Have you ever typed a word so many times that it stops looking real? After submitting 1500 A+ pages to Amazon on behalf of one of our client brands, we can confirm it’s not only words that start to feel a bit strange. Images, layouts, existential concepts—at some point all of these acquired a sheen of unreality, forcing us to step away from the screen and indulge in a fortifying cup of coffee before pressing on.
It’s unfortunate that, despite progress elsewhere towards bulk processes, most brands that sell on Amazon need to submit their enhanced A+ content manually, one at a time. We at Digishare have experience working on hundreds of thousands of pages during our decades of experience but tackling this project illustrated that submitting A+ content at scale has several unique challenges.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
Amazon notoriously has specific requirements when it comes to A+ content assets. Text content needs to abide by a word count. Images need to follow guidelines on content and dimensions. At low volumes, any assets not meeting these standards can prove to be a minor but solvable headache. These can be fixed on a one-by-one basis, and (if you’re smart) the changes are fed back into the sourcing process, so future assets (including localised ones) no longer have this issue.
It feels like a very different problem when, at the end of a months-long process of asset generation by a client, you receive 1000s of images which are the wrong size. In our case, a content agency used by our client had created assets by following guidelines set out by an instructional document. An official Amazon instructional document that, while not recent, was released sometime in the last decade.
The problem? One of the image dimensions it listed was wrong.
The agency was blameless in thinking that the document they were working from was legitimate, but anyone with Amazon experience could have identified the problem and amended it early in the process. As that didn’t happen, we were faced with thousands of assets that needed more work before they could be considered usable.
When working at scale, even if a process looks clear and straightforward, it is always worth spending the additional time needed to have it examined by experienced eyes. For every minor issue that they spot, they might save you hundreds of hours of work.
Name Your Assets Consistently
It’s vital to organise your process so that when an error is detected, it can be located and fixed as efficiently as possible. Although the A+ submission process itself is resistant to bulk processes, that’s no reason not to organise your content and assets in a way that bulk processes can easily be performed on them.
The simplest way of doing so is by having a consistent file naming structure. If done correctly, you can quickly identify assets according to product SKU, product group, type of asset and so forth.
Even if this proves of little use during the actual Amazon A+ submission process, it provides flexibility and futureproofs your assets for use on other platforms with different systems. Updating or modifying assets is made easier and allows new users to utilise the files in the future without having to refer to an esoteric guide (or visual page mock-up).
Don’t Include Things That Shouldn’t Be There
Speaking of consistency, it’s an open secret that Amazon unevenly enforces its guidelines, especially for text content across different regions. In some countries, you can include references to warranties and guarantees without fear of your submission being rejected. In other countries it’s a gamble: you might see your page accepted only to have it taken down weeks (or months) later.
For small numbers of pages, you might be tempted to push your luck, especially if the content you’re trying to include is key messaging or a USP. However, when working at scale the unpredictable nature of this enforcement can work against you. If consistently applied, you might find 100s of pages being rejected at a time, causing large-scale disruption and potentially leading to your future submissions coming under increased scrutiny and delays. If inconsistently applied, you may only have a handful rejected but these are easily lost in the larger mass of submissions and may not even be noticed. The result is that key products in your launch might be missing the vital A+ content required for maximum conversion, and you might not be aware until it is too late.
Our recommendation: try to follow guidelines as best you can and work with partners who have experience with Amazon A+ content. Although it is impossible to fully predict what might provoke Amazon’s ire on any given day, by doing this you will avoid the worst of the disruption and find ways to mitigate the effects of any rejections that do occur.
Name Your Vendor Central Project with a Project Identifier
Vendor Central does not always make it easy to locate and view any given batch of submissions. Especially on accounts that have multiple users, sorting by date becomes inefficient due to the muddling that happens when older pages are amended and re-submitted.
To save yourself time and effort in the future, it’s easier to name each batch in Vendor Central a unique project identifier. This doesn’t have to be complicated (a simple string of letters will do) but it has to be something that, when typed into the VC search, will return all the submissions you are looking for.
Equally vital is a separate “control sheet” where all the SKUs, ASINs and projects are listed for easy reference in the future.
Use the Amazon API Connection If You Want to Work at Scale
At the start of this list, we mentioned that Amazon A+ submissions are a manual process. That’s not quite true. For a lucky few brands who sell on Amazon, their accounts are enabled to use the new Amazon API connection which allows A+ submissions to be done as a bulk process.
Although we are more than happy to help guide our clients through the trials of submitting thousands of pages manually, we’re much happier to tell you that we are one of Amazon’s Software Partners. We would love to help you find out how efficient this process can be. If you’re interested in enabling the Amazon API connection for your account, drop us a line at email@example.com and we’ll discuss how best to make it work for you.