social media hashtag

Introducing Amazon Posts

Amazon has been successful in making immense strides in growing their digital advertising platform. Currently ranking as the third largest digital advertising platform, behind Facebook & Google, Amazon continues to siphon away ad spend from their behemoth competitors.

Another industry Amazon has attempted to penetrate (but honestly, failed miserably) is social media. You may remember Amazon Spark, but it's more likely you never heard of it in the first place. Heralded as "the Instagram of Amazon," the Spark program targeted Prime members and was designed as an infinitely scrollable feed of shop-able stories and photos: imagine your Instagram feed, but everything is a clickable, buyable product.

After two years the Spark program was finally laid to rest in June 2019, and its bones were repurposed into the #FoundItonAmazon page, which caters solely to Women’s Fashion and Home Décor.

Fast-forward two months and Amazon has begun subtly promoting a new mobile-only program: Amazon Posts. Eerily familiar to the layout of an Instagram feed, these lifestyle-based images have that familiar square aspect ratio and description below.

So What Are "Amazon Posts"?

Amazon messages Posts as an opportunity to "use curated photos to inspire shoppers to engage with your brand and products on Amazon."

Each post is slotted into a carousel on product detail apges, directly above "Customer Questions," and links directly to the advertised product. Posts also include category tags, encouraging customers to explore and discover related products and brands.

Amazon messages that Posts will show up for related brands, category fees, and related posts, generating opportunities for product discovery, increased browsing activity, and most notably: shopping.

Where the Posts program differs from the Spark platform is that Amazon is not trying to camouflage a shopping feed beneath a layer of lifestyle, food, and travel photos. The Posts program is significantly more transparent and brand-centric, tailored specifically to businesses looking to generate awareness and connectivity between products in their assortment.

What's Amazon’s biggest selling point? It’s entirely free. There is no cost-per-click attribution, no merchandising fees, and no cost to participate in the program.

Are All Brands Eligible? How Does My Brand Qualify?

As with all Amazon programs, there are minimum eligibility requirements for brands to participate, however in this case, the bar is relatively low.

At the moment, the Beta program is available exclusively to Vendors, but the Posts team is hoping to expand eligibility to Sellers in the very near future. For Seller Central Administrators, there is already a toggle to enable "Posts" under "User Permissions," but this functionality has not yet been implemented.

Brands wishing to participate must also have an active Storefront and ensure their brand byline (the brand name hyperlink listed underneath product titles) appears correctly and links to the appropriate Storefront. Storefronts are available after successfully enrolling in Brand Registry and implementing brand name mapping for all enrolled products and brands.

Once a brand has been accepted into the Posts program, they will have complete access to the portal and will need to create a minimum of three posts before going live.

Weighing the Opportunity

While the Posts program is enticing with its no-cost model and attractive UI, brands need to consider whether this is program warrants the significant time investment required.

Benefits

The immediate benefit of the program is access to additional traffic metrics: brands can measure the impressions, clicks, and click-through rate (CTR) for every post and dissect performance with customizable timeframes.

While not specifically eluded to, it's apparent that brands can also replicate social media posts from other platforms and evaluate customer engagement. Using the same image and caption from a Pinterest or Instagram post, brands can tie-in the product ASIN and transform their content into a shop-able feed.

Finally, Posts aren’t deprecated after a specific time window, so generating relevant, evergreen content is much more approachable for businesses looking to test this awareness driver.

Drawbacks

A big detriment to the Posts program is the lack of sales attribution associated with each post: Amazon simply does not provide revenue metrics for this program.

Additionally, the traffic source is not provided: while brands can quantify total pageviews, they are unable to generate tags or identify the traffic channel of origin.

Brands seeking to submit gifs and/or videos will also be disappointed: this functionality is not currently available, but is on the Posts team's roadmap.

What Is the Future of Amazon Posts?

The Posts program is still very much in its infancy, and the team behind it is rapidly expanding the program's scope and functionality. With Q4 right around the corner, major changes are unlikely to be implemented before the end of the year, but the Beta will provide the development team valuable feedback and help fine-tune the program to maximize engagement.

Brands seeking a low-cost opportunity to drive brand or product awareness and gauge interest in their social media content could stand to benefit from the click-through metrics available for each post.

Every brand should consider testing Amazon’s newest foray into the social media world, but the biggest unanswered question still remains: how will customers engage with this content, if at all?


