Amazon Selling Business

[How to] Build an Intent-Based Sales Funnel for Your Products

The more I help businesses online, the more I become aware of how important intent-based marketing is.

Intent-Based Marketing, in simple terms, is placing your products or services in front of the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

Just because *you think* you know your customers, doesn't mean you truly know that what you have is what they want at the particular time you present it to them.

Additionally, you could spend a lot of time and money targeting customers on a platform (like Facebook), only to discover that your audience doesn't make purchasing decisions on Facebook, but rather on Pinterest.

Or, perhaps you're completely missing the mark in terms of who you're targeting for your product because you haven't done the proper demographic research based on intent rather than a stereotype.

For example, most people would assume that people searching and buying baby products would be in households with children.

But in fact, nearly 40% of purchasers of baby products live in households without children… Think – Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents.

When developing a sales funnel for your products or services, keep in mind that the journey always starts with “why”, leads to a “how”, and ends with the “what” – which is your product.

These considerations will help direct you toward building a well-designed sales funnel that “graduates” your prospective customer into a sales conversion.

Step 1: Start by Understanding the Customer Journey

According to Jim Yu, CEO of SEO company BrightEdge, there are three types of searches:

1. Navigational/Branded Search (the user is looking for a specific piece of information or a brand)
2. Informational (the user wants to learn something about the product)
3. Transactional (the user is ready to buy the product or is ready to enter the phase of purchasing)

If you're providing transactional information or hitting customers with a sales page when they are in the navigation or information gathering stages – you may struggle to convert.

Likewise, if you are not providing a “bridge” of content to give potential customers who are in these phases to cross over to reach your product – then you will lose them completely, and they will exit out of the buying process altogether and move on.

A sales funnel then, should have at least one “bridge page” – like a blog, where your entire intent is dedicated to educating, informing, and providing value to your audience without any expectation of it resulting directly in a purchase.

Step 2: Build Confidence and Trust by Asking “Why” instead of Answering “What”

Leadership expert and Best Selling Author Simon Sinek says: “It's not WHAT you do that matters, it's WHY you do it.”

The foundation of this principle lies within the physiological and psychological reasons for why people purchase products to begin with.

Sinek goes on to say: “…People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And what you do simply serves as the tangible proof of what you believe.”

Simon Sinek's Golden Circle
Most Businesses Start with What – But they Should Really Start with WHY.

In this regard, as sellers and marketers, we need to focus on guiding customers through a story about their company's core values, the reasons for why we offer the products we sell:
1. We have to communicate WHY we do what we do.
2. We have to demonstrate the DISCIPLINE of HOW we accomplish it through values and principles.
3. We have to have CONSISTENCY in WHAT we deliver to prove that what we say and do are legitimate.

These three components make the framework for one very important element:


Step 3: Build your Sales Funnel with a Clear “Story Brand” Message

Marketing expert Donald Miller, author of the best-selling book Building a Storybrand, says that we can accomplish this in 7 ways:

  1. We make the customer the hero of the story – the customer, not your brand, is the primary focus.
  2. We position our brand as the solution to an internal problem – for example, someone may buy a security camera because they just got robbed, but the internal problem, the emotional reasons for why they are going to invest hundreds of dollars on one, is because they want to feel safe and protected.
  3. We serve as a friendly navigator and guide for the customer. As Miller states; “Customers don't want another hero to compete alongside them.”
  4. We develop and present a well-intentioned plan for helping the customer get exactly what it is that they want without confusion.
  5. We challenge customers openly to take action. This means, we must include a very clear and obvious call to action on our sales funnel – whether it is a button at the top that says “BUY NOW” or “SIGN UP HERE” – the intent of what we want the customer to do should leave no questions.
  6. There also must be clear messaging as to what will happen to a customer if they DON'T take action. Miller says: “If there is nothing at stake in a story, there is no story. Likewise, if there's nothing at stake in whether or not I buy your product, I am not going to buy your product.”
  7. We should never assume that people understand how our brand can change their lives. We must tell them.


