How Amazon A+ Content can Transform your Online Store

With the number of active sellers on Amazon now exceeding one million Amazon has become more crowded than ever. To stand apart from the competition many sellers spend their time tweaking titles and crafting copy. But for brand owners there's a much more effective way to stand out. It's called Amazon A+ Content.

What is Amazon A+ Content?

Amazon A+ Content allows brands to add enhanced content to the product description section of their product listings. They can choose from a variety of layouts and then add visually appealing images and graphics.

Originally known as Amazon Enhanced Brand Content or EBC Amazon introduced this feature back in 2016 to help brands showcase their products. Prior to this brands had very few opportunities to distinguish themselves from other sellers.

Without Amazon A+ Content your product descriptions can only feature plain text copy. So you can't effectively grab the attention of shoppers.

Product Description without Amazon A+ Content

Brands using Amazon A+ Content on the other hand can create eye-catching on-brand product descriptions that persuade people to buy their products. Amazon A+ Content enables you to add images to your product descriptions to make them much more engaging.

What are the benefits of Amazon A+ Content?

It can take some time to create Amazon A+ Content for all your listings. But when done right it's worth the effort because you'll benefit from valuable perks including:

1. Higher conversion rates

Over three months Amazon analysed the performance of 173000 ASINs in the US. The results of this internal research showed that Amazon A+ Content increases sales by an average of 5%.

Your results will depend on the design and quality of the product description you create. But if you do a good job it can really pay off. Some agencies have even said that conversion rates can increase by as much as 30%.

A+ content alone won't improve your Amazon search rankings. However if it improves your conversions rates this should lead to greater discoverability as conversions are a factor in Amazon's A9 algorithm.

2. Better customer experiences

These premium product descriptions are more appealing but they're also more informative. There's room to address FAQs and demonstrate use cases through images.

This can reassure shoppers and reduce cart abandonment. But it also means that they're more likely to be happy with their purchase. If your product description sets out clear and accurate expectations you'll see fewer returns and more positive customer reviews.

3. A consistent brand experience

Companies concerned with branding can use Amazon Storefronts alongside Amazon A+ Content to create consistency across all selling platforms.

Customers who already know your brand will convert when they recognise your listings. While new customers who discover you through Amazon are more likely to remember your brand. This paves the way for repeat purchases.

4. Mobile optimisation

On mobile devices Amazon cuts short the product description and shoppers need to click in if they want to read more. But with Amazon A+ content your listing is automatically optimised for mobile. Visitors will see your entire product description without needing to click.

Amazon A+ Content is automatically optimized for mobile devices

This creates a better user experience meaning visitors will stay on your listing longer and are more likely to continue on and make a purchase.

With almost three quarters of all eCommerce sales currently taking place on mobile devices this is becoming an increasingly important benefit.

5. Better ad returns

Amazon has ads deals and coupons to help sellers gain visibility on its marketplace. And it recommends pairing Amazon A+ Content with these discoverability tools to increase conversions and improve ROI.

So if you have an upcoming product promotion make sure the listing's description is optimised with premium content before going live. (You can download our Amazon advertising playbook for further campaign tips too.)

Is Amazon A+ Content Indexed?

A+ Content isn't indexed by Amazon in the same way that ordinary product descriptions are. So make sure to include keywords in other parts of your listing.

However the information and images included in your Amazon A+ Content are indexed by Google. This means it can appear in Google search results so it's still worth optimising your content for search.

Amazon A+ Content Requirements

A+ Content is only available to sellers and vendors who are approved members of the Amazon Brand Registry. To join you need to own an active registered trademark for your brand.

A+ Content is also available to emerging brands who are taking part in Amazon programmes like Launchpad and Amazon Exclusives which help startups and sellers launch their own products.

If you're part of the Amazon Brand Registry you'll only be able to add premium content to products that are part of your approved brand catalogue.

Amazon Premium A+ Content

Amazon also offers an even better content feature called Premium A+ Content or A++ content. This is only for the biggest brands and vendors out there and only those who receive an invite from Amazon can gain access.

