Newbies are at a distinct disadvantage in the Amazon marketplace, having to compete against giants, including Amazon and other big brands, many of which restrict or prohibit third parties from selling their products.
Making the marketplace even more competitive are more than two million active sellers worldwide, many of whom already have years of experience and a considerable amount of positive feedback to help drive sales.
As a newcomer, you’re probably wondering, “How do I get more sales on Amazon?” In this article, we present the best tips to answer that question.
1. Improve Product and Seller Ratings and Feedback
Your visibility and sales success and that of the products you sell are impacted by product ratings and reviews and by your seller rating and feedback. Knowing the differences among these important metrics is a key first step in using them to drive sales:
- Product ratings and reviews are about the product, not about you. A product’s rating impacts its ranking in relevant product search results on Amazon. Products with more reviews and higher ratings are generally ranked higher in their product category than comparable items with few or no reviews or a very low overall product rating.
- Seller rating is all about you, not the product. Your seller rating is a reflection of your performance based on shipping time, order cancellations, credit card chargebacks, customer inquiries, A-to-Z Guarantee claims against you, and other metrics. Your seller rating impacts your ability to win the buy box and, if it gets too low, your ability to do business on Amazon.
- Seller feedback consists of comments that buyers share about your service and products. Seller feedback may have an impact on your seller rating but is only one of many factors that do. Savvy sellers use this feedback to transform a customer’s negative shopping experience into a positive one and to improve customer service overall.
Improving your product ratings and reviews
Generally, products with more reviews sell better, and products that sell better have more reviews; it’s a chicken-and-egg scenario — which came first? On Amazon, the reviews often come first.
Without at least a few reviews, a new product in a given category may not appear on the first couple of pages of a shopper’s search results. To raise a new product’s visibility, you need to encourage people who buy the product to post reviews about it, but you need to do it without violating Amazon’s product review policies.
This advice applies only to new product listings that have few or no customer ratings. If you start to sell a product that’s already listed on Amazon, has dozens of ratings and reviews, and is already a top seller in its category, you don’t need to solicit product reviews.
Learn about how to get more reviews on Amazon.
Improving your seller rating and feedback
Just as a product rating can impact the search rank of a product, your seller rating can impact the search rank of your listings and your ability to win the buy box. To improve your seller rating, be aware of the metrics it’s based on, including the following:
Shipping: You’re rated on how quickly you ship an order relative to the dates promised and how soon you confirm shipment.
Order defect rate (ODR): ODR is a key measure of your ability to deliver quality customer service. An order is deemed defective if it results in one of the following:
- A-to-Z Guarantee claim: You can’t resolve an issue with a customer, so the customer files an A-to-Z Guarantee claim against you with Amazon.
- Chargeback: Your customer contacts his credit card company to dispute a charge for one or more of your products he purchased and the company issues a credit for that amount to the customer’s account, essentially refunding the purchase price.
- Negative seller feedback: The customer posts a negative rating or review of the shopping experience.
Responsiveness: Amazon expects you to respond to any buyer inquiries within 24 hours.
Order cancellations: If you (the seller) cancel the order for any reason, it counts against you.
Order cancellation initiated by a shopper doesn’t count against you.
Inventory performance index: This metric reflects how well you drive sales by stocking popular products and how efficiently you manage on-hand inventory. Your seller rating is likely to suffer if Amazon has to suspend a listing because the product is out of stock.
2. Optimise Amazon SEO
Most Amazon shoppers find products by searching specifically for what they want. They enter a few keywords in the Search bar, press Enter, and skim through the search results. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the use of various techniques to present users with search results that most accurately match what they’re looking for.
On Amazon, you can leverage the power of SEO in your product listings to have them appear when shoppers are looking for products identical or similar to the ones you’re selling. If your product isn’t search engine optimized, it may not appear in a list of relevant search results even if it’s rated higher than competing products.
According to one estimate, more than half of all shoppers start their new product search on Amazon. Furthermore, products listed in the first page of search results account for nearly three quarters of all sales on Amazon.
