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Selling on Amazon? Here's How to Maximize Your Success.
If you are thinking about selling on Amazon, here are the six important things that you need in order to maximize your success and sell more on Amazon. (14 min. read)
Amazon is the world’s largest marketplace. There is little that can debate the power of Amazon to bring your products to consumers in Canada, the US, and around the world.
Here are just a few jaw-dropping Amazon statistics:
Yes, you read those correctly!
- Amazon currently owns 49% of the US E-commerce market (Statista)
- 89% of online shoppers state that they are more likely to buy from Amazon than other E-commerce sites (Feedvisor)
- There are over 2.5 million active sellers on the Amazon marketplace (Marketplacepulse)
- Amazon drove $75.5 Billion in sales revenue in the first quarter of 2020 (Amazon)
It is hard to ignore the power of Amazon to help businesses – large and small – reach customers in new and efficient ways.
However, one of the challenges of working with one of the largest marketplaces in the world is that their systems are not always user friendly, and their restrictions – which are required to manage the over 2.5 million sellers who are currently active on the Amazon marketplace – can be quite challenging for your average business to navigate.
If you are considering selling on Amazon, or if you are already selling on Amazon, here are the 6 critical areas that need to be optimized in order to maximize your chances of success in this crowded and competitive marketplace.
Amazon Keyword Research
Before you even consider drafting your first Amazon product listing, it is critical that you understand how your potential customers behave on Amazon. What keywords do they use when they are looking for particular products? Do they search for brands or features? Do they include colors and sizes in their searches?
Customers on Amazon will have a wide variety in the combination of keywords they use to find what they are looking to buy. Amazon Sellers will find it’s impossible to track down a singular search term used by customers, but there are tools to find which search terms are being used the most, and which search terms are the most effective at getting sales.
Reverse ASIN tools can find the top keywords that a customer used before clicking on a product and can even determine if that resulted in a purchase. When gathering the top keywords, it is important to pick the best of the best.
After the best keywords have been determined they can be used in product titles, descriptions, and various backend information fields to ensure that when a customer searches using those keywords, it's your product that appears in the top results. Much like Google, location matters when it comes to Amazon search results as the highest results tend to have the highest sales.
There are even tools that will check your list of keywords with the information provided on your products and determine if you are overusing or underusing keywords. Using these tools can be a complex learning experience, but the results are well worth the effort.
For example, at Marketplace Solutions, our team begins by gathering the top 5-10 keywords used within a specific industry and a specific set of products.
From there, we reverse ASIN the top 50 keywords from each of the top products and compile them into a master list.
Using a sorting system, we remove any outliers or clearly unrelated keywords, then determine the top 50 keywords from the total list of 1250-2500 keywords that have been gathered and analyzed.
Once you have identified the best keywords, you can strategically apply them to your Amazon product listings, Amazon Advertising, A+ Content, and Amazon Branded Storefronts.
Performing proper and rigorous keyword research is a critical first step to ensuring your product listings are fully optimized. In fact, it is possibly THE most important aspects of your Amazon strategy. If your keyword research is wrong, it can significantly impact the performance of even the most beautifully designed, written, and optimized Amazon listings.
Amazon Product Listing Optimization
Amazon product listings can seem like a complex and tedious process to complete, let alone optimize. Between keywords, branded search terms, descriptions, and more, it is hard to find a balance that is short and sweet but still does your product and your brand justice. Not to mention creating eye-catching images that still follow Amazon regulations.
When listing your products on Amazon, one of the most important things is gathering keyword research to find out what potential buyers are searching on Amazon to find products like yours. Although we have noted some of the tools that can help you find the keywords, the next question is… What do you do with them?
Our team of experts have been using these tools for years, so we understand the complicated process quite well.
Once you have found the optimal keywords, you can begin using them to craft all the other components of your product listings.
When writing the description, bullet points and title for your product, it is important that they stand out from the competition and help sell the product. But it is equally important to take advantage of Amazon’s search engine we make sure to properly incorporate popular search terms and the keywords gathered.
If you can double or triple your Amazon listing’s traffic, the result is exponential growth in how much you are selling on Amazon.
Keyword density is only part of the equation. It is also critical to catch the buyer’s attention and frame your product as the best solution to whatever problem they are trying to solve.
Our team is very experienced at highlighting products’ features and specifications within Amazon’s listing restrictions, and here are some of the lessons we have learned.
Once the descriptions, titles and bullet points are complete, make sure to fill in any of the additional information or fields that apply to your product. This can include weight, dimensions, whether batteries are required or included, etc.
A complete Amazon product listing is much more likely to rank higher in the results page than one that has missing fields, so make sure Amazon – and your potential customers - receive all the information they need.
