If you’re reading this blog article then you’ve probably stumbled upon a host of unclear Amazon marketing terms, eCommerce terminology abbreviations and acronyms that sound like a foreign language. There are a number of Amazon Glossary of Terms lists out there that cover a bunch of alphabetical definitions, many of which are not important for Amazon marketplace sellers, vendors or entrepreneurs trying to break into the often dizzying world of Amazon FBA and/or Amazon FBM selling.
Selling on Amazon for beginners can be a daunting task, especially when you don’t understand key concepts and terms.
If you are an Amazon Seller or an Amazon Vendor (or you're thinking of becoming one) then this Article for You
This article is not designed to explain or breakdown internal abbreviations for workers of Amazon’s fulfillment centers or for people currently working in an Amazon warehouse or applying to work as a fulfillment center associate.
If you’re one of the thousands of Amazon customers looking for help understanding something that Amazon customer support told you, then this article won’t be very helpful for you either.
Why this Glossary of Terms is Valuable and Different
We aren’t just defining terms with a basic sentence like you would find in an Amazon Dictionary (if they made one). We will also explain the “why” and “how” of the different terms so you can make sense of them in relation to your own business.
If you’re wondering who “we” are, we’re the Amazon Copywriting Brothers and we help out Amazon clients make millions of dollars every month on Amazon with our Amazon marketing services and listing optimization services.
Watch this short video from Than Murphy about why we set up this article and how you should use it.
A More Accurate Way to Describe this Article is as an Encyclopedia of Amazon Terms.
Most online glossaries are alphabetical from A-Z. This one isn’t
Instead, we've broken down the Encyclopedia style Glossary into Specific Sections so that related terms are near each other. This way you can get as much context as necessary to give you the best possible understanding of selling on Amazon.
Many eCommerce terms aren’t exclusive to Amazon. For more general eCommerce terminology, we will be defining the terms within the specific context of Amazon.
Some of these terms we’ve written additional articles that go super in depth about a concept or specific Amazon term. We will link to our own article at the end of the glossary definition and context provided within this article.
Section 1: Amazon Product Listing Terms
Experienced Amazon sellers or people who have been on the inside of a Seller Central account or Amazon Vendor Central Account may find this first section to be too basic. Still, we recommend reading it in case we mention something you haven’t quite considered before. Especially if you haven’t paid too close attention to Amazon’s 2022 updates.
This section is only dealing with physical products on Amazon, we are not going into detail about KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) or about participating in an Amazon program that deals with physical books, eBooks or audiobooks.
An Amazon Product Listing goes by multiple names: Amazon product detail page, detail page, product pages, product landing page listings etc. For our purposes, we like to call them Product Listings, but they all are names for the same thing.
If you’ve ever purchased anything on Amazon as a customer, then you almost certainly purchased through a Product Listing. Lets jump into some definitions.
Product Title: You must create a product Title when adding a new product to sell on Amazon. Most categories limit you to 200 characters maximum per title. Some categories, like clothing, allow for even less. Your Title is one of the first things people see in the Amazon search results. Therefore it plays a critical role in convincing people to click on your listing. It also the most heavily weighted part of your listing in terms of keyword indexing.
Product Bullet Points: Also called “Key Product Features” or just “Bullets”. Amazon Vendor Central originally called these “Bullet Points” and the name stuck within Amazon marketing jargon. Currently, in Seller Central they are called “Key Product Features” and they appear under the Title in the “About this item” section when viewing a Product Listing on desktop device. This is one of the main places to sell customers on your product’s unique selling points (USP) and benefits. The bullets are heavily indexed for keywords, but less than your Title.
Product Description: A space where you can provide additional product details, selling points and calls to action. You’re limited to about 2000 characters. On mobile devices this section appears under the Title and above the Bullets. If you don’t provide any HTML line breaks then your product description will appear as one giant block of text (don’t do this!). This section plays almost no role in Amazon SEO.
HTML Product Description: Amazon’s style guidelines say not to add any HTML coding apart from line breaks (<br>). However, winning sellers have ignored this part of the guidelines for over ten years. In late 2019 Amazon announced they would be cracking down on HTML descriptions. To date, they still haven’t really been enforcing the no HTML rule apart from some very specific circumstances.
A+ Content: Previously called Enhanced Brand Content (EBC). If you are part of the Brand Registry Amazon program, then you can post additional image rich assets and written content instead of a standard product description. It will appear under the section “From the manufacturer” on the Product Listing. This is called an “Enhanced Product Description”. Currently, you get up to 5 “modules” to add content. A module can be entirely image based or a mix of images and written content. You can also create additional content called your “Brand Story” from within the A+ Content manager.