Curious to learn more about Amazon Posts or other programs? Want to know how to take your brand's marketing strategy to the next level? Our team of ex-Amazonians are here to help. Please reach out to us at info@getarmr.com

Amazon Deals, Discounts & Promotions: 2019 Update

In 2017 brands on Amazon witnessed a shift in the promotional opportunities allotted to them through Seller Central: the tide in promotional parity was changing.

Fast forward 24 months and the shifting tide has only accelerated, transforming into a tidal wave of change. There is once again a significant disparity in available promotional opportunities between Vendor and Seller Central. Seller Central has emerged as the predominant platform, offering both a greater breadth of deal types and superior reporting.

If you have not yet marked your calendars for September 27th, now is the time: this Friday is a key date for both Vendor and Seller-run promotions, marking the submission deadline for inclusion in Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals.

Whether you’re scrambling to execute your holiday plan or seeking to supplement your Q4 strategy with additional deals, ARMR has curated a platform comparison for the deal opportunities on Amazon.com.

 

Promotion Type Seller Central Vendor Central Best Experience
Public Discount Code Yes Yes, Requires Approval Seller Central
Individual Discount Codes Yes No Seller Central
Price Discount Yes Yes, Requires Approval Seller Central
Multi-Buy (BXGY) Yes Yes, Requires Approval Seller Central
7-Day Deals Yes No Seller Central
Best Deal No Yes, Requires Approval Vendor Central
Lightning Deal Yes, Invite Only Yes, Requires Approval Vendor Central
Deal of the Day Yes, Invite Only Yes, Requires Approval Vendor Central
Giveaways Yes No Seller Central
Coupons Yes Yes Seller Central
Subscribe & Save Yes Yes Seller Central
Prime Exclusive Discounts Yes No Seller Central
Discount Codes

Sellers have been effectively using Discount Codes as an effective marketing tool for years. Brands can assert control on the product, discount, visibility, timing, and redemption policies. With options to arrange discount codes as group-claim or single-use codes, brands can limit financial risk. Additionally, discount codes can have display precedence set, or be hidden from detail pages altogether.

Sellers can also create Social Media Promo codes, which can be shared with Amazon Associates members to increase exposure.

Advantage: Seller Central

Price Discounts

While not a true promotion, Sellers have the benefit of adjusting their Sale Price (found in Product Details) to execute a price reduction almost instantaneously. This promotional strategy helps with click-thru rates in search via the competitively displayed price, however there is no indication of a sale price or discount off MSRP, nor does this qualify for deal-based merchandising placements.

This promotional strategy is not recommended, but does serve as a last-ditch effort for brands scrambling to implement promotions during Q4.

Advantage: Seller Central

Multi-Buy Discounts or BXGY

Designed to give customers a buy one (or many) and get one free opportunity – Sellers can use this promotional type to increase sell thru on a given product or generate interest in a new product.

Similar to Discount Codes, Sellers can choose single-use or group codes, adjust detail page display, and select specific purchase parameters for customers to qualify for the promotion.

Advantage: Seller Central

Best Deals & 7-Day Deals

Limited to Vendor Central, Best Deals are multi-day promotions that leverage similar merchandising opportunities to Lightning Deals, but without any merchandising fees.

Best Deals may run up to 14 days, allowing products to accrue sales velocity. Discount expectations are more accessible than Lightning Deals: the minimum discount is 10% Q1-Q3, rising to 15% during Holiday.

Amazon recently launched “7-Day Deals” on Seller Central to provide parity with the Vendor Central. 7-Day Deals have identical discount expectations to Best Deals but have a set seven-day time limit and additional associated merchandising fees, ranging from $300 to $1,000 per deal.

Minimum qualifications apply to products for both platforms for deal eligibility.

Advantage: Vendor Central

Category Specific Lightning Deals (CSLDs)

These time- and quantity-bound deals have been a characteristic promotion for years on Amazon. Available on both platforms, brands can execute offers which will be prominently displayed on the Today’s Deals page, qualifying event and category homepages, and in search results. Amazon levies merchandising fees on Seller & Vendor Central, ranging from $150 to $500 per deal.

The minimum discount is 15% for Q1-Q3, increasing to 20% for Prime Day & Q4. Amazon also levies minimum requirements for products to be eligible for CSLDs: product rating, traffic, and sales thresholds are minimum qualifications to submit a CSLD.

Lightning Deals are ranked according to performance, which can greatly influence the outcome of your promotion. Amazon supports deals that are performing well and suppresses those that have little traction. It's critical to set promotional discounts and available units to maximize your promotional performance to retain visibility.

