If you’ve been selling on Amazon for a while, it might be time to enhance and build on your marketing strategy.
Amazon Live streaming is a great way for sellers to keep up with the trends and stay relevant!
With the rise of mobile devices and online shopping, the way consumers shop has changed dramatically in recent years.
In this blog post, I’ll talk about what Amazon FBA Live Stream is, who can use it, the Benefits and Limitations of Amazon Live, how to structure an organized live stream, tools that can help you with creativity, and how to set up and finally hit the live button to stream to the world!
What is Amazon Live?
Amazon Live is a new platform launched in February 2019 that allows sellers, vendors, and influencers to livestream and demonstrate products in real-time for viewers.
It is a great response of Amazon towards the new trend of other countries in which customers like to see the real product in use before purchasing.
Viewers can send comments and ask questions during the livestream that the streamer can read and answer.
The ability to stream on the program is available for:
- Approved Amazon U.S. sellers registered in Amazon Brand Registry
- Approved Amazon Vendors with a published storefront on Amazon’s Advertising Console
- Approved influencers / content creators who have qualified for the Amazon Influencer Program
Both need to send in an application to Amazon Live.
Amazon Influencers apply by showing Amazon their credentials as content creators by providing their social media accounts.
Amazon does not state any certain number of followers or subscribers to be accepted into the Influencer Program, because they also screen applicants by engagement metrics. Therefore, there is no harm in giving it a shot if you are already a content creator!
If you are a brand owner or vendor, consider having an Influencer feature your products as they stream on their storefront. The inclusion of influencers as eligible streamers has greatly helped brands expand their customer base!
Benefits and Limitations of Amazon Live
Amazon wouldn’t start this new program if it didn’t have any benefits! However, it also comes with its set of limitations as a new platform and also due to the need to be different from other livestreaming platforms.
Amazon Live has transformed the way brands market their products through real-life applications!
Benefits of Amazon Live include (but are not limited to):
- Increased engagement to build a relationship with customers
- Brand exposure to customers who are unfamiliar with a seller’s products
- An opportunity to share the brand’s background story, identity, and culture
- Option to give viewers special discounts that are valid during the livestream
- Show off products in a new and interactive way
- Use platform to demonstrate to audience that product is useful to them
- Livestream appears on storefront and can be done anytime
- Learn about customer preferences
- Learn how to improve existing products and their listings to suit customer preferences
- Get ideas for future product launches
- Influencers can earn significant commissions (at no extra cost to the customer!)
- Metrics are shown after livestreams to help you improve future streams and “stage presence”
- The Amazon Live Creator App has different levels to unlock, which opens up more benefits such as improved livestream placement, special access to Amazon Live events and opportunities, priority support from support team, and more
Since it is a new platform, there is still room for improvement.
Limitations include (but are not limited to):
- Limited to approved Amazon’s brand owners, vendors, and influencers only
- Stream settings can only be managed from the Amazon Live Creator app, and not from Amazon’s desktop site.
- Amazon Live Creator app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.
- Streamers need to stay on topic of their featured brand. Although other brands may be mentioned during stream, it’s risky and I generally recommend that this is avoided
- Some streamers have reported that their livestreams got blocked by Amazon after mentioning celebrities or other popular figures who have used their product(s) when they are not an official endorser of the product(s)
- Does not have a built-in feature to have a virtual guest like Instagram Live does (but external livestreaming programs can be used to do this outside of the Amazon Live Creator app)
- Streams are only allowed at a maximum of 720p quality, and at 30 fps (frames per second). If you are using an encoder to stream to Amazon Live and it is higher than those figures, you will get an error message.
Checklist to Plan Your FBA Live Stream
From start to finish, I want to be there for you in planning your live stream to make the process less intimidating!
Complying with Community Policy
Make sure that the message and content of your stream will be compliant with Amazon Live Community Policy, which I encourage you to read in full.
Amazon’s article for the Community Policy details how streamers should communicate to the audience about claims, brand comparisons, prices and promotions, product guarantees and warranties, customer reviews, restricted products and claims, conduct and content, and much more.
Directly from Amazon, some notable policies are (including but are not limited to):
- All claims, both express and implied, must be supported.
