When it comes to advertising solutions for Amazon Marketplace sellers, there's no small shortage of scalable options which highlight product features, no matter what size your business is. But there's no better place to start than with A+ content.
It's been estimated that the average conversion rate on Amazon is approximately 13 percent. And compared to other online conversion rates, that number isn't anything to scoff at. But there's a difference between a one-time purchase and a repeat customer.
Particularly if that one-time purchase was the result of an uninformed decision.
Why A+ Content?
Amazon A+ (formerly known as Amazon Enhanced Brand Content) is a premium content feature available for brand owners and brand registered sellers which enables them to tell their brand story on Amazon Marketplace through high quality images, charts, video, product features and other media rich content on a product detail page.
Previously available by invite only, A+ is now available to any Amazon seller registered through Amazon Brand Registry. While Amazon has claimed that A+ content can increase conversion rates by as high as 10 percent by providing what they have dubbed "a sophisticated online shopping experience."
There's no way of quantifying those claims. But it's no secret that rich media and enhanced brand content can boost sales considerably.
That's chiefly due to the fact that digital brand engagement isn't contingent on words alone but a shared experience. An experience that reflects the needs and lifestyle of your customers as much as it reflects your own brand story.
Words only tell part of that story. And where words can't convey an experience adequately, A+ content elaborates on your brand's unique selling point effortlessly. Some 93 percent of digital marketers have found that interactive content is more effective in educating potential customers than static content alone.
A+ is designed to be specifically interactive, adding visual assets, charts and enhanced product descriptions to your Amazon product listings, allowing your target audience to make educated and informed buying decisions about your product line.
But it's not for everyone. Eligibility for A+ isn't automatic. Not only will you have to be registered through Amazon Brand Registry prior to approval, you can only add product listings to an approved brand catalog—with a limitation of only 15 separate ASINs per month.
Once approved, you can begin to create Amazon A+ content in as little as 15 minutes, including:
High definition images
360° full width images
And a host of other enhanced features to make your product detail page stand out by accessing both full service and self service modules in Seller Central.
Customer Trust, Digital Marketing and Amazon
Customer experience can be largely defined by any number of factors, not all of which will necessarily have equal share. There's your product to think about. Your packaging. Your service.
But more importantly, your marketing.
Marketing is about more than just a memorable campaign and relatability. It's about establishing trust. It's about placing a human face to your brand. A human voice—one which communicates the ultimate value of your brand in clear and unmistakable words.
Why do vague campaigns typically tend to fail in digital marketing?
They have a vaguely defined audience.
Online shoppers can be a little more shrewd than consumers in the past. Just review any social media marketing campaign and you're likely to see a host of negative comments; particularly if the campaign fails to convey any relevant information whatsoever.
It's no different on Amazon except for one critical difference: those comments come from your actual customers who have made a verified purchase.
Amazon and the Power of Negative Thinking
Ask any merchant selling on Amazon for even six months and they'll tell you that negative feedback can hurt in a much more profound way than social media.
Unlike social media, bad reviews aren't glib retorts from anonymous parties. They're from customers who have found your entire customer experience wanting. That means both your product, your service and your underlying message.
But negative reviews have a much more significant impact than merely bruised pride.
A 2019 report from the Spiegel Center at Northwestern University revealed 95 percent of shoppers read online reviews prior to making a purchase, while an estimated 94 percent of customers indicated negative online reviews convinced them to avoid a business altogether according to a 2018 survey from independent software firm ReviewTrackers.
Amazon doesn't filter out negative reviews. That's part of their chief appeal—providing raw and unfiltered feedback directly from their peers. And Amazon certainly won't manage your online reputation for you. So what exactly is driving your negative reviews?
You didn't meet your customer's expectations. But it's not necessarily your product. It's a lack of information about your product.
Can A+ content help inform your customers?
A+ Content and Your Customer Experience
A+ content isn't necessarily about minimizing negative feedback. In 2023, that's an impossibility for any Amazon brand. What A+ content from Amazon allows you to do is maximize your visibility so customers can make more informed choices.
Traditional models of advertising often fail to translate to the digital realm because they're non-interactive. They don't speak to customers. They speak at customers.
And they often rely on little more than a catchy slogan and an easily digestible soundbite to get their point across.
But digital communications are a two-way interaction; one which enables a much more personalized form of customer experience.
That's part of the strength of Amazon. It's a user-driven entity, one which reflects the needs and habits of any demographic imaginable. And the most successful Amazon sellers will realize this and leverage it to their advantage.
In a 2018 report from PwC, 73 percent of customers indicated experience as a critical factor in their purchasing decisions, with 42 percent reporting they would pay extra for a more welcoming experience.
So how does Amazon A+ help enable a more positive customer experience?
A+ Content Features and the Customer Experience
Competitive comparison charts
Amazon's the single largest marketplace in the world. And customers are more discerning than ever. In fact, it's been estimated that consumers read an average of up to 10 reviews of a product before deciding on a purchase.
You need a way to distinguish yourself from your competitors. And a competitive comparison chart is one of the most effective and compelling ways to do so.
And if you don't have a competitor yet? We want to hear from you.
Your brand isn't merely a product. And it certainly isn't a marketing campaign. It's an entire narrative arc; one which reflects your vision, your values and your own sense of meaning and purpose. It's an arc which customers want to share in.
A recent study published in the Harvard Business Review discovered that companies were able to increase the amount of new customers by up to 15 percent simply by forging a sense of a personalized connection with them.
Connectivity is at the heart of communications—and that's one advantage smaller businesses have over Fortune 500 entities.
What's one advantage physical retailers have over Amazon? Tactility.
No matter how convenient online shopping is, customers still want to see the dimension, depth and shape of your product. That's not something static images can deliver.
But 360° imaging can give a virtual approximation with the definition customers expect from a physical display.
With an estimated 87 percent of companies indicating video plays a significant role in driving traffic, it's no secret that video can have a tremendous impact on conversions.
But how does video affect customer experience? Quite simply. Customers want more than just to see your listing alone. They want to see the direct benefits of a product in everyday use and how it can apply to their own lives.
Streaming video doesn't require great artistry or an expensive ad agency to make an impact, as any quick scan of YouTube will tell you. It simply takes believability.
FAQs have always been there for a company's benefit as much as they have for customers. The problem is they tend to cover only the most basic questions.
Every now and then, you're going to get a question completely out of left field that makes you reevaluate the very message of your brand.
That's when the real value of an FAQ comes into the picture. Direct customer insight. Insight which can be applied to forge a much more personal connection with your customer base.
Can A+ Content Save Your Reputation on Amazon?
Can enhanced brand content such as A+ save your reputation on Amazon? Not necessarily.
Only your product and service can. And while every brand may have a brand story, not every brand will have the time or experience to craft a message that speaks directly to your customers.
Specifically, your target audience on Amazon. Much like Amazon itself, there's an entirely different dynamic to their customers—a dynamic that demands information and proof as much as it demands a narrative.
What A+ content can do is provide customers with a deeper understanding of your brand. It can provide you with the opportunity to understand who your customers are. What they need. And what they expect from you.
And that can save you the aggravation of any number of one star reviews during your next product launch.
A successful Amazon strategy is as much a question of experience as it is understanding. Our content managers have both. Find out more at Color More Lines.