Advantage: Vendor Central

Deal of the Day

Deal of the Day (DotD) is Amazon's premier limited-time offer. Deals of the Day are plastered all across the platform and featured in customer-facing email campaigns. While technically available to both Sellers and Vendors, Vendors are able to submit or nominate products where Sellers are at the mercy of Amazon recommendations.

In order to participate the featured item must exceed minimum qualifications including product rating, discount amount, sales forecast, and detail page traffic – all of which vary by category. These standards can be particularly challenging on high-traffic days like Prime Day or Cyber Monday.

All submissions must be manually reviewed and approved by Amazon.

Advantage: Vendor Central

Giveaways

Released in 2018, Amazon Giveaways are a sweepstakes deal type available exclusively to Sellers. Brands can use their products, or other eligible items, as the prize for a no-entry-required instant-win contest for Amazon shoppers.

Brands and Authors can opt to include a required action, such as following the author or watching a YouTube video prior to entry, helping to drive brand awareness and product recognition.

Giveaways are setup as instant win based on the Nth entry, but the key is the follow-up promotional opportunity: brands can elect to offer a discount code (up to 40%) towards a future purchase to non-winning entrants.

Advantage: Seller Central

Coupons

There has been parity on coupon integration since Q4 2017. Both platforms offer performance metrics in the form of clips, redemptions and revenue associated with the promotion, however the cost attribution model and timing are different between the two platforms.

Seller Powered Coupons (SPCs) work solely off redemption, with Amazon charging $0.60 per redemption. As a seller you’re only liable to fund the promotional discount and redemption fee. In terms of timing, Sellers can submit same-day coupons.

With Vendor Powered Coupons (VPCs), Amazon charges for both a unique clip fee and redemption fee. Standard fees (Q1 through Q3) are $0.17 per unique clip and $0.08 per redemption. During Q4 Amazon increases the clip fee to $0.21 per unique clip.

If your coupon redemption rate is below 40%, the cost of running a Vendor Powered Coupon will be higher than running the same coupon in Seller Central.

In terms of timing, Vendor Central states "…the start date must be at least 28 days after the current date…" requiring Vendors to submit their coupons nearly one month in advance.

Advantage: Seller Central

Subscribe & Save

Both Vendor & Seller Central offer the Subscribe & Save program. Seller’s need to have a minimum record 90 days of FBA selling, meet performance criteria, and remain in-stock to be eligible.

The difference between Vendor & Seller Central is the accessibility to data. Seller Central provides historical reports and Subscribe & Save forecasts in their Inventory Reports menu.

Advantage: Seller Central

Prime Exclusive Discounts

Amazon’s shiniest new promotional toy. Prime Exclusive Discounts (PEDs) are deals available only to Amazon Prime members, that display strike-through pricing and messaging in search results and on detail pages. During Prime Day, unique badging was applied to product detail pages.

The standard minimum discount is 10%, increasing to 20% for Prime Day and Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

There is a list of eligibility requirements, including offering the lowest price in the trailing 30 days, a minimum 3-star product rating, and of course, Prime-eligible fulfillment.

Advantage: Seller Central

What Should I Know About Funding Promotions?

It’s important to know the promotional levers available to your brand, but equally as important is the financial model that applies to your product.

Selling direct to consumer through Seller Central means that your discount will come directly from your retail price. The Amazon commission associated to your sale is reduced based on the final purchase price to the consumer. Any merchandising fees are then deducted from your account balance before being remitted back to you.

In Vendor Central, the promotional discount on the retail price is reduced from your cost price to Amazon and this is charged back to you in the form of an accrual.

Since Amazon doesn’t share in the funding of your promotion, and doesn’t alter their accruals program – your brand is liable to fund the promotional discount, normal account accruals, and any additional merchandising fees

Have Additional Questions?

Whether you’re new to selling on (or to) Amazon or want additional context on the types of promotions above, a great resource is ARMR’s Amazon Promotion Glossary.

If you have questions about your platform strategy, promotional calendar, or want more insight on how successfully capitalize on increased Q4 traffic, the ARMR team is available to help.

--Anders

Anders Palmquist
Vice President & General Manager
Have a question? Please reach out to us at info@getarmr.com

Shanghai Skyline

An Introduction to Chinese Cross-Border eCommerce: Part 1

Why China?

