The 2018 holiday shopping season will set e-commerce records. It’s inevitable.
The headlines follow the same pattern every year — more mobile usage, more dollars spent, more revenue — but it’s especially true on Amazon. Each year, more consumers continue to flock to the marketplace giant, more households sign up for Prime memberships, and more money is spent to target the 310 million active users (and growing).
Last December, in fact, Amazon captured 41% of all online sales, according to Slice Intelligence.
Are your Amazon strategies set to tap into the massive potential holiday revenue this year and beyond? For brands and retailers, simply listing your products on Amazon isn’t enough. Sustained Amazon success means keeping your products and your brand one step ahead of your competitors’.
Below are three strategies we see online sellers use to find success on Amazon:
1. Optimize Your Search Terms and Listings
Before consumers can buy your products, they have to find them in the Amazon search results. Deliberate, detailed and accurate product data can help ensure that happens.
When writing your product listings, put yourself in the minds of consumers. What are they looking for, and how are they going to search for it? Several best practices can help in identifying the ideal mix of keyword combinations:
- Research — Start by doing a search for a similar product to see what listings come up high in the rankings, and to find words you may not be using already.
- Stick to Amazon’s 60-character limit for product titles — Use only highly relevant, accurate keywords that help describe your brand, product name, key features, colors, sizes and quantity.
- Don’t focus on repeating title keywords in your description — Amazon already factors those into search results.
- Only use terms that describe your specific product — Amazon doesn’t permit third-party brands or trademarks as search terms.
- Use hidden keywords, where appropriate — The optional hidden key field is an opportunity to use synonyms, acronyms, abbreviations and other alternatives that consumers may be using to find your products.
More than half (56%) of online shoppers start their product searches on Amazon. It’s the primary method used by consumers to locate items, so the more you match your listings to their search preferences, the greater your chances of success.
2. Maximize Advertising Opportunities
If you really want to boost your visibility and increase sales, Amazon advertising is a must. But this is one marketplace where a simple manual campaign isn’t likely to cut it. Successful sellers know to look beyond the basics of keyword selection to create a truly strong strategy — one that’s virtually guaranteed to get your products in front of the right people at the right times.
Successful sellers tend to take advantage of multiple ad types, including:
- Sponsored Products, which can be used to promote individual listings. Keyword-driven Sponsored Products appear alongside organic search results, and are ideal when the goal is to get high-quality clicks from consumers who are actively seeking out the products you sell.
- Headline Search Ads, which can be a great way to reach consumers who are browsing but don’t yet know what they want to buy. These banner ads appear on top of search results pages to make people more aware of different choices as they peruse categories and listings.
- Amazon Coupons lets you create compelling promotions in the form of special offers for purchase-ready shoppers. This self-service tool can be used to provide percentage-based or set dollar amount discounts, and can even be targeted to select customer segments.
Having a mix of Amazon ads will help ensure your products are seen by different consumers at various stages — whether they’re simply browsing or are ready to “buy now.”
3. Add A+ Content
Once available on a tiered (and often expensive) pricing system, adding Amazon A+ content is now free and unlimited for vendors. If you sell first party through Amazon Vendor Central, this is one feature you don’t want to overlook.
A+ Content allows you to add more detailed item descriptions, larger images, more comprehensive comparison charts, interactive displays and more. It’s a great way to showcase your brand and better convey the value of your products as customers make buying decisions. According to Amazon, adding A+ Content has been shown to boost sales as much as 10%.
Some best practices can help ensure your A+ Content captures consumers’ attention:
- Make text skimmable. Use compelling subheads to address important product features, and short paragraphs that make it easy for shoppers to understand at a glance what they’ll gain from buying.
- Combine text and images. When describing a key feature or selling point, accompany that text with a relevant image. It’s much easier to make a buying decision when consumers can both see and read about your products.
- Turn to reviews. Do your customers regularly rave about a particular feature? Is there something specific that leads them to repeat purchases? Highlight those in your A+ content!
- Keep content product-focused. Amazon A+ content is not the place to make subjective claims that your product is “the best” or “most popular.” And while it’s a good practice to research reviews for content ideas, quoting third parties is not allowed.
Adding A+ Content to your listings can go a long way in providing a better buyer experience, increasing customer engagement and boosting sales.
For seven more secrets on how to get ahead on Amazon this holiday season, check out our eBook: 11 Secrets to Amazon Success. Need to take a hard look at your current Amazon advertising campaigns and look for areas of improvement, request a Complimentary Advertising Analysis from our digital marketing experts today.