When it comes to the eye-catching design aspects of a product listing, Amazon’s specifications may seem limiting. However, our team has found ways to present the varied product features in a compact space without looking cluttered.
For example, to ensure mobile friendliness, we typically present a variety of images that are still branded by your company.
By presenting a mix of lifestyle photos, and product details shots you can ensure that anybody browsing their phones can find all the information they need by simply browsing the pictures provided. This optimizes your product listings for mobile, where a large portion of Amazon’s buyers are.
These initial steps bring the product page to life on Amazon, however there are further steps to be taken to improve your product listing’s health. This includes Amazon Brand Registry, A+ Content and Amazon Storefronts. Together they give your brand and products more freedom and creativity on Amazon and open a mix of security modules and additional media modules.
Amazon Brand Registry
We begin these additional steps with Amazon Brand Registry, as it is necessary for A+ Content and Amazon Storefronts.
If you are selling a proprietary, branded, and trademarked product on Amazon and you have not yet registered your brand with the Amazon Brand Registry, you’ve made one of the first (and, sadly, most common) mistakes when it comes to selling on Amazon.
Amazon Brand Registry is a system that allows manufacturers and licensers of branded products take steps to build out the content, as well as the security of their listings.
This system lets Amazon know that a seller is in fact the rightful owner or licenser of a specific trademark, and therefore grants a wider assortment of tools to the Amazon Seller for that brand. These tools include but are not limited to: A+ Content (previously Enhanced Brand Content), Amazon Storefronts, and protection from resellers. Amazon Brand Registry also helps ease communications with Amazon, as they know a Seller and the information provided is legitimate.
To complete ABS you must have a trademark registered for your brand, or permission to use a licensed brand of your products. You apply using this trademark information and confirm your involvement with the brand. Once Amazon recognizes you as the brand owner or licenser, they give you access to security features to protect your brand.
When sellers begin on Amazon, a common issue that they run into is resellers. These resellers find deals on the products being sold on Amazon and list them through their own account. This process splits the customers and sales between the two sellers, and can even influence the product descriptions, bullet points, and images used on the product page.
In the case of an Amazon Seller that has not completed the Brand Registry, any of the inputs they make to their product listing from the Amazon backend are registered as, “suggestions” to be made to the page.
These suggestions are taken from EACH seller that has listed that specific SKU and chosen by the Amazon algorithm. This can lead to lackluster information provided from other sellers being displayed to the customers. Upon completion of Amazon Brand Registry, a seller can choose to become the sole seller of their branded SKUs, and any information they provide to the listing will be taken as a priority by the Amazon algorithm.
Amazon Brand Registry also helps you expand your branded content on Amazon, ranging from A+ Content to Amazon Storefronts. A+ Content is an additional fully customizable section of your product pages that is dedicated to showcasing your product with your own images, videos, and captions.
This part of the page helps you highlight the key features of your product, display any variations, compare it with similar products, and more. Amazon Storefronts is a module that allows you to build multiple branded pages for your products and various collections, right on Amazon! These pages are composed of any images, videos, or descriptions you choose to give your products, all with an editable layout and swappable components to best fit your brand! This storefront is accessed by clicking the “Brand” button underneath the product’s title on its product page. Together, A+ Content and Amazon Storefront display and protect your brand’s identity on Amazon by ensuring any information customers see on your pages comes directly from you!
An additional benefit gained from Amazon Brand Registry is the ease of communication between a Seller and the Amazon support team. Once the registration has been complete, Amazon support will see that you are the manufacturer (or valid licensor) of the products you have listed and will be more amiable to your requests regarding your products.
Once the Amazon Brand Registry process is complete, it is time to start working on some well-designed and optimized A+ Content to help bring your content to life!
Amazon A+ Content (formerly known as Enhanced Brand Content) is a useful tool that helps proactive sellers on Amazon display their products and brand to customers. Basically, A+ Content allows registered brand owners to take their product pages to the next level.
Instead of sticking to the basic product pages that are commonly used on Amazon, you can insert eye-catching customized A+ Content, such as images, videos, banners, and more, that help showcase your product to potential buyers and help explain why they should be investing in your products.
A+ Content is a system of modules that allow sellers to create a customized section of their product listings that is full of content which will showcase the various attributes of your product and brand.
By building out the A+ Content of each of your products you are taking the opportunity to make the most of every page you have on Amazon.
This additional content ranges from images, to videos, to written content. All of this helps customers check out product specifications, buying options, compare products and their attributes, and more! You can even use part of your A+ Content to direct buyers towards some of your other products or your Amazon Storefront, where they can look at your entire Amazon catalog.
