The Dreaded Amazon CRaP List – What is It and Why You Should Care

The Dreaded Amazon CRaP List – What is It and Why You Should Care

Amazon CRaP (Can’t Realize a Profit) refers to items that are structurally unprofitable on the Amazon marketplace. Low per unit pricing combined with storage and shipping costs can create low to negative margins leading to CRaP status. When this happens Amazon will engage with vendors to renegotiate costs. Until the issue is resolved impacted ASINs will be removed from free Amazon advertising, prevented from the use of Amazon Marketing (AMS), removed from Subscribe & Save, and sometimes Amazon will even stop ordering your product or remove the listing from their marketplace.

What causes CRaP?

There are multiple reasons you may find your ASINs have suddenly been flagged by Amazon as CRaP. By the way, Amazon doesn’t tell you that an item is CRaP, you just see the impact in your sell-through.  While most retailers review profitability at the brand level, Amazon reviews it at the SKU or ASIN level.  This means that while overall your brand is profitable on Amazon you may find one or more of the below issues with some of your top sellers.

  • Lack of consistent pricing across eCommerce retailers: If a product has a lower price on another retailer, Amazon will match it. Often this happens due to promotional activity or a lower cost for product fulfillment with other retailers which translates to lower prices on their websites.
  • Too many weeks of cover: Sudden increases in demand can trigger a larger than normal order from Amazon. If this inventory is not reduced in a timely fashion Amazon will decrease the price to encourage sales. Another cause of high inventory position can be a high minimum order quantity that doesn’t align to sales volume.
  • Case pack sizes: Traditional case pack sizes, especially for CPG, are usually not optimized for an eCommerce environment. These low quantity case packs are a key driver of CRaP status due to a disproportionately low price relative to shipping costs.
  • Short expiration period: When demand drops and weeks of cover becomes too high for perishable items Amazon will dispose of these excess units rather than sell them to consumers. If brands do not factor in transportation time and provide increased diligence for weeks of cover they may find themselves in challenging inventory positions due to high disposal rates and the resulting low weeks of cover for the remaining inventory.
  • High customer returns: Amazon builds return costs into allowances.  If returns are high, Amazon may need more funding from the vendor to avoid CRaP status. Returns can be driven by not only poor packaging, but also confusing or misleading information on Detail Pages.
  • Heavy, bulky items: Heavy, large, or odd shaped items may cost more to ship than margins allow.

Proactive actions to avoid CRaP status

  • Enforce your minimum advertised price (MAP): MAP allows brands to ensure none of their products are reduced below an unprofitable price. Brands should not only monitor all retail channels, but also 3P Sellers on Amazon.
  • Manage your margin: When offering costs to Amazon find a balance that is fair to both parties, but keep some margin in your back pocket for future adjustments. This will help with annual vendor negotiations, running promotions, and CRaP negotiations.
  • Create eCommerce optimized SKUs: Retail profitability does not always directly translate to eCommerce profitability. Additional fulfillment costs should be considered and case pack sizes should be adjusted accordingly.
  • Evaluate Prime Pantry (CPG): Spreads shipping costs across many lower priced items by allowing Prime members to order a large box of groceries.
  • Bundles: Create multipacks of the same product or variety packs to spread the shipping costs across more units.
  • Consider a hybrid strategy: Should you need to remove items from Amazon due to CRaP status consider selling them as a 3P with FBA or direct fulfillment.

When your ASINs are impacted by CRaP status it’s important to quickly take action to mitigate the impact to your business. Once you’ve identified the root cause and the scope of the problem you should focus on resolution at scale and proactively implementing guardrails to prevent other ASINs in your catalog from being placed on Amazon’s CRaP list.

If your brand needs help optimizing sales on Amazon or specifically with Amazon CRaP, we’re here to help.  

The Importance of Amazon Brand Registry

The Importance of Amazon Brand Registry

Photo: Lulu Dharma Amazon Brand Store

One of the many challenges brands face in selling on Amazon, whether a 1P vendor or 3P seller, is the complexity of Amazon Brand Registry. But avoiding Brand Registry or misusing the Brand Registry process could hinder your product sales. Brand Registry is required for the creation of an Amazon Brand Store – enabling a brand to showcase its product portfolio as well as drive Sponsored Brand Ad placements to a consolidated listing. As Brand Registry subject matter experts, we are here to help our clients navigate the process and submit requests on their behalf.  

What is Amazon Brand Registry?   

Brand Registry is a global platform where manufacturers can enter and monitor their brands sold in all Amazon markets. It identifies brand owners to Amazon and provides access to a dedicated Brand Registry support team at Amazon who helps protect intellectual property (IP) as well as resolve listing errors and technical problems. Brand Registry is a brand’s main protection from unauthorized parties selling your products. 

Why is Brand Registry Important?    

  • Brand Registry ensures trademarked brands are properly represented on Amazon. Brand Registry Support can fix inaccurate content, images, or item data incorrectly contributed by sellers onto ASINs sold by the manufacturer or registered agents.  
  • Incorrect data can lead to poor customer experience and item suppression  
  • Brand Registry provides access to ‘Report a Violation’ tool where IP infringement complaints can be filed and submission status can be monitored and escalated if needed. 
  • Text and/or image search can be performed to help identify and monitor branded items offered in all Amazon markets from every seller. 
  • Brand Registered selling accounts have access to Brand Analytics, Brand Dashboard, Vine, and enhanced content including  A+, videos, and Brand Stores. 
  • If requested, Brand Registry can enforce Amazon policies and issue the violating sellers with policy warnings. These can result in suspension or account closure of those unauthorized sellers. 

Is Brand Registry Effective? 

Yes, Brand Registry is an essential and effective aspect of producing an optimized Product Detail Page (PDP) with enhanced brand content. It also unlocks the best reporting via Brand Dashboard and Brand Analytics. Additionally, Brand Registry Support will effectively action ASINs listed in the brand owner/registered Agent’s selling account. Proactive and effective brand protection starts with this page on Amazon’s website

Can we utilize Brand Registry as an authorized seller, even if we’re not the manufacturer?  

Both Vendors and Sellers can register for Brand Registry. The manufacturer will register their trademarks and become the brand Owner/Administrator. They will then grant brand roles – Rights Owner or Registered Agent – to authorized sellers.  After brand roles are added, sellers will ‘see’ the brands in their Brand Registry account and can act on behalf of the brand. 

