In the previous episode, we began our discussion with Dana Derricks of copywritingprofessor.com about the importance of copy and a little about the format he explains in his book, The Amazon Listing Optimization Secrets Work Book. He also explained why the title is 50% of your listing in terms of optimization. The title has two jobs: get ranked for certain keywords and get the click. Here he shares what to do with the rest of the listing.
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.
Split testing is a technique you can use to test which variation performs better. It’s very common in web design. An online store may want to find which color checkout button converts the best. They would then show half their audience one colour, and the rest another and track conversion rates. It’s very important to split test your Amazon listing to help optimise it.
Andrew Browne co-founded Splitly as a way to use this technique with Amazon listings. This way you are able to test different aspects of your listing, to fine-tune every feature so it converts as good as it can. You can test different main images and title to find out which gets better traction. This uses objective data rather than your subjected intuition.
It is the first thing your customers see therefore has a major impact on getting potential buyers’ attention. If you split test your Amazon listing image, you can determine the best picture that will get people to click on your product.
One success story that Andrew shared was one he did on his own product. He wasn’t looking for results, he was merely testing the software. In doing so, he found that by changing the main image, to one he thought were do poorly, he improved his conversion rate by 50%.
Another great place to start is your price. It’s easy to test and is incredibly impactful on your conversion and you can get your results quickly. Other places to test are your title, bullets, and product description.
Splitly is an amazing tool that does the split testing for you. When your start you test, your listing updates at midnight, Amazon time, which is GMT-8. The reason for that is Amazon does your reports based on that time. Then every night at midnight, you listing updates with the other version of your listing. While it’s not true AB testing, it’s the best you can do with Amazon’s limitations, and it’s better than using your own intuition.
It’s important to understand that split testing isn’t for saving products. If you have a failing product, it won’t help to split test to try and save it. You need to have enough traffic in order to get enough data to make improvements. You want to split test products that are already doing well in order to improve them and boost them a few percent. You’re looking to improve upon products that are already getting traffic and sales.
How long it takes to split test a listing depends on a few factors. The more sales your product gets, the quicker you’ll get your results. If you’re selling 5 units a day, Splitly will be able to collect enough data much quicker than if you’re selling 1 unit a day.
The significance of the difference places a large factor. If you’re testing a price difference of 5 cents, it might not affect the sales enough to determine a winner. Whereas if you’re testing a $5 difference, it will have a larger effect and the software will be able to determine which is better.
There is no specific number, it just depends on how long it takes Splitly to gather enough data to give you an answer. It may determine that there isn’t enough difference to go one way or another.
Q.1 Stefan CONVERSION RATES
Lets talk conversion rates – what sort of % are you all getting through ads and through organic? I am in patio, lawn, garden and getting a terrible 2-3%. I think it might be my main image.
I have tried the price. Its really weird – I tried price points between $10 to $25 and am not seeing a big difference in conversion %. Obviously at $10 I am getting more conversions, but I’m also getting more sessions. The conversion % is still 2-3%…. 🙁
Broadly: below 10% is not good in most categories; 5% or under is emergency level.
I would test price, which sounds like you have, and test main images.
Yes it will affect CTR but it will also affect conversion as well.
Q. 2 Alexandros BREXIT
Hello guys, does anyone here have an idea on how the Brexit is going to affect FBA businesses (apart from making importing more expensive) ?
As you say, main effect is making importing more expensive if you’re converting out of pounds and buying from the Chinese in USD (or probably RMB too).
If you have USD, keep them! They are more valuable than they were to UK sellers and probably will stay so for a while.
If you haven’t already done so, set up a USD account in the UK (eg Metrobank, my bank; HSBC) and set up a receiving account to receive your USD from amazon.com with Currencies Direct.
The Euro is also more valuable at the moment if you have been selling in Europe, but seems to be a more troubled currency than the USD. You can set up a similar setup (I haven’t done this yet as not yet selling in Europe).
Q.3 David PROFIT/AMAZON ADS
PROFIT HUNGRY: Just looking for some advice on whether or not I should keep PPC running on one of my new products…really trying to maximize the bottom line, not just increase revenue. This maybe be only answered by A/B split testing +/- Ads.
Below is a quick snapshot. Thanks!
1. Launched with no reviews this month and ranking on page 1 for just about any keyword I can think of now with only 2 organic reviews.
2. 1/2 my sales are coming from PPC.
3. Avg. CPC is ~ $0.50.
4. A lot of keywords I am in position 1. For keywords where I am raking 4-5 organically, PPC pushes me to the top stop on all Ad keywords.
5. Eventhough, the ACOS is acceptable on the main keywords, this Ad spend is driving down my profit margin.
OVERALL, IS THE AD SPEND WORTH IT? WILL I GET ROUGHLY THE SAME # SALES WITHOUT IT?
