If you are selling on Amazon you may have noticed the new “Urgent Brand Health” alert that has popped up when you log into Amazon Seller Central (see below). If you’re curious like us, you might be wondering what this new widget does and if you should be paying attention to it.
As it turns out, while this feature and dashboard are new, the basis of what Amazon’s doing here is not. For the last several years, Amazon has had an invisible policy built into the Amazon Buy Box algorithm. This algorithm scrapes the internet looking for prices across every item in Amazon’s catalog, checking to see if any other retailers are offering a better deal than Amazon.
In the event your product is priced lower elsewhere on the internet, Amazon can take you out of the coveted Amazon Buy Box unless you lower your price. This new dashboard will show you all of the items in your catalog that are affected, and what price changes you’ll need to make to become eligible again.
Losing the Buy Box has severe ramifications across your entire Amazon business. Savvy sellers know that you need to be in the Amazon Buy Box to run advertising, as your Sponsored Products campaigns won’t run if somebody else (or nobody) is winning the buy box. Additionally, you could see a dramatic loss in daily sales by losing the buy box on a product.
The biggest concern is that if your product is being sold off Amazon, you are going to be price matched by Amazon across the multiple platforms where that product is being sold, whether by you, an authorized retailer or an unauthorized reseller and the prices they are selling it could negatively impact your ability to win the Amazon Buy Box.
This leaves you with three options when Amazon presents you with Brand Health warnings that affect your ability to win the Buy Box:
- Lower your price to meet the competitive price proposed by Amazon to gain back the buy box and allow you to reengage your advertising and recover sales.
- Don’t accept the competitive price proposal and you effectively forfeit control of your product listings buy box. This causes your amazon advertising strategy to be paused automatically for those SKUs and requires customers to select your listing from the buy now options.
- Investigate where your products are being sold for a lower price off Amazon and see what your options are to gain price reductions. On controlled selling channels such as your own e-commerce website, adjusting the price to match Amazons is relatively easy and straight forward while third-party marketplaces will require you to investigate MAP enforcements across your product catalog and lastly investigating any unauthorized resellers listing your product for sale.
This isn’t the first time we have seen an alert like this from Seller Central, but it is clear that Amazon is getting even more aggressive in its pricing demands, even for sellers. Make sure you’re actively involved and checking your Amazon Brand Health report to ensure your product listings are winning the Amazon Buy Box and continuing to convert at 100% optimality for your brand.
Be sure to check out the Amazon Advertising Guide to the Galaxy for the ultimate Amazon Advertising Resource!