What are the Challenges with Brand Registry?  

There are known difficulties for brands and sellers in setting up Brand Registry. The specific processes involved, as well as connecting the Brand Registry account to Seller Central, can be particularly challenging.  

There are potential technical hiccups with Amazon, which can cause significant delays in setting up and applying Brand Registry to selling accounts. This is where an expert Amazon managed services agency like Ideoclick can offer value in helping brand manufacturers and sellers navigate the process. 

A specific complication arises for brands and manufacturers who sell in both Vendor Central and Seller Central as they can only link the Brand Registry to ONE of the accounts. 

Amazon Brand Registry Capabilities List 

  • Amazon Brand Registry support WILL NOT action content/image updates for ASINs not sold by the brand owner. For these, a brand owner can file IP violations, but the success rate is low. 
  • Amazon Brand Registry WILL NOT action against 3P sellers for any reason 
  • Amazon WILL ONLY action against 3P sellers when the seller lists under an incorrect brand name. If the seller’s ASIN is listed with the trademarked brand name, then Amazon will deny action against it. 
  • Amazon WILL NOT take action against an ASIN sold by the manufacturer, even if the only offer is 3P and the seller has added incorrect content 
  • Amazon WILL NOT police sellers for pricing at any time 
  • Amazon WILL remove 3P ASINs incorrectly added to variations and issue sellers policy warnings 
  • Amazon WILL issue policy warnings to sellers which can jeopardize ability the seller’s ability to sell 
  • Amazon WILL help with counterfeit products through its Project Zero offering 
Text Box

Making Brand Registry Successful – Tips to Use and Mistakes to Avoid 

#1 tip:  Regarding support cases for content/image updates, first file in the selling account (either VC or SC, depending on how it’s set up). Then if still unresolved, escalate to Brand Registry. 

#2 tip:  Know the Amazon policies before submitting cases. Provide Amazon with a link to the policy in question and provide evidence of policy abuse. When logged into Seller Central, you can access this link to the Amazon policies.  

#3 tip:  Do not request that Amazon ‘fix’ an unauthorized seller page with correct images or content. However, if you find a policy the seller violates, you can report them for it.  

#1 mistake:  Manufacturer creating a Brand Registry account with the wrong login. The Brand Registry account login must be the same as the Selling Account login in order to have the two accounts link and to unlock the brand features. 

#2 mistake:  Brand Owners granting rights to too many sellers – this renders Brand Registry useless, as contributions from all rights owners hold equal weight. Best Practice = One Brand Owner and One Registered Agent. 

#3 mistake:  Misuse of Report a Violation Tool. This is used for IP violation and only for items listed under an incorrect brand. If an ASIN is listed with the trademarked brand name, do not file IP complaints for images, content, or pricing. Amazon will deny these complaints and potentially restrict the BR account. Again, find a policy violation applicable to the seller and report them for it. 

#4 mistake: Filing too many support requests can result in removed access to the Brand Registry Support channels.  

If your brand needs help optimizing sales on Amazon or specifically with Amazon Brand Registry, we’re here to help.  


Valoree Pittsley is a Lead Merchandiser at Ideoclick, making our clients’ detail pages shine. She has been with the company for 2.5 years. Previously, Valoree worked for 10 years in Vendor Management and Merchandising at Amazon.

Donna Hart is a Merchandising Manager with Ideoclick for the last two years. Prior to that, she was a Home Depot site merchandiser for four years. Donna’s happy place is in her home workshop where she loves building with power tools.

Insights from Ideoclick’s Prime Day Client Webinar

Insights from Ideoclick’s Prime Day Client Webinar

2020 has been a year of firsts, and a lot of learning. Few, if any, knew the full extent of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact back in April or May. While many best practices of selling on Amazon have remained constant throughout, other areas have required significant adjustments. These adjustments are true as it relates to preparing for Prime Day and subsequent Amazon shopping events.

We recently held a panel discussion specific to Amazon Prime Day to discuss how our brand manufacturer clients can optimize the event’s non-traditional occurrence in mid-October as opposed to July. Ideoclick’s Andrea Leigh, Clarke Heyerdahl, Devon Minsk, and Juan Botero all weighed in on the challenges sellers are facing this year, as well as opportunities to best leverage Prime Day 2020, while considering opportunities for the additional upcoming Amazon holiday shopping events.

The Good News

A recent study by McKinsey showed that 75% of U.S. consumers have changed brands during the pandemic—a potential opportunity for upcoming brands to take a larger share within a space predominantly controlled by bigger brands.

An additional benefit this year is that ecommerce has accelerated so rapidly; some say a five-year growth in a matter of months. As a result, this year’s Prime Day is expected to see an increase in both first-time Amazon customers and new-to-brand shoppers.

Prime Day’s proximity to the Black Friday-to-Cyber Monday span of days, or “Turkey 5” (T5), presents favorable circumstances but also a few detriments. It’s important for brands to value the exposure they’re getting on Prime Day and continue targeting consumers, and building brand awareness, all the way through to T5 and beyond. “It’s a really good time to capitalize on the traffic that’s visiting the site and use it not only to promote your items but also to take advantage of that halo effect,” notes Botero.

However, being so close to T5 also requires a creative and thoughtful approach to deals and promotions. Ideally, the discounts given during T5 compared to Prime Day should be noticeable. Another consideration is inventory: Botero advises paying close attention to warehouse inventory (Amazon inventory + off-site company inventory) as well as inbound inventory from manufacturers.

6 Key Areas of Prime Day Focus

Strategies the Ideoclick team set forth surrounded the overarching process of “plan, execute, and analyze,” with the extra factor of adjusting for T5. Specifically, Amazon sellers need to look at:

1) Product Selection. Focus on high-velocity items. Make sure products have a healthy status (financial/retail ready) and that they are relevant to the promotion’s timing. You may also want to consider newer items that missed out on traction with a March or April launch as well as “giftable” products that might be more desirable this close to the holidays.

2) Competitive Analysis. How competitive is the landscape? How often is the competition running promos/deals? Track competitors’ ASINs and their performance during promos. (If you don’t have software to accomplish this, reach out to us.)

