The first thing to do when you get started with Splitly is to sync your Amazon account with Splitly. Splitly will then organize your products based on the best selling products. It also provides a hint as to what product you should start with. It will offer suggestions for each listing before you even start testing. For instance, if you are only using 5 of your 9 images, it will alert you.
The best place to start, when you’re ready to test, is with images and pricing. These are the easiest tests to run without much effort, and give very good results. Bear in mind that these are general suggestions and it will vary person to person.
Even if you’re not willing or able to get new images of your products, you can still test you main image. Simply test one of your other images as your main.
Pricing is another great test to run as long as you’re changing the price significantly. If you’re only adjusting is by $1, you’re not likely to see much improvement. However, if you alter it by $5, you’re probably going to see a large difference.
The best technique is to start wide, and narrow down through testing. Let’s say you’re testing $19.99 against $21.99, and you find that you get better results with $21.99. The next thing is to try $20.99 against $22.99 and see what performs better.
One thing to keep in mind is how Amazon does it’s search results. Google isn’t going to boost a page in its results because it’s selling well. Amazon does. This is probably the single greatest factor in search ranking. So if you’re testing different price points, you will want to go with the one that has higher sales. Since this can complicate the test results, they released a new feature called Profit Beak.
With this feature, you set the minimum and maximum price for the product. The software will then update your listing every hour, and try a different price point. This allows Splitly to gather data much faster and they can determine the best price based on profit and sales. You can adjust it so it focuses on one or the other. It can also test multiple other factors including keyword ranking and conversion.
Keyword rank tracking is a standard piece of software that most people are familiar with. Now, you can tie it into Profit Beak. You can then tell the software that you don’t want to fall below number 10 on a keyword, and that become a new floor. So during testing, Splitly will monitor that and keep it ranked high enough.
At its core, Splitly is a testing suite. When you get started with Splitly , the possibilities are endless. Unlike other tools, the software create more work for you because now you have to think of different ideas of how to tweak your listing. However, in the end, it will make you more money.
You can test a title that is packed with keywords against one that isn’t. This is really useful because the effects happen quickly. You can see your ranking change within 10 or 20 minutes. It’s very useful if you’re testing your keywords.
Your bullet points are another great test because it’s never easy to figure out the best way to go about it. It’s best not to stuff keywords in your bullet points. It’s best used for selling to potential buyers. You can look at the negative reviews of your competitors, and address those concerns in the bullets. Then you can split test them to figure out the best way to do it.
Optimising your Amazon listing basically means setting up your listings to get the most traffic and the most sales. This is especially important because you want to be set up in the best possible position for success. Optimisation does not happen instantly but it is a process emanating from having the right foundation set up. Your optimization before your first product listing is actually the laying of foundation for your products or business.
Your images are the most important part of this process. First, understand the direction to which you are driving. The first goal is to increase traffic and the image is the first thing that people see. It’s the image that causes people to click on your product. You want to use the best, most captivating picture as you main image.
You need to optimise your image for all browsers and ensure it is captivating. On mobile, you want to use portrait images because they appear bigger on mobile devices. Use various shots from different angles. It is highly recommended that you use staged shots. These are the images where the product is shot where it can be found in real life. For example, if you are selling kitchen knives, have images of them in a kitchen next to a cutting board. Include images with people using the product because then the buyers can imagine themselves using the products.. Use infographics if you need to include complex information in a simple form.
When optimising your Amazon listing, a good title has to be keyword rich and feature oriented. It needs to be keyword rich because if has to be found by the Amazon algorithm. But it has needs to be easily read by humans. Your title can give the targeted buyers a brief description of the benefits and what the product does. Ensure the most important information is captured in the first 80 characters as this will ensure this section shows in all browsers. Don’t be too specific if your product has multiple uses. If you are selling a cat brush, it is likely that it can be used on dogs and other animals. Rather than saying “Cat brush” in your title, use “Pet brush.” This will attract owners of all types of pets rather than limiting yourself to a specific type.
Description and bullets play an important role in SEO as they are indexed by Amazon. The bullets give details on the uses of the product. The first three points are always the most important since those are the one that show up in mobile. The description area is important; put the most important information in the first part as this is what shows on mobile devices. Description also gives technical specification and makes your listing more professional.
As buyers understand the details of the product through the product image they become more comfortable with the price you set for the products. Ensure the image design justifies the price set for the products.
Brad runs a one-stop consulting firm that helps Amazon sellers and one of the strategies they use is not to think of a product or product sales life cycle one dimensionally. There are different phases a product goes through. You want to identify those phases and what is need for each phase. A lot of people are wondering what to do for an Amazon launch. After the review blast is over, what do you do?
They have something called “Spur the Machine” that they do for their ASINs and sellers. It’s a four phase approach to the first step of getting something up on Amazon. In their experience, it takes about three months to get a product up and running and there’s a lot going into this.
