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Brand Analytics for Amazon Sellers with Danny McMillan

Brand Analytics for Amazon sellers

What is Brand Analytics?

Amazon Brand Analytics is a data tool provided by Amazon. It gives inside analytics on keywords in an understandable format.

Brand Analytics started in Amazon USA and has now been rolled out to the UK and European Amazon Seller Accounts.

Before Amazon Brand Analytics was on a Mystery URL – now it’s available in Amazon Seller Central, the dashboard for Amazon sellers.

You can find it on Seller Central under the “Reports” dropdown menu. 

Danny McMillan

Who is Danny McMillan?

Danny McMillan is an Amazon Seller, the host of Seller Sessions Podcast, and a public speaker at Amazon conferences and events.

Danny is also soon to be host of a major UK Amazon Conference on June 1st this year in London, England.

Danny is the guest in today’s podcast and the source of most of the majority of information on this detail (I’ve added some details and a little extra research – Michael Veazey).

For other interviews we have done with Danny McMillan, click here. 

What info do we get in Brand Analytics?

We get word Search ranking from Amazon themselves.

We can see click share and conversion share (which we’ll discuss shortly).

You can set different date ranges as well.

Amazon

Sellers should be wary of Amazon metrics

Amazon has recently boosted its revenue from advertising by a massive percentage.

More details on Amazon’s revenue from advertising here

Therefore it’s not in Amazon’s interest to make the return on ad spend too clear; it very much wants us as sellers to spend our money on advertising.

Amazon sharing data with us doesn’t make so much sense in that context.

So in this context, why has Amazon launched Brand Analytics and apparently shared so much more data with sellers?

Why Amazon has launched Brand Analytics

Firstly, brand analytics is trying to avoid Anti Trust legislation in the USA, which is basically is basically designed to prevent monopolies from emerging. Sharing more data in brand analytics is part of them trying to show open behaviour to the US authorities.

Secondly, Amazon has been trying to placate the Indian authorities, who were resisting Amazon selling there as Amazon competes as a seller on its own market place. Amazon as a seller can obviously take advantage of insider data from Amazon as the marketplace provider.   Brand analytics is part of apparently redressing this imbalance. 

Amazon Marketing Group and Brand Analytics

The third reason for introducing Brand analytics is that Amazon now has AMG – Amazon Marketing Group. This is aiming to attract big High Street brands in the USA to come to Amazon. Ultimately Amazon wants these big sellers to shift some of the advertising revenue from traditional ad agencies in Madison Avenue, who run things like TV ads, to Amazon’s advertising platforms.

These are companies that will spend $30-50K in advertising per product line at the “top of the funnel”, so including Google, TV, Facebook and Amazon ads.  

These brands are used to Google and Facebook, which are the other huge online advertising platforms. Both of these companies give precise and generous data about many things to advertisers.

If you compare google ads and Facebook data, Amazon is taking baby steps in that direction with Brand Analytics.

Amazon Brand Analytics

How to get Brand Analytics on your Amazon Account

Brand Registry 2.0 is required (this is also true for Enhanced Brand Content, an additional set of enhancements, primarily extra images and text, that Amazon offers on product listings).

This primarily means getting your trademark registered.

Trademarks and Brand Analytics

The good news is that getting a UK or EU trademark is way faster than in the USA.

In addition, in most cases, this trademark should also enable an Amazon seller to get brand registry in Amazon USA.

The reason for doing this is that in the USA, it can take up to 8 months to get a Trademark. 

However, you need to confirm with Amazon Seller Support first. This is important because – as in so many things – Amazon is not always consistent in their response.

Michael spoke to two members of the 10K Collective mastermind recently at one of the mastermind meetings. Both sellers have UK Companies and both registered a brand trademark in the UK and then applied for Brand Registry in Amazon USA. One got accepted for Brand Registry; the other was rejected.

Maximizing the chances of getting your trademark accepted first time

The key is to have a name that is unlikely to be controversial.

For example, if you are going to sell goods in a market niche or category like sports and outdoors, calling your company/brand “Sports and outdoors Inc” is likely to cause it be rejected. That’s because it’s obviously a generic term (ie not company or brand specific) that could be used by anyone to refer to this niche.

