How to analyse and to improve conversions on Amazon

August 23, 2012

Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Amazon is one
of our most successful channels at the moment, growing at twice the rate of
e-commerce as a whole. If you plan on riding on the wave of Amazon’s success; you may want to analyse your metrics in order to improve conversions and succeed on this marketplace giant. 


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What customers expect

According to
Amazon, the top priorities for customers shopping on Amazon are;

  1. Selection: If you don’t have the product in stock, customers can’t buy
    it
  2. Price: Customers are really driven by price and browse for a competitive option
  3. Delivery: There’s a huge difference between
    getting it today, tomorrow or a week from now; customers expect speedy delivery
  4. Convenience: Make it as simple as possible for customers to buy and receive your products
  5. Information: Customers won’t buy it if they
    don’t have enough details about the product

We recommend that retailers list as many products as possible on Amazon and seek to improve their pricing compared to the competition. Create a streamlined fufilment strategy that delivers items as fast as possible to customers and speed up your customer service to prevent negative feedback (why should customers wait for
the item to be returned to you in order to get their refund?). Finally, counteract returns and mis-sold items by providing as
much information as possible in your data feeds so customers are educated about what they are purchasing and are not disappointed. If you can achieve this, the challenge is to
develop and to maintain this operational excellence while your sales are
growing.

Improve the customer experience


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You are more likely to win the Buy Box if you sell large quantities and complement this with a very
good customer service offering. If you have got negative feedbacks, claims,
late shipments or fewer orders than your competitors, then you
may have to decrease prices and to hammer margins in order to win the Buy Box.

If you do not perform well on Amazon and your Order Defect Rate reaches 1%,  you will lose the Buy Box eligibility for all of your products, aside from the ones Fulfilled by Amazon. If you lose your Buy Box eligibility you need 30 days with an ODR below 1% to get
it back. The very first thing to check is your Seller Reputation using our
Amazon 360 dashboard. If you need help improving your Order Defect Rate, read our previous blog How to improve your
Order Defect Rate
for more details.

Analyse traffic

Image3Amazon is now offering access to its Page Views, which details  the
number of hits per product page for a selected period. This information is
really valuable when measuring conversions, and helps to prioritise your actions; not only with pricing, but it also can identify improvements you can make to your data feeds such as keywords.

In Amazon’s Seller Interface, navigate to Reports
> Business reports
. Then filter results by ASIN (Detail Page Sales and Traffic) on the left.

You can edit
the period of time in the upper right corner. You can also download this
report, by clicking Download in the
upper left corner.

When you
analyse traffic, we recommend sorting results:

  • By Page
    Views decreasing
     to see which products are the most popular in your
    inventory, even if they don’t sell a lot.
  • By Units
    Ordered decreasing
    to check the Buy Box
    percentage
    and understand which best sellers don’t win the Buy Box – and why.

The idea is
to improve pricing and conversion on the highest Page Views, and on best
sellers. Let’s say one of your products is generating a lot of traffic trailing
2 weeks (ranked 10 in Page Views for example), but with 0 order and 0% of Buy
Box. In order to investigate, we recommend clicking the link (Child) ASIN and from there you’re then redirected to the
product page. Check who wins the Buy Box; is it a competitor using FBA, a competitor with more feedbacks than you, better feedbacks than you or with who is offering faster delivery? These
metrics are key components of the Buy Box, so make sure you understand why your
competitor wins the Buy Box in order to react accordingly.

If Amazon retail wins
the Buy Box, the only solution is to decrease prices dramatically. It’s not
something we recommend, so you may have to ignore this product and focus your attention elsewhere. Please note
Amazon is not always as aggressive versus FBA offers, as the customer
experience is flat versus Amazon retail (fast delivery & customer service
are identical). 

Improve keywords



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Competing on
the most popular products can damage margins, so you may want to check traffic
and conversions on brands and products with higher margins. Let’s say you sell two
brands, a very famous one with low margins, and your own brand with high
margins. Check the Page Views and the % of Buy Box for your own brand, to
increase conversion on high margins products.

If you spot
a high margin product with low Page Views, click the SKU link: you are redirected to your inventory. Click Actions > Edit Details, then click Keywords. Do you have the most relevant
keywords? As a customer, would you use these keywords to find this product?

Now if you
use ChannelAdvisor for Paid Search and Marketplaces, we recommend you mimic your PPC keywords for Marketplaces as much as possible.

Click vital info and select the item name: all the words in your title are
already used as keywords. Plus the title is the very first thing a customer
will see, with your image. Amazon recommends the following:

  • Brand +
    Model + Product Type + Colour + Size +Additional
    information

For example:

  • Ray-Ban Wayfarer – Sunglasses – Black – Unisex –
    UV400
  • Canon EOS 1100D – Digital SLR – Camera – Black –
    12.2MP CMOS sensor

The hyphon is not mandatory, it just helps to read key information. Please note you don’t
have to use these words as keywords as they’re already in your title.

Following this, go to vital info and select browse nodes.
If it’s empty, the product can only be found by keywords, driving a very low
conversion. If you only choose the category browse nodes, and nothing
more specific, your product is not shown. The reason is the category browse
nodes shows categories, not products!

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For Sports & Outdoor for example, on
Amazon’s website, there are no products shown. You need to be more specific,
choosing Golf or Sportswear for example, to actually see products.

Click on Shop all departments (or Full Store Directory on Amazon.com) to
see the difference between categories browse nodes (showing zero product), and
sub-category browse nodes (showing products).

Improve product pages

For all the
products generating traffic with a low conversion, we would recommend to improve
product pages. Amazon recommends the following:

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If you are a
new retailer on Amazon, you may not be able to edit all product pages; just
contact Amazon’s Seller Support (click Contact
Seller Support
at the bottom of your Amazon seller interface). Give
them a list with the ASIN and the content to update and they will do this for you.

Please note we do not recommend updating information in Amazon’s seller interface, as it could be overwritten by ChannelAdvisor feeds. Please edit
information in ChannelAdvisor.

Written by: David Le Roux, Key Account Manager, ChannelAdvisor EMEA