Now that you have discovered the basic components of an intent-based sales funnel, you can begin creating it. Before you begin, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of knowing your target audience and developing a clear blueprint outlined that addresses the three steps highlighted in this post:

1. Understand Your Customer's Journey
2. Build Confidence and Trust by Asking “Why”
3. Build your Sales Funnel with a Clear “Story Brand” Message

Without these three steps, you will not be able to develop a clear message or effectively challenge customers to take action on your offer.

The last thing you want to do is frustrate and confuse your potential prospects! As Donald Miller aptly states: “When you Confuse You Lose!”

Need Help Building Out Your Sales Funnel?

Amazon Selling Business

[How-To] Write Optimized Feature Bullets for Your Amazon Listing

Begin with the “Why”, End with the “How”

How I personally prefer to write my feature bullets and descriptions is to focus entirely on BENEFITS (the WHY) and then follow up with the FEATURES (the WHAT and the HOW).

I write this way because, from a purely psychological point of view, people are ego-driven and care only about themselves in the context of what they are looking for to meet their immediate need/want/desire.

For example, let’s say you sell a wireless security camera.

Shopper John is on Amazon today because yesterday afternoon someone stole a package off his front porch.

John has some core feelings and needs that have to be met right now:

  • He feels like his privacy and security has been violated
  • He wants to PROTECT himself, his family, and his property from future violations
  • He wants to stop feeling this way NOW.
  • He thinks that having a security camera will ELIMINATE these uncomfortable feelings and HELP his family to stay safe in the future.

So we have a very clear understanding of what John is feeling and wanting right now.  That’s why he’s on Amazon searching for a “wireless security camera.”

As a seller of a wireless security camera, your product is exactly what John needs to solve these problems:

  1. Eliminate the feelings of insecurity and uncertainty
  2. Fulfill the desire to be a protector for his property and family

The above are the BENEFITS of your wireless camera.  The camera allows John to have 24-7 visibility on his front porch so he can see who is coming and going.  

By having this level of visual control, John can leave his house with peace of mind, knowing that everything is recorded.  If something is ever stolen from his front porch again, he will be able to see who it was and send this information to law enforcement for investigation.

Now that we have a good idea about WHY your product is the solution, HOW will that be accomplished?  

This is where the FEATURES are used to accurately describe the functionality of the product.

The features will be the components and functions of the actual wireless security camera that are going to provide the benefits of safety, security, “peace of mind”. These could be features such as:

  • Cloud-Backup Storage 
  • Night-Vision enabled for day and night security
  • Anti-Theft enabled to prevent camera removal or vandalism
  • Wireless control by Smartphone App
  • Weather-Proof Case

Other features may help reverse or reduce risk in the purchase – such as “easy to set up”, “Alexa voice activation compatible,” and  “excellent optics” …

When you’re writing your feature bullets, you can mix up your features and benefits in a way that makes the most sense in terms of how it reads to the customer, so it’s not necessary to adopt a “hard and fast rule” of always with benefits.  Rather, focus on the quality of the content within the bullets and that it reads naturally (in the natural voice).

How to Structure Your Feature Bullet Statements

Knowing the Why behind having a security camera, and knowing our features that could address the reasons for why someone would want a wireless security camera to begin with, let’s write out some optimized bullets.

Again, while I don’t think there is a definite order to go with here, you should always experiment with the ordering of features.  I typically sequence my bullets in this way:


  1. Features and Benefits that validate the customer’s emotional reasons for wanting the product to begin with
  2. Features and Benefits that validate functionality and use
  3. Features and Benefits that answer commonly asked questions
  4. Features and Benefits that reduce risk (risk-reversal statements)
  5. Features and Benefits that are “throw away” statements (such as “bonus” items and things that will help your indexing of important keyword phrases but not might be read by the customer because many people won’t get to the 5th bullet and in some categories, only the first 2 to 4 are highlighted, depending on how many characters you use per bullet – such as in Beauty and Personal Care)

Now that you have a general outline of the sequencing, let’s start writing it out for our wireless security camera.

I used a popular brand of wireless security camera sold on Amazon (eufy) as a basis for the content, but I rewrote it in a way that follows my methodology.  Some content has been modified and does not reflect the features actually being sold.