But “John Smith sports” is unlikely to cause any confusion, unless there happens

The moral of the story is: Don’t make up a name after the name of a vertical (or a niche market).

Trademarks, Brand Names and Niche Market Names 

Richard Koch (Star Principle) also advises against naming a brand after the vertical/market/niche you are trying to dominate – it’s going to confuse your consumers if you do this.

The classic bad example is the “Palm Pilot” company in the late 1990s. They pioneered a computer you could hold in your palm. Thus the natural generic name (name for the new market niche or vertical) was a palm computer. But their brand name was also “Palm”.

So when consumers spoke of “palm computers”, it was hard to know whether they meant the brand itself or just a similar type of device.

A better example of how to do it is the iPhone. iPhone is a classic super strong brand. It also created a new category of product (or vertical) which came to be called “smart phones”, in which category it was the dominant force for about a decade.  But there was a clear difference in terminology when consumers discussed smart phones as opposed to the dominant brand, iPhone.

DIY Trademarks

You can get a trademark within about 8 weeks in the UK across 2 classes.

It will take just 20 minutes to submit it yourself, which is what Danny advises.

You can submit what’s called an “image mark” – usually a logo of some kind – and a “word mark”, which is exactly what it sounds like,  basically your brand name.

Of course you can use a lawyer, but you can always do that if you don’t have success doing it yourself. This is the approach Danny favours.

Be clear on the reason for trademarking

The traditional reason for trademarking is to get legal Protection. For Danny, this is secondary to the need to get access to Amazon’s better tools through Brand registry.

Those tools being of course Enhanced Brand Content and Brand Analytics

Trademark Classes

There are about 40 of them (actually 45 at last count –ed.), and you can choose which ones you want to go for.

Here’s the UK Government’s guide to trademark classifications.

Just choose 1 or 2 classes that seem most relevant to your products.

Remember that it doesn’t matter if John Smith is a trademark in the class of “Beer and brewery products” (in class 32) if you are wanting to trademark “John Smith” in for example athletic clothing (Class 25).

This is a useful quick guide to which class your trademark would fit into

Amazon Analytics

How Brand Analytics works

You’ll see an interface

“Amazon search terms”

You can also set report frequency – daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly.

Search frequency on Brand Analytics

Example: 

.amazon.co.uk – no. 1 search term in Brand Analytics in the UK is wireless headphones as of today (19 April 2019)

It’s NOT telling you number of searches, ie search volume; it’s just the search rank.

2nd is “headphones”

3rd is “bluetooth headphones”

4th is “Easter eggs”

Amazon does not officially give away search volume in Brand Analytics (or anywhere else, indeed).

However, there are a lot of tools out there.

It’s worth noting that none of the search tools now use live Amazon data.

There was a hack in AMS for them to grab search term data for about a year.

On Dec 19 2018, Amazon closed down that loophole.

Now all the big tools use the data from 19 Dec 2018 and run an algorithm

They have a 12 month period of actual data to work with, so they are probably not too far off the mark. They are all flawed in terms of revenue and sales velocity (units sold per day or per month) but basically all in the same position.

There are 250,000 rows of data in Brand Analytics.

But there is a search box, which helps you work through the data.

Filtering by Department in Brand Analytics

You can filter down by dept eg baby – hit “Apply”

Example: UK on 19 April 2019

There are only 191 rows of results in the “Baby” category

Top search terms are:

  • “Potty”
  • “Baby walker”
  • “Baby buff”

In “Electronics”, there are 1,800 rows of results – it’s a much larger category

The top search terms are:

  • “TV”
  • “Wireless headphones”
  • “Headphones”
  • “iPhone charger cable”

What data do you get in Brand Analytics?

