Using Amazon A+ Content to Sell More
CHAPTER I What is Amazon A+ Content?
This blog post was originally contributed by Jennifer Dunn, Head of Content at Book Outdoors.
A+ Content allows Amazon sellers to customize listings with images, charts, and graphs to improve your product detail page. Simple listings are limited to eight pictures, five bullet points, and a plain text product description. But with A+ Content, brand owners can add more images and text to highlight key product features and get higher sales. You might have heard it referred to as Enhanced Brand Content (EBC).
Who can use A+ Content?
To use premium A+ Content in your listings you must be:
- A Professional Seller,
- Recognized as the product’s brand owner through Amazon Brand Registry,
- An “emerging brand owner,” currently working with managed selling programs like Amazon Launchpad or Amazon Exclusives
What is EBC?
When Amazon first introduced A+ Content, this feature was only available as an invite-only service for vendors on Vendor Central. A slightly less robust version, called Amazon Enhanced Brand Content (EBC), was available to brand owners who sold through Seller Central. As of late 2019, Amazon has combined A+ Content and EBC under the name A+ Content.
How is the current version of A+ Content different from EBC?
Enhanced Brand Content (Discontinued)
– Only found in Seller Central
– Sellers had to update the content at the SKU level
– No mobile preview available
– No language variations available
– Very limited templates available to Seller Central sellers
– Available in Seller Central or Vendor Central
– Sellers can update the content at the ASIN level, including a parent ASIN and all child ASINs
– Mobile preview available
– Sellers can create language variations within a marketplace.
– All A+ Content templates from Vendor Central are now available to brand owners on Seller Central.
Why use A+ Content with your Amazon listings?
A+ Content gives you the opportunity to tell your brand’s story on your product page, while also showcasing your product, answering common customer questions, and ultimately increasing conversions and decreasing returns. It’s the natural partner to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Advertising attracts customers to your listings, while dynamic listings convert them into buyers.
In the past, Amazon has claimed that sellers who use Amazon EBC (the older version of A+ Content) saw a 5% uptick in conversion rates. Amazon A+ Content is also free for Amazon sellers, though your content will have to be moderated by a combination of human and artificially intelligent moderators.
Making the jump from conversion to brand evangelist doesn’t happen overnight. While there is currently no cost to use A+, doing so does require an investment of time and energy.
A+ Content Goals
If you’re going to invest in A+ Content, make sure you have a clear sense of what you’re trying to achieve. All A+ Content additions should:
- Make your pages display better, create conversions, all for increased sales;
- Create an emotional connection, so that a one-time buyer becomes a repeat customer;
- Transform a repeat buyer into a brand-loyal customer who leaves reviews for your products, buys other products from your brand, and recommends the product and brand to others.
If you have any doubt about the longer-term goals, remember that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Customer retention is where the power of branding comes in, and A+ Content is key to your branding mission.
CHAPTER II Tell Your Brand’s Story on Amazon with A+ Content
Think of the last time you recommended a new purchase to a friend. You didn’t talk about a SKU or a parent ASIN. You more than likely referred to it by its brand name.
For example, imagine receiving a small powder blue box wrapped in a white ribbon. If you’re a jewelry lover, chances are you’re already drooling at the prospect of what’s inside. This is the power of an easily recognizable brand and an enduring brand story.
It’s vital that you create your brand’s story because shoppers buy with brands in mind. Make your brand’s story memorable and consistent with what you sell and how you operate.
And what if you don’t create a brand story? Customers will create it for you. The last thing you want is a customer to refer to your brand as the one with “the missing charger”. You run the risk of being labeled as generic, or worse, utterly forgettable in the eyes of your customers.
What Type of Story Do You Want Your Brand to Tell on Amazon?
Here are a few ideas. Focus on your brand’s:
- Use of a unique process, innovation, or pioneering technology. Did you invent something that solves an old problem in a new way?
- Rarity, limited production, special editions, or exotic traits. Sometimes you are lucky enough to have access to sell something no one else has.
- Special qualities or properties. Are your products handmade? Organic? Buyers are interested in what makes your brand and products stand out from the crowd.
If you are unsure of your brand’s story, start by asking yourself a few questions:
– What makes my brand different from every other brand that sells the same thing?
– What do I do better than all of my competitors?
– What do I want my brand to be known for?
– If I overheard a customer talking about my brand, what would I want them to say?
If you are still searching for a story, try looking over your product reviews. Maybe your customers rave about how easy your product is to install, how it has saved them fifteen minutes every time they do some troublesome household task, or how it gave them the confidence to interview for their dream job.
CHAPTER III Get Started with Amazon A+ Content
First of all, you’ll need to be a Brand Registered, Professional seller, which can take some time. Once you’re able to create A+ Content, you’ll upload the following “modules” to your listing inside Seller Central.
|Image Guidelines||Text Placements|
|Feature 1||4 images (line) – 220 x 220 pixels each||4|
|Feature 2||3 images (line) – 300 x 300 pixels each||3|
|Feature 3||4 images (grid) – 135 x 135 pixels each||3|
|Header 4||1 image (left) – 300 x 300 pixels||1|
|Header 5||1 image (right) – 300 x 300 pixels||1|
|Header 6||1 image – 970 x 300 pixels||1|
|Header Image||1 image – 970 x 600 pixels||N/A|
|Comparison Chart||5 images – 150 x 300 pixels||2|
|Single Image and Sidebar||2 images – Main (300 x 400 pixels), Sidebar (350 x 175 pixels)||6|
|Four Image Highlights||4 images – 300 x 300 pixels||4|
|Single Image and Specs Detail||1 image – 300 x 300 pixels||2|
|Single Image and Highlights||1 image – 300 x 300 pixels||2|
|Image and Light Text Overlay||1 image – 970 x 300 pixels||1|
For each content module, you’ll need to develop the creative, including copy and high-quality images. If you’re unsure about what to include in your copy, start by preemptively answering customer questions.
