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Amazon Opens Subscribe & Save to Seller-Fulfilled Orders

Hey, Fellow Amazon Sellers!

Get ready for another exciting edition of our weekly newsletter, brimming with the latest news, insights, and tips to elevate your Amazon selling game. Let’s dive in and explore what’s new and noteworthy this week!

1. Amazon Opens Subscribe & Save to Seller-Fulfilled Orders

Amazon is extending its Subscribe & Save program to include seller-fulfilled orders, allowing sellers to offer discounts on routinely purchased items under this scheme. Previously limited to products fulfilled by Amazon (FBA), this expansion aims to boost seller conversions and encourage repeat purchases by applying the same benefits to seller-fulfilled products starting June 27. Sellers have the option to opt out of automatic enrollment to prevent new products from being included, though they can manually adjust participation at the product level. This change requires sellers to update their discount settings for each product following the launch.

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2. Uncovering a Massive Fraud Ring – Over $60,000 in Test Buys So Far

An Amazon seller has reported a significant fraud scheme involving other sellers jumping on their brand-registered listings with unrealistically large inventories. Test purchases revealed that these sellers issue authentic tracking numbers which, however, correspond to deliveries going to different states and not to the actual products purchased. Some sellers even recycled the same tracking numbers across multiple orders. The fraudulent sellers, all registered under the same UPS store address, are utilizing this scheme to show orders as delivered and avoid returns, thus costing the original seller tens of thousands of dollars. Despite numerous customer service contacts, Amazon has not resolved the issue, attributing it to potential system glitches.

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3. What Google’s Leaked Documents Might Reveal About E-commerce Rankings on Amazon

Patrick Donelan discusses recent leaks from Google that expose details of its search algorithms, offering crucial insights for e-commerce sellers on platforms like Amazon. The leaks reveal the use of metrics that are akin to Amazon’s, such as the importance of user engagement and site authority on rankings. These insights are crucial for Amazon sellers looking to optimize listings and enhance visibility in a competitive marketplace. Adapting Google’s ranking strategies could significantly improve a seller’s positioning on Amazon.

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4. Amazon UK Delays FBA Fee Changes and Corrects Errors

Amazon UK has postponed the implementation of certain Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) fee changes originally scheduled for 2024, giving sellers additional time to adjust. Notably, the Pan-EU oversize surcharge, initially set to change in July, will now start on September 1, 2024. This surcharge adjustment will only affect items sold in Germany when the inventory is shipped from a different country. Furthermore, a new returns processing fee, aimed at managing the costs associated with high-return-rate products, will commence on January 1, 2025, instead of the previously announced October 2024. Amazon has also addressed errors in the storage utilization surcharge rates for oversized products for the last quarter of 2024.

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5. Chinese Marketplaces Gain on eBay and Amazon

Chinese online marketplaces, notably AliExpress, Temu, and Shein, are increasingly competing with established platforms like eBay and Amazon, primarily due to their competitive pricing. A recent Omnisend survey of 4,000 individuals from the US, UK, Australia, and Canada highlights that 34% of respondents shop at these Chinese marketplaces monthly, compared to 29% for eBay and over 75% for Amazon. Although trust in Temu is significantly lower than in Amazon, with only 6.4% of global respondents favoring Temu, nearly half have shopped there in the past year, attracted by low prices, user-friendly interfaces, and appealing deals. The survey also indicates that about 17.5% believe Temu could potentially surpass Amazon as the leading e-commerce platform.

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6. TikTok’s First $1 Million Shopping Livestream

TikTok has made a significant impact in live commerce by hosting its first $1 million shopping livestream with Canvas Beauty. This event, featuring CEO Stormi Steele, attracted up to 10,000 viewers, highlighting the potential of live commerce on the platform. Despite live commerce being well-established in China, it remains a niche in the Western market, with platforms like Facebook and Instagram phasing out similar features. TikTok’s success with this format suggests a growing trend, positioning it as a serious contender in the live shopping arena but not necessarily displacing traditional e-commerce giants like Amazon.

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7. Brands are seeing better margins in wholesale than DTC

At Glossy’s E-Commerce Summit, industry executives highlighted that despite traditionally higher margins in Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) channels, rising operational costs are making wholesale a more profitable avenue. This shift is driven by increased expenses in logistics, shipping, and marketing within the DTC model, which have escalated post-COVID, changing the profitability landscape. For Amazon sellers, this insight is crucial as it underscores the potential benefits of diversifying sales strategies to include wholesale operations, especially when facing similar DTC cost pressures on platforms like Amazon. These insights suggest that larger scale operations might benefit more from wholesale due to economies of scale that reduce the relative impact of fixed costs.

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8. The Evolution of Amazon

A recent analysis by CIRP traces the dramatic shift in consumer purchasing patterns on Amazon from 2014 to 2024. Initially focused on electronics, which 36% of customers bought in 2014, Amazon has since seen a significant pivot towards groceries, which now lead with 35% of customers including these items in their most recent orders. Electronics purchases have halved over the decade, illustrating a broader diversification of what shoppers buy from Amazon. The data underscores how Amazon has successfully broadened its retail scope beyond its initial offerings, moving strongly into groceries, clothing, and home goods while maintaining its base in electronics, toys, and books.

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9. Common PPC Mistakes on Amazon and How to Fix Them

Mina Elias, with six years of experience auditing Amazon accounts, highlights three recurring PPC mistakes that significantly impact campaign performance. First, he suggests increasing the budget to at least $100 per campaign to allow for optimal spending and effective use of negative keywords for bid optimization. Second, he recommends simplifying the campaign structure to enhance control and gain clearer performance insights, advocating for a single campaign, match type, ad group, and a maximum of five keywords/ASINs. Lastly, Elias emphasizes the importance of incorporating negative keywords to avoid wasteful spending on irrelevant search terms, thereby boosting campaign efficiency and profitability.

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10. Effective Amazon Campaign Naming Structures for Enhanced Management

Effective campaign naming is crucial for managing advertising on Amazon, and a good structure can significantly ease the identification and management of campaigns. Michael Facchin and Brent Zahradnik emphasize the importance of a clear naming strategy that reduces operational friction and allows quick identification of campaign objectives. A good Amazon campaign name should include key details like ASIN, product category, ad type, and campaign objective to facilitate quick searches and efficient management. The article also discusses the three levels of campaign naming complexity, from basic searchability to integrating business objectives, providing a scalable approach to improving campaign oversight.

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11. Charts: Top Ecommerce Sites by Traffic, Q2 2024

A recent report by Practical Ecommerce, using data from Similarweb, reveals the top-performing ecommerce sites globally and in specific regions for May 2024. led globally with a staggering 2.3 billion visits, followed by eBay with 708 million. In the U.S., Amazon also dominated, while in China, Taobao led with 132 million visits. The U.K. saw at the top. This data provides crucial insights for ecommerce players about market leaders and consumer preferences in various regions, offering strategic benchmarks for traffic and engagement.

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That’s all for this week’s newsletter! Stay informed, stay competitive, and continue to innovate.

Happy Selling,

Todd Welch
Amazon Seller School