All You Need to Know About the New Amazon Product Documents Program
There are a couple of things that can kill a product on Amazon. I call it a bad case of the double R’s.
Returns, which lead to bad Reviews.
Even if your product is of top quality, you STILL might get hit with a case of the double R’s. The reason? There might be confusion about how to assemble, install, or use the product. That results in frustration, and then, instead of trying to troubleshoot, the customers simply tell Amazon it is defective. Then, they return the product, and if they are particularly unhappy, they leave you a bad review.
This is frustrating for many sellers because they know they could have fixed the problem had the customer just reached out to them for support. However, as you know, FBA product customer support is usually routed to Amazon, and the average Amazon support rep is not able to help customers with technical or installation issues.
Avoiding Preventable Amazon Product Issues
What do some sellers do to try to avoid so many issues like this? Some try to put mini-installation, or usage guides as infographics in the product images.
Others actually upload full installation videos as part of their image deck, instead of traditional marketing style videos:
Others have used automated messaging tools like Helium 10 Follow-up In order to deliver PDF’s of installation guides to buyers of a product. I personally have used Helium 10 Portals to create an insert card (that I put in every box) with an installation guide on it.
These are all tried and tested methods for trying to make sure the customer is fully aware of how to use the product both before and after the purchase.
However, as of today, if you are brand registered, there is now a new way that Amazon has made available so that you can provide documentation to potential customers, right on your listing.
Introducing Amazon’s Product Documents Program
Here is the official announcement from Amazon on this new program:
Here’s How to Get Started
If you have Amazon brand registry, you can get started with the Amazon Product Document Program by uploading documents linked here.
From there, select “Upload New Document.”
This is where things get interesting. You have a plethora of different kinds of documents that you can upload!
Here is the complete list of document types that the Amazon Product Document Program supports:
- Safety Information (PDF)
- Certificate of Analysis (PDF)
- Certificate of Compliance (PDF)
- User Guide (PDF)
- User Manual (PDF)
- Specification Sheet (PDF)
- Comparison Chart (PDF)
- Product Documentation (PDF)
- 2D CAD (PDF)
- 3D CAD (PDF)
- 2D CAD (DWG)
- 2D CAD (DWG)
- 2D CAD (DXF)
- 3D CAD (EDRW)
- 3D CAD (EPRT)
- 3D CAD (IGS)
- 3D CAD (SLDPRT)
- 3D CAD (STP)
- Application Guide (PDF)
- Brochure (PDF)
- Compatibility Guide (PDF)
- Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) (PDF)
- EUA Amendment(s) (PDF)
- FAQ (PDF)
- Instructions for Use (IFU) (PDF)
- Fact Sheet (Patient) (PDF)
- Fact Sheet (Provider) (PDF)
- Safety Information (PDF)
- Size Guide (PDF)
- Troubleshooting Guide (PDF)
Good grief! Some of those I have never even heard of! What in the world is a EUA Amendment for example! Anyway, as you can see, the variety of documents that the Amazon Product Document Program will initially accept is almost endless.
Creating Your Product Document
Here are the remaining steps that you need to take to do finish the process:
- Choose a name for the document you are uploading. This is only for your reference. Customers will not see this name.
- Choose a document type from the list of allowed document types.
- Choose the language or languages that are present in the document you are uploading.
- Choose a file to upload. Files must be:
- Less than 10MB
- PDF format except for CAD drawings
- CAD drawings may be in PDF, dwg, dxf, igs, eprt, edrw, sidprt, or stp format
- Search by ASIN or product name and follow the on-screen prompts to associate one or more ASINs with the document you are uploading. At least one ASIN must be applied to the document for it to be uploaded.
To test it out, I chose a simple Installation Manual PDF on one of the products in Project 5K.
First, I hit “Apply Content,” and then click on the Submit button at the top of the screen. Afterwards I would receive a message that it has been submitted and would then go through the approval process. This is very similar to how you submit EBC content on listings.
According to the Amazon Product Document Program, it can take up to seven business days to be reviewed. Then, after approval, it could take another seven days to publish on the listing.
Now I know how it looks: It took only three days for the document to be approved and to go live on the product page. On the product page it occupies a new section entitled, “Product guides and documents” that is between the product information section and the product video section.
Amazon’s Product Document Program Requirements
- Maximum file size: 10 MB
- Include only one brand logo and only icons that help customers navigate through the text. Logos and symbols from partner companies do not have to be used, but may be allowed if it is logical or beneficial to include them.
- Do not include any shipping, pricing, promotional details or discounts, QR barcodes, or personal information.
- No quotes or attributions may be made to individuals, customers, or other private figures. A maximum of 4 quotes or endorsements from publications, public figures, celebrities, and brand-named individuals is permitted.
- Do not reference or compare products with competitors, regardless of how competitors are mentioned (i.e. specific names, described as “other” or “others,” or otherwise). This content is intended to build the brand and provide additional product details, not to discuss competitors.
- Comparison charts may only compare the product to other products owned by the same brand. Comparisons made to other categories, like LED bulbs vs halogen bulbs, are acceptable and not considered competitive call-outs.
- Specific pricing call-outs or quotes comparing the product are only allowed in comparison tables, against other products owned by the same brand.
- Do not mention time-sensitive information such as: now, new, latest, yet, on sale now, the latest product, the best yet.
- Trademarks and copyright symbols are acceptable if they are of reasonable size, and are either already included on product packaging or always displayed as part of the logo.
- State the date when awards and endorsements were gained, and ensure that they are from verified and publicly recognized sources (proof, license number, authority, etc.). Do not mention awards received more than 2 years ago.
- The word “Amazon” is not allowed in any content (text or image). However, the term “Amazon” can be allowed with regard to AmazonBasics and Amazon-branded products.
- Boastful claims such as “#1 rated” “top-rated” “best-selling” are not allowed in any form.
- Claims regarding drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, beverages, food, and health products (including natural health products, vitamins, and supplements), as well as any general health claims, require substantiation.
- Warranty or guarantee information is strictly forbidden, except in cases where the product itself is strictly a warranty card.
Let’s talk about the potential implications of the Amazon Product Document Program. You now have another way to help customers understand, even before they purchase, how to use the product. However, there are some additional takeaways from this.
Additional Benefits from Amazon’s New Program
In some categories such as Beauty and Health and Wellness, I could potentially see some of these documents becoming “badges of honor.” For example, one product might proudly make note of how they have Safety Information, a Certificate of Analysis, Specification Sheet and more, while their competitors do not.
There are many “picky” buyers out there who might be swayed by this kind of documentation.
Maybe in the past it would have been a “toss-up” between your product and your competitor for a particular buyer, but now, they might favor the product that sets their mind more at ease due to the extra documentation.
It’s too early to fully speculate on how this will affect buyer behavior, but it will be interesting to monitor. If you have these documents, it probably would be best for you to get a jump start on your competition and upload them and start monitoring your conversion rate to see what kind of difference, if any, it makes.
This program is not entirely new. It actually used to be exclusively for business Seller Program sellers, and it was visible only to Business buyers. That program now has been completely replaced with this new one.
Let us know in the comments below if you plan to use this new feature from Amazon!