What Is Enhanced Brand Content (Now A+) on Amazon?

Cody Frisby

November 2, 2020

For sellers and brands alike, Amazon’s marketplace has become more crowded than ever. In fact, according to MarketplacePulse, Amazon is home to more than 3 million active sellers. This is making it increasingly difficult for brands to stand out from competitors.

To increase brand awareness and sales, businesses use killer copy, descriptive titles, striking images, and listing optimization. Sometimes, however, that’s not quite enough. Luckily, Amazon has a number of features, like Enhanced Brand Content (EBC), that can help you convert those potential customers who are still sitting on the fence.

What is Enhanced Brand Content and how can I use it?

One of these features is Enhanced Brand Content, now known as A+ Content. This Seller Central feature introduced in 2016 allows you to modify the description area of your product listing with visually-rich content—including enhanced images and custom text placement—to tell your brand’s story.

As long as you’re a registered brand approved in the Amazon Brand Registry, a professional seller, or an “emerging brand owner” working through Amazon Launchpad or Amazon Exclusives, you can benefit from the features of EBC Amazon. The best part? Adding EBC to your products is currently free. Amazon has even stated they will make any announcement before adding fees to this program. Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider adding EBC to your Amazon listings.

Benefits of Enhanced Brand Content on Amazon

Customize your storefront

Enhanced Brand Content gives you more freedom than ever to craft an eye-catching storefront that captures your brand’s essence. Beautiful headings, high-quality photos, engaging copy—each element works together to create a storefront where customers feel comfortable and interested. Not only do attractive storefronts make your brand stand out, but they also optimize your listings, keeping customers on them longer and making it more likely they’ll convert.

If you need help managing and designing all of this content, you’re in the right place. Here at Pattern, we help brands design templates that customers can’t look away from. Below are two examples for brands Pure Encapsulations and Yogi Tea.

Examples of Amazing A+ Content on Amazon | Pattern

Reduce your bounce rate

Your potential customers know there are thousands of products on Amazon that fit their particular needs at any given moment. When they find a product they like, they’ll often use it as a reference point and click to competitor listings to compare features and pricing. Typically, it’s not necessarily the feature set that makes the difference between two products, but the product listing’s design and visual appeal. The data reinforces this idea—Amazon claims that adding EBC to a product listing can increase sales by an average of 3to 10%.

Enhanced Brand Content can help you reduce your bounce rate by increasing engagement with eye-catching pictures and compelling copy, both of which tell your brand’s story and help your potential customers see your product as something that will enhance their lives.

Reinforce brand equity

Enhanced Brand Content provides a way to reinforce the brand loyalty you’ve already developed with your customer base. Historically, a main challenge with Amazon has been the lack of branding opportunities available to more-established brands, which has leveled the merchandising playing field and allowed private-label sellers/products to flourish, which could be a disadvantage for well-established and trusted brands.

EBC allows brands to bridge this gap and remind customers what sets them apart in a way that's not possible through text-only bullets and descriptions. Learn more about the importance of brand equity here.

Overcome objections and improve search

When customers are comparing products on Amazon, they’re looking for reasons not to buy. EBC gives you the chance to overcome the objections your prospects may have by providing more detail and imagery, making it more likely that they’ll convert.

Amazon allows you to answer customer questions on each product listing, something I recommend all brands participate in. One way to use EBC effectively is to look at the types of questions your customers are asking and address any recurring themes in your EBC.

Since EBC generally includes pictures, and these pictures require you to include image keywords, the feature also helps your products appear more frequently in search, which is the leading traffic driver for Amazon product listings.

Attract Attention

As mentioned, Enhanced Brand Content is an excellent way to differentiate your product from similar, competing products. Consider the two lotion examples below.

With Enhanced Brand Content (Now A+ Content):

A+ Content Storefront Example | Pattern

Without Enhanced Brand Content

Product Description without A+ Content Enhanced Brand Content EBC

Which lotion do you think customers are more likely to buy? Both brands give logistical details about their products, but Thymes’ use of A+ Content also tells its brand story, evokes an emotional response to convert the potential customer into a loyal one, and makes it easy for customers to envision its products in their lives.

Improve mobile optimization

Mobile optimization is arguably one of the best benefits of Enhanced Brand Content, and is available to all sellers who use the feature. When buyers are searching Amazon on a mobile device, they only see the first 200 words of each product’s description, not even your finely-crafted bullet points. They then have to click the section and open a new page to see more details.

