We’ve almost made it to the end of the year and for many Amazon sellers the next month will be the busiest. Christmas is on the horizon, so whilst you’re busy fulfilling orders, grab yourself a cup of tea and take a moment to catch up on all the latest Amazon updates that are relevant to you.
1. UK Visa Credit Cards no longer accepted
*Update Feb 22* They’ve changed their minds…
Certainly the biggest announcement this month, causing quite a stir, was that from the 19th January 2022, Amazon will no longer be accepting UK Visa credit cards as a form of payment. A controversial decision no doubt – head over to our blog to find out more about this recent bombshell and the reasoning behind the decision.
2. Relief for users of FBA Small and Light
Finally some good news for businesses of the FBA Small and Light programme! Amazon have made two changes that make it easier for products to qualify.
- They no longer require a minimum sales velocity for ASINs.
- They no longer require a minimum number of units per ASIN for each shipment to fulfilment centres.
Business owners are delighted to say the least – have Amazon really been listening to their feedback? Now if they could just remove the £9 limit on products, we think they’d have quite a surge in uptake in the programme.
3. Sponsored ads at Christmas
Not so much an update but Amazon did release a lovely little Holiday Readiness Guide that’s worth a peruse. Although it’s definitely aimed at and attempting to encourage people to become FBA, actually there are some quite useful tips and reminders in there to get the most out of your listings and sponsored ads.
If you’re thinking about budgeting for a sponsored advert this month, definitely use a mixture of keyword match types when setting up your campaign. Amazon have the following to choose from, but it’s definitely worth using them all to maximise your visibility.
For manual selection campaigns:
- Broad match (general match using related terms and variations of them)
- Phrase match (an exact phrase or sequence of words)
- Exact Match (the search term must exactly match)
For automatic selection campaigns:
- Close match (searches closely related to the product)
- Loose match (search terms loosely related to products)
- Substitutes (shows ads on similar product pages)
- Complements (shows ads on complementary product pages)
Amazon also has a negative keywords option. Our guess is quite often it’s left blank, but it’s something you can use to your advantage to refine your strategy and make sure your advert isn’t being pushed to the wrong people. For example, if you sell eyeglasses, your negative keyword could be wine. That way, anyone searching for wine glasses won’t be shown your advert.
Other useful tips mentioned in the Holiday Readiness Guide include more on vouchers, promotions and of course Prime deals to capitalise on the holiday season. There are also reminders on optimising your listing – definitely worth a browse if you have a moment.
One thing though – don’t forget to check if any of your listings are being supressed so you’ve got time to remedy any before the Christmas surge. Definitely keep checking each week just in case any have slipped through the net.
4. Amazon-Funded Apprenticeships
Amazon have decided to transfer its Apprenticeship Levy funding from the government to eligible selling partners. That means they will cover the full cost of training an apprentice up to degree level within your business – now that is something we can get on board with!
There is some minimum eligibility criteria, but nothing completely unexpected:
- Must have a registered business address in England
- You must have a Seller Central account balance greater than £0
- Have to achieve greater than £1000 trailing 12 month sales on Amazon stores in Europe
- Your Seller account must not be suspended or at risk of suspension
- You must be able to pay your apprentice a legal wage for the duration of their apprenticeship
- The apprentice must be 16 years or older
- They must have a Manager who can track their progress
- The apprentice must have a Line Manager who can track their progress and generally meet the Government transfer rules.
To find out more about the scheme, the process involved and the benefits it could bring to your business, as well as how to apply, visit the Amazon Funded Apprenticeships page.
Hopefully there won’t be too many surprises during December as we manage the Christmas rush, but if anything comes up we’ll be sure to post about it on our blog.