Originally published on May 18, 2018, updated June 17, 2020
Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) is more than a buzzword for Amazon sellers. In this webinar hosted by CPC Strategy, eComEngine Director of Marketing Paul Rice and CPC Strategy Client Services Manager AJ Swamy discuss ways to manage your brand’s reputation and make the most of Amazon EBC with real world examples. You’ll discover:
Update: In September 2019, Enhanced Brand Content and A+ Content were combined into a single program that is now called A+ Content. The strategies in this webinar still apply.
You can watch the webinar above or check out the show notes below for the recap and a full transcript.
When it comes to being a successful seller, reputation is everything. Even if you know this, you may be unaware of how to build your brand and establish trust on the Amazon marketplace. Fortunately, you have some great options.
Have you ever thought about how people find your business? Approximately 85% of consumers start their product search on Amazon or a traditional search engine such as Google or Bing. Chances are, you’ve gone through the same process when you were shopping for a specific item or service for yourself.
How your listing appears, including any reviews, will therefore make a huge impact on whether someone moves forward with making a purchase. Fortunately, search engines have started allowing brands to have more control over content relating to their brand.
Rice recommends signing up for Google’s Brand Account program which allows users to be notified and reply to reviews consumers leave on Google. “The important takeaway here is that this page is often the consumer’s first impression of your brand,” said Rice. “As the saying goes, ‘you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.’”
In 2017, Amazon overhauled its existing brand registry program giving sellers many tools including brand gating (which restricts accounts from selling your brand without approval) and access to Headline Search ads, Amazon Stores and Amazon EBC.
Additionally, merchants registered in this newest version of Brand Registry will have help with protecting their registered trademarks as well as an expedited ticketing support system. Further, the ability to enhance product detail pages can improve customer education about your product (which can reduce returns and complaints), develop brand equity, and potentially increase sales.
Best of all, your page(s) will be visually appealing. Amazon EBC improves the design and customer experience by offering, among other features, five pre-built templates, a custom template, and mobile-friendly options. As Swamy explained, it’s important to understand how the template you’ve chosen looks on mobile for any pages or listings. People shop from their devices more than ever but they probably won’t buy something that they can’t see!
If you receive a negative review, be prepared to respond, but use caution.
“It’s easy to get emotional and want to write a quick response to defend your brand,” Rice said. “Instead, take a few minutes, take a deep breath, take a walk around the block, re-read the negative review, maybe ask a teammate to read it as well. Then strategically craft a response that shows you are listening to consumers and you want to make the situation right. We see all the time where a brand just makes it worse by responding in a bad way to a negative review.”
Also, if a customer is unhappy with their experience, try to find the silver lining in the situation. According to Rice, “sometimes negative reviews are the best customer feedback we could ask for.” This valuable insight can make you aware of opportunities to improve your products or services and might even help you identify if something you are selling is too risky.
While this overview touched on some key points, the webinar goes into much greater detail on these topics, and so much more. It’s definitely worth a listen, but make sure you have a pen handy to take notes!
In addition to signing up for Amazon’s Brand Registry program, another great way to take control over your brand is to use a tool such as FeedbackFive to keep track of what is being said about your products on Amazon. This gives you the power to address any issues as they arise in order to proactively protect your reputation.
Anson: Hello again, everyone and welcome to another CPC Strategy hosted webinar. Today, we're talking about branding on Amazon, really leveraging Amazon's Enhanced Brand Content or EBC for short, to improve conversion rate and drive sales volume. Again, there's going to be two distinct sections really to this presentation, and it's the branding on Amazon aspect and how we really see the importance of branding on Amazon and what that can really do for you and your business and then focusing really on Enhanced Brand Content and how this plays a role in your overall Amazon branding strategy and how you can actually walk away with actionable insights and say, "This is something that we need to implement and really incorporate into our strategy."
Anson: With us today, we have CPC Strategy, of course, and we have eComEngine are really partnering up to talk about both branding on Amazon and utilizing Enhanced Brand Content as a part of your Amazon strategy. Although I am, of course, really excited to be presenting this to you all here today with eComEngine, I just wanted to go over a few logistics, some questions that we typically get and really make sure that you're maximizing the time that you're spending with us, whether that's the resources that we have available or participating in the poll question, submitting questions to our panelists, everything we'll go over in the next minute or so here.
Anson: The most popular question that we get is about the session recording and the slides. If you do need to leave a few minutes early, don't worry, we do send the recording and the slides to your email within 48 hours to the email that you registered with, so just keep your eyes peeled for that. As well like I said, we'd love to get your input and have you be a part of the conversation that we have here. We have poll questions that we'll be launching really in a little bit here to really see who is and what your experience level is like with Amazon and just the creative aspect of Amazon, as well as if you have any particular questions that you want to ask our panelists, whether it's about branding on Amazon or off Amazon, which Paul will mention or if it's about Enhanced Brand Content in particular, submit it through the question chat box functionality.
Anson: Really, this gives us an understanding of what those major pain points are for you and it allows us to address those directly so that you are getting the most out of your time here. We know that an hour spent in your day is not something that we take lightly so we want to make sure that if you have particular questions, we're able to address those head on and make sure that when you walk away from this webinar, that it was well worth your time. Again, can't stress this enough, submit questions to our panelists. Also, wanted to talk a little bit about CPC Strategy and eComEngine before we do get started. We were founded in 2007 and we are a Google premier partner, as well as having over 500 plus I think now, active retail clients whether that's on the Google site or the Amazon site.
Anson: Obviously, a few of our solutions spanning PPC and Shopping, Amazon Sales Acceleration, Facebook Performance Marketing, as well as Creative Services, which we'll be talking a little bit more in depth today. You'll see the series of products, the Nescafe's of the world, just really a diverse portfolio of clients that we've been able to deliver lasting results for. That's really who CPC Strategy is. Paul, I did want to turn it over to you a little bit. Why don't you tell us a little bit about eComEngine?