Broadly: is your ad spend worth it?- depends on a. your conversion rate b. your profit margin. Your ACoS of 11-14 % roughly looks good as long as you have a healthy profit margin.
If you spend 50 cents a click average (As you say) and you have for example a conversion ratio of say 20% (1 in 5), it will cost you $2.50 ad costs per sale made though Advertising;
Then if your organic sales are 50% of your overall sales (as you say) then your average cost of advertising across ALL your sales would be $1.25 a unit. If you have a $5 profit margin, fantastic; if it’s $1, you’re making a loss.
So the missing pieces are: conversion %age and profit margin.
In answer to “Will I get roughly the same sales without advertising” – simple answer: no! You said yourself – only 50% of your sales are organic. You will nearly always get more sales with advertising; the P & L question is whether you make overall more profit with it than without. To answer that, you need to crunch the numbers.
Q.4 Ben PROMO CODE WORRIES
I’d just like to clarify some details regarding discount codes.
I understand that I can limit these to one use per customer.
But does that limit it to one ITEM per customer?
So, a customer might be able to use the code once, but in that one purchase wipe out loads of my inventory?
Thanks everyone 🙂
Good news: as long as you use only a $ amount off, you are perfectly safe.
customer has your coupon code for $19 off.
Buys 1 unit of your $20 product, pays $1.
customer has your coupon code for $19 off.
Buys 3 units of your $20 product, pays $41.
NEVER use %age off for a giveaway. Here’s why:
customer has your coupon code for 95% off.
Buys 1 unit of your $20 product, pays $1.
Looks okay, right?
customer has your coupon code for 95% off.
Buys 3 units of your $20 product, pays JUST $3
Buys 300 units of your $20 product, pays just $15!
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Q. 1 Mounir
I had a great news today: Top seller on my sub category after less than a month 🙂
In order to keep delivering good product, I now need to do inspection before products leave China. I already paid 30% of my new order which will be ready next week and I’m looking for inspection companies to insure the quality.
– What is the best practice: Should I pay for the 70% left before sending the product to inspection or after ?
– Are inspection companies fast enough to process the order or it will take them sometime ? days, weeks ..?
– According to your experience: Could a 250 items – 80g each take more than an inspection workday ? the product is very simple and has very few moving parts.
– Any experience with asiainspection, fbasourcingchina, topwininspection.. ?
Thanks in advance !
Normally an inspection company would visit your factory so you wouldn’t normally “send” your z products anywhere.
So normal process
1. Products inspected after completion and before packing for shipping (Pre shipment inspection) according to your inspection and or testing criteria.
2. Report sent to you by inspection company.
3. You either accept or reject the batch.
4. Then if you accept at that point you transfer the remaining 70% to supplier.
If you are struggling with details like this, chances are you need more than just a Facebook Group – you need a peer group and some input from others who have hit your problem and solved it.
Best thing is a mastermind – there are many options, including the one I run ( more details here) – pick one and go for it, just be sure that you will get real input into your business though.
If mine is full (we have two places left at time of writing), find one to support you, but don’t suffer in isolation!
Quality control revolves around the concept of 3 levels of defects:
When you define tests or inspection points, you need to define whether any defects related are critical, major or minor.
Inspection Level – AQL – Acceptable Quality Limit – see here for explanation
AQL basically defines the overall quality level of a batch of a product.i.e. the %age of critical, major and minor. There are 3 levels, AQL I (low severity) AQL II (normal severity), AQL III (high severity i.e. highest quality threshold).
AQL II is considered standard for most consumer products. However, I would consider AQL III, since Amazon customers are very fussy buyers and have a weapon in product reviews to instantly damage your reputation.
I would use in order of importance
You probably will have between about 10-20 points for a straightforward product.
I think 250 items if inspected at highest level would be less than one man day
If it is a simple product, I would use someone like www.trigo.com, which I haven’t used personally but some of our guests on the podcast have.
EBAY: Anybody use Ebay as a pricing model? For example, take the average selling prices people are using to re-sell your product on Ebay and test this as your selling price on Amazon. If I do this, I could likely dramatically increase my net profit. Just having re-sellers on Ebay tells me my price may be too low. Any thoughts?
My immediate thoughts: Just because someone has listed your product on eBay, doesn’t mean they have made any sales. And if they make sales, we don’t know if the sales volume is significant (and therefore overall profit per week/month etc.)
HOWEVER…the only way to really know is to TEST!
Use splitly.com (which I’ve used) or cashcowpro.com (which I intend to check out) or similar split testing software for Amazon (these are both only valid in the USA at the time of writing) – you can probably test the price specifically with the criterion of which maximises your profit. Certain splitly can do this. Then you will have some objective data to give you a much more reliable answer.
If you do this, please let us all know, I’d be fascinated by the result!