UPDATED June 28, 2019.
Due to the feedback Amazon Marketing Growth Services has been giving to Program Managers about the 50 characters limit being too restrictive, the limit has been updated to 200 characters.
Within the past week, Amazon has rolled out some content changes that will completely change your optimization strategies! Not only do you need to rethink strategy, you need to act on these changes within the next month, as failure to comply will result in suppressed listings.
Mandatory Price Per Unit (PPU)
Price Per Unit is not a field you generate as seller or vendor, but one calculated by Amazon based on count information. Previously the count field was optional, but as of June 12, 2019 it is required for the following consumable product types:
- Beauty, including:
- Beauty (general)
- Body care products
- Hair care products
- Hair removal & shaving products
- Luxury beauty
- Skin care products
- Health, including:
- Health (misc)
- Daily living aids
- Dietary supplements
- Health food
- OTC medication
- Personal Care, including:
- Personal care appliances
- Sexual wellness
- Grocery, including
- Grocery (general)
- Baby food
Normally, we would recommend filling this field out anyway. It tells your customers exactly what they are getting and helps avoid questions or complaints about the same. Count options include fluid ounce, ounce, pound, gram, foot, square foot, and count (for a non-included type).
Based on the value & count type you select, Amazon will do the math to determine your PPU for the customer. This is an important feature because it helps the customer (and you) determine what the best value for a product is. For example your competitor could be $2.00 cheaper, but they have fewer units which makes your product a better value.
When Does my PPU need to be updated?
Amazon announced this change June 12, 2019 & it has gone into effect immediately. Currently any new listing in an affected category will have an error and be suppressed.
For existing listings, you will not run into problems immediately. However any attempt to update a listing will fail until this change has been made. As such, it is recommended that you fix all existing listings as soon as possible to avoid future problems.
New Title Requirements
Most seasoned sellers & vendors are aware of Amazon’s style guides. These are category based content guides that tell you what to include in titles, bullets, descriptions, and images. They also include suggested formats. Generally speaking, you had some leeway here and could add additional information to your titles.
Many sellers, especially as of late, have taken to keyword stuffing their titles. The pros of this strategy are the obvious keyword indexing, and getting those search terms in front of your customers. However this leads to long & hard-to-read titles. Many titles using this strategy are cut-off on desktop, and most are cut off in mobile.
In an effort to prevent keyword stuffing & make it easier for consumers to actually know what a product is, Amazon has decided to strictly enforce new, short title guidelines. The end result is a short, easy-to-read title that is not a sales pitch.
What are the New Title Requirements?
Then end goal is to have consistent title formatting across Amazon. As such, all product titles need to follow the following:
- 200 character maximum
- Size & Color information in child listing only
- Brand & Manufacturer cannot match your seller name unless you are a private label
- Match the name on your product as exactly as possible
- This is particularly import for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), otherwise shipments may be refused
- The usual Amazon content guidelines:
- No subjective commentary or promotional language
- No symbols or Type 1 High ASCII characters
- Use numerals instead of spelling out numbers
- Spell out measurements instead of using symbols or abbreviations
- Capitalize the first letter of every word, except prepositions or words under 5 characters
- Do not use ALL CAPS
There are also category-specific instructions that you will want to review.
What About my Carefully Optimized Keywords?
Amazon is now stating that you should move all superfluous information into your bullets, descriptions, and keywords. This certainly puts a new spin on content optimization, as bullets are expected to be 100-200 characters, depending on category, and keywords are even more restricting.
Making the most of your description is your best bet. Brand Registered sellers and vendors should take advantage of Enhanced Brand Content and A+ pages to include as much information as possible in an easy-to-read and visually appealing format.
When Does my Title Need to be Updated?
Amazon announced this new requirement June 17, 2019 but they are giving vendors and sellers until July 22, 2019 to comply. Per the announcement, and our own recommendations, you will want to familiarize yourself with these new requirements and begin the update process by July 15, 2019. This gives you 1 week to troubleshoot any issues before the deadline. As of July 22, 2019 any listing not complying with be suppressed.