Helium 10's Serious Sellers Glossary

3PL: Third Party Logistics. Primarily used to ensure quality control for FBA sellers, these intermediary businesses accept products delivered directly from foreign manufacturers, ensure the products meet your standards and expectations, repackage them, and then forward them onto Amazon warehouses on your behalf.

Alibaba. One of several companies with a website where Amazon sellers commonly search for factories in China and elsewhere to manufacture their products. Other sites including ThomasNet, Maker's Row, MFG, Kompass, and Oberlo. AliExpress lists factories catering to individuals wanting smaller orders or samples.

API: Application Programming Interface. Amazon’s MWS uses an API to allow communication between its sellers and their product data. It’s the software that makes Amazon data accessible to you about your own Amazon products via the Internet. For example, when you want to create a product listing and add keywords into Amazon’s server that Amazon then uses in its SEO, you are working through Amazon’s MWS API. When you use Helium 10’s tools, you are also using an API, but it includes information made available by Amazon on more than one sellers products.

Arbitrage. When another seller buys a discounted retail product and then simultaneously sells it, often for a higher price, stealing sales from the official retailer. Generally, Amazon frowns on arbitrage and will prevent it if the official retailer restricts other sellers from selling their own products. Helium 10’s Alerts tool helps sellers discover arbitrage when it happens against their products.

ASIN. The Amazon product code assigned to every product sold on their site. Amazon creates these. Helium 10 uses the ASINs in many of its research tools.

Backend. When you offer a product up for sale on Amazon, you provide information that appears on a product page that shoppers can see. This public information is referred to as the frontend. You also provide additional information to Amazon that remains hidden to everyone except Amazon. Amazon uses this data and/or content in their search engine formulas. This data is called the backend. For example, you might add misspelled words to your keyword search terms in the backend, but not in the frontend, because you don’t want misspelled words visible to the shoppers, but you do want your product to show up in a customer search using misspelled words. Helium 10’s Misspellinator generates words that go into your backend data to help increase visibility in Amazon searches.

Black Hat SEO. Black Hat tactics. Black Hat tactics are unethical activities in which a website, or seller, in Amazon's case, attempts to trick search engines into linking people to their page or product when the content or product are not related to the search words. Keyword stuffing is the primary way that sellers violate TOS on Amazon. 

Boost. Inside Helium 10’s Keyword Tracker, sellers can use Boost (activated by clicking the little rocket icon found next to a product) to track a keyword every hour for ten days. 

Brand-gating. The action of protecting your products and listings from unauthorized sellers. Generally, on Amazon, it’s recommended that sellers establish an official brand and/or trademark to prevent other sellers from selling your products and under-cutting your prices.

BSR: Amazon’s Best Seller Rank. Amazon tracks and publicizes its best-selling products to drive sales. Every product sold on Amazon is ranked by Amazon in at least one category, and often in several sub-categories. Ranking affects where and when products appear in a customer’s organic search. Most sellers try to rank high enough to be on the first results page of a customer search.

Buy Box. Each product page has a ‘Buy Now’ button on the right side, adjacent to the product image and description, with a hierarchal list of other buyers listed below. Sometimes, this coveted spot is based on past sales history, and sometimes it’s rotated between sellers. Amazon decides who earns the Buy Box position, but using Helium 10 tools to more effectively increase visibility and sales can help a merchant gain the buy box position. If you sell unique products under a private label, you are the most likely to have the buy box because no one else is selling the same product.

Child vs. Parent. In retail, child and parent are metaphors for a single unique product that sells in variations, like multiple colors and sizes. The master product listing links all the child variations together into a parent listing, which can’t be purchased without selecting the specific variation or child for purchase. For example, a specific style of socks may be sold in twelve different colors. Each individually colored sock is a child; the socks collectively are the parent. You’ll recognize this type of product on Amazon when a product requires you to choose which color sock to buy before it will let you purchase it.  This listing structure allows buyers to see all the variations on one product page.

COGS. Cost of Goods Sold. COGS refers to costs directly tied to the manufacturing of products. The cost of labor, materials, and factory overhead are included, while storage and distribution are excluded.

Condition: New; Used – Like New; Used – Very Good; Used – Good; Used – Acceptable. When you sell as a private label on Amazon, your products are generally listed as new, but Amazon also allows sales of your products once they’ve been purchased and used. For example, one of your former customers can resell your product as ‘used’ on Amazon. Even Amazon itself can appear on your listing as a seller; if your FBA product gets returned to Amazon, and it’s still in ‘Like New’ condition, Amazon might resell it. If it’s not in perfect condition, they might sell it at a deep discount as part of their Amazon warehouse deals.

