Helium 10 Buzz 5/2/24: Amazon Inventory Fee Postponed | 500K TikTok Shop Sellers

We’re back with another episode of the Weekly Buzz with Helium 10’s Sr 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.

TikTok Shop tops 500,000 US sellers after 2023 e-commerce launch
https://www.scmp.com/tech/tech-trends/article/3261114/tiktok-shop-tops-500000-us-sellers-after-2023-e-commerce-launch

TikTok Shop Marks 500,000+ Merchants in the US
https://www.pymnts.com/news/social-commerce/2024/tiktok-shop-marks-500000-merchants-in-the-us/

Amazon’s latest actions against fake review brokers: Lawsuits against fraudsters target the source of fake reviews
https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/policy-news-views/amazons-latest-actions-against-fake-review-brokers

Amazon Business Celebrates Third Annual Small Business Month with New Immersive Educational Hub and Over $250,000 in Grants
https://press.aboutamazon.com/2024/5/amazon-business-celebrates-third-annual-small-business-month-with-new-immersive-educational-hub-and-over-250-000-in-grants

Amazon issued a new policy update in seller forums regarding low-inventory fees.

Moving from defense to offense in the Amazon marketplace, our conversation shifts to the art of strategic advertising. We lay out how to use sponsored brand and product ads to not only protect your listings but also to proactively stake your claim in new territories. Carrie Miller unpacks the wisdom behind a proactive approach, providing practical advice on employing competitor analysis to your advantage. Together, we outline how to harness these insights for defending against competitors eyeing your listings and for targeting theirs, ensuring that you remain a formidable presence amidst the fierce online selling arena.

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

  • 00:50 – 500K TikTok Shop Sellers
  • 02:43 – New Amazon Discount Page
  • 04:16 – Amazon Fake Reviews
  • 05:43 – Amazon FedEx Shipping
  • 06:05 – Amazon Grants
  • 06:26 – Low Inventory Fee Postponed
  • 08:26 – Helium 10 New Feature Alerts
  • 10:44 – Training Tip Of The Week

Transcript

Shivali Patel:

TikTok shop blocking more than 37 million products, an all new price discounts dashboard and a couple of interesting new feature alerts. That and so much more on this week’s Weekly Buzz.

Bradley Sutton:

How cool is that? Pretty cool, I think. Hello everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Serious Sellers Podcast by Helium 10. I’m 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 new stories that are going on in the Amazon, Walmart and e-commerce world. We highlight the latest new feature alerts from Helium 10, and we review a training tip of the week that’ll give you serious strategies for serious sellers of any level in the e-commerce world. Today, our host is going to be Shivali Patel, and so Shivali Patel, and so Shivali. Take it away and let us know what’s buzzing.

Shivali Patel:

Thank you, Bradley. Let’s hop into today’s stories. First up, we have an article published by Bloomberg discussing TikTok shop, hitting upwards of 500,000 sellers selling through the app to its US-based users by the end of 2023, which is actually double the number that it was from three months prior. With the video service ramping up its efforts and expanding concurrent opportunity to sellers in markets like Southeast Asia and the UK, it’s not exactly a surprise that the platform showcases continuous growth. TikTok has also remained vigilant in blocking bad players on TikTok shop, and those who fail to meet policy requirements or violate guidelines definitely experienced some pushback. As you can see here. It says the company blocked more than 37 million products from appearing on the app on the second half of the year and removed over 133,000 after listing for policy violations. That’s while keeping the customer shopping experience as the focal point and keeping the conversation of user data somewhere at bay. If you don’t believe me, I think it’s interesting to put the threat of the ban into perspective. It hasn’t exactly deterred brands from using TikTok shop to attract customers. For instance, take this article where it says that Elf Beauty and skincare brand CauseRx both launched campaigns on the platform in March and Coca-Cola announced its first product sold exclusively on TikTok shop, called Happy Tears Zero Sugar Payments has also found an intelligence report which says that 43% of consumers typically find products using social media, of which only 14% purchase. However, in the case of TikTok Shop, that’s a little bit different, where you now have 39 million users, where 17% are purchasing. Perhaps this is the kind of information that ought to be used to your advantage if you’re a seller of any kind.

