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Amazon Sellers Must Shorten Titles or Not Be Seen

Amazon sellers are facing a Shakespearian dilemma – have their listings be seen, or not be seen. The marketplace is requiring sellers to keep titles from running on in excess of 200 characters. In enforcing the policy, it will treat current listings differently than those created after July 15th.

Amazon considers titles to be reserved for the product name, and explained they should be no longer than 200 characters – though some sellers say even that is too long and risk suppression. Amazon sent an email to sellers informing them of the new policy enforcement last week.

To improve the customer experience, all listings sellers create after July 15, 2015 with a title length more than 200 characters will be suppressed from search and browse. Existing listings with a title length more than 200 characters will not be suppressed, but the titles may be shortened by Amazon to meet this criteria.

Which is worse in the eyes of sellers: having Amazon shorten the title or hide the listing? Clearly neither option is desirable, and sellers will want to pay attention to this change.

Amazon provided instructions on how to fix and unsuppress listings created after July 15, 2015 that have titles with more than 200 characters:

1) Log into Seller Central and click on Manage Inventory under Inventory

2) Click on Suppressed ASINs, then filter according to title

3) Shorten the ASIN title to less than 200 characters and save changes

Or:

1) Log into Seller Central and click on Inventory Reports under Manage Inventory

2) Download the Listing Quality and Suppressed Listing Report, and filter the listings according to Product Name

3) Re-submit the ASINs with a product name length of less than 200 characters through an inventory template.

Amazon was clear in its communication with sellers: “Customers will not be able to find your listings created after July 15 until you have shortened their title to less than 200 characters.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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.