Brand Name: Maximum 50 characters section to enter your Brand Name. If you don’t have have one then Amazon requires you to enter the word “Generic”. If you are in the Brand Registry then you must enter your Brand Name as it was registered, this is case sensitive. When your product is live this turns into a clickable link to show all products that have your Brand Name assigned. Or, if you have an Amazon store set up then this will link to the homepage of your Amazon brand store.
Ratings: The star rating from 1 to 5. This shows up under your Title in the Amazon search results and directly under your Brand Name on your Product Listing. Customers can assign a star rating without leaving a written Review. From a conversion perspective you never want your Rating to fall below 3.8 out of 5 because then it will round down to a 3.5 stars visually. Anything less than 4 stars visually filled in takes a big hit on click through conversions and sales conversions.
Reviews: When a customer leaves a star rating, they have the option of leaving a written review. They can also upload images and videos to their reviews. Each review has a star rating associated with it, but not every star rating has a review attached to it. Products with very low reviews and ratings suffer on click through rate conversions and sales conversions. Please note that Reviews and Ratings are different from Account Health level Seller Feedback.
Main Product Images: Most product categories allow for a maximum of 10 images to be attached to the main part of your Product Listing. The main image is supposed to show just your product on a plain white background. The other images can feature text overlay, lifestyle images or infographics. The first Main Product Image will be the default image that appears next to your product detail page in the Amazon search results, so make sure its high quality and designed to get clicks.
Product Video: Under the Upload and Manage Videos section within Seller Central you can add videos about your products. A video can be assigned to multiple Product Listing and a single Product Listing can have multiple videos attached to it. Your videos can’t contain links or web URLs to try and take customers off of Amazon. Videos are optional but recommended.
Buy Box: If a product has won the Buy Box then it will appear like in the image below. You must have the Buy Box to have the “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” button for your product. The Buy Box also shows your current price, delivery date and stock levels. This is true for both FBA and FBM products. Products enrolled in Subscribe & Save will have the Subscribe & Save options listed here. Multiple third party sellers can compete for the same ASIN, which means at any given time only one third party seller will “win” the Buy Box. If you have a private label brand, then you likely don’t need to worry about legitimate third party sellers competing for the Buy Box against you on your own product detail page.
ASIN: Amazon Standard Information Number. Each physical product on Amazon is assigned an a unique 10 character alphanumeric identifier that is used for internal purposes within Amazon. Products with variations (size, shape, color, taste etc.) can be further broken down into a Parent ASIN with a Child ASIN for each variation. An ASIN is a unique identifier that Amazon uses internally. You will still need an off Amazon global identifier such as: UPC – Universal Product Code, EAN – European Article Number, or GTIN – Global Trade Item Number.
Parent ASIN: A Parent ASIN groups multiple variations onto a single product detail page that has Child ASINs nested underneath it. There will only ever be one Parent ASIN on a product detail page, but there can be many Child ASIN variants. The various Child ASIN variants are the purchasable ASINs. You can add or remove Child ASINs to a Parent ASIN at anytime if it makes sense from a ranking and marketing perspective.
Child ASIN: A Child ASIN is nested underneath a Parent ASIN along with all the other Child ASIN variants. The Child ASIN is a buyable product. There are exceptions to this, but we don’t recommend having dozens of Child ASINs all clumped together under one Parent ASIN. In marketing psychology the concept of adding too many choices can overwhelm consumers or cause confusion. If you’re in that situation, we recommend you think of a consumer friendly way to create another Parent ASIN and split the Child ASINs between the two (or even three) listings. Think about your ideal customers’ shopping or customer habits when creating Child ASIN relationships. The Child ASINs will typically have clickable buttons or drop down menus to quickly switch between them on the same Product Listing.
List Price: This is the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of a product. If you are a private label brand then you are the manufacturer and have full control over this price, and therefore you set the suggested retail price yourself. If you are purchasing your products from a supplier for sale on Vendor Central or even Amazon Seller Central, then make sure your list price doesn’t fall below a MAP minimum advertised price set by the manufacturer. If they catch you, they can end future contracts with you and stop you from selling their products on any platform.
On Amazon, if your List Price is higher than the current retail price (set by yourself, other third party sellers or a sale price) of the same product or has been higher in the past 90 days for non-seasonal products (180 days for seasonal products) then the List Price will appear with a
strikethrough above the current retail price or discounted price. This can be used to set a high Perceived Value for your product. If you are regularly listing your products under the average selling price then your product will generally have a strikethrough list price on it.
Your Price: The price you, as a third party seller or private label seller set for your product before shipping charges and taxes (if applicable). You set this within the Offers Tab of your product listing within the Amazon backend. Keep in mind, if you’re competing with other sellers on the exact same product, then Your Price must be competitive if you expect to win the Buy Box. If you own a Private Label brand then you have more flexibility to set the pricing, but you’ll still need to compete with the competition on Amazon.
