Commerce Catalysts


Amazon Updates: October 2023

With the help of Amazon, Pinterest is hoping its latest full-funnel advertising pitch will stick.

Pinterest is striving to reposition itself as a full-funnel advertising platform, a goal it's been pursuing for some time. This time around, the company's confidence in achieving this goal is bolstered by its partnership with Amazon, which has opened up new advertising possibilities. Pinterest's management believes that this partnership will unlock growth opportunities, attract more advertising budgets, and enhance user engagement by providing more relevant commercial content. Advertisers have found that Amazon ads on Pinterest lead to increased conversion rates due to Amazon's straightforward checkout process.

Over the years, Pinterest has made various enhancements to its advertising platform, especially in the run-up to its IPO in 2019, introducing new ad formats and tools to measure purchase intent and campaign optimization. The platform has also ventured into influencer marketing tools and the creator economy. What sets this latest push apart is Pinterest's formidable partner, Amazon, whose ads are perceived as more relevant. Pinterest recently introduced several new tools and ad formats, such as Quiz Ads, to enhance the advertising experience and drive results.

Pinterest's strategy to establish itself as a full-funnel advertising platform, coupled with its partnership with Amazon, seems to be gaining traction. This collaboration has not only increased conversion rates but also simplified the checkout process, making it more enticing for advertisers. The introduction of unique ad formats like quiz ads shows that Pinterest is committed to innovation and providing effective advertising solutions.

The ability to capture sales and conversions with these new ad tools is crucial, especially in a challenging economic environment where advertisers are under pressure to demonstrate performance. Positioning itself as a full-funnel advertising platform can help Pinterest secure a share of mid-to-upper funnel ad budgets, which are typically substantial. Success in this endeavor will determine Pinterest's competitiveness in the advertising space, especially against newer entrants like TikTok. Pinterest aims to find its niche between platforms like TikTok and Facebook, leveraging its data and products to attract advertisers. The outcome of these advertising offerings will play a vital role in Pinterest's future in the advertising landscape.

Read the full article on Modern Retail HERE.

Amazon enhances automated handling time feature Automated Handling Time Feature

Amazon has improved its automated handling time feature to offer better protection for sellers during periods of increased order volumes, as well as to provide more accurate delivery promises to customers. This update sets more precise handling times per SKU based on historical performance, making the delivery date of sellers' offers more appealing to buyers. A notable enhancement is the ability for sellers to experiment with the automated feature without losing their SKU-specific handling time settings if they choose to deactivate it.

Specifically, Amazon has introduced the following improvements to automated handling time:

1. SAME-DAY HANDLING TIME: Automated handling time will now assign a same-day handling time to SKUs that are shipped on the same day the order is received, improving the accuracy of delivery promises.

2. OVERRIDE FOR ORDER HANDLING CAPACITY: While automated handling time determines order-handling capacity based on past performance, sellers now have the option to manually override it if their operational capabilities improve.

3. OPTION TO REVERT TO PREVIOUS HANDLING TIME: If sellers opt to turn off automated handling time, it will revert their SKU-specific handling time to the settings they had before enabling this feature. This change allows sellers to experiment with the feature without losing their pre-configured values.

Amazon's enhancement of the automated handling time feature is a valuable addition that benefits both sellers and customers. By refining handling times based on past performance, the platform aims to provide more accurate delivery promises, which can improve the attractiveness of offers to customers. This adjustment, which includes same-day handling time, reflects Amazon's commitment to delivering a superior shopping experience.

The option for sellers to override the order-handling capacity determined by automated handling time is a practical feature, allowing them to adapt to evolving operational circumstances. This flexibility can help sellers better align their operations with customer demand. Moreover, the ability for sellers to revert to their previous handling time settings after experimenting with the automated feature provides a low-risk opportunity for sellers to evaluate its effectiveness.

Overall, these improvements to automated handling time demonstrate Amazon's commitment to supporting its seller community by offering tools that enhance operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. It is a step in the right direction for creating a more seamless and reliable selling experience on the platform.

Read more about the update on Ecommerce Bytes.

Amazon to publicly display number of sales on listings

Amazon has introduced a new feature that publicly displays the number of recent product purchases, generating mixed reactions from sellers. This feature, known as "sales trend," will be visible on product listings in specific categories like health and personal care, home, and sports. It offers a general estimate of how many customers have recently bought a particular product, for example, displaying "10K+ bought in the past month." The goal of this feature is to help customers identify popular products. Amazon automatically adds the "sales trend" to eligible listings.

Amazon's decision to publicly display the number of recent product sales aims to enhance transparency and provide valuable information to shoppers. This feature can help customers make more informed purchasing decisions by highlighting popular products, potentially saving them time and effort. However, there are concerns among some sellers that this feature might favor larger sellers and potentially harm smaller ones. The fear is that customers may gravitate toward products with higher sales trends, which are often associated with big sellers. Additionally, it could provide competitors with insights into a product's popularity, allowing them to adjust their strategies accordingly.

Ultimately, the impact of this feature on sellers will depend on how customers react to it. Small sellers may need to focus on other aspects, such as product differentiation and customer engagement, to remain competitive in a marketplace where sales trends are now publicly visible. Amazon's move represents an ongoing effort to balance the interests of both buyers and sellers on its platform while encouraging product discoverability and sales growth.

Read more about the update on Ecommerce Bytes.

Amazon Vine reviews program introduces lower priced tiers

Amazon is implementing a revised pricing structure for its Amazon Vine review program, which enables brands to generate product reviews. The Amazon Vine program selects insightful reviewers, known as Vine Voices, to test and review products, helping customers make informed purchase decisions. Beginning on October 19, 2023, Amazon will introduce two new lower-priced tiers to make the Vine program more accessible to brands with varying budgets and product offerings:

  1. A $0 tier: Allows enrollment of up to 2 units per parent ASIN and provides up to 2 quality Vine reviews for free.
  2. A $75 tier: Permits enrollment of up to 10 units per parent ASIN and provides up to 10 Vine reviews.

Amazon's existing $200 tier allows brands to enroll up to 30 units per parent ASIN and receive up to 30 Vine reviews. The new fee tiers apply exclusively to products enrolled in the program after October 19, and once an ASIN is enrolled, it cannot be updated to a different tier or have child ASINs added. Participating in the Amazon Vine program can benefit brands by potentially increasing sales by up to 30%, enhancing product discoverability and conversion, and offering valuable product insights.

Amazon's adjustment to the Amazon Vine review program pricing structure aims to make the program more inclusive for brands with varying budgets and product lines. By introducing lower-priced tiers, Amazon seeks to attract a broader range of brands interested in generating product reviews.

The $0 tier, allowing for two units and two Vine reviews for free, and the $75 tier with ten units and reviews provide more flexibility for brands. These new options accommodate smaller brands or products that don't need the extensive reach of the $200 tier. It's a step towards democratizing access to the review program.

Participating in the Amazon Vine program offers numerous benefits for brands, including increased sales potential, better product visibility, and valuable insights. The program remains a significant tool for brands looking to build trust and credibility with Amazon shoppers.

The program's expansion and affordability can potentially lead to more brands using Vine, offering Amazon customers a wider range of reliable reviews, ultimately improving the shopping experience on the platform. This change represents Amazon's continuous effort to adapt its services to meet the evolving needs of both brands and customers.

For more insights, visit Ecommerce Bytes.