Amazon Editorial Recommendations
If you’re an Amazon seller or Amazon service provider, you’ve likely heard the term, ‘Amazon Editorial Recommendations’ tossed around in the last year. Though Editorial Recommendations have been around for years, a new change has led these recommendations to receive some well-deserved newfound attention – sellers can now choose to get into these recommendations.
Editorials are not out of a seller’s control. Now they are a trackable form of guaranteed front-page advertising. That’s game changing – especially for sellers ranking off the first page.
Let’s take a deep dive into this new form of Amazon advertising.
What are Amazon Editorial Recommendations?
Amazon Editorial Recommendations are the only type of advertising on Amazon that comes from an external source (unless you consider Amazon’s Choice recommendations to be external) – meaning somebody else is recommending your product to interested buyers.
These recommendations always render on the first page of whichever keyword they’re rendering on – usually about a third of the way down the page.
The writers of these recommendations, called ‘publishers’, are members of the Amazon Onsite Associates Program – an invite-only program containing about 200 reputable publishers that are allowed to post directly onto Amazon. Examples of publishers in this program are Forbes, New York Times’ Wirecutter, and ThisOldHouse.
The publishers are incentivized by Amazon, who gives them a percentage of revenue for every sale directly-attributable to the recommendation. These percentages vary depending on product category but reach up to 5% for luxury beauty recommendations.
Onsite commission rates:
Breaking down an Editorial Recommendation
The recommendation below, entitled ‘The Best Coffee Maker’ is written by ‘This Old House’. It renders on the term ‘coffee maker’ which has a search volume of 724,110 according to Helium10. That gives sellers rendering on that keyword a huge incentive to optimize their front-page visibility, and editorial recommendations are a guaranteed way to get on the first page.
Though it renders on ‘coffee maker’, it doesn’t render 100% of the time. Most Editorial Recommendations render 25% of the time, meaning that there’s a 1 in 4 chance that this specific Editorial Recommendation will be on the search page when a customer is shopping.
If an Editorial Recommendation isn’t rendering, Amazon will pull it down. That leads some high-converting recommendations to stay live for years, whereas others will be pulled down within a month. The one below has been live for 10 months as of now. The best indicator of whether a recommendation will perform well is if the products within them are performing well on the given keyword. This means that even though there are service providers able to get products into Editorial Recommendations, they can’t just get any product into them.
Let’s break down The Best Coffee Maker recommendation further.
Best Coffee Maker: An Editorial Recommendation written by This Old House
Each recommendation has at least three and up to ten products within it. The first position is the most profitable and sees on average 40% greater profits than positions two and three, according to Seller Rocket (an Amazon Editorial Recommendation access provider) internal data. The positions after the first three see considerably less profits.
This Old House has full literary control over this recommendation – meaning they choose the awarding titles, the products, and they write the blurb and linked article on the left-hand side. This literary freedom alarms some sellers because they don’t want the publisher to write something negative about their product, but given that publishers profit from the sales made from these recommendations, this situation is highly unlikely.
The Benefits of Amazon Editorial Recommendations
Amazon Editorial recommendations improve a lot of your Amazon marketing efforts, such as:
- Front-page visibility
- PPC efficiencies
- SEO performance
- Organic rank
- Overall conversions
A lot of these improvements are intertwined. For example, once an Editorial Recommendation is posted on Amazon, the products included receive a boost in front-page visibility, which increases the chance of sale since greater front-page visibility has been shown to increase conversion rate. Though it increases the chance of sale, that sale doesn’t always result from a click directly on the editorial but rather on PPC ads running alongside it. This leads to improvements in PPC efficiencies.
Graph 1: 41% sales lift in one month, 33% through organic and PPC improvements
Graph 1 shows sales results from a Seller Rocket study after one month in Editorial Recommendations. In the first month, there was a 41 percent lift in sales with 8 percent of that being directly attributable to the recommendation – the rest came through improvements in the PPC and organic rank channels.
Additionally, Editorials come from an external source rather than from an ad sponsored by the seller, which increases the likelihood that the consumer will trust the product. Product trust has been a hot topic in 2021 since the flood of fake reviews came to light, so finding other ways to gain product trust is really important.
Graph 2: 73% lift in product views, 51% lift in daily orders
Since Amazon Editorial Recommendations are SEO based, and the greatest lift is in PPC and organic rank, it takes some time to see results. The greatest improvements come with time, and you will see some results in the first month, with results ramping up in months three and four.
Requirements For Amazon Editorial Recommendations
Amazon Editorial Recommendations are available for products already performing well on the keywords the seller is seeking to render on. Generally a product will qualify if it meets the below qualifications:
- 100+ product reviews
- 4-star and above product rating
- sufficient inventory to handle high demand
- No relation to religion, sex, or drugs
- No medical claims
These requirements exist to ensure recommendations are credible for the consumer.
How to access Amazon Editorial Recommendations
Seller Rocket is an agency that specializes in Editorial Recommendation access. They work with 100+ of the publishers within the Amazon Onsite Associate program and screen products for the publishers to ensure they meet qualifications, then tactically match the products with the best publisher to write the recommendation.
Is Seller Rocket the only way to get an Amazon Editorial Recommendation?
No. Seller Rocket works with a little over half of the publishers in the program, leaving a lot of publishers that choose products using a different method. Additionally, the publishers Seller Rocket does work with have freedom to write as many recommendations as they want, meaning they could be using other methods in addition to the products provided by Seller Rocket.
It’s uncertain how a lot of This method has proven ineffective for most, but it still never hurts to try.
How does pricing work?
Amazon Editorial Recommendations are different than PPC in that they’re entirely hands off. Sellers pay an upfront fee and small monthly maintenance fee with Seller Rocket, then everything else is based on directly-attributable revenue (24 hour last-click cookie). If a recommendation gets pulled down, it’s free to get into another.
If you happen to find yourself in an Editorial Recommendation that wasn’t accessed through Seller Rocket, that means a publisher chose to cover your article on their own. This comes at no charge to you, however you’ll be unable to track the amount of revenue coming from your product being within that recommendation and will have no say if the recommendation gets pulled down.
How long does it take?
Once you’ve submitted your ASINs to be in an Amazon Editorial Recommendation, it takes 8-10 weeks before the recommendation goes live. The publisher is writing the article for about half of that time and the other half is spent waiting for Amazon to AB test the article against its other recommendations and approve it.
Amazon Editorial Recommendations should be looked at as a form of advertising, and are a great way to get ahead of your competitors. If competitors act on Amazon Editorial Recommendations before you, there’s a possibility that you’ll begin losing sales to them on keywords you perform well on.