New at Amazon: data policies and customer communication guidelines
There are two recent developments that brands should be aware of at Amazon.
The first relates to new data sources available (or potentially available) to brands: Amazon started sharing product-level traffic data in Vendor Central. In Amazon-speak, the data are called ASIN level glance views. It is basically traffic to a brand’s product pages. A comparable traffic measure, sessions, has been available for some time to sellers in Seller Central. Therefore this change creates more parity between vendors (first-party) and sellers (third-party). The real impact this has on brands is that now you can manage to page conversion rate directly. Many specialist firms (including us) have developed sophisticated algorithms to estimate page-level traffic and conversion. Now Amazon provides it directly. If you aren’t already using ASIN-level conversion rate to gage the performance of your portfolio and product content or to improve the performance of your media campaigns, you should be.
Second on the data front, Amazon launched its Shopper Panel to gain multi-channel insights on shopper behaviour. Amazon’s Shopper Panel rewards participating Amazon customers who submit receipts from purchases made at other retailers. Amazon seems particularly interested in physical-store shopping trends. “Your participation will help brands offer better products and make ads more relevant on Amazon,” Amazon says about its panel. Presumably Amazon will use the data to improve its own products and merchandising as well, but it’s noteworthy that Amazon is at least partially positioning these as beneficial to brands and sellers. If this actually is the case, brands should seek panel insights data or participation from Amazon.
Amazon also made important updates to its communication guidelines for sellers that recently went into effect. This affects what and how sellers can communicate directly with customers. It’s especially important for brands that use the hybrid seller/vendor model. It’s also important for brands more generally to understand what tactics are, and are not, permissible when, for example, seeking customer reviews. Erik Ricard, VP of Accounts and Strategy, summaries the changes and impact on brands here.