Container. Shipping containers transport large volumes of product internationally. Merchants often attempt to fill a container with their products before shipping them by sea in order to save money on per item transportation costs.

Conversion Rate. This term refers to how well your product sells on Amazon: how many people view your product vs. how many follow through and buy it. Factors contributing to low conversion rates include inadequate or weak listings, poor customer ratings, and running out of stock. Ultimately, high conversion rates lead to more success; low conversion rates hurt ranking and sales. Helium 10’s software suite helps sellers access data necessary to manage and improve all of these critical aspects of marketing and selling.

CPR: Cerebro Product Rank. Helium 10's proven calculation for how many products you would need to give away free or discounted on Amazon over an eight (8) day period in order to rank your product with that keyword in your title on Amazon's page one for that specific search phrase or term. The number is calculated and included as part of your Magnet search results as well.

CTR: Click-through Rate. Like the conversion rate in sales, the CTR in online advertising contributes significantly to your success as a merchant. The more people who see your ad on Amazon, or another website, and then click-through to Amazon to buy your product, the more success you’ll have as a retailer. Using Helium 10’s Keyword Tracker, Scribbles, Misspellinator and Cerebro can help you create effective copy to increase the CTR and the ROI on your ads.

Disposal. If you store and sell products on Amazon under the FBA option, at some point you may end up with returned products sitting in Amazon’s warehouse, leaving you with unsaleable products costing you monthly storage fees. Amazon will dispose of these products for you. Amazon charges (about 20 cents apiece) to ‘throw them away’ which usually means they will sell them. This action can result in your own new products competing against third party sellers’ ‘used’ (previously your new) products. You can also opt to have Amazon ship the returned products (at about 50 cents each) to you personally to avoid seller competition on your own new products.

EBC. Amazon Enhanced Brand Content. Amazon allows sellers to enhance their product description with visually rich content like photographs and videos. Helium 10’s Xray extension instantly evaluates most products on a scale of 1 to 10 when you load a product page. High scores recognize products that have maximized their listings with appropriate and images and copy. Most importantly, though, Helium 10’s tools Magnet, Cerebro, Keyword Tracker and Scribbles, in conjunction with other tools, can help you craft the best product title and copy for your listings, maximizing your EBC.

EXW: EX Works. When you, the seller, cover all the costs and responsibilities of transporting your products from the factory to the warehouse.

FBA vs. FBM: Fulfilled by Amazon vs. Fulfilled by Merchant. Amazon sellers can choose to store and ship their products directly from Amazon warehouses (FBA) or from personal or third-party warehouses (FBM).

FOB: Free on Board. When the manufacturer covers the transportation costs and responsibilities from the factory to the designated port, and you, the seller, cover all the transportation costs and responsibilities from that specific port to the warehouse.

Feedback. Amazon customers can leave two types of feedback: seller feedback rating your store front’s policies, warranties, and delivery efficiency, and product feedback, also called product reviews, rating the products you sell. While it’s impossible to please everyone, most sellers strive for 4+star product reviews and 99-100% seller feedback ratings. If a customer leaves negative seller feedback under product reviews, or negative product reviews under seller feedback, it’s possible to request the negative review be deleted. Helium 10’s Review Downloader software helps sellers monitor and maintain the highest product reviews.

FNSKU: Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit. Amazon identifies which inventory in its warehouses belongs to which seller using its FNSKU number. Similar to the UPC, this number is assigned by Amazon specifically to your product in order to distinguish it from the exact same product sold by another seller. For example, you may sell a product from a manufacturer, who also makes the same product for another seller. If you both sell the product on Amazon, they share the same ASIN. Since Amazon could confuse which seller to assign sales, refunds or returns to, they create unique seller-product numbers for each product to prevent issues.

Freight Forwarder. An agent that manages all the logistics of packaging and shipping your product from the manufacturer’s factory to the warehouse.

Fulfillment. The method by which a product is stored and shipped. Some sellers warehouse their own products and ship them personally (FBM) while others use Amazon's services to store and ship their private seller products (FBA). Fulfillment by Amazon means that Amazon is the seller.

Hijacker. Another Amazon seller who attempts to steal your customers through competing against you either by selling a fake or knock-off of your product or buying your product at a discount and then reselling it on Amazon too. They may even steal your images and your carefully crafted copy to scam customers into buying from them instead of from you. Registering your brand before selling on Amazon can help you get these scammers shut down by Amazon, but Helium 10’s Alert software is critical to help you catch them before they decimate your sales.

