Navigating Amazon’s New Guidelines Round Product Variations

Amazon have up to date their coverage round guardian/baby itemizing variations, which is able to have an effect on how evaluations seem for sure guardian merchandise with a number of baby variations, and the way merchandise with variations will rank in search outcomes.

Historically, all product evaluations for every particular person baby ASIN had been mixed to provide a grand complete that would seem uniformly for every baby variation. Shifting ahead, evidently for choose guardian merchandise every particular person baby ASIN might show distinctive evaluation information individually.

The evaluation coverage change comes about as a result of damaging suggestions Amazon have obtained from clients relating to incorrect variations. The next is an excerpt from a Vendor’s correspondence with Amazon Vendor Help:

“I wish to let you realize this performance has been applied after receiving a number of suggestions from the purchasers. Our product evaluations staff has noticed a variety of misuse of the function the place incorrect variations had been made simply to deliver evaluations collectively.

We noticed many cases the place low rating merchandise with damaging evaluations had been added in variation with merchandise with many constructive evaluations. This results in big variety of clients being dissatisfied with their buying expertise.

To be able to present correct particulars to the consumers our evaluations staff has applied an interim coverage the place for now, ASINs will show their evaluations individually.”

— Amazon Vendor Help Consultant

This explicit Vendor initiated a correspondence with Amazon Vendor Help once they seen lacking product evaluations for one in every of their baby ASINs. In the course of the interchange, the Help consultant offered an in depth clarification about how the replace to variation show logic will affect product evaluations noticed on the product itemizing:

“Latest Change – Coverage Replace

> Kindly word that as per a latest replace to the variation show logic, the evaluations of explicit Baby ASIN shall be displayed on the element web page.

Moreover, if we detect uncommon evaluation habits for a product, we might place limits on evaluations or the sharing of evaluations for associated merchandise. We place limits on evaluations to protect belief in Buyer Critiques.

** Enable me to elucidate this performance with an instance.

Let’s imagine, Guardian A has three Baby ASINs – D (7 Critiques), E (15 Critiques) and F (20 Critiques). As per the brand new performance, if we choose ASIN E, the element web page will show the product having 15 Critiques as an alternative of 42 Critiques that used to show beforehand.

Equally, if there aren’t any evaluations for an ASIN, the evaluations is not going to be displayed for that exact ASIN.

On this case, we may see that there aren’t any evaluations positioned for ASIN XXXXXXXXX (colour: Pink). Nevertheless, there are 28 evaluations positioned for ASIN ZZZZZZZZZZZ (colour: Blue).

As there aren’t any evaluations positioned for the ASIN, the element web page is just not displaying any evaluations.”

— Amazon Vendor Help Consultant

This coverage replace will affect how manufacturers method catalog re-organization and optimization on the Amazon market. Previously, merging separated product listings as baby variations beneath a guardian product was a technique that would assist enhance site visitors and conversion for under-performing ASINs, even when merchandise weren’t technically respectable variations. Merging was additionally used as a technique to create extra visibility for bundle choices. For instance, a Toothbrush & Toothpaste Bundle baby ASIN may’ve been added as a variation to a guardian product with a number of taste variations of the identical type of Toothpaste.

Shifting ahead, in sure cases product evaluations could also be extra carefully connected to particular person merchandise, and due to this fact under-performing ASINs may entice extra scrutiny from Amazon consumers.


Colgate Toothpaste guardian ASIN with a number of baby variations. Supply:



At Bobsled, thus far we’ve seen solely a handful of examples of this coverage replace.

Proper now, Amazon solely appears to be penalizing manufacturers which have merged merchandise which might be clearly distinctive beneath a single guardian – i.e. not true variations. For the overwhelming majority of guardian merchandise with a number of baby variations there was completely no change within the complete variety of product evaluations that seem for every ASIN.

Nevertheless, contemplating the truth that enhancing the client expertise is one in every of Amazon’s predominant priorities, one can speculate that Amazon might transfer in direction of a mannequin sooner or later the place all product evaluations are particularly tied to particular person ASINs, even when all variations are “respectable”, moderately than a cumulative complete throughout all of the baby ASINs for a guardian product. This could positively present clients with extra transparency relating to the recognition and suggestions score for every particular person ASIN.



Precisely how Amazon would roll out a widespread market replace stays unclear, but previous coverage adjustments might supply helpful perception.

For instance, in late 2016, Amazon banned incentivized evaluations as a technique to enhance the legitimacy and high quality of buyer suggestions on {the marketplace}. In the course of the transitional interval, Amazon focused Sellers who, in Amazon’s eyes, had abused incentivized evaluations egregiously. Sellers who had repeatedly given away big portions of stock without spending a dime or at a heavy low cost with a view to acquire extra product evaluations and preserve a aggressive BSR (Greatest Vendor Rank) had been punished severely when many of those “paid” evaluations had been scrubbed utterly from their listings by Amazon. Different manufacturers who merely dabbled on this apply had been largely unaffected, and due to this fact it’s nonetheless potential to stumble throughout incentivized evaluations from this period on the Amazon market at the moment.