Answer Customer Questions
Another way to engage with customers and get them to “add to cart” is to preemptively answer their questions. To figure out what questions customers ask, look at your product reviews and customer support issues.
Potential topics to include are:
- How to install or set up the product
- How to use the product
- How to solve common issues customers have with the product (without, of course, making it appear that your product is prone to malfunction!)
Another tip is to take a peek at your competitors’ reviews and the questions their customers have asked. Seller Labs Pro allows you to track your competition to discover what previous buyers of products similar to yours are looking for as they shop.
Answering questions right in your listing lets your customers know exactly what they are purchasing. Expert expectation management reduces customer service incidents and returns.
Keep in mind that your Amazon A+ Content is approved by both a computer and a human moderator. This means it can take up to seven business days for your listing to be approved, and you may not get approval on the first try. (You’ll be able to see the status of your submissions on your A+ Content page.) You’ll expedite the approval process by following all of Amazon’s guidelines.
Honor Amazon’s Restrictions on A+ Content
Amazon is very conscious of its role as a marketplace owner and is very strict about how it allows brands to present themselves. The following violations are not allowed:
- Referencing your company as a seller or distributor;
- Warranties, guarantees, satisfaction claims, or references to off-Amazon return or refund preferences;
- Pricing or promotion references (“cheap,” “bonus,” free,” etc.);
- Information on shipping details or shipping timelines;
- Use of copyright, trademark, or registered symbols anywhere in your text;
- Boastful or time-sensitive comments such as “top-selling” or “#1” or “on sale now”;
- Information about customer reviews from Amazon or any other site;
- Adding editorial or third-party quotes from external sources such as magazines and television shows;
- Any warranties or guarantees of any form, e.g., “satisfaction guarantees, money back, etc;”
- Logos from a brand or organization other than your own or multiple brand logos in a single video review;
- Weblinks or language attempting to redirect to other sites inside or outside of Amazon (including your other products);
- Any mention of products being used for criminal activity;
- Offensive content such as videos containing nudity, profanity, illegal activities;
- A video for which you don’t own the rights, leading to copyright infringement.
Upload Video to Your Amazon Listing
Sellers that have access to A+ Content can upload a video, which will display in the main image block of their product detail page. In addition, uploaded videos will also appear in the Amazon Video Shorts section. Videos, however, come with their own set of restrictions:
- Amazon reserves the right to deny videos that do not have proper content, sound, or resolution;
- Your video cannot contain a product review for your Amazon ASIN, web addresses to sites other than Amazon, inappropriate content, mention of limited time offers, or mention of price discounts;
- Accepted video file formats are 3GP, AAC, AVI, FLV, MOV, MP4, and MPEG-2;
- Thumbnail image must be a 16:9 aspect ratio and a suggested minimum width of 1920px
- JPEG and PNG are the accepted formats for thumbnails.;
- When uploading metadata, A video title (100 character max), synopsis (400 character max), type, and related ASINs are required.
CHAPTER IV Make the Most of A+ Content on Amazon for More Conversions and Better Sales
In truth, A+ Content allows sellers to use product detail much more creatively. Think about module templates as storyboards about not only your product but your bigger brand. The better you execute your storytelling, the more sales you’ll make because of your A+ Content. Follow our 6 Pro Tips to win the hearts of your shoppers.
1. Think Like a Shopper
Fifty-five percent of shoppers start their search on Amazon. This means they not only use Amazon to purchase products but as a price comparison tool. Approach your A+ Content from your customer’s point of view. What would you want to see to make you add to cart?
2. Use Professional-Grade Photos
Think of Amazon A+ Content as an investment and use brand assets that proudly showcase your brand and story. High-quality brand images can be used throughout your marketing, on Amazon and elsewhere.
3. Express a Social Message
Eighty-five percent of consumers say they prefer to buy from a brand that gives back to charity in some way. If you don’t already, consider donating a percentage of your proceeds to a charity you feel passionate about and that aligns with your brand’s values. For example, for every pair of socks purchased from Bombas, the company gives another pair away to a person in need.
4. Use Original Verbiage and Copy
The text in your listing is just another opportunity to showcase your brand’s voice. Plus, using original content will ensure your listing isn’t flagged by Amazon’s content moderation system.
5. Less is More
Amazon provides templates for you to fill with content, but don’t assume that you are required to fill every square of a template. Sometimes minimal is better, and filling templates with too much info can clutter up your page and leave buyers more confused than ready to buy.
6. Don’t Set It and Forget It
Keep an eye on your listings and update them as needed. Be sure pictures reflect the newest models. For example, update your listings with new features, awards won, or celebrity endorsements. Trends change, and you may find that you want to highlight a different aspect of your product going forward.
You can find more information about these and other restrictions in Amazon’s A+ Content FAQ.
The Amazon landscape is always changing. From advertising to terms-of-service updates, there are always new opportunities as well as challenges. Contact our Seller Labs Managed Services team and get expert Amazon management services specifically tailored to your business.
Maria is an SEO Content Specialist at Seller Labs. Once captured by digital and content marketing in her student days, she keeps living and breathing it ever since.