Flashback Friday


AO2 Insider

Navigating the dynamic world of Amazon selling can be a daunting challenge as it requires constant adapting to a continuously changing landscape. Fear not, eCommerce friends! Flashback Friday is your trusty guide to help you stay sharp and informed about the latest Amazon seller news and trends. Sure, your Account Health page offers great insights, but having a reliable source of up-to-date information is critical to steering your ship in the right direction.

Every week, we gather the most crucial updates from Amazon and the broader online marketplace to keep you, the savvy entrepreneur, ahead of the curve. We’ve got your back, be it updates on Amazon’s Terms of Service, the latest on Brand Registry, seasonal advertising strategies, or the next big Seller Conference. So, if you’re looking for a quick refresher on Amazon policies, valuable insights from our AO2 experts, or any noteworthy happenings for omni-channel sellers, pop by here on Flashback Friday to get in the know. Think of us as your friendly “In Case You Missed It” reminder. We have compiled a list of notable updates to round out the week. In case you missed it:

🔥Amazon issues some FBM TIPS this week for optimizing seller-fulfilled sales during  Q4 -

  • Customize your Notification Options to ensure you’re subscribed to the right notifications and that the right email address is on file.
  • This can be done in Seller Central via Settings --> Notification Preferences; Here you can opts into text notifications for all FBM orders, as well as email notifications  for all FBM, FBA and MCF orders
  • During high sales periods, it’s especially important to monitor your late shipment rate, pre-fulfillment cancellation rate, valid tracking rate, and on-time delivery rate and proactively resolve any issues.
  • If you have a sudden spike in orders beyond your max capacity, having an accurate Handling Capacity entered will ensure Amazon automatically updates additional orders to reflect 1 additional handling day
  • e.g. you set a capacity of 50 orders but receive 55 orders today - 50 orders will need to ship within your standard handling window, and the other 5 will have an additional day added and will count towards tomorrow's order capacity
  • Orders with non-standard handling times (longer than 2 days) are not accounted for in order capacity
  • Make sure your delivery promises are accurate. 
  • DO NOT USE shipping setting automations! 

In our experience testing this when it rolled out it's more of a hindrance than an aid. It's unclear how Amazon calculates the delivery estimates, but in general, they were up to 2 weeks longer than the delivery times generated by simply providing warehouse location/shipping methods.

  • The default handling time for seller-fulfilled orders has been updated from two days to one, but you can set a longer SKU-level handling time.
  • Note: weekends and holidays normally don't count towards handling time - unless you've specifically opted into weekend operations
  • Use vacation settings to set your listing status to “Inactive” and stop orders from coming in if you’re unavailable over the holidays.
  • Or alternatively, utilize the SKU-level handling time mentioned above. This keeps your products in stock and shoppable during the season and allows shoppers to buy your product understanding there will be a later-than-typical delivery
  • Note: You can only change your default handling time once in a 24-hour window, and it can take up to 24 hours for the change to take effect. But you can update on a SKU level beyond standard handling multiple times per day as needed. 
  • SKU-level handling times can range from same day-30 days
  • Use Amazon Buy Shipping labels to help protect your account performance metrics and benefit from Amazon’s pre-negotiated rates or your own connected carrier rates. Regardless of what you use year-round, the best piece of advice for FBM Sellers this time of year is to consider this option for Q4.

If you opt to ship on your own and update tracking, it is of utmost importance to check user permissions, especially if you have new users for the holiday season. Double-check that all users have the appropriate permissions, as it can be unclear in Seller Central sometimes, for example, whether there are “0” orders or you simply do not have access to the orders page. 

