Helium 10 Buzz 1/11/24: Shipping Price Hikes | Amazon AI Listing Changes | Walmart Ads Update

We’re back with another episode of the Weekly Buzz with Helium 10’s Brand Evangelist, Shivali Patel. Every week, we cover the latest breaking news in the Amazon, Walmart, and E-commerce space, interview someone you need to hear from and provide a training tip for the week.

Global shipping rates set to jump as carriers avoid the Red Sea amid Houthi attacks
https://www.cnbc.com/2024/01/10/global-shipping-rates-set-to-surge-as-carriers-avoid-red-sea.html

Walmart Connect now allows brand term targeting for Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Video campaigns to help suppliers and sellers gain new customers and defend and maintain share of voice.
https://gecrm.my.salesforce.com/sfc/p/#61000000ZKTc/a/8Y0000010m2h/7xTFu8gBw7LO5UHgY1DcW.oPCExzSEZqfWAJlat9k_g

Improve your campaign performance on rest of search placements using Sponsored Products rest of search bid adjustment control
https://advertising.amazon.com/en-us/resources/whats-new/improve-campaign-performance/

Sponsored Display is expanded to Amazon Business globally
https://advertising.amazon.com/en-us/resources/whats-new/sponsored-display-amazon-business-globally/

How Amazon Fashion is using AI to help you find the perfect fit
https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/retail/how-amazon-is-using-ai-to-help-customers-shop

Walmart unveils new generative AI-powered capabilities for shoppers and associates
https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2024/01/09/walmart-unveils-new-generative-ai-powered-capabilities-for-shoppers-and-associates/

Alibaba Boosts SMEs With New AI Feature at CES 2024
https://aithority.com/technology/alibaba-boosts-smes-with-new-ai-feature-at-ces-2024/

Sky High Ambitions: Walmart To Make Largest Drone Delivery Expansion of Any U.S. Retailer
https://corporate.walmart.com/news/2024/01/09/sky-high-ambitions-walmart-to-make-largest-drone-delivery-expansion-of-any-us-retailer

Walmart unveils latest technologies at Consumer Electronics Show
https://drugstorenews.com/walmart-unveils-latest-technologies-consumer-electronics-show

Our training tip for this week is how to add Helium 10’s Follow-Up tool to your toolkit, gathering customer reviews has never been smoother. So, buckle up because you’ve got yourself an episode brimming with actionable insights and essential updates for every serious seller out there.

In this episode of the Weekly Buzz by Helium 10, Shivali covers:

  • 00:45 – Amazon Fees to Hike 300%?!
  • 02:42 – Unenroll, Avoid Suspension
  • 04:20 – Walmart Brand Term Targeting
  • 05:48 – New Placement Bid Adjustments
  • 06:20 – Sponsored Display Expansion
  • 06:51 – AI Powered Innovations
  • 08:20 – CES Announcements
  • 10:18 – Comparison Charts Gone!
  • 11:22 – Pro Training Tip: Automated Request A Review
  • 14:00 – Join And Meet Bradley In These Events

Transcript

Shivali Patel:

Amazon shipping prices to increase by 300%, unenroll an automated AI, changes to your listings and a plethora of new AI-powered integrations. This and more on this week’s episode of the Weekly Buzz.

Bradley Sutton:

How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think.

Shivali Patel:

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers podcast by Helium 10. I am your host, Shivali Patel, and this is the show that is our Helium 10 Weekly Buzz, where we give you all the latest news in the Amazon, Walmart and e-commerce space and we also provide you with a training tip of the week that will give you insight into serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world. Let’s see what’s buzzing this week. First up, let’s jump to shipping and logistics. I’m currently on CNBC and, as you can see, the latest news is global shipping rates are set to experience a steep rise.