3) Budgeting. Set a budget and then review after promotions end. Ensure you allocate enough budget for both Prime Day and T5, and don’t neglect allocating for increased keyword bids. Remember, Prime Day is only 48 hours… Plan your spend on the scale of “I want to play” to “I want to win.”

4) Inventory. Check inventory position 3-4 weeks prior (which now applies to T5 and holiday). Work with VM/ISM to increase inventory position on key items. If you’re positioned to drop ship should Amazon warehouse inventory run low, make sure your warehouse is prepared.

5) Layer AMS & DSP. Increase traffic, awareness, and consideration with ads on and off Amazon, re-targeting consumers that have seen but not purchased your products and/or competitors’ products.

6) Off-channel Support. Amplify the audience using your own managed media, such as emails, social media, influencers, text, etc.

New Promotional Tools Available (for FREE)

Amazon is also testing a few new promotional support tools like Amazon Posts and Amazon Live. While Amazon Live is currently only available in iOS, it likely won’t be long before the service extends to other operating systems.

These programs are currently offered at no cost—a great opportunity for brands to start experimenting with them risk-free. Both platforms allow for more of an “emotional” feel versus the traditionally transactional experience shoppers encounter when browsing. Brands can even duplicate content they’re already posting in other social media channels (like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest).

Ready, Set, Go

Prime Day is less than two weeks away, but there’s still much companies can do to optimize their efforts. The growing pains of the last six months have been, at times, a necessary wake-up call to certain shortcomings. We can all take what we’ve learned to further improve (and monetize) next year’s Prime Day, and the years after that.

At the conclusion of the presentation, the panel opened up the virtual floor for additional questions about strategy. We’ve recapped an “in short” version of the answers, but for more extensive explanations, you can view the panel presentation HERE, with the Q&A portion beginning at minute 31.

Q&A topics included:

  • Q: When should I launch my DSP campaign and how much budget should I put against it?
  • A: Companies that are new to DSP or that are already running campaigns should start this ASAP. Budget really depends on goals and potential audience size.
  • Q: I’ve missed a deadline for a promotion, what can I still do to drive traffic?
  • A: Discounts should still be available. Even if they’re not as visible, you’re leveraging the volume of traffic generated from Prime Day. Ramp up social media exposure. Another tactic for brands that sell via other retailers is to offer discounts in those stores and Amazon will match the price.
  • Q: What would be an appropriate split across paid search versus DSP?
  • A: Monitor the performance of each. If you’re running highly efficient campaigns that don’t run the whole day and they’re not out of budget, ramp up AMS before pivoting dollars to DSP. But, if you’re seeing diminishing returns on AMS, start leaning into DSP where you can do more advanced targeting and also capitalize with remarketing.
  • Q: What kind of CPC increases should clients or advertisers expect to see on Amazon on Prime Day?
  • A: This depends on category (e.g. electronics vs. grocery), as well as what the competition is doing. If companies are tightening budgets and not using Prime Day as a driver, that may lower CPCs; a is a great time to capture market share. It really rests on how aggressive companies decide to be.
  • Q: Should I (and how much) increase my AMS bids before Prime Day starts?
  • A: If you’re looking to build out relevance, capture market share, you’ll want to increase your bids more (e.g. 4x). Alternatively, if you’re just looking to defend your space, you won’t need as much of an increase (maybe double). In this case, competitors aren’t going to be increasing their budgets and bids against your branded terms as they would against category terms.
  • Q: How should I prioritize Prime Day versus [T5]?
  • A: The million dollar question! Brands that are able to test the waters on Prime Day and double down on T5 create an opportunity to see what the T5 volume can be. Of course, it also depends on inventory position.
  • Q: What do I do if I can’t get my inventory to Amazon in time?
  • A: Receiving channels are jammed and all inbound shipments are heavily delayed; it’s just the sign of the times. Consider backup offers as dropship, direct fulfillment—if you are able.

“If there’s anything COVID has taught us, it’s that we need contingency plans for getting our products to customers. Diversification in manufacturer fulfillment models is vital.”


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Advanced Strategies for a Successful 2020 Amazon Prime Day

Advanced Strategies for a Successful 2020 Amazon Prime Day

Why should brands participate in Amazon Prime Day?

Since its inception in 2015, Amazon Prime Day has grown to become one of the biggest eCommerce shopping days of the year; in 2019 nearly 20% of Americans shopping Amazon Prime Day planned to spend over $300. Not only has there been an increase in Amazon shoppers, but also the potential to increase new-to-brand customers by as much as 57%. This creates an opportunity to drive brand awareness and adoption during the annual shopping event, which will be held this year on October 13th and 14th.

Furthermore, while Prime Day deals may create a spike in sales during their promotional period, that spike can extend beyond the deal timeframe through a “halo effect” with some vendors experiencing sales growth the month after running a deal for both the featured product and the rest of their brand catalog.

What’s different about Prime Day This Year?

The COVID-19 pandemic has driven shoppers from traditional brick and mortar buying experiences to eCommerce. As a result, Prime Day 2020 will likely see more first time Amazon customers than in previous years. It’s important that brands make it easy for these new customers to find their products through optimized Detail Pages that drive search relevance on high volume keywords. Conversion to sales can be achieved through concise and informative titles, imagery, bullet points, A+ content, and descriptions.

The transition of customers to eCommerce has brought a willingness to try new brands out of necessity and the sudden availability of alternate options. This has led to 61 % of US consumers having changed brands during the COVID-19 pandemic. With many brands moving to Amazon to replace brick and mortar losses, competition for share of the digital shelf has become fiercer than ever. It’s important for all brands to implement a robust Amazon marketing strategy that focuses on both protecting their own brand keywords and gaining market share through targeting competitive brand keywords.

Throughout Q2 many brands found their products were deemed non-essential by Amazon. This transitioned 2-day Prime delivery promises to up to 30 days. As a result, inventory turnover slowed leading to low capacity in Amazon Fulfillment Centers as we approach Prime Day. In response, Amazon has introduced Q4 inventory restrictions based upon inventory performance. This will limit many brands from sending new inventory to Amazon in preparation of Prime Day deals. Brands facing this challenge should turn to their items currently in Amazon Fulfillment Centers with high volumes of inventory as top candidates for Prime Day Deals. Alternatively, if the infrastructure is in place for Direct Fulfillment brands should consider dual listing in which Amazon will pay shipping costs to fulfill orders directly from the vendor’s warehouse or 3PL.