SEO is crucial for reaching shoppers and getting your product in front of them when they’re ready to buy. Additionally, all online marketing efforts, including pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on Amazon, perform best when they’re search engine optimized.
On Amazon, SEO boils down to catering to Amazon’s search algorithm, commonly known as A9. The A9 algorithm considers a wide range of factors to determine each product’s ranking in any given search with the goal of presenting the customer with the product that’s most suitable to what he wants or needs.
Learn more about how to optimize SEO on Amazon.
3. Enhancing your listings with A+ content
Admittedly, Amazon product listings are a little on the drab side, consisting merely of text and a few product photos. If you’re a brand owner enrolled as a Registered Brand, you can jazz up your listings by taking advantage of Amazon’s A+ Content (formerly known as Enhanced Brand Content).
With A+ Content, you stitch together a collection of modules to create your very own multimedia brand story. It also enables you to highlight your product’s features and benefits and address any questions or concerns that may be holding a customer back from making a purchase decision. One additional perk is that it gives you the chance to introduce customers to a range of other products.
According to Amazon, A+ Content increases conversions by 3 to 10 percent and reduces returns and negative reviews. To create an A+ page to add to your product listing, take the following steps:
1). Log in to Seller Central.
2). Open the Advertising menu and select A+ Content Manager.
3). After the A+ Content Manager page appears, select Start Creating A+ Content. The A+ Content Manager displays a page with two options:
- Self-Service Modules: For creating your own A+ page using a template
- Amazon Builds for You: To upload your content and have Amazon create your A+ page
4). Press the Build Your Own button to create your own A+ page. (To have Amazon build the page for you, press the We Build for You button and following the on-screen directives.) When you click the Build Your Own button, A+ Content Manager prompts you to enter the product’s ASIN.
5). In the Step 1: Enter ASIN box, type or paste the ASIN of the product for which you’re creating the A+ page and then choose the product from the pop-up that appears.
6). Click in the Project Name box and type a descriptive name for the new A+ page.
7). Press the Continue button. The A+ Content Manager displays the Build Layout page with a list of modules on the left and a work area on the right.
8). Drag selected modules from the left and drop them into the work area on the right to create the desired page layout. You can drag modules up or down in the work area to rearrange them. To delete a module, hover the cursor over it in the work area and click the red X in the upper right of the module.
9). Click Continue. The A+ Content Manager displays your page layout with placeholders for text, images, bullet items, and so on.
10). Replace the placeholders with the text, images, and other content you want to use.
11). Press the Preview button. A+ Content Manager displays a preview of your completed A+ page. (You can use the buttons above the preview area to see how the page will look on a desktop computer or mobile device. You can use the Back button in the lower-left corner to go back and edit your page.)
12). When you’re happy with your A+ page, press the Checkout button and follow the on-screen directions to pay for your A+ page.
4. Drive traffic from social media to your product listings
One way to drum up business on Amazon is to drive traffic from social media to your Amazon Store or listings. It’s sort of like hiring a guy to stand on a street corner with a spinner sign to divert traffic from a busy thoroughfare to your local business.
This technique is great if you already have a popular website, blog, or Facebook page, but if you don’t, it’s pretty easy and inexpensive to get started.
Simply driving traffic from social media to your product listings can backfire by reducing your conversion rates and hence your seller rating. You want to drive prospective customers to your listings who are ready to make a purchase. Be sure the content you post on social media prepares shoppers to buy your product.
Social media is a great way to generate buzz around a product, especially a great new product because everyone will want to share the news with their friends and family members. If this idea appeals to you, consider targeting the largest social media sites first, including the following:
- Facebook: On Facebook, you can create separate Facebook pages for your eCommerce business and any products you sell. You can then add the Shop Now button and link it to your Amazon Store or to a specific product listing.