The big thing is to take a snapshot, then stop and review your data. People tend to keep going and make small adjustments along the way. Doing that makes it difficult to see what’s happening and what’s causing it.
Some research was done on this topic. They gathered data from millions of SKUs and they found that the number of reviews stop mattering after 21 reviews. After that, it’s the amount of stars you have. Reviews matter for sure. Intuition would say that a product with 3000 reviews would do better than one with 100. However, according to the data, what really matters is the star rating.
Brad has found that when you run promotions, there is a higher rate of reviews that comes from people buying your product. The normal rate is about 1-3% of people who buy your product, will review your product. That number jumps up quite a bit when you run promotions. Usually, you don’t have to give away more than 30-50 units on products with a lower price point. With product over $100, you could probably get away with less.
A Facebook crowd around your brand is a great resource. You can promote new products there and get a good response
If you have built up a following around your brand. i.e. A Facebook page or group. You can leverage that following to help you. When you have an Amazon launch and are trying to get a new product out there, you can post about it on your page or group and tell them about your promotions, and ask them to leave a review. It’s a great resource if you have that following.
You can. It’s the idea of making your Facebook community feel special.
It’s hard to say. Within Amazon, it’s an individual person making the call every time. They have their SOPs that say if someone is given a promotion for a review, take it off. If it’s in a grey area, Brad has seen them overreach their bounds too much. However, there should be nothing against giving away promotions for your products.
It shouldn’t. It’s such a new thing and Brad doesn’t know what the internal procedures are but it’s not an incentivised review. You’re not saying, “Here’s a product so that you’ll review it for us.”
Brad could see that argument between two VPs as he has seen in the past, however, he doesn’t have much more insight than that. All he can really go on is the success of promotions in that past that his firm has experienced.
To find possible best products to sell online, as Greg mentioned in the previous episode, you can look at Amazon’s best seller, or look for trends in your everyday life. If you have time and are cost conscience then that works. However, the Jungle Scout web app was created to solve that problem. There are a few tools in the Jungle Scout web app, which is different than the Chrome extension. It’s more like traditional software. It has a database tool which is a recreation of the Amazon catalog. It’s available for the European and North American marketplaces.
What they’ve done is rebuilt Amazon’s catalog so it’s more user-friendly for sellers. You are able to search by metrics that sellers care about. You can search for all products that sell more than 500 units, have less than 50 reviews, have a poor listing, and weigh less than 5 pounds. You can put all that in and get it down to 5000 listings. From there you can get ideas of the best products to sell online. What people are are some really obscure products that people would have never thought to look for.
There’s a few strategies you can implement. One is finding a product, and improving on it. This is the age old practice. Take an item people are already buying even though it’s crappy, and just improving upon it. That’s what’s great about this day an age. 20 years ago, big corporations had to spend a lot of money doing research to find this same information that any average Joe can get by reading product reviews.
Just find a product to sell online that is selling despite poor reviews. Then filter by 1-star reviews and find out what everyone hates about it. Then contact a factory in China and have them make this one simple change. Put it on Amazon, and now you getting 5-star reviews while your competitors are getting 3-4 star reviews.
You’ll also find that anything with a higher barrier of entry will have less competition. If it’s a larger item that need to come in containers, those will have less competition, but will come with headaches. More expensive items will have less competition. The U.S. is the most competitive out of all the markets, so Greg has been expanding into Europe. According to an Amazon representative, if you combine all the European stores, they do about as much volume as the U.S.
Greg is by no means a lawyer and you should speak with an attorney about any specifics when doing Amazon product research. The information shared here should not be considered legal advice. But Greg has a lot of experience dealing with these types of things.
When doing product research, the first thing is patents. These offer protection for inventors. No one can use their idea for the length of the patent. If you do, the patent owner can sue you.
The expensive way to find out if something is patented is to hire a lawyer to do a full patent search. It’s expensive, takes a lot of time, and is full of headaches. However, you can be sure that you won’t have to worry.
Greg will look for red flags. If it’s a unique item that he’s never seen before or has a unique feature, that would be a red flag. Another would be if they’re the only one selling that type of product. Whereas if there are 8 people selling the same thing, it’s probably not patented because the patent owner would have come after them. An easy way, is many patent owner will put that in the description, or on the owner’s website. A lot of times you can just Google the item plus patent.
If at that point, you still think there might be a chance it’s patented, then it’s best to just drop the project.
Greg avoids selling products where there is strong brand loyalty. People buying running shoes, wants Nike or one of these big brands. That’s an item to stay away from. Whereas, does anyone really care who makes their alarm clocks? Apparel is another category with brand loyalty, also electronics. People care who makes their TVs and computers.