Shivali Patel:

In order to divert ships from the Red Sea, where there has been a surge of ships being attacked with drones and missile strikes by the Houthi rebels in Yemen, new routes are being taken, extra fees are being imposed and, as a seller, you should expect longer transit times. Analysts are actually warning the chaos could bring about a second wave of inflation, as many container companies are electing to reroute the vessels through routes sailing around Africa’s Cape of good hope, making the journey longer than usual. Of course, for sellers everywhere, this differs based on where you’re sourcing. This also comes at the expense of time, money and delayed product deliveries, and while we can hope that the global supply chain will eventually return to normal, for the time being it’s probably best practice for you to prepare your inventory, turnover and profit margins accordingly. I actually recently had a conversation with Burak from Forceget and I quote he said that it does affect every line price and departure times and schedules. Majority of these shipping lines have 10 to 15 day delays. If we’re talking about a departure from China, that container vessel has to go from China to England, which will then go from England to USA, and every sailing schedule is connected to one another. From China to UK. It’s around 7,000, versus two months ago when it was $2,500. The main problem being the total turnaround time. And of course, this has a massive impact because Chinese New Year is also around the corner. Geez, talk about a steep height and a snowball effect. Understandably so, but as a seller myself, I don’t love it, though I would prefer my shipments remain intact. Hopefully, as a seller, you are able to make feasible changes that sustain your business needs.

Shivali Patel:

Next up, we have this post that Jason made in our serious sellers club Facebook group yesterday. The meat and gravy of this post is actually based in something that we reported on the weekly bus a few weeks ago. At some point, amazon announced they would start potentially optimizing listings using AI. Now we’ve seen many, many sellers report that their titles, even their bullet points, were getting changed, sometimes without notice, and occasionally those changes end up being products that could get a listing suspended.

Shivali Patel:

Thankfully, there is a way that you can unenroll from this and if you are someone who wants to opt out, here’s how you do it. So you’re going to want to go to your seller central account and once you’re there, go ahead and open up that left paneling click inventory, not inventory catalog, click add products. Once you’re on this page, then you’re going to go to this section down below where it says explore brand selection, click learn more, and by going to the page that this takes you to, you’ll see there’s an option right here that says you can unenroll from the program at any time. So go ahead and select that and then at the very bottom of this page, you’ll see it says no thanks, I do not wish to enroll, and go ahead and select that From there. You are good to go. If, in the case that Amazon has already chained something like they did for David right here, then you will need to create a case for it to be resolved and affirm that you want to be the lead contributor, as you are the brand owner. So there you have it. It is really as simple as that. But you will want to make sure that you’re doing this if you want to defend your listings against any changes that you haven’t made yourself. With that, let’s go ahead and move forward to a different fruitful note, where we have an article from Walmart Connect.

Shivali Patel:

Part of being a seller is gaining new customers and retaining loyal ones. So, outside of the clear variables to stay on top of, such as knowing your customer and ensuring your brand and products are relevant to the customers you’re targeting, having great keywords, compelling listings, creatives and utilizing brand shop and shelf URLs, setting up a defensive for your brand by bidding on your own and your competitor’s branded terms is really beneficial. So the good news with Walmart Connect is they actually allow brand term targeting now for sponsored products, sponsored brands and sponsored video campaigns, so that way, customers can discover your brand and products when you advertise, while simultaneously helping you defend and maintain share of voice, as it says right here. This is really cool because, statistically speaking, Walmart has publicly revealed that 58% of customers surveyed will spend time looking for a discount, while 54% of Walmart consumers are open to switching brands if it means getting a better value for the same products. I know my family is definitely a part of these metrics. So to use it, make sure that you bid on keywords related to your competitor’s brands and products, and bear in mind that there are some restrictions. For instance, you cannot bid on Walmart private labels, and this is only applicable for exact match keywords. Now that’s Walmart toggling gears.

Shivali Patel:

What’s happening over at Amazon? Well, a few things. But to start, advertisers can now apply bid adjustment for rest of search placements in their sponsored product campaigns. Looks like they’re saying that the new bid adjustment control for rust of search works pretty much the same as the adjustments available for top of search and product page placements. So, if you choose, you can adjust bids up to 900%, just like the other two placements. This is great for helping you balance out campaign performance throughout your placements. Amazon has also expanded their sponsored display to show up on Amazon business globally with placements on the homepage, search and detail pages, be it on desktop and mobile, meaning you can now promote to business shoppers with exclusive pricing, such as quantity discounts, as they tend to purchase in bulk and more frequently than regular customers. This is available in North America, parts of Europe and Asia Pacific.