On top of making sure that your product pages have outstanding branding and visuals, developing A+ Content is important to ensuring your products reach the front page of their search results. Product pages that contain A+ Content are preferred by Amazon’s search engine, the tool responsible for your product’s placement on the search result pages.
Along with proper keyword and search term research, A+ Content is an indispensable tool to bring your items closer to the top.
When developing A+ Content for your business, make sure to keep your Amazon selling goals in mind. That way, you can make sure to make the most of every image slot and character limit.
You will also want to make sure that you are creating A+ Content in tandem with your Amazon Storefront to ensure consistency, and - wherever possible - will refer customers to your brand and other products on Amazon. These two systems together will help push customers to your pages, increase conversion rates on each of your listings, and will help distinguish your brand and its presence on Amazon!
When selling on Amazon, there is a concern that your products and brand will get lost among the hordes of other companies and products pushing for the top results.
With product pages requiring strict guidelines and seemingly infinite competition, it comes as no surprise that sellers are worried about distinguishing their brand on this platform.
However, since Amazon introduced Storefronts, a system that allows Amazon Sellers to build out a customized set of pages, it made showcasing your brand and all your products much easier!
Amazon Storefronts is a module that gives Amazon Sellers the opportunity to build out customized pages using sets of images, videos and more to reflect your brand’s aesthetic.
The option of building multiple pages that intertwine helps create a miniature online website on Amazon that has made just for your business! These different pages can contain collections of products, new or featured products, or tell your brand story in a unique and compelling way.
Building out an Amazon Storefront is an important step in protecting your brand’s identity on Amazon.
When reviewing your products, customers have the option of clicking on your item’s “Brand”. When this link is clicked without any Amazon Storefront built, the customers are simply sent to a search page containing your brand name as the search term.
The unfortunate part is that the results on this page are in no way limited to just your products. Any product with keywords that closely match your brand term could end up being displayed on this page, and your customers could potentially be directed to your competitor’s products and not even realize it.
When you have a built-out Amazon Storefront, this link will instead lead to the branded homepage of your Amazon Storefront, full of just your products.
As important as this step is, you cannot simply skip to the Amazon Storefront setup step, as those who are selling on Amazon must meet certain eligibility requirements before they can take advantage of Amazon Storefronts. These include:
- Complete the Amazon Brand Registry process
- An Amazon Seller account in good standing
- Optimized product listings with a listing health score within acceptable limits
Once you have met those requirements, the process begins by determining your product collections, your top and bottom performing products, and any products that you want featured.
It is important to organize all these products into their respective categories and begin sorting how you want them to appear on your pages.
For example, some brands may want to showcase their top performing products and make sure that they are placed in the highlight section, whereas other companies may want to focus some attention on slower sellers or new products.
All of this should be kept in mind while creating your Amazon Branded Store homepage.
Once your homepage’s layout is complete, it is time to plan out the next several pages. These are most often product collections pages. For instance, PerfectSense, a sleep solutions client, needed a collection page for their various mattresses, one for their selection of pillows, another for bed sheets, and so on.
When building out pages for your different collections, you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to find exactly what they’re looking for, as well as give them the chance to see what other products you have to offer. You would be amazed how often branded storefronts lead to a multiple-product purchase, which is far harder to achieve with stand-alone product listings.
Once the content structure has been planned, it is time to create attention grabbing, on brand, and informative visuals. These can range from videos to images that highlight product features to the solutions they provide to a particular problem.
They are meant to showcase not only why your customers need your product, but also why they need yours specifically. You want to show exactly what it is that makes your brand special.
Amazon Storefronts are a fantastic tool that Amazon Sellers should be taking advantage of to carve their own space in the Amazon Marketplace. They provide a universal page for your customers to go to for all your products.
A completed and functioning Amazon Storefront attaches a level of success and professionalism to your Amazon Listings, instilling more faith in your audience in your products. The system is especially effective when built in tandem with the A+ Content system.
Advertising & Promotions
Amazon is a multibillion-dollar marketplace hosting millions of products from millions of sellers. Among these products, customers are searching for the product that gives them the best bang for their buck.
Many customers do not just want nice images and a wall of text; they want to see a sale! For Amazon Sellers to appeal to these customers, they need to ensure that when a customer looks at their product, they see a good price.
More importantly, however, an Amazon Seller needs to make sure their products are being seen! With so many other competitors battling to take the top spots on the “Search Results” page, it's important to know the tools at your disposal to get your products in front of a customer, and how to get them to the checkout page.
Amazon Advertising is one of the easiest methods to get your products to the top of the results when a customer searches for your product. One method of Amazon Advertising gives Sellers the opportunity to “bid” on keywords and search terms used by customers. The advertisers with the highest bids will have their products fill the place of up to the first four results on the “Search Results” page and are highlighted as “Sponsored Products.”