- You may provide your personal opinion (provided it is clearly noted as such) but any claim that could reasonably be interpreted as a factual statement must be accurate and substantiated.
- Claims related to product characteristics (such as safety features, performance, technical specifications, dimensions, weight, etc.) must be accurate.
(For example, if the item is exactly 2.21 pounds, it must be stated as such. It cannot be stated as only 2 pounds, or rounded up to 2.5 pounds or similar.)
- Any awards that are mentioned or depicted (for example, “Product of the Year 2017”) must be supported by the details found on the product’s detail page.
- Comparisons that mention the name of a competing brand must be strictly factual and objective. For example: “Product X has an incredible 8GB of RAM, which is 2GB more than Product Y” is acceptable.
- Such comparisons must not be defamatory or derogatory. For example: “Product X is easy to use and looks great; much better than Product Y which is a piece of junk” is not acceptable.
Prices and Promotions
- All price claims, including promotional prices, must be accurate. (If an item is $19.95, it must be stated as exactly such and stated as $20 or $19, etc.)
- Do not exaggerate promotional prices, or make unsupported savings claims or price comparisons. For example, unless it is accurate, do not say: “This product will never be at this low price after today”, “The lowest price on the internet”, “An unbeatable price”, “The cheapest on the market.”
Product Guarantees and Warranties
- You may only reference manufacturer-provided product warranties and guarantees and may not create, modify or offer to modify them. For example, do not say: “If you purchase from us, we will extend your warranty by 1 year.”; “Don’t contact the manufacturer for warranty work, contact us!”
- If you mention customer reviews, you must include accurate product information that can be substantiated. For example, the claim “This is my favorite face cream for making wrinkles completely disappear” implies that the product objectively makes wrinkles “completely disappear.” This is not a claim that any product could substantiate, therefore you should not use this customer review.
- You may ask viewers to leave reviews for products featured in your livestream(s) but you may not directly ask for positive reviews. For example, you can say “Please leave a review and tell us what you think” but you cannot say, “If you liked this product please leave a 5-star customer review”.
Restricted Products and Claims
Amazon has certain restrictions as well for Alcohol-Related Products, Health, Beauty, & Weight Loss Products, and other products under their Restricted Products Policy and “Unacceptable Products & Services” section of Amazon’s Creative Acceptance Policy.
Again, all of these are just a few of the many policies Amazon has put in place to protect the experience of their customers. Please read the full Amazon Live Community Policy article.
Amazon’s note: Please note that this Community Policy may be modified from time to time so you’re encouraged to check back for updates.
- Decide on products to feature
- Determine target audience based on products to feature
- Determine who will stream on your storefront — you the seller, a third-party, or an influencer?
- Determine a time to stream that is practical for viewers in several timezones
- Create a brief and outline for your stream
- Cold Open to discuss the point of live stream
- Intro Sequence (if your brand has a video intro)
- Discuss background of brand and Call to Action
- Product Features – Name, functionality, benefits, demonstration and best practices (do this for each featured products)
- Q&A and Interaction during each product feature
- General Q&A and Recap
Review analytics of:
- Viewership – Unmuted Views, Unmute Rate, Average Unmuted View Duration, and Total Views
- Sales – Shipped Revenue and Earnings
- Engagement – Total messages, Click-through Rate, and Total Product Clicks
- Campaign – Free impressions and money spent to boost livestream
- Commissions (Influencers only) – Be aware that the commissions visible here are from livestreams alone and do not include all commissions on Associates Central. The percentage of commissions earned vary by product category.
Use these metrics to determine how to improve for the next livestream, and keep track of them after each stream to observe a trend or areas for improvement.
Note: Amazon states that “Certain livestream metrics can take up to 48 hours to be available in the Amazon Live Creator app, including sales from your livestream.“
Metrics can also change after the livestream metrics results because customers can still engage with a seller’s previous livestreams.
Tools to Help You Set Up a High-Quality Stream
If you have the means to, I highly recommend investing effort and some money into quality livestreams, because it really pays off in the long run!
Doing so helps to build trust that the creator is taking their role seriously to give customers the best experience.
