Helium 10 Buzz 5/17/24: New Amazon High Return Rate Fee | TikTok Shop Expand

Amazon has announced some changes to the returns processing fee, which is expected to impact sellers on the platform who experience high return rates.
https://www.helium10.com/blog/return-rate-processing-fee-update/

TikTok to expand e-commerce business into Mexico and major Western European markets amid scrutiny in the US, EU
https://www.scmp.com/tech/tech-trends/article/3262039/tiktok-expand-e-commerce-business-mexico-and-major-western-european-markets-amid-scrutiny-us-eu

Amazon VP Alan Moss Tells Advertisers At Tech Giant’s First Upfront That Putting Ads On Prime Video “Connected The Dots Across Our Universe” – Update
https://deadline.com/2024/05/amazon-upfront-mike-hopkins-paul-kotas-streaming-advertising-1235915381/

Join us for an exciting in-person event held in the heart of the thriving city of Madrid. Home to the Kings of European Football Real Madrid, the Spanish Royal family, and some of the largest cultural events and landmarks in Europe, and now the AVASK Plus / Helium 10 Elite Madrid Seller Workshop!

We have a day packed full of amazing speakers and topics that we’re sure you’ll love. Join some of the largest sellers in the e-commerce space as we deliver no-nonsense guidance for e-commerce sellers serious about making it big.

Did you know that in Helium 10, you have a heat map of where in the USA your inventory is being held so that you can see the distribution of it, as well as a heat map of where your sales have been at the city or state level, over any date range?  In this episode, we show you how you can find these maps and how you can use them!

Plus, Helium 10 is changing the product research game by bringing back the Pinterest Trend Finder and adding the new tool Amazon Trending Keywords tool, revealing hot items with a simple click. Get set to spin the wheel of fortune and discover what’s sizzling in the market on this episode of the Weekly Buzz.

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

  • 00:46 – Amazon High Return Rate Fee
  • 04:57 – TikTok Shop Expansion
  • 06:55 – Amazon Sponsored TV
  • 09:31 – Event in Madrid
  • 10:31 – Pro Training: Inventory Heat Maps
  • 12:53 – Helium 10 New Feature Alerts

Transcript

Bradley Sutton:

A third new fee is about to be in effect for Amazon sellers. TikTok shop is expanding to other countries. Our workshop in Madrid is next week. This and more on today’s Weekly Buzz. How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think. Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers podcast by Helium 10. I am your host, Bradley Sutton, and this is the show that is our Helium 10 Weekly Buzz, where we give you a rundown of all the news stories that’s going on in the Amazon, Walmart and e-commerce world, and we also give you training tips of the week as well as let you know what new features and tools Helium 10 has. That’s going to give you serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world. Let’s see what’s buzzing. The first article we’re going to go in today is actually written by writers here at Helium 10, but it’s very important because it has to do with another fee that is coming out from Amazon and it’s important that we understand it, just like the low inventory fee, the inbound fee that’s come out. Where you can get to this article, by the way, is just go to h10.me forward slash blog that goes to our blog page and then hit the article that says high return rate processing fee update and once you hit that, basically we have all of the information of what’s going on. So basically, starting June 1st, the existing returns processing fee is scheduled to go in effect for products that experience high return rates, except apparel and shoes, all right. So this was announced with the other fee changes and these are going to occur at the close of every three months. So that’s kind of like something unique compared to the other fees, like, for example, returns of units shipped in June are going to be charged until September or not going to be charged until September, as the case is All right. So basically, it’s kind of like a little bit complicated.

Bradley Sutton:

So Amazon put this document together that Helium 10 based it off of, so you can kind of see what exactly is going on. Exactly is going on. So, for example, the FBA returns page is going to have your return insights dashboard. Highly recommend checking it out. It’s live right now. What are you going to be able to see there? You’re going to be able to see the number of return units and return rate percentages. That’s going to be super key. That’s used to calculate the fee. You’re also going to see the minimum return rate, thresholds above which fees are charged and, of course, the number of return units above the threshold for which fees are charged. So there’s like no ambiguity about what you are going to get charged with or not. So again, go to the FBA returns page. If you’re watching this on YouTube, you can kind of see on the picture here how that looks.

Bradley Sutton:

A lot of, I want to say, cool new stuff. But you know, anything that has to do with returns obviously sucks for us sellers, but it’s nice that there’s a lot of visibility. Before, the only place you could really see this was in helium 10, where, uh, we have, we’ve had a returns dashboard page for years, like five years. Uh, it was really hard to see this, definitely not graphically, seller Central, but at least they’re kind of stepping their game up, getting on Helium 10’s level, you know. But anyways, now remember, before I said, these things are going to be based on certain thresholds that you can’t go on. So there’s going to be, or that you can’t go over. So there’s going to be, a returns processing fee page that’s linked to right here in this blog, going to be a returns processing fee page that’s linked to right here in this blog, and then it has all of the different category limits as far as where you’re not going, when you are and aren’t going to get hit with this return fee For example, compact appliances you can have a return fee up to 12.6% before starting to get charged.

