Archive for June, 2020

How to Sell Personal Protective Equipment on Amazon

Most states in the U.S. currently have some type of face-covering mandate in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even if these are lifted, items like face masks and gloves are likely to remain popular preventive measures for the foreseeable future. Naturally, many businesses are seeking to capitalize on this increased demand by selling personal protective equipment (PPE) on the Amazon Marketplace. 

 

Unfortunately, selling PPE on Amazon is not as simple as listing most other products. To protect customers, the company has implemented strict requirements to sell items related to the coronavirus pandemic, including face masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and sprays, isopropyl alcohol, and sanitary gloves. As a full-service channel management agency, Channel Key has assembled this guide to help your brand sell PPE products on the largest e-commerce platform in the country.

 

Initial requirements for creating listings for new and existing PPE products

 

If your company is breaking into the PPE market, you’ll need to create new listings for your products. To create ASINs in this category, Amazon requires you to complete a New Listing Creation Form specifically for personal safety and household products. Upon approval, you can begin building and optimizing your new product listings. If your company wants to sell existing products in the PPE category, Amazon requires you to submit some or (in most cases) all the following information:

 

  • At least one purchase invoice for your product(s) from a manufacturer or distributor
  • Photos of your product(s) or the packaging
  • Consent to Amazon’s Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy

 

The increased demand for PPE products creates an opportunity for unethical price-gouging, which Amazon has sought to curb by placing greater scrutiny on PPE sellers. For a brief overview, the company’s Fair Pricing Policy prohibits the following:

 

  • Setting a price on a product or service that is significantly higher than recent prices offered on or off Amazon
  • Selling multiple units of a product for more per unit than that of a single unit of the same product
  • Setting a shipping fee on a product that Amazon considers excessive

 

The most common problem with selling PPE on Amazon

 

At first glance, creating listings for new and existing PPE products may seem straightforward and similar to selling products in other categories. The reality is that Amazon enforces tight restrictions on product titles, bullet points, descriptions, images, and product labels for PPE. For example, Amazon will flag and remove PPE listings for the following violations:

 

  • Including medical claims anywhere in the product listing
  • Including misleading product descriptions
  • Using the word “COVID” or anything related to the coronavirus pandemic
  • Including claims or references to organizations on the product label (e.g. FDA, CDC, WHO)

 

It’s important to note that each time a product listing is flagged, you will need to submit a case number to Amazon Seller Support. In order to relist your product, you’ll be required to provide 3rd party documentation including compliance and testing reports (e.g., medical tests, bacterial filtration tests, particle filtration tests, etc.). This happens quite easily with new PPE listings and can cause significant delays in getting your products approved for sale on Amazon.

 

The most efficient way to sell PPE on Amazon

 

The primary hurdle of selling PPE on Amazon is the time you will spend corresponding with Seller Support. For this reason, it is helpful to consult with a professional channel management agency. Channel Key works closely with Amazon on a day-to-day basis to remain up-to-date with the company’s ever-changing protocols and requirements regarding PPE listings.

 

Channel Key will help your company expedite the initial application process, optimize listings to comply with PPE restrictions, minimize the likelihood of having listings removed for a violation, and facilitate the relisting of products that have been flagged. Perhaps most importantly, our team will provide guidance with obtaining and filing the appropriate PPE compliance documentation.

 

For example, by far the most common documentation that Amazon requests for listing and selling face masks are an official FDA Manufacturer, FEI, Registration, or Operator Owner number. Many of these can be found at the FDA’s Establishment Registration & Device Listing webpage.

 

You will likely face other requests before your listings are finally approved. To help save you time, we’ve compiled this list of questions we often receive from Amazon while creating new PPE product listings:

 

  • What is the Manufacturer’s monthly production capacity?
  • Is the inventory on hand in the U.S., inbound, or waiting to be shipped from overseas?
  • Do you have a pricing/pack size strategy ready for inbound shipment into FBA?
  • Are there any UPC’s or barcodes associated with the products?
  • Do you have invoices that prove the product was purchased from the manufacturer by your identifiable company?
  • Do you have or can you produce 6-sided product packaging featuring the manufacturer’s name or logo?

 

The future of selling PPE on Amazon

 

On June 26, 2020, Nevada became the latest state to mandate face coverings for all residents while in public. With many parts of the country seeing an uptick in reported COVID-19 cases, Channel Key predicts that not only will the demand for face masks continue to rise, but also competition for the PPE market. As we’ve outlined, selling PPE on Amazon is already tedious and often time-consuming. An increase in the number of businesses applying to sell in the same PPE categories could cause Amazon to implement even stricter listing requirements.

 

Businesses seeking to capture their share of the PPE market will have a strong advantage by: 1) consulting with a proven channel management agency like Channel Key; and 2) getting their listings optimized and approved before the market becomes overcrowded and new restrictions are set in place. To learn more about how to sell PPE on Amazon, contact us today for a free consultation with one of our Amazon experts.

