May 2009 | Main | July 2009

6 posts from June 2009

June 30, 2009

Get Started on Product Ads on Amazon

New to Product Ads and aren’t sure how to create your ads?  Watch our latest video to learn about the range of easy ways to list your products. You can upload via FTP, sync your Yahoo! store or upload your catalog.xml file.  Get tips on file and upload options and best practices on how to create good product information to drive traffic to your website. You’ll be ready to activate your account in just a few steps. Watch now.

June 18, 2009

Upcoming Webinars: An Easy Way to Manage Your Orders

Amazon is offering two webinars on how to manage your orders when using Charge When Ship. We will explain how it works, how to use it to help manage orders, and we'll provide answers to your questions during this live webinar.

Seats are limited, so please make sure you reserve your seat today. If you happen to miss Monday’s webinar, don’t worry we also have one scheduled on Wednesday for your convenience.

Monday, 6/22 - 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM PDT
Charge When Ship: An Easy Way to Manage Your Orders
Reserve your seat!

Wednesday, 6/24 - 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM PDT
Charge When Ship: An Easy Way to Manage Your Orders
Reserve your seat!

To learn more, please visit our FAQ or watch our video.

June 17, 2009

Charge When Ship – Top 10 FAQ

We’ve gotten a few questions about the Charge When Ship program so we've listed the 10 questions sellers are asking most often, along with the answers.You can also check out the entire FAQ list by visiting Charge When Ship FAQ.

Top 10 Charge When Ship Questions:

1) What happens if a customer's payment is declined, either before or after the seller confirms an order?

2) How will we know if we have successfully migrated to Charge When Ship?

3) Should I confirm shipment of orders I received before I signed up for Charge When Ship?

4) Is tracking information required?

5) What happens if we don't ship within 2 days?

6) If the order is placed on Friday, or weekends, how does the "2 days to ship" rule work?

7) Are sellers going to be charged a fee for refunding rather than cancelling?

8) What happens if we ship the order at 1 pm and the customer requests to cancel the order at 1:15 pm? The customer gets the product and a refund?

9) How will this affect seller performance metrics?

10) Can buyers leave feedback on cancelled (will not ship) orders?

1) What happens if a customer's payment is declined, either before or after the seller confirms an order?

As long as you confirm that the order was properly shipped, you will be paid in accordance with the Marketplace Participation Agreement. We charge the buyer after you confirm shipment (rather than when the buyer places the order), and then we credit your Marketplace Payments account.
Of course, just as now, there may be circumstances where payment may later need to be refunded, for example when the buyer does not receive the order, or it is not as described.

2) How will we know if we have successfully migrated to Charge When Ship?

You will be able to tell that your account has been transitioned to Charge When Ship in several ways:

  1. We'll send you an automated e-mail confirming it>
  2. On the Manage Orders page you will see a Cancel button for new orders (in addition to the "Print packing slip" button).
  3. At the top of the Manage Orders and Manage Payments pages there will initially be a large yellow box indicating the account now has Charge When Ship functionality. (However, note that since these boxes can be closed by clicking "Don't show this again," if one of your account users closes the box it will no longer appear for any of your account users.)

3) Should I confirm shipment of orders I received before I signed up for Charge When Ship?

Orders placed before you had Charge When Ship functionality will not have a Cancel button in Manage Orders, and they will not appear on the Unshipped Orders Report. Buyers have already been charged for those orders once they appear as "Payment complete" in your account. You will never have to confirm shipment for those orders. Check Manage Orders or the Unshipped Orders Report to see which orders require shipment confirmations.

For orders you received prior to enrolling in Charge When Ship, you should continue to send your own notifications if you have already been sending e-mail notifications to buyers when you ship orders.
For new orders you receive after your account is enabled for Charge When Ship, you must not send buyers shipment notifications. Instead, confirm these orders using the button in Manage Orders or using a feed. Amazon will notify buyers of shipments confirmed through Charge When Ship, because it is a better buyer experience to receive a single shipping notification.

Note that if you do happen to confirm shipment of an order you received before you had Charge When Ship functionality, we will display the shipping details in the buyer's Amazon account, but we won't send an e-mail notification to the buyer. Therefore, please continue to send those notifications for orders you received before you had Charge When Ship functionality.