If you’re using EBC, or A+ Content, potential customers can see all of your carefully-curated content, including the pictures, title, and description, without clicking or opening new pages. This is increasingly becoming a bigger deal, since 47% of Amazon customers are now using their mobile devices to shop, and more than half of all internet shopping occurs on a mobile device.

Not only are customers increasingly using their mobile on Amazon, but they’re also driven by convenience. As with everything on the internet, the faster you can get your product in front of a potential customer (with the least amount of clicks), the better your performance will be.

Content Requirements for Enhanced Brand Content

Before you set out to create Enhanced Brand Content, make sure you're familiar with Amazon’s EBC guidelines. Here are the top EBC requirements to be aware of:

  • Don’t refer to your brand as a seller or distributor or include company contact information.
  • Don’t include any trademarked content in the text copy. Only small trademark and copyright symbols are allowed if they are already part of the logo or product packaging.
  • Don’t include guarantees, bold claims, reviews, quotes, or time-sensitive information.
  • Don’t link to external websites that direct away from Amazon, including your company website.
  • Images must be at least 72 dpi in resolution, under 2 MB in size, and formatted as jpg, bpm, or png in the RGB colorspace.

Amazon has strict rules to keep their platform consistent and fair to all sellers. So long as you don’t mind their terms, you can take your product pages to the next level.

Are you ready to start enjoying the benefits of EBC? If so, learn how to get started below.

Getting Started with Enhanced Brand Content

To create Enhanced Brand Content, first login to Amazon Seller Central or Vendor Central. On your account page, you will find an advertising tab, where you can select “A+ Content Manager” from the dropdown menu. Click “Start Creating A+ Content” to begin the process.

You’ll have the choice of creating Enhanced Product Descriptions or Brand Content. Enhanced Product Descriptions allow you to elaborate on product details and proactively answer customer questions, while Brand Content lets you tell your brand’s history, story, and values.

After choosing which type of EBC to start with, you’ll see prompts to name your content and choose from 5 module templates. Alternatively, you can create a custom module from scratch. Choose a design that suits your product and brand. Any module can include pictures, infographics, keywords, and comparison charts.

Keep following the onscreen prompts until your EBC module is complete. Make sure to proofread and check for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation mistakes as these will impact your chances of approval.

Once you submit, you can expect approval to take up to 7 days, though usually Amazon responds within 2. If not approved, your submission will be returned with rejection reasons and suggestions on needed changes.

Once approved, it can take up to 24 hours for your EBC to finally be published on Amazon.

How to use Enhanced Brand Content

Include high-quality images

Using high-quality images is a basic best-practice to improve your product’s SEO on Amazon, and EBC makes it easy. Make sure that your images are large enough that potential customers can zoom in and out to see product features. Pixelated or limited images make it more difficult for customers to trust your brand. Simply put, customers associate high-quality images with a high-quality brand.

Consider combining detailed product images with lifestyle photography, like Hydro Flask. The product images answer common customer questions while the lifestyle photography tells the brand’s story and communicates its unique feel. With any product photography, focus on good lighting, clean lines, minimal clutter, and embracing your brand’s image. Use real humans in lifestyle photos when it makes sense, highlight key features of your product, and emphasize your product’s versatility.

A+ Content Example for Amazon Sellers | Pattern

Enhanced Brand Content allows you to format your photos in 12 different modules, including comparison charts, image highlights, and image and text overlay. Taking advantage of these modules—and following our product photography tips—can help you make the best of EBC.

Focus on succinct, interesting text

As we’ve mentioned, one of the biggest draws of Enhanced Brand Content is its visual appeal. Instead of presenting your potential customers with product descriptions, bullet points, and walls of text, you can integrate text with photography, graphics, and comparison charts. It’s important to make sure you’re keeping your text succinct and interesting, or you’re defeating the purpose of EBC.

Make sure every word in your listing page serves a purpose. Using bullet points and less text makes your product information easy to skim and keeps it from being overwhelming for customers. Capitalizing keywords may be helpful. Keep it simple, professional, and optimized for Amazon.

Above all, take care to ensure your product description is accurate. 40% of customers have returned online purchases solely because of poor product content, and poor product descriptions are to blame for 30% of shopping cart abandonment.

