Amazon Rolls Out New Coupons in Seller Central (Yes, It’s a Big Deal)
Whether you read about the new Coupons in Amazon Seller Central (not to be confused with Amazon Vendor Central) or stumbled across the tab while managing your seller account, you’re probably wondering if they’re a big deal.
To give you the short answer: Yes, these new coupons could be a huge deal. Amazon vendors on the e-commerce platform have had access to coupons like these on Vendor Central for a while now.
One advantage that these vendors on Vendor Central have had over sellers is that their coupons offer greater visibility and powerful targeting options that could set marketplace sellers apart from the competition.
In the past, this has given them a leg-up over Amazon Sellers who have been limited to Sponsored Products, Headline Search Ads, and other promotional tools found in the Amazon Marketplace Web Service (MWS).
In addition, recent research shows that coupon clipping hasn’t slowed down in the age of ecommerce.
90% of consumers use coupons both online and offline, and roughly 80% state that a coupon may influence them to pull out their credit card for a product from a brand they haven’t tried.
Here’s what you need to know.
How are These Different Than Old Amazon Seller Central Promotions?
This might sound like old news–but it’s not. Here’s why.
3P sellers–sellers who sell products directly to their customers through the Amazon Marketplace using their Seller Central account, such as Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP sellers), Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM sellers) and Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA sellers)–have had the ability to use Promotions to improve their sales. These include:
- Free shipping (limited time)
- Giveaway (offer items as part of a sweepstakes)
- Percentage off (promotion with a timed discount)
- Social Media Promo Code (direct social audience to unique AMZ marketing page with a link)
- Buy one get one (limited time offer, can be used to highlight new products)
Once the offer is created, it appears on the product page.
Here’s what a buy-one-get-one offer when a selling a product looks like:
These product promotions can be a great asset for a 3P seller. However, they’re still limited when compared with the new Coupons, which look more like Vendor Central coupons.
For one thing, the old promotions don’t show up on the main SERP; for another thing, they don’t really stand out due to the lack of a badge.
What Makes These Coupons Valuable for 3P Sellers on Amazon Marketplace
There are three ways we believe this new Coupon feature will help 3P sellers increase their sales and help push more inventory to more customers.
We’ve seen these coupons appear on Amazon Marketplace’s search results based on each searcher’s keywords, which means your coupons could get more impressions and increase your chance to sell your product.
Coupons will likely appear as badges, similar to vendor coupons in found through Vendor Central. This means they’ll stand out a lot more and may potentially catch your shopper’s eyes when they’re scrolling through the search results.
3. Audience Targeting
Most importantly, these coupons offer unique audience targeting options.
Instead of offering a generic coupon to all detail page visitors, you can make your coupon only visible to Amazon shoppers who have either bought or purchased certain ASINs–whether it’s yours or a competitors.
Here are all of the targeting options available for these beta coupons:
☑ All Customers
☐ Amazon Prime members
☐ Amazon Student members
☐ Amazon Mom members
☐ Customers who have viewed certain ASINs
☐ Customers who have purchased certain ASINs
“I haven’t dug too far into this yet, but the ability to retarget based on what customers have either seen or purchased is definitely new to third-party sellers,” says Jordan Gisch, Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy. “This is something that already existed for vendors and my clients have seen great returns on these types of promos.”
“If you’re targeting shoppers who have already purchased certain ASINs, they’ll be more likely to convert on a product,” says David Cooley, Manager, Marketplace Channels at CPC Strategy. “This is especially true if it’s a CPG product that’s purchased more frequently.”
How to Set Up Amazon Coupons in Amazon Seller Central
There are four simple steps to creating these coupons in your Amazon Seller Central account:
1. Add products to your coupon
In your Seller Central account, choose the drop-down menu for Advertising, then select Coupons. Click the Create Your First Coupon button and in the next section you will be able to load up to 50 products (ASINs) on one coupon.
Amazon mentions to keep in mind that you should select the same sub-category or product group while adding multiple products to provide a stronger customer service experience.
An important note: Coupons are not a silver bullet for a product that’s performing poorly.
“Sellers will often attempt to use promotional tools to give poor performing products a boost, but I recommend focusing on top performing or middle of the road products. If your product isn’t ranking on the first page, you could have a $20 off coupon, and nobody would ever see it or use it.”
See step #4 for a note about a potential strategy for middle and top performing products.
2. Set discount amount
You can select a percent-off discount or money-off discount. We typically recommend percent-off discounts in current Seller Central promotions, but it’s worth testing both.
Amazon requires the discount to be between 5-80% of your lowest price for a product in the last 30 days. As you create the offer, you can set a coupon title with a fill in (i.e. save 15% on hand sanitizers).
3. Set coupon budget
A coupon’s budget is utilized by:
- Discount Value
- Coupon Referral Fee ($0.60 per coupon)
You will need to set a maximum budget, which is depleted by the Coupon Referral Fee in addition to the dollar amount of discounts on the items sold.
For instance, say you have an item selling for $30 with a $10 coupon. For each item sold your budget will deplete by $10.60.
The coupon will automatically be deactivated by Amazon once the budget for that item is depleted unless the coupon time frame expires first.
4. Schedule and target your coupon
Coupons expiration period can extend up to 3 months. Extend the offer to all, or tailor it to individuals who viewed a specific ASIN–it’s really up to you.
One potential strategy would be to set up coupons for individual best-selling products in your inventory to see exactly how they perform, then roll out a generic coupon across middle performer products.
The bottom line is we’re pretty excited about the opportunity these Coupons present for 3P sellers on the Marketplace using Amazon Seller Central.
Amazon’s Coupons offer another opportunity to collect real-time data on your customers and insight into how your products will sell using a new promotional technique.
Remember, if you’re not already getting traffic and visibility on a listing, then your coupon won’t matter. Promotions like this aren’t a stand-in for an ads strategy.
As more professional sellers take advantage of these Coupons, they could flood search results. Some have expressed concern that these coupons will become “noise” and will no longer set apart a listing.
We believe they’re still worth testing, and don’t have to be expensive–even a $1 off coupon can create a sense of urgency and set you apart from the competition.