Bradley Sutton:

You know what about my coffin shelf that’s in home and kitchen? That is 8.1%. But man, this is kind of crazy. If you sell in the office products, you got a 4.4% window only, anything more than 4.4%. It’s like almost half of what I got in Home and Kitchen. You might start getting hit. I mean, for some of you people who are kind of on the border of which category to be in shoot might be something to consider. You might want to change one of your categories if it’s not going to hurt your indexing and things like that. Another low inventory one is the toys and games at 4.7%, all right. Another thing that Amazon just updated, though, also is it says, for products that ship less than 25 units a month, the updated returns processing fee is not applied for that month, or if you’re in the new selection program, all right. So there’s a lot of details on this blog. We also have some frequently asked questions that we go over, you know, such as the frequently return badge. You know such as the frequently returned badge, you know, like how that ties into things, etc. So make sure to check out that article again. H10.me forward slash blog.

Bradley Sutton:

Now the next article we have today comes from a website I don’t think I’ve ever quoted before. It’s called scamp.com and it’s entitled TikTok is to expand e-commerce business into Mexico and major Western European markets. All right, so basically, in a nutshell, obviously we have TikTok shop in the US. They’re going to open up in Mexico, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. All right, so now that’s going to give a total of 13 markets for TikTok shop. Now the criteria is tightened, say some merchants. It says those eligible for Mexico, for example, they have to have a locally registered entity. All right. So me being based here in the United States, if I don’t have a locally registered entity, I can just go and start a TikTok shop down there. I actually have. I think I do have a registered entity because my parents have a house in Mexico. Maybe I can use that if I wanted to get started on there. But first I got to get started on TikTok Shop USA, so I shouldn’t even be thinking about that. But if you’re thinking about going to TikTok Shop Mexico and don’t have a Mexican entity, forget it. Don’t even start trying, because that is something that is needed. Also, you’re going to be restricted from selling certain types in Mexico of goods, such as food and jewelry. Así que no se puede vender chimichangas in TikTok shop. You just can’t sell food, all right, in a TikTok shop Mexico. Now this article brings out some worldwide info. It says a worldwide, TikTok had more than 15 million sellers as of December, and they added 6 million in the second half of 2023 alone, and their goal is to have a target of 50 billion in gross merchandise value this year, according to a recent report by Chinese media 36KR. So are you in one of those countries like Mexico or somewhere else where TikTok shop is expanding to you, interested in going ahead and getting started on that platform might be something to think about. Make sure to check it out.

Bradley Sutton:

Next up is an article from Deadline.com, and this is entitled Amazon VP Alan Moss tells advertisers at TechGiant’s first upfront that putting ads on Prime Video connected the dots across your universe. Now, an upfront. This is usually what you know kind of like big broadcasters do talk about. What kind of programs, or you know like, are just going to be on next season. Like you know, paramount might you know, talk about what is the new star trek show that’s coming up, or something like that? Amazon never had one like that, but they’re really going all in on like video content. You know prime video, it says here, has a monthly reach of 200 million monthly viewers. So you know, amazon is all in on this TV and video thing. You know this isn’t just some like passing thing that they’re doing. They’re investing a lot of money in sports and also on the streaming TV and movie side as well. And here it says, you know the quote by introducing ads on Prime Video, we’ve created the largest ad supported premium streaming service in the world. We’ve connected the dots across our universe. And then, lastly, he says, turning to strategy, he said the company has created the ability for brands of all types and sizes to reach customers through prime video content. All right.

Bradley Sutton:

So you know, my thoughts on this is it’s still too early to know. Hey, is this going to be a hashtag campaign recently for the coffin shelf just to see and sponsor TV and get on some spooky podcasts or Twitch streams? I haven’t checked out how it did, but I think there’s two sides to this. Like, on one side, yeah, this is pretty cool, like you know, which one of us could say, hey, let me go ahead and and put my ad on Star Trek, you know, like on Paramount or on NBC or something like that. So I don’t even watch regular TV, so I’m not sure what’s the popular TV shows Young Sheldon I know that’s a show that’s on like you would never think, hey, let me go ahead and advertise there. But you know, theoretically speaking, you’re going to be able to do something like that on different shows, on freebie and prime video, et cetera. But then, on this flip side, if they’re putting all this money in and they’re also making it available which they are for non-endemic brands, you know, brands that don’t even sell on Amazon Well, is it just going to end up being like network television, where those people with the big money are just going to grab all the ad spots up? Who knows, we’ll see how things shake out. But wanted to make sure you guys are aware of that.

Bradley Sutton:

This is the last week until next week, where we have our first ever workshop in Madrid, Spain. I’ll be going there and I want to see as many of you as possible. You know, if you live in Spain, it’s a no brainer. Just go over there, take the train from Barcelona or, right there, take a long walk in Madrid to where we’re going to be. But, guys, if you’re in Europe, my goodness, you’re like a $50 Ryanair flight away. Please join us. All right, it’s going to be a smaller event we’re not talking like selling scale, where we had over a thousand people but this is going to be right here in Madrid on May 28th, Tuesday, all right. So a couple of weeks from now, at 930 am, all day, we’re going to have some amazing speakers here, like Leo Segovia and Alina and Vincenzo Toscano, Carrie Miller, all talking about advanced strategies. So, if you can make it, please get more information from h10.me forward slash elite Spain. H10.me forward slash elite Spain. All right.

