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Updated: New Amazon Features, Updates and Requirements

Update 10/20/2023: Amazon has just updated their product listing attribute requirements and several sellers aren’t happy about it.

In an effort to enhance the quality of listings, Amazon’s making some changes to the Add Products and Add Products via Upload tools within Seller Central.

According to the retailer, the inclusion of product attributes can significantly improve the customer shopping experience by facilitating access to vital product information, ultimately aiding shoppers in making well-informed buying decisions.

As you continue to create or modify product listings in the upcoming weeks, you will observe that certain optional attributes will become mandatory, while some required attributes will transition to optional. Additionally, some attributes will be phased out.

Too Much Work

In the comments section of the news announcement, a handful of sellers expressed frustration at Amazon for making such changes a few weeks before the busiest time of year.

“Notice Amazon always pulls this B.S. right before Black Friday? It is effective November 13th! They do this on purpose so many of our listings are suppressed! They compete against us POINT BLANK,” one seller wrote.

Another seller said that the latest change seems unnecessary after updating the attributes in September. The seller is concerned that the new changes may not be universally applicable, potentially complicating the process of adding variations. Additionally, they anticipate technical issues, including glitches and product suppression, as a result of these changes.

Troublingly, one commenter has experienced negative effects of AI-driven attribute selection, leading to irrelevant attributes being assigned to their listings, such as specifying a handle material for a product without a handle. This has resulted in inaccurate product information, and despite seeking assistance from Amazon support, the issues remain unresolved. The seller advocates for more control over listings and the ability to mark certain attributes as not applicable.

According to Amazon, new listings and any modifications to existing ones will not be added into the catalog until all necessary attributes are supplied through the Add Products or Add Products via Upload tools. For current listings, any required attribute changes won’t take effect unless you actively choose to edit them.
To view the updated list of required attributes, go to Updated attributes within the Add Products and Add Products via Upload dashboard.

Amazon constantly announces new seller tools and product listing requirements. Here’s our latest roundup post to keep you updated. 💪

  1. Track your FBA Shipments from China with ShipTrack Carriers

This announcement is for sellers who use non-partnered carriers for their China-to-US shipments, but often encounter difficulty in accurately tracking their inventory, which could be due to poor data provided by their preferred carrier.

Without reliable data providing insights into the location of your inventory, it is hard to anticipate when it will arrive at an Amazon warehouse and get checked-in, turning marketing planning and stockout avoidance into very real challenges. 

To make cargo tracking from China to US easier, Amazon is now offering ShipTrack, a pickup and delivery service that offers access to a selection of company-vetted carriers and a track and trace system. Other product features include a dispatch system, proof of delivery, chain of custody, and last-mile delivery support.

Similar to the Amazon partnered carrier program, ShipTrack automatically generates the carrier and tracking information for you (and Amazon) in Seller Central. That means you may no longer be required to manually submit such information before shipping your goods from China to an Amazon fulfillment center in the US, allowing you to be more efficient in your inventory order process.

In addition, employing ShipTrack’s “reliable tracking information” greatly enhances Amazon’s ability to predict the arrival of your shipment at FBA, thereby refining the accuracy of estimated delivery dates. This elevated level of shipment tracking also empowers you to make smart restocking decisions to minimize overstock fees and mitigate losses due to stockouts.

While this development sounds like excellent news for sellers who source goods in China, it’s not well-received by some of those who make (and sell) their own original products in the US and who are often, the target of China-based counterfeiters.

“Hooray for supporting China shipments into the US. How about Amazon working harder to keep the fake sellers, bad actors off of Amazon permanently? This is where the focus needs to go stop these people from ruining honest sellers brands and accounts,” commented one seller on the news announcement page.

But alas, “the platform makes too many dollars to remove Chinese sellers or products,” another seller said in reply to the above comment.

In fact, by the end of Q4, ShipTrack will be accessible to even more sellers, specifically those who ship goods from China to Japan and Europe.

To learn more about the new cargo tracking service, go to Send to Amazon: ShipTrack.

Related: How to Ship to Amazon FBA and Speed Up Check-in Times, Amazon Hopes to Restore Consumer Confidence with $1.2B Anti-Counterfeit Initiative, FTC Proposes a New Rule to Rein In Fake Reviews

2. Orders Older than 2 Years to be Archived Starting in September

A new file management process has been implemented by Amazon wherein customer orders older than two years will be systematically archived every month.

This move is part of Amazon’s data security measures to protect customers and their personal data from bad actors.

According to Amazon, certain data fields will be removed from the archived orders, such as the buyers’ personal information – names, contact numbers, addresses, and accompanying gift messages. Meanwhile, less-sensitive information like the date of purchase, product name, ASIN, quantity, price, tax, shipping fee, and sales channel used will be retained.

⚠️ Moving forward, if you need personally identifiable customer details to meet accounting or taxation requirements, consider developing a system of regularly downloading order files as older orders are continually being archived.

Go to Archived Orders for more details.

3. New Product Listing Attributes Required for New Listings

Amazon is adding 206 attributes across 199 product categories!

Starting September 12, 2023, providing these new attributes will be required when creating new listings, or else the product will not be added to your product catalog. Amazon believes that adding relevant attributes to your products can help increase sales, as they “make it easier for customers to search for product information that improves their purchase decisions.”

For example, Amazon just added the following attributes for baby bottle products so that shoppers can quickly find and buy the one that suits their specific needs. They can now search baby bottles by age range, item weight, capacity, bottle type, bottle nipple type, color, or dishwasher safety feature and listings containing any relevant details will likely show up on the customers’ search results pages.

Product TypeAttribute Name
BABY_BOTTLEage_range_description
BABY_BOTTLEbottle_nipple_type
BABY_BOTTLEbottle_type
BABY_BOTTLEcapacity
BABY_BOTTLEcolor
BABY_BOTTLEis_dishwasher_safe
BABY_BOTTLEitem_weight

Although not required, updating a listing with new attributes may be ideal to enhance your product’s visibility and discoverability on Amazon. Make sure to follow the steps correctly, e.g., provide all the necessary product information, to avoid listing suppression, which can affect sales and also lead to products getting stranded at FBA, hurting your IPI Score.

For sellers with numerous product listings, this process could be complex and time-consuming, and thus prone to error.

One seller commenting on the news post said, “Stop this new required attributes madness! I just spent the last hour trying to fix Amazon’s required attribute errors for the product I always list. I have been selling on Amazon for years. Every new Amazon update is a mine field for us sellers new and old.”

Amazon recommends visiting Error code explanations to fix listing errors. As usual, sellers are left to fend for themselves when trying to make things work after an update.

A full list of attributes can be found via Amazon’s attributes spreadsheet (instant download).

Related: 3 New Seller Tools and Product Recall Reporting Page, Disable Amazon Returns Evaluation to Minimize Negative Customer Reviews

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