Boost Amazon marketing sales with optimized product listings, display ads, reviews, and Amazon promotions, and great products.
Competition from large retail chains and online sellers forced many Main Street businesses to struggle. Social distancing measures and changing consumer habits especially accentuated pressure on small- to medium-sized companies during 2020.
Still, this marks the beginning of a new year. Find out how using Amazon and the right tactics can make 2021 the best sales year yet.
Why focus on Amazon marketing?
Mostly, Amazon opens almost any size business to an active, global marketplace. It’s not just the largest online retail company; in 2020, Amazon surpassed Walmart in size to become the largest retailer of any type in the world.
Even more, lots of shoppers already know and trust Amazon. For instance:
- A 2019 study from Feedvisor found that 89 percent of online shoppers would prefer buying a product from Amazon over another eCommerce website.
- Amazon’s own stats say that USA-based small- and medium-sized businesses sell an average of over 4,000 items per minute on its site.
- Over 2.5 million Amazon sellers currently have active Amazon listings.
Amazon offers your business a great opportunity to improve reach, brand exposure, and most of all, sales. Along with all eCommerce, Amazon sales have boomed during the pandemic and will almost certainly keep growing.
How to grow your eCommerce marketing business on Amazon
While sales on the Amazon platform continue to increase, any good Amazon marketing agency would tell their clients to prepare for competition in most product categories. Still, the presence of competition shouldn’t discourage either a determined seller or eCommerce marketing agency. By adhering to some simple best practices, good sellers can outrank and outsell competitors.
Rapidly gain visibility on Amazon With Display Ads
On Amazon, like with so many other things, nothing succeeds like success. The more sales a business can generate, the more likely they’ll enjoy repeat business and just as great, visibility in Amazon searches and promotions. Besides having products match keyword searches, Amazon naturally gives weight to products with a history of sales and reviews. After all, they make more money with products that convert.
Amazon Sponsored Product Ads give businesses a way to gain visibility and garner some brand recognition with high-intent shoppers without having to wait for organic-search sales to trickle in.
Consider these highlights of Amazon Sponsored Ads:
- This PPC, image-based advertising platform puts ads in search results right next to more visible competitors. A fairly discrete “Sponsored” tag is the only difference shoppers will see between paid ads and organic search results.
- According to HubSpot, PPC bids hover around the same price points as Google Search ads. However, businesses that advertise on Amazon may enjoy a greater chance to appear on the screens of shoppers who are searching to buy and not just research.
Employ best practices for product pages
Even sellers with the best and hottest products to sell will need to optimize each product page to ensure great conversions. Don’t overlook the opportunity to do better.
- A 2020 Jungle Scout survey found that only about half of Amazon marketers understood the importance of product page optimization.
- Another 29 percent said they found the optimization process challenging.
Obviously, attention to perfecting their listing details can give many businesses a competitive edge. Also, while there’s probably always room to improve, getting started with a reasonably optimized product listing boils down to some basics.
Of course, an experienced Amazon marketing agency can help new Amazon marketers get the best start. Still, many Amazon marketers can improve both search ranks and conversions by paying attention to importing product listing fields.
Amazon provides 200 characters in most categories, and it’s best to use as much as possible. Sellers will want to combine key search terms with language that human consumers will respond to.
To understand this, compare a great and not-so-great example of product titles:
- Contraband uses its allowed space to tell both consumers and the Amazon search engine what the product is (ankle cuffs), what it’s made out of, and what it does.
- Balanced body simply says they’ve got ankle cuffs in their title.
Obviously, the Contraband’s eCommerce marketing agency took some time to research types of keywords customers might use to search. That gives them a better shot at ranking well and getting customers to click their listing.
Product images and videos
Titles help customers find the right products. Still, images will encourage them to click. Of course, product listings deserve high-quality photos. Pictures should look good as thumbnails on a search page and when enlarged in the listing.
Take a look at Neat Feeder’s dog elevated dog bowls as one example:
- The main photo makes good use of its allocated space.
- Even better, they include another photo with a cute dog sitting by the feeder for size comparison and yet another photo that clearly shows product details.
- Finally, they added a couple of videos. They’re using available media to engage in a little content marketing to showcase their product.
Product descriptions need to balance using appropriate keywords for search and the right words and format to appeal to human shoppers. As for content, the description should briefly include relevant specs and answer common questions. More than that, it should sell a product’s benefits more than its features.
To accomplish this:
- Develop buyer personas: It helps to work with at least one buyer person in mind. This kind of illustration of a typical customer will help generate keyword ideas and inspire the writing style. Marketers use the company’s data about current customers or research on the overall market to develop buyer personas. Some relevant information typically includes age, income, and other factors relevant to buying the product.
