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8 posts from September 2011

September 29, 2011

The Sellers API section now available in North America

The MWS team is pleased to announce the North America public launch of the Sellers API section in Amazon Marketplace Web Service. Previously, Sellers and developers had to manually determine in which marketplaces a seller was registered as well as information about listing in each marketplace (language, currency, etc.). The new Sellers API allows in one operation the retrieval of all marketplaces that a seller can sell in along with additional information about those marketplaces and the seller's participation in those marketplaces.

 

Note that the Sellers API is for determining what marketplaces the seller who is submitting the request is registered in. You cannot use this API to determine what marketplace other sellers are in, just your own marketplaces. More details about the new API can be viewed on the Sellers API section page of the MWS Developer portal.

Marketplace and MarketplaceIdList parameters in the HTTP Request

The Marketplace parameter in the HTTP request has not been required for a while, but some folks are under the impression that the MarketplaceIdList parameter has taken its place. This isn't the case. The Marketplace parameter has been deprecated, so it is no longer part of the authentication process.

The MarketplaceIdList parameter is an optional parameter that is used with two operations, SubmitFeed and RequestReport. These two operations can take multiple marketplace Ids for the marketplaces that you sell in for a single request. Other operations, such as the GetReportRequestList operation, don't use this parameter so if you include it in the HTTP request, you will get an error (400 response code).

 

When working with multiple marketplaces, such as in the EU, you can specify several marketplaces that you sell in using the MarketplaceIdList parameter. For example:

 

&MarketplaceIdList.Id.1=A13V1IB3VIYZZH&MarketplaceIdList.Id.2=A1PA6795UKMFR9

 

In NA, you can specify your seller account and your Webstore, for example.

 

Just remember, you no longer need to include in the HTTP request the Marketplace parameter, and the MarketplaceIdList parameter is only used for the SubmitFeed and RequestReport operations.

September 28, 2011

Read: Amazon Product Ads August 2011 newsletter

Did you miss the August 2011 edition of the Product Ads newsletter?  Simply click on the newsletter below to read about:

  • Upcoming changes to the enforcement of our Content Guidelines
  • Tips to drive more exposure for your Kitchen products
  • ChannelAdvisor's tips for increasing your presence on Amazon.com

August screenshot

September 26, 2011

$75 Click credit for new qualifying Product Ads accounts

Quick—open an Amazon Product Ads account this week!

If you receive your first valid click by September 30, 2011, Amazon will apply a $75 click credit to your new account within 10 business days of that first click. Restrictions apply

Any unused credit will expire on December 31, 2011.

Once you have a Product Ads account, you can see a summary of clicks—over time, by category, or by SKU—in the performance reports in your account (from the Reports tab).

 

September 20, 2011

Give 'em what they want: Getting the right buyers to see your items

Put your products in front of the right customers -- understand where and how shoppers find what they want on Amazon.com, and list your items accordingly.

Browse Path

On Amazon.com, the rule of thumb is to put your items where most of the similar items are. This means choosing a specific, intuitive category and subcategory for your item when you list it.

A quick search on Amazon.com for any search term will show you which categories have the most items. For the generic term “Item”, Home & Garden is currently the winner with over 200,000 results. If a buyer were to try and filter through all of those for a specific product, they would lose interest long before buying anything. So putting your item in a precise, intuitive category is a much more effective way to increase the discoverability of your items.

Once you have the core category down, there are several sub-categories that allow buyers to further narrow the results. But remember, creative browse structuring does not help you or the buyer. Remember the last time you searched for something in your local department store for what seemed like hours, then finally asked a sales associate for help, only to discover they'd put it somewhere that made no sense? Candles with the pots and pans. Panty hose with the toiletries. Not the kind of shopping experience you were hoping for, was it?

You might be wondering “Where in the world do I choose the browse path during the listing process?”  If you have the ability to create a detail page, you are walked through a series of screens, choosing the best placement of your item; this is the browse path. If you are adding a listing to an existing page, then you will be using the existing browse paths for the page, so you will not have to go through these steps.

