How to make the most of your Amazon tools and sell more

July 5, 2016

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Marketing your products on Amazon is like being on a diet. How can you get the best results with the least effort and cost?

Managing Vendor Central can be as tedious as counting calories. Investing in keyword advertising versus Amazon Vine is as debated as Paleo versus fasting. The constant monitoring of metrics and ROI is almost as bad as weighing in. Why Amazon, WHY?

For the benefit of selling on the world’s most powerful etail platform, of course. According to the 2015 survey by Bloomreach, 44% of US consumers go directly to Amazon to search for products, as compared to 34% who went to top search engines like Google.

Amazon deserves a heaped helping of focus in your ecommerce strategy, but resources can be scarce and budgets are shrinking. Where should you focus?

Balance, as ever, is the answer. There is no silver bullet, no magic pill that will give long term results. We put together a list of best practices that give our clients consistent, healthy sales, and here they are:

Where do US consumers search for products? 44% of US consumers search using Amazon, 34% of US consumers search using Google

1. INTEGRATION

You’re going to get the most out of Amazon if everything you do on the platform works together. Seems obvious, but the key is in the detail.

Design an integrated approach between all the consumer touchpoints Amazon offers. Your A+ page content, product keywords, and sponsored ad content should all be working together and evolving frequently.

If you’re launching a product or running a seasonal campaign, tie a common messaging point or theme through the touchpoints so they’re collectively driving the consumer to your product and reinforcing the purchase decision.

2. CONTENT

We all absorb information differently, and consumer discovery and research habits are as varied as they are. Delivering the information people are looking for, in ways they prefer to receive it, is key.

The focus of your delivery style should depend on your product’s main features and benefits. If you’re selling a piece of tech that’s useful but not terribly interesting to look at, such as a phone case or memory card, you’ll want to get a couple of product images up so the customer can see what they’re getting, but focus the rest of your content around the lifestyle, usage and benefits the product offers. Further pictures and videos can demonstrate the fun consumers have because of or using the product, and a spec chart might be beneficial to get the many features in a single place.

If you’re selling a food processor, on the other hand, you’ll want very detailed, high-res photos of every product angle and feature, showcasing the blades, attachments, stylish design and ease of use. You should include a video showing the food processor making light work out of a coleslaw recipe, or mixing together a cake batter in minutes. Again, link the content you’re showing to the product USP and positioning, which should be in sync with what consumers are searching for.

Also consider whether people are searching for your product specifically, or whether they tend to search within a broader product category. If they aren’t sure exactly what they want, how will you convince them your product fits their needs? If they are sure of what they want, are there opportunities to up-sell or cross-sell? This is where an A+ page can come in handy.

A+ page content, displayed under “From the Manufacturer” on a product page, provides additional space to dive into product features and benefits. You can also give information about a product family, and up-sell or cross-sell depending on the consumer’s needs.

To recap, tips to keep in mind:

  • Information about the product should be delivered in the many ways we like to receive information.
  • Some of us like bullets and pictures, some like descriptive paragraphs and some like specs. Give it all, and don’t forget to up-sell and cross-sell.
  • Images should be many, varied, and of high enough quality to make use of the Amazon zoom feature.
  • Include product videos if you can, and make sure they fall within Amazon’s best practice guidelines for videos.
  • Consider adding an A+ page to deep dive into product features and benefits.
Amazon content marketing

3. SEO

Tired of SEO yet? The ranting about how it’s the key to our very existence as marketers can get old, but a good dose of it in your Amazon presence is absolutely key to success.

Use analytics to find out what people are searching for in your category and incorporate your findings into the content as a best practice.

Amazon product SEO

Update your product content and keywords often, and take seasonality, special events, and holidays into account, as these can be part of trending search terms.

Is your product perfect for a Father’s Day gift? It might be a good idea to say as much in your keywords and page content. Then coordinate this with the promotions and campaigns you’re running on Amazon to optimize all the consumer touch points you’re engaging in.

4. REVIEWS

If you’ve got great reviews and lots of them, fantastic! If not, you’ll want to build your positive reviews base to encourage consumer confidence in your products, and there are ways you can help this along.

Amazon reviews

Make sure the content on your product and A+ page is accurate. If consumers get what they’re expecting, they’re more likely to leave a good review.

Use engagement programs, social media, and even packaging content to encourage happy customers to leave reviews.

Customer service is obviously key in this department, so monitor your reviews actively and engage with customers who had a bad experience to let them know how you plan to help.

Amazon Vine: This paid-for option invites the most trusted reviewers on Amazon to post opinions about new and pre-release items, which will then assist consumers in learning about the product and making informed purchase decisions.

5. CONSISTENCY

Are there other online retailers selling your products through Amazon? Where are they getting their logos, product images and descriptions? We all know consistency is key in branding, so provide your partner sellers with approved brand elements, product images, and messaging to ensure the customers are getting the right message across the board, and share your best practices with your channel partners.

6. TRACK THE HELL OUT OF EVERYTHING

This can be tedious, and you could always leave it to a glance of the sales numbers at the end of the month to see if what you’re doing is working. But if you actively mine Vendor Central reports for KPIs, you’ll see how your efforts are paying off, and where to refocus if need be. Test, measure, analyse, learn, and repeat.

Don’t forget that the coveted Buy Box is tied to specific seller performance criteria and customer service, so you’ll want to be monitoring your Customer Metrics page to see how you’re ranking in the areas Amazon considers most important for customer satisfaction.

Amazon tracking

7. GET A PARTNER

If you and your team don’t have time to manage all this for every ASIN, or if you’re not getting the results you’re looking for, give the folks at FK3 a call. We can help devise your Amazon strategy, create Amazon and etail assets, or simply manage your pages for ongoing optimised performance.

Amazon is ever-changing, and keeping up with best practices is time consuming. Getting help doesn’t have to involve exorbitant agency fees or overcomplicated process. We know the drill, we’ve done it for years, and know affordability is key.

Give us a shout and let’s master Amazon for your business.