What Happens to an Editorial Recommendation When an Item is Out of Stock?

Editorial Recommendations have changed the way people find out about different products when they search for information while shopping online. Amazon has become perhaps the leading online retailer, and the Amazon Associates Program and its Editorial Recommendations have paved the way for many people to get in the game with these reviews, both onsite and on their own pages. However, there are many things people may wonder about when it comes to this program, especially considering the unique nature of the way the program itself operates.

With this program, publishers write about and review various products within Editorial Recommendations. The products themselves are listed in the article and links are included. Among the many notable things about the Amazon Associates Program is readers are then able to click on the links included in the Editorial Recommendations, which then takes them to a page where they can purchase the item. When individuals make purchases by following the links within reviews, publishers receive revenue through the program. 

However, links at Amazon are always changing. Among the many potential issues is items can go out of stock at any given time. In this case, individuals may follow a link from an Editorial Recommendation only to find they cannot purchase the item. In a worst-case scenario, an individual may follow a link only to find the page is no longer there and the link is broken. This can be an even bigger issue and one a publisher may want to resolve immediately once they have noticed it. Here, we will discuss the issues publishers face with broken links and why they are such a big problem with the Amazon Associates Program.

Out of Stock Items Do Not Deliver Revenue

It’s important for any publisher interested in working with the Amazon Associates Program to understand how the site identifies and views Editorial Recommendations. These articles are still a relatively new part of the Amazon ecosystem. One of the interesting factors to note when it comes to Editorial Recommendations is they appear on the search engine results page, and because of this, they do take up valuable space where other important items appear. 

Among the other things to appear on the search engine results page are organic search engine results listings. These links appear naturally when customers conduct searches, and feature the most relevant items depending on what it is customers are looking for. Other items to appear on the search engine results page include paid posts. While these make money for Amazon and drive customers to certain items on the site, they are still not the biggest moneymaker for the site, which is why they are still not the biggest competitor for Editorial Recommendations. However, because they are a moneymaker, it is still important for the site to ensure its Editorial Recommendations are profitable and to guarantee they are boosting those Editorial Recommendations making them the most money. 

Other important items to appear are video guides, sponsored listings, and various other things. It is also vital for any publisher working with Editorial Recommendations to note they will be competing with other publishers for space on the search engine results page. There are now far more publishers working in this program than ever before so it is important to do everything you can to ensure you are crafting articles able to perform well in the Amazon marketplace. 

Bearing all this in mind, any publisher needs to remember the main goal of their Editorial Recommendations – to drive revenue into Amazon. This means they need to be able to ensure their articles are getting as many sales as possible. Editorial Recommendations mentioning out of stock items, especially within the first three positions, are far less likely to get sales than any competing posts. This should impress upon any publisher the importance of checking in on their articles to ensure the items in their posts are fresh and up to date at all times. 

It is also important to note if they are not checking on their articles, Amazon is likely to be doing the job for them. Amazon does A/B testing on Editorial Recommendations over time, and if an article is underperforming, they will demote the article. This is bad news for any publisher, as if an article continues to drop and fewer people see the article, it will eventually cease to be rendered altogether. When this occurs, it can potentially be delisted. 

In-Stock Child ASINs Can Save an ER in the Short Term

All this leads to a few important questions. For example, what can a publisher do to protect their Editorial Recommendations once they note an issue with one of their links? Perhaps one of the first steps a publisher can take is to realize they are not in immediate danger even if a link is out of stock. While a child ASIN may be out of stock, if other variations are still available, it may be possible for the link to continue working for the item, at least in the short term. For example, if you have linked to a black t-shirt in an Editorial Recommendation and the black color is out of stock, but various other colors are still available, it may be possible for the links to survive due to shoppers making purchases of other colors. 

However, it is not enough to rely on this to ensure your Editorial Recommendations continue to work for you. This is only a short-term solution. It is still vital to monitor the links within Editorial Recommendations and identify out of stock items when they arise. Once an out of stock item has been identified, publishers should keep an eye on those items. The Editorial Recommendation can survive in the short term while you work on a solution, but it is still important to be proactive and replace the out of stock ASIN with a child ASIN wherever possible. In cases when this is not possible, it will be necessary to find another solution. 

Updated Articles Can Maintain Their Share of Voice

Publishers working on Editorial Recommendations should always note their Editorial Recommendations can maintain their share of voice on valuable keyword searches and do not have to lose out. However, for this to be the case, they always need to be on top of their game to ensure the items in their Editorial Recommendations are kept up to date at all times. This can be a challenging task, especially for a publisher with a large number of Editorial Recommendations. 

Publishers need to constantly and consistently monitor their Editorial Recommendations and the links within them. This includes monitoring the ASINs mentioned within their Editorial Recommendations for stockouts and, when those items do go out of stock, being proactive when it comes to changing the links. While it can sometimes be okay for an item to be out of stock for a short amount of time if there are other available items associated with it, such as another version in a different color, another size, or a two-pack of the item, this is only a minor solution and by no means a permanent solution. The link will still need to be replaced to ensure revenue does not drop from the Editorial Recommendation too much and to ensure the Editorial Recommendation does not begin to stop being shown to consumers as they search on Amazon.

This is an especially important issue this year. More customers than ever are doing their shopping online with the issues affecting people across the globe, and because of this it is becoming more common than ever for items to go out of stock regularly. Most publishers posting Editorial Recommendations should expect all of their articles to be affected at some point, which means publishers should be more vigilant than ever when it comes to monitoring their articles and ensuring their links are up to date at all times. 

An item being out of stock can certainly have a large impact on what can happen to an Editorial Recommendation. Fortunately, a publisher can remedy the situation with just a few simple steps. More important than anything else is for a publisher to come up with a system to enable them to keep track of their Editorial Recommendations and make sure they are able to keep up with the links within those articles. 

Both old and new Editorial Recommendations alike can be affected by an item within a link going out of stock as well, so this is another important detail to consider. By keeping all of this in mind, a publisher can take another step toward success when it comes to working with the Amazon Associate Program and making sure they are an authoritative voice within that program. 

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