**Try the new A/B Testing Feature **

Finally, Amazon rolled out an A/B testing feature for EBC in November, 2019. The “Manage Your Experiments” (MYE) tool allows sellers to test different versions of an EBC page to see which one performs best. For example, you can test different images, text, and structures to see what drives the most traffic and sales.

EBC experiments can go for anywhere between 4 to 10 weeks. The longer the experiment, the more reliable the data. So try to run the A/B test as long as you can. But know that you can also cancel the experiment or change its duration at any time.

To give this useful A/B testing feature a try, find “Manage Your Experiments” on Seller or Vendor Central under the A+ Content Manager. This is the perfect way to make sure your Enhanced Brand Content design is data-driven and optimized for generating sales.

** Enhanced Brand Content is worth exploring **

As you can see, Enhanced Brand Content, now known as A+ Content, is an excellent way to make your products stand out regardless of category. Amazon makes it an easy feature to implement, especially considering that sellers can now upload new EBC by ASIN. Since it’s currently free, there are no downsides to giving it a try, but I’m confident these benefits will make it well worth your time.

If you want to take your Amazon listings one step further, Premium A+ Content, or A++ content, is an invite-only option available to some brands. It carries a hefty price tag—between $250-$500k—but also offers more space, 16 interactive models in addition to the 12 basic modules available for EBC, video, testimonials and more.

If you’d like to learn more about improving your product listings with Enhanced Brand Content or Premium A+ Content, we’d love to help. Get a demo today and see how Enhanced Brand Content can upgrade your Amazon listings.

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MAP Pricing vs MSRP: What's the Difference? (blog header)
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MAP Pricing vs. MSRP: What's the Difference?

“MAP” and “MSRP” are two of hundreds of acronyms floating around in the world of ecommerce, and they’re two of the easiest to confuse and misunderstand. While MAP and MSRP do play similar roles, they also have key differences that can work in tandem to support and protect your brand on marketplaces.

So what are MAP and MSRP and why do they matter? Here’s what you should know: 

What is MAP?

MAP (or minimum advertised price) is the minimum amount that a manufacturer or wholesaler recommends resellers advertise their products for. MAP pricing policy is essentially a one-way boundary you set to protect your brand, protect the margins of your resellers, and maintain fair competition across all of your distribution channels.

When setting a MAP policy strategy, remember the important things you’ll want your MAP policy to do are:

  1. Protect the interests of your brick-and-mortar resellers, giving them the margins they need to display and carry your product as well as sell it.

  2. Stay small enough that it discourages resellers from heavily discounting your products and keeps competition fair.

  3. Accurately reflects on the brand image and value you want to reflect.

“Advertising” and “recommends” are the key terms here. MAP policies should only recommend the price that is advertised online or in-store for a product, not attempt to fix the actual selling price of the product—that’s illegal—or recommend the actual selling price. That’s MSRP’s job.

Benefits of MAP

MAP not only keeps competition fair, but allows you to control your brand identity and promote consumer trust of your product and brand. Here are some of the benefits of having MAP policies:

  • Better brand protection and control

  • Creates a level playing field for retailers

  • Reduces bad customer experiences

  • Provides an accurate performance analysis

How Can Brands Effectively Enforce MAP?

It’s critical that MAP policies are structured in such a way that a brand avoids violating anti-trust laws. One way brands can effectively enforce MAP is by simply monitoring online product prices across digital channels to identify fluctuations in the market. 

At Pattern, we help brands not only develop a MAP policy, but also enforce it. Enforcing MAP policies and gaining marketplace control includes finding unauthorized sellers, which Pattern’s data finds. Once Pattern finds the unauthorized sellers, Vorys eControls (Pattern’s legal partner) steps in and handles the takedowns of unauthorized sellers, continuous enforcement of brand management, and reseller policy enforcements.

What is MSRP?

MSRP (or manufacturer’s suggested retail price) is how manufacturers standardize pricing across their resale channel and determine what price is fair for their product. The key difference between MSRP and MAP is that MSRP is the actual price manufacturers set and recommend retailers charge for their goods while MAP is the advertised price. 

MSRP doesn’t necessarily have to be the final price of a product—it’s most often a starting price—but it is determined by taking into account all of the costs associated with the distribution and manufacturing process for a product and the margin amount resellers need in order to make a profit. MSRP also establishes value. For example, if a brand wants to build a premium brand, the MSRP can reflect the actual or perceived value of their product.

