Don’t Neglect these New Amazon Listing Requirements

July 31, 2013

Marketplaces Gina DeFrank By Gina DeFrank

Amazon-logoWhile
robust data has always been a key requirement for listing on Amazon, a
trend we’ve seen in 2013 is a renewed energy in communicating and
enforcing these data requirements.  We’ve seen new launches on Amazon
get held up due to data issues; and for existing sellers, we’ve seen
Amazon use the Suspended Listing
state as the penalty for not complying with its requirements.  This
blog will cover the who, what, when, where and why for Amazon’s new
requirements so that you will be best prepared and know what you need to
do to make sure your listings are up to par.

Why the New Requirements?

Amazon
is consistent in its message that good data improves the customer
buying experience and makes it easier for customers to find, evaluate
and purchase products. Amazon realises that customers are more confident
in purchasing when they can see a clear product image with a title that
accurately reflects the offer.

 

Additionally,
buyers are shopping differently. To address the mobile shopping trends,
Amazon specifically points out that these shoppers have an improved
experience when the product title is less than 80 characters.

 

While
we can’t say precisely how strict Amazon will be enforcing these new
data requirements, we can predict that we will only see more of them,
not less, in the months and years to come. Amazon clearly hopes to
differentiate its marketplace and sellers by providing the best possible
customer experience, and good data is the foundation for meeting this
goal.

 

Which Data Requirements Impact You?

In
this blog post, we wanted to provide you with a round-up of the most
recent communications and some tips for providing this data. The
following categories and locales are addressed:

  1. US Clothing Sellers

  2. US Costume Sellers

  3. UK and EU Clothing & Accessories Sellers

  4. All Categories – Images, Item Type Keyword and Bullet Points

  5. Product Titles for Clothing – Length and Format Requirements

  6. How can ChannelAdvisor Help You?

1. US Clothing Sellers

 

When creating new listings, parent listings must have the following:

  • Title length < 80 characters

 

And child listings must have the following:

  • Brand

  • Description

  • Product ID or UPC

  • Size

  • colour

  • Department Name

 

Beginning Thursday, July 25th, 2013,
Amazon will suppress from search and browse any listings not meeting
its standards. The list of brands that require UPCs in Clothing &
Accessories may be downloaded from the Clothing, Accessories & Luggage UPC Exemption page in Seller Central.

 

2. US Costume Sellers (listing in Clothing & Accessories)

 

Parent listings must have the following:

  • Title length < 80 characters

 

Child listings must have the following:

  • Size

  • colour

  • Department Name

 

Beginning Wednesday, August 28th, 2013, Amazon will suppress from search and browse any listings not meeting its standards.

Amazon Costume Store

3. UK, France and German Clothing & Accessories Sellers

Amazon
recently announced a refresh of the Clothing & Accessories category
on Amazon.fr, Amazon.de and Amazon.co.uk. The refresh was made to
improve the way buyers can search and browse for products on Amazon.
Ultimately, this change will improve the shopping experience and make it
easier for buyers to locate and purchase your products.

 

The full list of changes can be seen on the Categorization Changes for EU Apparel
page.  These include the use of two new fields: “Collection Name” and
“Style Name,” as well as an updated Browse Node structure. Browse Nodes
are used on Amazon in the UK and EU to allow you to classify your
product so that a Buyer can easily locate your product while browsing
for a specific product (e.g. boy polo shirt, womens suit jackets and
blazers) on Amazon.

 

The new fields and browse nodes  have been available in France as of June 11th, 2013. They were launched on June 25th, 2013 for the UK and July 16th, 2013 for Germany.

 

4. US, UK and EU Sellers in All Categories

 

Listings in all (non-media and auto) categories must have the following:

  • A main image present on both parent and child records that meets the Amazon requirements

 

As of June 27, 2013 in the US and beginning July 31, 2013 for EU Sellers,
Amazon will suppress from search and browse any listings not meeting
its standards. For more information, please read our previous post – Why You Need to Upgrade your Images NOW.

 

Additionally, we’ve started to see new warnings for listings that do not have the following:

  • Bullet Points

  • Item Type Keywords (US) / Browse Node ID (non US)

Billabong
5. Product Titles for Clothing – Length and Format Requirements

Amazon MobileThe
Amazon Clothing category is continually looking for ways to improve the
overall customer shopping experience. Based on its research for mobile
and desktop users, Amazon has changed the maximum Parent ASIN Title
length from 150 characters to 80 characters (including spaces) to
provide the optimal customer experience. When updating or creating new
titles, please follow these guidelines:

  • Format of Titles for Parent ASINs of Variation Products: [Brand] + [department/(and Special Size, if applicable)] + [product name]

  • Format of Titles for Stand Alone or Child Products: [Brand] + [department/(and Special Size, if applicable)] + [product name] + [size] + [colour]

6. How can ChannelAdvisor Help You?

The
ChannelAdvisor platform provides the following features that may help
you source data or optimise the data you have to meet Amazon’s
standards.

 

  • Amazon Product Retrieval – This
    tool is designed to retrieve product data from Amazon given a list of
    UPCs, ASINs, or EANs. This can help supplement your product data to make
    it easier to match your products to Amazon’s existing catalogueueue, or used
    for your own analysis purposes. The data returned by the tool will vary
    and will be determined by the product’s category and available
    information. Typical data includes Manufacturer, Features,  Brand,
    Title, as well as child items, colour, size, MPN, etc.; however, it will
    NOT return a UPC or EAN value. For more information, see Amazon Product Retrieval.

  • Product categoriser – Classifying your products with the correct Item Type Keyword (for US Amazon Marketplaces) or Browse Node ID (for European Amazon Marketplaces) can be a time-consuming task. ChannelAdvisor’s feature, the Product categoriser,
    helps you identify and associate your products with Amazon’s specific
    list of browsable classification values. The feature scans your
    inventory and submits the information to Amazon, which then returns a
    suggested value for the classification fields. Additionally, instead of
    using the Product categoriser, you may choose to create a Look Up List with the new Amazon Browse Node IDs to properly classify your products.

  • Business Rules
    – Business Rules are customised text functions or expressions that
    allow you to manipulate and transform inventory data to meet your
    specific needs. For example, a Business Rule could assist you in
    creating the 80-character product title in the specific format that
    Amazon now prefers. As described above in section 5, you may want to
    concatenate several of your inventory fields to create a tile in the
    format [Brand] + [department] + [product name] + [size] + [colour] . For more information, please see Using Business Rules.

While
Amazon’s new data requirements may entail some upfront work to ensure
that your data complies, the results are an improved shopping experience
for the consumer and improved product visibility for the retailer.
This means that shoppers who are actually looking for your products are
more likely to find them, which makes it all worthwhile.

Blog post by Gina DeFrank, ChannelAdvisor Product Manager

 

Us-ebook-amazon-sales-flatlined-cover
For more tips on Amazon, check out our eBook: How to Revive Your Amazon Sales: 9 Quick Tips to help you reinvigorate your Amazon Sales.