Premium A+ Modules and Mobile Display: Part 4

Selecting a feature displays the tooltip explainer at the top of the table.

This week, we’ve been looking into examples of the new Premium A+ Modules on Amazon.com. We’ve been comparing their desktop and mobile versions, and trying to understand what their potential impact will be in the Amazon EU locales. Today, we’re going to be looking at a few of the other modules on offer in the EU. We’ll be highlighting what features might be available and how they display on mobile devices.

Samsung UN65KS9500 Curved 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV

 

Module 6: Comparison Table A

Desktop

 

Of all the new comparison tables launched, this one is the most similar to the current comparison table standard. It expands upon the original by allowing up to 7 products and 12 features, utilising a horizontal scroll to allow for easy comparison with the current product.

However, some vendors may find this version to be less flexible than the original. Every section comes with an associated character limit, with each feature and detail only allowing 30 characters.. This might hamper those who wish to include features with lengthy technical names. There’s also a hard lower limit of 4 products and 5 features. This seems specifically designed to prevent some of the more creative uses of comparison tables we’ve seen in the past.

 

The “Shop” buttons link to Amazon search queries, surfacing a list of multiple products with a single click

OtterBox DEFENDER iPhone 6/6s Case

 

Module 5: Carousel

 

We wanted to highlight this specific module because of the buttons that are included at the bottom of each image: “Shop Samsung”, “Shop Apple”, etc.

These link through to an Amazon search query, allowing the vendor to drive traffic to either a curated list of products, or organic search results regulated by a set of filters. A+ links have previously been restricted to single ASIN detail pages, so this is an interesting example. Hopefully this may herald a partial relaxation of those restrictions.

Premium A+ Modules and Mobile Display: Part 3

How the Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Premium A+ displays on a desktop

In our previous posts, we’ve been looking at how the new Amazon.com Premium A+ Modules display on both desktop and mobile platforms, to try to understand what this will mean for the Amazon EU locales when these new features are widely rolled out to all vendors/countries. In this small study, we’re going to be looking at the content displayed on the popular Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) high-end headphones.

Module 5: Full Background Image with Text

Very similar to Module 1 both on desktop and mobile, but without the image-distortion issue.

Module 6: Banner

 

Desktop

This one is a little different. Essentially, it’s just a Banner image (with the content left-aligned), and a textbox overlaid on the right. Unlike the previous banners, this one only features a header in a narrower area, and the image is 700px high.

Mobile

Bit of an odd choice display choice with this one. The text is presented above the image, in a different font and centre aligned. This gives it the effect of looking out-of-place when compared to the other elements on the pages. This is further reinforced as both this and Module 5 have a white background, in contrast to the others.

It’s worth noting that this module is another that does not directly align with the current EU Premium A+ Module portfolio. It’s possible that this may have been a test, or maybe something that will be available at a later date.

 

Module 7 – the comparison table is a great adaptation of the desktop version to fit a mobile screen

Module 7: Comparison Table C

 

Desktop

This is the one of the three new Premium A+ implementations of the comparison table. It’s much more graphical and less cluttered than the previous incarnation. The trade-off is that it only allows a customer to compare the current product with a single alternative at a time, rather than being able to see a whole upsell range at a glance.

Mobile

Of all the mobile implementations, this is the one that makes the most sense. Changes in the layout have been made, most notably that you can only see the features for one product at a time. But the way it’s been done is stylistically consistent with both the desktop layout and the other mobile modules. It’s clear and easy to understand, and seems to load/perform very smoothly.

Premium A+ Modules and Mobile Display: Part 2

In our previous post, we started to look at how the new Amazon.com Premium A+ Modules display on both desktop and mobile platforms, to try to understand what this will mean for the Amazon EU locales when these new features are widely rolled out to all vendors/countries.

Module 3 – this module is wider than the others when displayed on a mobile device.

