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Amazon A-Z: The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Terminology

It’s fair to say that Amazon is unlike any other online selling platform – it is the cow amongst a herd of sheep. If you’re currently selling on Amazon, or it’s something you’ve looked into in the past you’ll know that Amazon love jargon. It’s all ‘ACoS this… Lightning Deal that…’ and, quite frankly, it’s enough to give you a headache. 

If you’re fed up of Amazon’s technical language and need some quick answers, this is the guide for you. We’ve put together a glossary of terminology featuring 40 of the most common Amazon terms and what they mean. I’ve tried to keep this as friendly and easy-to-understand as possible, but if you’re still stuck feel free to drop me an email!

  • A+ Content
    A+ Content allows first-party vendors to add media-rich, informative content to their product detail pages. A+ content increases conversions as sellers can better showcase their brand and products.
  • ACoS
    ACoS stands for Advertising Cost of Sale. This is calculated by dividing the overall ad spend by the number of sales. This metric helps sellers to understand if their advertising efforts are efficient and worthwhile. 
  • Affiliates Program
    The Amazon Associates Program is a marketing program that allows content creators to earn money by including affiliate links on their websites. When somebody clicks on the affiliate link and buys the product, the content creator earns commission. 
  • Amazon Advertising
    Previously Amazon Marketing Services. Amazon Advertising is the overarching platform that allows users to promote their products. It incorporates Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, Stores, Display ads, Video ads, Custom ads, and Amazon DSP. 
  • Amazon DSP
    DSP stands for Demand Side Platform, it was previously called Amazon Advertising Platform. Unlike Amazon Ad Console, it allows Amazon sellers to create display and video ad placements, both on and off the Amazon marketplace. DSP runs on CPM (cost per thousands), which means you pay for impressions rather than clicks. 
  • AMZ
    Simply means Amazon.
  • ASIN
    Amazon Standard Identification Number. It is a 10-character alphanumeric string allocated by Amazon. It’s used for product identification purposes, as it helps Amazon to keep track of products in their catalog. 
  • ASP
    Average Selling Price. This can be calculated by dividing net sales by the number of products sold.
  • Bid+
    Available within Sponsored Product Ads. Turning on Bid+ increases your maximum cost-per-click by up to 50% to help sellers reach the top row of search results with their ads. This is beneficial as the higher up your ads; the more impressions/clicks/conversions they will get. 
  • Brand Registry
    Enrolling in Amazon Brand Registry allows sellers to protect registered trademarks on the Amazon marketplace. It gives brands better control over the use of their brand name and opens up Enhanced Brand Content. There are currently more than 60,000 brands registered with Amazon Brand Registry. 
  • Browse Node
    Browse Node refers to a product category. Each node represents a collection of items for sale. There are different types of browse nodes – parent nodes have smaller child categories but leaf nodes have no children. 
  • Buy Box
    The Amazon Buy Box is located on the right-hand side of product listings. It allows buyers to add products to their cart with one click. When there are several sellers selling the same product only one of them can win the buy box. This depends on a complex algorithm that takes account of sales velocity, reviews, FBA, stock etc. 
  • Click-through-rate (CTR)
    CTR is calculated by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions your ad has received. A high CTR suggests that your ads are showing to the relevant audience as people feel compelled to click. 
  • Conversion rate
    Conversion rate refers to the percentage of people who click on your ads and eventually go on to make a purchase. A 100% conversion rate indicates that everyone who has seen your ad has made a purchase. A 0% conversion rate means the opposite – nobody who has seen your ad has made a purchase. The average conversion rate on Amazon is around 13%.  
  • Cost per Click (CPC)
    Amazon Advertising operates on a CPC model, which means the advertiser is only charged when someone clicks on their ad, rather than every time it is viewed. 
  • Detail Page
    Detail Pages are what buyers see when they click on an Amazon product in search results. Think of it as a page in a catalog. It contains basic information about the product such as title, image, bullet points, descriptions. If multiple sellers are selling the same product they will share a detail page. In this situation, only the Brand Owner can make changes to the page., 
  • Early Review Program (ERP)
    The Early Review Program helps sellers to get reviews on new products. Incentivised reviews are typically banned on Amazon, but the Early Review Program works by offering a small reward (£1-£5 Amazon Gift Card) for authentic reviews. These reviews may be positive or negative, but to be eligible for the program your products have to cost more than £15.00 and have less than 5 reviews. 
  • Enhanced Brand Content (EBC)
    EBC is essentially the same thing as A+ content for Amazon vendors. It allows Seller Central merchants to add media-rich, informative content to their product detail pages. To be eligible or EBC you first need to register your trademark with Amazon Brand Registry. EBC is slightly more limited that A+ content as it only offers 5 listing templates, however it is free to use.
  • Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)
    FBA is a fulfillment network in which Amazon Sellers pay a monthly fee for Amazon to control their manual operations. After sending stock to Amazon’s fullfillment centres, Amazon maintains responsibility for picking, packing, shipping and providing customer service. This provides sellers with more time to focus on advertising their products and growing their business. To read more about the benefits and pitfalls of FBA have a read of our recent blog post.
  • Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)