Shivali Patel:

For a continuation of exciting changes, ai has been all the rage since its inception and when reading up on different news pieces, that definitely shines through. Platforms like Amazon and Walmart are tapping in. For instance, amazon fashion here is using AI to help consumers find the perfect fit. Alongside that fit insights tool If you remember, I talked about it the last time I hosted weekly buzz and hopefully for you as a seller, this can translate to less returns overall, while improving the overall experience that you deliver to your consumers. Similarly, in terms of Walmart, most families spend six hours planning household groceries and shopping. Many do it digitally.

Shivali Patel:

Now the company is moving towards using a generative, ai powered search function to expand their searches, with the intent of allowing shoppers to look for specific themes, ideas, products across a host of categories. As an example, here on Microsoft’s blog, we have a parent who is planning a birthday party for a child that loves unicorns and, as opposed to typing in maybe independent searches or running multiple different things such as napkins and plates, you can now just type in help me plan a unicorn themed party for my daughter and instantaneously you have a goal based search as opposed to scroll searching, and I really liked that identification right here. So it says shifting from scroll searching to goal searching. At the end of the day, both of these news pieces are a testament to a move towards a more customer centric approach. In other news, at CES, which is currently happening, alibabacom also dove into their newly developed smart assistant, which acts as an intuitive personal assistant guide to sourcing, where an AI powered robot can help you with your basic queries regardless of time zones or language barriers. This is an in addition to their September 2023 launch of upgraded image searches and smart requests for quotations to allow business owners to manage data collection and insights from a single touch point, and I’m excited about this. I know something we always consider is how well we are able to communicate with our suppliers, and the language barrier can make it difficult to understand the efficiency of operations. With this, hopefully, it expands the efficiency and ability to work with even more suppliers.

Shivali Patel:

Ps, Alibaba debuted a new campaign to celebrate entrepreneurial spirit and innovation and, since we’re all a little bit nuts about what we do, it’s actually a super fun quiz. We have our own link so you can be eligible for prizes from Alibaba. Just go to H10.me slash nuts that’s again h10.me forward slash nuts to see what kind of nuts you are. I think I was a cashier when I took this quiz and Bradley was a chest nut. Okay, more from CES.

Shivali Patel:

Walmart’s Tuesday keynote expressed they will be expanding their drone delivery to 1.8 million additional households in the Dallas fourth worth metropolitan area. While their drone delivery system isn’t exactly new, their expansion signifies demand, efficiency and growth. The company also revealed an in-home replenishment which uses AI to understand consumer shopping habits and then keep them stocked with their favorite groceries after determining a cadence, as well as a beta platform that’s called shop with friends, which will allow customers to create outfits visually and then get some feedback from their networks. Lastly, if you haven’t seen it yet, inside of the news section, directly inside of your seller central account, amazon has opted to make some changes on what documents are acceptable to standardized product listings, as well as make it easier for your consumers to understand the information that’s available about your product.

Shivali Patel:

From January 29th 2024, you will not be able to upload or edit the following on your product detail pages. This does include brochure, comparison charts, compatibility guides, FAQ, size charts. There’s quite a few things, but in the case that any one of these already exists on your page, then that will stay there until February 26th, at which point they will be able to remove it from your product detail page. And all this is to say that if there is certain information you want to ensure stays on your listing page, make sure you audit your SKUs and then move that information to the appropriate sections or at least respond to that in a supported format, reflect uploaded accordingly. So that concludes our news pieces for the week. With that said, we move forward to the training tip of the week. Having substantial social proof is such an integral part of driving momentum in any business, so I’m going to pass it off to Carrie, where she will share a little bit about Helium 10’s Follow-up tool.