Paul: Thank you, Anson. Hello everyone. eComEngine was founded in 2007. We were founded and we are headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. We have customers in over 120 countries and we provide software solutions for Amazon sellers, to help them with management of FBA inventory and supply chain management, feedback and review management, as well as Amazon marketplace intelligence and we're happy to be here with CPC Strategies.
Anson: All righty, happy to have you here with us as well. We've done webinars with eComEngine in the past. Great partners and definitely know your stuff and knowledgeable about the Amazon space. So, glad to have you here with us, Paul, and also really wanted to introduce our internal speaker, AJ. AJ Swamy, the Client Services Manager over at CPC Strategy. It's actually his first webinar. Welcome to the webinar world AJ and again, Paul, as well from eComEngine, Director of Marketing. AJ, I wanted to give you a little bit of an opportunity to introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about your experience here at CPC.
AJ: Thanks, Anson. Again, my name is AJ Swamy. It's my first webinar so be easy on me. I'm the Client Services Manager here at CPC Strategy and I work to empower brands to communicate their branding on Amazon. Really excited to go over that with you guys today.
Anson: Right and definitely no one better to speak towards Enhanced Brand Content and on the CPC side than AJ. I also wanted to give Paul, I know you just introduced yourself a little bit, tell us a little bit about who you are as a Director of Marketing.
Paul: Thanks Anson. Again, my name is Paul and I've been Director of Marketing at eComEngine for six months now. I still feel like it's a new role and in my past, I've worked in some large and small organizations. I've been an Amazon seller as well and happy to be here with AJ.
Anson: All right, great to hear. Like I said, we have the agenda propped up right here in the back, but also wanted to take this time to launch a poll question. Really, it's just about how are you investing currently in Amazon? Are you using EBC and A+ Content or are you using Amazon Stores? Maybe you're doing all of the above. Maybe you're using one or the other. Maybe you don't have anything yet, but you're planning on it or it's just, maybe you aren't currently invested in and don't really plan on either.
Anson: Again, what this allows us to do is, it allows us to tailor the content. Maybe we do see that the majority of our audience members here don't yet have anything on Amazon in terms of creative services, so really tailoring our content today to focus a little bit more on that and so we do have a lot of people currently answering. I'll let it go on for a little bit longer. AJ and Paul, I'm a little bit curious, AJ, what do you think the numbers are in terms of people really being invested in Amazon currently?
AJ: I'd say that from what I've seen, a lot of people are interested and curious about the different tools that Amazon offers like Enhanced Brand Content, but maybe not a lot of people know how to fully utilize these functionalities. I don't know. Paul, what do you think?
Paul: I'm hoping a lot of people answer yes but I'm thinking most people are going to say partially.
Anson: Nice. All right. Really interesting, actually. I'm going to go ahead and share the results. Paul, AJ, you can't see it, but it's really split 30, 30, 30 from people that are incorporating both EBC and Amazon Stores, maybe one or the other with EBC and Amazon Stores or just haven't gotten to it yet. An interesting group of people that we have attending here, that we have a little bit of each. Again, that's who and the experience level of the people that are attending. Hopefully, that helps in giving us a little perspective of how we should formulate this agenda moving forward.
Anson: At least for us, this is what we're planning on talking about, where we're really looking to address, I know Paul's going to go into the importance of managing your brand reputation, both on and off Amazon and that's so important. Then afterwards, we'll be talking a little bit about the introduction to Enhanced Brand Content and then also, the why behind why you should be investing in Enhanced Brand Content and what you can look to get out of it. Then lastly, Paul's going to round it out and talk about analyzing product review data, which I think is really interesting, as a way to protect and build your brand presence on Amazon. Again, all about branding on Amazon, as well as not just branding, but how you can actually use specific things that Amazon provides for you. Paul, I'm going to turn it over to you. Why don't you take it away with this first section here?
Paul: Thanks Anson and hello again, everyone. I wanted to start the webinar content today, going over the importance of managing your brand on and off Amazon. The graph here from Survata shows where consumers begin their product search, and it tells us, 85% of consumers started their product search on Amazon or a traditional search engine, such as Google or Bing. Brand owners usually have full control over their image and message on their own website, but only 15% of consumers are starting there.
Paul: You need to know what consumers are seeing about your brand on Amazon and in search and how you can control it because obviously you want your brand to look good everywhere. The good news is that managing your brand on Amazon and in search has become more structured. This is great for brands and also consumers, as the information they find will be more accurate. Brands are gaining more visibility and control over how they and their products appear in search. Search engines always want a great user experience. They want clean correct data and the engines have been increasingly allowing brands to manage content.
Paul: For many years, Google has allowed companies to create brand accounts. If you don't have a brand account at Google, please sign up for one soon, maybe today. Doing so allows you to be notified and reply to any business reviews that consumers leave on Google. Also, you'll have access to edit the data and images found in the knowledge graph or the knowledge panel on the right side of a search results page. I've seen lots of examples before a brand signed up for a brand account where the images on the right side in the knowledge panel were from consumers showing broken products or damaged products or things that were wrong with the brand. It's very important that you have a brand account and you gain control of the images in the content in the knowledge panel.
Paul: A couple of years ago, Google started the Manufacturer Center so that brands could provide detailed, accurate information around products even if other retailers are selling those products. As you can see in the screenshot here, reviews from all over the web are also visible in search results pages. These reviews are from Amazon, Facebook, Walmart, even Google itself, and a long list of other websites. The important takeaway here is that this page is often the consumer's first impression of your brand and as the saying goes, "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression." If this search example was riddled with one and two star icons, the consumer's first impression of your brand would not be very positive.
Paul: Later, we will discuss what you can do to monitor and improve the reviews that are highlighted on this page. Amazon has also been allowing brands to have more control over content and visibility and my guess is, that's why most of you are here today. Hopefully, you all know how important it is to sign up for the Amazon Brand Registry and that you're on the new registry or often called, Registry 2.0. AJ is going to talk more in depth about Brand Registry in a few minutes and AJ, are you going to explain how to sign up for the Registry?
AJ: Yes. Yes, definitely. I'll go in more depth on how to get involved in the program.
