Amazon has recently announced that it will change how your product listing will be displayed to your customers. The ecommerce giant has decided to enforce a ban on using HTML in product descriptions on Amazon.

Descriptions are an essential part of any Amazon listing. They provide a window into your product’s features and benefits and let customers know if the product is the right choice for them.

The only problem is, these descriptions can sometimes look too raw to read and instead look more like merely a blob of unformatted text. That’s where HTML tags came in in the past.

For sellers that did not have brand registry, HTML tags were a lifesaver. They spruced up boring descriptions and made the text more readable, while the bold tag made the key benefits stand out. Essentially, HTML gave sellers a chance to stand out and increase conversions with a well-structured description.

No More HTML in Amazon Product Descriptions!

Unfortunately, Amazon recently released a statement that it will no longer support HTML codes on product detail pages starting from June 8th, 2021, for the UK and July 17th, 2021, for the US.

The tech firm cited improved security and better compatibility with non-HTML devices as the main motivators behind the policy change. It instructed both FBA and FBM sellers to remove all HTML tags before the deadline to avoid any inconvenience.

Are There Any Exceptions?

Thankfully, all is not lost. According to the Amazon Product Detail Page Policies and Category Style Guide, sellers would still be able to use line break tags in their descriptions.

Which Tags Could You Use Before the Ban?

Amazon repeatedly discouraged the excessive use of HTML, DHTML, JavaScript, and other types of codes for a long time. Still many sellers used them, especially HTML tags like bold <b>, paragraph <p>, italics <i>, bullets as ordered lists <ol>, unordered lists <ul>, and line break <br> to format descriptions. However, in recent years, Amazon had switched to bold, paragraph, and line break tags exclusively, prohibiting the use of other tags.

Check out the following Amazon product description examples and how they look like with and without HTML:

Example 1 (with HTML)

descriptions with html.png

Example 2 (without HTML)

description without html.png

How Does the HTML Ban Affect Your Amazon Listing?

Amazon said that listings containing tags would either be partially removed or displayed without HTML, depending on the usage of tags. Any attempt to game the system will be fruitless as Amazon’s code editor will identify foul practices right away, showing the following error message:

Image: HTML tag error on Amazon

How Do I Change the Content on My Amazon Detail Pages?

If you have a listing with an HTML tag and want to edit it, you can do so easily by signing in to Seller Central:

  1. Go to the main dashboard, hover on the Inventory tab, and select “Manage Inventory”. Your active (and inactive) listings will appear.
  1. Choose the listing you want to change and click the Edit button on the extreme right side. This will take you to the product page.
  1. Select the description tab and make the required edits. Once done, click the Save and Finish button. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes for Amazon to verify your changes and the edits to go live.

How Do I Add Line Breaks in the Amazon Product Description?

Use the <br> tag to add line breaks in your description text. Each tag will start the corresponding sentence from a new line.

You can do this practice manually. Or, you can use one of the many HTML converters available online to format your product description. Just make sure to remove other non-permitted tags.

How to Edit Amazon Listings in Bulk

For sellers with multiple listings, editing, and removing HTML tags can be a nightmare. Luckily, Amazon allows you to edit your product listings in bulk. Here’s how to do it:

  1. From the main menu of your Seller Central, go to the Inventory tab, and select “Add products via upload”
  1. Navigate to the Download an Inventory file tab, choose your category, and download the corresponding flat file.
  1. Next, go to Inventory > Inventory Reports. In the Select Report Type box, select Inventory Report, and download the file. Open the report file and select the SKUs you want to edit. Copy them into the flat file you downloaded in step 2. Inside the flat file, navigate to the Template tab, and make your changes in the Description column. Select ‘Partial Update’ in the Update Delete column.
  1. Once you’re done editing, save the file, and proceed to upload it.

What to Do Next?

So, you’ve removed HTML tags and made the necessary changes, but your description looks a little bland. Well, now that HTML tags are banned, it’s time to go down a new road;  A+ Content (previously known as EBC or Enhanced Brand Content). This is a tool available for vendors and sellers who have Brand Registry to showcase their product with added formatting options. It allows sellers to customize Amazon product descriptions to your liking by adding images, detailed content, brand stories, and more.

Adding A+ content to your listing allows you to display your product item to your customers in a visually appealing way. This, in turn, increases your conversions and sales.

Image: A+ Content in action

Besides signing up for A+ Content, you can make sure that your listing is properly optimized for the right keywords. Both the front and backend need to be at the center of your optimization strategy. Competitor analysis and deep market research are a must. Not sure how to tackle all this? Try our Listing Optimization toolkit.

With ZonGuru’s Listing Optimization toolkit, you can find unique keywords on the go. In fact, you can even identify what keywords your competitors are getting the most traffic and sales from and then include those keywords in your listing. This works for backend search terms too.

Finally, you can put your shortlisted keywords in the Listing Optimizer tool and see how you stack up against other listings in your niche. You can also get an idea of your potential search volume and revenue. Want to give it a try and take your listing to page one today?

Sign up today and you can try it out for free for 7 days. If you don’t like it for any reason, you can simply cancel the subscription, and you won’t be charged a dime. Give it a go!

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