  • SECURE YOUR HOME 24-7: Gain the peace of mind that you deserve with a 100% wireless full 1080p HD resolution surveillance system with IP-65 weatherproof night vision technology and an anti-theft alarm built-in
  • 365 DAY BATTERY LIFE: Designed to run one full year on one battery charge (or 3 years in standby mode).  Data backs up to the pre-installed 32 GB microSD card which is more than enough to store a full year’s worth of video data
  • SUPPORTS UP TO 16 CAMERAS:  You can add up to 16 cameras to the base station (included) to add even more security points to your home for complete coverage
  • EASY INSTALLATION: Easy and frustration-free set-up with 3 different installation methods: 3 easy ways to install: 1) screw onto the outdoor mount, 2) stick onto the magnetic mount, 3) stick on metallic surfaces
  • NO MONTHLY FEES: With our SmartApp,  Use your mobile device to access high-resolution live streaming of what the camera sees in real-time, and warn trespassers they’re on camera

It is worth noting that if you do sell in a category that displays your feature bullets as shown below, you should pay special attention to testing the character length (about 150 characters or less is ideal) of your bullets and ensuring you can get as many bullets displayed (ideally the first four):

Example of Feature Bullets

Key Takeaways

The feature bullets are not just about the features (functions and attributes of your product).  

They should be a balanced blend of features with benefits that paint a mental picture of what your product is and how it will be used.  

A listing can have well-done images, which truly are worth “a thousand words”, however, sometimes this isn’t enough.  

After all, we have a two-dimensional listing attempting to re-create a three-dimensional object that a shopper cannot hold and evaluate in-person, the way the would be able to if they were in an actual store.

When you write a great set of feature bullets, you are helping your customer validate their purchasing decision and eliminating any doubts that when they click “add to cart,” they are getting exactly what they want.  

Additionally, every time a customer purchases from you based on a search that has targeted key search phrases in your bullets, you are signaling to Amazon’s A9 algorithms that your listing is relevant, which helps your organic search page position.

The feature bullets are just one of several components you should focus on when writing your listing, but in my opinion, they are among the top three along with your Title and Images.  

Finally, as a parting piece of advice:  Writing optimized bullets is a valuable skill that takes practice, trial, error, and success.  

As with all skills, you must keep trying and testing.  Don’t give up or get discouraged if your bullets don’t quite “hit a bullseye” the first time. 🙂   

Be sure to keep an active log of your changes always – and be sure to pull your business reports before making bullet changes and after so you can see if your changes had a positive or negative impact on sales conversions.  

This will help you keep a big-picture view of your listing performance over time.

Amazon Selling Business

[POST] How to Beat the Summer Sales Slump Blues

During my first summer selling on Amazon, I was absolutely beside myself.

What seemed like an overnight “flip of the switch” – my sales TANKED.  

For several months I was averaging 15-20 sales per day on just my one product at the time – sometimes more.

And then, all of a sudden, 3 sales… 1 sale… even 3 days or more with no sales at all.


I frantically started changing my titles, images, bullets, description.

I increased my PPC bids on sponsored advertising.

I ran a gazillion Facebook ads.

I did everything I could to increase traffic and exposure to my listings.

And still, nothing.

Then I went to a few Facebook Amazon seller communities at the time and asked around.  Turned out everyone else was experiencing a similar plight.

Fortunately, a seasoned veteran chimed in:

“It’s called the summertime slump.  Hardly anyone shops online during the summer months, unless you’re looking for swimsuits and camping gear!”

Amazon Monthly Traffic Trends

Why the Slump?

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather is at its best, and people are outdoors more often than indoors.  

Sales naturally decline during this time of year simply because people are not focused on shopping.  They are more likely to be on vacation, traveling, or away from technology more often.

Dealing with This Reality

As a new seller experiencing their first summer season, this was reassuring news, but also, quite disheartening.  

If it’s like this EVERY summer selling online, then it really is “feast or famine” selling on Amazon!

This reality was one I wasn’t personally willing to accept, because I wanted this to be a year-round source of business revenue.  

Having big gaps in revenue limits your cash flow, and limits your ability to remain adaptive and flexible. 