Carrie Miller:

Hello everyone, I’ve been noticing lately that a lot of you have been asking how to get more reviews on your Amazon listings, and I have a very simple, easy and quick way to set up an automation that will help you to get more reviews with no effort, pretty much other than just setting this up. Now you have access to this tool If you’re platinum diamond, elite. All the plans should have access to this, so it’s a great thing to utilize. If you have not yet utilized it, the first thing that you want to do is you want to obviously log into your helium 10 account, and once you’re logged into your helium 10 account, you’re going to go up to the top here where it says follow up, and you’re going to click on follow up, and then, once you’re in the follow up tool, you can obviously set up your own kind of customized automations, but that takes more time and effort. I would recommend just doing what I tell you here, and this is an automation, so email automation is where you’re going to go next, and then what you’re going to do is you’re going to go up to the right hand corner where it says new automation and you’re going to click on new automation and then you’re going to click here where it says send a message to request a review. Once you click on that, you’re going to click on create a new automation and this is where you’re going to kind of set up the parameters here. Now, if you wanted to use this for a certain ASIN, like you wanted this automated request to go for a certain ASIN, you’re going to put that ASIN right. You can click on this and you can add this filter and you’re going to put the ASIN in here. You can also do that by skew as well, but that is how you are going to be able to do the request review and this is an automated email that goes out through Amazon that they already do.

Carrie Miller:

The only other thing that you are going to want to edit is this wait time. So this is how long they wait after you had an order placed. I recommend 12 to 25 days. You mean you can really go anywhere in here. So maybe day 20, you can add that action and then you’re going to hit save and exit and it’s going to basically automatically send these emails to request a review from Amazon. This is a very quick and easy way to get those reviews that you want and if you haven’t set this up. Once you’ve set it up, it’ll automatically request those reviews for you. Basically, it goes through Amazon and Amazon requests those reviews, so check it out, if you haven’t already. Again, that’s the follow up tool and let us know what you think.

Shivali Patel:

Incredible. So there you guys have it. Make sure you’re making use of our email automation functionality to help you streamline your processes and keep that Amazon flywheel in motion. Before I close out, I just want to briefly touch on some of our upcoming January meetups and conferences. I know Bradley covered these last week, but perhaps between then and now some things have changed and if you have the bandwidth, obviously we would love to see you. Don’t forget to let us know in the comment section if you’re attending any of these.

Shivali Patel:

First up, we have a Dubai meetup on the 12th, which is this Friday. I believe this event is sold out now, but if you are nearby or you already have tickets, you will likely be meeting up with Bradley and Crystal from Amazon Seller Society. It’s a casual meetup in the morning, hosted at the Movenpick Hotel apartments in downtown Dubai. Find out more at h10.me forward slash Dubai meetup. And a couple days later, on the 14th, Bradley will be in Lahore at the Pearl Continental for a reality check. If any of you are tuning in from areas close to there, then hey, it might be something you want to consider heading over to. Then we have our Frankfurt event on the 25th. I’ll be there. Bradley will be there. It’s a Helium 10 Elite event we’re hosting in collaboration with Avask that typically only elite members in Avask plus members get to go to. If you are an elite or Avask plus member, you get in for free, but what typically costs elite members in the 600 range, this time, if you’re not a member, you can still access this full day event for only 75 euros, because it is the first of its kind in Europe.

Shivali Patel:

We have a carefully curated but killer lineup of speakers Matt Altman from ClearAds, Kara Sayer from Snooze Shade Both are flying in from UK, Nick from Boomed Silas, who used to be head of paid and organic search at Lego, and a few others. You don’t even need to rent a car or anything, because it’ll be at a venue located inside of the Frankfurt airport. Literally just fly in and come through. And the biggest event is in Berlin with AMZ Hackers live conference at h10.me/germany on January the 27th. Again, Bradley and I will both be there, so come, swing by and say hello. Hope you enjoy this week’s episode. We will see you next week to see what’s buzzing.


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Want to absolutely start crushing it on Amazon? Here are few carefully curated resources to get you started: 

  • Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business. 
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  • SellerTrademarks.com: Trademarks are vital for protecting your Amazon brand from hijackers, and sellertrademarks.com provides a streamlined process for helping you get one.
author-photo
Director of Training & Chief Evangelist

Bradley is the Director of Training and Chief Evangelist for Helium 10 as well as the host of the most listened to podcast in the world for Amazon sellers, the Serious Sellers Podcast. He has been involved in e-commerce for over 20 years, and before joining Helium 10, launched over 400 products as a consultant for Amazon Sellers.

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