Bradley Sutton:

Next up, let’s go quickly to our strategy of the week, and this is something that I think a lot of people sleep on, and it’s in profits, all right. So if you are interested in knowing, hey, where is my inventory stored throughout America and which warehouses? How does it compare to how my sales distribution is across America? We have heat maps for that, all right. So in order to see that you would just go to the Helium 10 profits tool. All right, so you go to your Helium 10 profits tool and, if you have the module product performance, just go to any of your products and then hit the explain button and then you’ll see two buttons. The first one is inventory map. So hit that inventory map and it’ll show the date of the inventory you’re looking at and then you’ll see a nice graphical user interface here of how your inventory is spread out across the country and you can see what the top fulfillment centers by total inventory has and where your inventory is at. Like, look, look here this is my bat shaped bath mat. I got a lot of uh inventory in California, a lot in Florida, a lot in Texas. But then now you can also see hey, let me check out my sales distribution, where’s my sales heat map? And then so now I can see, hey, for a certain time period, where are my sales happening for this exact product? And I can see what. Look at that. California, Texas and Florida got lots of sales, but man zero, nobody’s buying my bath mat in Idaho and Wyoming and the Dakotas, et cetera. So this is a really helpful tool, especially for those of you launching products right, when you launch a new product, I like to keep my listing closed, maybe even suppressed, until my inventory distributes a little bit more equally across the country, because maybe I’m only sending it to four locations and once it hits those four locations it still has to spread out to other warehouses and if I turn on my listing right away when it gets that first location, you know somebody in the opposite side of the country could see this crazy, ridiculous shipping time of like two or three weeks, right, and you know that’s not going to help your conversion, especially when you’re launching. So I like to wait until I have enough inventory kind of spread out a little bit more. Looking at your inventory heat maps each day is going to give you a nice idea about how and when Amazon is distributing your inventory, so make sure to use that All right.

Bradley Sutton:

Now it’s time for our new feature alerts here at Helium 10. Every week we are launching new tools, new features. We’ve got two of them today. First one is we’re bringing back an old one that we haven’t had in a long time but a lot of members were asking for. It’s a great product research tool and it’s entitled the Pinterest Trend Finder. How you can find that is go to your main dashboard. If you’ve got the insights dashboard and you’re going to hit the add chart button. Now, once you hit that add chart button, you’re going to go ahead and select chart library and you’re going to want to find the product ideas chart Okay, product ideas. Once you go ahead and hit add to your dashboard. Now what you’re going to see here, once you find it on your dashboard, think of it kind of like a Vegas slot machine, right where it’s kind of like spin the wheel. So you go ahead and spin the wheel and this is actually going in and looking at Pinterest trends, at what is trending over the last few weeks. We’ve got a database of a lot of keywords that are coming directly from Pinterest trends and I can keep regenerating it and spinning that wheel until I can find something interesting about what might be trending on that platform.

Bradley Sutton:

Now the other tool that we’ve never had before. This is a brand new tool. It’s in the same one that I just mentioned here. So this tool is called Amazon Trending Keywords. It’s in the same exact tool as the Pinterest Trend Finder, which is on a different tab, and this is a brand new tool that we haven’t had before. So here in the Pinterest Trend Finder I just hit the Amazon and then I hit regenerates, kind of like spins the wheel again, and then like, for example, it’s going to give me this keyword here that’s Spanish Arreglos para el dia de las madres. So this is flower arrangements or arrangements for Mother’s Day, right. So this keyword had never been at a certain search volume, ever in Helium 10’s database and that’s how it gets on this list where it’s like skyrocketed the search form. It makes sense hey, this is a Mother’s Day trendy one. Let me hit regenerate, spin the wheel again, let’s see what else we come up with here. Mosquito repellent Rivaltech might be a branded search right there, but again, that shows you that there’s a trending brand right here.

Bradley Sutton:

Here’s intelligent Bluetooth speaker that just came up. Here’s another one Mother’s Day gift bags, medium. So all of these keywords are ones that never have had that’s hit the search volume, that it’s hit right now, so that you can kind of say, hey, this might be a brand new keyword that might be trending, all right. So it’s kind of like a fun way to do your product research where you know you don’t want to go down rabbit trails, maybe in black box, or have to do a whole bunch of filters. You just want to sit there and click a button over and over again and see if you get fortunate on hitting something that looks interesting that might, you know, warrant some further research. So if you just want to have a little bit of fun with your product research and spin the wheel, make sure to go ahead and add that chart to your dashboard. All right, guys. That’s it for this week’s Weekly Buzz. We’ll see you next week to see what’s buzzing.


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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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