A++ Content is quite similar to A+ Content but it offers even more ways for brands to enhance their product descriptions. They can include HD videos for example.

Premium A+ Content provides a more sophisticated way to share information about your products. It's especially useful to brands who sell high-tech feature-laden products that require a lot of explaining. However this feature comes with a hefty price tag.

What's the difference between Amazon A+ and A++ Content?

The biggest difference between A+ Content and Premium A+ Content is the cost. The former is completely free while the latter can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. (The exact price varies from brand to brand.)

A+ ContentA++ ContentFreeHigh costAvailable to members of the Amazon Brand RegistryAvailable by invite onlyAccess to basic content modules such as images and logosAccess to basic and interactive content types including videos and testimonialsUse up to five modules per product descriptionUse more than five modules in a product descriptionContent width cannot be alteredContent can be expanded across the full width of the page

Should your brand use Premium Amazon A+?

So if you get an invite and if you can afford it should your brand take advantage of Amazon's exclusive A++ Content?

Well it does provide extra modules which can really make your content stand out. Beyond HD video there are carousels clickable Q&As full-width images testimonial features and interactive product comparison charts.

Plus Amazon says brands that use A++ Content can see their conversion rates increase by 15%. Based on this estimate brands can do the math and figure out how much they stand to gain by upgrading. After this they can contact Amazon.

The cost of Premium Amazon A+ isn't set. Instead a bespoke price is agreed between Amazon and each individual brand. Reportedly pricing can range anywhere from $200000 through to $500000. If your eCommerce marketing budget can cover this kind of cost it's definitely an option worth exploring.

It's also important to remember that brands which sell complex high-tech products stand to gain the most from this feature. Although visually appealing products and lifestyle brands can benefit too.

If you decide to try out Amazon Premium A+ Content be sure to keep an eye on your Amazon Brand Analytics and track key eCommerce KPIs to make sure it pays off.

Amazon Premium A+ examples

The likes of Samsung Sony and Fitbit all take advantage of Amazon's Premium A+ Content to improve their product descriptions.

If you take a closer look at this product listing from Fitbit you'll see that it uses premium features like carousels HD video and clickable comparison tables to clearly communicate its smartwatch specifications. The brand applies full-width imagery to create an immersive experience for shoppers too.

This listing from Sony is also worth checking out. It includes an example of the clickable Q&A feature as well as more carousel content and full-width imagery.

How to add Amazon A+ Content

Here's a step-by-step walkthrough to help you set up your own premium content on Amazon.

1: Sign into your account

Log into your Amazon Seller Central account. (Vendors can go to Amazon Vendor Central instead.)

Once you're part of the Amazon Brand Registry you'll find the A+ Content Manager under the advertising tab.

It's worth noting that if both a vendor and a seller submit A+ content to Amazon for the same product the vendor's content will be prioritised. And if a vendor has already put A+ content in place sellers won't be given the option to add and edit it.

2. Choose an ASIN or product name

You can search and select the product you want to create A+ Content for. Or alternatively you can choose to 'Start creating A+ Content' and assign it to a product later on.

If you're not sure where to start Amazon will recommend the high traffic listings that benefit most from premium content. Updating the descriptions of complex or frequently returned products is wise too.

3. Enter some basic details

Here you just need to follow the on-screen prompts. You'll be asked to name your content and choose a language.

4. Select your layout

You can add up to five content modules to each product description as well as a logo and a basic text description. You can see all the module options in the chart below.

If you sell different varieties of the same item you could use a comparison chart to help customers figure out which one is best for them. Or if you have a visually appealing product you could take advantage of the four-image highlights module.

Amazon will also suggest modules for you to use based on the categories your products are in.

Amazon will suggest modules to use based on the category of your products.

5. Add your content

Now you can add text and images.

Make sure photos are high resolution so shoppers can zoom in. If you add text overlay to any of your images make sure it's visible on mobile devices. This is one of the most common reasons why Amazon rejects A+ Content submissions. Your content has to be unique to be accepted too.

