Out of all the available marketing tools Amazon has made available to help both seasoned and novice sellers, one of the most popular is A+ content (formerly known as Amazon Enhanced Brand Content.)
It’s not hard to see why. It’s not just user friendly. It can be virtually automatic. With the Amazon Builds For You module in A+, Amazon can optimize your layout and content based on both your sales history and your competitors.
More importantly, Amazon A+ content doesn't just give your product listings a competitive edge in a highly competitive marketplace. It can result in a much higher conversion rate than you would have thought possible.
How Amazon A+ Results in Conversions
It’s been estimated that close to 70 percent of all online shopping carts are ultimately abandoned by users. The chief reason isn’t that the purchasing process is particularly complicated. Or any additional fees. It’s that customers simply weren't informed enough by product listings to complete a purchase.
The reality is that conversion rates will always be contingent on both product demand as well as how well you're delivering content.
Conversions are rarely an overnight phenomenon. Nor are they at all predictable. Market trends can’t be manipulated, no matter how enhanced your content is.
Amazon likes to claim that A+ content can increase conversions—sometimes by as much as 10 percent. We’re not about to doubt them. Reportedly, Amazon came to that conclusion as the result of a 2015 survey of 134,000 ASINs. The problem isn’t necessarily that the survey dates back to 2015.
It’s that Amazon only reported content delivery in aggregate form. They didn’t specify which form of enhanced brand content delivers the highest conversion rates. Media rich content can be a fairly subjective term, describing everything from a comparison chart to video to voice command to... well, you get the picture.
With that in mind, we decided to review some of the pros and cons of Amazon A+ as well as suggest best practices so you can make a better informed decision.
The Pros and Cons of Amazon A+ Content
Pro: Basic Amazon A+ content cost is free
For brand registered sellers who are already familiar with the dynamics of content creation and layout, the ability to integrate multiple high quality images, product comparison charts and rich text into one multimedia content page is an incredibly useful tool which can take a substantial amount of legwork out of your Amazon strategy.
Con: Higher levels of content are only accessible at a fee
Amazon A+ comes in two options: Self Service and Amazon Builds For You. Each has four separate modules of Basic, Silver, Gold and Premium, each with corresponding fees. Yet only the Basic self service option is free. While each level includes interactive content features such as 360° product views and high definition videos, they’re also successively more expensive at a cost which may not fit the budget of smaller brands.
Pro: Amazon A+ is now available for any brand registered seller
In the past, A+ was for vendors by invitation only. It wasn’t until last year that qualified sellers enrolled in the Amazon Brand Registry service were allowed to participate with up to twenty pending submissions under review at any given time.
Con: Sellers pay higher fees for A+ Silver, Gold and Platinum solutions.
Not only do sellers have to be enrolled in Amazon's brand registry program, A+ services require sellers to be invited by a Vendor Manager to participate in the Silver, Gold and Premium modules—at a cost that can be considerably more than vendor prices.
Pro: Qualified vendors may be eligible for A++ (Amazon A+ Premium) content
A+ Premium (also known as A++) content contains the same features found in standard A+. But it also features a more advanced premium content feature for what Amazon has dubbed a "sophisticated online shopping experience"; including integrated video, voice commands, clickable Q & A options, automated mobile optimization and hotspot modules activated by users hovering over specific product features.
Con: A++ is an invitation only solution—at a cost that’s none too inviting
A+ Premium is only available to vendors, not sellers. And with good reason. Not only must vendors need to to qualify for Amazon’s approved brand catalog in order to be eligible for A+ Premium, they need to be specifically invited by Amazon to participate in the program. In addition, the cost for Premium eligibility is considerably higher—sometimes as much as $1500.
Pro: When optimized properly, Amazon A+ can seem almost like an alternate website
Because of enhanced content and customizable layout, brand owners can differentiate their product line from competitors by providing a much more informative multimedia experience than a simple product detail page. In essence? Amazon A+ content acts just like a landing page, only on the largest digital retail platform in the world.
Con: Amazon does not currently index A+ content
Amazon A+ exists for the benefit of both you and your customers. It showcases your brand and helps you create a narrative so users can stay better informed. However, that doesn’t mean A+ content will show up in Amazon search results. Amazon does not currently index it yet, although some users have reported that it does show up in Google.
Content Delivery and Conversions
A 2020 report from Wyzowl revealed that 80 percent of marketers felt video played a dramatic role in sales growth, with 95 percent indicating it helped increase user understanding of a product or service.
According to a 2019 report from CMI, only 54 percent of content marketers feel they provide an adequate experience for consumers across their engagement journey.
An estimated 88 percent of marketers have indicated interactive media helps differentiate their brand from competitors.
Best Practices for Amazon A+ Content
Product content is not just about your product
It’s natural to assume your best-selling product will be the focus of your A+ campaign. But how aligned is it with your brand overall? Does it reflect your reputation? Does it represent your product category as a whole? By featuring a company profile, comparison charts and product-specific highlights, you’re indicating you’re more than just one product. You’re part of a much larger retail fabric.
You may not see automatic conversions with A+ content. Market trends are never set in stone. And your A+ campaign shouldn’t be either. If you’re finding enhanced content doesn’t appear to be gaining traction, audit your campaign. Few consumers want to see stagnant listings from three or more years ago. Review competitive results but never imitate. Improve on them.
A+ is not your only tool
There’s an entire array of solutions available for you through Amazon Advertising which have been proven to drive sales. Sponsored Products. Sponsored Brands. Sponsored Display Ads. Amazon DSP. Stores on Amazon. Amazon PPC.
A+ may simply not be enough. Confining yourself to just one solution in a landscape like Amazon doesn’t just hinder your visibility. It could render your presence virtually obsolete.
Connectivity, Amazon A+ Content and Your Brand Story
According to a recent report from Business Insider, mobile is predicted to account for 45 percent of the US eCommerce market by the end of 2020 and 44 percent of global eCommerce as a whole by 2024. And while optimizing mobile may be critical for sales, it’s even more critical for A+.
Right after your tile and gallery images, your A+ content is the first to show up on mobile browsers. And it can be more persuasive than straightforward descriptions. That’s because the nature of mobile retail is rooted in both speed, portability and convenience.
Very few mobile consumers will find technical product listings anywhere near as engaging as image rich content. They may review details once their interest is sparked, but product details are simply not a compelling lead-in.
What does compel in A+ content is your brand narrative. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then A+ content could be worth an entire dictionary. Comparison charts are a great example. Your customers are faced with dozens, if not hundreds, of competitive products vying for their attention. And you’ll need a way to stand out from the pack while still retaining a cohesive narrative.
Comparison charts tell your customers exactly why they should purchase your brand in particular—one reason why they’ve historically led to higher conversions. You can’t necessarily obtain that impetus in 200 characters or less.
More importantly, A+ allows you to showcase your personal creativity as much as it allows you to showcase your brand. Standard Amazon content looks uniform and sterile for a reason: to ensure a consistency in user experience. But enhanced Amazon A+ content doesn’t just give customers standard details. It allows for a much more personal user experience that showcases just how your product can impact the daily lives of your audience.
A personalization that isn’t just worth a thousand words. It’s priceless.
Looking to take your Amazon content to the next level? A+ is just one of our specialties. Find out more at Color More Lines.