- Instagram: You can use the Amazon Associates (affiliate) program to create URLs for your Amazon Store or for individual product pages and add these to your bio, captions, and stories. Visit affiliate-program.amazon.com for more about Amazon Associates. You may not be able to create clickable links, but the URLs are typically short enough to remember.
- YouTube: Product videos are a great way to showcase the features and benefits of products and instruct users on the proper use of certain products. You can use YouTube in the following two ways to help market your Amazon Store and products:
- Host your product videos on YouTube and then embed the videos in web pages, social media pages and posts, blog posts, and so on. On YouTube, you simply pull up the video you want to embed and click Share below the video to display various options for sharing the video.
- Join Amazon Associates and use it to add affiliate links to your YouTube channel and videos. This is a complicated process, but you can find instructions by searching the web.
- Your blog: If you manage your own blog, you can post content related to the products you sell and use your blog posts to promote your products. For example, if you frequently post about fashion topics, you can link your posts to your Amazon Store or to specific products you recommend.
Whenever you recommend your store or a product on a social media site or a web page, be sure to disclose that you’re an affiliate and will earn money from any sales. Otherwise, you could end up in legal trouble with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Here’s an example of an affiliate disclosure:
This is an affiliate link. If you click it and make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Consider offering your social media followers and fans exclusive promotional deals on Amazon. To create a social media promotion code for a product you’re selling on Amazon, take the following steps:
- Log in to Seller Central, open the Advertising menu, and select Promotions.
- Click the Create Promotion tab and choose Social Media Promo Code.
- Click Create.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to create your promo code and enter your preferences and restrictions. When you’re done creating your promo code, Amazon displays a URL that you can copy and paste into your social media posts and pages and any outgoing email to share the promotion with your followers and fans.
Learn more social media marketing tips.
5. Create a website or landing page
Brands often host their own websites or landing pages to promote their products and services. They may create a webstore on the site where customers can place orders or link to one or more eCommerce stores. Regardless of whether you’re a brand owner, you can use a website or landing page to attract prospective customers and promote your products.
You can use your website or landing page just as you would use your social media accounts to promote your webstore and products — by including on your web pages relevant links to Amazon.
As an added bonus, you can use your website as a sales funnel to lead a prospective customer through the journey of making a well-informed purchase decision. A sales funnel generally leads a prospective customer through the following six stages in this order:
Leading prospective customers through these stages instead of simply directing them to your Amazon Store or a product page will generally increase your conversion rate. You send customers to Amazon only at the Purchase stage, when they’re ready to make a purchase.
The sales funnel concept is beyond the scope of this book, but the general idea is to give prospective customers the information and insight they need at each stage of the process, such as the following:
- Images and infographics
- eBooks, white papers, and reports
- Educational videos or webinars
- A coupon, promotional code, or other discount
You may want to offer some of these freebies on your website in exchange for the person’s email address. Capturing valid email addresses is a great way to stay in touch with people who’ve demonstrated an interest in your products and keep them posted concerning any new products to drive future sales.
One drawback to the sales funnels approach is that it draws out the sales process. As a result, some prospective customers are likely to lose interest or patience and drop out. Ideally, these are the same people who would never buy the product, even if you offered it practically for free. However, you could also lose some very good prospects. To minimize the loss, provide engaging, informative content throughout the process.
6. Use pay-per-click advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising involves paying an ad publisher every time a user clicks your ad and is redirected to your destination of choice — typically your website, webstore, product page, or order form. You can also use PPC ads outside Amazon, typically on online search sites, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.
With PPC, you create an ad, complete with a small amount of text, an image, and a list of keywords that trigger the ad to appear. You also specify how much you’re willing to pay per click and your total budget for the ad campaign.
When a user conducts a search using words that match one of your ad’s keywords, your ad bids against other ads using the same keyword. If your ad wins, it appears at the top of the search results (or in another prominent location on the page). If the user clicks your ad, you pay the search engine company for that click. (Even if you’re not the high bidder, your ad may appear on the page, though in a less prominent location.)
