Some may argue that advertising is king and that ultimately the right pay per click (PPC) strategy is the most critical aspect to a product’s success on Amazon but in truth CONVERSION is king! Without conversion, you aren’t making money. However, in reality, it’s the content that leads to conversion. Yes, you can say that without PPC advertising the consumer will never see your product. However, let’s say you have the best PPC strategy money can buy yet the consumer’s first impression of your product’s detail page is poor… will you convert?
In the early days of Amazon, it was often shoot from the hip when coming up with content. Usually, companies had fancy names for their products that often didn’t tell the consumer what the product did, nor why they should buy it. The consumer had to know exactly what they were looking for to find it, whereas in a brick and mortar store you could walk to the specific department and easily find the item. The product name wasn’t important when it comes to finding it in the store. Flash forward to the time when organic searches were (and still are) very critical… that’s when keyword stuffing began. For a battery pack you saw product titles like this:
External Battery Pack For iPhone, Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, Zenith, RCA, to Charge Grandma’s, Grandpa’s, Kids, Children’s, Aunt’s Uncle’s, Father’s Mother’s Phone, Very Small, Very Very Tiny Battery Pack
The whole idea was to try and capture every word a consumer might use to find the item but also adding somewhat irrelevant words that might bring an unsuspecting person to the page as well. Amazon soon learned that many consumers were experiencing poor search results and landing on products that had nothing to do with their search, which in turn, led to bad customer experience. When you read the first Amazon Leadership Principle – Customer Obsession, you understand that Amazon’s first loyalty is to their customer which means providing the ultimate experience on the site and delivering accurate search results. Many sellers believe that the search algorithm works best when many different words are placed in your product title, bullet points, or product description to bring consumers to your page. However, if there is no conversion, then your organic rank goes down. This, in turn, puts you further back when the next person searches for your product. They want the customer to find exactly what they are looking for, so you need to choose the words on your Detail Page carefully!
Consumers look at two things on the Detail Page:
- Bullet Points
- Product Description/Enhanced Brand Content
- Rating aka Reviews (to be discussed in a future blog post)
When it comes to images, your first spot or “Main Image” is truly just an image. At minimum should adhere to Amazon’s requirements but should be as high a resolution as possible, especially if there are fine details that you want the consumer to see. The next few images should really be called an “Infographic” and you must decide what is most important for the consumer to see and understand. Let’s use a 5-inch screw with 3-inch threads as an example. The infographic would show the screw with lines at the top and bottom of the screw indicating 5” and then a second set of lines from the bottom of the screw to the top of the threads indicating 3”.
This quickly shows the consumer everything they need to know about the dimensions of the screw and whether it will work for their intended use. It’s direct and straight to the point which is perfect for this type of item. But what if you are selling a credit card-sized external laptop battery pack that will charge the laptop at least 100 times? Wouldn’t an image with a laptop, a credit card, the battery charger, and a very large 100X have more impact than lines showing 2” x 3” lines? It gives a size perspective to the consumer, which is a very powerful statement!
Lifestyle images are great too if they are relevant first to the actual product and then secondly to the brand. Having a lifestyle image of a fishing lure with heat-seeking technology will intrigue a consumer and they will want to read more. Imagine what an image that conveys the lure tracking down a fish on its own would do for your conversion. You can even combine a lifestyle and infographic image if you don’t overload it with too much written information. It’s also important to ensure text is large enough to be easily readable on mobile phones without requiring shoppers to zoom in.
In the olden days, bullet points were typically simple feature benefit statements. However, consumers demand more and we have very limited space to give them what they want. We as merchants don’t need to tell them that their life will be easier with this widget or they will look like a million bucks wearing that thing-a-ma-jig. The key is knowing what is important for each product’s consumer and speaking to them.
- 21 GIGAWATT DIGITAL VACUUM MOTOR: The super-strong motor sucks up every spec of dust and every bowling ball from you living room floor, giving you the confidence of a perfectly clean carpet.
- HEAT SEAKING SENSORS: Embedded sensors and a micro-motor guide the fishing lure right to the fish, guaranteeing a catch on every cast.
These bullet points give the feature and then explains how the feature provides the benefit.