Five Ways to Help Beat the Summertime Selling Slump Blues

After experiencing my first summertime slump, I decided that it would be critical to my businesses growth that I develop and implement a plan for continuing momentum during the 3-4 slower months.

Owning a business is not a static activity.  There is always something in your business you can be doing to help build, improve, and scale it. 

Here are five things you can start implementing to help improve your sales and keep your business growth optimal during the slow time of the selling season:

1. Evaluate your current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for your brand (conduct a SWOT analysis).  

Use this time to reflect and evaluate your current position in the marketplace.

Developing a cohesive strategy for improving your brand’s visibility and competitiveness in the marketplace can help identify gaps in your business that may be hurting your sales overall and also help pinpoint opportunities for growth within your market.  

Shopify has a great tutorial and downloadable SWOT Template here.  You can also watch this video to see an example of a SWOT analysis, using the popular US-based coffee brand Starbucks as an example:

2. Run the numbers on all of your products.  Are there products that are not selling fast enough and are sitting at FBA warehouses collecting costly storage fees?  

Check your inventory performance index scores for all active products.  Are you in the “Green” for all these? Remember that Amazon can and does penalize sellers when their seller performance metrics do not meet certain standards, such as having high order defect rates, inventory stock levels, and excessive inventory.Amazon Inventory Performance Index

Additionally, check your sell-through rates.  Identify products where you’re receiving low traffic consistently (accounting for seasonality) and evaluate why that is the case.  Is it because you’re not doing any promotions/advertising? Or is it a low-demand product?

3. Summertime is the time to be placing your orders for Quarter 4.  If you plan on selling your products during quarter 4 (and you should because that’s when everyone is on Amazon making purchases!) then you should be spending part of your time this summer placing orders with your suppliers and arranging for production of inventory, so that it can arrive at the Amazon fulfillment centers in plenty of time before the holiday season approaches. 

Use Amazon’s holiday and events planning calendar to get an idea as to when to plan for “sales surges” during the year. 

A good rule of thumb is to have your inventory for Quarter 4 in no later than October 1st to ensure you are in stock for the full duration of the peak selling season.

4. Use this time to research products that you can sell year-round, or are summer-specific.

If you’re struggling to sell your products this time of year, now is a good time to research more products to add to your mix, and make up for lost revenue.  

When researching products, focus on overall profitability first (I personally look for products that will give me a 3x-5x net profit, accounting for all landed costs, fees, advertising costs, and other operational expenses tied into getting a product to Amazon FBA and live in the marketplace).

Look for products that would be bought year-round – not just during the holiday season.  For example, personal care, grocery items, and pet supplies would all be things people buy no matter the time of year.

And, if you have a brand that is not niche-specific and will accommodate a variety of products from different categories, then consider sourcing products that are in niches that are popular during the summer months such as sports, outdoors, automotive, and travel.

5. Now is a good time to learn new business skills, improve your marketing knowledge, and build exposure for your brand and products

As mentioned before, business is dynamic and if you are not an active participant, eventually, your business will stagnate, plateau, and then die.  

During these slow times, you can help your business grow by actively seeking new information on how to improve your sales, creating new content for your brand’s website blog, developing new product videos, and increasing your marketing channels.  

And, now is also the perfect time to build your own circle of influence by establishing strategic alliances with other sellers, joining a private mastermind, reading books on marketing, and building customer relationships.

Whether you implement one or all five of these strategies, remember that ultimately, you are in control of the growth of your business. 

If you rely completely upon one marketplace like Amazon to determine the outcome of your success, you are leaving a lot of potential profit and growth on the table. 

Stay agile, and remain tenaciously dedicated to your business, 365 days per year.

Amazon Selling

[How-To] Sell More Online by Removing Barriers for Customers

When it comes to selling online, a key concept to keep in mind is that you, the seller, are the “middleman” between your product and the customer.  

There is nothing stopping a shopper from skipping over you, and from a statistical point of view, nearly all of them will  (in 2018, the average US eCommerce website conversion rate was only 2.6%).

With the worldwide accessibility of the Internet, and the numerous outlets providing “direct to consumer” products – what is to say that your potential customers won’t just go straight to the manufacturer and buy from them instead?