Creators can provide viewers with a higher quality stream by:
- Using an external camera can be more reliable than a cellphone camera, and you can just use your cellphone to read comments and test your stream
- Placing the camera in a clean spot where the viewer has an unobstructed view of the scene — this is more enticing
- Using additional lighting like an LED ring light can highlight your best features as the streamer as well as give the promoted product(s) the best look
- Using a broadcasting software like OBS (Free!), Restream Studio, vMix, etc. gives you more creative freedom and a professional look to the livestream
- While using a broadcasting software, adding banners, notifications, transitions, intros and outros makes the stream more entertaining for viewers
- Using a high-quality microphone and/or headphones is more professional and ensures there is no sound echoing
Good lighting, special effects, and proper sound help to keep the viewer’s attention focused on the livestream.
This is especially important for product demonstrations, as viewers will be able to accurately see how the real product looks, since some product photos can appear different from the product in real life.
Paying attention to these details creates a higher chance of customers buying the featured product(s) because they no longer get curious to check out other ongoing streams on the platform!
How to Sign Up for Amazon Live and Start Your Stream
As mentioned earlier, approved brands, vendors, and influencers are the only individuals authorized to stream on Amazon Live.
However, third parties may stream on behalf of brand owners and vendors (does not necessarily have to be an Amazon Influencer), and as the creator, they are responsible for all the actions taken by the third party who livestreams on their behalf.
Directly from Amazon’s article, they have listed these further requirements:
- If you are in violation of your respective agreement with Amazon, you may not be eligible to participate in the community.
- If Amazon suspends or revoke your livestreaming privileges due to a violation of this Community Policy, you will not be eligible to participate in the community until further notice from Amazon.
- You must be at least 18 years old to stream in the community.
- Your stream must be entirely in English.
- All suspensions apply to the account holder and any attempts to circumvent suspensions by creating additional accounts or identities will result in the permanent disabling of said accounts.
Starting on Amazon Live
- Download the Amazon Live Creator app on the App Store
- Once downloaded and opened, Seller (Seller Central), Vendor (Advertising Console), and Amazon Influencer Program will appear. Choose what is appropriate for you.
- Sign In to your Amazon account.
How to Start a Livestream on Live Creator
- When opening the Live Creator app, there is a Plus sign at the bottom of the screen. Press it to start settings for a new livestream.
- At the top of the next page, you may add a thumbnail image for your livestream
- Under Products, you need to add at least one product to the shelf from the Amazon catalog to start a livestream. You can search for them by name or by ASIN, but the displayed product information is limited on the app. To ensure that you are adding the right products, I recommend that you create a List from the desktop site and add the entire List to the stream.
- Under Settings, indicate Title, Start time, Video source (Phone camera or External camera), and if you want to stream through Practice Mode first. (I always recommend using Practice Mode a lot before going Live)
- If you will be streaming from an External camera, you will need to copy and paste the Stream Key and URL into your external streaming program
- Under Engage with Viewers, you can insert Promo Codes for products that will be featured in the livestream. You can also Copy the share link and post it to your social media, share it with friends and family, etc.
- After, Amazon’s systems will analyze your settings and display the Go Live button if they will allow you to stream or inform you of what settings need to be altered to fix it.
- Amazon Live is a new platform that allows sellers, vendors, and Influencers to livestream and demonstrate products in real-time for viewers.
- Amazon Live is a great opportunity to increase engagement, expose brand, and build brand identity
- Streamers can provide viewers special discounts while Live, and Influencers can earn commissions from sales
- Amazon has strict Community Policies for streaming which needs to be read by streamers before broadcasting. This is to give the customers a fair and accurate experience.
- The Amazon Live Creator app is the only avenue to access stream settings, and it is only available in the App Store for iOS devices
- I recommend practicing the outline of your stream and testing your software and equipment before going Live
Even if you’ve never livestreamed on any platform before, I hope this blog post provided a complete guide to getting started and investing in quality tools and equipment for Amazon Live.
Remember though that even if you have the best equipment and tools, it’s crucial that you practice the outline of your stream before you go Live to cyberspace!
Now you know pretty much everything you need to know about Amazon Live!