Amazon.com Premium A+

Premium A+ pages, much like most new elements launched by Amazon, came to their US markets before their European launch, starting last year. Although not in widespread use, we’ve seen them appear on many high-profile products from larger vendors, and are distinct from the custom detail pages that Amazon had previously offered at the highest tier. In this small study, we’re going to be looking at the content displayed on the popular Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) high-end headphones.

Module 3: Image Carousel

 

Desktop

Simple landscape image carousel with arrows either side to scroll. This example shows 4 images in total and all are sized to fit with the 1464 x 600 px standard set by the first module. These images are very wide, so there’s now a need to have multiple assets that either are or can be appropriately cropped to fit that display ratio.

Mobile

From what we’ve seen, the alignment of the mobile version of this gallery is a little off. It’s wider than the preceding modules, so it sticks out like a sore thumb. Much like the banner, the images themselves show more height than is displayed in desktop mode, but have been narrowed. Thankfully, unlike the banner, these images aren’t distorted.

This may play into why this version doesn’t seem to be included in the current collection of Premium A+ modules. At the moment in the EU, only a standard carousel is available, and that requires narrower images to be uploaded separately for mobile. It’s possible that this example is either a test or a module that has been depreciated before the EU launch.

 

Module 4: Hotspots A

 

Module 4 – the text box and imagery fails to highlight the product features in an attractive way

Desktop

An image map, with five animated hotspots highlighting product features and displaying relevant text when the cursor moves over them.

Mobile

Without the screen space to allow users to easily select the highlight points on the image, implementing this kind of image map in mobile was always going to be challenging. The solution they’ve settled on is to surface the content is an auto-carousel. This displays five images of the product, each one overlaid with one of the feature paragraphs from the original image map.

There’s a few problems with this. Firstly, the auto-carousel seems to begin when the element loads, which means it’s possible for the animation to end before the user gets to view it. A minor issue, but its compounded by the lack of any visual UI elements to make the user aware that this element can be scrolled horizontally back and forth. Add in the fact that a user scrolling down the page can stop the auto-carousel with accidental finger placement, and there is a risk that many customers will miss out on seeing all but one of these features.

Although there are five features to display, this element only shows 3 (very similar) images that don’t do a good job of highlighting the product benefits. It seems like additional images for the mobile version of an image map are a requirement, and for this product they were lacking.

 

Join us tomorrow when we’ll continue our study of the new Premium A+ modules on Amazon.com.

 

Premium A+ Modules and Mobile Display: Part 1

Bose video on Amazon.com

How the Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Premium A+ displays on a desktop

If you’ve been following the story of enhanced content on Amazon websites, you’ll know that the previous A+ experience on mobile devices was mixed at best. Some modules would not display properly, some didn’t display at all, and others simply reverted to a plain text layout that fully removed any enhanced content elements. For a time, it was clear to see that A+ was very much optimised for desktop display.

 

With the launch of A+ 2.1, this has become less of an issue. Mobile continues to be a large segment of the visitors to Amazon website, both for product information/comparison and, increasingly, for purchasing.

So, with the advent of a new set of Premium A+ Modules upon us, we thought we would take this opportunity to have a look at their current browser implementation on Amazon.com.

Amazon.com Premium A+

Premium A+ pages, much like most new elements launched by Amazon, came to their US markets before their European launch, starting last year. Although not in widespread use, we’ve seen them appear on many high-profile products from larger vendors, and are distinct from the custom detail pages that Amazon had previously offered at the highest tier. In this small study, we’re going to be looking at the content displayed on the popular Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) high-end headphones.

 

Module 1: Full Background Image with Text

 

Desktop

Module 1 – the image appears to have been distorted to fit the slot.

Much like the current banner modules, this is an image with text layer over the top for Header/Sub-header. With the new premium modules there is now more of everything – the image is optimised for a 1500px display width, is twice as deep as previous banners, and accommodates longer titles in larger type, with a separate line for the product title itself.