A lot of consumers are doing just that and it’s undercutting many private label sellers.  

As an eCommerce seller, you are in fact, a barrier between what people want and how they can get it!

It sounds counterintuitive to think this way, but in thinking about yourself as a barrier, you can then work on ways to “break down” (or improve) what you are doing to prevent people from buying from you.

So, how do you create these barriers?

  • Product Offering 
  • Price
  • Quality (perceived and actual)
  • Value (perceived and actual)
  • Brand trust

On Amazon, customers are more likely to go with a brand that is established and has positioned their products to add the most value possible in terms of quality, trust,  and affordability.  

This isn’t theory or speculation.  

Amazon has divulged this information time and again to sellers through their news releases and marketing tool “beta tests” – ranging from repricing tools, to obvious “spikes” in traffic for sellers each time they get a positive verified review, to new sponsored advertising features.

How to Break Down the Selling Barriers

Fortunately, you can lower the barriers to selling your products by focusing on 5 tried and true principles of business.


  1. Sell products that people want, and know where they are.


Rather than try to bring people to your products, you should find products that people already need, want, and buy.  While this might not be possible when introducing an entirely brand new product (as in, something you invented and patented yourself), if you’re sourcing a garlic press, for example, then you should not be struggling to sell it as long as you know where the people are who want to buy it.

  1. Know your numbers in terms of pricing

Pricing for profit isn’t your only objective.  Ultimately it is the market and consumer that will determine what you can reasonably set the prices of your products.  

Price too high, and you’ll be undercut by competitors that sell at volume and can dictate lower set price points.  Price too low and you may not make a profit or devalue your brand.  

Finding a balance between profit, market competitiveness, and consumer perception is a matter of testing your target market for price elasticity.  That is to say, measuring how much raising or lowering the price has little impact on the demand for it.

  1. Deliver high-quality products and have that reflected in your product images and a product demonstration video

Image is everything and especially online where customers cannot hold, feel, and evaluate a product in person as they would in a brick and mortar retail store – customers will turn to your product images to make a critical assessment as to whether or not the product you’re selling matches what they are searching for.  

Make sure you have professionally done images – high resolution, with a mixture of in-use, lifestyle, and infographic “explainer” images, as well as a product demonstration video.

  1. Add value to your products with added features and options

If you’re struggling to stand out from the other sellers that are offering similar products – a great way to add actual and perceived value is to either improve upon what is already on the market with an added feature or include an additional complementary item along with it (bundle).  

Not only can you add perceived value to your product this way, but for just a little bit more in actual cost, you can increase your profit margins.  

This same model is used by fast food restaurants every day.  They will offer a burger for $5.99 but then they will ask you if you want to add fries and a Coke for an additional $1.50.  The profit margin on the burger is only 25% but the profit margin on the fries and the Coke is around 75-100%.  

  1. Build Brand Trust

I was having a conversation with a friend about her looking for new wireless earbuds for her kid on Amazon.  

She mentioned that she saw that one of the first results on page one was some obscure and unknown brand that had over 7,000 5-star reviews.  

She told me, “at first I was like -hey, this has over 7,000 5-star reviews, it must be a great pair of earbuds!” 

Until she scanned down the page and started reading the reviews.  

Almost all of them were fake and most of them weren’t even for the product being sold!

After more research, she decided to go with a brand she knew and trusted but had a review rating of 3.9 instead.  

My friend’s mentality/thought process is not unlike many people shopping on Amazon right now.  

Thanks to media attention – consumers are becoming more aware of the black-hat tactics being used by sellers to abuse the system and take advantage of Amazon’s inconsistent enforcement and oversight.  

The unfortunate residual effect is that all sellers on Amazon now are looked at with more scrutiny – so even those of us that are legitimate and ethical sellers may not be seen as trustworthy!

One way to build brand trust and loyalty, while helping combat the blackhatters, hijackers, and scammers is for sellers to focus on building a true brand.  

