If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s a pictorial icon of a giggling monkey worth? As you might guess, emoji use is becoming more and more prevalent on the internet. Many people use them to text and chat in their everyday lives, so why not in emails, marketing content, and as a lever to increase engagement wherever? It’s true that the appropriateness of emoji in business use is controversial. Some see it as unprofessional, and others see it as perfectly fine — as long as you know your audience and don’t go overboard. But this blog will address an even more specific use case: The emoji in Amazon content. If you’re a seller or vendor on Amazon, are you using them? And why or why not?
What is an emoji?
An emoji is a small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion, common objects, the weather, and more. The word “emoji” comes from the Japanese e, “picture,” and moji, “character.” To input them, most iPhone and Android users download an additional emoji keyboard, which makes for quick and easy access and has enabled integration in everyday scenarios. To input them on a desktop computer, it’s possible to simply Google them and then copy and paste them into your content.
It has long been shown that emoji use in email subject lines increase open rates and lead to higher engagement. With the recent explosion in use, the level of saturation is astonishing. For example, there are over 5 billion emojis used daily on Facebook Messenger.
Likewise, the number of available emojis has increased. Starting with just 176 options in 2010, there were 3,136 as of 2020. Plus, an additional 217 emojis coming in 2021, according to Statista. These include a flaming heart, bearded faces, and interracial couples.
Can I use emojis in Amazon listings?
Perhaps as a retailer or as a shopper, you’ve noticed some integration of emoji into Amazon detail page content.
(Example of emoji in Amazon product features.)
At eCommerce Nurse, our content team sees hundreds of product detail pages in multiple Amazon locales every week. So, we occasionally see emojis used in Amazon listings (product detail page features and descriptions) when performing competitor analysis or product research. But we also see many of these same sellers using emojis breaking other content guidelines. So first things first, are emojis even allowed?
- Do not go overboard. Limit your emoji use to one area or one emoji.
- Try it on only one product and track results. This will help you make decisions about if it works or not for your specific product or business. And also keeps the risk minimal.
- Do not ever attempt to use emoji in titles. This is very likely to get your listing suppressed.
- Do not test out emoji (or any content changes) during a crucial sales period, like Prime Day or Black Friday. You do not want to risk messing with content during peak times like Q4. Save your testing for slower periods of the year.
- Make sure your content is properly optimised before getting creative.
- Ensure you are not violating any other content guidelines, such as using prohibited language, promotional advertising, review or testimonials, going over length limits, etc.
An emoji experiment
Because we have such a wide range of clients and product types at eCommerce Nurse, we like to make data-driven decisions when creating and optimising content. We decided (with the client’s permission) to test out emoji use in the product feature bullets of a single ASIN on Amazon.com. For two weeks, we ran regular content (no promotions, events, or advertising changes) and tracked sales, conversion, and other data, such as sessions and units per session. We then updated the content to include one simple emoji at the beginning of each product feature (🐕 ) and tracked sales and data changes for two additional weeks.
In comparing the results, we found no statistically significant difference. Conversion was the same in our test, and sales and sessions remained quite steady. While it’s difficult to draw conclusions from one quick test on one particular product type and category, it was interesting to see such minimal effect.
That’s another thing to consider: Your product category and type. Some products may lend themselves better to emoji use. Consider your audience and appropriateness of emoji. For example, health and wellness products already have very stringent standards for content and a multitude of prohibited phrases. They are also a more serious product and your content must reflect that.
Secondly, keep in mind that shoppers use a wide range of browsers, devices, apps, and means of shopping on Amazon. While emoji are becoming more and more common, you also must account for the way your content with emoji might look on various devices.
If you want to be clear on if emoji use is a violation of your terms of service, we suggest contacting Amazon and asking specifics for your category and products.
Need more assistance
For support with listing optimisation, marketing plans, and content needs, please contact us at eCommerce Nurse.