Manage Your Customer Engagement
Amazon has historically maintained tight control over access to consumer data. The rationale was that Amazon wanted shoppers to have a consistent experience even when they purchase from a variety of third-party sellers.
That approach is what made it a little surprising to see Amazon roll out a feature that allows brands to initiate direct communication with customers via email campaigns.
The tool, Manage Your Customer Engagement, (MYCE) was created to help encourage repeat purchases and is welcome news for brands selling on the Amazon marketplace. For Amazon, supporting customer retention for individual brand owners strengthens the Amazon marketplace as a whole.
Let’s unpack why this news is kind of a big deal, how you can be an early mover with the new feature, and what’s actually not at all surprising about how this new tool fits into Amazon’s program of brand-building tools.
Why The New Tool Is A Big Deal
Amazon has historically had strict guidelines and limitations for you to communicate with your Amazon customers.
Violation of these guidelines has consequences up to and including blocking sellers from the platform.
Even well-intentioned sellers can miss the mark here, as Becky Trowbridge, an expert on seller communication and Amazon reviews, shared as part of her guidance on how to safely request reviews on Amazon.
These limitations have also made it difficult for brands to know who their customers are or engage with them for repeat purchases. The Manage Your Customer Engagement tool enables brands to communicate directly with customers via email. The stated purpose for this tool is to share product launches, offer promotions, and drive shoppers to brand Stores – tactics that were previously only available to them for customers coming through their DTC site.
How To Use The New Tool
The first thing you need to do if you haven’t already is to register your brand on Amazon. This is a prerequisite for using MYCE, and also gets you access to lots of other brand programs.
Once you’re registered and ready to send a customer message, you can find instructions from Amazon on how to use this feature here.
Amazon plans to roll out additional templates, but currently, there is only one available: new product announcements.
When you have a new product you want to announce, you can create the message for customers in Seller Central.
You’ll need three assets for the message:
- Brand logo. The logo image needs to be horizontal (3:1 or narrow) with a black, white, or transparent background.
- New product. You can choose any product that was first made available for purchase on Amazon within the last 6 months.
- Supporting image. Choose or add a lifestyle image that highlights your product’s use or benefits.
Schedule and Review
Once you’ve added this content, the last step is to schedule the campaign. Amazon allows you to select a five-day time range during which your message will be sent.
When you finalize your campaign, it goes to Amazon’s moderation team for approval. Plan ahead because they require a minimum of 72 hours for approval.
A campaign that adheres to Amazon’s content requirements should be approved. If your campaign is rejected, you’ll need to create a new one that does meet the requirements.
Other Ways of Managing Your Brand on Amazon
The Manage Your Customer Engagement tool requires Brand Registry and fits into a suite of tools for registered brands designed to promote brand awareness and encourage brand loyalty on the Amazon platform.
These include Amazon Stores, Sponsored Brands, and social selling features.
The Amazon Stores feature is free to use for those with brand registry. It essentially enables you to create a mini brand website within the Amazon platform.
Use Stores to create a media-rich brand experience for shoppers and guide them through your catalog to help them discover products that meet their needs and become repeat customers.
Amazon Sponsored Brands
A great way to drive traffic to your Amazon Store is using Amazon Sponsored Brands. These PPC ad campaigns allow you to utilize brand creative assets and highlight product lines.
Use them to build brand awareness and capture the attention of high intent shoppers. If you have video assets, consider using the newer video option for Sponsored Brands to make your ad leap off the screen.
Amazon Social Selling
Another free set of tools for brands on Amazon are the social media look-alike tools. Amazon Posts functions a lot like Instagram, and Amazon Live functions like Facebook Live.
Use these tools to give your shoppers a social media-like experience native to the Amazon platform where they’re already primed to shop. Shoppers can follow brands they enjoy, creating an increased likelihood of repeat purchases.
What’s Coming for Brands
What’s coming next for the Manage Your Customer Engagement tool?
Amazon says there will be additional templates beyond the new product announcement. We’ll be watching out for those to see what additional types of messaging they will support.
In the past year or so Amazon has been rolling out and beefing up a lot of brand-building tools – MYCE, social selling, Sponsored Brand video, etc.
More than ever before, Amazon is invested in ensuring that shoppers recognize your brand and know who they’re buying from when they shop the Amazon platform.
In this context, it’s likely Amazon will continue to experiment with enhanced offerings to enable you to build your brand on the retail site. We’ll be watching for those opportunities and will share them with you as they develop in 2021 and beyond.
Teikametrics works with brands to optimize their advertising on Amazon and Walmart. Interested in how we can help grow your brand?