Happy Birthday Amazon! It’s been 20 years this month since its humble beginnings as an online bookstore. Now the world’s biggest internet retailer, it has presented an excellent opportunity for third party sellers to make a living.
It’s no surprise that it’s popularity continues to rise with sellers, Web Retailer recently reported that 4 times as many people make a million in sales on Amazon compared to eBay. With $88,000 being spent every minute globally on the site, we thought it would be a good idea to share some tips and tricks to help you increase sales, starting today.
1. Get Reviews
The power of customer reviews is enormous, 88% of consumers now say that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Try and think beyond the obvious, find reviews that include media. Video reviews or a review with a product picture could work wonders. If you know people locally that have enjoyed your product, go to them. Enquire at a local university to find students to help you with the project, this would only incur a small cost or could be free altogether.
Around 90% of Amazon buyers fail to leave feedback. Using a program like Feedback Five can help increase the volume of feedback submitted and help you to eradicate those neutral and negative comments. Amazon stresses an importance on seller performance, when ranking your items in the top positions.
Why not contact sellers outside of Amazon to provide reviews? The benefit of this is that if some customers present you with negative or constructive feedback on your product this can help you improve your product without your rankings suffering. This is an especially good tactic when releasing a new product.
2. Give it away for free
Stay with me here, although in the short term this is a bad move, this can have a significant impact in the long term. As mentioned in the previous point, obtaining reviews is crucial in order to get your products shown. So in order to gather them, offer customers a one off 99% discount code (Amazon won't currently allow you to offer 100%), in exchange for a review. This will instantly improve your Amazon search ranking and will hopefully ensure that those customers will think of you next time they need an item you sell.
One way to get rid of stale inventory is to implement giveaways to customers in order to generate good will. This way, when they are looking to purchase an item in the future, they will be more likely to come to you. Linking your Amazon Seller Central account with your other sales channels allows you to identify those items and better manage your inventory.
3. Improve your SEO
As well as seller rating and price, Amazon also looks at keywords in the product’s title to rank listings. Amazon’s keyword stuffing option for a product's title is very reminiscent of tactics SEO agencies use to deploy to improve Google rankings in the early 2000’s.
With the product title you have a character limit of 500 characters, in which you should include as many keywords as possible to ensure your product is visible. Amazon suggests including brand, description, product line, material, color, size and quantity in this field.
Additionally I’d suggest using the Amazon Keyword Tool, which uses Amazon's Autocomplete service to find popular long tail keywords, where they are awarded a score from 1-10. You should export the ones you seem best fit and import them into Google’s Keyword Planner Tool, where you can gauge the search volume of these keywords.
Separate to the product title, Amazon also offer you to enter information into a keyword field. It’s worth noting that it is ineffectual to include any keywords that you had already used in the product title, as Amazon will simply overlook this. You are allowed five keywords or keyword phrases to be entered here, so use them wisely!
4. Stay competitive and win the Buy Box
Many sceptics who avoid selling on Amazon do so because of the misconception that it is too competitive. Despite 55% of its sellers reporting a profit margin of above 20%.
Amazon states that along with availability, fulfilment and customer experience, pricing is important to winning the buy box.
Repricing software such as FeedVisor or teikametrics, monitors your competitors prices 24/7 to ensure you are competitive. Simply entering that you want to be $0.01 cheaper than anyone else could be the deciding factor. As these are working in real time around the clock, this becomes a massive benefit. For example if one of your competitors is out of stock with a certain product, your repricer will automatically raise your price to ensure maximum profit.
5. Get advertising
If you are just starting out or looking to your product infront of as many eyeballs as possible try Amazon sponsored products. This enables your product to be displayed below search results, in the right hand column or on detail pages.
Amazon have announced that they plan to expand this feature soon as well, to make ads more visible. Invariably they offer a free credit to get you started as well, so its a complete no brainer!
6. Discounts, Discounts, Discounts
Similar to point number 2, discounts are an important way of converting highly motivated buyers and building lasting relationships.
Daily deals and significant discounts could land you at #1 for your product category. This also opens up the possibility of appearing on the Amazon home page under the “Hot Deals” and “New & Noteworthy” categories, which will generate enormous amounts of traffic.
This also grants exposure to your related products which can also be seen on the page. Thus allowing customers to see your other offerings at a glance and perhaps entice them to purchase one of your full priced items.
7. Marketing outside of Amazon
Even though email communications and direct calls to action that lead people away from Amazon is prohibited, this doesn't mean you can’t marketing people to your Amazon store. Article writing and blogs are a great way to achieve this, as you can target your niche with relevant content for free via WordPress.
A site such as Hubpages is also a great place to write articles around your subject, where you can link back to your store.
Attaching a coupon to the bottom of your packing slip is also an effective way of establishing customer retention. Flash deals, BOGOF, one time promotions and free shipping are a few ways of enticing people to order again.
Feature image curtsey of FireArt Studio