This Episode, #10, is part 8 of the “Amazing FBA Startup System”, which is a very highly structured series of podcasts designed to take you from zero to having a product launched and selling on Amazon.
Ideally, listen to the whole Startup System, so start from episode #3.
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SHOW NOTES FOR EPISODE #10
GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL TERMS
UPC – Universal Product Code – this is what most of us think of as a barcode and it’s found on any products in your local supermarket. In fact, the code behind it can be expressed as a barcode but it’s the code itself that makes the product unique. It’s an important distinction between the CODE itself and the BARCODE FORM that expresses it because we have several forms of code in Amazon which can be in barcode FORM.
The purpose of a UPC is, as the name implies, to be a globally unique and universal code to identify a particular model or product.
SKU – Shelf Keeping Unit – This is a near-universal generic Retail term for a way of tracking products in warehousing or in retail spaces e.g. supermarket shelves.
ASIN – Amazon Identification Number – this is a code that only exists within the Amazon eco-system. However, within that system, in theory the ASIN is universal worldwide. I say in theory as I haven’t extensively tested that. But I have got one product in UK that was on Amazon USA and it does indeed have the same ASIN. So it does seem to be true.
FNSKU – The FBA SKU (FNSKU) is an Amazon product identifier for products that are Fulfilled By Amazon (the FBA of this podcast’s title) . The FNSKU identifies the product as yours. You need an FNSKU in order to create FBA Inbound Shipments, which is the next stage.
Inbound Shipping – simply means freight from anywhere in the USA (in our case, from our receiving warehouse) to whichever Amazon warehouse or warehouses Amazon chooses to store your products in.
WORKING WITH YOUR WAREHOUSE
This episode is focussed on Product Listing but you’ll want to revise the notes for Episode #9 if you’re about to ship product to your USA warehouse. But we are going to repeat what I said about creating inbound shipping labels for your warehouse to use.
INBOUND SHIPPING TO AMAZON
Navigate to the “Inventory” tab, click on Create A Shipping Plan.
Follow the process. If you want me to do a detailed video walk through, please ask me and I’ll do it!
You will input the size and weight of your cases (cartons) and the number of them (and no. units/carton). Amazon will automatically assign your products to (a) specific Amazon warehouses(s). You just need to fill in all the info, click “Create shipping Plan” & then send the resulting PDFs to your receiving warehouse.
They should then complete the process of getting your products to Amazon. Voilà! You have product live, ready to sell!!
I’ve included the warehousing and inbound shipping info here as it completes the process of getting product from your supplier to Amazon.
PRODUCT LISTING ELEMENTS
- Bullet Points
- Product Description
Underlying the last 3 elements is the hidden “Key”:
Optimising your listing
- Get professional photos done of your product. Use your sample while you are waiting for your bulk order to be manufactured, shipped and clear customs/be received by warehouse/ship inbound to Amazon. I use Brian Cottam, who has done shots for many big names including Tesco and Argos. He’s got a real eye and is a perfectionist, plus a fun guy to deal with. UK based.
- If you don’t have a sample with your logo on it, just get your photographer to photoshop on a logo (NB Only do this if your bulk order is Private Labelled i.e. your own branding with logo etc. Don’t put up any photos that don’t show precisely what your customer will actually receive
- Try to get a photo of someone using the product. Note that for some reason, Amazon dislikes just someone’s hand plus product. Odd but they did actually penalise me for it. I wouldn’t get too worried but it’s a small point.
- Try to look at the sample yourself from various angles so you can suggest angles to the photographer. A good one will have their own ideas but you might as well be as clear as possible.
- Use all 9 photos for Amazon (so get your photographer to produce enough shots for you to choose 9 to then go to post-production, where you photographer should clean up and generally enhance the shots. So maybe 20-30 shots total, of which you choose 9.
- Make sure you get at least 1000X1000 pixel size shots. That’s so they are zoomable on Amazon, which shoppers really like.
- You can re-use shots from the sample in the packaging. In which case, you will have need to have the following workflow:
- Get your photos done first.
- Get the packaging blue print from your supplier for your designer.
- Then agree the design (incorporating photos) with your designer,
- then send the design to your supplier
- then the supplier will start manufacturing the OEM (Private labelled) product and OEM (Private Labelled) packaging.
- If you don’t want this delay, order a small order (say 200, 300 units) of unbranded units, get your product photos done and get the things produced and listed! You can then go back and get your designer working on nice packaging for your product while you are getting reviews, getting ranked and getting in cashflow.
This is the approach I’ve been taking with my 2nd product – I’m just waiting for 300 units unbranded now and am only going to start the branding process once they are in stock and selling.
My designer is Amanda Reid of Clear Moon Studios. Really friendly, has a great eye (she has a fine arts degree), knows how to create packaging for Amazon products, how to communicate clearly with you and with photographer, etc.
Many people have had success with fiverr.com or 99designs.com – I can’t speak from experience as I’ve not yet used either.
Words – Title, Bullet Points, Description
The main thing to focus on with this is two areas: shoppers and keywords.
You need to think what words will help a shopper looking for your type of product. It’s not rocket science but try out a few different keywords in the search and see what comes up. What titles are helpful to you?
Most importantly: Keywords.
My process is now the following:
- Using AMZTracker (cost around $25 a month), start tracking which keywords my competitors on page 1 (and maybe page 2 if there will be plenty of sales still) are using to get found. This is incredibly powerful information.
- Decide which of these keywords to target, bearing in mind that the most in-demand ones can be expensive to advertise for. Look at the competitive landscape. Is there a keyword that is not dominated by a competitor at #1 but which has good search volume/sales associated with it? (use Jungle scout to check sales on Amazon , which is a tool you probably last used a lot in Product Research. See Episode #3 notes if you haven’t already).
- Put as many of these as you can into the Title, especially the Bullet points and above all in the Product Listing. Very important keywords need to go in all 3. Important keywords in both Bullet points and Description. Least important but still valuable keywords in the Description only.
- Use AMZTracker to see how your listing is doing in terms of keywords.
It’s really important to optimise your listing so that you maximise Conversions – the percentage of visitors to your product listing page that turn into buyers!
In the next Episode, we’re going to talk about the next stages- Launching your Product: Getting Reviews, Driving Traffic to the listing, starting the easiest and most powerful way: Amazon Ads!
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