Sometimes, we have a client approach us with a task that seems daunting – like recovering a missing Amazon browse node.
Turns out, it was doable. It just took perseverance. A lot of it.
Read on to see how we got back a missing Amazon browse node for one of our clients and how you might be able to do the same.
What is an Amazon Browse Node?
Amazon browse nodes are a way for Amazon to organize and categorize its vast range of products. Put simply, they are the categories and sub-categories on Amazon.
They help customers navigate through the diverse product catalog by grouping similar items together under specific categories.
These categories are organized hierarchically, creating a structured tree-like system that starts from broader categories and narrows down to more specific ones.
Amazon describes it well on their webservices page:
“Browse nodes are related in a hierarchical structure. A browse node can be a leaf node or a branch node. A leaf node has no children nodes, but a branch node does, such as in the following example:”
A product’s main department, or category, is the root node, with the nodes branching out (branch nodes) to include more specific product options, with the leaf nodes being the final product categories.
Essentially, the root node is the department, the branch node is the category, and the leaf node is the sub-category.
What do They Look Like on a Product Page?
Like breadcrumbs on a webpage that show you the hierarchy of the site, Amazon browse nodes appear in a similar fashion, usually above the product image on the listing.
When you’re listing a product for sale on Amazon, you need to associate it with the appropriate browse nodes. This ensures that your product appears in the correct category when customers are browsing or searching for items.
They provide a structured way for customers to explore the vast Amazon product catalog and help sellers accurately categorize their products for better visibility and discoverability.
The browse node or category should also appear beneath the product details further down the page like this, under “Best Sellers Rank”.
If you do not see this on your page then you may want to investigate.
The Missing Amazon Brose Node
So, what happens when your browse node disappears?
When the browse node goes missing, customers are no longer able to find your product organically which can negatively affect sales.
In our case, our client was missing the browse node for the women’s wrap bracelet category when they reached out to us for help.
Ways to Recover a Missing Browse Node
Before opening a ticket with support in Seller Central, we had a list of possible options that we’ve used in the past to help fix the issue.
In general, seller support is pretty useless so we went through each one on the list first, but unfortunately, none of them worked. If one of your products is missing the browse node, you may want to attempt some of the following solutions we tried:
- Manually reset the category (assign the same one) through the edit product details page
- Manually change the category in the edit product details page, then change back after 24 hours
- Submit a ticket to change the category, then do it again to change back
- Flat file category change to a different category, then change back to the right category (sometimes this works)
- Title update to fix any non-TOS-compliant issues. In this case, the use of “|” in their listing titles could have been causing the suppression
- Create a temporary parent then break it (similar to resetting the category)
- Perform a redrive
- Wipe and reupload data (WARNING: Only do this if the listing is low value, this can be a high risk option.
- This is a full update of the listing but removing all the content. Wait 24 hours and then reupload content with a full update
- Wipe content and then redrive, then update again with a full update
- Communicate with Brand Registry about category change
How We Recovered the Missing Browse Node
We opened a ticket for each of the affected ASINs since it was affecting more than half of their catalog.
The initial answers we received were canned responses:
After receiving the response that the category was now correctly assigned, Amazon Selling Partner Support, would close the case and label it “solved”.
We would then re-open the case, asking why the browse node was missing, receiving the same canned answer over and over again.
Finally, once you have re-opened a ticket too many times you’re given the option to get on the phone or chat with someone from Seller Support.
The chat was the most valuable way to finally get our point across.
When the rep finally saw how many times we’d reopen the case, they looked into the issue further and found that although the category was being assigned, for some reason it wasn’t going through.
They then escalated our case to an Escalation Resolution Specialist.
This is finally where someone was able to help us.
Why We Lost the Browse Node
So where did our browse node go, and why?
The issue was that the bracelets were missing or had the incorrect department names.
In our case, the root node (or department) was assigned a value of “women’s wrap bracelet” when the correct value was “womens”. This could be because Amazon brand registry changed the general (root) category at some point or it was initially set up with SEO in mind and the entry was invalid.
Even though the correct category was being applied, because the overall department node was incorrect, the updates were being blocked.
So how do you push something through that simply isn’t working?
That’s where our lovely Escalation Resolution Specialist came in.
Since the updates couldn’t be done by that team, they had to contact the Classification Specialists in order to correctly apply the update to the department for each ASIN individually.
It took about 15 days of back and forth to finally reach someone at Amazon who understood the case and was able to help us. A long time, but eventually worth it as the client experienced their highest sales in the month that the browse nodes were restored than they had that entire year.
Have you ever lost the browse node on any of your ASINs?