Prime Day’s proximity to Black Friday and Cyber Monday creates several key considerations for brands. Some may decide not to participate in Prime Day in order to focus more budget and bandwidth on holiday shopping campaigns and promotions. This creates an opportunity for competition to run compelling Prime Day deals and gain market share. However, it is unknown if brands will be allowed to run the same deals for Prime Day and Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It’s important for brands to proactively create backup plans for the holiday shopping season in case they are not able to repeat the same deal or ship inventory to Amazon in time.

Retail has faced many challenges throughout 2020 that make a strong eCommerce presence more important than ever. However, a strong Q4 strategy and flawless execution present the opportunity to recover from Q1-Q3 declines in sales. Consumer conversion will be driven by brands’ focus on value, availability, and convenience.

Tune in here to watch a panel of Ideoclick experts discuss key strategies to win Prime Day and prepare for the fast approaching holiday season.


Jamaal Hackett-Cook is a Sr. eCommerce Strategist at Ideoclick, where he drives the creation of innovative strategies for brands to own more of the digital shelf. A 5 year former employee of Amazon, he worked on the launch of Amazon Home Services, innovations to the Vendor Contact Support Process, and has partnered with dozens of brands to improve their marketing and supply chain strategies.

Three Input Metrics That Are Better Than Market Share In Measuring eCommerce Success

Three Input Metrics That Are Better Than Market Share In Measuring eCommerce Success

Brands manufacturers’ traditional approach to measuring market share needs to change when considering ecommerce channels like Amazon, Walmart, and Target. In this recent article for Forbes, I explain how previous methods for measuring success is flawed, and exactly how it can be adjusted to reflect ecommerce success accurately. Shopper journeys are changing and success metrics need to change accordingly. Read the complete Forbes article here.

Amazon Advertising Strategy for Prime Day and Beyond – Targeted Advertising through Amazon DSP

Amazon Advertising Strategy for Prime Day and Beyond – Targeted Advertising through Amazon DSP

With a unique Prime Day landing in early October this year and only a short break before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, preparing for Q4 advertising on Amazon has never been more important. A comprehensive and powerful strategy should now include an Amazon DSP (Demand Side Platform) advertising campaign. 

Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, ad types within Amazon Advertising’s Sponsored Ads Console, have traditionally been advertisers’ starting place for Prime Day preparation – and with good reason. These PPC ads are primarily triggered by keyword targeting and appear alongside organic search results on Amazon. By targeting a surge of highly relevant Prime Day shoppers, while they are actively browsing for products in Amazon’s digital shopping aisles, Sponsored Ads are highly effective at driving towards immediate performance advertising goals.  

Sponsored Ads should be the foundation of most Prime Day and Holiday advertising strategies; these ads target the lowest hanging fruit on Amazon and play an important role in defending your brand’s share of search.  

However, Sponsored Ads have a few limitations:  

  • Due to creative constraints, Sponsored Ads have a limited capacity to drive towards upper funnel consideration and awareness goals.  
  • Regardless of your campaign goals, scale can also be a limitation as this ad type is only served on Amazon itself (Amazon.com and Amazon Mobile App) and shoppers must be searching for the term you are bidding on. 
  • Even when targeting the highest trafficked keywords, advertisers trying to scale their Sponsored Ads campaigns can eventually face diminishing marginal returns as ever-increasing competition drives up CPCs. 

Despite the limitations, successful vendors and sellers alike understand the power of Sponsored Ads. But once your Sponsored Ads are in place, how can you take the next step in your Amazon Advertising strategy for Prime Day and beyond?  

Amazon DSP is the next step in developing a comprehensive, full-funnel advertising strategy on Amazon. Adding display advertising on top of Amazon Sponsored Ads broadens an advertiser’s ability to drive towards goals throughout the shopping journey, from brand awareness to consideration and purchase.  

How Amazon DSP Works 

Amazon DSP ads use Amazon’s first party shopping data to programmatically reach highly relevant shoppers on thousands of websites via Amazon’s owned and operated properties (Amazon.com, Amazon Mobile App, IMDb, etc.), Amazon Publisher Services, and major digital ad exchanges. Depending on your specific campaign goal, you can retarget shoppers that have visited the Amazon detail pages of your products and your competitor’s products, target larger audience that have shown habitual shopping behavior over time, or target a variety of other unique-to-Amazon audiences based on contextual targeting. 

Implementing an Amazon DSP Campaign 

Once you have determined your campaign goal and identified the product that you want to promote with Amazon DSP, it’s important to consider the necessary steps leading up to your campaign launch – especially for a campaign focused around Prime Day.  

Unlike Sponsored Ads, Amazon DSP does not have a self-service console available to your typical vendor or seller. Campaigns are either run internally by Amazon Advertising or by a complete managed services  agency like Ideoclick, so it’s essential to ensure that you have plenty of lead time prior to Prime Day for a successful DSP launch.  

For anyone who is new to DSP, it’s important to understand the additional steps that need to take place prior to getting your campaign off the ground. First, DSP campaigns use a CPM pricing model and require advertisers to have an insertion order in place ahead of launching a campaign. Once an insertion order is signed, there are additional approvals required for creative assets and custom targeting segments. We recommend having a couple of weeks to get all of your ducks in a row prior to your projected campaign launch date.  

Proper Timing for an Amazon DSP Campaign 

When building a DSP campaign around a major tentpole event like Prime Day, we recommend launching the campaign well ahead of the event itself. Amazon DSP’s myriad optimization levers are part of what makes it such a powerful tool for advertisers. Through both machine learning and manual optimizations, everything from the targeting segments, to creative formats, bids, and frequency caps can be adjusted toward better performance through the campaign flight. However, meaningful optimizations require a sufficient amount of data and time. Giving your campaign a few weeks to work out the kinks will ensure that everything is precisely dialed in for the rush of shoppers on Prime Day itself. 

Whether you are launching your first DSP campaign to coincide with Prime Day, or ramping up an existing DSP budget for the event, the increased traffic to Amazon during 2020’s unique Q4 shopping season opens the door to even more opportunities involving Amazon DSP: One of the most effective DSP strategies is in retargeting shoppers that have landed on your product’s detail page. These custom targeting segments can deliver impressive sales and RoAS (return on ad spend) results but rely on shoppers finding their way to your detail page ahead of time, which can limit scale.  

