Seller Central News: What Happened in December 2021?

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Seller Central News

December 2021 was filled with important news on Seller Central. The marketplace rolled out new tools to help Amazon sellers boost their sales in 2022.

Some of the most prominent topics are:

  • VAT Services Fee update
  • Reduction to IPI Threshold
  • New Seller Central Partner Network
  • Brand Referral Bonus
  • A+ Brand Story
  • Upgrades to Amazon Handmade

So, without further ado, let’s review the most exciting Amazon seller news from December 2021.

Let’s dive right in!

Seller Central News: Policy Updates and Revisions

Update to VAT Services Fee Structure

Amazon VAT services help sellers manage VAT compliance in 7 European countries. These include France, Germany, the UK, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Spain.

As of January 2022, sellers enrolled in VAT services will pay a €33.30 starting fee per month. This will apply from the first month of filling for fiscal representation and VAT filings.

IPI Threshold Reduction

As you know, the Inventory Performance Index (IPI) rates your stock health, based on:

  • Excess inventory
  • In-stock inventory
  • Stranded stock
  • Sell-Through Rates

Amazon required sellers to keep an IPI above 500 to avoid any stock fees. But as of 200, the new IPI threshold will be set at 400.

This update will help sellers tackle the recent supply challenges faced worldwide.

New Services for Amazon Sellers

Seller Central Partner Network

Seller Central Partner Network

Amazon merged the Marketplace Appstore and the Service Provider Network. The end result is the new Seller Central Partner Network (SCPN).

The new site acts as a hub for merchants to discover quality apps or services to manage their stores. For example, you can find apps to boost product research, fill out tax forms, or build sales reports.

SCPN is available through Seller Central for all registered sellers. Third-party services can also submit their own apps for other brands to use.

Merchants can also rate the apps they use to help others discover the best software on the site.

Brand Referral Bonus

This program rewards sellers with a bonus for their marketing efforts outside Amazon. The goal is to improve their off-Amazon advertising efforts, and boost customer engagement.

Enrolled brands may earn a 10% bonus from sales traffic driven to Amazon. This bonus is awarded to sellers as a credit to their referral fees.

Merchants can also receive the same bonus from customer sales. This is valid for up to 2 weeks after a user clicks on the ad.

You can estimate your bonus by multiplying all qualified sales by Amazon’s estimated bonus rate. Sellers can review each category rate here.  

Related article: How Does the New Amazon Brand Referral Bonus Program Work?

Manage Your Compliance

This is a brand-new dashboard for Amazon sellers. It’s designed to manage item compliance sheets, product appeals and attributes.

Here’s a breakdown of what sellers can do with Manage Your Compliance:

  • View and manage product compliance requisites. For example, product assurance, or import and export regulations.
  • Filter compliance cases to detect the most critical actions to complete.
  • Submit data in bulk, or manage appeals for up to 5000 ASINs.

Manage Your Compliance will be available for 10 Amazon stores in 2022. Plus, Amazon will include compliance features for food, dangerous goods and chemical items in the upcoming months.

Watch this video to learn more: https://youtu.be/L7hS2Jg2yhc

New Tools for Amazon Sellers

Manage Your Experiment Tool

Amazon released the Manage Your Experiment feature to help sellers boost conversions.

In the past, sellers could only make tests with a whole ASIN family. But the new tool allows brands to experiment with specific child ASINs.

Manage Your Experiment features two versions of content to experiment with. Sellers can show it to users and see how customers react to new product listings.

Then, Sellers can collect traffic and conversion data to optimize the listing. You can optimize titles, images and descriptions to boost engagement and conversion.

Climate Pledge Friendly Certification

climate pledge friendly

Amazon launched its new Climate Pledge Friendly Certification in 2020. This program allows users to discover and buy sustainable products.

Since its launch, Amazon’s certified more than 200 thousand products. It also features over 30 US certifications. 

The jewel of the program is the Compact by Design certification. This badge marks out the items that meet sustainability standards.

Compact by Design highlights the most efficient-design products. These are items that feature less water and air to improve packaging and shipment. Thus, such products can reduce carbon emissions within Amazon’s supply chain.

Qualified products must feature Unit Efficiency. This metric considers item weight, unit amount, and package size. Low unit efficiency translates to an efficient design, which makes a product eligible for Compact by Design.

Climate Pledge Friendly products are featured inside a dedicated store. This way, buyers may have an easier time shopping for products that help protect the planet.

climate pledge friendly certification

Brand Story for A+ Content

A+ Content enhances product images and descriptions. This gives an opportunity to highlight the best item features in detail.

Amazon states that A+ content can boost sales by 5%. Now, the marketplace is taking things further with A+ Brand Story.

A+ Brand Story adds a new dedicated module to Amazon’s enhanced content features. It creates a ‘From the Brand’ section to share your unique story with customers.

The goal is to close the B2C communication gap to boost engagement. Sellers can add A+ Brand Stories to all ASINs, using the A+ Content Manager.

Updates to Amazon Handmade

Amazon Handmade

Amazon Handmade provides artisans with a space to make a dent in the marketplace, while doing what they love most.

The handmade store is a place for one-of-a-kind products, which many sellers covet around the world.

Last December, the retail giant released a series of updates to further boost seller and customer experience on Amazon Handmade.

New Bulk Customization Tool

Amazon opened up its Dynamic Custom Template tool (also known as DCTs) to handmade sellers. This will allow them to customize ASINs in bulk.

Using a simple excel template, handmade brands can do the following:

  • Spend less time on catalog and listing management.
  • Create and edit ASINS on all product surfaces and customizations.
  • Export and apply customization data to related items.
  • Update new customized products and original listings.

Dynamic Custom Template

Image: Seller Central

Maker Profile URL Update 

Handmade sellers must update their Make Profile URLs with alphanumeric, ASIN-based URL. The set deadline for these changes is December 31, 2021.

You can locate ASIN-based URLs in the Maker Profile Page, under Product Details.

Now, if you think the update may harm your searches, you can apply for a Brand Registry Waiver to Amazon.

A successful waiver can grant you some of the benefits enjoyed by registered brands.

For example, you may create an Amazon Store with a custom URL for your business. Here, you can draw customers and showcase your complete product catalog.

Final Thoughts

Amazon enjoys a steady increase of both sellers and customers each year. In 2021 only, US merchants sold over 28 billion items.

It’s unlikely that 2022 will be any different. That’s why Amazon strives to improve the seller’s experience in the marketplace.

With these new features, the retail giant is setting up sellers for a great start in 2022. And knowing Amazon, that’s only the beginning.

Author

The AMZ Advisers Content Team

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Esteban Muñoz

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