Amazon might use this expertise as a precedent when contemplating methods to implement a variation show logic replace.

The primary goal will doubtless be manufacturers who’ve mixed clearly distinctive merchandise beneath a single guardian ASIN. Because the Vendor Help consultant has alluded to within the above transcript, evaluations for unrelated merged merchandise might get wiped completely. Or Amazon might merely insist that completely different kinds of product have to be re-categorized beneath new guardian listings, and current evaluations will dwell on.

From there, Amazon might alter the panorama additional by displaying distinctive evaluation information for each particular person ASIN, even when all kids are pure variations of each other. Whether or not current guardian ASINs with respectable baby variations can be “grandfathered-in” stays to be seen.

Navigating Amazon’s new guidelines round product variations.



At Bobsled, we all the time prioritize the client expertise when constructing or optimizing product listings for the Amazon market. Should you had been managing a brick-and-mortar retailer, you’d attempt to intelligently group all associated merchandise in the identical house, and in some ways Amazon is not any completely different.

The constraints of every product class on Amazon can range wildly, and due to this fact we don’t have a one-size-fits-all method to catalog group and optimization. Right here is our common catalog creation and optimization workflow:


Step 1 – Choose probably the most related product class

Sure ASINs might doubtlessly match into a number of completely different classes, due to this fact we’d suggest discovering probably the most related class for every particular person product, after which drilling down additional by choosing the correct subcategory too. If you’re misplaced, hack is to research the product listings of the closest competitor ASINs and replicate their categorization on your personal product.

Some sellers and distributors try to “sport” the system by choosing a much less common product class with a view to have a greater probability at reaching a extra optimum BSR. In our opinion, this technique is futile for a number of completely different causes.

  1. As of at the moment, the overwhelming majority of Amazon consumers use key phrases to seek for their desired product moderately than combing by means of the best-selling merchandise inside a selected class. Subsequently, should you’ve used the correct key phrases throughout the product itemizing it’s best to rank for all of the related search phrases regardless.

  2. Amazon have penalized this apply previously and insisted on transferring merchandise which have been categorized incorrectly.

  3. Amazon might ultimately re-design {the marketplace} and clients might find yourself searching by means of product classes extra repeatedly moderately than relying so closely on the search operate. Subsequently, when you have purposefully mis-categorized your product catalog, this might have lasting ramifications if and when such a change occurs.

Step 2 – Key phrase analysis

After you have discovered the correct class on your product, the subsequent step is in-depth key phrase analysis. We suggest utilizing dependable search time period quantity monitoring instruments with a view to verify all of the related key phrases that can kind the spine of your itemizing. As soon as once more, analyzing high-performing competitor ASINs might be vastly advantageous.

Step 3 – Full the Flat File

A Flat File template is a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that incorporates a number of information columns for describing your merchandise. You enter all of the related itemizing content material on the file after which add through Vendor Central or Vendor Central. Be taught extra right here.

It’s potential to enter new product particulars instantly through the Vendor Central or Vendor Central dashboard. Nevertheless, at Bobsled we all the time suggest utilizing Flat Information as they supply a written file of your itemizing content material. If there’s ever a change in itemizing optimization greatest practices you may refer again to your Flat File, replace the related areas, after which re-submit the brand new model of the file.

Obtain the proper Flat File template on your product class and full each part you may, together with the back-end metadata. On the Flat File you too can determine methods to current any guardian ASINs with baby variations. For instance, with sure classes you may have the flexibility to generate two variation themes (e.g. Measurement and Coloration), whereas different classes solely permit for one. When you’re blissful that the flat file content material is optimized for each search engine optimisation and on-page conversion merely add through Vendor Central or Vendor Central.


Step 4 – Evaluate the product itemizing

After submitting the Flat File, it’s necessary to make sure that all of the content material is showing because it ought to as soon as the product itemizing turns into lively.

Prioritizing the client expertise must be your predominant focus, and all obstacles that would doubtlessly get in the best way of a conversion must be eradicated. For instance, if a guardian product has 10+ variations on the web page, it might be complicated for the client to flick through all of the completely different choices. On this scenario separating all of the baby variations as stand-alone guardian gadgets might enhance the client expertise and result in a greater conversion share.


Step 5 – Monitor efficiency, optimize accordingly

Over time you’ll amass site visitors and conversion share information for all your product listings. Specifically, your promoting dashboard will doubtless present helpful perception about which key phrases are performing, and you should utilize this information to replace listings accordingly.

It’s additionally necessary to remain abreast of any adjustments to Amazon’s itemizing optimization greatest practices to make sure your catalog stays optimized for each search engine optimisation and on-page conversion.



In abstract, we’d suggest reviewing your product catalog to make sure that all related baby variations are the identical type of product. Merging associated merchandise beneath a single guardian will usually enhance the client expertise, as you’re placing all comparable choices for the patron in a single location. Conversely, by persevering with to incorporate unrelated merchandise beneath a single guardian ASIN you’re doubtlessly operating the chance of getting priceless product evaluations wiped sooner or later sooner or later.  


Should you’re inquisitive about studying extra about Bobsled’s method to catalog group, you may arrange a session right here.

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