EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 347 - November 17, 2013 - ISSN 1528-6703     2 of 6

Amazon VP Excited about Opening Holiday Deals to 3P Sellers

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Would you like to showcase your products on Amazon's holiday promotion shopping pages? For the first time, Amazon is opening its holiday deals promotions to third-party merchants. In an interview with EcommerceBytes, Amazon Marketplace Vice President Peter Faricy explains the program and provides a special email address for readers who would like to contact Amazon directly about participating in the program.

EcommerceBytes: There's a new program that lets third-party sellers participate in Amazon's holiday deals promotions. What exactly does that encompass?

Peter Faricy: We're very excited about the program. If I had to go through feedback we get from sellers, at the top of the list would be their desire to be able to promote their products on Amazon, and in particular promote products where they have great deals. And then of course you combine that with the holiday season where customers are also in particular looking for great deals - and we think it's going to be something that's got a great chance to be very successful.

So, what that involves is, we've invited thousands of our sellers to participate in the program. They'll be invited to participate in many of the different deals we have, including the popular Today's Deal page. A lot of sellers are in particular focused on Gold Box, Today's Deal page, promotions during Black Friday, during Cyber Monday, and promotions all throughout the holiday season. We're very, very excited to open this up for sellers.

EcommerceBytes: Does it include email marketing promotions that go out to Amazon customers?

Peter Faricy: Yes. Seller offers that are included in the holiday deal promotions are going to be included in the email marketing campaigns we do, and other merchandising activities, alongside all the other promotions we have across Amazon.

EcommerceBytes: Why is Amazon opening up the program to third-party sellers? This is the first year you're doing that, correct?

Peter Faricy: This is the first year we are doing it. We've done some tests before with individual sellers on things like Gold Box and Lightning Deals. But this is the first year we've opened it up to thousands of sellers. And really, it's because we think it's great for sellers to help grow their business. Everything we do at Amazon, as you know, starts with the customer and works backwards, and so we really also want customers to get access to great deals as well.

EcommerceBytes: How do sellers go about participating in the program?

Peter Faricy: We invite sellers to participate in the program, or for sellers who already have an account manager, they can also contact their account manager to participate as well.

EcommerceBytes: So what is involved in getting an account manager? What kinds of sellers have an account manager?

Peter Faricy: We really don't talk about the criteria of that publicly, but for the sellers who have very large and very complex businesses within Amazon, we try to provide some additional support to make it easier for them to run their business at scale here and across many other marketplaces they're selling in across the world.

EcommerceBytes: Do sellers who use FBA have a greater chance of being invited to participate?

Peter Faricy: We love sellers to use FBA, but we think of their participation in FBA independent of whether or not there is additional support that we provide them.

EcommerceBytes: OK. I'm curious if you can talk about what kinds of discounts and quantity are needed to qualify for some of these deals program.

Peter Faricy: I can't talk about that publicly but I would say we're looking for sellers to provide deals on products that are very well regarded by customers. A lot of the deals - I think you'll see in the fourth quarter, if you took at look at the customer rating of those products, these are very highly rated products.

We're also looking for sellers obviously who are very highly regarded by customers.

Then I think most of all, customers are looking for a great deal. For sellers who are highly rated, have products that are well regarded and have great deals, I think it's kind of the perfect promotion for them.

Contacting Amazon to Participate in the Holiday Deals Promotions
After the interview, Amazon provided EcommerceBytes with an email address that merchants could use to contact the marketplace to submit their deals for consideration. Amazon spokesperson Erik Fairleigh said readers could contact 2013-holiday-deal@amazon.com to learn details about the holiday deals promotion program and said Amazon has a seller support team to respond to contacts.

Look for Part Two of our interview with Amazon Marketplace Vice President Peter Faricy where he discusses collectibles, clothing and other popular categories and answers questions about vintage clothing and handmade goods. Part Three of the interview will appear in this week's Newsflash newsletter and will cover Amazon's advertising and online payment solutions for merchants and Amazon's outlook for holiday sales.


About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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