The A10 algorithm: how to look after your brand health on Amazon
Amazon continues to target brands by enabling them to deliver an improved brand experience via the marketplace. Dean Hawes, head of account management at Optimizon, tells us that, once your brand is present on Amazon, it’s important to look after your brand health.
Optimizon reviews Amazon's offering for healthier brand partnerships.
Staying on top of Amazon’s latest algorithms and having the knowledge of how to work within them is essential, particularly its new A10 algorithm. Brands need to be aware of how it determines which products rise to the top of the search results.
What does A10 mean for your brand?
Crucially for brands, the A10 tracks three broad metrics to help brands be successful and meet customers’ expectations: price competitiveness; prime eligibility; and in-stock rate.
Metric 1: price competitiveness
Amazon’s priority is not the profitability of the seller; it’s the best online price for the consumer. If your price is higher than other sellers, or you're retailing the products at a lower price elsewhere, Amazon will punish your listing.
To avoid price health alerts, it’s a good idea to enroll in pricing automation. You have two options. Either use 'sold by Amazon', which is a new by-invite only option for sellers, where Amazon sets the prices of FBA products. Or automate prices, so that Amazon can automatically adjust prices based on other offers and pre-defined rules.
However, it can be a good idea to consider additional ways to maintain profitability and competitive pricing. With this in mind, consider 'minimum advertised price' (MAP) and 'product configurations'.
For MAP, brands should set such a price with all traders who sell their products online. Price consistency and control across all retailers is essential to maintain strong brand health.
For product configurations, goods with configurations specific to Amazon with unique GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers) simplify any price comparisons for bundled goods.
Metric 2: Prime eligibility
Prime eligibility is the frequency of a product being eligible for Prime in the previous 30 days. Any product that is out of stock for any length of time is not Prime eligible.
Products are only eligible for Prime if shipping is carried out by Amazon-approved carriers; products are shipped promptly 99% of the time; and they have a cancellation rate lower than 0.5%.
Metric 3: in-stock rate
Out-of-stock goods impact Amazon’s traffic and sales. In-stock rate is the percentage of page views to replenishable branded items in the last 30 days.
Related to in-stock rate is the Inventory Performance Index for FBA sellers. The platform limits inventory replenishment for FBA goods. To maintain sales, you need to ship any new FBA stock to Amazon promptly to maintain FBA rates.
Monitoring brand health metrics
Amazon displays the primary metrics of price competitiveness within 'seller central'. In-stock rate and Prime eligibility can be found under the heading of brand health.
You'll also notice that there are listings for brand benefits such as customer reviews and brand analytics.
Account health & customer experience
Beyond the above metrics, you should consider account health and the customer voice as important for maintaining brand health on Amazon.
To find the 'account health' page, go to your brand dashboard and navigate to the performance tab on the main 'seller central' navigation. Here, you'll find customer service metrics, policy compliance, and shipping performance. These all determine account health.
Probably the most important is 'order defect rate'. Amazon defines a defect as a product that received negative feedback, a refund claim, or chargeback.
Communicate with your customers and resolve issues swiftly. Amazon requires sellers to maintain an order defect rate below 1%.
Find the 'voice of the customer' page in the account health secondary dashboard. This metric is known as 'CX health', meaning customer experience, and it focuses on the accuracy and quality of listings.
The voice of the customer page lists customers' negative experiences. If your CX rate is poor, Amazon will suppress the listing. Ensure that you fix any issues by improving the product page’s information or replacing the inventory.
Remember, everything Amazon does is focused on the customer. If you look after your customer, Amazon will reward you.
At Optimizon, we employ a team of specialist Amazon Consultants to assist with optimizing your Amazon listings and help you deal with negative feedback.
Maintaining Amazon brand health
Monitoring the main three brand metrics, plus Account Health and CX, will help to maintain brand health.
Don’t forget to also monitor your prices regularly and respond to Amazon notifications quickly. Above all, make sure you focus on your customers, and meet Amazon’s standards to keep your selling privileges.
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Optimizon is one of the UK’s fastest-growing eBay and Amazon Agencies, with clients including global brand leaders in homewares, garden machinery and sports equipmentFind out more