Shivali Patel:

Our second news piece is regarding Amazon’s new price discounts dashboard. You can find more information underneath your news section of your Seller Central dashboard, but the tool is really intended to help you sell through your inventory as well as increase sales up to 30 days by analyzing customer behavior in accordance with discounted prices and performance metrics such as glance views, conversion rates and more. For those of you who do not know, a price discount is a time-bound campaign in which you can offer discounted prices on your products for up to 30 days, and this is on a limited number of inventory as well. Price discounts for products with a validated reference price appear with a strike through price For customers. That’s really great, because it highlights your prospective customer’s potential savings for the duration of that discount, meaning. Not only do you gain insights into performance on a global scale, but you may also incentivize that customer to purchase your product over a competitor’s, drive discovery and boost conversions. Feel free to navigate this page on the help section to read up on the eligibility criteria. As you can see, you do need to be a professional seller with at least a 3.5 seller feedback rating. Your products must have at least a three-star rating, they must be in new condition and the discount must meet the following At least 5% off the 30 day lowest price bought by customers or off the current price or even the reference price for products with a validated reference price.

Shivali Patel:

Third, on today’s new segment, we cover some of Amazon’s latest actions against fake review brokers. Amazon has actively been combating fake review brokers globally who deceive customers and harm selling partners, employing both machine learning and human investigators. Amazon has supposedly blocked over 250 million suspected fake reviews from their store in 2023, guys, as an example of this, we have Amazon versus Auction Centennial. This is more recently. I’m not sure if I pronounced that correctly, but the defendants were found guilty of facilitating fraudulent practices on Amazon’s platform and they sold fake five-star seller feedback, provided services to create fraudulent selling accounts, artificially inflating reviews and ultimately, the court ruled in favor of Amazon, ordering that the defendants surrender their profits. Amazon gained control of the domains, and I think that this case really underscores Amazon’s commitment to taking legal action against those who undermine the integrity of its marketplace.

Shivali Patel:

By no means is this case the only one. Actually, you can scroll down on this site right here and see some other instances of that, and I say this all really to make a point, and that is the fake reviews are not worth it, guys. Remember, if you’re a seller, that it is simply better to gain authentic reviews. You risk your account getting shut down and, especially in the beginning, if you’re brand registered, consider using the Vine program. Okay, so Amazon also has updated two FedEx shipping methods on Amazon Buy Shipping. So if you are a seller who uses Amazon Buy Shipping, you can now use FedEx Ground Economy, formerly known as SmartPost, FedEx One Rate. Both of these are with the intention to make things more accessible, so as long as your products fit the sizing and weight dimensions, you should be good to go. Last but not least, we’ve got Amazon Grants. Amazon Business launched a 2024 small business grants program that gives eligible small businesses, otherwise known as existing Amazon business customers with an annual revenue of $1 million or less in the US the chance to win over $250,000 in monetary grants. Should you need it, we’ll link the article for you.

Shivali Patel:

We also have an update to the low inventory level fee, which Amazon announced was a means to improve inventory health across their fulfillment centers back in December of 2023. As, typically, products with good inventory levels generate more sales. While the fee went into effect on April 1st, fees are set to be credited back in. That transition period has also now been extended to May 14th, as Amazon has seen sellers achieve healthy inventory levels and avoid the fee entirely. While that might be true, I want to point out that three new changes are going to be taking place. After May 15th, items that are selling fewer than 20 units in the last week will not be subject to those fees. So, in order to avoid or reduce the low inventory level fee, it’s recommended that you sell through your inventory within six weeks after you discontinue your product. And two, the low inventory level fee does not apply to products that have sold less than 20 units in the past seven days, aka lower risk of being charged at lower sales volume. The second update on this topic is that any fees that are incurred due to excessive inbounding and processing times that are caused by Amazon specifically, will be credited back by the 15th of the following month, meaning, if you’re worried about insuring the fees while there are inbound delays, your shipment’s being processed or something happens and it doesn’t go in on time because of Amazon, then you are going to be proactively credited back. Lastly, for Prime Day 2024, there will be a temporary exception to low inventory fees for products featured in Prime, exclusive lightning deals and best deals for four weeks after Prime Day. This is going to be to accommodate potential fluctuations in inventory levels and is going to be to accommodate potential fluctuations in inventory levels, and I want to note that if you want to meet your peak season demand, make sure that you send in sufficient inventory at least four weeks prior to ensure you have a high historical days of supply metric and maintain over 28 days of inventory. That does conclude this week’s stories.