Prime Day, Cyber Monday, and the rest of the Q4 holiday season are great opportunities to leverage increased traffic and larger audiences with DSP retargeting to provide an “always-on” display strategy that can be maintained into 2021 and beyond. 

Preparation is Key 

The busiest season on Amazon is upon us and the competition will be greater than ever. In preparation for Prime Day, make sure that you are retail ready, have your Sponsored Ads ramped up for increased traffic and bids, and set yourself up for a deeper level of success by implementing a comprehensive display advertising strategy starting with Amazon DSP. 

Learn more about how Ideoclick helps clients implement effective Amazon DSP campaigns


About the Author: Grant Arnold is an ex-Amazonian, digital marketer, and e-Commerce expert helping Ideoclick’s clients develop and implement search and display advertising strategies.

AdCon 2020

AdCon 2020

Amazon Advertising’s big conference, AdCon 2020, is being held virtually this year on September 30th and October 1st. The event will bring together thousands of advertisers to hear inspiring keynotes, attend educational breakout sessions, and engage with experts. Ideoclick is proud to be a sponsor of this informative Amazon Advertising event. More information can be found on this AdCon 2020 event page.

Updated Amazon Predictions – 2020 and Beyond with Pandemic Considerations

Updated Amazon Predictions – 2020 and Beyond with Pandemic Considerations

Ideoclick’s VP of Strategy, Andrea Leigh, has recorded her updated Amazon predictions for the near future, with the current and future effects of Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic in mind. Many of the ecommerce expert’s earlier set of predictions have proven to be true, which you can read in this post reviewing the previous Amazon predictions compared to actual Amazon market happenings. Within the updated Amazon predictions video, topics including Amazon healthcare, Amazon fashion, and Amazon supply chain are discussed.

We help our clients navigate the complexities of selling on Amazon to boost brand velocity:

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Amazon Terminology, Acronyms, Abbreviations – A Complete List

Amazon Terminology, Acronyms, Abbreviations – A Complete List

Amazon is a complicated world. Even for seasoned sellers, it’s difficult to keep up with all of Amazon’s terminology, acronyms and abbreviations.  Not only is the Amazon ecosystem highly dynamic, it also has its own unique vernacular.  While many might think they know or understand Amazon, we are always surprised by the number of things that maybe they don’t know.  For instance, if you don’t sell on Amazon, you probably have no idea that an ASIN or Amazon Standard Identification Number is synonymous with a SKU.  Perhaps you have been offended when you heard someone talk about “CRaP”, when in reality it’s a commonly used Amazon acronym for products where Amazon “Can’t Realize a Profit”.  To address this, we have put together a comprehensive list of Amazon Terminology, Acronyms, and Abbreviations to help both neophytes and experts should they stumble across an unfamiliar Amazon reference. 

A

A+ = A+ Content

Manually created through A+ Detail Page tab in Vendor Central from custom templates. The A+ content appears on detail pages below the bullets and above Product Description.

A9 Algorithm

The A9 algorithm is Amazon terminology for a complex and highly proprietary search function on Amazon that serves up a set of product results in response to keywords that are typed in by the user. 

AAP = Amazon Advertising Platform

Amazon terminology for Marketing programs on other platforms to drive traffic to Amazon.

ACoS = Advertising Cost of Sale

ACOS is measured as a percentage showing you how much a sale costs you in advertising money. The lower the ACOS, the better an ad is performing. ​ ACoS = Ad spend / Ad sales​.

AL = Allocated

A replenishment term – used for Amazon private label.

AMG = Amazon Media Group

AMG is a program that runs ads outside of Amazon and on Amazon devices like the Kindle to drive traffic to the site.

AMS = Amazon Marketing Services

AMS is advertising on Amazon to increase rankings and impressions.  Advertising is used to drive impressions on the Search Results Page.  Learn more about Amazon Advertising Strategies

AOV = Average Order Value

Average sales price for an ASIN for a determined time period. Because of Amazon’s fluctuating buy box price, ASP is an average view of the product’s price. ​ AOV = Sales / Orders. ​

ARAP = Amazon Retail Analytics Premium

ARA is an analytics tool on Amazon Vendor Central.  It is typically priced as a % of gross sales on Amazon and sold thorough an Amazon Vendor Manager.

ASIN = Amazon Standard  Identification Number

A 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier Amazon Terminology assigned by Amazon for product identification.  An ASIN is further delineated as a Parent ASIN or Child ASIN whereby SKU’s of different sizes, colors, flavors, etc. can be grouped together on a listing typically with the ASIN having the highest projected volume identified as the Parent ASIN. For example, with shoes, a parent is the style (Nike Jordan) where the child is the individual size/colors with the Style (Red, Size M).

ASP = Average Sales Price for an ASIN

Average sales price for an ASIN for a determined time period. Because of Amazon’s fluctuating buy box price, ASP is an average view of the product’s price. ​ Ordered revenue/ordered units​.

AVS = Amazon Vendor Services

Amazon Vendor Services is vendor-funded support service which provides a Brand Specialist at Amazon to support a Wholesale (1P) business on Amazon. Learn More about Amazon Vendor Services and Mistakes to Avoid.

Amazon Born to Run Program

A Self-Service program in Amazon Vendor Central where a merchant submits a request to Amazon requesting a full amount of inventory to drive product consumption over a specified period.  Any excess items at the end of the period can be returned to the merchant or they can provide Amazon with a 25% discount on any items remaining in inventory. Learn more about the Amazon Born to Run Program.

Amazon Coupons

Amazon coupons are dollars or percentage off offers that appear on the product detail page of an item.  Coupons require a checkbox selection in order to receive the discount.

Amazon FBA Fulfillment Fees

Fulfillment by Amazon is a flat fee per unit depending upon the size and weight of the product. 

Amazon Margin Guarantees

Amazon Margin Guarantees provides Amazon with a guaranteed target to hit a specific PPM that protects them if they need to price match.  Learn More about Amazon Margin Guarantees.

Amazon Promotions

Amazon promotions are incentives on specific products consisting of a percentage off, free shipping, or a buy on, get one (BOGO) offering.

Amazon Referral Fees

Amazon’s Fee for listing products on Amazon Seller Central.  It’s calculated as the greater of the referral fee percentage or per item minimum referral fee. 