 

Mobile

The image has been cropped differently to accommodate portrait scrolling, so it is narrower and deeper, showing more of the image in the vertical. For this, like many of the Premium A+ modules, Amazon requires a separate image to be submitted for both the desktop and mobile, which is disappointing. On a number of modules the system is able to re-purpose desktop images for use on mobile, but the sheer width of this original image doesn’t lend itself to mobile without a drastic crop.  Sadly, this particular  example gone slightly awry in the mobile display, with the image here being stretched in the vertical/squeezed in the horizontal. It’s very possible during the construction of this page, either the required assets weren’t provided, or the decision was made to manipulate the image to ensure the entirety of the model’s torso was in shot.

 

Module 2:  Full Video

 

Desktop

A HTML 5 video player, featuring a full width slate image and large play button. Once started the video plays with a similar quality to other videos on Amazon.com, and there’s an option to go full screen. In this instance it’s a repeat of video content from the top of the pages, but now with a more noticeable placement.

Mobile

The implementation seems very similar, and seamlessly follows on from the previous module. The slate image is narrower, but the large play button is unambiguous. When launched, the video goes straight to a full-screen mode, but it’s possible to come back out of this and leave the video to play in a small frame on the detail page itself.

 

Join us tomorrow when we’ll continue our study of the new Premium A+ modules on Amazon.com.

 

New Year, New A+?

New A+: As of 1/1/2018, Basic A+ is now free for all Vendors on an unlimited basis. This will be reflected as $0.00 during Checkout. Check out our new Premium A+ modules! Showcase your product by adding video content, larger images, more comprehensive comparison charts, interactive displays, and more! Simply click on Premium Modules to start building.

This message has appeared in Vendor Central ES, IT, FR, DE and IT.

Happy 2018 to all of our clients and readers! Along with the usual glad tidings of the New Year, we bring you news of something far more important–the (possible) imminent launch of new A+ modules in Vendor Central.

Many of you may have noticed the following message appearing across the Amazon EU VC locales (except the UK):

As of 1/1/2018, Basic A+ is now free for all Vendors on an unlimited basis. This will be reflected as $0.00 during Checkout.
Check out our new Premium A+ modules! Showcase your product by adding video content, larger images, more comprehensive comparison charts, interactive displays, and more! Simply click on Premium Modules to start building.

Free Basic A+

Firstly, the reduction in price for Basic A+ is a bold move for Amazon. We obviously don’t know what’s driving this decision, but the substantial cost of A+ content has previously limited it to only medium-to-large vendors. Even then it is often used sparingly, or provided as part of a promotional agreement. By removing this cost completely, it’s possible that Amazon have either significantly lowered the cost to them of uploading A+, wish to drive greater volume of rich content, or both.

Bose video on Amazon.com

With key products and brands, such as Bose, Amazon has shown us what the Detail Page is capable of.

New A+ and Premium Modules

We’ve been expecting the launch of new A+ modules for some time. Premium pages for high-value vendors and products have shown us what Amazon’s capable of putting on a Detail Page. There have also been multiple occasions where we’ve seen references to Premium Modules appear in VC before being swiftly removed. It’s been a number of years since the last A+ refresh, so we’re excited at the prospect of what’s in store.

However, like many of the VC improvements we talk about here, the changes are not immediately obvious.

Gradual Roll-out?

Since the message first went live, we’ve been checking Vendor Central constantly. So far, we’ve not found any of the changes referred to in the message. Pricing, for the moment, seems to be the same as before, with the standard charge applying to all basic A+ pages. There’s also no sign of any Premium Modules when building A+. The only options that appear are the Standard Modules, with their familiar canine themes.

It’s possible that these changes are being gradually rolled out across Amazon’s Vendor user base. There have been problems with previous launches on this platform, so it would make sense that this might be a slow reveal rather than a widespread launch. However, it does seem strange that the message talking about these 2018 changes has gone live to all users, and it seems fairly unambiguous that the changes have happened as of 1/1/2018.

As always, we’ll keep you informed of any developments as we see them.