Paul: Okay, great. Once a brand is registered, there are numerous features available to help brands increase their visibility and gain control. For example, oops, one more slide here. Here we go. For example, you may be able to gate your brand if desired, so that only sellers you approve can list your products for sale. The image here is a seller's view when trying to add a new product that has been gated and of course, the seller has to request approval from the brand to sell the item. Nike shoes is a great example of a brand that had rampant counterfeiting on Amazon until the brand was gated.
Paul: Gating your brand's products gives you more control over the customer experience and potentially helps you control your margins as well since you have more control over who is selling a product. Here's a headline search ad from Crayola. This ad is a large piece of real estate on Amazon search results page. The ad is very targeted based on the search term of crayons. It has very high visibility and shows multiple products. It's super valuable. However, headline search ads are only available to registered brands.
Anson: Yeah, and Paul, before we move on here, I think that's a really great point. I know we actually just talked about in a webinar, how it's essentially like the digital shelf when you walk into a grocery store and that's your shelf space. That headline search ad takes so much real estate on the search engine results page, that it really does increase your brand presence by simply having that on there, obviously needing to be brand registered.
Paul: Agreed, and you'll see the next two results under that ad are also product ads. If that brand is not advertising their own products there, potentially other brands could be advertising directly in the search results page.
Anson: Yes, definitely. Great point there, Paul.
Paul: Stores are yet another example of how Amazon is allowing brands to have more control. In the stores of... it's night and day difference as far as what stores were a couple of years ago. This example again from Crayola is a well-designed shopping experience for a consumer and it really makes sense that a brand owner would prefer that shoppers come to their Amazon Store as opposed to directly to Amazon listings, because there are no competing products here and there are a lot of opportunities to add content such as lifestyle imagery and other messaging that reinforces the brand that you might not be able to do on all of the product pages.
Paul: But, once again, this feature is only available to registered brands. Another example I'd like to mention of how Amazon is allowing brands to have more control is with Enhanced Brand Content or EBC. I'm not going to talk much about it because AJ is going to go into a lot of detail and give you a lot of great examples and information about EBC to share.
Anson: Yeah, definitely. I think Paul, you hit it on the head, obviously Brand Registry opens up a lot of doors, which I know AJ is going to talk about in a little bit here, but again, it's all about creating that brand presence on Amazon. It's not just EBC and it's not just on Amazon as well, it's just branding in general has becoming so important on the eCommerce space. AJ, I know that... I wanted to turn it over to you, I know you're going to be talking about Brand Registry and EBC at a high level here before we go into examples, but really, it's all you.
AJ: Absolutely. No, thank you, Paul and thank you Anson. Before I hop into talking about Enhanced Brand Content, I want to talk a little bit about the Brand Registry program. What is Brand Registry? Brand Registry is a program that Amazon designed to help empower manufacturers and brand owners to protect intellectual property on Amazon. Basically, in May of 2017, Brand Registry underwent an update, which helps strengthen the program to add more value to both manufacturers and brand owners. What is different in the new Brand Registry? Well, they have a heightened sense of support. Amazon boasts that they will answer to support tickets submitted to Brand Registry within four hours. If you notice that someone is listing a counterfeit product on one of your listings and you submit a ticket, Amazon should get back to you within four hours. That's really exciting.
AJ: Another benefit of the new Brand Registry is a heightened sense of brand protection. They offer this by, if let's say someone is listing a counterfeit product on one of your listings, you could request that counterfeiter's information from Amazon, and you could use that information in case you decided to move forward with some legal action. That's also a heightened sense of security that brand owners now can feel with the new Brand Registry. The last benefit that I wanted to talk about is that you can authorize sellers for your brand. If you did have a brand registered with Brand Registry and you want it to authorize a specific seller to sell your product, you can do so through Brand Registry.
AJ: I also want to talk a little bit about how to get involved with Brand Registry. You could go to brandservices.amazon.com and simply follow the instructions to get started but I did want to mention a key update with the new Brand Registry program, is that you need to have a registered trademark with the USPTO to get involved. For those of you who haven't gone through the process of getting a trademark, I did want to mention that it is a long one. I've seen it take between six and 12 months to get trademark through the door with a USPPTO. If you do want to get involved in Brand Registry, but don't have a trademark, I would definitely recommend moving on that process as soon as possible.
AJ: Why should you be brand registered? Similar to what Paul was alluding to, Amazon does have levers that we can pull as sellers to really communicate our branding and develop brand equity on Amazon. Those levers are enhanced content such as A+ Content, EBC, the brand stores that Paul was alluding to and the headline search ads that Paul mentioned as well. Brand Registry also allows you to have authority over your detail page. What that means is, so if you do have a product that you're listing and there are other offers on that product, generally, you would have to compete for that buy box. However, if you're registered with Brand Registry, then you have the dominance over that listing and you have overall authority.
AJ: However, with that being said, I have seen it where if there is someone who is listing on your listing with a competitive offer and they have a better seller rating and have overall more sales momentum, and are offering a better experience for the customer, as we all know, Amazon really wants to provide the best customer experience for their audience, so they might serve that competitive offer, even though you're registered with Brand Registry. It's important to understand that. I have seen that occur. On top of that, another reason why Brand Registry is so important is to evade or to avoid counterfeit issues. If someone is selling a counterfeit product, again, their support process is a lot faster now, so you can get that counterfeit offer removed from your listing at an expedited rate and that creates a trusted experience for your target audience there.
AJ: Now that we went into that overview of Brand Registry, I want to talk a little bit more about exactly what Enhanced Brand Content is. Enhanced Brand Content is basically an enhanced product description that lives in the product description section of your listing. You can use text, imagery and basically branded messaging to really communicate the main USPs of both your product and your brand. A good question that I get a lot is, what happens to my product description when I leverage EBC? Do I lose that SEO juice for the A9 or what happens to that text? The product description that you had in place is still indexed for search. It's just simply hidden on the front end and your EBC takes precedence there. You can be really granular on the keywords you include in your product description, but still leverage EBC to visually communicate your brand and messaging on the page.