For each of these columns you get this data:

  • Click share
  • Conversion Share
  • 3 top performing ASINs on that keyword

Example of top performing ASINs in Brand Analytics

“Baby monitor”

1st ASIN – Motorola MBP8 baby monitor

Analysis of listing:

  • Bullet points pretty poor
  • Only 5 images
  • Product description mediocre
  • But it’s a huge brand

2nd ASIN – BT Digital Audio baby monitor

  • Bullets poor
  • Poor images, no lifestyle images
  • It’s also a huge brand

Search terms are based on Frequency in order of searches on Amazon in Brand Analytics.

Again, this is  not to be confused with search volume (Amazon does not provide this)

Example of Brand Analytics Click share

Click-share in Brand Analytics is the just percentage of the total clicks  that the ASIN received as compared to all other ASINs in organic search results.

That is not the same as the CTR (Click Through Rate) we are used to seeing in Amazon Sponsored Ads campaigns. 

Example

Motorola baby monitor 16% (position 1)

no. 2 (BT monitor) gets 12%

no. 3 gets 8.5%

In most search engines, the top 3 take the bulk of the clicks.

You could then use a tool (such as Helium10 – note, this is an affiliate link)  and look at the number of units sold, although it’s worth noting that these are predictions based on an algorithm.

 

Example of Brand Analytics Conversion share

Conversion share in Brand Analytics does not represent the conversions (sales) for a given search term. It’s the % of total sales that each of those ASINs received for that keyword.

Example

no. 1 Motorola monitor 15%

no. 2 BT monitor 18.6%

no. 3 6.8 %

Brand Analytics for Amazon Sellers

How do we use this Brand Analytics info?

This does not replace any of the search tools!

It’s best used for Discovery of potential new product ideas.

You can download the Brand Analytics  data as a CSV (spreadsheet) file.

Danny advises not to for top frequency searches (which usually have a huge volume of searches – but also massive competition).

Instead, look for medium frequency keywords,   say from 4000th rank.

Click on the product – look on the search page THEN use your own research tools (such as Jungle Scout or Helium10 – affiliate links)

Brand Analytics example in the Baby category 

  • If you have Brand Analytics, you can work through this example flow to train yourself.
  • Dig by department
    1. no. 1 is “baby basket”
    2. Let’s just look for “baby” – apply – 84 rows
    3. Now baby monitor #1; #3 baby wipes; baby bouncer is #11
  1. At #290 baby bath thermometers
    1. Click through and have a quick look
    2. Run a product research tool
      1. 2545 searches per month
      2. Sales by listing – £1071, £527; £113, £287 etc.
  1. #689 Baby shampoo
    1. Very small
  1. #179 car mirror baby rear view
    1. Pick the best seller
    2. You can do reverse ASIN – get some more search terms:
      1. Baby mirror car, car seat mirror, rear viewing mirror for baby
    3. Baby car mirror
      1. Best Listing with £4684 in revenue

Using Brand Analytics data

How you use Brand Analytics data depends on what your business model.

Let’s say your model is to manufacture in the UK – as Danny does on several product lines – and to “fly below the radar”. That is,  you aim to sell just a  few units per day but across multiple product lines, which means you’re not risking black hatters chasing you.

As long as you have quick turnaround in the product sourcing and reasonable MOQ (minimum order quantity) this can work well.

In this case, you want to look for opportunities to sell into markets driven by relatively long-tail keywords and

Product Research

Using Brand Analytics for Product research

Checking for Seasonality with Brand Analytics

The main tool is to search by date / period

This can be used to look at the previous periods (within reason) such as Q4; and is also handy for seasonal checks on products. 

Search by category, which filters the data for zooming in, 

For example selling for Halloween:

  1. You can set a date range sept 1 to 31 Oct
  2. Top 10 search terms are:
  • Halloween costumes for men
  • Halloween costumes for women
  • Halloween costumes for girls
  • So put these into your search tools and get a list of search terms for Halloween

What you don’t want to do, for example, is to buy halloween cups only to find that people want to halloween costumes. Brand Analytics gives you more data to help you make that choice.

Seller Sessions Live

Sellers Sessions Conference in June 2019 

Most conferences in the UK have 1 guest speaker and cost around £300

Danny wanted to give Amazon sellers the same selection  people get in the USA.

So he is Bringing in 6 international speakers from the USA and South Africa.

