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Amazon Touts Seller Services in New Release

Amazon issued a press release on Tuesday touting new services it introduced for sellers in the last year. It started off by citing some impressive numbers about the contribution sellers made to sales on Amazon, opening with the revelation that “over 23 million items were ordered worldwide from sellers on Amazon on Cyber Monday, a more than 40 percent increase year-over-year.”

The vice president of Amazon Marketplace Peter Faricy was quoted in the release stating, “It’s never been easier for sellers, local merchants and artisans to grow their businesses on Amazon. With targeted advertising tools like Sponsored Products, access to Amazon’s fulfillment and customer service expertise through FBA, and new marketplaces like Handmade at Amazon and Amazon Home Services, businesses of all sizes can easily reach millions of customers around the world. 2015 was a big year for sellers on Amazon. In fact, sellers added more new selection and shipped more items than in any previous year. We’re excited to build on that momentum as we continue to innovate on behalf of sellers and customers.”

One of the programs highlighted in the release was Amazon’s advertising program called Sponsored Products. “In 2015, sellers worldwide using Sponsored Products grew more than 100 percent,” Amazon revealed, and said, “sellers worldwide garnered more than $1.5 billion in sales through Sponsored Products listings.”

Amazon said it improved Sponsored Products by adding new placements including the first row of Search, Mobile Shopping App, and a second Product Detail Page carousel; and by introducing new tools including Bid+, an API, and Bulk Sheet uploads.

It also revealed that Sponsored Products clicks grew 200 percent year-over-year during the holiday season in the US.

What it didn’t remind readers was that Amazon had shuttered a highly popular ad program in August called Product Ads.

For that matter, Amazon didn’t mention that it also ended Amazon Register, its payments card reader, and Amazon Local daily deals. As we noted at the time, the message Amazon was sending to online merchants was, list on our platform if you want to reach our buyers.

Amazon also touted its new program called Seller Fulfilled Prime, writing, “Amazon introduced Seller Fulfilled Prime in the U.S. and select international regions. Trusted sellers who fulfill their own products and guarantee fast, free shipping can now have their items badged and visible to customers as Prime-eligible. Participating sellers have already made Prime shipping benefits available on 500,000 products worldwide.”

When we last wrote about the program in November, an Amazon spokesperson had told us it was in the very early stages, and Amazon was selectively testing the experience. We got an update yesterday.

A spokesperson confirmed that Seller Fulfilled Prime was now out of Beta, “but we’re not sharing specific data around the program at this point.” He did confirm, however that Seller Fulfilled Prime is only for select sellers.

While it might be tempting for sellers to join, the program is not for everyone, according to ShipRush which supports the program – you can find more information in this November Newsflash article.

Other significant offerings Amazon added for sellers last year were new marketplaces, including Handmade at Amazon; Amazon Home Services; Amazon Business; and Amazon Exclusives.

Amazon provided details about its FBA program – we’ve got more about that on the AuctionBytes Blog, and you can find Amazon’s full press release on the Amazon website.

Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.

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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. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.