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.