AJ: Why should you care about EBC at all? Well, these are the three main benefits I wanted to talk about today is, to educate customers around product complexities, develop brand equity and awareness and potentially increase sales. I'll touch up on all of these in a little bit more detail in a little bit.
Anson: Yeah, AJ, before we move onto the next section here, I wanted to say two things. One, I know that you provided a great link, brandservices.amazon.com to get started with Brand Registry. I chatted that out to the audience, so hopefully everyone was able to see that. Definitely, I appreciate that AJ. But I also wanted to ask you a quick question that we got from Jake and it is combining the talks we went over with the Brand Registry as well as EBC. Do we know what is going to happen if you created EBC under the older Amazon Brand Registry as it starts to transition to the new Brand Registry, or are we going to have to recreate templates or I guess, do you know what that has in store for the EBC pages that are already live?
AJ: Definitely. I have not seen an EBC page get taken down because they have been in the old Brand Registry versus the new one but I have seen it where, if you have a brand that was registered in the old Brand Registry and you have not converted to the new Brand Registry yet, then Amazon could restrict your ability of creating new EBC pages, unless you go into the new Brand Registry program. I have seen that occur, but I have not seen Amazon taking down Enhanced Brand Content pages. I hope that answers your question, Jake.
Anson: Yeah, I think you hit it right on the head. I appreciate that AJ and I guess the other question that you already did answer, but I want you to explicitly state it again, and we do get questions on this all the time, is the indexing portion of the product description. If you could just reiterate one more time, what that means us to having an EBC page up and what happens to those keywords that you're trying to get indexed for on the product description side of things. I know that'll clarify a lot for our audience here.
AJ: Absolutely. I mean, I totally understand it's very... every seller wants to set their listing up for success so it's really important to be cognizant of the A9 algorithm. Your title, your bullet points in your product description, all of those, the texts in those three elements of your listing get indexed in the A9 algorithm but when you create EBC, it takes the place of your product description, but your product description still lives in the backend. The text included in your product description is still being indexed for search. I hope that answers that question.
Anson: Yeah, definitely. I just saw it came in from Canaan. Hopefully, that answered your question there, Canaan. Thanks, AJ.
AJ: Awesome. If there are no other questions, I'll move on.
Anson: Yup. Go ahead.
AJ: Cool. Before I go into the benefits, I want to talk a little bit about best practices for designing an EBC page. Similar to all Amazon creative, EBC is created in a very modular format. What I mean by that is, Amazon basically creates seven pre-set modules for you to choose from and each module has specific size and character count requirements. They also create five free prebuilt templates for you to choose from as well. However, I do recommend using a custom template to really leveraging your custom layout to use the modules in a creative way.
AJ: On that note, it's also important to note that not all of the modules are mobile responsive. I do want to call out, especially the banner image. A lot of times I do see the banner image used and if used properly, it could really communicate your brand in a positive way. However, if you put a lot of texts in the banner image, it will shrink to fit the size of the screen on mobile and the text might not necessarily be as legible anymore. It's important to have an intimate understanding of these modules if you want to achieve success with your EBC page.
Anson: Yeah, AJ, I could not agree more and I know that at least on our side of things, we do operate solely on a custom template format. I know you talked about mobile responsiveness. Is there another added benefit as to why it's good to have a custom component as to a pre-set one? Like you said it, maybe it tells your brand story a little bit better, et cetera.
AJ: Definitely. I mean, in my opinion, just going back to the templates, I like to use the custom template because the way I try to structure it is, first, every EBC page has a specific purpose or a goal, whether it's communicating your brand messaging or there's a complex product that you're really trying to I guess explain and really communicate to a target audience. Understanding the goal ahead of time and then structuring your EBC page to communicate that goal.
AJ: I always recommend starting with a very bright colorful banner image up top, so that way that will capture the user's intent as they're scrolling down to detail page and then leveraging well responsive modules. For anyone who's been in the editor, you've probably seen the image next to the text module. It's a square image with square tech space. The text actually stacks underneath the image on mobile, so I really like leveraging that to communicate USPs and then from there, it depends on the goal on how you want to structure the rest of the EBC page.
Anson: Right, definitely. Super helpful there. Hopefully, we were able to provide a little bit of a direction as to how you can also leverage custom templates as well. I appreciate that AJ. I know that this next section is a lot of the reason why people tuned in as to the why behind Enhanced Brand Content and again, just branding on Amazon. I'm going to let you take it over from here and just talk through some of the top benefits that we see and why it is so important to increase your investment into Amazon as a channel.
AJ: Absolutely. Again, the three main benefits that I wanted to call out are to one, develop brand equity. Two, educate prospective customers around your product complexities, and three, potentially increase your conversion rate. I'll dive right into it. The first one, developing brand equity on Amazon. A lot of brands and sellers have already invested in developing brand equity on social media or on their.com. A big added benefit of Enhanced Brand Content is that you can really translate the equity that you've built off Amazon onto Amazon. The way that you could do this is really by leveraging those lifestyle imagery PFIs, product feature images, and headers, and really showcasing the unique value propositions of your brand that you've already communicated to your loyal following outside of Amazon and translate that same equity onto Amazon.
AJ: A couple of cool examples of this. Joanna Vargas is a premium beauty manufacturer, and they've already invested a lot on their brand equity outside of Amazon. We partnered with them to really communicate their branding and messaging and help their products stand out as premium on Amazon. A big thing to keep in mind is that, in Amazon detailed pages can seem very repetitive and similar. There's certain things that you can do to really help stand your product out and make it stand out as premium to justify a higher price point. EBC is definitely one of those tools that you can leverage to justify a higher price point. LunchBots as well, they have a very clearly defined brand that lived on their .com and they have a very clearly defined style guide. We worked with them to really communicate their branding and translate their style guide into the Amazon modules as you see here. Were there any questions on that note or should we go onto the next one?
