Many merchants struggle to make sufficient sales on Amazon. With over 300 million active customers worldwide and 150 million prime members, Amazon is comfortably the world’s biggest marketplace.
This enormity of customers makes the marketplace highly attractive for merchants to sell on. However, because of the extensive competition all vying for the coveted Buy Box, you might want to know how you can make your products stand out from the crowd.
The challenges of selling on Amazon
Due to the number of active customers that frequent Amazon, the marketplace is a great place for merchants to sell their products. However, the platform isn’t without its challenges.
Amazon also has a large number of merchants competing for the attention of all those customers. Those merchants are all vying for the Buy Box, which leads to most of the sales made on Amazon. Only one merchant can hold the Buy Box per product listing, meaning many sellers are left fighting for leftovers, which aren’t as fruitful.
To add to that challenge, you also have to manage slightly higher than average costs for selling on the marketplace, as well as being undercut on pricing by competitors. This can all harm profitability, especially in the short term before you have built a brand on the platform.
Feedback is also part of what determines your rank on Amazon. New sellers often face the issue of ranking poorly due to a lack of feedback, which can be off-putting, especially when it causes you to lose out on vital sales.
With strict regulations, high selling costs, and difficulty attaining the Buy Box, many sellers will initially be put off selling on Amazon. Overcoming these challenges can be a real chore. However, it is possible with a little patience and plenty of optimization. Here are some actionable tips on how to battle through the challenges of Amazon and improve your sales on the marketplace.
25 easy and effective tips to improve your sales on Amazon
Titles and descriptions
1. Make them easy to read
Customers want to be able to easily understand what it is you’re selling, and what your product does. If they can easily read your title and description, they will be more likely to understand your product and what it brings to them. Therefore, they will be more likely to choose you over a competitor.
2. Use relevant keywords
Keywords are what bring customers to your Amazon listings and your products for other popular sales channels. You should always consider which are the right keywords for your product titles to make sure your ad is relevant enough to be shown to your target audience.
3. Put the essentials at the beginning
Amazon product listings may be shortened to users of the app, or mobile optimized website. That is why you should try to put the essentials of your titles and descriptions at the beginning. This is probably going to include the keywords for titles, but for your descriptions, it may also be something to entice the customer to read a little more about what you’re selling.
4. Structure your title based on your product
Depending on the category of product you are selling, certain parts of your title take priority. For example, with apparel, many customers will shop by brand, gender, and then product type. Therefore, you should put those keywords in that order. However, the order would differ vastly for books, as shown in the graphic below.
5. Make your product listing clear and concise
You will convince more customers to buy from you if your listing is well laid out. Try to make things as clear and concise as possible, that way customers can get the essential information at a glance.
6. Use bullet points and punctuation to optimize for any device
As many Amazon shoppers view product listings via the app, or on mobile, formatting can sometimes be lost or become messy. This can be very off-putting to potential customers. However, you can avoid this issue by using bullet points in your listing, as well as using capitalization and periods effectively.
Increase your sales on Amazon | Images and other media
7. Retouch your images
A retouched image can go a long way to making your product more appealing to potential buyers. And as images are one of the most prominent elements of your listing, having an image that you can zoom in on (without losing too much of its quality) will likely help buyers in their decision making process.
8. Use a variety of image angles, zoom levels, and lighting
Using photos from a number of different angles, using different levels of lighting and zoom can help to give customers a true perspective of what it is you are selling. And the clearer your photos are, the more potential buyers will trust to buy from you.
9. Use both product and lifestyle images
Using a range of different image types can help potential buyers to better understand your product. Lifestyle images help to show how your product will look in use and are ideal for apparel or cleaning equipment. Product images show your product on their own and are ideal for creating clarity. By combing the two image types in your product listing, you give the customer the additional information they need to really understand what you are selling. This may even be enough to persuade them to buy.
10. Add a video
If you want to take things one step further than images, Amazon even allows you to add a video to your product listing. This can help customers see everything they see from your images, and much more. Videos are a great way to make things easy for the customer, in a form of media that they may prefer to images. A well made video can also make your listing seem more professional, and therefore more likely to lead customers to purchase.
Engage with your customers
11. Request reviews
Reviews can help to significantly improve your potential customers’ see your product. However, after purchases are made, review requests are not automatically sent to customers. This is something you need to do yourself. Once you manage to build up a solid portfolio of positive reviews, it should help to improve your sales. You can read more about earning shoppers trust with reviews on the example of Google product ratings.
12. Respond to existing reviews and act on them
Reviews are a significant part of any Amazon product listing, and many users will check them before deciding whether to buy a product or not. Therefore, bad reviews can impact your sales negatively. One way to effectively combat that issue is to respond to your bad reviews, acknowledging them and providing a solution for the customer. You can even take their feedback into account, and improve things in the future. This reflects well on you as a seller, and may actually help to improve your sales, as you come across as a trustworthy and caring brand.
13. Create an automated message for when a product reaches your customers
Another great way to increase your sales is to keep customers coming back for more. What better way to do that than ensuring they are content with existing purchases. This can be done by creating an automated message, triggered by the arrival of their order. You could ask customers to let you know if they have any issues, and potentially resolve them, turning a potentially bad review into a positive. In addition, you could also increase the number of reviews you get, leading other potential customers to choose you over a competitor.
14. Use a price watch tool
Price watch tools are an essential part of selling on a marketplace. They help to keep you up to date with any changes competitors make to their pricing, and well as recognizing pricing patterns. This can help you to develop a pricing strategy, such as matching the cheapest competitor or using a repricing tool to automatically amend prices based on numerical triggers.