- Format for readability: For lists of specs, features, and other details, use bullet points. Just like this set of bullet points, they help make chunks of text easier to skim in order to pull out important points. If shoppers have to labor to figure out if a charger works with their phone or a supplement contains an ingredient they’re allergic to, they may back out and find another product with a better presentation.
Hopefully, a high-quality product and attention to service will lead to customer satisfaction. Even if a business delighted 10,000 customers, the 10,001th wouldn’t know about it if they couldn’t find a review.
Amazon will ask for reviews after sales. Also, sellers can make an additional review request through their seller’s account. Note that it’s against the Amazon terms to incentivize good reviews. At the same time, sellers can join some Amazon programs that encourage reviews. These include the Amazon Early Reviewer Program and Amazon Vine.
Obviously, product and service quality will help encourage better reviews. Still, most customers probably don’t bother to leave reviews, so it’s often a number’s game.
Look into creating an Amazon Storefront
In the past, small businesses have accused Amazon of taking their business. Today, on the Amazon Storefronts page, Amazon proudly proclaims that half of the products sold on the platform come from small companies.
As the old saying suggests, perhaps, if you can’t beat them, maybe it’s time to join them. Business News Daily said that about 20,000 businesses have already joined Amazon Storefronts. This program can give small- to mid-sized companies a way to retain their unique character while still accessing customers through the large platform.
In any case, Amazon has invited some of its sellers into the program, and other companies can ask for inclusion. If accepted, retailers get a chance to create a unique identity, which helps to differentiate their brand from millions of others.
Storefront owners can also benefit from Amazon’s promotions, including:
- Curated categories: Category pages include everything from pet supplies to groceries. They even have a “Launch Pad” section to show off innovative ideas from small businesses.
- Meet the Business Owner and Storefront of the Week: These sections highlight individual storefronts.
As an example, The Little Flower Soap Company benefited from Amazon’s natural advertising campaign. In addition to craft soap, this business also sells CBD topical creams, candles, and other self-care items. They said their sales have doubled with the Amazon Storefront program.
Keyword research for Amazon marketing
At their heart, most retailers view Amazon’s platform as a search engine. In some ways, it’s very similar to Google. Businesses that gain top ranks on high-intent searches can prosper; however, getting buried on page two or even deeper will generally limit sales.
To briefly contrast Google and Amazon search optimization:
- On the positive side, Amazon is actually more transparent about the best practices that can lead to higher search ranks than Google is. For good suggestions about the use of search terms and other details in a product listing, read Amazon’s product listing optimization page.
- Sellers can include search terms in titles, descriptions, and other visible fields. They also give sellers fields to enter search terms that only their search engine can see. For comparison, people who create optimized web pages used to rely upon a keywords meta tag, but Google hasn’t paid attention to it for a long time.
- Some of Amazon’s keyword advice includes putting keywords in the most likely, natural order for searches and ordering keywords with the most important ones first. Sometimes, that advice may conflict, so it’s important to strike the right balance and experiment a bit. For example, they want search terms to appear as “big teddy bear” and not “teddy bear big.”
- Also, Amazon doesn’t want any superlatives or subjective words, like best, in the search term fields. Listings might include those in the description, but they just waste space in search fields and for that matter, in listing titles.
So, what’s a good example of a product with good search optimization? It’s impossible to see exactly which keywords the seller has included in the keyword fields, so examples have to come from what has to be another important source of search terms, the title.
This listing for Anker Bluetooth headphones appears to strike a good balance. It tells customers the brand, the product, some competitive benefits, and a few good uses for the product. The marketer listed these in some logical order of importance while managing to keep the title readable.
If the search for keywords appears overwhelming, start by thinking about one or a very few search terms that a customer might use.
For instance, compare using search terms in the search term fields vs. the title:
- If the product is a package of air fryer accessories, you should probably begin with air fryer accessories for a search term field.
- For a title, maybe use air fryer accessories after the brand name if the brand’s well known. Otherwise, it might be best to use well-known brands that the accessories work for after the name of the product.
- For search term fields, you shouldn’t use brands, so perhaps it’s best to include the size or type of air fryer the accessories will work with.
Eventually, it might help to use some keyword tools, like Jungle Scout or KeyWordTool.io, to generate common searches. Still, product and customer knowledge, common sense, and adherence to best practices can go far when optimizing listings on Amazon.
How to get started with product listing optimization
Really, just a few elements can help businesses gain visibility on Amazon. These include optimized product listings, Amazon’s display ads, reviews, and hopefully, promotional help from Amazon.
At first, Amazon marketers may only truly have control over how well they optimize their listings and display ads. Only after they’ve optimized the listing, they may choose to opt into the Sponsored Products program. Then, once they start to win sales, attention to product quality and service will help encourage reviews and repeat buyers. Once these efforts gain some traction, Amazon should step in with additional marketing support.