We all know that China is the world's most populous nation with the largest GDP of any nation and cultural roots dating back millennia. For the past 40 years, China's economy has remained one of the fastest-growing in the world and shows no sign of slowing down: as of last month, China's CCI is on track to reach a 10-year high1. In 2016, China's online retail sales reached US$752BN, with US$79BN driven by cross-border ecommerce sales—that is, ecommerce sales of products outside of China—and last year confirmed the same trend: cross-border ecommerce sales grew by 81% Y/Y with imports, specifically, skyrocketing by 116%.

The data is clear: China is engaging with the internet in a big way. Of today’s top 20 internet leaders, nine are in China (up from just two five years ago ) and China boasts the largest number of internet users in a single country—and they're not just messaging and gaming. In 2017, national online sales accounted for 19.6% of total retail sales, an increase of 32% compared to 2016 .

You may be thinking, "Don't get me wrong, that's all great! …but, what does that have to do with my business?" And you're right—in and of itself, this information probably means little, so let's put it in context.

China is the largest ecommerce market in the world, leading the future of ecommerce and mobile retail. Growth is driven by the penetration of mobile devices, the dominance of digital payment, constant innovations in social media, guerilla, and viral marketing, close engagement of internet celebrities and influencers, and of course, the hot competition between ecommerce start-ups, their investors, and established retailers companies.

The top leaders and innovators within the Chinese ecommerce space, Jack Ma (Founder & CEO, Alibaba), Qiangdong Liu (Founder & CEO, JD.com) and Lei Ding (Founder & CEO,NetEase [Kaola]), are actively recruiting and advocating for global brands to enter the Chinese market by launching products on their respective platforms—and you don't have to be publicly traded to do it.

What is driving cross-border ecommerce? As China's growing middle class is increasing exposed to foreign products via online/social media engagement, Chinese consumers are increasingly focused on affordable imported goods. Chinese consumer equate international goods with overall higher quality products and a significantly lower risk of counterfeiting: 61% of Chinese consumers cited guaranteed product quality as their reason for shopping internationally .

As a result of this consistently increasing demand, foreign/imported products are difficult to find (if available at all) and ridiculously expensive in Mainland China. Accordingly, Chinese consumers are turning to online retail sites, both foreign and domestic, to source overseas products, driving cross-border ecommerce.

What is Cross-Border eCommerce?

Taking a step back, cross-border ecommerce is online, direct-to-consumer sales by a foreign retailer, supplier, or manufacturer, without the need for a Chinese intermediary. How does this differ from a traditional, general import business or relationship?

Much like the US, distributors purchase product from overseas manufacturers in bulk, function as the importer of record (responsible for all taxes, fees, and regulatory compliance) before reselling to retailers. However, Chinese general import businesses must be operated by a Chinese distributor or trade agency with a designated import permit and the overall tax value for this combines import tax, value-added tax (VAT), and consumer sales tax—totaling 30%-100% of declared value, depending on the product category. For example, the overall tax for importing wine is about 60%.

With Chinese consumers' growing demand for more, cheaper, and faster access to high-quality international brands and products, a new business model has emerged: the cross-border ecommerce B2C business. The B2C model facilitates direct-to-consumer sales for international brands and manufacturers who would otherwise be unable to establish a Chinese presence or otherwise reach Chinese consumers.


I'll give you some time to digest all of that--check back later for the continuation of this series.

--Kelsey

Kelsey Ganes
Manager, Client Experience
Have a question? Please reach out to us at info@getarmr.com


Sources

  1. The Conference Board, Trading Economics/IECONOMICS Inc.
  2. CapIQ, CB Insights, Wall Street Journal, media reports. Market value data as of 5/29/18. The Wall Street Journey, Recode, TechCrunch, Reuters, and the Information articles detail the latest valuations for Ant Financial (4/18), Xiaomi (5/18), Uber (2/18), Didi Chuxing (12/17), Airbnb (3/17), Meituan-Dianping (10/17), and Toutiao (12/17).
  3. National Bureau of Statistics of China
  4. iResearch 2016/Ecommerce Foundation
Trade Show Best Practices

Trade Show Best Practices

Happy New Year! It's officially trade show season across the US and as our team prepares to attend some of the larger shows this year, we thought it was selfish not to share. Whether you're an exhibitor or attendee, here are a few things to keep in mind to help you stay organized and minimize your post-show follow ups.

