Amazon updates and e-commerce challenges in 2020

Wrapped up: 2020 highlights from eCommerce Nurse

It’s been an unprecedented year. Around the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic defined 2020, with altered work situations, fluctuating markets, and operations challenges, plus personal unknowns for many. At eCommerce Nurse, we’re reflecting on the business and what went right during this turbulent year. This blog focuses on our wins and achievements, our growth, our client successes, Amazon’s developments, and our company goals going forward. We hope this allows you to discover something new or helps your business create fresh ideas. More importantly, we hope January finds you and yours healthy and in a good place to tackle the new year.

Our 2020 work for clients

The pandemic accelerated online shopping globally, with US e-commerce sales reaching $794.50 billion in 2020, up 32.4% year-over-year. Our business grew and expanded alongside this trend and we were able to achieve record growth for many clients. 

The end of the calendar year has us taking stock of the projects and work we completed for our range of clients in the US, UK, and Europe. Each client’s needs differ, but we tailor our expert services to deliver the best results possible. In 2020, we completed 136 A+ Content detail pages and optimised more than 850 products at the parent-ASIN level. We also completed a range of translations for international ASINs on Amazon in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. We pride ourselves on our certified, native translation services and expanded our level of coverage this year.

eCommerce Nurse 2020 client work stats

 

While you can always see some of our client success stories on our website, we’re proud of some of our recent work. Check out a recent sampling, including:

eCommerce Nurse 2020 Client Work Examples

A range of events and networking

This year, with everyone working remotely, offered the perfect opportunity to expand our virtual connections. We regularly added new episodes to the eCommerce Nurse Podcast and delved into topics such as outsourcing, influencer marketing, and software solutions to help sellers on Amazon.

Our Virtual Roundtables on Vendor Society offered vendors a chance to participate in facilitated discussions on hot topics, such as centralised or local approaches to EU marketplaces,  Amazon Vendor Services (AVS), IP infringement issues, and more. Vendors were able to use these opportunities to gain insight and experience from other vendors around the world.

Before the pandemic in January, Vendor Society ran a Vendor Strategy Day in London where 30 businesses and participants gathered to learn and share experiences with other vendors. Our CEO Carina McLeod presented case studies and demonstrations tailored to EU vendors.

Other 2020 events included:

During quarantine, Carina and Mark Pettit from Skye High Media began the Virtual Coffee Break on YouTube as a way to discuss hot topics with a hot cuppa from wherever you work.

Key Amazon updates

It wasn’t a standard year for Amazon, but if history is any indication, Amazon embraces a change and challenges boundaries to succeed whatever the circumstances. Early on, we dealt with logistics delays, price gouging, and panic buying across many categories. Amazon orders were temporarily suspended for some products, and customers experienced delivery delays. Prime Day 2020 was delayed and eventually moved to October. While Amazon didn’t release results for the event (yet), they did divulge this much: “Third-party sellers—most of which are small and medium-sized businesses—surpassed $3.5 billion in sales on Prime Day—a nearly 60% year-over-year increase, growing even more than Amazon’s retail business.” 

Amazon Prime Day Small Business

“We loved seeing this small business support on Prime Day across the globe,” said eCommerce Nurse client manager Melis Kip. “This was very useful for businesses who are new to Amazon.” Indeed, many of our clients experienced a lift from Prime Day sales, despite changing dates and less publicity than the usually consistent summer sale. 

The new focus on staying home meant many e-commerce businesses and clients experienced an increase in business. Certain categories especially did well, as customers looked for outdoor and social-distancing appropriate items to have fun at or near their homes. We saw an increase for clients selling inflatable paddleboards and other sporting goods, and also homeschooling and stationery needs (especially from April to June 2020). 

At eCommerce Nurse, we boosted our focus on translation services, as Amazon launched in the Netherlands, Sweden, and is soon to launch in Poland. In 2021, we’ll be expanding to support sellers across Europe and businesses taking advantage of the European Fulfilment Network.

Expanding our team

To meet our growing range of clients, we added several new team members at eCommerce Nurse. These included client manager Melis Kip, business assistant Sara Cooper, client services executive Sophie Wheatley, and French translator Anne-Sophie Beesoo. 

Because of an increased need to drive external traffic to Amazon, we also added social media support with Emma Smith. Emma is well-positioned to support and guide Amazon businesses on the opportunities, platforms, and how to create a strategy for your brand that appeals to your ideal customer. She can also help with your existing social media accounts, such as if you’re struggling with engagement or reach. 

Amazon tools and features

Our client managers and our full team work frequently with Seller Central and Vendor Central, so we’re always keenly aware of updates and additions. In 2020, we particularly loved Amazon Vine for sellers (to sit alongside the Early Reviewer Program), virtual product bundles, and variations testing. In 2020, Amazon also allowed videos for all US sellers, which was a game-changer. These updates resulted in increases in sales, reviews, and overall traffic to many of our brands. Amazon also seems to really be pushing brand tools on Seller Central, with a new “Brands” tab and Brand Analytics access for sellers. We hope some of these features go global in 2021, and sellers in the UK get video access in Seller Central, as well.

Amazon moved the Brand Store, Amazon Advertising campaign manager, and posts to a new space in the Advertising portal. “As Amazon continues to streamline systems and tools, we are curious to see what will move over there next,” said Dani Thompson, our eCommerce Nurse marketing manager.

On the vendor side, this December Amazon finally started to share actual glance views and conversion percentage data on an ASIN and account level. This was a welcome update and super interesting for brands who previously had no idea how many glance views they were getting as a vendor.

Our content: Blogs, eBooks, and other resources

Every week, we share news and insights related to e-commerce and Amazon topics. Some of our most popular blogs were related to new programs and how-tos on topics pertinent to vendors and sellers. These included:

In November 2020, our CEO Carina was also featured in an article for Business Insider. 

We took to YouTube with some informational videos on 12 Steps to Optimising Your Product Listings for Conversion, and The Difference Between Desktop and Mobile Listings, and choosing Vendor or Seller for your Amazon Business.

We also published two new eBooks, which are great resources for brands doing business on Amazon, and are still free to download. 

Welcoming 2021

As the tumultuous year draws to a close, we invite you to check out our new Services page and sign up for our eCommerce Nurse email updates. This will ensure you don’t miss out on timely Amazon news, how-to guides, podcasts, videos, and more. As always, we offer a range of services, from full account management to listing optimisation, translation, and consulting. Please get in touch for a free consultation. Have a happy holiday season, and we’ll see you in the new year!

Katy Luxem

Katy Luxem

Katy Luxem is the senior content manager for eCommerce Nurse and Vendor Society. She has worked for Amazon in both Seattle and London, delivering results for multiple different teams and product lines across the U.S. and Europe. Katy's experience is centered on making sure customers have a best-in-class experience. She enjoys helping businesses and brands succeed and grow with next-level content.
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