[White Paper] Using Amazon A+ Content to Sell More

Tell Your Brand’s Story with Compelling Listings

Introduction

Think of the last time you glowingly recommended a new purchase to a friend. You didn’t talk about a SKU number or a parent ASIN. You more than likely referred to it by its brand name. (Example: “This Roomba cleans up of ALL of Fluffy’s hair and my floors are immaculate!”)

What is Amazon A+ Content?

A+ Content is a feature that allows Amazon sellers to customize listings with images and further details to augment your product page. In the past, listings were limited to eight pictures, five bullet points and a product description. But with A+ Content, brand owners can now add images, charts and graphs, instructions, and more to highlight key product features, answer common questions, and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Who can use A+ Content?

To use A+ Content in your listings you must be:

  • A Professional Seller
  • Recognized as the product’s brand owner through Amazon Brand Registry or
  • An “emerging brand owner” currently working with programs like Amazon Launchpad or Amazon Exclusives

Important to Note: When Amazon first introduced A+ Content, this feature was only available to 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 Enhanced Brand Content?

Enhanced Brand Content (Discontinued)

  • Only found in Seller Central (while Vendor Central had A+ Content)
  • Sellers had to update content at the SKU level
  • No mobile preview available
  • No language variations available
  • Very limited templates available to Seller Central sellers

A+ Content Now

  • Now available in Seller Central or Vendor Central
  • Sellers can now update content at the ASIN level, including applying content to a parent ASIN and all child ASINs at once
  • Mobile preview available
  • Sellers can create language variations within a marketplace. For example, add Spanish versions of Amazon.com listings or French versions of Amazon.ca (Canada) listings
  • All A+ Content templates from Vendor Central are now available to brand owners on Seller Central. This provides access to charts, images with light text overlay, and other more visually appealing and dynamic ways for sellers to showcase their brands

Why use A+ Content with your Amazon listings?

A+ Content gives you the opportunity to tell your brand’s story, while also showcasing your products’ key features, 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.

This feature also provides benefits that can’t be so easily measured, but that will benefit your brand and your bottom line in the long run. Here’s how you can use A+ Content on Amazon.

Tell Your Brand Story

It’s vital that you create your brand’s story and then control that narrative, because shoppers buy with brands in mind. Make your brand’s story memorable and consistent with what you sell and how you operate. Brands are not just about products and services, but about image, experience, perception and reputation.

For example, imagine receiving a small powder blue box wrapped in a white ribbon. If you’re a jewelry lover, chances are your heart is already palpitating at the prospect of what’s inside. This is the power of an easily recognizable brand and an enduring brand story.

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” or “the packaging that smells like mothballs.” 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?

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? Focus on that story.
  • Rarity, limited production, special editions or exotic traits. Sometimes you are lucky enough to have access to sell something no one else has. Use that to your advantage. For example, what do you think of when you hear the phrase “eleven secret herbs and spices”?
  • Special qualities or properties. Are your products handmade? Organic? Buyers are interested in what makes your brand and products stand out from the crowd.

Telling your brand’s story allows your buyers to connect emotionally with your brand. That means digging into why you created your brand in the first place. Would you purchase a medical alert system from a devoted daughter who invented it after her mother suffered a fall in the house and couldn’t get to help? This story likely connects with people in the market for a medical alert system, most of whom are probably also concerned about their own or a fragile relative’s health.

Pro Tip: 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.

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 to ask, return to product reviews, questions your customers have asked, and customer support issues.

Potential topics to include here are:

  • How to install or setup 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. This will help you 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 going to get once they purchase and also reduces customer service incidents and returns.

More Pro Tips for Making the Most of A+ Content

  • Think Like a Shopper – Fifty-five percent of shoppers start their search on Amazon. This means they not only use Amazon to purchase, but as a 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? What information or inclusions would make you favor one product over another?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Use Original Verbiage and Copy Content – 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.
  • 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.
  • Don’t Set it and Forget It – Keep an eye on your listings and update them as needed. Be sure pictures reflect 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.

What Restriction Does Amazon Place on A+ Content?

Amazon is very conscious of its role as marketplace owner and is very strict about how it allows brands to present themselves. Restrictions on A+ Content include:

  • 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”

You can find more information about these and other restrictions in Amazon’s A+ Content FAQ.

How to Get Started with Amazon A+ Content

Note: 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. Check out “What restrictions does Amazon place on A+ Content?” above for some tips on avoiding a long A+ content review process. You’ll be able to see the status of your submissions on your A+ Content page.

Conclusion

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. Learn more today!

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