The buyer of a high-end laptop computer probably doesn’t need to know the benefit of a 42-terabyte hard-drive or having 256-gigabytes of RAM. In an example like this, the bullet points should contain a lot more of the features and less on the benefits. Many times a consumer buying an item like this is using the features in the search which means the bullet points and even the title (discussed below) should lean more towards the features.
Other products may require more of a focus on the benefits, with less of an emphasis on the features. Again, it depends on what is important for your customer’s purchasing decision.
Although Amazon doesn’t tell us how their organic search algorithm works, the currently accepted hierarchy is that it begins with the Product Title and then moves to the bullet points. Product titles have character limitations that are different by category and it is still important to only use relevant words that are not repetitive and will eventually index making it easier for customers to find. Using the word, “Children in Children’s Sock” is important, but don’t use “Children’s Kids Socks”. The phrase “Kid’s Socks” can go into a bullet point where it will look more natural than “Children’s Kids Sock”. Giving key features in as very few words as possible is perfect and here is a good example.
BRAND NAME 26800 Portable Charger, 26800mAh External Battery with Dual Input Port and Double-Speed Recharging, 3 USB Ports for iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Android and Other Smart Devices
The last thing to remember is that you can only make a first impression one time and bad grammar due to keyword stuffing is a bad first impression. I have very high standards when shopping online and assume that if the grammar is bad on the detail page then the product or product instructions must be equally as poor. Most of the time I am abandoning that page… How many others are doing the same?
Contact Prime Guidance for a free analysis of your business and learn how we can help!
Author | Robert Baron, Senior Consultant
On Google, organic search rankings are based on content, user engagement, inbound linking, technical SEO, etc., not paid search. On Amazon and other marketplaces there is a direct correlation between paid search advertising and organic search results—known as the Flywheel Effect.
How Important Are Marketplaces?
- Marketplaces continue to increase share of U.S. sales at double-digit rates, and are where most consumers start their product research
- Though Amazon owns 50% of U.S. e-Commerce sales, Walmart.com sales are growing more rapidly than Amazon’s, and reaches 100 million consumers
The first mistake brands often make is not conducting financial planning before launching on a marketplace. You need to determine a realistic annual sales budget, need financial planning to make sure you can be profitable, and don’t need to be selling on a marketplace to do financial planning.
Marketplace Launches and the Flywheel Effect
Due to the importance of the Flywheel Effect, it’s often best to start with one marketplace and get optimized. Another school of thought is to use a feed provider, test marketplaces at the same time, identify the opportunities and then prioritize. For example, Wal-Mart is large, growing faster than Amazon in many categories, and is less competitive.
A “Catch 22,” to get good organic rank on Amazon you need to have sales, however, to have sales you need good organic rank. Enter the Flywheel Effect. You need to budget enough money to generate almost all of your sales with paid advertising for the first few months.
Multi-channel Marketplace Sales
There are similarities across marketplaces. There are also differences. Following are only a few examples. Working with a feed provider can make it more efficient to manage.
- On eBay, sellers have been able to take advantage of cost per sale advertising, where the seller doesn’t pay unless a sale is made
- Walmart.com has had more limited CPC advertising targeting and bidding but is rapidly evolving their platform
- Amazon’s FBA fulfillment is unique, though both Amazon and Walmart.com have expedited shipping options, which influence organic rank and sales conversion
We hope you’re better informed about the marketplace Flywheel Effect, and what it could mean to your brand.
Contact Prime Guidance for a free analysis of your business and learn how we can help!
Author | Paul Becker, Senior Consultant
If you could tap into one of the fastest-growing and biggest potential in Amazon… would you do it? What if you did not have to source new products and suppliers to make this happen? Amazon Business is the opportunity you’ve been looking for. Over the past two years, the Amazon B2B program has quietly grown from 1 Billion to over 10 billion. This is just their start.
It is easy as a brand or seller to overlook programs that are right in front of us because we do not have the insight with what is important to Amazon’s internal goals. The Amazon Business programs present the greatest opportunities to grow your sales on Amazon today and over the next 5-7 years.
What Is Amazon Business?
