Vendors have the option to sign up for A+ Content, a program that promises to enhance your product detail page with visuals and enhanced marketing content to overcome purchase hesitations and drive brand affinity.
A+ Content (also known as A+ Enhanced Marketing Content) integrates detailed product descriptions, rich images, charts and narrative copy to help customers make informed buying decisions.
This premium content from manufacturers is meant to drive more conversions on a detail page. According to Amazon, A+ Content can increase sales on average 3 to 10% by educating the consumer about your product and brand.
As a vendor, maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of introducing Amazon A+ Content into your advertising strategy?
Click to read: How to Optimize Amazon Listings to Convert Mobile Shoppers
But there’s a lot of questions you still need to answer including: “Is A+ content a good fit for my product(s) / business?” OR “What is the cost vs. the value of dedicating a portion of my budget to this program?”
In the following blog post we will cover:
- What is A+ Content
- How to Create Amazon A+ Content
- Amazon A+ Content Guidelines & Best Practices
- Is A+ Content Worth the Investment?
What is A+ Content?
A+ Content is usually located below the fold of a product detail page, under the section “From the Manufacturer”.
Vendors can design their page with up to 5 different modules.
In the image below, we label each of the 5 module placements listed in the A+ content section for fitness tracker – Jawbone:
How to Create Amazon A+ Content
The first step is to submit an A+ Detail Page promotion request.
1. Log into Vendor Central and hover over the “Merchandising” Menu then select “A+ Detail Pages”:
2. Amazon vendors have a couple options to consider when choosing an A+ detail page package including:
- “Self Service” Module
- “Amazon Builds For You” Module
Self Service Modules – For this option, the vendor is expected to provide and select all content and copy. There are Basic, Silver, Gold and Platinum modules and each have a flat fee. Some vendors may qualify for free A+ Pages, but there is currently no way to predict if the pages will be free until all the content has been submitted.
Amazon Builds For You – Here the vendor will supply Amazon the content and photos and Amazon will choose the design and layout of the A+ detail page. The price per page is about three times more expensive than the self-service modules and also has the module levels of Basic, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
By choosing the Self-Service Module, brands will be asked to:
- Create Project
- Build Layout
- Upload & Arrange Content
- Review & Add To Cart
If you select the Self-Service module, you will be taken to the below page:
Here, you can enter the ASIN you would like to build out your A+ content for.
So, the big question is – how do you decide which ASIN to create A+ content for?
Amazon suggests vendors focus on products that are premium priced, have differentiated benefits and features, or have a strong brand story. Focus on products you’re already driving traffic to (for example a Black Friday campaign) to ensure all the traffic you are generating is seeing the best detail page possible.
Once you’ve selected your ASIN, you’ll be prompted to select a build layout style, as seen in the image below:
Amazon offers a selection of 12 different modules total including Standard (10 choices) & Advanced (2 choices). Of those 12 options, vendors can select up to 5 modules to use on their product page.
Note: You can mix module types or use the same module as many times as you like. The fees for each package can vary depending on the time of year and the cart price will depend on the types of module a vendor selects.
Standard Modules (10 options)
The Standard Module 1 – Features 1, 2 and 3 (pictured below) are a great pick for product(s) with multiple image shots or capabilities that you want to stand out to the shopper.
Advanced (2 options):
Advanced Module 1 (pictured below) has the ability to show comparison charts, which are also extremely valuable to shoppers. We’ll discuss comparison charts in more detail later on in this post.
Once this page is filled out and all images are uploaded, you’ll have the opportunity to preview your A+ content, review pricing and submit. Amazon should have the A+ page live within 7 days (if not sooner).
A+ Content Guidelines & Best Practices
- A+ content is not indexed, therefore it does not provide any organic boost to your detail page.
- Amazon A+ Content does not show up on mobile or the Amazon Mobile App (at least not yet).
- Only those products not listed on Amazon.com by another vendor are eligible to receive the A+ Enhanced Marketing Content page at no additional cost through the promotion.
- To qualify for the promotion, vendors must submit all content required to create the A+ Enhanced Marketing Content pages within one month of confirming the PO for the eligible product.
