For every step in the customer journey online, it's not just maintaining customer loyalty that's frequently elusive for many brands. It's garnering the right customer feedback—feedback which can ultimately lead to customer loyalty.
Survey tools may seem like an ideal way to engage customers and collect feedback, discovering just how to gauge customer satisfaction properly. But customer surveys aren't just costly. They're frequently ineffective, with requests to participate lingering unread in countless spam filters.
Consistent and generalized customer data may seem virtually impossible to generate for Amazon's reported 1.9 million third party sellers. Which begs the question one fundamental question: how to increase customer engagement when customer interaction is confined solely to an order invoice?
Why Customer Engagement Tools Matter
Most sellers will invariably face certain frustrations at some point in trying to launch a successful marketing campaign on Amazon.
It's not that Amazon's advertising solutions are anything less than robust. But they lack a sense of personalized engagement—a factor which can often make or break new-to-market brands.
Even more frustrating is the fact that seller protocol can be subject to change at Amazon's whim. Certain restrictions in communication guidelines can be established seemingly without warning. And those restrictions don't just hinder sales. They can ultimately result in a seller's breach of service.
At a certain point, customer engagement solutions become less of an amenity and more of an outright necessity.
It shouldn't come as any surprise that direct customer outreach is critical for success. It's been estimated that email marketing can result in an ROI as high as 42:1, resulting in a reported click-through rate of 2.62 percent.
But historically, Amazon has frowned on email marketing, permitting seller-buyer messaging only by including “communications necessary to complete an order or to respond to a customer service inquiry.”
That is, until now.
What is Amazon's Manage Your Customer Engagement Tool?
In April 2020, Amazon launched a customer engagement tool called “Manage Your Customer Engagement” (MYCE) designed to help sellers optimize email campaigns for established followers. But why is it important to maintain followers on Amazon?
It's simple. A one-time conversion may represent a good chunk of your sales. But building a loyal following both on and off-Amazon will establish your longevity.
And in a marketplace where only 20 percent of the top sellers last more than seven years on the platform, longevity isn't just a luxury. It can mean the very survival of your business.
By launching email marketing campaigns, the growth of your business can be measured by the growth of customer relationships with your Amazon followers while also allowing you the perfect opportunity to promote new product launches.
With direct marketing postings announcing new product listings and increased visibility for existing storefronts, MYCE is a bit of a departure from the strict seller control the platform has notoriously maintained.
But does MYCE signal future changes in customer engagement for Amazon's 2.5 million third party sellers?
How Does MYCE Work?
Up until recently, seller communications on Amazon were relatively stark. Messages could not contain any branded content, including branded content, non-order related images or logos linking to off-Amazon sites.
But while the purpose of these restrictions may have been to allow strict control over buyer-seller interactions, sellers were frequently at a loss on how to announce new product launches and promotions. Partially as a result, some of Amazon's top selling brands wound up leaving the platform altogether—even as third party sales were at an all time high.
MYCE is a tool designed to boost customer engagement and help reduce some of those seller frustrations. Eligible sellers who are registered through Brand Registry with an active storefront can implement a full scale and far reaching email campaign in as little as ten minutes.
How to set up an email marketing campaign using MYCE
To see if you're eligible for MYCE, log into Seller Central and click on the Customer Engagement tab underneath Brands. MYCE is currently only available in beta mode and may not be accessible by all eligible sellers yet
Upload an original brand logo, either in black and white (jpg) or a transparent background (png.) Logos must be formatted horizontally in a ratio of 3:1 or less
Add your product. MYCE is currently supporting only newly launched products available for first run listings no older than six months
Upload a supporting image in line with Amazon's image posting guidelines. All product lifestyle images must have a pure white background and not exceed 10,000 px on the longest side
Schedule your initial campaign around a five day period between Monday through Friday
While MYCE is currently only available in beta mode, campaigns are subject to review by Amazon's moderation team at a minimum of three days' time. Any time-sensitive campaigns should take subsequent time for review into consideration.
Who is Eligible for MYCE?
Only sellers with an active storefront on Amazon Stores are eligible for MYCE
All sellers must be registered through Brand Registry
Only new products that have been listed for six months or less can be added to a MYCE campaign
All sellers must have active followers who have engaged with their storefront through Amazon Posts
For sellers who still rely solely on off-Amazon social media to drive traffic, we highly recommend using Posts as part of your social campaign. It's a very powerful engagement tool which combines branded content with a shoppable feed, allowing for easy repurposing of off-Amazon content to maximize your social visibility.
Why Should I Use MYCE?
The strength of Amazon's marketplace doesn't just rely on their name alone. It's also the result of its sellers, who contributed an estimated $295 Billion in sales during 2020 alone.
Any retail platform is only as strong as its own sellers. But while Amazon may have helped enable a fairly open market for new merchants, the ability to wield marketing content effectively was frequently restricted as a result of Amazon's protocols on customer interaction.
MYCE opens up a new chapter in customer engagement strategies for sellers, combining the strength of email marketing with optimized content to ensure that even remote and casual followers can learn about new product lines.
It doesn't just affect a seller's marketing capabilities. It affects the whole of customer experience.
And it may only be just a taste of things to come.
Need to maximize your off-Amazon marketing presence to reach even more loyal customers? Find out more at Color More Lines