Anson: No, I think some people are really just asking about custom templates in general, but I think that, again, that example that you showed is a great example of a custom template in that it's almost overlapping and like you said, it's not your, I guess, typical EBC page where it looks very segmented. I just wanted to call that out again, that that's using a custom template and it is going to take a little bit more graphic design work and experience, but at least on our side of things, I know that we see that as very beneficial.
AJ: Absolutely. The next and most important one in my opinion, or benefit of EBC is to educate customers around your product complexities. A lot of times, the main thing to really hit home is to reinforce the reason to buy among your target audience. We need to really call out the main features of the product and really educate customers around the product complexity. What I mean by product complexities is, the distinguishing features of your product that people might not necessarily know just by looking at a product image. I'll explain using examples on the next slide.
AJ: This example here, the first one is Verilux. They sell happy light, is what they call it. It's a natural light, which is, basically it enhances your mood, clarity and focus. If you just looked at the product image, you wouldn't necessarily know what the product was really about, but then using the EBC page coupled with detailed page imagery, we were able to showcase the product and really communicate the value of the product and help it stand out in it's product category.
AJ: The next example, so I like to surf, so I really liked this example. This is the 8' Verve. It's from Gold Coast Surfboard. As a surfer, I know that shopping for a surf board online is really scary. You want to know you're getting the right board for your preference. We really communicated the different details of the surfboard and different features, as well as showcasing different boards in the product line that might appeal to different surfers.
Anson: AJ, I wanted to just call out, Sherry was actually the saying, loving these examples, it's giving her... and we've seen a few other comments saying that it gives them an understanding of how they can also utilize EBC to its fullest potential. Again, I think the surfboard is a great example as well and trust me when I say it, I'm talking to the audience, that AJ does love this. He's gone to all surfing sessions.
AJ: I appreciate that. Cool. The next one is, to potentially increase the conversion rate on the detail page. We can't guarantee a lift in conversion rate. As we know, there are a lot of different variables that could impact conversion rates, but by using EBC, we can definitely set our listing up for success, really educating potential customers around why they should buy the product, therefore, incentivizing that purchase. Also, by doing that we're minimizing returns and negative reviews because people have a better understanding of what they're getting upfront before going through the buyer journey.
AJ: A couple of examples of this, Pop-A-Shot. This is an arcade game that a lot of us grew up with. It was recently purchased by a hungry entrepreneur who came to us, trying to translate their big box store sales into Amazon sales. The main challenges we had were there were a lot of counterfeit Pop-A-Shots being sold on Amazon and it was really hard to communicate the value of the game in just five bullet points and a product title. We looked to communicate the value of the game, that there are 10 individual games, six audio options, and all the cool features of Pop-A-Shot in the EBC page and we saw a lift of over 53% in 30-day period. That was really exciting to see
AJ: Same with Whoosh. We saw extreme success. They're a tech hygiene company. They work to create tech hygiene kits to clean your screens for tablets, phones and monitors. We worked with them to basically communicate their branding on Amazon and coupled with a comprehensive advertising campaign. We were able to see a huge lift of over 427% in conversion rate over the 30-day period so that's very exciting.
Anson: Yeah, AJ. I think those examples again, do a great job with highlighting really the power behind EBC and before we do throw it over back to Paul to really talk about, again, like I said, a really interesting tip of using product review data to build your brand, I also wanted to address some people who have been asking, what do we mean by potentially increased conversion rate? Like AJ said, we can't necessarily guarantee although, Amazon has stated that using creative content can definitely help with conversion rate. It's all about, again, coming back to the algorithm and increasing your likelihood for someone to convert.
Anson: Obviously again, I don't know about you, but if I see again, like the Pop-A-Shot EBC page, and I know what I'm getting out of it, definitely more likely to convert on that front. AJ, thank you so much for clarifying that point and hopefully, to all those people that were asking questions, we're able to provide a little bit of insight there as well. Like I said, Paul, we're really going to turn it over to you now. Talk to us a little bit about this interesting concept of using your product review data to protect and build your brand on Amazon.
Paul: Thank you, AJ. Hi again, everyone. Yes, we're changing topics a little bit here but overall, it's still about protecting and building your brand. Let's discuss how to use review data to protect and build your brand. First of all, let's wait for the slide here. First of all, you can't easily analyze reviews if you're not monitoring them. You saw earlier that reviews from many places are pulled into a search results page. You have to monitor your product reviews as well as your company reviews all over the web. That includes Amazon, Google, Walmart, Facebook, Etsy, Yelp, and the list goes on.
Paul: The only way to do this at scale though is through automation. We encourage everyone to set up real time alerts, whether that's through Google alerts, which is very useful for lots of different websites, BuzzSumo, and of course, through Feedback Five. One more point before we get started into more details of our product reviews, please be prepared to respond to reviews, but also be very careful, especially responding to negative reviews. It's easy to get emotional and want to write a quick response to defend your brand.
Paul: Instead, take a few minutes, take a deep breath, take a walk around the block, reread the negative review, maybe ask a teammate to read it as well and then strategically craft a response that shows you're listening to consumers, and you want to make the situation right. We see all the time where a brand just makes it worse by responding in a bad way to a negative review. Now that you're a monitoring them, I'd like to talk about what you can learn from product reviews in two different scenarios. Those scenarios are products you sell and products your competitors sell.
Paul: Let's start with what you can learn from reviews on products you sell. Here's a quote from Rachel Greer of Cascadia Seller Solutions. She advocates for monitoring reviews and receiving alerts so that sellers can quickly fix issues and also satisfy any buyer concerns. Obviously, listing suspension or even worse, an account suspension, could end your brand entirely on Amazon or other marketplaces and negative reviews can tarnish your brand both on and off Amazon. Make no mistake. With the power of search engines today. If someone is shopping for your products, they will read reviews on Amazon and on other websites before buying.
Paul: Amazon has become one of, if not the most important product research website for buyers. Negative reviews on Amazon will impact sales in all other channels. Of course, we all dread the negative review, but I'd like to focus on this and turn it around. I put quotes around dreaded because a lot of good can actually come from negative reviews and I'd really love for all of you to walk away today from this webinar, thinking differently about a negative review. Why? Because negative reviews are great customer feedback. Sometimes it's the best customer feedback you can ask for.
