The Latest and Most Up to Date Amazon Update Admidst COVID-19
Alright, let’s jump into these updates and how you can take action.
The first big update came last Thursday, March 26th, outlining how Amazon will be dealing with inbound inventory for the time being. They have expanded the types of products they will allow to be added to their inventory on a case by case basis.
They are choosing those products based on:
Demand of the product
Current inventory levels
Inventory in transit
Fulfillment Center Capacity
In order for you to see if your products are now eligible for restocking, please check your “Restock Inventory” page and your “Restock Reports”.
If you are able to restock inventory, send inventory in as soon as possible. Amazon may be allowing you to send inventory in now, but that can always change so it is important to send inventory in while you can.
If you are unable to restock inventory, continue to check your Restock page and Report daily to see if you can send inventory in. Hopefully, Amazon will continue to open this up to all sellers ASAP.
Another update… on March 30th, reports came in that certain Amazon fulfillment employees were staging a strike due to the unsafe working conditions in the wake of the Coronavirus.
That being said, it is now more important than ever to get FBM listings and fulfillment set up regardless of if you are able to send inventory into FBA or not. The reason being is there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding Amazon FBA warehouses like potential strikes and month-long shipping times. Nothing is guaranteed right now with FBA, so it is important you are taking these precautionary steps to help your Amazon business stay active.
Our team is doing our best to keep you up to date with all of these updates coming in, and you can check out the latest updates and strategies by visiting turnkeyproductmanagement.com/corona.
First and foremost, our team hopes this email finds you well and healthy.
As you guys know updates seem to be coming from Amazon on a daily basis and each update seems to have a such a huge effect on your business!
Here are the updates that have come in so far
March 16th: Amazon US announces they will hire 100,000 workers to try to keep up with the excess demand they are seeing on Amazon.com
March 17th: Amazon announces globally they will only be accepting essential items into their Amazon warehouses that fit into the following categories:
Health & Household
Beauty & Personal Care (including personal care appliances)
Industrial & Scientific
March 20th: Amazon sends sellers important reminders on Seller Fulfilled shipments. You can check out those reminders here.
March 21st: Amazon announces that select European markets, like Italy, will temporarily only accept customer orders on essential products. You can find this update here. (Must be logged into Amazon EU Italy to read the update).
March 23rd: Amazon US customers start to see that some products on Amazon have shipping windows that extend out all the way to the end of April. To combat this Amazon starts to limit the availability of lightning deals, 7 day deals, and coupon clippings to sellers.
March 24th: Amazon announces an adjustment to removal orders and long term storage fees. To make sure Amazon can restock, and ship high-priority products they have temporarily paused removal orders in some of their fulfillment centers. Sellers may continue to create removal orders, but there will be delays in completing them. Due to this change, Amazon has decided to wave the April 15 long-term storage fees for inventory stored in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
To help you navigate through these uncertain times and almost constant updates and changes to the Amazon landscape, our team has put together a free report called “How To Survive & Thrive On Amazon During The Coronavirus Pandemic”.
Here are some quick thoughts from our team:
As Amazon limits shipments into the FBA warehouse we suggest you set up FBM listings. This way, if you run out of inventory in the FBA warehouses, you are able to continue receiving orders from customers.
In times like these our team suggests scaling back on promotions and Amazon PPC. In our personal opinion, for the long term health of your seller account, it is best to stay in stock during these times and scaling back on these two areas can help.
If you are already having account health issues, respond to the performance notification from Amazon letting them know that this is caused by COVID-19.
For the full free report and continued updates from our team head here.
Please reach out to our team if you have any questions and stay safe out there!
Amazon has officially introduced Video in SBAs and our team is pumped! Like majority of new programs on Amazon this one is starting in beta but it is still an exciting development because it shows Amazon is one step closer to allowing more sellers to use video ads.