Make sure your design and copy are consistent with your brand's content on other platforms. Your A+ content should be an extension of your brand.

It's also worth noting that every image you upload needs to have alt text to accompany it. So be sure to write a short description of each image that will help explain it to anyone who can't view it.

6. Preview and submit

You can preview how your product description will look on both desktop and mobile devices. Once you're happy with its appearance you can then submit your design for approval.

You can submit up to 20 pieces of A+ Content at a time and you'll usually hear back from Amazon within two weeks.

7. Improving your A+ Content

Once approved your listing will be updated within 24 hours. Otherwise Amazon will ask you to review your submission.

Amazon will reject A+ Content if it includes warranty details shipping information time-sensitive language or unsubstantiated claims. It doesn't allow promotional language including words like cheap or free either. And you can't mention competitors or their products. There are strict terms around referring to awards quotes and testimonials too. So make sure you're familiar with all Amazon's guidelines. They may vary slightly depending on the category each of your products falls under.

Once your A+ content goes live you can only make changes for two business days. So be sure to complete a final review of your content to ensure you're satisfied. You can also apply this approved A+ content to multiple ASINs. This is particularly useful for parent and child ASINs that only vary slightly. Because you can only have 20 submissions pending at once this should also speed up the overall process of adding A+ content to your listings.

Going forward you can also use the 'Manage your Experiments' feature to A/B test different layouts images and copy. It is also possible to create content in different languages. In fact Amazon may even automatically create language variations for you.

Best practices for Amazon A+ Content

As well as adhering to Amazon's rules here are some simple tips to help you create great A+ Content.

1. Create content that converts

Amazon A+ Content provides brands with higher levels of engagement as well as more space to communicate their message. So make the most of this opportunity.

Rather than following the same template for each product create diverse descriptions that speak directly to the target persona of each product.

Make sure to highlight the Unique Selling Point of each item. You could also consider creating a narrative by highlighting customer pain points and then presenting your product as the solution.

2. Make your description easy to scan

Telling a story doesn't mean your product description has to be long. In fact you should keep it as concise as possible.

A picture is worth a thousand words so use images to communicate the feel of your brand as well as the benefits of your product. Make sure to use eye-catching icons and headings to highlight key information too. This allows shoppers to see the most important points as they skim your listing. You can then add additional text for those who need more in-depth details.

3. Take a look at your customer reviews

Reading customer reviews is a great way to get inspiration for your product descriptions.

Customer feedback can highlight extra product benefits and uses that you might not have considered before. Negative reviews can help you figure out what information is missing from your listings too.

Once you've perfected your product description using customer reviews as well as Amazon's 'Manage your Experiments' feature you can start driving traffic to your listing with Amazon Sponsored Ads.

4. Use it as part of your cross-selling strategy

Amazon A+ Content offers some opportunities to promote other product listings and encourage customers to buy more.

First of all you can use the comparison chart module to showcase additional product options. In the above example Fitbit showcased different generations of its smart watch. This could help upsell shoppers. However this feature can also be used to highlight products that complement each other. For example if you sell fitness products you could show off your treadmills rowing machines and cross trainers. These comparison charts can also feature clickable links which direct shoppers to other product pages.

You can also add links to the 'From the brand' section of your content. This is a great place to promote complementary items that your customers tend to purchase together.

5. Share your brand story

With Amazon A+ content there is plenty of room to share some insights into your brand's beliefs history and standards.

More and more consumers want to support brands that share their values so this can be a very powerful factor in their purchase decisions. Whether you're all about quality long-standing experience or giving back to the community be sure to let potential Amazon customers know.

This is a key way to set yourself apart from competitors on Amazon.

Final thoughts

Adding and updating your Amazon A+ content should be an ongoing and iterative process. Once you've updated a listing with this additional content be sure to monitor its conversion rate. This is the best way to determine whether or not your A+ content is performing as intended.

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