Shivali Patel:

Let’s switch gears and talk shop on a couple of new feature alerts at Helium 10. This is not entirely new, but it is new-ish, so make sure that you check it out. This is going to be on your Amazon search results page using the Chrome extension and essentially what we’re looking at is, yes, you have access to brand analytics. You can see the ABA most clicked number one, two and three products, but now, if you hover over the most clicked item, you’re going to be able to see the conversion percentage. For example, take a look at the conversion rate for this number two and number three products. You have 16.67% and 11.11%, but if we scroll down and find the ABA most clicked number one, the conversion rate is 0% for this coffin shelf. So this is going to be a instance of where we might want to look into the most clicked number one product and figure out why are people not purchasing alongside, why are people converting for the second and third most clicked products, right, and then maybe this is something that I want to implement for my own listings and figure out how can I either duplicate those conversions or increase them.

Shivali Patel:

The second update that I’m excited to share helps speed up insight to action. So, if we have these four ASINs, I’ve gone ahead and actually input it in bat bath mats, which is a bit of a tongue twister, but you can go in and filter down your keywords for the ones that, let’s say, your competitors are running sponsored ads on or are ranking highly for. So I said I want to see at least three of my four ASINs ranking somewhere on average between position one and 12. With that I was given an output of five. I went ahead and selected them and then you can click add to Atomic campaign. That is the new bit. So if you are using Atomic to run your PPC, you can now just click this button to add it to your Atomic campaigns and then it opens up the list of campaigns. You can go in, select your match, type your bidding and click add. When were we searching keywords? Typically, the next step is to use them for advertising after you’ve built out that listing. So with this you are just a couple clicks away. But what happens once there’s some ads running on those keywords? How can you keep track? And for that I will pass it off to Keri Over to you.

Carrie Miller:

Hello everyone, today’s training tip is how you can get a list of competitors that are actually targeting your ASINs. So that basically means anyone that’s using product targeting ads to target your listing, where customers actually have landed on your product detail page and they have their sponsored ads on your actual listing to try to steal your sales once customers land on your product detail page. So this is how you find out who those people are and you can actually download a list. The first thing you’re going to want to do is you want to go to your actual listing on Amazon. So, as you can see, I’ve pulled up our coffin shelf listing and then the next thing that you need to do is simply just go up to our Chrome extension and click on X-ray, and this is going to pull a list of all of the ASINs that are listed on your product detail page. Now, if you don’t see all of the ASINs and maybe it’s just your own you’re going to need to go to filters and then uncheck the hide sponsored products from results and hit apply filters in order to see all of the sponsored ads. So you can see sponsored brand ads and they’re labeled here with an SB sponsored product ads. You can see all of those, and if you wanted to export a list here, you could actually export this list.

Shivali Patel:

And you can do a lot of different things with this. You can maybe go ahead and, um, you know, basically start targeting those competitors with your own product targeting ads so you can have, you know, kind of a downloaded list of similar products. You can kind of keep it, keep an eye on what they’re doing, and I think it’s a great thing to keep an eye on and check and see who is actually targeting your listing so that you can target them back, maybe even kind of consider doing your own defensive ads. But this gives you great insight to who your main competitors are. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Shivali Patel:

Amazing. Thank you so much for that, Keri. That is it for this week’s Weekly Buzz. I’ll see you next time.


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author-photo
Brand Evangelist

With an affinity for people, Shivali is passionate about industries centered around delivering authentic, helpful tools others can use to grow and succeed. She has offered strategic guidance to tens of thousands of sellers at all levels and is currently a Brand Evangelist at Helium 10 and the founder of LIVIVACE, a mind & body wellness company.

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