Amazon Seller Fees

Amazon Seller Fees consist of an Amazon Referral Fee, a Fulfillment Fee based upon the size and cube, and a Storage Fee based upon the footprint for items held inventory over 30 days.

Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads

Sponsored Brands are Amazon ads that typically appear across the top of a search results page on Amazon.  It features a brand logo and up to 4 product listings. Ads are sold on a cost per click basis through Amazon Marketing Services.  Learn more about Marketing on Amazon.

Amazon Sponsored Display Ads

Sponsored Display Ads, previously known as Product Display Ads, appear on an Amazon Product Detail Page.  They are part of Amazon’s Display Advertising Program, DSP. 

Amazon Sponsored Product Ads

Sponsored Brands are Amazon ads that typically appear across the top of a search results page on Amazon.  It features a brand logo and up to 4 product listings. Ads are sold on a cost per click basis through Amazon Marketing Services.  Learn more about Marketing on Amazon.

Amazon Storage Fees

Amazon Storage fees are based on the daily average cubic foot volume for space that inventory occupies at an Amazon Fulfillment Center.  The fees var depending upon time of year, with a higher cost/cubic foot from October to December when space is at a premium for holiday shopping.  Learn more about Amazon FBA Fees

Amazon Subscribe & Save

Amazon Subscribe & Save is Amazon terminology an automatic delivery program where shoppers can save between 5% and 15% on items when they enroll in a replenishment program. The discount is funded by the Merchant.

Amazon Trade Terms

Amazon Trade Terms are Amazon terminology for Co-op fees.  They negotiated between Amazon and the Seller, paid by the Seller and calculated as discounts off wholesale price for Amazon 1P Sellers.  They typically include: Co-op, returns, damages, customer service.  Freight might or might not be included in the terms depending upon negotiations.   Learn more about Amazon Annual Trade Term Negotiations

Amazon Warehouse Deals

Amazon Warehouse Deals refers to products that have been returned, damaged, used, or refurbished.  They are typically in “good” condition but because they are no longer considered “new” they are offered at a deep discount.

B

BOL = Bill of Lading

A type of proof of delivery. It is required by a carrier at time of pickup.

BOPIS = Buy Online Pick-up in Store

An eCommerce term referring to the shopping model whereby consumers buy directly from brands or retailers and pick the item up at a retail location.

BR = Basic RP

Replenishment term – used for manual orders or high-priced items.

Best Deal Promotions

Promotions running up to 2 weeks that appear on Amazon’s “Today’s Deals” page providing increased visibility for the Merchant.

Brand Analytics

Brand Analytics is an analytics tool on Amazon Seller Central.  It offers data including keywords, market basket analysis, click and conversion, share, search terms, demographics, etc.  It is available at no charge to Brand Registered Marketplace Sellers.

Brand Code

Brand-specific code linked to Vendor Code and Brand Name.  Links an ASIN to a vendor, brand name, and brand store. Brand store is at blue link at the end of the product title on the detail page.  This makes coupons easier to create by grouping ASINs by brand in VC and ensures the ASIN(s) show in the brand’s store page (link on detail page underneath title).

Brand Name

The brand name currently written on the product’s packaging. This should be changed each time packaging changes to avoid receiving issues caused by a title/brand name/packaging conflict.

Brand Registry

Amazon terminology for a program developed to give brand owners increased control of their listings on Amazon.  It allows trademarked brands to have direct influence on the detail pages with regarding to images, content, configurations, etc.  The program also helps brands control listings of counterfeit goods.

Brand Store

A form of enhanced brand content utilizing Amazon templates to tell a brand story.  It is typically used to drive conversion and/or increase average order size when a shopper clicks on a Sponsored Ad.

Browse Nodes

Browse Nodes are Amazon terminology for the lowest-level product category (Department) on site that an ASIN can appear. Shown on the detail page at left side of search and on some detail pages at top left of the white space (e.g., Home > Kitchen and Cooking > Utensils > Sporks).

Buy Box

Refers to the featured listing on a detail page using Amazon terminology.  Typically, the buy box is an Amazon Prime listing and offers the lowest price.  Maintaining the Buy Box is critical to maximizing sales.  

Buy Box %

In order to win the buy box a product must be in stock, available for purchase for other reasons, and the lowest price. ​ Number of page views where a product appeared in the buy box / total page views of that product​.

C

Chargebacks

Amazon Chargebacks are fees levied by Amazon for Operational deficiencies for vendors selling Wholesale to Amazon.  Chargebacks can occur when there are PO confirmation and ship window delays, Receiving Issues related to barcodes or label content, Prep Issues when products received and do not comply with Amazon bagging and carton requirements, ASN (Advanced Shipping Notice) not being sent correctly from Vendor Central, and Transportation Issues related to failure to comply with routing request setup requirements. 

COGS = Cost of Goods Sold

The cost to manufacture a product. It might or might not include terms.

CPC = Cost Per Click

CPC is the amount of money you spend every time someone clicks on your ad. ​ CPC = Spend / Clicks​.

CPM = Cost Per Thousand

The cost per thousand impressions/views from an advertisement​.  Total impressions / 1,000​.

CRaP = Can’t Realize a Profit

This is specific Amazon terminology related to products that Amazon identifies as having low profit values, being unprofitable or items “at-risk” of being unprofitable.

CTR = Click Through Rate

Ratio between ad clicks and its impressions. A high CTR is generally better, indicating your ad is compelling enough for shoppers to click-through. ​ CTR = Clicks / Impressions​.

CVR = Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of shoppers who have clicked on your ad and purchased. ​ Ordered units divided by glance views​.

CX = Customer Experience

A term encompassing the multiple interactions that factor into the customer’s experience with a brand or retailer.

Confirmation Rate

A low confirmation rate indicates lost sales to Amazon, as there is a demonstrated customer demand that Amazon is ordering to that the vendor cannot meet. ​ Units Confirmed/Units Ordered​

Content

Content on Amazon refers to both visual and written content that appears on a Product Detail Page or a Brand Page.  It includes title, bullets, description and enhanced brand content on the Product Detail Page and additional visuals and written content typically telling the brand story on a Brand Page.  Learn more about Content Strategy.

Custom Enhanced Content

Manually created through A+ Detail Page tab in VC from custom templates. Appears on detail pages above Product Description.

