Three Amazon news items during the week of January 15, 2017 concerned Amazon pricing, questions over the value of Amazon Prime for members, and contrasting articles on whether seller use of Enhanced Brand Content results in conversions to sales.
Amazon News Item 1: Are Alternative Shopping Sites a Smart Option to Amazon Prime If You Don't Need an Item in 2 Days?
An independent blog article (news item link below) from December called into question the key benefits of Amazon Prime. The Amazon news item suggests that the free shipping offered may not be so free, and that there are better cost saving options for online shoppers who don't need an item delivered in 2 days.
Our panel's thoughts on this covered these points:
- What is your time worth? Traveling to shop takes time, expense and effort.
- Ancillary benefits of Prime should be considered in the mix, such as access to movies, music, TV shows, etc.
- There are less expensive options, but convenience features are many, and being enhanced regularly.
- Convenience benefits beyond domestic shopping and shipping for those people who buy from an Amazon location in one country and ship the purchased item to another.
- As the leading Amazon retailer, the consumer trust factor in Amazon is real and warranted.
Amazon News Item 2: Is Amazon Prime Worth $99/Year?
An Amazon news article posted to the Motley Fool investor web site raises the question of the value of the Amazon Prime membership price point. With the core benefit offered for membership being the free 2 day shipping, is it worth it?
Our panel's thoughts on this Amazon news item covered these points:
- Yes, if you are efficient with your time and know when to replenish items your purchase regularly such as pantry goods, computer ink, toothpaste, etc. The Dash reordering program offered through Prime is very convenient.
- Convenience again a big factor.
- It's free 2 day shipping, and in some cases, the shipping takes just one day. For an extra fee, same day shipping is offered by Amazon in some markets, sometimes via drones or via an Uber-style delivery network.
- Amazon is adding value to prime regularly such as with the offering of Amazon Fresh in certain markets, which are brick and mortar stores owned by Amazon that likely will offer benefits to prime members.
- Amazon is always sweetening the deal in terms of what you can get with your prime membership. Quality video content is a key driver of Amazon Prime. Amazon original TV programming was a winner at the recent Golden Globe Awards, and Amazon is delving into Hollywood by buying up movie titles with hopes of making a showing at the Oscars as well. Increasingly competing with Netflix.
- Students (anyone with an active "edu" email address) can subscribe to Prime at half price.
- Amazon is applying to federal agencies such as the FAA and the FCC for licenses related to their growing drone delivery network and related to drone air traffic landing rights and drone communications systems and frequencies, etc. Innovations such as this are telling in regard to the room Amazon still has to grow in. They are creating their own space and growing it.
- Local businesses fearing that Amazon is disrupting local business might want to consider the new way business is getting done and get on board with an Amazon seller account and some resources dedicated to shipping via the Amazon selling platforms.
Amazon News Item #3: Is Amazon's Enhanced Brand Content Converting Browsers Into Buyers?
One recent Amazon news article says that most experts say the jury is still out on conversion rates and there is speculation that this is due to EBC not being indexed. But wait… a dissenting Amazon news article says even a 1% improvement in conversion rate can really add up if you extrapolate that amount across the entire year, and that it did a study that PROVES it DOES convert to sales... so which is it?
Our panel's thoughts on these conflicting Amazon news items covered these points...
- EBC just launched for the Seller Central platform in July (a similar program previously had been offered only to Vendor Central sellers, called "A+ Content") and is extremely exciting for those selling on Amazon's Seller Central platform.
- On a gut level, providing as much of a feel for the product as possible would seem only to benefit your seller presence and the odds of conversion to sales.
- On the downside, unlike A+ brand content, EBC effectively replaces ("suppresses") your current plain text product description which allows you the benefit of using keywords effectively for shoppers that are searching fro products like yours on the Amazon site. But EBC is NOT indexed, so while it enables more descriptive content, none of that content is indexed for searches, and will impact your rankings in searches.
- Amazon is soon to enable video on EBC which should further enhance the shopper's feel for the product.
- A+ Content has never shown on mobile device displays (you currently see only text) anyway and a lot of shopping is done on mobile devices now. Will it be the same for EBC?
Links to articles mentioned in this blog post:
- Is Amazon Prime Worth $99 a Year?
- Is Amazon Shorting Us With Their Enhanced Brand Content?
- Enhanced Brand Content Improves Conversion Rate for Polaris Optics
We at Awesome Dynamic hope this webinar provided you with insights and maybe even generated more questions. If we can provide some answers, please give us a call at 800-238-1811.