  • This time of year is always a good time to revisit your Order Cut-Off times as well.
  • By default, this is set to 2 pm local time. Depending on carrier pickup or package drop-off times, you may want to adjust this earlier or later to manage the flow of orders expected to ship on a given day

🔥2024 Fee updates are here -

You can read the full news release here and check out the Fees update page here. Here are some of the highlights:

New fee buckets will be introduced, including:

  • the Inbound Placement Service fee will include fees per unit that will be shown during shipping creation, with the option for Premium Service  (sending to one location, paying for distribution) or Discount (sending to multiple locations at your own expense)
  • introduce a low inventory-level fee, a fee that applies if you carry consistently low levels of inventory relative to unit sales, as this inhibits Amazon's ability to distribute products across the network, degrading delivery speeds and increasing shipping costs.

In addition, we’ll see some increased and reduced fees including:

  • Reduced referral fees for apparel products priced below $20. Items under $15 will see fees reduce from 17% to 5%, and products in the $15-$20 range will decrease to 10%
  • Quarterly updates coming to FBA New Selection will include a 10% rebate on sales for non-brand items and an expansion of benefits to Oversized items and additional Vine benefits. More details on the FBA New Selection page.
  • Returns processing fee updates will also be coming for all items that are labeled as high return rate, excluding apparel and shoes. Go to the Returns processing fee page for more details

Of course, we will soon see the return to non-peak rates for storage and annual updates to Storage Utilization surcharges, Removals, Disposals, Aged Inventory, and Inbound/Prep fees.

  • New US Multi-Channel Fulfillment fees starting February 5, 2024.
  • Beginning February 5, 2024, US Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) fees and size tiers will be updated as follows:
  • On average, MCF fees will increase by 3.5% across all delivery speed options. This change is below the 5.9% average increase announced by other carriers
  • For units with shipping weights less than 1 lb, MCF fees will remain unchanged or be slightly lower than current fees for standard speeds
  • A new smaller size tier of 4 oz will be introduced
  • A Large Bulky and Extra Large tier of sizes will also be introduced, to replace the current Oversize size tiers

You can view all of the MCF fees and details on how to calculate here.

🚨Changes to listing requirements to improve the shopping experience - 

  • Starting December 11, 2023, the requirements to create listings will change for all products in Amazon’s worldwide stores (1750 types) except those from media, digital and handmade categories.
  • A full list of updated attributes by category can be found here
  • Existing listings will not be impacted unless you attempt to edit
  • These updates are being implemented to address errors caused by required attributes that are not marked as required
  • Starting December 11, all sellers who use "Add Products via Upload" can choose to upgrade to new listing templates with updated attribute requirements. Choosing this option will provide the best experience, but Amazon will continue to accept listing submissions using templates with the previous requirements.
  • 30-day notice will be given before the updated template becomes the default option, execution date varies by category between December 11, 2023, and February 1, 2024.

🔥Buy with Prime fee changes - 

In addition to the detailed list of Amazon Seller Fees announced above, the BwP program is announcing their own fee updates for 2024.

Effective January 8th:

  • Prime service fee minimum will be reduced from $1.50 to $1 per order, improving profitability on lower-priced orders

Effective February 5th:

  • Fulfillment fees will decrease by 0.5% on average.
  • For Small and Large Standard size bands less than 1 lb., fees will remain unchanged or decrease by an average of 3.3%
  • For size bands greater than 1 lb., fees will increase by an average of 1.6%.
  • These changes are below the 5.9% average increase announced by other carriers.
  • Some size tiers will be modified to mirror industry standards
  • A new smaller size tier of 4 oz. will be introduced
  • A Large Bulky and Extra Large tier of sizes will also be introduced to replace the current Oversize size tiers
  • Rate card below with a full overview of 2024 fees for the program or can be accessed on the BwP Pricing page.

Until next time! 🚀

🚨Transparency Interoperability -

this may be your last reminder that Sellers can get 20K FREE codes PER ASIN for all new ASINs enrolled into Transparency by EOY. So, for those brands that do not already serialize, this is a potential money-saving option.

