What will greater access to Amazon’s customers mean for marketplace sellers?
Amazon.com recently launched a new tool, “Manage Your Customer Engagement (MYCE),” that allows some third-party sellers for the first time to market directly to the platform’s customers.
The program enables brands to send email campaigns to existing customers about new product launches. Launching new products is challenging on the platform as positioning is based on algorithms guided by past purchasing data.
Merchants can also offer promotions to “inspire repeat purchases” and drive brand loyalty. Key performance metrics are available to monitor engagement.
“Customers love to be first to learn about new products from their favorite brands,” Amazon said in a video introducing the program. “They feel even more appreciated when a brand shares promotions. And once they know and follow a brand, they’re more likely to become loyal and engaged repeat customers.”
The MYCE program marks a major change from Amazon’s long-time policy of restricting brands from soliciting customers directly, in part, to reduce spam abuse. Merchants have only been able to communicate directly with shoppers via a messaging feature on delivery issues, such as order status.
The tool has numerous conditions, however, including only being available to members of Brand Registry, a program launched in 2015 as a way to curb counterfeit listings that has been expanded to include content tools.
Campaigns are also only available to brands that have an Amazon Stores page with followers. The platform won’t be sharing customer contact information with brands. According to CNBC, Amazon, not the sellers, sends out the emails to the brand’s followers. It tells brands how many customers have opted in to receive the emails, but not their names or email addresses.
Finally, all campaigns are reviewed by Amazon’s “moderation team” for content.
The move comes following a period when more brands began selling on the Amazon platform during the pandemic despite concerns over access to customers. Amazon in recent years has introduced more brand building tools, such as Amazon Stores, Amazon Posts and the ability to add interactive videos on product listing pages to help brands stand out.
Amazon also faces competition for third-party sellers from platforms such as Shopify, WordPress and Adobe’s Magento that offer less restrictive engagement tools.
- Manage Your Customer Engagement – Amazon Seller Central
- Amazon Brand Registry – Amazon.com
- Amazon is loosening its grip on customers and letting some sellers reach out to them – CNBC
- Amazon Launches Email Marketing Tools, But There’s a Catch – ecommercebytes
- Amazon tests letting sellers email customers directly about new products and sales – The Verge
- 42% More Brands Are Selling on Amazon Now Than Before COVID-19, According to Feedvisor Brand Survey – Feedvisor/Business Wire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How much value does the “Manage Your Customer Engagement (MYCE)” tool offer brands selling on Amazon’s third-party marketplace? Are the conditions under the program too restrictive for third-party sellers or necessary safety measures for Amazon?