What Is This About?
Recently Amazon has come out with a new policing mechanism to check your main images to make sure they are TOS compliant. If they don’t comply with the rules Amazon has set, your listing may face suspension or other punishments.
Listings Are Getting Suppressed
What I’ve been noticing is that Amazon is going after our images with a real Vengeance right now and I actually do have confirmation from within Amazon not through Prime Guidance, but through just a close friend of mine that they are proactively launching a new policing mechanism to make sure that all of the main images within Amazon are going to be Amazon TOS compliant. So when you’re looking at your listing and I’m guilty of it, I’ve certainly put additional things in my main image to try and increase click-through rate to try and increase, you know, can I differentiate my product from the rest of the results on the on the search results page but some of those listings that I have done that on are currently suspended and I have a number of clients who have had products that are very deeply impacted by this. One of those clients was is large enough that they have an Amazon representative internally that works, you know directly with them. She was able to confirm everything that I just said that they are doing a sweep. They do want to please says Main images. They do want to you know have a consistent experience for customers and they’re Also catching a lot of supplemental images in that sweep.
Check All Of Your Images
So even though they’re targeting the main images the hero images if you have infographics, if you have kind of embellished images on your listing, you may get caught up in the sweep… So make sure you’re staying on top of it. This is a great use case for having a change tracking software something that we encourage all of our clients to have so that they’re actively watching their listing they’re seeing if images are going missing if the title is changing if the fulfillment methods changing so be on your toes, this is a big deal to Victor’s point the clients that are impacted right now were already into six figures in lost Revenue.
How To Fix The Problem
So it’s a very big deal and what the advice I got from Amazon, If you do run into the situation is that use your internal Amazon rep if you have one They’re going to have the best ability to remedy and fix the situation. And then if you do not have an internal Amazon rep, then you’re going to need to open cases in addition to Re-uploading the videos on the back end of your Seller Central and that you should anticipate it taking up to a couple of weeks before you get those images back live again. So for anybody who has main images that are embellished, this is Food For Thought there’s not a guarantee that you’re going to get caught there never is but I would put a 90% plus certainty that they’re doing a heavy sweep on Main images being just a picture of your product with a white background around it exactly according to Amazon TOS.
It’s Not As Hard As It Seems
It’s an area that I see neglected a lot of times is video because I think a lot of 3rd party sellers think, this video is way to costly. I don’t have the people that they can produce videos and I don’t have the money to pay someone to produce a high-quality video so they neglect it all together. The reality is you don’t need some high performance, you know videographer to shoot a video for your product at least not out of the gate. Initially, We find that just putting some images and photography together into a video and adding some text and some Transitions and stuff can actually look really strong and actually do a really good job of portraying key messages it varies distinctly especially in the the first few seconds to get someone interested in enough to to stay engaged and watch the rest of the video matters.
Increase Sales By Over 3x Your Usual Amount
So if you’re going to do something like that on Amazon because you know, we know Amazon quotes that increases conversion rate by 3.6 times the normal conversion rate when a customer watches one of those videos so its hugely successful.
Some may argue that advertising is king and that ultimately the right pay per click (PPC) strategy is the most critical aspect to a product’s success on Amazon but in truth CONVERSION is king! Without conversion, you aren’t making money. However, in reality, it’s the content that leads to conversion. Yes, you can say that without PPC advertising the consumer will never see your product. However, let’s say you have the best PPC strategy money can buy yet the consumer’s first impression of your product’s detail page is poor… will you convert?
In the early days of Amazon, it was often shoot from the hip when coming up with content. Usually, companies had fancy names for their products that often didn’t tell the consumer what the product did, nor why they should buy it. The consumer had to know exactly what they were looking for to find it, whereas in a brick and mortar store you could walk to the specific department and easily find the item. The product name wasn’t important when it comes to finding it in the store. Flash forward to the time when organic searches were (and still are) very critical… that’s when keyword stuffing began. For a battery pack you saw product titles like this:
External Battery Pack For iPhone, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, Zenith, RCA, to Charge Grandma’s, Grandpa’s, Kids, Children’s, Aunt’s Uncle’s, Father’s Mother’s Phone, Very Small, Very Very Tiny Battery Pack
The whole idea was to try and capture every word a consumer might use to find the item but also adding somewhat irrelevant words that might bring an unsuspecting person to the page as well. Amazon soon learned that many consumers were experiencing poor search results and landing on products that had nothing to do with their search, which in turn, led to bad customer experience. When you read the first Amazon Leadership Principle – Customer Obsession, you understand that Amazon’s first loyalty is to their customer which means providing the ultimate experience on the site and delivering accurate search results. Many sellers believe that the search algorithm works best when many different words are placed in your product title, bullet points, or product description to bring consumers to your page. However, if there is no conversion, then your organic rank goes down. This, in turn, puts you further back when the next person searches for your product. They want the customer to find exactly what they are looking for, so you need to choose the words on your Detail Page carefully!
