December 2019 Newsletter

Updated: Mar 23, 2020

Cartograph Monthly Newsletter:

Happy December!

The end of the 2019 holiday sales season is approaching, as is the end of the decade. While it’s not uncommon to see a slowdown on Amazon after the Christmas delivery period, sales for Organic and Natural will pick up quickly as we head into 2020.

This is the time of year to be especially alert for customer reports on “cold pricklies” (the opposite of “warm fuzzies”) to help maintain your Seller Rating and maintain customer loyalty.

2019 Holiday Shipping Dates Amazon has posted shipping cutoff dates for December 25th delivery, which will likely coincide with a slow in sales velocity. Non-Prime Customers

  • Saturday 14 – last day for free shipping on orders over $25

  • Wednesday 18 – last day for standard shipping Prime Members

  • Sunday 22 – last day for free Prime shipping

  • Monday 23 – last day for One-Day Delivery

Cartograph News Repeat Purchase Dashboards are Live for Cartograph Brands Repeat purchase tracking is a blind spot for many brands on Amazon, and Amazon’s data structure makes it difficult to track. Cartograph has launched cohort-based repeat purchase tracking for all Seller Central-based clients. This analysis supports smarter decision making around questions of trade spend, customer acquisition cost, ad retargeting, and lifetime customer value. Contact us if you’d like to see a demo.

Amazon News Amazon Grocery Stores, 2020 Amazon has confirmed plans to open a grocery store in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, in 2020. The store, which will not be part of Whole Foods, will not be using Amazon’s cashier-less Amazon Go technology in store. It will be set up similarly to other markets. The store will likely join Whole Foods in being a hub for Grocery and Prime Now orders.

Though unconfirmed, Amazon appears to be eyeing property in LA and NYC for this yet-unnamed grocery store expansion.

Amazon Vine Amazon Vine is a reviewer program where brands can submit SKUs for review by customers (called “Vine Voices”) for a fee. This can be highly valuable for new product launches, rapidly building up to 30 reviews for products in a 100% policy-compliant manner. Previously limited to brands selling on the Vendor Central channel, the program has recently been opened to Brand Registered Sellers with

Fulfilled by Amazon SKUs available for sale. This is a great way to get reviews for newly launched products, helping overcome the “cold start” problem.

An example of a Vine review, as it appears to a customer

More information can be found on this page.

Buyer Message Sending Many brands engaging in policy-compliant buyer-seller messaging campaigns have recently had their messaging privileges suspended with little explanation from Amazon. Historically, platforms like Feedback Genius, Salesbacker, Zonmaster, et al have integrated with Amazon to allow brands to automate requests for product reviews – a key review building strategy that is still officially legal per Amazon’s published policies.

On the other side are Sellers who have become very cavalier with inserts offering gift cards, discounts, or free products in exchange for proof of reviews. Authentic reviews are important to the Amazon ecosphere as a signal of quality, and Amazon is constantly combating fake and purchased reviews. We anticipate stricter Amazon enforcement of its Terms of Service in the coming months when it comes to asking for reviews, which comes in tandem with the release of Amazon Vine for Sellers.

We believe a formal policy change banning all review solicitation through buyer-seller messaging is imminent, finishing the slow death of of a strategy that’s been steeply declining in efficacy since Amazon’s introduced an opt-out feature to these message last year.

As it becomes more difficult to gain reviews the traditional way, it’s important to continue to build reviews via available policy-compliant channels. Vine is the safest and most reputable way to accomplish this. Brands’ email lists and customer base are the next best source, followed by a handful of reputable micro-influencer agencies that can encourage their members to leave product reviews.

Products We Love

Mike’s Hot Honey has shot to the #1 best seller in Grocery & Gourmet Food condiment, this chili-infused honey is great on ribs, roasted veggies, pizza, ice cream, and more. Mike’s Hot Honey is available in multiple sizes and form factors, so you can take this spicy honey with you wherever you go: Mike’s Hot Honey.

New Cartograph Team Members We have a new addition to the Cartograph team: Jeremy Christner Our full team can be found here.

We’re hiring! The Cartograph team is looking for people passionate about e-commerce, Amazon, and the Natural channel to join our team. We currently have openings in both Brand Management and Business Development. Please reach out to for more information on opportunities to join us!

Downloadable PDF here

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