🔥Updates to the B2B Product Opportunities Dashboard

Brands can now target B2B customers with enhanced product recommendations. Updates allow Sellers to view product listing recommendations from a variety of insights, including customer purchasing trends, requests for new products and quantity discounts, and your selling history. In addition, the following new features launched:

  • Improved user interface: The "Download report" pop-up that blocked the view of recommendations has been removed, redesigned metrics display, added filter options, and the option to download reports of all recommendations at once.
  • Upgraded recommendations: New machine learning models generate recommendations that are more relevant to your business.
  • New metrics: A “Rank” metric has been added to help you prioritize personalized recommendations. The “B2B opportunity” metric compares the potential demand for the recommended selection with a similar selection. The “B2B featured offer price” metric is the average B2B featured offer price in the past month.

For more information, go to B2B product opportunities.

🔥Enroll products in programs on the Sustainability Solutions Hub - 

Announced at Accelerate and now available to all Sellers! Explore resources on the Sustainability Solutions Hub and enroll your products in programs such as:

  • Climate Pledge Friendly, which partners with more than 50 credible and recognized sustainability certifiers to help customers discover more sustainable products.
  • Ship in Product Packaging, to deliver products to customers without additional Amazon packaging.
  • Amazon Renewed, to sell high-quality refurbished, pre-owned, and open-box products to millions of Amazon customers worldwide.

The hub can help you create more sustainable products and solutions for customers, including:

  • Reporting dashboards that show business performance data for products enrolled or recommended for enrollment in our programs.
  • A curated list of sustainability-related partners in the Amazon Service Provider Network, who can help you to design and certify more sustainable products and packaging.

To explore more resources, go to Sustainability Solutions Hub.

See you next week! 🚀

🔥Amazon Ads Image Generation AI Beta is now available to all U.S. advertisers -

It leverages Artificial Intelligence to create lifestyle images within seconds. All you need to get started is a product image from your Amazon detail page. Click here for a short video on how Image Generation works.

  • Images can be added directly to a campaign or saved to your creative asset library and used anywhere across Amazon. 
  • You can use Image Generation to tailor messaging for product benefits, seasonal events, and audiences. 
  • Campaigns using lifestyle images experience a 40% higher click-through rate (CTR) on average over ads with product-only images.

To experience the benefits of Image Generation in time for the holiday, simply log into your Amazon Ad Console and begin the Sponsored Brands product collection campaign building process.

🔥Amazon Posts Now Supports Video -

A few brands are starting to see the option to add video to their posts. If you don’t see it, don’t worry; the rollout of this feature will pick up steam after the holiday weekend. Advertisers can now share vertical videos as Posts on Amazon and drive brand discovery with engaging video content.

Video Posts help advertisers drive traffic to their Brand Store, grow followers, and encourage shopper visits to tagged product pages

The vertical size of Video Posts allows shoppers to enjoy the video content in a full-screen immersive viewing experience

Advertisers can re-use their existing vertical videos to create Video Posts and share their brand story with Amazon shoppers.

See the full announcement, with video, from Jeff Cohen on LinkedIn.

That’s all for now! See you next week! 🚀

🔥Meta has debuted a new partnership with Amazon -  

  • Meta has debuted a feature that lets users connect their Facebook and Instagram accounts to Amazon to buy goods promoted on their feeds more easily. 
  • As reported by  CNBC: "For the first time, customers will be able to shop Amazon's Facebook and Instagram ads and check out with Amazon without leaving the social media apps".

*Though this is being touted as a partnership, Amazon has yet to release an official statement and functionality seems to be specific to the Meta platforms. For now, it appears Sellers will serve ads as normal, with the difference being the check out process will occur in Facebook or Instagram instead of via redirect to the product detail page on Amazon.

A similar experience was launched between Pinterest and Amazon earlier this year.

🔥Ask Alexa is rolling out to more Sellers - 

Customers Ask Alexa, a program announced during Amazon Accelerate 2022, is appearing in more Seller Central accounts recently, though it does still appear to be in a closed, invite-only, beta.