Index. In catalogs and publishing, an index is a list or database of topics or products linked to their locations. Amazon indexes keywords so that when a customer types in a search term, Amazon's search engine is able to locate relevant products and publish them on a results page for customers to see. In order for a product to appear in search results for a searched word or phrase, the product must be indexed by Amazon for that word or phrase. Ways that sellers try to get words for their products indexed is by including them in product titles, bullet points and descriptions, as well as in the product's backend data. Products also get indexed for words through PPC.

Keywords vs. search terms. Keywords are chosen and linked to a product by you, the seller, while search terms are the words customers use to find products. Helium 10’s tools Magnet, Cerebro, Scribbles, Frankenstein, Misspellinator and Keyword Tracker work in conjunction to help you find the most effective match between the two categories of words.

Landing costs. After a factory makes a product, it must be delivered to a warehouse for direct distribution to individual customers. The Landing costs include all the expenses after production including shipping, customs fees, and taxes. Helium 10’s Profitability Calculator and Profits tool help you calculate and manage the overall cost of bringing a product to market and then setting a reasonable price for it, while protecting your profits.

Launch. Refers to many aspects of introducing a new product to market, with the goal of generating strong opening sales. Includes advance advertising, coupon discounts, and other tasks to gain as much visibility as possible.

Listing. Every product sold on Amazon has its own listing page. This page includes a product title, descriptive copy, images, uses and pricing. It also includes the essential buttons: Add to Cart and Buy Now. Many of Helium 10s tools are designed specially to help you maximize all the details you put on this page, and consequently, to drive customers to purchase your product.

Long Tail Keywords. These ‘keywords’ are actually phrasing of three or more words that shoppers use in searching for a specific product. They are more unique and less commonly searched than single words or shorter phrases, but return narrower results for more specific products, which often leads to higher rates of conversion. Helium 10’s Cerebro, Keyword Tracker, Scribbles, Misspellinator and Frankenstein can help you ferret out long tail keywords to include in your backend.

LTL: Less Than Truckload. Sometimes, your product is not of high enough volume to warrant delivering a full container or truckload to the warehouse. In that situation, product is typically loaded onto pallets, stacked and wrapped in plastic to ship along with other sellers’ products.

MAP: Minimum Advertised Price. Not common with Private Label products. Many manufacturing companies that allow sales of their products through multiple retail outlets dictate a minimum price for which the products can be advertised, primarily to prevent devaluation of the products in the eyes of customers. Retailers can still sell the product for less than MAP, even at a loss, but they can’t use that discounted price to market the product.

MCF: Multi-channel Fulfillment. For a fee, Amazon’s fulfillment warehouses can store and ship your products whether they sell through Amazon, your own website, or a third-party online retailer like WooCommerce or Shopify.

Monthly Revenue. Generally, inside the Helium 10 tools, this refers to the estimated revenue over the past 30 days, at the time of the search.

Monthly Sales. Helium 10's estimated number of unit sales for a product during the past 30 days.

MOQ: Minimum Order Quantity. This number determines the smallest number of products a manufacturer will agree to make in a single order.

MSRP: Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price. MSRP is set by the company who manufactures or arranges the manufacturing of a product. Private Label Sellers can set this price, since they are the ones having the product designed and made. This price may or may not be different from the selling price. It is generally higher than a sale price, unless the product is rare and highly desired.

MWS: Amazon Marketplace Web Services. With an Amazon seller account, you can manage your Amazon inventory and create reports with MWS. If you use FBA, the system also lets you to manage inbound and outbound fulfillment orders, allowing you to let customers know when the product they ordered is expected to arrive. Helium 10’s tools deepen and enhance your MWS experience.

Organic. When a customer searches for products on Amazon, they choose their own words. Amazon tracks these words and indexes them to facilitate new customer searches. Unlike Sponsored keywords and Amazon Recommended keywords, organic keywords most closely reflect which products customers are actually searching to buy.

P-Index: Proximity Index. In the Helium 10 Tools, this refers to how similar one product is to another product in terms of keywords and the search results on Amazon. 

PPC: Pay-Per-Click. Link-based online advertising and sponsored ads, available within the Amazon platform and on social media sites like Facebook, that charge sellers a small fee every time someone clicks on their ad. This powerful type of ad is designed to lead customers directly to your product page to buy your product. Also: the name of Helium's newest tool, releasing soon.

Prep Center: Basically, prep centers are similar to freight forwarders, except they also offer ongoing storage. These service centers will store, package and ship your products for you.

Prime. An Amazon customer subscription service that provides members with access to video and book lending libraries, and to free 2-day shipping on Amazon and FBA products.

Private Label Seller. When you create and brand your own company label, arrange for the design and manufacturing of unique products, and then sell them under that label.