Refining Your Elevator Pitch

While we're sure this doesn't piece of advice doesn't come as a surprise, we wanted to provide additional insight into what we've found to be the most relevant talking points to think about when revamping your elevator pitch:

What's the product?

Be clear--it's not always readily apparent to someone new to your field or industry.

Who is it for?

Clearly articulate the product's intended audience or target market. New moms? Kids 8-12? Executives? Professionals? This information can help determine appropriate fit just as much as the product's intended use.

Why would someone buy your product? What purpose does it serve?

What need does your product meet? What niche does it fill? Why did you develop it and why is it important to you? Are there any "off label" or alternative use cases?

Where can consumers purchase your product?

Describe your distribution. Is your product still in development? Are you only selling direct to consumers through your website's online store? Do you work with a distributor? Are you in local, regional or national brick and mortar stores? Are you on Amazon or eBay? How's it going? Are any channels over- or underperforming relative to the rest?

Are you ready to ship?

Is the product ready to ship tomorrow? Are you still prototyping or garnering interest and funding? Make sure this is information is readily available and keep in mind that when it comes to product deadlines, under promise and overdeliver: don't push up the availability date if you're not confident production can keep this promise.

Help us gauge the size of your business: how sophisticated are your operations and logistics? Do you have product in warehouses across the country? Are you packing products by hand to fill customer orders?

Managing Business Cards

For any event where you plan to hand out business cards, label your business cards with the name of event -- whether you stick on a printed label or just write it on the back of the card, this eliminates the post-con game of "When did I talk to XYZ? What was the context of our conversation?" and ensures that anyone who ends up with your card can immediately identify when and where you met.

If you're on the receiving end, the same idea applies: if the name of the show or conference isn't already present, jot it down on the back along with any other notes from the conversation. The next step is following through on these connections as soon as possible--we really can't stress expediency enough. We know how crazy these shows can be and it's not unreasonable to be concerned about getting lost in someone's inbox backlog, but just like thank you notes, timeliness is key.

Making Connections

The old adage of "You never know who you're talking to" is not often more relevant than at a trade show or conference. We're not talking about being kind to strangers--we know you've got that down-- but about making connections in the least likely of places.

Make friends with neighboring exhibitors--even competitors. Yes, even the competition. Whether it's having someone to watch over the booth so you can walk the show for a few minutes or a future co-packer, you never know who has a connection you'll need to leverage down the road.

---

Now, go get 'em, tiger!

--Kelsey

Kelsey Ganes
Manager, Client Experience
Have a question? Please reach out to us at info@getarmr.com

Platform Parity: Running Promotions on Amazon

It’s a little scary to think about, but the end of the Holiday season is fast approaching. Browsing the front page of Amazon over the last month you'll have seen the transition from Black Friday and Cyber Monday to 12 Days of Deals, curated Holiday Gift Guides, and soon, last-minute deals.

Both Vendors and Sellers are often eager to participate in Amazon's promotional programs but it's not always clear which opportunities are available or how to effectively pursue and execute different promotion types--you may have even built your 1st- or 3rd-Party strategy around the promotional opportunities available to you.

Fortunately, the disparity between promotion types available in Vendor Central and Seller Central has shrunk considerably since 2015, with fewer and fewer gaps remaining as new features are announced throughout the year.

Background on Platforms

If you are new to selling on (or to) Amazon or want additional context on the types of promotions available, I’d suggest familiarizing yourself with our Amazon Promotion Glossary. Traditionally, Amazon reserved premium merchandising, marketing, and promotional tools for Vendor partners: businesses selling direct (wholesale) to Amazon through Vendor Central. Access to Amazon Marketing Services, the use of Vendor-Powered Coupons, Lightning Deals and Best Deals have been Vendor-exclusive opportunities from their respective launches.

This strategy allows Amazon to maintain power in the vendor relationship and continue to dictate the economic terms for products. Because promotions are always Vendor-funded, Amazon maintains item-level profitability, while the Vendor (and Amazon) see growth in unit volume and increased baseline performance from that point forward.

The next You may be asking “If Amazon is able to exercise this level of control over Vendors, why bother improving functionality in Seller Central?” The answer is simple: cash flow. With FBA and MFN, Amazon is able to offer products without tying up funds in inventory. In Seller Central, the Seller retains ownership of all inventory and Amazon's platform commission is only taken when a customer purchases the product.