Do people care if their mixer is made by Kitchenaid? Or would they be ok with a private label? To determine this, you need to figure out how well the Kitchenaid is selling vs the private label. If the kitchenaid is selling 3000 units a month and the private label is selling 100, that’s a red flag. If Kitchenaid is selling 1000 a month and the private label is selling 600, that tells me people are willing to buy a private label.
Today I am bringing you another episode on marketing fundamentals: KLT. Know, Like, Trust. Once again, this isn’t a mindset for you, but that of your consumer which is really important to understand. Stepping back, the most important thing to understand is what marketing means. Marketing isn’t about creating a widget and figuring out how to sell a lot of it. It may look like that, but marketing is really understanding markets. Simply put, supply and demand.
If you start by understanding the markets, and find what people are looking for, then create a product that fulfills that need, that it truly smart marketing. To take a pre-existing product, and then try to sell it is much more primitive and difficult to do.
Last episode, we talked about message to market match. If you are the only person selling red dog bowls, even though a lot of people are selling dog bowls, you win. The caveat to that is credibility. I gave the example of trying to sell the world’s best dog food to cat owners and how you won’t find success with that.
Now, imagine you have that same dog food in a room full of dog owners, except that you are trying to give this amazing dog food away for free. That puts the questions in people’s minds. Why in the world would someone be willing to give away this great product for free? How can this dog food do everything it claims?
There is a simple marketing principle of KLT. Know. Like. Trust. These are the elements we need to have in place before people will buy from you. Amazon puts a spin on this that you should be aware of.
If people have never heard of you then it’s going to be harder to get people to buy from you. This is difficult to do when you only have a listing to do this with. If you are the only person selling a red dog bowl, it’s less important. However, you won’t likely remain the only one. If there is any sort of competition, you will need to work on your brand marketing off Amazon. You will need to have a website. You need a social media presence and you will want to get YouTube videos up.
The next step is getting people to like your product. It is possible to accomplish this entirely on Amazon. You must have great looking pictures and amazing packaging. No longer can you get away with putting dreadful products on Amazon and sell it. You really must make sure that you have a good quality product.
The last element is trust. If you’re going to sell dog food, and make some big claim that it’s going to make your dog live five years longer, then you need to back that up. Be careful on how to try to backup these claims. Amazon supplement sellers were leveraging the trust people had in Dr. Oz after he claimed vitamin c serum was the next big miracle drug. Soon these sellers started getting cease and desist letters from his lawyers. If you’re going to reference an expert, be sure you have their permission to do so. A long-term strategy might involve referencing celebrities and big names in your industry and paying them for permission to use them.
Let’s bring it back to the simplest stick: how to I make my listing more likely to convert? KLT. The know part is a long-term strategy. If you are around for a long time, keep showing up in Amazon results, dominate a niche, then you gradually become known to people and they start searching for your brand name. That is when you know that you’re starting to build a brand. When you’re sticking in people’s minds to the point they search you out specifically.
To get people to like you, you have to have a remarkable product. Since you, likely, aren’t well-known, your images and packaging have to look simply stunning.
Trust is much harder to build, but you are leveraging Amazon’s trust. Which isn’t the same as your consumers trusting you or your brand. If it’s on Amazon, and it has good reviews, you are leveraging the trust generated by other consumers in their reviews, and the general trust people have in the Amazon platform.
This principle of marketing is harder to implement on Amazon, but it is vital to understand it you are wanting to build a business and if you are planning to sell that business. The more of a brand value it has, the more differentiation it has from any rivals, the greater multiples you can get when you go to sell. That could be the difference between selling your business for 2x your profits versus 3x. This is when you get the payoff for all the hard work you put in now.
I want to emphasize that this is not an instant win situation. You will get quick wins with higher conversion, the real payout shows itself long-term with a strong independent business. There are plenty of tricks you can use to circumvent the system, but Amazon is quick to fix that and then you are left with nothing. What I am teaching you today is a tried and true marketing principle that has stood the test of time.
If you are serious about moving your business forward, there are still spaces left for the December meeting of the Amazing FBA mastermind in London. In January I will be expanding to include a high-level mastermind for those that are serious about creating a strong business.
What are the other numbers people make mistakes on? What things to people go wrong on and how can they go right?
There are a lot of great services out there to handle promotions, but one major mistake is failing to calculate the cost of those promotions. It might sound like a great idea to give away another 10 units until you factor in the cost of that. It’s important to get those numbers in front of you because that is a lot of money.
Weigh your reasoning for doing that. Is it important to show Amazon that continued sales velocity? Do you want to hit 1000 reviews? Is that really important? For Ryan, he has goals outside of Hello Profit and Amazon. He wants to help others. By taking a look at his numbers and not just throwing money away to be the big seller, it helps him reach those goals.
It’s a very important element of selling on Amazon that is underrated and not talked about so much. Ryan was talking with another seller that had been working with Amazon for about a year that didn’t know what unit session percentage was or where to find it.
