Amazon Consulting FAQs


Operations


How can I get in touch with someone at Amazon?
As Amazon grows increasingly hands-off the wheel, it’s more challenging than ever for vendors and sellers to speak with a real person at Amazon. Unless your business does enough in annual receipts to work with a vendor manager, you’ll need to utilize the resources of the Vendor Success Program. This includes the Vendor and Seller Central Resource Centers and “Contact Us” portals. Some subcategories within the Contact Us tool have a “Request a Call” option, which is one way to get an Amazonian from the support team on the phone. If you have a new business on Amazon, oftentimes an Amazon account manager may offer help setting up your catalog. Account managers typically reach out to you shortly after launching an account with Amazon, or alternatively you can search around for an account manager on LinkedIn. As a Tana client, we can help you get in touch with one of our contacts at Amazon, or help you resolve your issues more quickly (potentially without needing to speak with anyone at Amazon).


How can I get POs on newly added ASINs?
One of the challenges of loading new products on Amazon is getting an initial purchase order. While you can consider drop shipping the item or listing 3P and fulfilling via FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) or MFN (Merchant Fulfilled Network), the Born to Run program is also a great tool to initiate POs. With the Born to Run program, you can tell Amazon which ASINs to purchase order and the quantity (max $50,000 cost of goods per item). The contingency to be aware of is you must sell through the inventory in 10 weeks. If inventory exists at the end of 10 weeks, you might give Amazon the right to either return the inventory, or pay a 25% fee on the remaining cost of goods. If Born to Run is not an option, consider promoting your new ASINs through your social media/mailing lists. Doing so will generate glance views on the detail page, which is a metric Amazon tracks before placing an initial order.


What is Provision for Receivables?
Amazon takes the coop deductions, etc. based on the previous month’s receipts and pays them from the current month’s invoices. This occurs when Amazon determines that the vendor owes Amazon more in coop deductions, etc. than Amazon owes the vendor on the payable invoices. This is not based on inventory in house or invoices pending payment. These are reversed on the next invoices as the dollars are available. In the end the vendor is always paid the amount owed.


What type of reporting is available to a Vendor?
For a Vendor Central Vendor who is registered via Brand Registry, there is a comprehensive suite of reporting available in the Reports section of Vendor Central called Brand Analytics. Formally known as Amazon Retail Analytics, Brand Analytics is free to Vendors who have Brand Registry.


What is Born to Run?
Born to Run is an invite-only program that allows you to request orders for a product by telling Amazon how many units of that product you expect to sell through in 10 weeks. Amazon will review your request and – if approved – will buy up to that amount. Units that don’t sell through within 10 weeks are subject to returns or retention fees (at your election).


When did Tana first begin working with Amazon?
Tana’s relationship with Amazon started back in 1998, before the addition of Toys & Electronics to the platform, when the Kitchen GL was launched. Tana represented the Cuisinart brand.




Advertising


What makes Tana advertising services different from other agencies?
Over the last few years, we have developed a proprietary strategy we call TANAClicks, which allows for your advertising to obtain ideal bid positioning and visibility and to drive maximum sales conversions. Our goal at TANA is to grow both customer awareness and acquisition spaces, while still focusing on ad efficiency. We believe that vendors should not have to sacrifice their ad budgets with high bid levels to receive premium placements desired on Amazon’s market. In addition to our proprietary TANAClicks strategy, we also offer self-service DSP opportunities to reach your customers on and off Amazon through awareness, consideration, and re-marketing. We believe we have the best-in-class Amazon Advertising Team here at TANA to help you achieve your advertising goals.


How much does Amazon Advertising cost, and what budget do you recommend?
Advertising cost is dependent on sales velocity and TANA will recommend a budget based on a percentage of net receipts in correlation with company goals and objectives.


How frequently do you service our live campaigns?
We service your advertising campaigns on a daily basis. The TANAClicks strategy ensures that we service and optimize your advertising bid levels to accomplish its goal. Through our daily servicing, no bid levels or placements are being left unchecked allowing your campaigns maximum sales conversion and visibility.


Can I advertise my ASINs off site?
Yes, through the use of the self-service DSP platform. Amazon DSP is a demand-side platform that enables advertisers to programmatically buy display and video ads. You receive access to exclusive Amazon audiences to reach your ideal audience on and off Amazon, and also have access to audiences across both Amazon-owned sites and apps, but also through third-party exchanges and Amazon affiliate websites. Traditionally, this option is available through the Amazon Media Group (AMG), but requires a minimum spend of $35,000. However, TANA has access to the self-service DSP platform. Working with TANA allows you full control over your campaigns with no minimum spend levels required and allows your greater flexibility throughout the year regarding your campaign objectives and strategy.




Content/SEO


What is an ASIN/How do I find my ASIN on Amazon?
When creating a new listing on Amazon, the system will assign each product a unique Amazon Standard Identification Number, or ASIN, which becomes the default product identifier they use to refer to any given item in their catalog. For books, the ASIN is the same as the ISBN; for other product categories, the ASIN is a randomly generated 10-digit alphanumeric code that begins with the characters “B0”. You can usually find an ASIN number on the product detail page under Product Information, in the detail page URL itself, and if it’s your product, in your Vendor Central/Seller Central catalog reporting. The ASIN number is searchable as long as the item itself is searchable. There is also a shortcut you can use with any ASIN number by plugging it into this URL format in the address bar: www.amazon.com/dp/ASINNUMBER. If you try your ASIN in this direct URL and it still doesn’t find a detail page, your ASIN is probably suppressed and will require further action to reinstate it.