Tactics for Building Awareness on Amazon

Tactics for Building Awareness on Amazon

Amazon is a wide-open marketplace and your brand is your identity in the marketplace. Today, businesses compete in a global economy. Since there are thousands of businesses or brands that may be similar to yours, how does your brand stand out from the others? Identifying the unique value of your offering is a good start to raising awareness on Amazon. For many successful brands, their value is not just tied to their physical assets. Most brands today create an emotional connection between their customers and their products. The convenience of having your products on Amazon is also helpful in gaining new customers and retaining long-time loyalists to your products.

Brand awareness on the Amazon platform is imperative in growing your business. There are a few different ways to grow awareness of your brand, and Amazon provides a few different tools to assist with this. These tools are especially helpful if your product is in a somewhat saturated market.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an effective tool in gaining organic sales and rankings. Amazon indexes relevant keywords in product titles and bullet points, if your product has strong content and relevant keywords in the title and copy, this will help with higher organic rankings on Amazon, making your product more visible to a shopper.

In addition to quality SEO, sponsored brands ads place ads for your product at the top of the page. 42% of ad spend on Amazon goes to brand awareness. Investing in brand awareness campaigns has the added effect of producing more customers who have not purchased from your brand previously or customers who may be infrequent purchasers.

Sponsored Brand Ads

Sponsored Brand Ads are banner-style ads that allow you to express your brand message using custom copy, brand-specific logos, and products you would like to feature. To utilize Sponsored Brand Ads, your brand will need to have Brand Registry with Amazon. It’s also important to note that before getting started with Sponsored Brand Ads, determine how much you want to spend, what products you want to advertise, and the keywords that you want to target. Utilizing negative keywords helps to reduce excess spending. Negative keywords are words or phrases that will prevent your ad from appearing on Amazon’s search engine results page. Using negative keywords tells Amazon the spaces that you don’t want your ad to show. Usually on a product or in a space that is not likely to drive sales or conversions.

Amazon Brand Store

Another relevant tool to raise brand awareness is creating a brand store. Building a solid Amazon Store for your brand will help drive conversions by creating a space that helps potential customers learn more about your brand. An Amazon Brand Store provides a multiple page experience for customers to learn more about your brand and products. Brand Stores go hand in hand with Sponsored Brand campaigns or ads from other media sources such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Using your brand’s social media presence is a way to drive traffic directly to your listings, this is a strategy that can be quickly implemented. A brand can use their ad or social media post to send customers straight to the desired listing on Amazon.

Once a potential customer lands in your brand store, they can use the store’s navigation tools to learn more about your brand’s history, products, offered categories, and promotions. Utilizing the brand store’s main page to showcase top products and control what shoppers see and how they see it. If you are already using quality marketing materials across other platforms, you can use these same images, videos, and infographics to create a consistent message across every revenue stream.

Product Listings and A Plus Content

Creating strong Brand Awareness does not start and end with Sponsored Brand Ads, and Brand Stores; the product listings will need to be a top priority. A solid product listing utilizes all 7 images and a video, has strong SEO-infused bullet points, and quality A Plus Content. All of these tactics together will help drive customers to your brand, and seeing strong content across platforms also helps build trust with shoppers.

A Plus Content is a feature that enables you, as a brand owner to change the product descriptions of branded products. By using this tool, you can describe your product features in a more complex way by using a unique brand story, enhanced images, and text placements. Adding A Plus Content to your product detail pages can result in higher conversion rates, increased traffic, and increase sales when used effectively.

In order to utilize tools such as brand stores, A Plus Content, and Sponsored Brand Ads, you will need to have Brand Registry within Amazon. Amazon Brand Registry helps protect your brand and your customers by providing a clear and accurate representation of your trademarked brand. To qualify for Amazon Brand Registry, your brand must have a registered active wordmark or image-based trademark. The same mark must appear on your product and packaging.

Tracking Brand Awareness

Amazon offers a tool called Brand Analytics to sellers who are brand registered.  Brand Analytics is a tool that contains valuable insights to make informed, strategic decisions about your product portfolio and marketing /advertising initiatives.

If your brand has enough volume to make the Amazon search term report, you can utilize the report and analyze monthly to see if the numbers are going down thus increasing your rank.

Utilizing Sponsored Brand’s New-To-Brand metrics is also a valuable tool to make sure you are reaching new customers. New-to-Brand metrics determine whether an ad-attributed purchase was made by an existing customer or one buying a brand’s product on Amazon for the first time over the prior year. It is ideal to utilize these metrics to target new terms to garner new customers and find competitors to target and expand your reach.

Incorporating Sponsored Brand Ads, quality keywords, and search engine optimization, paired with a brilliant brand store are some of the strategies that Channel Key can use to elevate brand awareness. Channel Key has the tools, technology, training, and team of experts to help grow your brand awareness on Amazon. Let us do the heavy lifting! If you need assistance increasing your brand awareness on Amazon contact us today for a free consultation with our Channel Key experts. As a full-service channel management agency, we are dedicated to helping you increase your sales.

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