The end of the year is approaching as 'Shippageddon' threatens sellers globally, once again. The term was coined in 2020 when demand increased and the shipping industry crumbled at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic - sellers stressed, and brands were under-stocked missing orders left and right. With Q4 nearing and already some logistical hiccups, a second-round could take place, and sellers should be prepared.
One of the largest container ports recently partially shut down ago when a staff member received positive COVID-19 results. Soon later, a similar situation occurred in one of the biggest exporting airports in China. With the number of closures and increase in demand, the stress on the shipping industry is becoming increasingly alarming, especially with the biggest shopping season just around the corner, affecting large corporations and small and medium sellers.
'Shippageddon 2020' Challenges
UPS has stated that delivery demand during this year's peak could exceed capacity by 5 million packages a day and impose surcharges and daily package limits on the largest shippers. So if you haven't yet already, it'll be wise to get ahead and start strategizing for the holiday season as soon as possible.
Sometimes a customer's assumption of what's included (quantity-wise) in their order isn't quite what was on the product listing. Whether it's due to a misunderstanding or wrong input, the unmet expectation often leads to confusion, disappointment, and in some cases, a negative review. In an attempt to alleviate this, Amazon has unveiled a new set of mandatory attributes for ASINs so sellers can clarify the product's contents. This goes into effect on October 26, 2021.
Amazon's 3 New Mandatory ASIN Attributes:
Net Content: A new attribute set for eight Product Types (PTs)
Item Form (Applicable for 86 PTs: see Net Content, Item Form, and Number of Items attributes FAQ page for the PT list): This attribute defines the form of your product. For example, for a 'Shampoo' product type, some of the forms are, cream, liquid, foam, and so on. If your ASIN is in a Product Type where the Item Form is required, you will need to select a value from the drop-down that best represents the form of your product. If you cannot find a value that best represents your product, you have the option to provide value of your choice. However, this may cause your ASIN to be excluded from customer-facing experiences which require normalized values.
Number of Items (Applicable for 154 PTs: see Net Content, Item Form and Number of Items attributes FAQ page for the PT list): This attribute is the lowest level of branded packaging that encases the product sold. (For example, the number of bottles of laundry detergent, the number of bags of chips, or the number of boxes of pens). If your ASIN is in a Product Type where the Number of Items need to be specified, you are required to select a value representing the container count for the entire ASIN (for example, the number of bottles of laundry detergent, the number of bags of chips and so on.
While it is incredibly beneficial to have this information visible on your product listing, it is not mandatory for all categories and only affects certain product types. However, if you decide to update your listing, it is highly recommended to populate these attributes before October 26, 2021. Not populating these mandatory attributes in time will prevent the creation of any new selection.
Amazon Accelerate is on October 20-21st, 2021. Have you registered yet? The annual seller conference is taking place virtually this year and will feature notable Amazon keynote speakers, including Andy Jassy (CEO, Amazon), Dave Clark (CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon), and Dharmesh Mehta (VP Customer Trust & Partner Support, Amazon). The event promises to cover various topics for the seller community, host educational sessions, and provide networking opportunities. It is a free event open to all sellers by Amazon to provide resources to support seller success.
These past couple of years have definitely rocked the e-commerce boat, and many sellers are looking towards Amazon for answers in how they plan to address these issues and support their brand in this marketplace. A big head-turner for this event will be Jassy’s attendance and speech, as well as Dharmesh Mehta, who made this statement regarding the event:
“We are massively invested in supporting sellers, and we’re excited to bring the seller community together at Accelerate 2021 to help entrepreneurs and small business owners launch on Amazon and go to the next level to build their brands, scale, and grow.”.
If you’re one of these sellers looking for some answers from the beast of a platform itself, this could be the event to mark your calendars with.
Click here to register