I received a few emails from Amazon the other day, and whenever I get an unsolicited email from Amazon, there’s naturally a jolt of panic—did I do something wrong? Am I in trouble? Kind of reminds me of the apprehension of being asked to have a meeting with the teacher privately after school…
But I became really excited soon after I read through the emails, as they were invitations to join the BETA roll out of new Amazon marketing programs for sellers.
In short, Amazon will be opening up video marketing capabilities, as well as opening up its Vine program to FBA sellers!
Pretty exciting stuff, so let’s dig in to each offering, and what it means for you.
Video Marketing, For Amazon Sellers?
We reported on the expansion of the video marketing platform after we attended Amazon’s Boost with FBA event in June, and now it is coming to fruition!
This is something that is long-awaited for many sellers, as it really adds a whole new level of marketing that you can do with your product listings.
How does it work?
It is basically a self-serve video tool in the Enhanced Brand Content section of Seller Central, where you can upload a video into your main images, like this:
If you are in the Enhanced Brand Content program, and have a registered brand, you can will see a new option to add a video to an ASIN.
You simply select a SKU, and you will now see a new “Get Started” button to upload your product video. It will look like this:
You will see that you can upload your video, customize the thumbnail, video title, and video description:
You will also see the video appear in the “Video Shorts” widget at the bottom of your product page below the product information section of the detail page. It will look like this, where you can see the “Related Video Shorts”:
How Can I Get My Hands On This?
As I mentioned, this is a new feature that they are rolling out in a beta phase for FBA sellers. It has been an existing feature in Vendor Central and Vendor Express for some time.
The best thing that you can do in the meantime is apply to Amazon’s Brand Registry, a necessary pre-requisite for accessing Enhanced Brand Content, which we discussed here. You will need a registered trademark for your brand, but as we discussed, this process can pay off in more ways than one, including getting access to new features like this and increased protection for your brand.
Why Should I Care About Video?
Simply put, video helps bring your product to life and ultimately improves conversion rate. I have seen this with my own products, like Jungle Stix.
Amazon report that products that have A+ content (which includes rich text, images, video, etc) can improve conversion rates from 3% to 10%, as explained in this video.
I think that allowing video is just the tip of the iceberg as far as Amazon allowing private label sellers to build a brand identity and narrative. Sellers will soon be able to craft a more unique identity on their Amazon pages, complete with unique Branded URL’s (think www.amazon.com/junglesnugs), customizable templates, and more options for video, text, and images. The future looks bright, and branded!
This is something that I am really excited about, as it allows for more channels of differentiation from other competitors selling similar products.
Amazon Opens Up The Vine Program
Perhaps you’ve heard of the invite-only Vine Program, where Vendors can give free products to select reviewers for early product feedback and reviews. It is open only to “the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and pre-release items to help their fellow customers make informed purchase decisions.”
Sounds cool, but almost too-cool-for-school… how can I get in on that?
Well, that’s the other announcement that I received from Amazon that I’m about to share with you: Amazon is now releasing its Vine program for FBA sellers in a beta release.
It will cost you $1,000 per ASIN, which includes fulfillment fees and shipping costs to Amazon distribution centers and customers. And note that you will be giving away your product for free, too.
The benefit here is that you are getting your product into the hands of trusted reviewers who presumably have a high Reviewer ranking, and therefore more weighty reviews. Additionally, you can get these reviews before you launch, so that you have some existing reviews from Day 1.
$1,000 per ASIN—Isn’t That Expensive?
Frankly, the price tag of $1,000 per product listed sounds very expensive.
However, considering my background starting Jump Send, an automated email and coupon distribution platform, I may be biased… let’s dig in to the numbers to see if it makes sense.
Let’s suppose I allocate 200 units for my product launch of baby towels, which cost me $5 to manufacture and ship to Amazon.
This is how the numbers bear out for Amazon’s Vine Program Vs. Jump Send:
- $1000 flat fee
- $1000 in Cost of Goods Sold to give away ($5 x 200)
- assume 50% of recipients end up reviewing….
- That’s $2000 to receive 100 reviews, or $20 per review
- $30/month to join
- I price my product at 75% off of retail, so sell the towels at $5 instead of the retail cost of $20
- $0 Cost of Goods Sold
- Conservatively assume that 25% of purchasers end up leaving a review. Note here that I can not ask for a review, but I am sending follow up emails to explain the product and hope for a review
- That’s $30 to receive 50 reviews, or $0.60 per review
Moreover, with the $1970 that I am saving from the Vine launch I am allocating towards aggressive Pay Per Click ads (both Sponsored Product and Headline Search ads).
Though I am not positive of this, I believe that Vine’s program does not attribute a product giveaway towards your sales history and velocity. However, if you distribute discount coupons, each of those purchases counts as a sale. This positively impacts your sales history and velocity, and consequently your organic ranking and Best Seller Rank.
I am excited to see the roll out of these marketing platforms for sellers. It represents that continuation of Amazon’s efforts to offer a differentiated marketplace, where sellers have more options to tell their brand story. Maybe the focus on branding for FBA sellers will become more apparent over time?
As I mentioned above, I think that it would be prudent to move towards getting your brand registered with Amazon, if you have not already. These programs are likely going to be open only to registered brands, at least for the foreseeable future. Getting a trademark and a registered brand would be a significant investment in the future of your product(s).
If you missed it, we covered the Brand Registry process in detail in this post.
Do you have experience with the Amazon videos, or the Vine program? If so, please drop your thoughts in the comments section below, would be great to hear!