D

DP = Detail Page

A Detail Page is the listing page where an ASIN is sold on Amazon.com. It is also referred to as a Product Detail Page and may contain a single ASIN or a parent ASIN with variations (child ASINs).

DSP = Demand Side Platform

Targeted advertising programs off Amazon that drive and retarget consumers based upon demographics and shopping behavior.

DS = Drop Ship

Drop ship refers to a scenario where the product is fulfilled and shipped by a third party rather than directly by Amazon. 

DTC (or D2C) = Direct to Consumer

An eCommerce term referring to selling products directly to customers, bypassing any third-party retailers, wholesalers, or any other middlemen.

E

EBC = Enhanced Brand Content

Below the fold content on the Detail/Listing Page.  Referred to as Enhanced Brand Content for Seller Central sellers and A+ content for Vendor Central sellers.

F

FBA = Fulfilled by Amazon

A fulfillment solution in Amazon terminology offered to Third Party Sellers whereby Seller-owned product is shipped and stored at an Amazon fulfillment center until it is sold to the consumer.  Amazon picks, packs and ships the order.  

FBA Fees = Fulfillment by Amazon Fees

FBA Fulfillment by Amazon Fees are variable fees levied by Amazon for warehousing, picking, packing, and shipping products under the FBA Model. 

FBM = Fulfilled by Merchant

An Amazon 3P/Third-party selling model where sellers manage their own product inventory, picking, packing, shipping as well as customer service or it is managed through a third-party logistics company.  Also known as MFN or Manufacturer Fulfillment Network.

FC = Fulfillment Center

Refers to Amazon’s Fulfillment Centers used to fulfill orders to consumers.  A Fulfillment Center location for FBA sellers is determined by Amazon at the time an order is created in Seller Central or in the case of Wholesale Orders, it is determined by Amazon and identified on the Purchase Order.

FFP Program

Amazon’s packaging program to encourage packaging that delights customers, eliminates waste and ensures product arrive intact and undamaged.  It offers FFP, Frustration-Free Packaging, the highest level of packaging certification by Amazon.  Learn more about Amazon Packaging Certification Requirements

FT = Fast Track

A glance view weighted in stock metric for Amazon.  In order to get a fast track offer, the ASIN must be in stock, win the buy box and be prime eligible. ASINs with Fast Track generally have higher conversion. ​ Number of glance views with a fast track offer/total glance views​.

Fill Rate

Fill rate measures the quantity that was shipped vs identified as being shipped.   Units Received/Units Confirmed​.

1P = 1st Party Seller

Amazon Wholesale or 1P.  Products are sold through the Vendor Central Platform.

Fulfillment Fees

FBA Fulfillment Fees are the fees charged by Amazon to pick and pack products as part of the Fulfillment By Amazon program.  The fees are flat for parcels under a certain size. Over-sized goods are charged a flat fee plus a cost/additional pound. Learn more about Amazon FBA Fulfillment Fees.

G

GV = Glance View

Number of times an ASIN is viewed. This is calculated on a child ASIN level; parent ASINS do not generate glance views. ​

H

Hidden Search Terms

Backend terms searchable by customers.  Open text search terms (limited to 500 characters) that show an ASIN in site search whenever a customer searches for a word in the Search Terms string.

Hybrid Selling

Hybrid Selling is Amazon Terminology for a blended selling model.  A Hybrid Selling Model for brand manufacturers involves selling as a 1P seller through Amazon Vendor Central as well as selling as a 3P/FBA/Marketplace seller.  Learn more about Hybrid Selling on Amazon and Is Hybrid Selling Right for Your Brand.  

I

IPI = Inventory Performance Indicator

An Amazon IPI score combines the past three months of sales, inventory levels, and costs into a single rolling metric. When an IPI gets below a certain threshold, sellers will be subject to storage limits which might hinder their ability to add new inventory or create new items.

ITK = Item Type Keyword

A set of search keywords chosen by a vendor, from a list Amazon maintains, that show an ASIN in search when a customer searches for any word(s) in the ITK string.

Impressions

Impressions refer to the number of times your ad has been displayed. ​ 

L

LBB = Lost Buy Box

The buy box can be lost to another merchant due to various reasons, most commonly where we are not the lowest price, or we are out of stock. Lost buy box directly correlates to lost sales, as there are captive consumers on the detail page ready to convert but are buying from another merchant. ​ Number of glance views where we lost the buy box / total glance views​.

Lightning Deals

Lightning Deals  are promotions in Amazon Terminology lasting up to 6 hours that are available in both Vendor Central and Seller Central.  Lightning Deals will appear in Amazon’s Lightening Deals category providing an opportunity to target deal-targeted shoppers. Program eligibility requires the following: Amazon sales history, a rating of at least 3 stars, prime eligibility, the product must be in new condition.  

M

Merge

After which one ASIN disappears from site. The ASIN that is being merged becomes the same ASIN as the ASIN being merged with. 2 types of merges are possible: 1) Retail-to-retail: Combining a vendor-owned ASIN and all of its data (including reviews) into/with another vendor-owned ASIN, 2) 3P to Retail: Combining a 3P ASIN with a vendor-owned ASIN because the 3P ASIN is not using the correct UPC/GTIN or, is using the UPC/GTIN but the Offer was created with a different ASIN.

MAP Pricing (MAP)

Manufacturer’s Advertised Price.   A brand can require authorized resellers to not sell below MAP.  Oftentimes, products being sold below MAP are secured by unauthorized resellers.  

MFN = Manufacturer Fulfillment Network

An Amazon 3P/Third-party selling model where sellers manage their own product inventory, picking, packing, shipping as well as customer service or it is managed through a third-party logistics company.  Also known as FBM or Fulfillment by Merchant.

N

NIS = New Item Setup

Creation of a new item on Amazon.

NP = New Product

Replenishment term – after the first order has been received, RP code will switch to PR.

NR = Non-Replenishment

Replenishment term – possible for items to be deleted from catalog.

Net PPM = Net Pure Product Margin

A measure in Amazon terminology of Amazon’s profits after selling a product, including vendor funded coop – base, marketing discretionary fund (MDF), damage, freight, promotional funding, price protection, etc. A large gap between PPM and net PPM indicates high coop.​ (Product Revenue – Product COGS + Vendor Funded Coop)/Product Revenue​.

New Product

Replenishment term – after the first order has been received, RP code will switch to PR.