What are duplicate ASINs/How do I merge ASINs?
If you search for a product on Amazon, you’ll sometimes find that an identical item can be listed multiple times on different detail pages; in other words, the exact same item has more than one ASIN. Amazon tries to prevent these duplicate ASINs by using universal GS1 part identifiers—UPC, EAN, or GTIN—so that if you try to set up an item with the same UPC they already have in their system, it will attach to that existing ASIN rather than creating a new ASIN. However mistakes can be made in the setup process, or distributors/third party sellers can use a different GS1 identifier in their setup and thus create a duplicate ASIN. You can merge duplicate ASINs in Vendor Central by filling out a Merge Form (available in the Resource Center) with your ASIN & title and the duplicate ASIN & title, and submitting it through Contact Us. In Seller Central, simply find the Support topic “Merge duplicate or split product pages” and provide the two ASINs for them to merge.


Is it better to have shorter bullet points or longer ones?
Depends on the product! For relatively simple items, it’s usually best to keep your bullet points clear & concise while still conveying the key product features and selling points. For more complex items, longer bullets will generally be a better fit for a detail page, although with longer bullet points we like to add some kind of HEADER or SUBJECT LINE in all caps at the start of each bullet to help direct the customer’s attention. Keep in mind that there is a character limit: typically 250 characters or fewer for each bullet. You also have a whole product description and A+ section to get into the minute details, so the best use of bullet features is to highlight the most critical pieces of information for a customer who has just found your product and wants to know more: What specs or features would they most likely be looking at? What differentiates this product from similar items you offer? What sets the product apart from the competition?


What are Variations?
Product variations (also called parent-child relationships) group similar ASINs together on the same Amazon detail page, allowing the customer to toggle between the different available options. Variations provide a better customer shopping experience and make it easier to find and compare your products, boosting their search ranking, glance views, and sales over time. Variations are typically based around 1 or 2 varying attributes—most often size and/or color—but depending on the product category, can sometimes include more options at a time, and other attributes such as style and pack quantity. Variations can be created in both Vendor Central and Seller Central, although the method for creating them varies. Vendor Central has recently introduced Automatic Variation Services (AVS), which automatically variates your items if certain grouping attributes, slicing attributes, and varying attributes are set up properly. In general, you always want to variate sizes, colors, and pack quantities, but can often get more creative with your groupings if needed.


What is Automatic Variation Services (AVS)?
Amazon recently introduced Automatic Variation Services, or AVS, to their catalog logic. The intent of AVS is to have the catalog system create variations automatically based on your catalog info, rather than having Amazon build them manually on request. Those existing manual variations are being grandfathered in for now, but most categories have begun to utilize AVS for any new variations. To create automatic variations, you will still need to configure your catalog info properly, or your variations may display incorrectly or not at all. This means making sure that all items in a family share the exact same grouping attributes to link them together, slicing attributes to prevent duplicate options in the same family, and varying attributes to differentiate each product from the rest. These grouping, slicing, and varying attributes can be different depending on the product category/type, plus the AVS logic is new and still has a lot of bugs to work out, so while variations may be “automatic” now, they’re not exactly easy just yet!


What is an A+ Detail Page?
The basic Amazon detail page will show your product images alongside some text bullet points and a basic text product description. A+ Detail Pages (sometimes also referred to as Enhanced Marketing Content or EMC A+) bring a little more creativity to the detail page, allowing you to design your own layout below the fold with additional images, infographics, and more space for product information and copy. You can even include comparison charts linking to your similar or related products. A+ Detail Pages can better communicate your product’s features and benefits to the customer in a more graphically pleasing way, increasing conversion (sell through). Just having a good A+ Detail Page can give you a leg up on the competition. A+ Detail Pages are built using a self-service tool with pre-set modules, and they are typically available for free in Vendor Central and Seller Central.


How can I enforce my branding standards on Amazon?
TANA recommends enrolling in Brand Registry to help protect your brand on Amazon. Brand Registry works to enforce branding standards on Amazon by creating an accurate and trusted on-site experience for customers. With Brand Registry, sellers are unable to inaccurately list products utilizing a registered brand name that isn’t their intellectual property. Once enrolled, you’ll have a stronger influence to control your product listings, having an available team with 24-hour service to respond and take action for notices of potential infringement. Enrolled brands report an average of 99% fewer suspected infringements, further showcasing the importance of enrolling in the program.


What is a Brand Store?
If you click on the brand name link on a detail page, by default it will take you to a simple set of search results for products linked to that brand name. Brand Stores allow you to instead design your own store for your brand, curating your product selection as you see fit, and helping customers to navigate your catalog more easily to find what they are looking for. Brand Stores are available for free through a self-service tool in the Amazon Advertising portal (formerly Amazon Marketing Services, or AMS), but usually require Brand Registry to be in place before the tool can be accessed. A published brand store will be connected to your product detail pages through the brand name link, can be utilized as a landing page in your Amazon Advertising campaigns, and will sometimes get its own custom URL on the Amazon website for easy access and use in off-site advertising or social media promotion.