EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3053 - April 29, 2013     1 of 5

Amazon Introduces Amazon Marketplace Virtual Account Manager

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Amazon sellers began receiving emails from the company on Friday telling them about a new program called the Virtual Account Manager that offers personalized coaching. In its letter, Amazon wrote that sellers benefit from a direct relationship with the Amazon Services team, "connecting you with the right business development opportunities and suggested improvements to increase your selling potential."

Amazon is offering recipients of the email a "blend of personalized activities and opportunities that match the unique characteristics of your business. You will be connected with business development and growth opportunities, best practices, and simple actions you can implement to fine-tune your Amazon Marketplace business."

It isn't clear if the Virtual Account Manager (VAM) program matches sellers to actual Amazon employees or if it is some sort of an automated program. We're waiting to hear back from Amazon.

In March, a seller reported having received an email about the Amazon Marketplace VAM program that was identical to the one sent to other sellers on Friday. A few days after receiving the initial email last month, he wrote that the program was a "selling coach type of thing," having received an email that advised him about listings that had some quality issues:

Product title, images, brand, description, and bullet points are core elements of a quality detail page. Quality alerts are generated when your listings are missing one or more of these important core elements.

As of 03/16/2013, the number of your active listings with quality alerts is 113.

Discover best practices that can improve the quality of your detail pages, and learn more about how to find and fix listings with quality alerts by watching this short video tutorial.

You can also download a report detailing your listing quality to fix the alerts.

On Friday he followed up, writing, "They only ever sent one follow up and I believe they wanted me to fix my listings.....something I had tried to do in the past...but it didn't do any good the first time....so I never bothered to do it again. I thought maybe Amazon just dropped the program....as I never received another VAM email," he wrote.

In response to his post, another seller wrote, "I've received the Vam email as well today, looks like a whole bunch of nothing interesting. I mean really do we need more metrics and more information that there are things wrong with listings. We know there are problems with listings, but Amazon refuses to fix its own catalog. Seems to me Amazon likes to create jobs that are not needed. How about hire some more people to fix your catalog and prevent people from making duplicate listings of just about everything. How about have someone to talk to that can actually fix your problem instead of copying and pasting the same email over and over."

In its letter, Amazon told sellers VAM would connect them with information that includes a specific call to action, monitors their progress, and follows up to evaluate. "Within six weeks of the first communication VAM will send a final email to review your results."

Another seller wrote, "Got the email...looks like yet another report card to obsess over."

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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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