In case you missed out on the latest Amazon seller news, today we’re dishing out what happened on Seller Central in November 2021.
Plus, we’ll review the most relevant policy updates for the holiday season and beyond.
New Tools for Amazon Sellers
Amazon set up this dashboard so sellers can monitor their returns issues.
Returns Performance focuses on three key metrics:
- Approved return requests. Amount of request authorized more than 24 hours after the initial request.
- Declined return requests. Number of rejected returns by the seller, 24 hours after submission.
- Return-related buyer contact rate. One contact equals a unique return request, regardless of messages sent.
Each metric contains the following data:
- Up-to-date metric performance
- Target metric threshold
- Metric definition and importance
- Policy information
Returns Performance also features a dedicated analysis page. This site allows sellers to detect product listings with return issues. Then, merchants can take action to mend the situation.
There is also a Manage Returns window to review your return performance metrics.
Source: Seller Central
Customer Service By Amazon (CSBA)
CSBA allows sellers to use Amazon’s customer support to handle self-fulfilled orders.
This translates to less A-to-Z Guarantee Claims, reduced Order Defect Rate, and fewer negative reviews.
For the time being, CSBA is available on an invite-only basis. Enrolled brands will get a free-30-day trial after joining the program.
Once the trial is offered, Amazon will charge a CSBA fee. This tier is based on each self-fulfilled unit shipped on a 3-month period. It also considers the Contacts Per Unit (CPU) tier.
Image source: Seller Central
CPU is the total inquiries related to each order. That includes calls, messages or emails handled by Amazon on the seller’s behalf.
However, dedicated sellers may get free CSBA service. That is if they meet the following requisites:
- Deliver valid tracking data to customers
- Valid Tracking Rate over 95%
- Amazon Prepaid Return Label over 95%
- Maintain a CPU below 5%
Sellers with a higher CPU may still gate a 15-50% fee discount, depending on their CPU rate.
Image source: Seller Central
This is a self-assessment tool. It’s designed to keep sellers updated on their compliance requisites. It’s also great to ensure you meet all dangerous goods requisites.
You can find product compliances using specific keywords or item types. Then, Compliance Reference will show a product’s origin, import and export data.
Compliance Reference is ideal to detect any prohibited products. Or, in case there’s a compliance issue, you can contact a service provider to solve the problem.
Policy Updates and Revisions
FBA Small and Light
The FBA Small and Light program is designed to reduce fulfilment costs for lightweight FBA stock. Small and Light is only valid for new products with the following specs:
- Measure less than 18 x 14 x 8 inches
- Weigh below 12 oz
- Priced at $7 or lower
As of October 29, 2021, Amazon made to key changes to FBA Small and Light:
- No minimum sales velocity for ASINs
- No minimum unit amount per ASIN for each warehouse shipment
Adult Products Policy
Originally, Amazon requested that wand massagers, Kegel or ben wa balls, be classified as adult products by November 15, 2021.
But sellers got a small break. The marketplace updated its policy deadline. Now, sellers dealing with these products have until January 17, 2022 to make the category switch.
Once the date is due, Amazon will automatically brand those items as adult products.
However, these products will still be up for sale for customers. But users will only find them when searching within the item’s listing category.
This change in policy aims to prevent exposure to children from these products.
Seller Policy and Code of Conduct
As of November 26, 2021, Amazon’s Selling Policies and Seller Code of Conduct have a new wording. The updates prohibit search rank manipulation and price fixing practices.
Amazon deems it as ‘manipulation’ any attempt to influence search results. Disreputable sellers may do this by inflating keywords or making user searches appear as organic results.
Guides and Training Programs
FBA Getting Started Guide – Improvements
Image source: Getting Started with FBA Guide
The marketplace just improved their free “Getting Started with FBA” guide. This PDF contains all the information sellers in the U.S. must know about joining the FBA program.
FBA stands for “Fulfillment by Amazon.” It’s a solution for sellers who want to save time on their logistics machinery.
Brands enrolled in FBA let Amazon take care of packing, shipment and customer service. That way, brands ensure timely deliveries.
So, sellers can they’re free to focus on their growth, while Amazon does the heavy lifting.
Amazon’s FBA guide is an introduction for FBA selling. Plus, the new updates include all FBA shipping requisites and policies. For example:
- Procure Amazon product labels, or FBA virtual tracking
- How to pack and prep items
- Assign inventory space in the warehouse
- Requirements for Small Parcel Delivery, Less than Truckload, and Full Truckload shipments.
- Box limits per shipment.
Cybersecurity Awareness Training
Amazon launched a free Cybersecurity Awareness Training course. It prepares sellers on how to detect the most common types of cyberattacks.
It’s a 15-minute training session, designed to complement a wide range of security topics. For example:
- Secure communication
- Data classification, privacy and protection
- Social engineering
The training is available in 15 languages. It’s also compliant with WCAG guidelines. Plus, you’ll get a certificate of completion once you finish the course.
Amazon Holiday Readiness Guide
We are all prepping for the holiday season. Amazon knows it’s the busiest, and most profitable, time for sellers. That’s why the marketplace launched the “Amazon Holiday Readiness” guide.
The PDF document features many tips to driver seller performance during the holidays. It contains best practices on shipping, listing optimization, and marketing resources.
Here are two examples of the guide’s content:
- FBA New Selection. The program offers free storage and removals for new-to-FBA ASINs. It’s a great way to test new items at a low risk.
- Sponsored Campaigns. These are PPC ads that target unique products and keywords. So, when customers search a product-related term, your ad will appear in the search results.
The guide also includes best practices for using coupons, and Prime exclusive discounts. The goal is to boost engagement and conversions with your brand.
Related content: Holiday Supply Chain Crisis: How Will Amazon Help Sellers Prepare?
Amazon plans to hire over 150,000 temporary employees to meet the 2021 holiday demand. But that’s only the beginning for the retail giant.
It’s clear the past years have been great for Amazon and its associates. US sellers sold over 28. Billion products in 2021. Plus, more than 200,00 new brands joined the marketplace.
Next year, Amazon expects to continue its upward trend. For example, the marketplace will increase the FBA New Selection benefit for sellers. Plus, they plan to release the New Seller Starter Pack.
We’re excited to see what these new opportunities will benefit Amazon sellers in 2022.
AMZ Advisers Content MarketingTeam