It is the same platform that customers are accustomed to with a separate entry and additional business features and products. It is a filter that companies can use to buy products from other businesses with the same confidence and easy-to-use experience they are already used to. Companies that purchase products with an Amazon Business account can benefit from bulk quantity discounts, tools for managing accounts like Guided Buyer Blocking and Spend Visibility Policy Adherence Dashboards, and the ability to request quotes for bulk buys. What makes the Amazon Business platform exciting for your growth is not just these features but the marketplace growth potentials.
The numbers according to Amazon:
55% of Fortune 100 companies buy
PLUS 50% of the largest 100 US Hospital Systems
PLUS 40% of the top 100 largest local governments.
Why Does Amazon Business Matter To Your Business?
B2B buyers embrace digital-first purchasing. Businesses shop the same way that they shop as consumers. A new generation of customers are comfortable shopping online and skipping the trips to retail locations. According to Amazon, they are connecting millions of business customers and sellers worldwide. Amazon Business serves sole proprietors to large enterprises with tens of thousands of employees on a single account. We serve millions of businesses worldwide, including hospitals, universities, Fortune 50 companies, government agencies, daycares, restaurants, and more. Seller certifications for your business like local, minority or women-owned businesses can help you find more customers in the business markets who need your products. Think of Amazon Business as the introduction to small businesses and government buyer. Do you sell internationally? Amazon Business is live in Canada, United States, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and India. Amazon business will keep growing and you need to be part of this growth.
How Do I Get Started In Amazon Business?
Sign up for an Amazon Business Selling Account. The suite of tools will enable you to reach millions of business customers using the trusted Amazon experience. This program is free to existing Professional Sellers.
Create a Business Profile. Tell your unique story. Add your quality certifications and diversity credentials for customer viewing to help you stand out from the crowd. Adding certifications enables Amazon business customers to search and filter for small and diverse sellers.
Set up your products. The simple listing tools can be used to add your entire catalog. The Enhanced content features for business offer the ability to display additional product information to your customers. There is NO LIMIT to the categories that can participate.
B2B Central. These links will help you understand, manage and grow your Amazon Business Sales.
Use Pricing Wisely – Discount pricing does not need to break the bank. Consider setting your first level business discounts as natural case packs of your products to reduce your costs in processing and shipping.
Negotiated Pricing – Do you have customers who are buying on a standard discount price list that are small and could benefit from utilizing the Amazon portals? You can set these for your customers and let Amazon Business handle these sales for you with “Negotiated Pricing”.
Respond to Business Quote Requests – Set quantity discounts by the response to dates to increase your chances of winning the initial and future sales. This price discount will be available to all business customers.
Create Business – Only offers that are exclusive to Amazon Business customers and are not seen by the typical Amazon consumer.
What do you have to lose? Amazon Business is good for your business, so get involved in this opportunity today.
The Prime Guidance Team can help you and your team develop a strategy for Amazon Business. Contact Prime Guidance today or speak to your Consultant for the great sales opportunity available with Amazon Business.
Adapting for Growth
Large companies like Amazon and Google have constantly been making changes in how users interact with their platforms. As users continue to choose mobile over desktop, these companies must adapt. Google is making the desktop search results more and more like the mobile experience because of this shift of consumers migrating from desktop to mobile. The year of 2015 was the first year that mobile usage passed desktop usage.
This is important because, as advertisers and marketers, we need to adapt to the large shift that is occurring. People will always choose convenience over everything else and this is why Amazon is so successful with their large assortment and fast deliveries. Customers are now purchasing through Alexa’s and Google homes which means if you are not the #1 result, you will not capture sales through voice-activated purchases. This is why the brand is so important now.
Saying “Hey Alexa, order me soap”
is a lot different from …
“Hey Alexa, order me Dove Soap”
That brand name in the mix made an enormous difference because Amazon can pick who wins the “order me soap” but the customer decides when they say order me “dove soap”. The key to winning future sales is by increasing your brand awareness and consumer following. First, there was a huge shift from desktop to mobile, but now purchasing has been shifting toward voice searches, especially through voice-activated devices. Make sure your business thrives from these changes. Brand is more important than it ever. Grow your brand, Grow your business.
If you have questions about selling on Amazon, optimizing your listings and advertising campaigns to peak performance, please contact Prime Guidance for a free account consultation at email@example.com.
Author | Victor Dwyer, Marketing Specialist