This means doing the following:

  1. List your products using UPC/EAN codes bought directly through GS1
  2. Register your brand name with your country’s trademark registry office (  for the USA for example). 
  3. Register your products/brand with Amazon’s Brand Registry service 
  4. Retain legal counsel and have cease and desist letters drafted and ready to go to send to infringing parties
  5. Develop a strong brand presence outside of Amazon (your own “dotcom” brand website/storefront, social media pages, etc. – make sure you have a physical mailing address, and a toll-free 1-800 support number).


Eliminating as many barriers for your customers and making it as easy as possible to purchase your products with confidence should be every seller’s main focus.  

You don’t have to be seen as a middleman – but a friendly bridge that connects your brand and products to what hopefully will become a tribe of repeat loyal customers in the future.

Do You Need Help With Improving your Sales and Marketing Efforts?

Amazon Selling

[Important] – Amazon to Suppress All Listings Not in Compliance with Title Guidelines

Amazon just announced that starting on July 22, it will suppress (read: REMOVE) listings from its search engine that do not comply with its Title Guidelines.

This is a major announcement and will impact many sellers who are unaware of how to properly write a listing title and follow the rules.

As a seller who has seen an influx in “bad behavior” and “bad actors” on Amazon – using tactics to attempt to circumvent the Amazon indexing algorithms to position higher in the organic search results – I see this as a good move.

However, what this will likely mean is that Amazon's scanning algorithms will pick up many “false positives” in terms of title violations. For example, if a brand name is made up of ALL CAPS and registered as such, then if the brand name is in all caps, then it might be flagged and removed from search.

Be prepared for a wild transition phase as sellers who are in violation scramble to change their titles to be in compliance. This will most definitely cause algorithmic “surges” for not just the organic search but PPC placement as well.

Given that the change will occur AFTER Prime day, the change should be less impactful.

Here are the guidelines, according to Amazon 

[NOTE: Since the first news release, Amazon has changed the title length restriction from 50 characters to 200 characters (probably due to the massive “push back” from sellers)]

Title Length: 

MUST NOT EXCEED 200 characters for ANY product in ANY category.  Even if it states in the style guidelines a recommended limit under 200, as long as it does not exceed 200 characters, your listing will NOT be suppressed.


  • Capitalize the first letter of each word.
  • Do not use ALL CAPS
Kindra's Question:  What about sellers that might have brand names registered in ALL CAPS?
[UPDATE ANSWER:  From three different Amazon support team members, I have been told that the algorithms *should* “skip over” brand names that are capitalized.
  • Conjunctions (and, or, for) and articles (the, a, an) should not be capitalized.
  • Don't capitalize prepositions with fewer than five letters (in, on, over, with).

Numbers and symbols:

  • Use numerals (2 instead of two)Spell out measurements ( 6 inches not 6″ )
  • Don't use symbols, such as ~ ! * $ ?
Kindra's Question:  What OTHER symbols won't be allowed? Commonly used symbols: “-” and “|” for example – are these still acceptable?
  • Don't use Type 1 High ASCII characters (Æ, ©, ô, etc.)

Product information:

  • Include the size and color in “child” ASINs for variations1
  • Don't include price or promotional messages, such as “sale” or “free ship”
  • Don't use subjective commentary, such as “Hot Item” or “Best Seller”
  • Your merchant name for Brand or Manufacturer information should not be included unless your product is Private Label 
Note: IF you are private label, you can use your brand name in the title and you should.

And about Titles Using Variations (Parent-Child)

In Variation Relationships, remember that only the title of the parent ASIN is shown on the detail page.

This means that the title for the selected child ASIN will appear once the ASIN is added to the customer's cart, so it is important to include the variation attributes (such as size and color) in the title for the child ASIN.

  • Example parent: Crocs Beach Clog
  • Example child: Crocs Beach Clog, Lime, Medium (Women's 8-9 M US/Men's 6-7 M US)

There's already quite the discussion about this change in the Amazon's sellers forum. For an entertaining and thought-provoking read, you can visit the thread here

What do you think? This seller seems to think it's a good idea:

Seller Forum Comment about Title Guideline changes

In my opinion, rarely should one feel compelled to write a title past 50 characters, although 150 I find is a great “sweet spot” for higher conversions and keeping within most title guidelines for the major categories. Some categories like Lighting only allow a max of 50 characters. 