Analysis of the Current Landscape

Promotion Type Seller Central Vendor Central Best Experience
Public Discount Code Yes Yes, Requires Approval Seller Central
Individual Discount Codes Yes No Seller Central
Price Discount Yes Yes, Requires Approval Seller Central
Multi-Buy (BXGY) Yes Yes, Requires Approval Seller Central
Lightning Deal Yes, Invite Only Yes, Requires Approval Vendor Central
Best Deal No Yes, Requires Approval Vendor Central
Deal of the Day Yes Yes, Requires Approval Vendor Central
Coupons Yes Yes Neither
Subscribe & Save Yes Yes Neither
Discount Codes

A popular choice for Sellers and Vendors: businesses can distribute redemption codes through social media or e-mail campaigns to drive traffic and sales. Seller Central offers additional functionality to create individual (unique-per-customer) discount codes to better control who is eligible to receive the offer (and limit financial exposure.)
Advantage: Seller Central

Price Discounts

Sellers have the benefit of adjusting advertised prices almost instantaneously and Amazon's commission is taken from the new sale price. In Vendor Central, because Amazon owns the inventory, you have almost no ability to influence Amazon's price in the first place, and all promotion submissions must be reviewed and approved by Amazon; funding is based on cost-per-unit and deducted from the wholesale price.
Advantage: Seller Central

Multi-Buy Discounts or BXGY

Sellers have a distinct advantage through the self-service promotion setup workflow. Where Vendors need to submit these promotions for approval, Sellers are able to set them up as little as four hours in advance. In addition to having full control over the setup process and the ability to execute these promotions much more quickly, Sellers are also able to better control the monetary exposure by having full control over the base or non-promotion price.
Advantage: Seller Central

Best Deals

Exclusive to Vendors, these Amazon-sponsored promotions are merchandised on top-trafficked pages (including the Amazon Deals Store) and provide a longer discount period relative to Lightning Deals or Deal of the Day.
Advantage: Vendor Central

Lightning Deals

Both platforms offer the use of Category-Specific Lightning Deals (CSLDs), but Seller Central has far less flexibility. The pricing expectations are consistent between the two platforms, but which products are eligible may not be. Sellers are dependent on Amazon's “Recommended Products” assortment, while Vendors can submit a deal proposal on any product in their assortment. Additionally, where Vendors are only responsible for funding the price discount, Sellers must absorb both the price discount and are subject to fees ranging from $150-$500 simply for the privilege of running the promotion.
Advantage: Vendor Central

Deal of the Day

Deal of the Day is Amazon's premier featured deal-type, promoted across the site and via e-mail. Qualifying for Deal of the Day can be challenging, particularly for high-traffic days and the minimum product rating, discount, and sales forecast will vary by product category. All submissions must be manually reviewed and approved by Amazon.
Advantage: Vendor Central

Coupons

Only just launched in Seller Central (Q4 2017), this marks a significant shift in on-site merchandising and functionality for Sellers. In addition to funding the customer-facing discount, Coupons also incur a "clip fee," which is currently being waived if the coupon is promoted through Product Display Ads.
Advantage: Neither

Subscribe & Save

This functionality is on even footing between both platforms.
Advantage: Neither

So Why Does the Shift in Promotional Parity Matter?

Improvements to Seller Central functionality allows Amazon to showcase a larger assortment of products to consumers and drive additional sales on the platform without tying up funds in retail-owned inventory. Sellers now have the ability to truly compete on the platform, offering the same customer experience as Amazon retail deals.

For businesses, the opportunity to adjust your fulfillment strategy to 3rd-Party selling and improve your profit margin is now more viable than ever. Looking at the economics of a promotion, Vendor Central puts the onus of funding a discount on the shoulders of the vendor. Since the brand owner is selling at a wholesale cost direct to Amazon, the discount is taken from that price which can easily lead to unprofitable situations. Similar to Vendor Central, Sellers also shoulder the burden of promotional pricing--however, Sellers are able to capture the full retail price (with Amazon's commission scaling back accordingly.)

With increased functionality and improved profit margin, Sellers are poised to benefit from increased awareness and conversion through a variety promotional opportunities while still executing the lowest-cost option.

So Many Options! Now What?

As the promotional opportunity gap between Seller Central and Vendor Central shrinks with each passing quarter, you need to focus on the economic implications of the promotions they’re running and determine if your current Amazon strategy is truly meeting the needs of your growing business.

If you haven't already considered leveraging Amazon's 3rd-Party platform and the incredible power of the FBA model, it may be time to re-evaluate your strategy.