It works like this: When customers pose questions to Alexa, including queries related to a product’s features or compatibilities, Alexa responds with helpful answers provided by brands from those product categories. For example, a customer shopping for cleaning products on Amazon.com could ask, “How can I remove pet hair from my carpet?” A brand can now provide answers to such questions, along with links to its Amazon storefront.

A few key points:

  • This feature will be available only to brand registered through Amazon’s Brand Registry
  • All answers will go through Alexa’s content moderation and quality checks before Alexa selects the most relevant answer to share with customers, so providing an answer doesn’t guarantee brand placement.
  • At this time, there is no cost associated with the program.

🔥New standard display reduces the time to build a creative by 70%

  • Amazon Ads just announced Standard Display, a new API-first ad experience that allows Amazon DSP customers to upload multiple image assets across 3 creative types all in one single workflow. 
  • This ad experience consolidates and will eventually replace three creative types (image, mobile O&O and mobile AAP).
  • It can be time-consuming to build creatives on Amazon DSP. As a consequence, even though Amazon DSP supports 62 sizes of placements, by average a campaign only uses 3.6 sizes; including too few sizes in their campaign in turn limits their campaigns from fully delivering.

The new standard display creative has simplified all of this. With this launch, customers can upload up to 10 image assets all at once and see immediately which images are supported by which line item types. 

See the full release notes here!

🔥Brands can access Brand Registry services at our new hub - 

  • A new resource in Seller Central recently launched where Sellers can access Brand Registry details! 
  • Amazon Brand Registry gives brand owners the ability to protect their intellectual property, manage the accuracy of their listings, and grow their businesses. 
  • Brands enrolled in Brand Registry get access to an exclusive set of brand benefit tools and programs that help improve their brand’s discoverability and sales on Amazon.

For new to Amazon brands and sellers, the Brand Registry Educational Hub has a wealth of knowledge to help you understand the process for enrolling into and the benefits available through Brand Registry. For Sellers already enrolled, note that Brand Registry benefits are still accessed via the existing Brand Registry portal.

🔥Segment and re-engage customers with new Customer Loyalty Analytics dashboard

  • The new Customer Loyalty Analytics dashboard helps brands segment and re-engage customers based on their past purchase behavior and engagement with your brand page.

The dashboard provides recommendations and links to tools, such as Brand Tailored Audiences, to help you send promotions, coupons, and email campaigns to select customer segments to increase overall customer lifetime value. Customer Loyalty Analytics helps Sellers do the following:

  • Identify high-value customers who have bought your products before and are most likely to respond to promotions.
  • Build your strategy for the right customer. Customize the value and frequency of purchase incentives, discounts, and marketing content, to different customer segments.
  • Engage customers at the right time by marketing more efficiently to customers who have made at least one purchase from your brand in the last 12 months.
  • Optimize marketing and ad spend. See your customers’ lifetime value in sales to better understand the value of each loyal customer segment and engagement costs.
  • Reduce customer acquisition cost. Launch tailored promotions for customers who have shown interest in your brand or added your products to their cart in the last 90 days but haven’t purchased from your brand in the last year.

For more information, go to the Customer Loyalty Analytics Dashboard guide or check out our Accelerate Recap video on this topic. .

To start using the dashboard, go to Customer Loyalty Analytics.

That’s all for now! Happy selling! 🚀

🚨November Capacity Limits Reminder -

  • As previously announced, FBA capacity limits will be temporarily reduced in November to accommodate our increased focus on delivery operations. 
  • On average, capacity limits for November for most Sellers will provide enough storage for five months of inventory.
  •  In November and December, the FCs will focus on processing customer orders. 
  • This temporary shift may cause receiving delays, but will ensure faster delivery speed and maximize your sales potential during the holiday season.

View your capacity limits and capacity usage in the Capacity Monitor at the bottom of the FBA dashboard, and you can request a limit increase with Capacity Manager if you need additional capacity.

For a refresher on Capacity Limits, visit the FBA capacity limits help page in Seller Central.