Sale Price: You can set a discounted price with specific timing parameters within the Offers Tab of your product listing. The Sale Price will only appear within that specific set time frame. Keep in mind this is different than using Amazon Coupons or Promotions from the Amazon Advertising tab.
Section 2: Amazon SEO Terms
SEO Stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and was originally coined in the early days of search engines to teach website owners and developers how to optimize their websites, content and html so that they would appear in the top results for search queries within a specific search engine such as Google.
Amazon is both a marketplace and its own search engine of buyable products. Amazon SEO therefore deals with the concepts surrounding how to get your Amazon product to appear at the top of the results page so that you can get the most traffic and the most buyers.
Amazon SEO specifically deals with “organic” rankings – see the definition below if you aren’t sure what organic means in this context.
SERP – Search Engine Results Page(s): Also a term originally coined for traditional search engines. On Amazon, the SERP (sometimes just called search results page on Amazon) is the page of products that appear after you type in a keyword to find a product for sale. If you’ve ever searched for anything as a customer on Amazon then you’re familiar with these pages.
Keyword: A single word or phrase that describes a product. A keyword can be entered into the Amazon’s search engine where it becomes a Search Term. There are two main types of keywords which we will define next.
Long Tail Keyword: A keyword phrase that is made up of 3 or more words (hence the word “long”). Because these tend to represent more specific search terms and related keywords, they have a high relevancy but typically a lower total search volume compared to shorter keywords.
Short Tail Keyword: A keyword phrase that is made up of only 1 to 2 words. Because these tend to represent broader search terms, they tend to have a lower relevancy but higher total keyword search volume.
Keyword Optimization: The act of incorporating a mix of highly searched and highly relevant keywords into the frontend and backend of your Amazon product listing within Seller Central or Vendor Central. Proper keyword optimization is a cornerstone of Amazon SEO. When done correctly, it leads to domination of the SERPs and lots of organic traffic on your product pages.
Click the link if you want to read an in depth article about how to do Amazon keyword optimization and advanced Amazon keyword research.
Holy Grail Keywords: This is an Amazon keyword research term that the Amazon Copywriting Brothers use to highlight the most important keywords in the keyword list that we generate. The Holy Grail Keywords are the best keywords because they take into account search volume, competition and relevancy to product visibility. Typically, we provide 1 to 3 Holy Grail Keywords in a fully optimized Amazon listing document.
Organic: In Amazon marketing terms, “organic” refers to non advertised or unpaid. Part of a good Amazon marketing strategy involved Amazon PPC advertising or off-Amazon advertising efforts. Because you have to pay for traffic from advertising it, it doesn’t count as organic traffic. Products that are properly optimized and ranked by the Amazon algorithm get a massive amount of their sales from these more profitable organic rankings and organic traffic.
Keyword Research Tools: There are many free and paid keyword tools that draw from Amazon’s API to help you identify keywords to use as part of your Amazon keyword research and optimization.
Platinum Keywords: In the past, Amazon would invite very large (usually 9 figure sellers) sellers to their Platinum program. These sellers were allowed to add Platinum Keywords in the backend of their listings. All sellers can still see a field that allows them to enter Platinum Keywords into the backend of their listings within Seller Central. However, if you aren’t a Platinum Seller then adding keywords into this field won’t do anything (good or bad) to help your product index or rank for those keywords. In short, you can just ignore that field.
Here at the Amazon Copywriting Brothers, we use a host of tools and software to dive insanely deep into the keyword process. But if you just want to use a single solution, then we recommend using Helium 10. They have a whole suite of tools that you can use. There is a free to use option but it has its limits. Serious sellers on the Amazon marketplace should invest in paid options.
Index or Indexing: The process of the Amazon algorithm to “read” a product listing to identify what a product is based on its keywords and other factors.
The following terms will be defined in the context of Amazon SEO, but they appear in other parts of this glossary with different context.
Product Title: In regard to Amazon search engine optimization, your product title is the most heavily weighted part of your product listing when it comes to indexing for keywords. However, you’re limited to 200 characters (for most categories), which means you can only fit a few keywords in your title. We recommend making one of them your Holy Grail Keyword.
Product Bullet Points: Also called “Key Product Features” or just “bullets”. In regard to Amazon SEO, this is the second most weighted part of your product listing when it comes to indexing for keywords. In the current iteration of the Amazon algorithm (A10), only the first 1000 characters are indexed for keywords.
Product Description: A section to expand upon your product with up to 2000 characters. In regard to Amazon SEO, the product description carries basically zero weight for keyword indexing purposes.
A+ Content: Previously called Enhanced Brand Content (EBC). If you are part of the Brand Registry Amazon program, then you can post additional image rich assets and written content instead of a standard product description. Just like a standard product description, this content is not indexed by the Amazon algorithm for keywords.
Enhanced Brand Content (EBC): See above, Amazon now refers to this as A+ Content. Many sellers still refer to it as EBC out of habit.