15. Utilize automated re-pricers
Amazon is highly competitive for sellers. You will have plenty of other merchants trying to undercut you, all with similar hopes of attaining the Buy Box. If you are selling a large number of products, it may be difficult to stay on top of all the price changes. That is why it is useful to use automated repricing software, which automatically adjusts your pricing to compete with any changes your competitors make. This helps to ensure you are never losing sales because you are selling the same product for a dramatically higher price.
16. Sponsored product promotions
Sponsored product promotions are a great way to promote your product on Amazon for additional visibility, and increased sales. You can set up sponsored products to promote certain products, assigning keywords for the listing and a cost per click bid per keyword. Those keywords will trigger your sponsored post to show whenever someone types one in, only it will appear at the start of the search results, so you don’t have to compete for the position.
17. Promoting Amazon listings outside Amazon
Just because you are selling on Amazon doesn’t mean all your promotion has to be on Amazon. You can also use a range of other promotional advertising, such as social media or Google text ads to draw customers in and increase your sales.
Use FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) to increase your sales on Amazon
18. FBA to help you manage your inventory
One of the problems with selling on Amazon can be managing the demand and supply for all your stock. Not enough supply means you can’t fulfill the demand. However, too much, and you still make a loss due to having to store the excess. FBA helps you avoid these issues and maximize your sales potential, without the worry of stocks. That’s because Amazon does it all for you.
19. FBA to persuade customers to buy your product
FBA can also come in handy when persuading customers to buy your products. This is because FBA products use Amazon Prime. This is not just a trusted logo, but also means faster more reliable delivery for customers. Meaning they will choose you over a competitor without Prime delivery for speed and reliability.
Make the most of Amazon’s branding tools
20. Create a trusted brand
Amazon wants the best brands advertising and selling on its platform. For that reason, it provides its merchants with an array of branding tools to help them create a brand name buyers can trust.
To be eligible to use the tools, you have to first register in Amazon’s brand registry. Once you have registered, you can use a wide range of A+ content (enhanced brand content) to customize and enhance your brand image on the platform. This will help your brand to stand out, and help customers recognize your brand in the future for more sales!
21. Improve your visibility on Amazon
Amazon’s branding tools are not limited to just enhanced brand content. They can also help to improve your brand’s visibility. Alongside customizable content for product pages, you can also create an entire online storefront with either a template or custom design. This makes your brand instantly recognizable, even on Amazon. In addition to that, other tools include sponsored posts, and a brand dashboard to help you see all the metrics that can guide you to further improvement in terms of visibility and selling.
Prioritize winning the Buy Box
22. Focus your efforts on attaining Amazon’s most coveted spot
The Buy Box is the section to the right of the product listing, where you can add a product to your cart, or buy now. A staggering 82% of all Amazon sales come from the Buy Box. Most buyers will never check other sellers. This makes winning the Buy Box more important than anything else in terms of improving your sales.
There is no clear and definitive method of winning the Buy Box. However, it is clear that the following things have an influence:
- Pricing – Lower pricing (including shipping and handling) will always take preference to Amazon
- Consistency of pricing – Inconsistent pricing, or big price swings will result in you being placed lower down the list of sellers.
- FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) – If you use FBA, you have a better chance of winning the Buy Box. The is probably because Amazon knows you can meet certain standards as a seller.
- Stock – Low stocks will result in you being moved down the list of sellers. A reliable quantity of stock that can fulfill orders will always be prioritized.
- Account health – Various seller metrics, such as feedback, fulfillment rate, and defect rate will also impact your ability to get the Buy Box.
All in all, it seems Amazon chooses reliable, low cost sellers to hold the Buy Box. This is likely because a low cost is preferable to customers, whilst reliability reflects positively on Amazon as a brand.
23. Sell internationally and make use of all of Amazon’s sites
A great way to increase your sales on Amazon is to sell internationally. This can be done in two ways. The first of those is to make your product available for international shipping, which can help to boost sales from around the world. However, high shipping costs may put some people off this method. Plus, many shoppers will not check an Amazon domain outside of their region.
A more effective way to boost your international sales is to sell on more than one Amazon website. Amazon has separate domains for multiple countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and Spain. By selling your products on each of these domains, you boost your chances of sales in multiple countries.
24. Do frequent A/B tests to stay on top of the market
Frequent A/B testing is the best way to keep moving forward and stay on top of the market. A/B testing may help you spot new opportunities to improve or help you realize where you are falling short. By making small incremental changes, you can spot where to improve listings and continue to improve your sales.
25. Don’t be afraid to optimize an already popular listing
Even if your listing is already doing well, you shouldn’t neglect it. Your competitors will continue to make changes, whilst the market is also in a constant state of flux. Because of these factors, a popular listing can very quickly become less and less popular if ignored. Occasional tests, tweaks, and general optimization can help maintain a popular listing for the future.
Selling on Amazon will always have its challenges due to the substantial amount of competition. However, by following these actionable tips, you have a great chance at success in the marketplace.
Remember to optimize and A/B test your product listings continuously, stay on top of the latest updates in the market, whilst adapting to your competition and their pricing adjustments accordingly. That way you can ensure you are always in sight of your target demographic, and vying for the Buy Box.
About the author
Jacques Van der Wilt is the founder and CEO of DataFeedWatch, a leading global feed management and optimization solution that helps online merchants optimize their product listings for 1,000+ eCommerce channels in more than 50 countries.