The Definitive Amazon Seller’s Guide: Secrets to Success

2 January, 2019

Marketplaces By Laura Lane

In 2017 Amazon shipped more than 5 billion products worldwide via its Prime service alone. To put that into perspective, the global population over the same period was 7.6 billion. Since their launch to Australia, Amazon has grown its selection to almost 100 million products across 29 categories.

In the early days, some retail brands were reticent to sell on Amazon for fear of cannibalising their own sales. “Amazon: Friend or Foe?” was a common question being asked. However we’ve started to see a shift, and for many brands, Amazon has now become a critical component of successful online selling — one that requires a robust strategy to ensure you’re taking full advantage of the marketplace giant’s many options for both 1P and 3P sellers. You just need the right strategy.

From product listings to keywords, the Buy Box to Amazon Advertising, mastering Amazon isn’t straightforward. In this blog we highlight some of the key elements of success on the marketplace.

Show Up. Stand Out.

First things first, you need to be sure you’re showing up, no matter how your customers are searching; whether they are using filters, detailed searches or browsing categories. To achieve this you need to focus on winning Amazon’s trust. Nail this and you stand out to your customers. Why? Because customers already trust Amazon.

In order to do this, you need to get savvy about Amazon’s algorithm. No one knows the secret to Amazon’s Algorithm… but we do know quite a bit. To win Amazon’s trust is to win the Buy Box (and get ahead of their algorithm). A common misconception we often hear is that winning on Amazon is all about a race to the bottom on price, this isn’t true. Amazon will look at seller metrics, delivery options, customer feedback – it’s these things, along with price, that help your product show up top of the charts.

Get Savvy About Your Listings

With more than two million sellers competing on billions of items, it’s no longer enough to simply upload your product catalogue. If you’re not putting in the work to develop your strategy in each of these key areas, your competitors will. So how do you improve your product listings and make sure you’re showing up in the moments that matter?

First off, understand that shoppers have different browsing journeys.

  1. Seeking Inspiration: These shoppers probably don’t know what they want yet, and likely will use the “Shop by Department” dropdown menu to drill into specific categories as they window-shop or seek inspiration.
  2. Filter Fanatics: When shopping on Amazon, your consumers have the advantage of filtering results based on everything from Prime eligibility to product details such as colour, size or even nutrition value.
  3. Major Multitaskers: Many shoppers turn to Amazon to further explore products they might have seen in person, or on other websites. In fact, 69% of us use a smartphone and watch television simultaneously, using an average of three different screen combinations every day.
  4. Serial Searchers:  For some consumers, they know what they want but still rely on the search bar to explore products to be sure — they might use queries ranging from general (“men’s socks”) to highly specific (“Berghaus men’s socks black size large”).

In each of these buying journeys, can you be sure your products would feature front and centre?

Proofs in the Product Page

So with that in mind, what does make a good product page? It might sound simple, but there’s a lot to capture. The first aspect to focus on is your product data. It’s not just what you list but how you sell it that compels people to buy. The better the content, the more likely a listing is to rise to the top of results. Amazon wants its customers to have a smooth shopping experience, and that includes the ability to have relevant products appear with each search. This means providing enough detailed, accurate data to ensure your listings match shoppers’ keywords. When writing your product listings, think like a consumer. What are they looking for? How will they search for it?

  • Use the correct title: You don’t need to put brand in the title as there is a field for that, you do need to put the actual product. If you were searching for your product, what would you search for – put yourself in the mindset of your customers.
  • Get to the point: Make sure your information is snappy and to the point. Shoppers are in a hurry, they want to understand instantly if this is right for them. Only then will they turn to richer product descriptions when they want detail about the offering.
  • Fix Your backend: Make sure you have keywords that consumers would search for in this section, again put yourself in their mindset.
  • Be visual: Images are incredibly important. Both for reflecting your brand and informing the customer, in addition they also have a positive impact on lowering your return rates. Bonus!

Winning Prize Position

The Buy Box is easily the most prized position on Amazon, with more than 90% of Amazon conversions happening there. But while understanding and optimising for the Buy Box is crucial, there’s no easy way to beat out competitors into this coveted selling spot since Amazon doesn’t release the algorithm it uses to award it. The good news, however, is that there are a few ways to increase your chances of getting there, here are the seven golden rules for winning the Buy Box:

  1. Build your seller metrics
  2. Eliminate negative feedback
  3. Maintain competitive pricing
  4. Maintain inventory
  5. Deliver well, delivery quickly
  6. Reduce your A-Z guarantee claims
  7. Consider leveraging Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA)

Using Amazon Advertising to your Advantage

A few years ago it was enough to focus on keywords, optimised listings and good product data, and while this is all still incredibly important, it’s table stakes. The next key strategy for you to harness is advertising. It’s simple, if you are selling on Amazon you need to advertise, whether you are a major brand or a small seller. There are a variety of ads you can choose to deploy including Amazon Sponsored Products and Headline Search Ads. Each have their benefits and are key to developing an effective marketing mix.

Amazon already knows a lot about your customers, from their browsing behaviour to past purchases. When you advertise with Amazon you’re targeting consumers who are in a purchasing mindset – and you’re targeting them with intelligent options. But in order to harness the power of Amazon Advertising you need a smart strategy. For more details, download our eBook: Advertising on Amazon: Do You Know Your Brand’s Space?

Do Your Homework

Ultimately Amazon offers brands and retailers an unparalleled opportunity and whether you’re already selling on Amazon or you’re about to embark on the journey – there’s always something to be learnt and optimised.

For more tips, tricks and secrets to success, check out our eBook How Online Retailers Can Get Ahead on the Amazon Marketplace.

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