If you’ve been running an Amazon Seller Central account for a while now, you’ve likely learned that there are some key differences in the promotions offered in Seller Central versus those available in Vendor Central. If you have a Seller Central account, you are considered a “3P”, or Third-Party Seller, who sells products to consumers through the Amazon Marketplace. A “1P”, or First-Party Seller, is eligible for a Vendor Central account, and they sell their products wholesale, directly to Amazon. Then, Amazon sells those products to your customers. Amazon prefers to sell products directly to your customers so promotions on Vendor Central often show more often than those in Seller Central – and the options available in Vendor Central are much more robust.
But, if you have a Seller Central account, don’t throw in the towel! In Q4 2017, Amazon made some critical updates and are now offering brands with Seller Central accounts a few more promotion types, including coupons.
Below is a list of the available promotions in Seller Central accounts, along with a few key considerations to help you determine the right promotion type and set-up options for your business.
These promotions are probably the most typical that you see in the Amazon Marketplace, but Sellers have lots of different options on how to structure Money-Off Promotions. A few that we like to meddle with are the buyer purchase options. When setting up your promotion, you can select from the following:
- At least X quantity of items (for example, if they buy three T-shirts, they get X% off)
- At least X amount in dollars (for example, if they spend atleast $30, they get X% off)
- For every quantity of items purchased (for example, for every T-shirt purchased, they get X% off)
Once you select which buyer purchase option works for you, the next field to fill in is the “buyer gets” section. This is where you input the discounts. At this time, Amazon only allows for percentage discounts (not discounts in dollar amounts).
As you are creating a Money-Off Promotion, it is critical that you review the Additional Options available, as we’ve seen some advertisers accidentally give away a lot more product than intended. A few things you will want to consider in this section:
- Do you want to have a claim code? Having one can help you better track this promotion and its profitability.
- If so, can users combine coupon codes?
- Is this a single-use code, or a group code which can be used over and over until the promotion is scheduled to end?
The last step to creating a Money-Off Promotion is deciding whether or not you want the savings outlined on the product detail page and deciding what other custom text you want shown on the Checkout Page.
This one is pretty straight-forward, but there are a few things to know about setting up Free Shipping promotions in your Seller Central account. First, this promotion is only available to Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) products and running this promotion does not increase your chance of winning Amazon’s Buy Box. Like with Money-Off promotions, there are a few considerations you need to make when setting up this promotion:
- Do you want to add Free Shipping for your full product catalog, or on only select items?
- Does the buyer have to meet any minimums (quantity or dollar amount) to be eligible?
- What is the time-frame of the offer?
- Will you use a unique claim code? Can it be combined with other offers? Is it a single-use code, or a group code which can be used over and over?
Who doesn’t love a good BOGO? Now that you are getting the hang of Amazon’s promotions, the steps for setting this up is very similar to other promotions available in Seller Central. Consider the following:
- What products are eligible for this promotion?
- Which customers are eligible? Do customers need to meet a minimum quantity to get the offer?
- Do you want to have a claim code?
- If so, can users combine coupon codes?
- Is this a single-use code or a group code which can be used over and over until the promotion is scheduled to end?
- Do you want to display the promotional text on your detail page?
At one time, Coupons were only available in Vendor Central accounts, but you’re now able to create and customize coupons in Seller Central accounts as well. And they are pretty fun – with a few more options than the promotions above. While the promotions above help you target specific products, Coupons let you target specific products and specific audiences.
When creating a coupon, you are allowed to upload a maximum of 50 products to one coupon. Per Amazon’s guidelines though, you’ll want to make sure that items added to one coupon are in the same general category or sub-category. As in, don’t have the same coupon for T-shirts as you do for potato chips. That’s just strange.
Next thing you’ll want to do is set a discount amount and a maximum budget – which can be tricky to understand. In this section, you can add percentage-off or money-off discounts (unlike in the misnomer Money-Off Promotion) to the coupon. The discount must be between 5-80% of your lowest price for a product within the last 30 days to be eligible to run on Amazon. Also, you must set a coupon budget. Instead of being straightforward, and being able to select, “I’d like to create 100 usable coupons,” things get a little hairy.
A coupon’s “budget” is eaten away by two metrics: The Discount Value + the Coupon Referral Fee ($0.60 per coupon). So, if you are selling an item for $10, and a user gets $5 off, your Coupon Budget will be depleted by $5.60 each time a purchase is made using the coupon. So, for you to profitable here, you’re going to have to run the math to understand how much you want to invest in the coupon. If your coupon budget is $2,000, using the example above ($2,000 / $5.60), the coupon can be used 357 times before your coupon will be deactivated (or until it expires, whichever comes first.)
After you’ve understood how much you want to invest in your Coupon Budget, you’ll want to schedule and target your offer. You can offer a coupon to everyone, or only to those who have purchased your products (even specific products) on Amazon before. You can also select from some audiences created by Amazon, like Amazon Prime Members, Amazon Student Members and more. Seriously, the options are cool, so check them out.
A Word to the Wise
When creating promotions for your products, we recommend thinking about doing so as an enhancement to an already well-performing campaign. If your products aren’t selling well, or if you aren’t getting traffic and visibility on your listing already, then adding a coupon or promotion isn’t necessarily going to upswing all of your product sales. Also, promotions shouldn’t be used in place of having strong and relevant information on your product detail pages, as well as loads of reviews from Verified Purchasers.
If you are a 3P seller and are looking for ways to amp up your Amazon game, give us a call or drop a comment below.