Profit margin. Money left over for you after paying all the costs generated in bringing a product to market. Costs include manufacturing, fees, and taxes, among other things. Maximizing the profit margin while still maintaining sales is essential to retail success. Helium 10’s Profitability Calculator helps you determine whether a product is worth selling on Amazon. Profits helps you manage and sustain your profit margins.

PST: Pacific Standard Time. Because Amazon’s headquarters are based on the U.S. West Coast, most of their data is calculated on PST. Helium 10 also uses PST in some of its operations. For example, Helium 10’s tool Follow-Up sends out your customer emails according to PST.

Referral Fee. This is a fee that Amazon charges for each product sold. Amazon collects a 15% referral fee from private sellers on most of the products it sells, but the fee can range between 6% and 45% depending on the category and product.

Removal Order. When you request return of damaged or returned products from Amazon rather than letting Amazon itself decide what to do with the unsaleable products. Also see Disposal.

Review Rating. Amazon encourages customers to return to their site after a purchase and leave a review both about the product and the seller. These reviews are considered critical to sales and search rankings within the Amazon environment. New customers consult and depend on them for recommendations. Unfortunately, poor reviews can result in fewer sales and lower ranking in Amazon's search results. The ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with a 5-star rating equating to outstanding, and a 1-star rating equating to poor.

ROI: Return on Investment. Refers to the relationship between what you’ve put into the effort vs. what you got out of it. Selling products on Amazon and running ads to drive sales means investing time and money into the process. Helium 10’s Profitability Calculator and Profits tools help anticipate and manage product ROI. Helium 10’s PPC tool helps you anticipate and manage your advertising efforts.

Short Names. In Helium 10’s Follow-Up, you can shorten the name of your product for the purpose of sending out emails to customers. Especially important for products with very long title names.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization. When you create highly specific, targeted language in association with your products to gain visibility in customer searches. Critical to your success on Amazon, which sells millions of products, good SEO also impacts search results for Internet search engines like Google. Helium 10’s product research tools and search optimization tools like Index Checker and Scribbles are designed to maximize your visibility with potential customers.

SKU: Stock Keeping Unit. The tracking code you create for your products, which then help you manage your products. Amazon will ask you for this information when you set up to sell a product on their site. When you create your codes, you should make them logical and easy to decipher, using numbers to signify brand, size, color, and manufacturer, if applicable.

Smart Complete Keyword(s). This term is part of the Magnet tool. It's refers to a keyword or key phrase listed in Amazon's index that exactly matches the word or phrase you are searching. Magnet lets you filter for Smart Complete, or exact, keyword matches.

SP, S and Sponsored: Sponsored Product. Depending on the tool, Helium 10 uses the initialisms S or SP, and the term Sponsored to tag products for which sellers are paying to promote their product on Amazon's website, therefore influencing product ranking. You may want to ignore these promoted products when you research keywords, for example, because it's impossible to know whether their sales ranking reflects the current advertising effort or their SEO.

Success Score. This score lets you approximate a numerical likelihood of success if entering the market with a specific product. Data is calculated and produced in Helium 10’s Xray tool.

Token: Professional Seller Account Access. Tokens are required for access to the data on another Amazon account. For example, sellers who subscribe to Helium 10 and want to manage their business using tools like Profits, Alerts, Follow-Up and Inventory Protector must provide a token to Helium 10 so the software can pull your specific data to analyze it.

Ungated vs. Gated Categories. Amazon restricts and prohibits you from selling in some of its product categories. All gated categories and some ungated subcategories require Amazon pre-authorization. Most sellers only sell in ungated categories to avoid the difficulty of getting access to gated categories.

UPC vs. EAN. General product barcodes, UPC in the US and EAN in most of the rest of the world. Only brand-registered or hand-made products can be sold on Amazon without these barcodes. Unlike the SKU, these codes are meant for product identification by outside entities and retailers.

UTC: Coordinated Universal Time. Also known as GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). This is global time tracking, as calculated from the observatory in Greenwich, London at midnight. The remaining time zones across the world are all calculated based on GMT, resulting in UTC. For example, PST is generally GMT – 8 hours, because much of the West Coast of North America is 8 hours behind London. UTC is used by Helium 10 to track and record the time events happening within its software.

Variation. The different colors, sizes, or patterns of a single product.

VAT: Value Added Tax. If you want to sell your products in Europe, you need to include VAT as part of your products’ listed, advertised prices. Unlike in America and Canada where tax is added to a product’s price separately, in Europe, taxes must be included as part of the retail product’s complete customer cost, even when that product is offered on discount.

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