    FBM is the opposite of FBA. FBM sellers stock, pick, pack and ship products themselves. This is beneficial for products with lower profit margins, as you won’t have to pay Amazon’s overhead costs. 
  • GTIN
    GTIN stands for Global Trade Item Number. Along with ASINs and SKUs it is one of Amazon’s product identifiers. GTINs are required if you want to list and sell a product on Amazon. Amazon currently accepts 5 types of GTIN: Universal Product Codes (UPC), International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN), European Article Numbers (EAN), Japanese Article Numbers (JAN), Global Trade Item Number (GTIN-14). To find out more about GTINs listen to our webinar with Lorna Beament, Industry Engagement Manager at GS1.
  • Headline Search Ads (HSA)
    Headline Search Ads are now known as ‘Sponsored Brands’, they are a type of Amazon Advertising campaign. Previously they were only available to Vendor Central users, but in August 2018 they were opened up to Seller Central users as well. The name HSA refers to the placement of the ads, as they are visible at the top of search results pages. 
  • Impressions
    An impression means that your Amazon ad has been seen by a shopper. The higher the number of impressions; the more times your ad has been seen. 
  • Inventory
    Inventory is another word for stock. It refers to the products you’re selling on the Amazon marketplace. 
  • Lightning Deal
    Lightning Deals are exclusive promotional offers that are available for a short amount of time. Deals are limited to one per customer and they typically last 4-6 hours or until all the inventory has been claimed. 
  • Listings
    An Amazon listing is the product page for your items. It’s made up of information about your product such as name, images, price. 
  • Minimum Order Quantity (MOQs)
    In order to maximise your profit margins, it may be necessary to set minimum order quantities for certain products. This means that buyers must purchase more than one product at a time. 
  • Pay Per Click
    As we’ve already discussed, Amazon Advertising operates on a CPC model. This means that sellers Pay Per Click, rather than every time someone views their ad. 
  • Performance Notifications
    This is also referred to as Amazon Selling Coach. These notifications provide updates on your selling account. 
  • Prime
    Amazon Prime is a monthly subscription service that gives members access to various benefits e.g free shipping, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music. As an Amazon seller if you sell via FBA your products will be eligible for Amazon Prime. 
  • Private Label
    To be a private label seller on Amazon means that the products you sell feature your brand name and packaging, but they are actually made by someone else. For instance, if I got the right permission I could purchase tinned chickpeas from ALDI, repackage them and sell them as my own on Amazon. 
  • Product Display Ads (PDA)
    PDA is another type of Amazon Ad. They display on the detail pages of other, related products. PDAs are good if you want to target your competitor’s products. While Sponsored Product and Sponsored Brand ads are focused on keywords, PDAs are focused on product categories.
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
    ROI is the overall profit made on an investment. It is calculated by dividing net profit by the total investment and multiplying that number by 100.
    ROI = net product / total investment * 100
  • Search Terms
    Search Terms are the words that shoppers use when they’re searching for products like yours. Adding search terms to your listings will ensure that your products are shown to the right people. Amazon limits the length of search terms to 250 bytes. 
  • Seller Central
    Amazon Seller Central is the dashboard for all third-party Amazon users. 
  • SKU
    Stock Keeping Unit. SKUs are intended to help sellers keep track of their inventory. They are unique numbers assigned to each item that is listed on Amazon. Unlike GTINs they don’t have to be unique, they can contain any number or letter combination. However, there is a 40-character limit. This helps sellers to seamlessly integrate their own warehouses/inventory with Amazon’s inventory. 
  • Sponsored Products
    Sponsored Products are a type of Amazon Ad. They run on a CPC, keyword model. This means that users can determine which keywords they want their ads to show for, similar to Google Ads. Under this approach users can control how closely keywords have to match a users search query – they can choose from exact match, phrase match and broad match. Sponsored Products can appear on search results pages and product detail pages. 
  • Sponsored Brands
    Sponsored Brands is the new name for Headline Search Ads. These ads showcase a range of products, and are displayed at the top of search results. Typically, Sponsored Brand ads contain a logo, custom headline and up to three products. Similar to Sponsored Product ads they also operate on a CPC, keyword model. 
  • Subscribe & Save
    Subscribe & Save allows prime customers to repeat their purchases at regular intervals and benefit from up to 15% off the original price. It’s beneficial for sellers as it helps them to gain consistent sales, encourages customer loyalty and builds brand awareness.
  • Vendor Central
    Vendor Central is the dashboard for all first-party sellers who sell their products in bulk to Amazon. Access to vendor central is by invitation only. 
  • Verified Review / Purchase
    The Amazon Verified Purchase badge is displayed next to customers who bought an item through Amazon, rather than another marketplace. Verified Reviews are generally more meaningful than non-verified reviews, and can help your product to rank better/worse. Amazon shoppers are limited to 5 unverified reviews per week. However, they can post unlimited verified reviews. 
  • White Label
    White Labelling is similar to Private Labelling, however, Private Labelling usually happens on a 1-to-1 basis. With White Labelling, however, products are created by a manufacturer and offered to multiple providers for rebranding. This means that whilst private labelling is more exclusive, white labelling is more generic. White labelling is usually cheaper than private labelling, but sellers will have less freedom to change or alter the products.