When executed properly, this can help make sure that potential customers will see your products when searching for something related to it. It is also extremely helpful when launching new products into the Amazon marketplace as it can drive valuable visits to your product listing while you wait for the organic optimization process to gain traction.
The other method of Amazon Advertising is to market your brand itself. Using a similar system as the products, Amazon Sellers bid on search terms in the hopes filling in designated spots on a “Search Results” page with their custom image. This advertising would lead to the (if built and managed) Amazon Storefront page controlled by the Seller. The process is remarkably similar to sponsored products but would be best used to focus on your core, more generic keywords, your brand terms, and your competitive terms.
For example, Men’s Tennis Shoes could showcase one of your bestselling pairs of Men’s Tennis Shoes as a sponsored listing but a “Men’s Shoes” graphic that links to your Storefront’s Men’s Shoes category page for the more general search term.
Of course, effective Amazon PPC advertising relies – once again – on the first step in this process. After all, when running an Amazon Advertising campaign, it is just as important to understand how keywords and search terms are gathered on Amazon as it is when building your listings, A+ content, or Branded Storefront content.
By using hand-picked keywords based on your own brand, products, and Amazon marketing strategy, you can avoid the generic keywords used by Amazon’s automated system, which can quickly and easily waste money on unfruitful searches. You want to make sure that EVERY keyword and search term that you spend your money on is one that will get you results.
In combination with Amazon Advertising, there are also several Promotion systems in place to create a sense of urgency around your products.
These promotion systems include Deals (Lightning & 7-Day Deals), Coupons, and Situational Discounts. Using a combination of these systems can help convince a customer not to wait to purchase your product, for fear that they may miss out on a great deal.
Amazon Coupon Promotions
Coupons are displayed underneath the Product title and price in the search results and on the respective product’s page. They keep track of all the customers who “clipped” them, and how many checked out their item with the coupon applied. This information helps you see how popular these deals are, and how effective.
And, of course, you can limit the number of coupons that are available to be redeemed to limit your exposure if you want to test different promotions.
Amazon Deal Promotions
“Deals” are your typical sale that knocks off a portion of the cost of products for a limited duration of time. Any products that have a deal applied to them are placed within Amazon’s various “Deals” pages and will gather traffic from those sources alone.
These deals are displayed on the product price, and shows the original cost, the current cost, and how long it will last. On Amazon, deals can come in one of two forms: Lightning Deals and 7-Day Deals.
Lightning Deals are sudden surge deals that last up to six hours. Customers are given notice of the Lightning Deal up to 24 hours beforehand and can choose to be notified when the deal goes live.
Lightning Deals are less common than 7-Day Deals and have a prime spot on Amazon’s homepage.
7-Day Deals are self-explanatory: they are a deal that last a total of seven days, beginning on Monday and ending on the following Sunday. These deals still have a place on the Amazon homepage but are less of a priority than Lightning Deals. Both must be submitted by the Amazon Seller prior to when they go live.
It is important to note that Amazon does enforce some strict eligibility requirements their deals, for the benefit of its sellers and its buyers. For example, products are only eligible to be considered for a lightning deal if all the following conditions are met:
- The product must have a review rating of 3 stars or above
- The product must be Prime eligible by enrollment in the Fulfilled by Amazon or Merchant-Fulfilled Prime program.
- The product must be within what Amazon considers to be an “Appropriate Category” for lightning deal products
The last form of promotion on Amazon is to create conditional deals on select products. These deals are typically threshold based, including Free Shipping once they reach a certain dollar amount, buy one, get another at a discount, or buy Product A and receive a discount if you buy Product B”, and so on.
For example, if an Amazon Seller were to list a pillow, they could attach a deal that appears when a customer adds that item to cart. The deal could be on another pillow, a pillowcase, etc.
But probably the most common type of conditional sale is the "Subscribe and Save" where a reduced price is offered on the initial purchase when the customer signs up for a recurring delivery of the same product.
These promotions are applied in combination with other deals listed on these products, so it is important to keep all other discounts in mind when determining the amount for each of them.
Ready to Start Selling More on Amazon?
Whether you are new to Amazon, or have been trying to maximize your Amazon sales, Marketplace Solutions can help you find the right keywords, optimize your product listings, develop you’re A+ Content and Branded Storefront Designs, register your brand with Amazon’s Brand Registry, and tap into the powerful advertising and promotional opportunities.
At Marketplace Solutions, our team understands the complexities of the Amazon marketplace and can help you take advantage of this powerful e-commerce giant. Let us help you get your products selling on the front page of Amazon!