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Quick tips to optimise your Amazon performance

June 13, 2012 | Posted at 6:19 am | By The ChannelAdvisor Team

At our annual Catalyst Europe conference a few weeks ago, Dan Burnham, our Head of Services for the EMEA region presented a workshop on how to optimise sales on Amazon. Dan focused on helping retailers acquire and convert new customers and his conclusion was that when it comes to Amazon, data is king! For those who couldn’t make the session, here are some of the key topics that Dan covered:

Acquisition

With intense competition on Amazon, customer acquisition is usually at the forefront of retailer’s minds. While customers do use the left navigation tool to browse products, the product search bar remains the primary method that consumers use to find products. This makes optimising your product keywords a vital activity. Amazon harvests keywords from product title, product ID, brand/designer, manufacturer and search terms.

Navigation

  • Product title; Use all of the space available to you and make sure that you include as many keywords as possible. Keep titles customer-friendly and remember that customers don’t use punctuation, caps or asterisks to search for items, so including any of these is unnecessary. The solution to finding the appropriate product title is to experiment with different combinations of keywords to identify the most successful.
  • Search terms; Amazon then allows retailers to include an additional five search terms. Take advantage of these by using all five, although take note that title, merchant and brand are automatically included so avoid repeating these in this section.
  • Search index; Price, availability, selection and sales history all influence rankings in Amazon’s search results and better selling products rise to the top. However be mindful that Amazon.co.uk continuously shuffles results to more evenly promote products.
  • Browse nodes; Browse nodes are the product codes that identify your items in a particular product category. Ensure you attribute each product to two browse nodes for maximum results.
  • Filtered navigation; This is a recent addition to Amazon that allows retailers to include detailed product descriptions such as size and colour. This makes a more consumer-friendly experience, where consumers can filter their search even further than previously possible.

All of these tips highlight the importance of data to Amazon and that the key to success on this marketplace is providing Amazon with as much information as possible.

Conversion

 After your product is found on Amazon, the next step is conversion. Take into consideration product descriptions, imagery and customer service to make an enjoyable customer experience and in turn drive conversions.

Product description

Each customer has their own buying criteria and will search for individual benefits from one product. Providing the most detailed information and description as you can gives you a better chance of capturing more consumers. However, burdening consumers with too much information can also be off-putting, stick to a maximum of 200 words for your description. Most categories also allow up to five bullet points in product descriptions, so use these to convey a high level overview of the product with the broadest appeal.

Product images

Customers are visual and rely on images when shopping online. Amazon has certain limitations when it comes to images; make sure your products are at least 500 x 500 pixels, have a white background and show the entire product while only using 80% of the image space. Avoid including watermarks, borders, URLs or your logo and do not include any text as these are not permitted by Amazon.

The Buy Box

Buy Box 1

The Buy Box is the most sought after position on Amazon, with more than 70% of Amazon sales made through this tool. Price is a major contributing factor to winning the Buy Box, so repricing tools can be a useful asset. However, seller performance, stock quantities and randomisation by Amazon also play a part in who wins the Buy Box. New sellers will often have to build up their sales history before they are considered, don’t let this be a detergent, still endeavour to perform well on price, stock levels and customer feedback as these all impact on ratings.

Analyse Performance

After all of these tips, take a step back and analyse your performance. Look over your Amazon listings with the buyer in mind, are your product listings effective, is your description compelling and your images engaging? It can be all too easy to focus on the data requirements of Amazon, but remember that by not understanding what the final listing actually looks like, you could be missing something vital.

Finally, make sure you monitor your performance… every day. The foundations of Amazon’s success are based upon excellent customer service, and retailers who do not comply with this ethos can lose out on the chance to win the Buy Box. Understand you key metrics such as Order Defect Rate, your returns process and buyer communications and deal with issues as they arise.