🔥 Attribute Updates- 

  • Great news for everyone: the required attribute changes announced last week have been paused with a new implementation date TBD. 
  • Per the alert below, there was considerable feedback from Sellers about implementing these changes in Q4, and Amazon was receptive to slowing the rollout. 

There are plenty of other reasons to worry about products being flagged and potentially removed from sale during the holiday season, but required listing updates will officially not be one of them. 

🔥Update to Premium A+ content eligibility requirements - This update changes the cadence that Amazon reviews eligibility into the program, as well as updating the eligibility 


Previously, the criteria were:

  • Eligibility was reviewed every month
  • 15+ Approved EBC projects in the Approved Status
  • Brand Story across ALL Brand-owned ASINs.

They've cut down the requirements to:

  • Eligibility is reviewed EVERY Friday
  • Only 5+ approved EBC projects in the last 12 months.

Previously, the criteria were:

  • Eligibility was reviewed every month
  • 15+ Approved EBC projects in the Approved Status
  • Brand Story across ALL Brand-owned ASINs.

They've cut down the requirements to:

  • Eligibility is reviewed EVERY Friday
  • Only 5+ approved EBC projects in the last 12 months.

🔥Update on default handling time for seller-fulfilled orders-

  • Starting October 31, 2023, the default handling time for seller-fulfilled orders will be updated from two days to one day for SKUs that are already handled in one day or less.

🌟 Exciting News: Our "Recapping Unboxed" Webinar is Now on YouTube! 🌟

Did you miss our recent webinar, "Recapping Unboxed: What's inside the box"? Don’t worry, because the recap is now available on YouTube for your viewing pleasure! On November 1st, our host, Jessica Wright, along with industry experts Alexi Bell and Edward Ruffin, delved into the captivating world of Amazon Ads, summarizing the highlights from the unBoxed event in NYC from October 24-26.

This engaging discussion explores various topics, including the future of Ads on Prime Video, the game-changing impact of AI-powered image generation, the ins and outs of Cross Channel Planning, and insights on the DSP event manager beta.

📺 Watch the "Recapping Unboxed" webinar now on our YouTube channel and stay at the forefront of the advertising industry.

Until next time!🚀

🔥Returns window to be extended for 2023 holidays - 

  • Similar to previous years, the standard returns window for ALL Amazon orders (FBA and FBM) will be temporarily extended in anticipation of customers shopping early for the holidays. 
  • The 2023 Extended Holiday Returns policy requires that items purchased between November 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023, are returnable through January 31, 2024.
  •  Although the returns window for most orders will be extended, returns eligibility for all orders remains the same.

🔥 New for 2023, this return policy will also apply to Buy with Prime orders -

  • Even though BwP orders are made on the brand's own website, the use of Prime fulfilment gives them all the Prime benefits
  •  For more information on customer returns policy by category, view the public policy page here.

🚨Changes to required attributes for product listings - 

  • Also, similar to previous years, Amazon tends to make changes to item setup around this time. 2024 is no exception. 

🔥 Amazon is updating both the Add Products and Add Products via Upload tools in Seller Central to ensure that listings contain relevant product attributes -

  • Over the coming weeks, Sellers will notice the following changes when creating or editing a product listing:
  • Some optional attributes will become required.
  • Some required attributes will become optional.
  • Some attributes will be removed.

Here’s the key thing we should expect: new listings, and existing listings that you edit, won't be added to the catalog until you provide all required attributes in the 'Add Products' or 'Add Products via Upload' tools. 

This is why we recommend brands make all your holiday edits before mid-Oct. Because of these updates, if you try to update a listing today, you will be blocked from saving those changes until you complete or update required attributes that you may not be prepared to answer. Or, edits may save, but then the PDP will be removed until other edits are made. 

