Amazon Updates to Use for 2023 Strategy: Catalog, PDP & SERP
From the “blink and you’ll miss it” changes to exciting new features on Amazon, along with adjustments due to testing and more, 2022 was a year of big change for advertisers and brands. As the Amazon marketplace continues to evolve, updates are inevitable. Across all facets of Amazon, new tools, updates, additional reporting and much more were launched in 2022. Code3 Strategists are sharing some of the most important headlines and updates marketers and brands should be aware of moving into the new year.
This three-part series will cover Amazon Catalog, PDP & SERP, Amazon Advertising, DSP, and Amazon Marketing Cloud updates. We’re kicking off with updates on the organic side, covering Amazon Catalog, PDP and SERP updates.
Amazon Catalog Updates and Key Headlines
Brands in Seller Central received access to more data and features than ever, with the Search Analytics Reports being launched including Search Query Performance and Search Catalog Performance reports, as well as the Product Opportunity Explorer (POE). While Search Analytics and the POE were announced during Amazon Accelerate 2021, there was only a limited rollout to Sellers at that time. In 2022, all Brand Registered Sellers were able to reap the benefits from the rarely shared Amazon first party data, and Amazon continued to roll out enhancements to the tools throughout the year. Search Analytics provides Sellers with insights on their particular catalog, while the POE gives Sellers an in-house category research tool.
Code3 SEO Search Strategists were excited to utilize the POE for Amazon search volume actuals for the first time, alongside other “product niche” insights. During Amazon Accelerate 2022, Amazon provided more new enhancements to the product research tool, including aggregated customer review insights.
The Search Query Performance report offers Sellers visibility into the most relevant and top performing keywords at both the brand and ASIN level, helping Sellers better understand which search terms drive the most clicks and conversions on their products from the SERPs. This is the first time Amazon has provided this level of insight to the organic performance of a catalog.
The Search Catalog Performance reports gives Sellers more ASIN-level performance metrics, aggregated across all queries originating from the SERPs. Brands now have insights into how products are performing throughout the sales funnel, from impressions to clicks to purchases.
Additionally in Seller Central, Premium A+ was made free, and remains so, for Sellers who have 15 A+ Pages and a Brand Story across all their ASINs. Previously, only Vendors were given access to Premium A+ at a rate of $250k+. If Vendors want Premium A+ benefits, they still need to pay the cost. Code3 Strategists were quick to recommend Premium A+ to all Seller Central clients during the extended promotional period, as Amazon states implementing Premium A+ content can increase sales by 20%.
While brands on Seller Central reaped the most benefits in 2022 with an overwhelming amount of new data and capabilities, there were a handful of platform updates that spanned across both Seller and Vendor Central. Catalog Selection Assistant tools were made available to both Vendors and Sellers to better understand their assortment and offer recommendations to expand their product set within the marketplace. Sellers were also provided with a Category Insights tool that provides insights into buyer selection preferences across a number of categories.
Customer Engagement email campaign capabilities were enhanced throughout the year, providing both brands on Vendor and Seller Central the ability to reach their followers along with other tailored audiences via email for new product launches or upcoming promotions.
New A/B testing options were added for Vendors and Sellers to further experiment on their content, adding the ability to test Bullet Points and Product Descriptions to the previously available A+, Main Image, and Title testing.
Compliance Regulations, as always, were a focus in the past year, with more regulations put in place. FCC Radio Frequency devices (ie bluetooth products) were enforced at the beginning of 2022, and in early 2023, brands can anticipate notice of additional California compliance requirements on appliances. Along with new compliance measures, Amazon continues to add more product attribute requirements across a number of categories and product types in order to provide a more consistent experience for shoppers.
Amazon PDP & SERP Updates and Key Headlines
In 2022, there was a bigger emphasis placed on video, in both paid and organic search, a trend Code3 Strategists predict will continue in 2023. Throughout last year, Amazon tested organic video in search via the mobile app.
Many other tests were implemented, including continued testing of new elements in the SERP and on PDPs. These tests included more badge types in the SERP, more organic refinement and cross-sell options displaying throughout the searching journey, and more data modules made prominent on PDP. Other additional tests Code3 Strategists noted throughout the year include:
Product badges including Small Business, Amazon Brand, Exclusive to Amazon, and Popular with Pros started to emerge in the SERPs:
Amazon Brands were found skipping the line in search results, even on search queries they did not match the shopper intent on:
Desktop search results were seen testing 5 placements per row vs. the standard 4 in SERPs:
Star rating actuals were added to SERP product placements, giving shoppers a more accurate representation of a products ratings and reviews:
Image gallery toggling features were experimented across the desktop and mobile app SERPs:
Grocery category PDPs added a new nutrition facts module above the fold and bullet points:
Product search refinements were added to more areas of the shopper journey, seen from the search bar to below the fold of a PDP, and all enabled by ASIN backend attributes:
Climate Pledge Friendly products continued to be a focus on Amazon, with more certification options being introduced in October, and more featured modules on the PDP and in the SERP starting to display. Amazon will continue to reward eco-friendly products with more organic exposure throughout the shopper journey heading into 2023.
Inspire, an in-app shopping feed that’s personalized with shoppable photos and videos, also launched in beta at the end of 2022 on the Amazon mobile app. The shoppable feed is curated based on the shopper's selected interests, and relevant photos and videos are fed in from customer reviews and Amazon influencers and brands, while the featured products are tagged on screen. While it’s still rolling out to shoppers, brands can start to take advantage by building up their Posts, which if relevant, may appear in a shopper’s Inspire feed. Social commerce is another trend brands should be prepared to see a lot of in 2023.
Keeping up to date with all the changes and new updates to Amazon can feel like a full-time job! If you could use a strategic partner to help you navigate how 2022 updates should impact your current strategy, contact us today.
Looking to learn more about Amazon updates? Check out the other blogs in this 3-part series, Amazon Updates to Use for 2023 Strategy: Amazon Advertising and Amazon Updates to Use for 2023 Strategy: Amazon DSP and Amazon Marketing Cloud.
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