- Offer limited to five or less A+ Enhanced Marketing Content pages per vendor.
- Once an A+ Enhanced Marketing Content page is live, a vendor has 2 business days within which to request an edit or update to the Page.
- Amazon reserves the right to remove a vendor’s A+ Enhanced Marketing Content pages for any reason, including, but not limited to, a vendor closing its account, failing to fulfill Purchase Orders or violating Amazon policies.
- Images and text must be unique to A+ and focus just on the product.
- Lifestyle images are allowed if they clearly depict the product in use.
- Do not mention competitors or their products in your content.
Amazon A+ Content Best Practices
We sat down with Hiram Cruz, Lead Graphic Designer at CPC Strategy to discuss the best practices for A+ Content design.
1) Sizing & Resolution – All of your images need to be the right size and resolution. These requirements will be different depending on the module you select. It’s important that you follow these requirements, otherwise Amazon will reject your A+ content application.
2) Content Errors – Some symbols and special characters are forbidden – that includes the registered brand & registered trademark symbol. You also can’t include hyperlinks to other websites (although you can include links to other ASINs within certain module types).
3) Proofread Prior to Submission: Amazon tells you it can take up to 7 days for approval but usually they approve / deny your application much faster than that (average is 48 hours for us). Make sure you proofread all content / images before submitting. If in the event an A+ page gets approved (and you later discover there was a grammatical error), you will have to resubmit. This means the A+ content with the grammar error could run live on your product page for up to a week.
4) Leverage Banners – Banners are a great way to break up your product detail page. It signals a new section to the shopper, grabs their attention with images, and provides more information about your product and brand.
5) Utilizing Charts – Charts can be a valuable way to display not only one ASIN but many of your other product offerings.
Advertisers can utilize a comparison chart is to display similar ASINs in relation to your own business. In the example below, a premium mattress manufacturer created a comparison chart for a variety of mattresses they offer – comparing them based on height, comfort level and more. This gives your customer a chance to discover other similar items without having to navigate away from the detail page.
Minimal Text & More Visual – A+ content in general, should be more visual. Text should directly communicate in simple terms what the message is. You want to maintain a healthy balance of lifestyle and product images that feature the highlights of the ASIN.
Uniform Design – According to Cruz, one of the biggest takeaways is that you don’t want to design for just one landing page – you should have your entire catalog in mind. Your A+ content should be consistent across the board and in a lot of ways it should represent an extension of your brand and your website (as seen in the Anker banner example below). Think big picture and how you want to represent the brand as a whole.
Is A+ Content Worth the Investment?
“It depends,” Nick Sandberg, Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy said. “In my mind there are a few factors to consider including:
- How much revenue does the ASIN currently bring in?
- Are the ASIN’s competitors using A+ content?
- What category is it in?
- Is there currently a similar product comparison widget placed on the detail page by Amazon?”
REVENUE & PRICE:
If the ASIN brings in a lot of revenue, spending a fraction of the ASIN daily or weekly revenue is not a substantial investment for the chance to increase conversion and the general positive appearance of the detail page.
Often the price of the item will help determine if it’s worth the investment.
For example if you can sell just a few units to cover the cost, it’s worth the investment, and if you have to sell an extra 1,500 units, it might not be worth the investment. If it’s not making a lot of money, adding A+ content should not be viewed as the best lever to increase revenue on the ASIN.
If competitive ASINs have A+ content, adding A+ would be a way to match what the market is doing and raise its competitiveness. If other ASINs don’t, but the revenue you are generating makes sense to reinvest in the content consider it a way to differentiate your page.
If the product is in technology, appliances, or some type of product that has a lot of features and functions that are difficult to convey in the images, bullet points, and descriptions, than using A+ to further explain can really help a product make sales.
Often in categories where A+ content is common, Amazon places their own product comparison widget that compares your product to other competitor’s similar products.
But, often you might have similar products in your own line that a customer should be considering as well. In A+ content you can build your own comparison widget but this will compare your products to others in your line. This is a good way to kind of re-position your products among themselves to combat what Amazon is also doing on your page.