush aside the importance of review ratings and delivery issues. Due to the fact that many sellers don’t value the importance of their account health, InterCultural Elements, a cross border trade service provider, has started offering a customised account health check service which involves regular checks every day. Their subscription plans even include account suspension appeals. 

  1. Get professional help in case of multilingual account suspension

An suspended account, especially during the busy selling period, can cause a lot of frustration as well as serious damage to your business. The only way you will be able to get back to selling your products online quickly is through a professional appeal written in the language the marketplace understands in line with Amazon’s specific guidelines and regulations. Don’t try complaints, pleas or threats as they will not work. It is worth your while investing in professional help from e-commerce experts who have experience in assisting in difficult appeals. They can help you get your account back quickly as every day that goes by without you selling costs you money, especially during the crucial holiday months. 

Intercultural Elements, an e-commerce expansion service, have been producing customisable international expansion strategies for retailers since 2007. The provider, based in Germany, recognises successful countries and marketplaces to target and offers multiple services such as multilingual customer service, translation, localisation and digital marketing. Not only this, but they also have an Amazon Suspension Appeal service and account health checks in multiple languages.  

Amazon troubleshooting expert

Nicole Ross is an Amazon troubleshooting expert.

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Amazon Services

The official free calculator from Amazon Services Europe where you can work out the total amount credited to your account.

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