--Anders

Anders Palmquist
Director of Client Experience
Have a question? Please reach out to us at info@getarmr.com

Amazon Promotions: An Overview

As a customer, you may already be aware that Amazon has an incredible range of promotion types. From four-hour Lightning Deals to Subscribe & Save discounts, there are dozens of options and vehicles for offering a discount.

Before we begin, let's talk about Amazon Supported Deals. Programs like Deal of the Day and Lightning Deals enjoy the benefit of additional Amazon-sponsored merchandising across the site. These deals are automatically included in Today's Deals and category-specific deals stores and are often included in daily deals email campaigns (this is only guaranteed for Deals of the Day, sorry folks).

Restricted Promotions are deals which have a barrier to redemption: in short, customers must complete an additional action in order to receive the advertised discount. This additional action may be entering a promotional code at checkout, purchasing a certain number of units, or purchasing a specific combination of products.

Price Discount

Also known as Temporary Price Reduction (TPR)

Deal Duration: Up to 30 days.
Lead Time: Seller Central: Less than 24 hours (promotion must start tomorrow). Vendor Central: 4 weeks.
Restrictions: Minimum 5% discount off current price.

Multi-Buy Deals

Also known as BOGO, BXGY, BNXG%, BNXG%Y

Restricted Promotion: Customers must purchase a specified number or combination of products to receive the advertised discount. The key differentiating factor of multi-buy promotions is that customers must qualify for the discount by adding Qualifying Products (see below) to their cart before the discount is applied to their order at checkout.

Buy One Get What? Qualifying vs. Benefit Product Sets
The Qualifying Set is the selection of ASINs customers must purchase to qualify for the promotion. The Benefit Set is the selection of ASINs that the qualifying discount (or benefit) applies to.

Example 1:
Buy 1 or more units of Products A or B to get 50% off Product C, Products A and B are the Qualifying Product Set and Product C is the Benefit Product Set. A customer would need to purchase A or B to get 50% off their purchase of C. Sounds simple, right? If a customer buys 2 units of A, they would qualify for 50% off 2 units of C.

Most of the time, the Qualifying and Benefit product sets are the same.

Example 2:
Buy 3 or more units of Products D, E, or F and get 25% off all three units at checkout. If a customer buys any combination of 3, 4, or 5 units of either D, E, or F they would receive 25% off the first 3 products, but would not receive a discount on the 4th or 5th. If they purchase 6 units across D, E, or F, they would receive 25% off all 6 products in their cart, etc.

Discount Types

Buy X Get Y Free
Buy 1 or more Product X and get 1 Product Y free.

Buy N Get % Off
Buy specified number (N) of products in Product Set X and receive a discount at checkout. Ex: Buy 3 Apples, Get 15% Off.

Buy X Get % Off Y
Buy specified number of Products in Product Set X to receive a discount on products in Product Set Y. Ex: Buy 2 Apples, Get 50% Off an Orange.

Deal Duration: Up to 30 days.
Lead Time: Seller Central: 24 hours. Vendor Central: 4 weeks.
Restrictions: Minimum 5% discount off current price.

Discount Codes

Also known as Promotional or Claim Codes

Restricted Promotion: Customers must enter the discount code at checkout to receive the advertised discount.

Combinability: All multi-buy promotions are combinable with non-claim code promotions. Additional combinability restrictions can be added at setup.

Deal Duration: Up to 30 days.
Lead Time: Seller Central: 4 hours. Vendor Central: Minimum 2 weeks.

Group Claim Codes

Group or public discount codes can be used by anyone can redeem to receive the advertised discount. Group codes can be shared or advertised on social media and other marketing channels to drive awareness and subsequent sales.

Visibility: Group codes are displayed on product detail pages and visible to all customers.
Restrictions: Minimum 5% discount off current price.

Individual Claim Codes

Individual claim codes are just what they sound like: each claim code can only be redeemed by a single customer.

Visibility: This promotion type is not (and should not be) advertised on or off Amazon.
Restrictions: Seller Central only. Minimum 5% discount off current price. Individual codes are not published and cannot be shared; Sellers are responsible for messaging customers and delivering their individual discount codes.

Social Media Promo Code

Social media promo codes allow Sellers to offer a percentage discount. A landing page is automatically created with the list of eligible products and promotion details; the landing page exclusively features seller-specific offers, so customers do not need to locate your offer in the Buy Box. The landing page can be shared on social media or marketing channels such as paid search to direct customers and promote sales. Customers can then add items to their cart directly from the landing page and the discount will be automatically applied.