These video ads have a few different campaigns, here are the options Amazon is offering so far:
Product Detail Page Campaign
This campaign type drives traffic to your product’s detail page on Amazon. The video in the search ad unit would replace the primary product image and the headline text from the product detail page. It will look something like this:
Custom Landing Page Campaign
This campaign type drives traffic to your Amazon Store or a custom landing page located on Amazon. In order to use this campaign type you must have a custom image, headline, and a landing page URL for the product featured in the video ad. This ad will look like this:
What are the next steps?
First we suggest you check to see if you are apart of the beta program! You can check this out by pressing create a campaign within your advertising platform and selecting sponsored brand. Once you are in the sponsored brand section scroll down to see if video is under the ad format options.
Amazon Live is a live stream located in several locations on Amazon.com and the Amazon mobile app. The live streams can appear on the detail pages of the products belonging to your brand, as well as across various placements where Amazon shoppers browse. All live streams can be found on Amazon.com/Live and in the Amazon mobile app under ‘Amazon Live.’
Sellers can essentially use this feature to better connect with their customers through Amazon. There are multiple features within Amazon Live that will help you showcase your brand to drive sales!
This free feature is a way to connect with customers in real time. While these customers are watching a live stream they can see your products alongside the streaming player, shop your products with ease and also take advantage of any promotions you have to offer. You can talk to your customer directly while you are live streaming by answering questions or even asking for feedback.
Want to take this feature next level?
Brand owners are able to boost their Amazon Live through Amazon Advertising. This will get your live stream in front of more customers! Think of it as a way to offer video advertising without having to produce a brand new video.
In order to create an Amazon Live you use the Amazon Live Creator app, which is currently only available for iPhone through the App Store. Once you have created your Amazon Live it will be available on your channel for 48 hours for free!
So what are the next steps?
Our team would suggest you visit Amazon.com/live to see what other brands are doing for their lives, think of it as a competitor analysis. Once you have an idea of what live stream you would like to put together try it out for yourself and complete your first live!
For those of you that are Brand Registered our team recommends you do everything you can to take advantage of the benefits of the Amazon Storefront.
An Amazon Storefront is a great place for brands to express who they are and give customers a chance to truly see what they have to offer.
To take advantage of this feature, we suggest you use Storefront Source Tags. Within the insights dashboard you are able to set up tags to track how customers are getting to your store.
Using this feature you are able to send external customers to any page you would like within your Storefront. It is super easy to set up! All you have to do is head to the dashboard, select the storefront page you want the customer to go to, and create the tag. Once you have that filled out Amazon will create the link for you!
When sending external traffic to your Storefront we suggest using these tags so that you can see where that external traffic is coming from. Based on this data you will be able to determine which external sources are worth using to send traffic to your Amazon store!
This week’s Amazon topic is not the most fun but it is incredibly important to talk about considering it is affecting the majority of Amazon businesses. As you all know, the Novel Coronavirus is affecting millions across the world including sellers like you.
Obviously it is impossible to predict situations like this but it is important to do what you can to protect your business. If your business is affected by this consider taking the following steps:
Ask the customer to cancel or approve a delay for previously placed orders that you are no longer able to fulfill at the moment. Obviously it is not ideal to cancel orders, but it is important to maintain your account health so you are not negatively impacted for months to come. Having the customer cancel the order looks better on you as a seller. To ask the customer to cancel or approve a delay on the shipment simply message them through their order.
Place your Amazon account on vacation status. This will prevent orders from coming in until you have worked out any logistical issues and ended the vacation status.
Create FBM listings. If you are no longer able to send inventory into Amazon but have inventory in another warehouse that can fulfil Amazon orders, create FBM listings to keep orders coming in.
Communicate with your manufacturer and do your best to try to get timelines from them.
Pull a projection report on your current inventory and start to plan out future orders to your manufacturer so you are prepared when they are taking orders again. We have attached our template below.
We are wishing all involved a speedy recovery and if you have any questions about your business and this trying time please reach out to our team.