Because Google is the most popular search engine, if you’re interested in PPC, we suggest you start with Google Ads at ads.google.com, where you can find out more about PPC and discover how Google Ads work before spending any money.
Learn more about Amazon advertising.
7. Take advantage of email marketing
Email is one of the quickest and most effective ways to capture consumer attention. Cleverly executed, an email marketing campaign can help you boost sales, score more reviews, and build brand recognition. However, with so much junk mail cluttering recipients’ inboxes, email marketing can go unnoticed or even backfire, causing more harm than good. Here are a few tips to make your email marketing campaigns more successful:
Address the recipients’ needs and desires. Imagine telling friends or family members about a product or brand you discovered that will significantly improve their lives. Avoid coming across as a salesperson pitching a product.
Plan a series of email messages. If you’re launching a new product, build the customer’s interest in it over time. Instead of sending one email message, plan on sending three over the course of several weeks:
- First, send a starter email to peak the recipient’s curiosity, making her eager to receive your next message.
- Second, send out the launch email, with the actual product details and a call to action with a link to purchase the product or sign up for your service.
- Finally, send a post-launch email with product testimonials and social proofs to back up your product claims and show recipients what they’re missing out on.
Create professional, branded email templates. Include your brand’s logo and color scheme and keep your templates uncluttered.
Create engaging, entertaining, and informative content. Include a mix of text, graphics, and perhaps video that captures and keeps the recipient’s attention. Maintain a consistent tone throughout your email campaign.
Automate your email campaign. Email automation enables you to schedule your email messages so that they reach each customer at the right stage of the sales cycle.
Track the metrics. Examine the metrics to understand shoppers’ behaviors and adjust your email campaigns for maximum impact.
Use a reputable email marketing platform, such as Mailchimp or Jump Send to manage your email marketing campaigns and track metrics such as click-through-rate, purchase history, bounce rate, device used, and so on.
Learn more email marketing tips.
8. Offer special deals
Every savvy shopper is looking for the best deal, and Amazon enables you to offer shoppers special deals. A deal typically runs for a week or until the limited number of products are no longer available.
To create a deal, take the following steps:
1). Log in to Seller Central, open the Advertising menu and select Lightning Deal. The Deals dashboard appears, showing a list of products recommended for a deal.
2). Click the Advanced Edit button below the product you want to offer in your deal. Amazon prompts you to enter details about the deal.
3). Enter the following information:
- Internal description: For your reference.
- The week during which you want the deal to be offered: When you choose a week, Amazon displays the fee charged for that week.
- Deal price: The maximum to charge for the item.
- Quantity for deal: The maximum number of items you want to sell at the deal price.
4). Carefully review all details about the deal and make any changes before submitting it.
5). Press the Submit button. The deal you created is scheduled to run during the specified week.
If you decide to cancel a deal, do so at least 25 hours before it’s scheduled to start to avoid paying the fee and being blacklisted from offering deals in the future. To cancel a deal, return to the Deals dashboard, select Upcoming and Active (on the left), press the View button for the deal you want to cancel, and press the Cancel button.
When creating deals, follow these guidelines:
- If the product has variations, such as size and color, offer as many variations as possible, so customers are less likely to be disappointed if a variation they want is unavailable.
- Carefully consider the maximum deal price, because you’re not allowed to change it when the deal is running.
- The deal’s title comes from the product title of the ASIN participating in the deal or that of a parent ASIN if the product has variations. To change the deal title, change the product title before creating the deal.
- At least seven days prior to the scheduled start date, make sure you have enough items in stock to cover the specified deal quantity.
- The deal image comes from the existing product image and must be on a white background without any logo or watermark text that’s not part of the product. Any violation may result in cancellation of the deal.
- Monitor your deal’s status via the Deals dashboard to avoid any cancellation or suppression of the deal which could lead to overstocking.
9. Offer coupon discounts
Coupons enable you to offer shoppers a percentage or dollar discount off one or more select products. To create a coupon, take the following steps:
- Log in to Seller Central, open the Advertising menu, and select Coupons.