Paul: We all know that positive reviews are valuable and really help your brand stand out in a positive way but negative reviews are your customers telling you what you need to fix in your product or listing. That is a hugely valuable feedback loop. Some of those negative reviews will help you decide if the products you are selling have too much risk because, for example, there are safety concerns. If you've chosen to commingle your FBA inventory and negative reviews are coming in about cheap reproductions being sold, maybe you choose to stop commingling so that your seller reputation is not damaged.
Paul: Obviously, negative reviews can inform you of defective skews that need to be pulled from the shelf and of course, you can discover a manufacturing issues. I knew a seller that was selling a device with an internal rechargeable battery for years with no issues and suddenly the manufacturer changed the battery inside of that product but the manufacturer did not alert the sellers to the change because they didn't feel like they needed to. However, the new battery had a defect and did not last nearly as long as the previous battery. The seller discovered the issue before the manufacturer, because there was a spike in negative reviews concerning battery life. Often, you will discover smaller issues such as poor packaging or incorrect listing information that you may be able to fix very quickly. We, so often-
Anson: Sorry, before we do go into the next part of this slide here, I wanted to address something about what you just said about having to "dread it" because I think like you said, there is an opportunity to turn that around with feedback and utilize that as great feedback. But on the flip side of the coin, we have someone wondering, so how should you... should you interact with people for great reviews on Amazon? Is there a way for you to do that? Again, really establishing that great customer service on Amazon as well.
Paul: Yeah. I believe you should interact with everyone, whether they're leaving good reviews or bad reviews, because it really shows all other future shoppers that you're attentive and that you care and that if any issues do arise, you will be there to help.
Anson: Awesome. Great. Hopefully, we answered your question there.
Paul: So often, we will see sellers that have great quality products, but the listing or the image is not a hundred percent accurate and that causes these negative reviews to come into their account. I've already talked about monitoring and notifications, but I have to bring it up again because it's so essential to protecting your brand. You need to know immediately of issues so you can make the experience right for the customer and future customers as I just mentioned. You truly always have to think of the customer first and that is Amazon's strategy, and it's one that you should mimic and really should be core at everything you do because your brand reputation is on the line.
Paul: The customer feedback loop can help in other ways too. In addition to product improvements, you can export all of your product reviews and mine the data for insights, such as kitting opportunities, which is something we see often. The example you'll see here, this is a canvas that you can buy and several people are leaving reviews that there's no ink pad and it would be nice if there was an ink pad included. It's not always negative reviews that can add value. Both of these reviews are four and five star reviews, but it's really offering the seller an opportunity to make the product even better.
Paul: A quick tip, when you export your data, you can use Excel and just do a quick search for certain phrases, such as I wish, or it doesn't come with, or it needs to and using those little phrases will help you find examples of customers looking for complimentary products or you can find other changes that you can make to your product. Overall, of course, one of the most important decisions is if you should reinvest in the product you're selling. Product reviews can offer you insights that you might not get otherwise, and to help you make that decision. For example, and we see this often, some products sell well and they get a spike in negative reviews before they get a drop in sales. A recent spike in negative reviews may indicate a future slowdown of sales.
Paul: Here's a seller quote from the SEO of Transitions2Earth. They love reviews and they state, and they, truly regard product reviews almost as good as a form of currency. In addition to the products you sell, you can also monitor and gain a lot of insights from your competitors’ listings. Obviously, you could read competitor product reviews, but we meet sellers often that do not realize that they don't need to sell a product directly to be able to automate review monitoring through a tool such as Feedback Five. If you're actively monitoring your competitor's reviews, you may find trends or spikes in the quantity of reviews they are receiving. This not only gives you a sense of changing sales volume on their end, but the details of those reviews may give you ideas and present opportunities for you to improve your listing or differentiate your brand.
Paul: Another tip here is if you're struggling with ideas to differentiate your products, pick out a few competitors, read through their reviews and look for a common complaint, and then see if you can use those complaints to inform your own listing. For example, do customers complain about a chalky taste? Do they not like the heaviness of your competitor's product? Does the other product stain easily? Is your competitor's product effective, but a hassle to use? You can then make your own products, non chalky, lightweight, stain resistant, and hassle-free.
Anson: Yeah, Paul. I think that's a great example. Again, it's almost like doing a gap analysis to really establish your brand as the brand that fixes your other competition's products. I really like that point there.
Paul: Great. Competitor reviews can offer insights to help you stand out and build your brand and give you ideas to differentiate. There are so many ways to differentiate, especially on Amazon and here's a list of them, and one of the most common ones we see is product sizes or colors. Often a competitor will see complaints from another seller that they aren't carrying a certain size. You can jump right on that opportunity and carry a different size of your product, and it helps bridge that gap AJ that you just mentioned, I mean, Anson that you just mentioned. Origin is another one as well, labeling a product as made in the USA or in this example, Pet Naturals of Vermont differentiates that product from being just another pet product.
Paul: One freebie we wanted to give everyone is a brand monitoring checklist that encompasses many things you can do to ensure you're monitoring your brand across the web, on Amazon, off of Amazon, et cetera. It's really great for doing a quarterly review on your brand and it's available at the bit.ly link right here. It covers lots of things like mission, vision, values, whether your staff is living your brand. Of course, the multichannel review that we've been mentioning and social media review as well as what you have in your email content, in your advertising and how you're managing your reputation overall.
Anson: Yeah. Paul, thank you so much for providing that for the audience. Again, it is free. I chatted it out to everyone in the audience, so if you are interested in the brand monitoring checklist, it is there for you.