O

OB = Obsolete

This is a Replenishment Term identifying that an item has been discontinued.

OS = Off Season

Replenishment term – item is not currently in season, can be used to temporarily unpublish an item that will be back in stock during a hallmark holiday or specific time of year.

Offer

A quantity of an ASIN (or Amazon SKU) sold at a price.  A 3rd party seller wishes to sell an existing Retail ASIN, and creates an offer using the same ASIN. If the UPC/GTIN doesn’t exist on Amazon, the only offer will be the new 3rd party ASIN. Amazon’s best practice is to ensure all offers of the same unique product use the same ASIN and Product ID (UPC/GTIN). If they aren’t, a merge may be recommended.

Ordered Product Sales

Customer sales, also referred to as ordered revenue​.

Ordered Revenue

Customer sales, also referred to as ordered product sales (OPS), revenue, or product revenue​.  Ordered units * ASP​.

Ordered Units

Total number of units ordered by the customer over selected reporting period​.

P

PDP = Product Detail Page

A Product Detail Page is the listing page where an ASIN is sold on Amazon.com. It is also referred to as a Detail Page and may contain a single ASIN or a parent ASIN with variations (child ASINs). 

PPM = Amazon Pure Profit Margins

A measure of Amazon’s profit margins after selling your product​.  In Amazon terminology, Pure Profit Margin is the same as net profit margin.  (Product Revenue – Product COGS) /Product Revenue​.  Learn more about Amazon Margins.

Page Views

Number of times your ASIN is viewed. This is calculated on a child ASIN level; parent ASINs do not generate glance views. Page view percentage indicates how many page views your SKU/ASIN received relative to total number of page views for all your products. ​Number of page views for an ASIN / total number of page views for all your products​.

PR = Planned Replenishment

Replenishment term – used for items that are automatically reordered.

Prime Day

Prime Day is Amazon terminology for a major shopping day created by Amazon.  It typically occurs in mid-July.  Learn more about Amazon Prime Day.

PVR = Provisions for Receivables

Provision for Receivables are temporary credit memos, i.e. holds, that Amazon places on a Wholesale account related to forecasted payables due to Amazon.

R

ROAS = Return on Ad Spend

ROAS and ACOS are both indicators of the amount spend on PPC ads in relation to the revenue generated from ads. ​ ROAS = Ad sales / Ad spend​.

repOOS = Replenishable Out of Stock

% of glance views going to replenishable, out of stock items.  Number of glance views marked as replenishable but was out of stock/ total glance views.

S

SC = Seller Central

The Amazon platform used for Amazon Marketplace Sellers, often referred to in Amazon terminology as FBA, due to the high percentage of those who leverage Fulfillment by Amazon.

Sell Through %

Percentage of your inventory that you sold through in a specific time period​.  Ordered units / (Units on Hand + Units Received).

Session %

This metric is an indicator of how often customers are viewing your ASIN in their sessions​.  Sessions of one SKU/ASIN with at least one-page view / total number of sessions for all products​.

Sessions

Visits to your PDP within a 24-hour period. A user may view pages multiple times in one visit, resulting in more GVs/Page views than sessions. Storefront or browse node visit is not counted as a session. ​

Shipped COGS

Shipped cost of goods sold​.  It is the retail price on Amazon less direct Amazon Selling fees.

Shortages

Refer to charges by Amazon to Wholesale Accounts whereby inventory received is identified as less than the quantity of the Purchase Order.  The Wholesale Seller must refute these charges by submitting a ticket to the Help Desk and providing a signed Bill of Lading and other proof to get reimbursed for the variance.  Learn More about Amazon terminology related to Shortages

T

3P = Third-Party Sellers or Amazon Marketplace 

Products are sold through the Seller Central Platform.  They can be shipped from Amazon Fulfillment (FBA), Fulfilled by Merchant, or Fulfilled by a 3PL or third-party logistics company.

3PL = Third Party Logistics Company

A third party that assembles, preps and/or ships products on behalf of a seller. 

U

Unit Session %

Number of units purchased relative to number of customers who viewed the product​.  Number of units / number of sessions. ​

UPC = Universal Product Code

A machine-readable code to identify a specific product.  It consists of 12 numeric digits that are uniquely assigned to a product.

V

VC = Vendor Central

Vendor Central is the platform used for an invitation-only program where Amazon cuts purchase orders and sends them to the Merchant.  Merchants will work with an agency or manage their own Vendor Central Account as part of their relationship with Amazon. Also referred to in Amazon terminology as 1P or Wholesale.

VLT = Vendor Lead Time

The amount of time it takes for a vendor order to be picked, packed and received by Amazon.

Weeks of Supply (WOS).

Variations

Listing 2 or more ASINs on the same detail page that share at least 1 common attribute like size, color, flavor for ease of finding similar products. Each variation consists of a parent ASIN with 1 or more “child ASINs” that have been variated under the parent (on the same detail page).  Variations or variated ASINS share reviews across all listings on the detail page. 

Vendor Code

An Amazon-created code (e.g. EMCW9) used to identify a unique vendor of an ASIN or group of brands. Any ASINs created in an account containing a Vendor Code will automatically be linked and have their Brand Code linked to that Vendor Code.

VM = Vendor Manager

The Vendor Manager is the owner of a category or categories at Amazon for Wholesale programs.  They are responsible for managing full category scope, including P&L performance and end-to-end vendor management, which requires development of new strategic vendor relationships, driving negotiations, managing growth levers and ensuring paramount operational and logistical performance.  Learn More about the role of Vendor Managers.

VPC = Vendor Powered Coupons

Amazon Coupons are available to both Amazon Vendors and Sellers.  The offers appear on the Product Detail Page in the form of a digital coupon.  Offers include percentage off, dollars off, BOGOs, Free Shipping, Social Media promo codes, or Giveaways.  For Marketplace Sellers, the account must be a Professional Seller Account, it must be in good standing, and it must have at least a 3.5 Seller Feedback Rating.   Discounts are funded by Vendor/Seller.

W

WOS = Weeks of Supply

The number of weeks of supply to determine cover.  For Wholesale Merchants, the Amazon Replenishment Team will determine weeks of supply.  For Marketplace Sellers, they are responsible for managing their own inventory. Inventory Available plus Inbound/Average Units Sold per Week.