What this is, is the ratio of people that visit your page (sessions) to the number of units that those people purchase (unit session percentage)
This number is very important to Amazon. Amazon has very limited amount of space to devote to ads and they spend actual money on you promoting products on Facebook and other places.
So it’s in their best interest to promote products that will convert. So will they choose product A that maybe 1 out of 5 times someone that visits that page, will buy the product. Or, product B that gets 1 sale out of 10? Amazon wants the higher converting product because that means they will make more money of the sales.
Whenever Ryan got his unit session percentage up, he noticed a lot more traffic to his ASIN because Amazon started promoting that product more.
Is there a magic number of conversion percentage we should hit?
There probably isn’t a magic number but Ryan suspects that it varies by category. For instance, in beauty, shoppers will more likely comparison shop. So they will look at several different items before choosing, therefore conversion rates will be lower. Unlike hammers which shoppers will likely buy the first one they come to.
On a side note, Ryan was getting around 30% in home improvement, which is really good. Sometimes up to 40%. However, if you’re getting 20%, that’s still very good. If you’re in the teens, still probably above average. However, if you’re below 10%, it’s probably a sign there is an issue with your listing.
With unit session percentage, is it important to differentiate between units per session or orders per session? For instance, if someone buys 10 units in a single order, that gives 10 units for one order
It seems to be units per session that matters. So if you sell 10 units in a single order, it’s 100% order session percentage, but it’s it’s 1000% unit session percentage.
It’s unit sales that seem to drive Amazon. If Amazon can send an ad and get 2 units sold instead of 1, they get that 15% commision twice for the same ad. It is definitely in their interest to promote that product, so focus on units per session.
Refunds often denote returns, and returns are not your friend. You will get listings, and even accounts, shut down if you have too high a return rate.
Hello Profit has recently started tracking your refunds for you right on your merchant and product dashboard so you can see your rate of refund.
Now you can see if you are having a lot of refunds and can do something about it; check your customer feedback, reach out to them, interrupt that process somehow and contact the customer first instead of Amazon and give them their money back.[When I had a product where a customer wasn’t happy, I contacted them and apologized. Refunded their money and let them keep the product. Now, that product probably had a 5-6% return rate, but Amazon showed less than 1% because instead of putting “Faulty product ” or whatever that option is called,, as the reason for refund, I put “General adjustment”, which really means nothing]
Ryan brought up an example of his experience going the other way. He had a listing taken down because of returns. Once that happens, they start doing an investigation into your inventory which can take weeks. This is just as bad, if not worse than running out of inventory.
Customer order information
Hello Profit has not gotten into the automated email append world but it’s easy to find services for that, but HP makes it easy for you to do that on your own.
In HP you can pull up your entire customer list with all the information. You get the customer’s name, their real mailing address, and their phone number, and you can take that data to get their real email address.
It’s amazing what you can do with this. For example, you can look up which customers used a particular coupon code, get their email addresses and add them to Facebook as a custom audience. Then you can drive them to your ad. They’ll see recognize your product which will legitimize your company to them. Then when they click on it you can direct them to another item, or to review that item or anything.
This is data you can’t get directly from Amazon. You can download your order data from Amazon but it doesn’t give you the phone numbers, so you can use an email append service to find the real email. What you can do, and this is free, is download the customers that used a coupon code. You can get their Amazon encrypted email and write them that way and ask for a review.
What some of Ryan’s customers have done with this data, is look at seasonal items and find that they are very geographically located. The ASIN is very hot in Texas, California, and Florida. Then, they can go on Google and target those locations only and make a killing.
What top software tools do you use for Amazon selling?
Jungle Scout (affiliate link)
Cynthia Stine – She helped Ryan get his account back up when they were shut down for image non-compliance. Her team turned him onto Canva. They convert your images to make sure they are Amazon compliant.
Time Doctor – To keep track of his VA team as they come up withnew products.
Asia Inspection – To inspect the products before they leave the factory.
Slack – For internal communications
You can’t overinvest in your staff. They are doing the autopilot tasks. If they know that you love them, and that you care about them, and you give them praise, as well as some of your cash, they’ll love you back and you’ll be able to grow much better. Empower others so you don’t have to micromanage, and you can focus on growing your company.
What trends do you see happening on Amazon over the next 18 months?
I was listening to the cocreator of the Amazon marketplace and he was fielding this question about whether Amazon was just taking over the private label space. The bottom line is Amazon is going to keep growing and the marketplace, the thirdparty sellers, just does too well for Amazon to just take it over directly.
We’re essentially Jeff Bezos’s VAs. We’re doing the hard work to make Amazon grow into the biggest most well-rounded inventory that the world has ever seen. Amazon is too large to be able to focus on a single product the way third party sellers can.
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