Consumers look at two things on the Detail Page:
- Bullet Points
- Product Description/Enhanced Brand Content
- Rating aka Reviews (to be discussed in a future blog post)
When it comes to images, your first spot or “Main Image” is truly just an image. At minimum should adhere to Amazon’s requirements but should be as high a resolution as possible, especially if there are fine details that you want the consumer to see. The next few images should really be called an “Infographic” and you must decide what is most important for the consumer to see and understand. Let’s use a 5-inch screw with 3-inch threads as an example. The infographic would show the screw with lines at the top and bottom of the screw indicating 5” and then a second set of lines from the bottom of the screw to the top of the threads indicating 3”.
This quickly shows the consumer everything they need to know about the dimensions of the screw and whether it will work for their intended use. It’s direct and straight to the point which is perfect for this type of item. But what if you are selling a credit card-sized external laptop battery pack that will charge the laptop at least 100 times? Wouldn’t an image with a laptop, a credit card, the battery charger, and a very large 100X have more impact than lines showing 2” x 3” lines? It gives a size perspective to the consumer, which is a very powerful statement!
Lifestyle images are great too if they are relevant first to the actual product and then secondly to the brand. Having a lifestyle image of a fishing lure with heat-seeking technology will intrigue a consumer and they will want to read more. Imagine what an image that conveys the lure tracking down a fish on its own would do for your conversion. You can even combine a lifestyle and infographic image if you don’t overload it with too much written information. It’s also important to ensure text is large enough to be easily readable on mobile phones without requiring shoppers to zoom in.
In the olden days, bullet points were typically simple feature benefit statements. However, consumers demand more and we have very limited space to give them what they want. We as merchants don’t need to tell them that their life will be easier with this widget or they will look like a million bucks wearing that thing-a-ma-jig. The key is knowing what is important for each product’s consumer and speaking to them.
- 21 GIGAWATT DIGITAL VACUUM MOTOR: The super-strong motor sucks up every spec of dust and every bowling ball from you living room floor, giving you the confidence of a perfectly clean carpet.
- HEAT SEAKING SENSORS: Embedded sensors and a micro-motor guide the fishing lure right to the fish, guaranteeing a catch on every cast.
These bullet points give the feature and then explains how the feature provides the benefit.
The buyer of a high-end laptop computer probably doesn’t need to know the benefit of a 42-terabyte hard-drive or having 256-gigabytes of RAM. In an example like this, the bullet points should contain a lot more of the features and less on the benefits. Many times a consumer buying an item like this is using the features in the search which means the bullet points and even the title (discussed below) should lean more towards the features.
Other products may require more of a focus on the benefits, with less of an emphasis on the features. Again, it depends on what is important for your customer’s purchasing decision.
Although Amazon doesn’t tell us how their organic search algorithm works, the currently accepted hierarchy is that it begins with the Product Title and then moves to the bullet points. Product titles have character limitations that are different by category and it is still important to only use relevant words that are not repetitive and will eventually index making it easier for customers to find. Using the word, “Children in Children’s Sock” is important, but don’t use “Children’s Kids Socks”. The phrase “Kid’s Socks” can go into a bullet point where it will look more natural than “Children’s Kids Sock”. Giving key features in as very few words as possible is perfect and here is a good example.
BRAND NAME 26800 Portable Charger, 26800mAh External Battery with Dual Input Port and Double-Speed Recharging, 3 USB Ports for iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Android and Other Smart Devices
The last thing to remember is that you can only make a first impression one time and bad grammar due to keyword stuffing is a bad first impression. I have very high standards when shopping online and assume that if the grammar is bad on the detail page then the product or product instructions must be equally as poor. Most of the time I am abandoning that page… How many others are doing the same?
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