- After the Coupons dashboard appears, press the Create a New Coupon button.
- If this is your first coupon, select the Create Your First Coupon option.
- Using the menu on the left, search for and select the products you want to add to the coupon and select Add to Coupon. The selected products move to the product list on the right side of the screen.
- To remove any variations from the coupon, select Manage Variations in the selected product’s box, select the variations you want to remove, click Remove, and click Continue to Next Step.
- Choose Percentage Off or Money Off and enter the percentage or dollar discount you want to offer. Coupons must offer between a 5 and 80 percent discount. If you’re offering any other discounts, such as a deal, be sure to account for it. Your coupon discount will be combined with other discounts being offered at the same time, including deals, promotions, sale price, business price, and giveaways. If you’re not careful, you can end up giving away products and losing money on each sale.
- Enter a budget for your coupon and click Continue to Next Step.
- Enter a title, a start and end date, and any preferences specifying how to target your coupon to customers, and click Continue to Next Step.
- Review your coupon, and if everything looks okay, press the Submit Coupon button.
You can edit a coupon up to six hours before its scheduled start time, at which time it’s locked down. After it’s locked down, you can’t edit it until it goes live, at which time you can only increase the coupon’s budget or extend its duration.
However, you can cancel a coupon at any time by returning to the Coupons dashboard and pressing the Deactivate button next to the coupon you want to cancel. If a customer is in the process of using the coupon, that coupon will remain valid for up to 30 minutes or until the time the customer checks out.
10. Create promotions
Promotions are special offers, such as free shipping, percentage off, buy one get one free, and giveaway. They’re a great way to increase brand recognition, introduce a new product, clear out excess inventory, and boost sales. To create a promotion, take the following steps:
1). Log in to Seller Central, open the Advertising menu, and select Promotions. The Promotions dashboard appears with the Create a Promotion tab selected.
2). Press the Create button below the type of promotion you want to offer: Free Shipping, Percentage Off, Buy One Get One, External Benefits, or Giveaway.
3). Specify the conditions for your promotional offer; conditions include the following:
- Buyer purchases: Specify whether to apply this promotion only if the shopper buys a minimum or any quantity of the promoted product.
- Purchased items: Select the products that the shopper needs to buy to be eligible for the promotion. You can choose to specify a group of products or offer the promotion if a shopper buys any item in your catalog.
- Buyer gets: Specify what the buyer gets in exchange for making the purchase (this option isn’t available for all promotion types).
- Applies to: You can choose Purchased Items to have the promotion apply to the purchased items you specified or Qualifying Items to apply the promotion to the purchase of some other item, such as, if you purchase this power mixer, you get 25 percent off this mixing bowl.
- Advanced options: You can create a product selection group to exclude individual products from the purchased items list if you chose to offer the promotion if the shopper buys any item in the catalog.
4). Enter a start and end time for this promotion, an internal description, and a tracking ID.
5). Enter any additional preferences, including the following:
- Claim code: Select single use, group code, or no code required to claim the promotion. If you select group, you can use the default code that populates the field or enter the code of your choice. If you select single code, you can generate any number of single-use claim codes. After creating the promotion, go to View Promotion and press the Manage Claim Codes button to generate single use claim codes of the desired number. A group claim code has no quantity limits, so be careful. If the group code is posted on social media, your entire inventory can be sold off in a matter of minutes.
- One redemption per customer: Check this box to prohibit any customer from claiming the discount multiple times.
- Claim code combinability: Select either Preferential to prevent a customer from using more than one claim code in a single order or Unrestricted to allow more than one claim code per order. If you choose Preferential, a customer qualified for more than one claim code is allowed to use the code that provides the maximum discount.
- Custom messaging: Enter any custom text you want to appear during checkout or on the product detail pages. Follow the on-screen directions to complete the fields.
6). Press the Review button and make sure your promotion’s settings and details are correct.
7). Press the Submit button to create your promotion. A promotion is typically up and running within a few hours of being submitted.