Benefits of MSRP

Setting up an MSRP for your product includes the following benefits:

  • Maintains brand equity

  • Establishes brand and product value

  • Standardizes costs across marketplaces

How Can Brands Effectively Enforce MSRP?

Like MAP pricing, MSRP has to be set up as a one-way policy and not an agreement between a manufacturer and a reseller to avoid landing a manufacturer on the wrong side of the law. It’s a recommendation, not a contractual bind. As mentioned for MAP policy, Pattern helps brands effectively enforce MSRP with our proprietary data and expertise to protect their brand. 

How Do MAP and MSRP Work Together?

MAP and MSRP have different applications that may prove useful in different scenarios. For example, MAP policies are typically more useful in marketplaces where competition is fierce and price erosion happens easily if sellers are left unchecked. Ideally, however, MAP and MSRP are a dynamic duo that work together to serve the interests of your brand, support your resale channels, and protect your resellers.

Setting an MSRP establishes value for your product and lets your resellers know you’re serious about controlling channel conflict, maintaining pricing equity, and protecting their margins so they’re more confident setting pricing at the MSRP level.

MAP is the second half of setting a pricing policy. Setting a MAP price for your product, in addition to an MSRP, further standardizes pricing across your resale channel and gives legitimate resellers a fair environment to compete in while setting boundaries against unauthorized sellers harming your brand.

MAP combined with MSRP creates a stronger level of brand protection, giving your brand more sustainable, profitable growth.

Maintain Brand Control With Pattern

MAP policies can be tricky to draft, because there are so many legal lines to tiptoe around and so much nuance that goes into pricing. They can also be tricky to enforce without the right tools. At Pattern, partnered with Vorys, we have the tools and resources to help you maintain brand control on all marketplaces. 

As an ecommerce accelerator, Pattern can help you identify MAP violators and regain control of your brand online so that your image and your resellers are protected. To learn more, contact us today.

Athlon Optics Walmart.com Launch Has Record Setting Sales within 3 Days
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Athlon Optics Walmart.com Launch Has Record Setting Sales within 3 Days

Athlon Optics sells scopes and other optical accessories like binoculars for anyone who may be hunting, shooting recreationally, or competing.  After achieving significant success on Amazon, the brand wanted to launch on Walmart. As a growing marketplace with huge growth forecasts, Athlon saw their competitors already staking claim on walmart.com and saw opportunities for increasing their sales.

As a prestigious brand in its category, with loyal consumers, Athlon does so much with very few resources. With less than twenty employees in the entire company, managing everything from customer service to product development, their ecommerce team needed support to scale to a new marketplace.  And, they needed a partner who had a relationship with and deep understanding of walmart.com to accelerate their growth. Pattern is a one-stop shop for Athlon, providing the resources and expertise, so Athlon could also save budget and stop outsourcing so many different aspects of their marketplace business.

Athlon Optics Prepares for a Seamless Launch

Sometimes brands who transition from 1P to 3P with Pattern have no proprietary sales, marketplace data or content such as product images, video, or optimized copy. These circumstances create a more hands on transition for Pattern and may interfere with launch expectations. 

But Athlon was the consummate partner and overly prepared to transition to 3P– buttoned up, organized, and ready to take on walmart.com’s list of launch needs. Athlon provided all the required assets on time and was very organized.  The images were shot, formatted, and categorized as A+ content that Pattern ported over.  This process dramatically reduced wait times and lag times within the platform.  Plus, since the content was optimized for marketplaces, all images, copy, and listing information uploaded in the first pass. 

Pattern’s Walmart Expertise Leads to Success

But the content worked because of Pattern’s resources and marketplace expertise.  Pattern provided Athlon with a very clear outline of needs and expectations for seamless launch and this process has become a playbook for other brands on walmart.com.  The team’s mutual partnership and Pattern’s diligent follow up with and detailed attention to Walmart processes and logistics prevented Athlon from getting lost in the weeds. 

Three Days is All it Takes

The successful, thorough, and quick transition to 3P with Pattern secured Athlon most likely the fastest ramp-up periods for any brand on Walmart.com.  

Together we achieved success such as:

  • 'Best in class' turnaround–98% faster onboarding than average brand on Walmart.

  • First sale within the first week of landing at Walmart. 

    • Unprecedented turnaround considering the ramp up usually needed to gain momentum and traction with reviews on Walmart. 

  • Exceeded initial first month growth projection by 34%.