Search Terms

When good browse paths are combined with good search terms, buyers will find your items even more easily despite the millions of other items on Amazon.com. In essence, search terms add your item to more browse paths!

Knowing the right words to add is a matter of knowing the item you are selling and the customers that are looking for your item. Here are a couple things to keep in mind when adding Search Terms:

1) Do not duplicate any of the words or terms in the title.
2) Do not duplicate any of the words or terms from the brand name.
3) Do not use a competing brand (for example, if you are selling Colgate toothpaste, do not use Crest as a search term).

Title

Buyers see item titles in the search results, and are what they use to click through to the detail page, so good titles are essential.

Titles should be accurate and descriptive, yet concise - a too-long title can work against you - it is confusing and looks unprofessional. Think of a title as a headline in the newspaper: you want it to get their attention, excite their curiosity and ensure that buyers know what you are offering.

An example of a great title is one we found in heating and cooling equipment: "Honeywell 38002 Enviracare Universal Replacement Pre-Filter"

With this type of title you get:

  • Buyers looking for a specific brand - Some buyers search by brand, then look for a product within that brand.
  • Buyers looking for a specific product - Buyers who know they need Honeywell model 38002 filters will know you offer them.
  • Buyers browsing for an add-on or re-occurring cost item (such as furnace filters) - These buyers are researching, and a good title lets them know the relevant information right upfront. 

Want to learn more? One of the best research tools you have available to you is Amazon.com itself. You can explore (browse) and search for items. See the results of search terms or similar items before you list.

September 22 changes to Google Product Search data requirements

Comparison shopping engines are an important source of traffic and revenue for many e-commerce websites.

As a convenience to our sellers (and with no additional charges), Amazon Webstore submits Webstore product listings to Google Product Search and theFind.com, two leading comparison shopping engines that do not currently charge any listing fees or sales commissions.

Google has announced that beginning September 22, 2011, products will require additional attributes, including sales tax information, to be listed in Google Product Search results. A simple page is now available in Seller Central where sales tax settings for Google Product Search can be entered with a few clicks. Sellers using Amazon Webstore can reach this page by navigating to the Control Panel, expanding "General Webstore Settings", and then clicking "Comparison Shopping Engine Feeds". Webstore by Amazon Sellers can reach this page by navigating to WEBSTORE DESIGN, clicking on Traffic Manager, and then clicking on "Advertise on Comparison Shopping Engines" page.

Beginning September 22, 2011 items that do not have sales tax information may no longer appear in Google Product Search results. Enter your Google Product Search tax settings soon or your Webstore may no longer receive traffic from this popular comparison shopping engine.

September 14, 2011

Find what’s selling on Amazon.com

Both seasoned sellers and new sellers have their own method of selecting products they plan to sell on Amazon.com, but have you ever thought about checking the products that are selling on Amazon.com already? If you are looking to increase sales and visibility on Amazon.com, it’s worth taking the time to check.

Often sellers may choose items that are sold based on what sells in brick and mortar stores or on other online sites. What is popular elsewhere doesn’t always guarantee popularity on Amazon.com. This seems basic, but knowing what Amazon.com buyers are purchasing is important.

It is quick and easy to discover what sells on Amazon.com: just do a little browsing. Start by going to the categories you sell in, browse to subcategories and sort by Bestsellers. Once you get to the results sorted by Bestselling, take a look at the detail pages of the top items.

Bestselling


Ask yourself these questions:

• What is the Amazon.com Sales Rank?
• Does the product have good customer reviews?
• Is this product something customers prefer to buy online instead of purchasing locally?
• Could the related and accessory products tied to the bestselling product be good to add to your inventory?

If you are not selling the most popular products in your category, ask yourself if it would be beneficial to do so; sometimes it isn’t. Consider if selling the item is viable for your business model.

While diversity of products is great, specialty items could appeal to a only small selection of Amazon.com customers. Adding one or more popular items to your inventory that have a high Sales Rank and good customer reviews can give you a higher chance of increasing your company’s visibility and sales. All it takes is a little research to see what customers are interested in, with a bit of trial and error to see what will work best for your company.

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