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Amazon Vendor Express Goes A+ … Sort of

Posted by on September 2, 2015

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We predicted this was on it’s way: Amazon has begun offering a version of A+ enhanced content through Amazon Vendor Express. You’d never know it unless you’re a vendor visiting their site, or if you’re like us and keep tabs on all things Amazon. But it’s true, and because it’s a new service, they’re claiming to offer it for free, but you’d do yourself a favor to read the fine print.

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Amazon Vendor Express homepage is advertising free A+ content.

As Amazon reports on that Vendor Express main page, “A+ enhanced marketing content (A+ EMC) can boost your sales 3-10%.” And that’s no lie.

We wrote back in April about the benefits Amazon Vendor Express offers for third-party sellers who want to become Amazon suppliers. The critical missing piece of Vendor Express up until now was that it didn’t include A+ content. But an Amazon manager wrote, when asked about the topic on a LinkedIn forum, “We are very interested in feedback from our vendors and use vendor feedback to guide our next steps.”

Apparently, you Vendor Express users spoke up, and the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Or in this case, some of the grease, for the time being.

But buyer beware: You will need to copy and paste your content into a Word template and then submit it to Amazon to create the A+ page for you. This Amazon-builds-it-for-you approach differs from Amazon Vendor Central, where vendors can create A+ pages using self-service modules. And what’s more, the examples they provide for this new service are not completely accurate as far as what you’ll be able to do with your own product pages.

Enhanced Content is a Deal Maker 

We heard from several companies in past months who initially thought Amazon Vendor Express would allow them to add enhanced content (which is also referred to as Amazon A+ content) to their product pages, only to be told by Amazon that it wasn’t an option. The lack of A+ content ended up being a deal-breaker. Why?

Enhanced content allows brands to add the following elements to their product pages:

In addition to adding sales, A+ content has also been shown to increase shopper engagement while decreasing return rates.

A Heads Up

A few words to the wise. Amazon is only offering this service “free” for new products added to Amazon after August 10 and that meet very specific parameters. It’s also unclear if you’ll also be able to sell those products elsewhere. Reading through their terms and conditions is a good way to familiarize yourself with the details. That page will also show you the limitations of this version of A+, including the number of modules you can use (up to 4) and image requirements.

Because Amazon is pretty quiet about offers like these, we didn’t get hep to this news until this very week, so the window for building enhanced content through this offer may be tight.

If you know you’re interested in using this new service, definitely give your Amazon contact a call for the details and to get things rolling.

Takeaway: Try Out Amazon Vendor Express A+ 

If you haven’t yet experienced what enhanced content can do for your brand and merchandising strategy, this could be a really good chance to dip your toe in. As is often the case, details are unclear, but your Amazon contact should be able to fill you in on details.

If you’re still not sure if you need enhanced content, or even what it is exactly, that’s why we’re here: It’s our specialty. We’d love to help you navigate these new waters, so get in touch!

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  • Comments

    2 Responses to “Amazon Vendor Express Goes A+ … Sort of”
    1. Bobby Shiffler says:

      It appears that Amazon may be moving away from the “invite-only” VC model in favor of VE. I have a few companies that I am setting up as vendors and have been debating as to which portal to utilize. I began to send a message via the “contact us” page at VC, and saw the following message;

      “Thank you for your interest in Joining Amazon Vendor central. Vendor Central is an invitation program and at this point, we are not inviting new vendors.

      However, you would be happy to know we have a similar program for Vendors called Amazon Vendor Express. The Vendor Express program is a new experience that will enable manufacturers to start selling their items easier and faster on Amazon. It’s a fully self-service process for Vendors. You can find more information here – https://vendorexpress.amazon.com

      The “we are not inviting new vendors” part caught my attention. Is it possible that they are grandfathering existing VC accounts and routing all new vendors through VE?

      Interested to hear of any recent experience with this.

      • Katie Ellison Katie Ellison says:

        Thanks for the thoughtful comment Bobby Shiffler!

        We’ve definitely seen Amazon limit access to the Vendor Central portal and enhanced content, but we also know of companies getting into Vendor Central by means other than invitation. They are definitely allowing new vendors in, but how to get in and why a company is invited remains a fickle system.

        As far as Vendor Express, the disadvantages we’ve seen are the three-fold. When you move from 3rd-party vendor to Vendor Express, you lose control of your pricing, inventory, and your content in that it is simplified in Amazon’s favor. For the time being, you’re probably better off as a 3rd party seller if you can’t get into Vendor Central.

        But we’d be more than happy to report about if brands experience otherwise!

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