Athlon was so impressed by the ease and simplicity of its launch and execution on Walmart that the brand wants to grow our 3P relationship with other marketplaces such as Amazon Canada and Target+.

And, in the meantime, look out for Athlon Optics in Walmart Deal Days in 2022.  A huge win for any brand tied to organic advertising and new traffic opportunities across all media.

Pattern Helps Brands Expand Marketplaces 

Pattern has the 3P partner experience and deep expertise on Walmart and other global marketplaces to help a brand expand their footprint to maintain sales momentum and a competitive edge. Pattern, an ecommerce accelerator, takes on the responsibility of your stock and provides the expert resources needed to successfully launch and continue to grow your revenue on global marketplaces. 

Learn more about Pattern’s expertise and partnership on Walmart.  Contact us today.

Amazon A+ Content
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Amazon A+ and Premium A+ Content: Pros and Cons Brands Need to Know

Long gone are the days when Amazon listings were limited to a simple product description, five bullet points, and eight pictures. As the platform, and number of sellers, has grown, sellers have had to be more and more strategic and eye-catching to increase traffic and conversions on their listings.

Brands on Amazon have plenty of attractive options available to design their Amazon storefront, which reside in two of Amazon’s content tools: A+ Content and Premium A+ Content (or  A++ Content).

Here’s the pros and cons of brands using A+ Content vs. Premium A+ Content:

What is Amazon A+ Content?

Amazon A+ Content is a standard feature available to all Amazon Sellers and free as one of the many benefits of Amazon Brand Registry. 

With A+ Content, a product listing can have more than a plain text description and standard photo reel–it can include high quality multimedia photos and videos alongside eye-catching information to share the product story, and not just the product appearance.

Some noteworthy features that Amazon A+ offers are:

  • Multiple, varied images of a product

  • Strategically concise introduction

  • Video

  • Bullet points

  • 360° product views

  • Matrix comparison charts

  • “What’s in the box” section

What is Amazon Premium A+ Content?

Amazon Premium A+ Content, or Amazon A++ Content, is a tool that goes a level beyond basic A+ Content, giving brands the ability to showcase their product’s most important features and benefits with a modern, visually appealing structure. 

In August 2022, Amazon announced Premium A+ would be available on Seller Central for free usage during a promotional period. Previously, Premium A+ content was available only by invite for brands using Vendor Central and could cost anywhere from $250K and $500K per product. 

With Premium A+ content, a brand visually communicates using imagery and video, and relies much less on text due to strict character limits for product descriptions. According to Amazon, implementing Premium A+ content can increase your sales by 20%.

For the first time ever, Premium A+ expands the usable real estate of the page, using the entire width of the screen for a sophisticated and modern feel.

Some noteworthy features that Premium A+ offers are:

  • Video

  • Full-width imagery

  • More space

  • Clickable Q&A

  • Interactive comparison charts

  • Carousel modules

  • Mobile-friendly and voice-friendly product pages

  • Testimonials

Pros and Cons of Amazon A+ vs. Premium A+ Content

Although their purposes are similar, there are some key differences between A+ Content and Premium A+ Content. Here are the pros and cons for each tool:

Basic Amazon A+ Content

Pros:

  • Free and unlimited use for all Vendors.

  • An effective tool to enhance customer experience and product listings.

Cons:

  • Less features than Premium A+.

  • It's not as visually appealing as Premium A+.

Premium A+ Content

Pros:

  • There are 16 extra modules to choose from that are media-rich and make an impact.

  • You have two more available module slots than Basic Amazon A+.

  • Overall, there are more possibilities for hyper-engaging content.

  • You can expect a sales rate increase of up to 20% with Premium A+, according to Amazon.

Cons:

  • Amazon has positioned Premium A+ content as more of an exclusive tool, requiring eligibility based on past content to qualify for Premium A+ content. 

  • Character limit restrictions are more strict than Basic Amazon A+.

Elevate Your Amazon Content with Pattern

Ultimately, both of these tools exist to help you and your brand provide customers the best online shopping experience possible. Although Premium A+ offers plenty of exciting new options for enhancing customers’ buying experience, it may not be for everyone. Optimizing your Amazon listing with A+ or Premium A+ Content can provide the best opportunity to build a strong reputation for better brand-recognition and customer affinity. 

Our creative and digital marketing experts at Pattern can help brands use A+ Content and Premium A+ Content to increase conversions and give buyers an amazing experience.

Learn how Pattern can help you increase conversions on Amazon. Contact us