Paul: Thank you. Then, I've talked a lot about the content of product reviews and reading the reviews for intelligence. Aside from the content, of course, we also highly suggest that you're using a software tool to monitor it so you can do it at scale, but also so that you can look at trends. If you're not looking at 30 or 90 day trends, the value that you get from reviews is decreased greatly. You need to know how many are getting per day and overall, what the divide is between positive and negative as a trend. Remember anyone can track product reviews, you don't have to be selling the product, you can just choose an ASIN and you can track the reviews on those ASINs. That includes brand owners, third party sellers, vendors, et cetera. Anson with that, I'll turn it back over to you.
Anson: Thanks Paul. Like I said, again, in the recap, I'm not really going to read through it, I think everyone can read the bullet points here, but I wanted to really just tie everything together in that everything that Paul talked about and AJ talked about, it really does work together in terms of establishing a great brand presence on Amazon. I think a great example of that was when Paul just talked about building your brand and ways to differentiate, whether it is cool branding, better packaging, adding a simple feature and that you can find through just product review data and then seeing what things stand out and then incorporating that into your EBC page.
Anson: Again, I think it's an entire ecosystem as to what you can do on Amazon to really stand out? Really for us to sum things up before we get into live Q&A here, and some offers that we have for you is that the competitive landscape on Amazon is only going to get harder and harder. You need to make sure you're doing everything as small as it is to stand out from the competition. I think a great example of that is Enhanced Brand Content and really doing your due diligence to establish a brand like Paul mentioned on Amazon. Now we're going to go into some offers and then we'll jump right into live Q&A. Paul, I'll pass it back off to you here.
Paul: Thanks Anson and thanks everyone for participating. We do have a special offer. If you use the coupon code CPC-18 for Feedback Five, you can sign up for a 30 day trial, which is double the normal trial, but you can also monitor up to a hundred ASINs on Amazon. Of course, like I mentioned before, we have the brand monitoring checklist, which is free. Please download that and use it as you see fit.
Anson: Yeah. Great point, Paul and likewise for us too. I just chatted out an EBC evaluation for us and really, it's just, are you in the right position to make sure that you're leveraging enhanced brand content? Are you doing things properly, again, setting yourself up for success on Amazon? I chatted that out to the audience as well. If you are interested in talking with one of our experts about enhancement content and where your Amazon strategy is currently at, feel free to use that link and we'd be more than happy to start that conversation with you.
Anson: With that being said, we do have around 10 minutes or so for live Q&A, so really just going to jump right into it. It is going to be rapid fire, AJ and Paul. Like I said, I'll try to do my best in terms of directing who the question is for, but yeah, we're going to try and hit and address as many questions as possible. Paul, I'm just going to circle right back for you. I know you talked about reviews and commenting on reviews, wondering if you knew any best practices for responding to reviews, maybe on Vendor Central or Seller Central specifically, but even just responding to reviews in general on Amazon.
Paul: Well, I think that could be a three beer conversation, but like I said earlier, we definitely encourage all sellers to respond to reviews. Let me make it clear, you need to do it through Seller Central of course. You can't ask anyone to remove a review, ever. That is something that needs to be a hundred percent clear, but you can respond to negative reviews and fix the situation and potentially the person might remove the review. The real thing is you want to show everyone else that you're responding to reviews.
Paul: You want to show that you care about your products, you care about the customer, you care about the brand, so that future people or future shoppers see that, you're going to be there in a crisis or you're going to be there if something goes wrong. I encourage people to say thank you here and there on positive reviews. It's a little corny, if you reply to all positive reviews and try to say something, but it's always a good thing to just say, "Hey, thank you for the great mention. Thank you for using our products," here and there because again, future buyers will see those reviews.
Anson: Yeah Paul, and I think that's a great point too. I know I'm an avid Amazon user myself and reviews when I see a seller act actively on their addressing complaints, but also just even saying, "Hey, glad you liked the product." I think that's something that really makes you want to buy that product. It gives you a little bit more confidence, so great answer there Paul. AJ, this one's more directed to you a little bit specific on EBC. I think that this is an interesting question that we do receive a lot and I don't know if we have the exact answer for it. Do you know how to measure the impact of EBC on sales or just in general?
AJ: That's a difficult question. I will say that there's a lot of different elements at play on the Amazon marketplace. The way I like to look at it, it's a comprehensive look and feel so you got to make sure that you're doing your due diligence with your detail page images, your title, your bullet points, your product description and enhanced content. Then on top of that, you have to make sure that you have advertising campaigns in place to really route qualified traffic to your listings as well. If one of the pieces of that puzzle is missing, then you might not be putting your best foot forward for success on the marketplace.
AJ: Just to reiterate what I said, I think it's a like a comprehensive listing, rather than... sorry, I meant to say, I like to look at detail pages as a comprehensive listing rather than try to pick out specific elements such as like, is that a strong title going to impact conversion rates or is that strong EBC page going to leverage conversion rates? It's more about, how everything interacts together coupled with a targeted advertising campaign, that'll send qualified traffic to the listing and all those elements that work together will work together to improve conversion rates. I hope that...
Anson: Yeah. Yeah. I think you hit it on the head. I think, again, like we said, it's a holistic view. The only way that I would see that would actually work is to do a week by week analysis and not change anything else, but AJ I'm sure you know and Paul, that that's not the best strategy on Amazon, as things are changing all the time. Again, I wouldn't necessarily think about it as specific to how much is EBC increasing sales. Amazon has stated that it does impact and influence your likelihood to win conversion, so that should in and of itself be enough to be willing to invest in the enhanced brand content.
Anson: AJ, thanks for answering that question there from Maura. We have another question as well, coming from Margaret and AJ, this is directed to you, and this is in regards to Brand Registry. When you are a brand registered seller, does that stop other sellers from using your brand as a part of their backend keyword strategy? Do you know if there's a clear-cut answer for that?
AJ: I do want to also mention that backend search terms have lost a lot of their juice, I should say in the A9 algorithm. They're not as much of a factor as far as your keyword strategy, but no, Brand Registry does not stop other sellers from advertising on your brand keywords, if that's what you're asking.
Anson: Got you. I think that is a very important distinction to make there. Hopefully we answered your question there, Margaret. Another question for you, AJ coming in, wondering how much... and again, I felt like this is more of a case by case example, but I would love to get your insight as to how much should be said about the company itself on an EBC page, should a lot be said or should it really be focused on the product?