Existing listings won't be impacted by required attribute changes until you choose to edit them, so from mid-Oct through the end of the year, this is really a seller's best bet!🚀

🔥Amazon shared this FBA Holiday Prep guide with Sellers, some key takeaways are:

🔥Get new insights on customer returns with the FBA returns dashboard - 

We already provided some insights on this one in our Accelerate recap Webinar and blog, but if you missed those, check out this link to explore the dashboard, which will help sellers with insights including:

  • most-returned products and key return reasons
  • returns insights by product
  • customizable reports on return trends

🔥New certifications added to Climate Pledge Friendly - 

At Seller Request, Amazon has introduced 3 new certifications that can qualify products for the Climate Friendly badge on the PDP and search results! If a Seller's products already have these certifications, the badge should now be applied. Sellers who believe their products should qualify as Climate Pledge Friendly can explore the new certifications below, the program intro page, and the enrollment page. The newly available certifications include:

  • International Sustainability & Carbon Certification Plus (ISCC Plus)
  • Recycled Content Standard for Electrical and Electronic Equipment
  • Plant-Based Fiber Blended

🚨Amazon's Official Press Release on the Success of Prime Big Deal Days -

Check out this link to read Amazon’s official press release boasting the Company’s largest two-day October holiday kick-off event ever. Prime members saved more than $1 billion across hundreds of millions of items sold and can expect more great deals throughout the holiday shopping season.

Interested in a 3rd party view? Here's a news article boasting an 8.1 billion expected revenue number, but also suggesting data points are indicating Prime events are "losing their luster with shoppers

🔥Brand Posts are now available through the Amazon Ads API - 

One of the best-kept secrets to FREE traffic on Amazon just got better. More good news:

  • First, you can now create and publish Posts via the API
  • Second, store dependency has been removed. You must still be a brand, but no longer have to have a storefront to participate
  • Finally, you can reuse existing images in your creative asset library to create posts

🔥Plans for 2% Merchant Seller Fulfilled Prime Fee are Scrapped

  • Amazon is scrapping a plan to charge merchants who do not use its shipping services an additional fee.
  • Effective Oct. 1, Amazon was planning to impose a new 2% fee on every sale by third-party sellers that ship their products themselves, according to media reports in August. The company said the fee was intended to shield itself from higher costs.
  • The reversal in Amazon's plans comes when the company is facing a potential lawsuit from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Bloomberg first reported the news on Wednesday.

🔥Reorder coupons

  • Reorder coupons allow you to offer discounts to customers who previously bought your products but have not reordered within an expected time.
  • We recommend using reorder coupons to increase customer loyalty and reorders of your products.
  • How to access reorder coupons:
  • To see existing reorder coupon campaigns and their status, select Advertising from the drop-down menu in Seller Central. Select Coupons, and click the Reorder coupons tab. You can now see existing reorder coupon campaigns and their status.
  • Click View to see details on any of the reorder coupon campaigns.
  • To re-run an expired coupon campaign, select Run again from the drop-down menu next to View.

To create a new campaign, follow these steps:

  • Click Create a reorder coupon.
  • Enter an ASIN or product name to get started.
  • Select the products and click Continue.
  • Enter the coupon details and click Continue.
  • Review the details, and click Submit to finalize the coupon.

Benefits of reorder coupons:

  • Reorder coupons are a powerful promotion that can help you increase customer engagement in the following ways:
  • Better visibility: The coupon badge can help drive traffic, sales, and buyer reviews. Reorder coupons are also promoted on the coupons home page, Buy Again pages, category pages, and special events pages.
  • Targeted audience: Coupons are targeted only to buyers who haven’t reordered an item within the expected time frame.
  • Discount options: Coupons can be created for either dollars off or percentage off.
  • Flexible start time and duration: You can schedule a start time, and the campaign can be active for up to one year.
  • Reorder coupons have standard costs and fees, including the coupon’s face value, clip fees ($0.17 per clip), and redemption fees ($0.08 per redemption).

We hope you've found these updates both enlightening and actionable. Until our next recap, See you soon! 🚀

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