Codes default to single-use only but can be configured to allow multiple redemptions per customer account. Codes can also be configured to apply to a single product or multiple products.

Visibility: Promotion is not messaged on product detail pages.
Restrictions: Seller Central only. Minimum 15% discount off current price.

Coupons

Also known as Vendor-Powered Coupons (VPC)

Coupon discount can be setup as either percentage or dollars off. The budget you set will be utilized as customers redeem your coupon. We will deactivate your coupon when your budget is fully utilized. Targeting is available: limit availability/discoverability to a customer segment of your choice.

Restricted Promotion: Customers must clip the coupon to redeem the offer.
Deal Duration: 1-90 days.
Lead Time: Minimum 4 weeks.
Visibility: Amazon-Supported Deal. Search result badging. Available for Product Display Advertising. Targeting can be used to limit visibility.
Restrictions: Seller Central: Seller account rating must be at 3.5 stars or higher; discount must be between 5%-80% off the lowest price in the last 30 days.

Deal of the Day

Premier featured deal on Amazon. Deal cannot be inventory restricted; inventory must be available to fill all customer orders placed during deal period.

Deal Duration: 24 hours.
Lead Time: Minimum 4 weeks.
Visibility: Amazon-Supported Deal (see above). Search result badging. Available for Product Display Advertising.
Restrictions: Product must have minimum 3.5-star rating. Must be lowest price in trailing 365 days; cannot be run within 30 days following a Lightning Deal.

Lightning Deals

Also known as Category Specific Lightning Deals (CSLDs).

A Lightning Deal is a time- and quantity-limited promotional offer. For Seller-driven promotions, Amazon assesses an additional fee to participate in this program.

Deal Duration: 4-6 hours.
Lead Time: Minimum 4 weeks
Visibility: Amazon-Supported Deal (see above). Search result badging.
Restrictions: Product must have a minimum 3-star rating. Must be lowest price in trailing 90 days; cannot be run within 30 days following a Lightning Deal. For Apparel products, at least 65% of variations must be included in the product set. Seller Central: Must be a Professional Seller. Products must be recommended by Amazon; Sellers cannot submit products that have not been recommended for promotion. Products must be Prime eligible.

Best Deals

Also known as Savings & Sales.

Deal Duration: Up to 14 days.
Lead Time: Minimum 4 weeks.
Visibility: Amazon-Supported Deal (see above).
Restrictions: Minimum 20% discount off current price.

Free Shipping

A limited-time, free shipping offer for a subset of products. This promotion does not impact the Buy Box price.

Deal Duration: Up to 60 days.
Lead Time: 24 hours.
Visibility: Detail page messaging.
Restrictions: Seller Central only.

Subscribe & Save (SnS)

Subscribe & Save allows customers to schedule regular deliveries of products they purchase repeatedly using a subscription model.

Subscribe & Save customers select the product, quantity, and frequency of delivery. A 5% discount is applied per subscription. If a customer receives products from 5 or more subscriptions in a given month, they'll receive 10% or 15% off each subscription, depending on the product category. Additional information eligible product categories.

Combinability: Subscribe & Save discounts are combinable with other promotional offers, including Lightning Deals. Any coupons or promotions also apply to your Subscribe & Save-enrolled products. For example, if you run a promotion offering a 20% discount on a product that is available through Subscribe & Save, that discount will be added to existing subscriptions and will result in a total discount greater than 20% for subscriptions.

Deal Duration: Ongoing.
Lead Time: 4 weeks.
Visibility: Subscription enrollment and discounted pricing are integrated into the Buy Box.
Restrictions: Products must have an in-stock ratio of at least 85% for the trailing 30 days to be eligible for enrollment. Seller Central:  Seller account must be active for at least 90 days to be eligible for enrollment and have a 4.7-star rating or higher. Vendor Central: None.

Business-to-Business Pricing (B2B)
Business Price

A discounted price available to Amazon Business customers regardless of the quantity purchased. As an Amazon Business seller, you can create a Business Price on any of your offers.

Quantity Discount

Tiered discounts available to Amazon Business customers for high-volume purchases. As an Amazon Business seller, you can specify tiers for quantity pricing on your offers.

Deal Duration: Ongoing.
Lead Time: 24 hours.
Visibility: Available exclusively to business customers.
Restrictions: Seller Central only.