And 50 characters is the recommended length because of mobile optimization. Amazon is giving us these guidelines for a reason. They have all the consumer data! They know when, where, and how shoppers are making purchases. 

When Amazon says “200 characters MAX” – it's not just some arbitrary amount they pulled out of the sky – they are have done the research and the research shows that titles with shorter titles are converting better. Titles that read naturally and don't look spammy are converting better. 

Use this information to your advantage and crush the competition, so that Amazon doesn't crush you!

Need Help Getting Your Listing Optimized And Ready for July 22nd?

Amazon Selling

Amazon Updates for June 2019 – Videos, Sales Taxes, and More…

Amazon released three major updates in 4 days to kick off the Summer selling season of 2019.  

These changes are definitely going to impact sellers so I thought I would write an article about it to help keep everyone up to speed.

By the way – it’s probably a good idea to read the News section in your Seller Dashboard!  

Amazon is notorious for sneaking in big changes and announcing them with little to no warning.  

Here’s what happened:

Sales Tax Collection

On June 7th, Amazon announced that starting in June, it would be collecting sales tax for Amazon sellers for orders shipped to Idaho and New York State.  

According to Amazon, however:

Currently, services provided in New York are not included in Marketplace Tax Collection. Amazon is currently working with the state of New York to confirm the marketplace’s responsibility as it relates to services and your existing tax settings will continue for services.

Services provided in Idaho are included in Marketplace Tax Collection.

This moves the total number of states that Amazon is automatically collecting sales tax for to 10.  Be sure you check with your professional tax advisor and certified public accountant to ensure you are in compliance with all of your local, county, and state tax laws pertaining to tax collection for eCommerce transactions.  These laws differ so much, there is no “universal” code within the United States that applies to all.

And, consider signing up for an Amazon Seller-friendly service like TaxJar, which can help streamline the process of collecting and remitting your taxes.

Price Per Unit Requirements

On June 10th, Amazon announced that it will now be requiring sellers that sell US consumable products to enter “price per unit” and “unit-count” attribute data in their listings.  This change will apply to the following Consumables product types in these categories:

The change will apply to the following Consumables product types:


This change was designed to help improve the shopping experience for customers and bring more transparency in the marketplace for comparison shopping.

According to Amazon:

All new listings are to include the unit count attribute, which was previously optional. Unit count includes a value (unit_count, e.x. “5”) and a unit type (unit_count_type, e.x. “ounce”). The unit type will be restricted to the following units:

  • fluid ounce
  • ounce
  • pound
  • gram
  • count
  • foot (recent addition)
  • square foot (recent addition)

Data submissions without this information will fail. The scope of this change includes any product-level data submissions, whether through Excel templates, Seller Central, or XSD feeds.

Additionally, Amazon is requiring sellers that are selling US Consumables in the categories above, to require updates to existing impacted listings to include the unit_count attribute. ASINs without unit count information or with invalid values in the unit_count_type attribute will still require this information when listings are updated.

It is important to note here that any updates that do not include this information will be rejected.

New Video Upload and Management Feature

This should be welcomed news for all sellers.   Amazon announced on June 11th that it would be rolling out the ability to upload product videos to all sellers.  This feature was previously only available to vendors and to a limited extent, brand registered sellers.

What Amazon found through research was that shoppers who watched a product video on a listing page were 3.6x more likely to make a purchase than those that did not watch the video.

So it makes sense that if Amazon gave this ability to all sellers, this would increase the chance for video watching time, and therefore, increase the opportunity for sales for sellers AND for Amazon.

Now, any seller may upload a video to their product listing page!  

Amazon has listed some current and future features that will be rolled out eventually:

You will be able to:

  1. Associate a single video to multiple products
  2. Upload multiple videos for a single product
  3. Use auto-generated thumbnails
  4. Track the status of the upload process
  5. Coming soon: Viewership metrics

This new feature can be found in your seller central account dashboard menu by going to Inventory > Upload & Manage Videos

I highly recommend that you invest the time and marketing budget to develop a short (2 minutes or less) impactful video for your product.  Make this a priority for this summer in preparation for the holiday shopping season!