4) Is tracking information required?

Tracking information is not required for feeds or Manage Orders, but, based on buyer feedback, we highly encourage providing tracking information. Buyers prefer to track their orders, but we realize that not all shipping methods support tracking.

5) What happens if we don't ship within 2 days?

If you don't confirm shipment of an order within 2 business days, we automatically send late shipment e-mail notifications to you and to the customer. If the order is still not confirmed as shipped after 25 days, we send you another notification, reminding you to confirm the shipment.

After 30 days, we cancel the order and send you and the customer notification of the cancellation. If you know you cannot fulfill an order on time, be sure to cancel it immediately so we can notify the customer. It is important to show this consideration to customers so they can decide whether to purchase the product elsewhere.

6) If the order is placed on Friday, or weekends, how does the "2 days to ship" rule work?

Promised ship dates are based on weekdays—Monday through Friday (except holidays). An order placed on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday will have a promised ship-date range of Monday – Tuesday, and should be shipped no later than Tuesday, the 2nd business day after the order was placed.

7) Are sellers going to be charged a fee for refunding rather than canceling?

Refund processing will remain the same as before: for a partial refund, we retain a portion of the fees we collected from you for the order; for a full refund, all fees are credited back to your seller account.

8) What happens if we ship the order at 1 pm and the customer requests to cancel the order at 1:15 pm? The customer gets the product and a refund?

Buyers are not able to cancel orders after we've made the orders available to you. With Charge When Ship, however, you can cancel orders on behalf of buyers instead of confirming shipment. If you agree to refund an order after you have shipped it, you can ask the buyer to return the product.

9) How will this affect seller performance metrics?


The existing seller performance metrics will still apply with Charge When Ship, and we'll also monitor late shipment and cancellation metrics.

10) Can buyers leave feedback on canceled (will not ship) orders?

Buyers can leave feedback on all canceled orders, whether or not the seller's account has Charge When Ship functionality.

Please check out the entire FAQ list for answers to additional questions.

Announcing Charge When Ship

Learn more and sign up for Charge When Ship!

We are pleased to announce Charge When Ship, an easy way to process orders and keep buyers informed about shipments. All sellers will be using Charge When Ship soon, so we encourage you to learn more and sign up right away.

Here are a few benefits to consider when signing up for Charge When Ship:

  • Buyers contact sellers less often if they know when and how an order was shipped. They especially appreciate tracking information. We provide the shipping details to the buyer once you ship the order and confirm the shipment through Manage Orders or a feed.

  • Informed buyers are happier buyers; happier buyers leave better feedback ratings. 

  • If you are unable to ship an order, you can cancel it instead of confirming shipment; we won't charge the customer and you won't have to issue a refund.

  • You can easily tell which orders you have not yet confirmed as shipped, and we'll also send you an e-mail reminder if an order remains unshipped past the promised ship date.

To learn more, please visit our FAQ or watch our video.

June 12, 2009

Upcoming Webinar - Drive Traffic to Your Website

Wednesday, 06/24 - 10AM PDT
Product Ads by Amazon - A new way to drive traffic to your website
Productads-webinarimage

Learn how to advertise your products to Amazon.com customers and drive traffic to your website. Product Ads is a cost-per-click advertising program that puts your products in front of millions of Amazon.com customers. Simply upload your product catalog and set your bids and budget. Amazon will display your ads in highly targeted placements. When customers are interested in buying your product they click through to your Web site and purchase directly from you.

This webinar will give you an overview of Product Ads and show you how to optimize your ads. Reserve Your Seat Now.

June 05, 2009

Optimizing for Search and Browse

The power of the Amazon.com web site is the discoverability of products. When buyers can find what they want, that influences conversion from looking to buying.

The technology and philosophy behind that power is the use of the single Product Detail Page  combined with strong search and browse capabilities.

T

hese are the two primary methods for finding products on the Amazon.com Web site and we encourage sellers to optimize their listings to take advantage of both. Utilizing the functionality for both search and browse are especially important for success in selling in the various non-media departments.