AJ: That, again, like Anson what you mentioned that is case by case, it really depends on the USPs, or the reasons to buy that you want to hit home to communicate about your specific brand or product. Some brands really leverage their brand messaging on their EBC page because they really want to tie a strong audience and following to their overall brand. Some brands have specific products that stand out within their product catalog and they really want to be leveraging those product specific features in the EBC page. I would look at it more of as a strategic message. You can either communicate a mix of both brand and product messaging, or you can communicate more of one or the other, but it depends more on your goals for the EBC page and the goals for how you want to, I guess, portray that messaging.
Anson: Great point, again, it comes back to establishing the right goals that you want out of EBC, so I really liked that answer. Paul, this is a question for you, and this is in regards to one of the earlier sections that we talked about. I think when you were introducing creating a brand reputation on and off Amazon, I think on the Google side, you mentioned that you can have a brand account or brand accounts are one way to approach it and then Manufacturer Center as well. I think Sam was wondering what's the differences between those two. Maybe you can shed a little bit of light there.
Paul: Sure. Again, the Manufacturer Center is more product related and specifics around products. For instance, if you go to Google and search for a Dell laptop, you're going to see a lot of specs about a certain laptop, how much RAM it comes with, what kind of processor it has, what the screen size is. The Manufacturer Center will allow brands to control that information for their own product numbers and keep other people, well, kind of standardize the information out there, if you will. That's a little bit different than the brand account, which is more for review oriented information and the knowledge base or the knowledge graph that's shown on the right hand side, where you're controlling your location and your reviews and the hours and your customer service hours, et cetera, your phone number, your web address, all of those good things.
Anson: All right, definitely. Thanks for answering that. I hope Sam, that we were able to provide a little bit of insight as to the difference between those two for you. AJ, we're going to come right back to you for another question. I think this one's, I guess a little bit more on just EBC as a whole. Actually, it is specific to mobile though, because I know that on Amazon, we are seeing mobile kind of pick up a little bit there.
Anson: When you're talking about EBC and being mobile responsive as well, obviously Jennifer's asking, there's a fine line between informing and overwhelming your customer. Is there kind of a best practice that either we like to implement or just in the best EBCs that you've seen? Do you find that on mobile that there's just less on there, so it looks a little bit cleaner or is there a difference in your mobile strategy?
AJ: I'm not sure I understand the question. Are you asking is less more on mobile? Is that the question?
Anson: I guess it's more so the thought process going into creating an EBC, should you be thinking about mobile first in that obviously things are going to be a lot more condensed, so less is more in that sense when you are building it out or should it just be packing as much information as possible, which can kind of on a tablet or an iPhone even be seen very overwhelming.
AJ: Definitely. I mean, we always take a mobile first approach here at CPC. When we design EBC pages, it's really important to understand how each module renders on a mobile browser. I don't necessarily think you should be including less on mobile because the screen resolution or anything like that. I think we still have just as much real estate to leverage. It's just about understanding how the different modules render on mobile and then utilizing the real estate as efficiently as possible to communicate your messaging.
Anson: Awesome. I think we have enough time for two more questions. One for Paul and one for AJ, and actually this question is from Justin, Paul, I'm actually interested to hear your take on this as well. Obviously, we've talked about how having a brand on Amazon is becoming more and more important, I guess, on eComEngine side of things, how do you see that affecting the Amazon ecosystem or landscape as brand establishment is picking up?
Paul: Yeah, good question. I think a lot of different people have different opinions. Something that we talk about at the bar at night is, how we all believe that Amazon wants to work with brands more closely and will continue working with brands more closely just to be directly in the source and cutting out other middlemen. Is that true, is that not? We don't a hundred percent know for sure, but it makes sense that Amazon would want to work directly with a brand as opposed to working with other sellers of brands.
Anson: Nice. Yeah, I definitely agree on that approach as well. Like I said, AJ, last question for you. I know we didn't touch too much of the review process and the approval process, but Ramiro was wondering, just finished his first EBC page, congrats Ramiro, and it's in review. Why can it be rejected or denied? What are some common things that we've seen as to why people get rejected for an EBC page or it just gets in review and you need to change a few things?
AJ: Absolutely. Great question Ramiro. I would say that I would reference Amazon's Enhanced Brand Content policy, I'm sure Anson can include that later in the email. They have a pretty clearly outlined policy. I'd say the most common rejection that I've encountered is when people try to include registered trademarks or any kind of claims that... Amazon does want you to support claims with other disclaimers or with proof of evidence, so we've seen EBC pages get rejected because of that.
Anson: Yeah. I think that's a great point there. Definitely to reference that, look for that policy. We'll try and do our best to include as well, but like I said, I think that can be one of the biggest reasons why you just don't think about why this would be rejected, but then it does. I think that also leads to understanding that, hey, you need to plan out your EBC. Don't just think it's, all right, I want to have it now. I'm going to sit down and crank it out in one day, there is a review process as well. I know with prime day coming up, we always say, try and set your product listings up for success, so really be looking to incorporate that as a part of your strategy as soon as possible. I think the last thought that I'd like to leave everyone with is, I forget someone asked, is there any information on whether Amazon plans to charge for EBC?
Anson: I think from our standpoint, we don't necessarily know. At the same time, that is always a possibility, so I want to create that urgency as to while it is free, create your enhanced brand content, whether it's with us and in partnering with our graphic design team or doing it yourself, this is something that we highly, highly recommend to incorporate as part of your strategy. With that being said, though, it is the top of the hour. I wanted to thank both AJ and Paul again for delivering a great presentation. I wanted to thank everyone that attended with us and spent the last hour listening to us talk about Amazon and Enhanced Brand Content. Again, can't thank you all enough for spending an hour with us, but at least from us from sunny San Diego for CPC Strategy, this is CPC Strategy and eComEngine signing out hoping you have a great rest of your day.
Originally published on May 18, 2018, updated June 17, 2020
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.