Search is the primary method buyers use to locate products. They search by entering words in the search box, either on the home page or on any other page on Amazon.com. These are typically words that they think of as related to the product they want to find. The Amazon system matches relevant products based on those words and returns a page of search results.

Search

When listing your products for sale, well-chosen search terms can increase the visibility and potential for sales. The Amazon system already searches against the words in the title, brand/designer/manufacturer/manufacturer part number, and standard product ID (UPC, EAN, GTIN) so there is no need to repeat those. Instead, think of all the different words a buyer might use to find your product.

The system does not search bullets and descriptions, so those are often words to consider when creating search terms. If you sell pillow shams, for instance, you will include that in the title. It is relevant to use the word case or pillow case or pillowcase as a search term – you know what buyers want for your products!

H

ere are some tips for optimizing your search terms. Relevant is the key to the best buyer experience. The faster a buyer can find what they are looking for, the more likely they are to make a purchase, especially if it’s exactly what they wanted.

1.   Utilize all the search terms you can for every product

2.   Use detailed product names

3.   Do not re-use words in the search term fields

4.   Don't use quotation marks in search terms

5.   Use only relevant search terms

There are also opportunities for disappointing. For example, if a buyer searches for a black backpack and you’ve included black in your search terms for the blue version, this is a poor experience when a blue backpack surfaces in their search. That isn’t what they were looking for. However, if you know that many people think of your blue version as aquamarine, but that’s not the true title, then aquamarine is a relevant search term.

6.   Use legitimate alternate spellings and synonyms

Legitimate spelling differences are relevant too. Is the name of your product racket but it might be searched racquet? That’s a good search term. Or a synonym might help if your product is a pair of slacks but someone might search pants and/or chinos, for example.

7.           When entering several words as a search term, put them in the most logical order

8.           Minimize use of abbreviations

9.           Do not use misspellings as search terms. Amazon.com's search engine compensates for common customer misspellings and also offers corrective suggestions

10.       When entering several words as a search term entry, you don't need to use punctuation - our system ignores commas. Just make sure to put spaces between your words if you want them treated as separate terms.

These are typically words that they think of as related to the product they want to find. The Amazon system matches relevant products based on those words and returns a page of search results. There are more ideas about search terms in Seller Central Help at the topic Use Search & Browse.

If you aren't getting the sales you expect, keep experimenting with your product names and search terms. To determine what words will be useful for your product, do a search first on Amazon.com yourself. If you get a high number of matches, try other words to see if you can narrow the results.

B

rowse is another way buyers find products and narrow the results. Most people are fairly familiar with the mechanics of search. Where Amazon.com really adds value is in the browse structure presented to the buyer.

Thousands of merchants sell millions of products on Amazon.com. To help customers find products easily, we developed a detailed product hierarchy or browse-tree structure. Customers refine by category and subcategory links until they reach the most specific product type.

Amazon.com uses your Item Type Keywords to classify your products under the correct browse nodes. In order for your products to continue to appear when customers refine their category options, they must be classified correctly to the deepest level. For example: This means your pasta pots should be classified as pasta-pots and not just pots or not just as Kitchen. Or your sun dresses classified as sundresses and not just dresses or Apparel, and further classification can put those into more specific classifications for junior, kids, and women’s.

Each step along a customer's browse path is called a browse node. Amazon assigns your products to one or more browse nodes based on how you classify your products using the terms in the Item Classification Guides (ICGs). These are category-specific documents that provide you with the proper Item Type Keywords and attribute values for setting up your products. These values take advantage of the browse structure for categories on Amazon.com. See latest classification Guide.

You describe your products instead of assigning them to a particular browse node, you do not need to reclassify your products if the browse structure changes. This is an important difference between Amazon.com and other online marketplaces. The more accurate and thorough your classifications, the better Amazon.com can place your products in relevant browse nodes across the site.

Example:

Browse ecample

For more information about this, check out the Home & Garden Category Style Guide. More of these to come for other categories soon! If you are looking for other ideas try any of these features described at Use Search & Browse, or for more tips go to the Increase Sales help topic in Seller Central.

© 2011, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
The Amazon Seller Support logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
About our blog | Privacy Policy | Conditions of Use | Careers