1st Focus: Education

In the keynote theatre – tiered arena – have a workspace in front of you.

Second focus: make sure people understand

Danny knew how to get things across to students at college


Speaker Lineup for Seller Sessions Live on June 1 2019

  • Ivelin Demirov- runs Orange Hatch marketing group – one of the greatest minds in the space
  • Anthony Lee  (President of Six Leaf) doing ranking since 2014
  • Liran Hirschkorn – great all Round Amazon seller and marketer
  • Casey Gauss – from Viral Launch
  • Paul Harvey – education background
  • Athena Severi
  • Danny McMillan himself

Higher Conference Moral Standards

This year – it’s Danny’s own money and only going to break even this year

There is no sponsorship this year. Danny walked away from lead sponsor and left £5000 on the table. The reason was that the sponsor wanted to charge an Interest rate that was 60%!

Danny couldn’t do that with a good conscience to fellow sellers. 

Danny wanted to get away form the “ Ponzi scheme” type event with feel good atmosphere where sellers get overcharged at the end for an event when they are hyped up.

This is not about  3 little “pony tricks” then getting you on a desert island

Danny wanted to set a new standard for sellers./

To find out more about Seller Sessions Live click here

The location is in London in Aldgate- near Liverpool Street in the City of London, which means it’s nice and quiet on the weekend.

(Early Bird tickets are now sold out)

So tickets now cost £319.

266 eCommerce Strategy on Amazon with Joe Jaques Part 2 of 2

We have Joe Jaques who is a member of the $10k Collective back on the show as we dive deeper into building an eCommerce strategy. Read More

249 Chinese Sellers on Amazon – How to Beat Them! with Chris Rawlings of Judolaunch

If you missed parts one & two of my conversation with Chris, make sure you check them out here. If you’re all caught up, let's jump right in. As you know, Chris is the founder and CEO of Judolaunch–a product launching service designed to help sellers infiltrate the international markets. Chris has already given us so much valuable information about starting an Amazon business and going international; today it's all about how to compete with Chinese sellers on Amazon. Read More

167 Sponsored Products & Amazon PPC Q&A with Brian Johnson

We have, once again, Brian Johnson of PPC Scope and Sponsored Products Academy on the show. After we released the previous episodes I got so many questions that I had to get Brian back on. We’re going to do a Q&A session right now to address questions sent in from the listeners. Read More

153 Selling on Amazon.com with David Aggiss Part 1 of 2

Today on the show, I have one of the first contacts I made when starting this show, David Aggiss. I had him on, all the way back in November of 2015. Since then, he has given up the day job and is his own full-time boss. He has a few business, one of which being an Amazon business. We’re going to dive in and find out David’s strategy for selling on Amazon.com.

Getting Started selling on Amazon.com

David started learning about Amazon in April/May of 2015 and began receiving some training. In about four months, he started selling his own product. He took off quite well in Q4. At the time, incentivised reviews were still allowed so he made that a large part of his strategy. His sales exceeded his expectations going from 10 units a day to 30 on average. He launched his second product in Q4 last year and focused on his listing since incentivised reviews were no longer available.

Finding a product

There are a lot of techniques for finding products. David decided to simply look through Amazon. This is a great technique for finding good products. Look for lower prices and low competition items when first starting out. If you find a good product and the listing isn’t optimised, then there is definitely an opportunity for you to sweep in and take over. You can use Google Trends, Merchant Words to help you find what popular and what people are looking for.

David didn’t use any tools to find products, like Jungle Scout etc. He didn’t know what his products would be so he wouldn’t know what to search. Once he picked the products, he verified through Jungle Scout that there was a demand. Now he has about 5 products he’s working through launching.

He search Amazon to find his products. He narrowed his search to products between $15 and $50 and looked for products that interested him. If you are interested in the product then it’s easier to relate and figure out what those buyers are looking for. Then you can tailor your listing to those shoppers.

Selling on Amazon.com Post-Incentivised Reviews

Getting reviews has become much more difficult since Amazon banned incentivised reviews. With this new world, you have to pay more attention to reviews since you can no longer give products away in exchange for a review. One thing to pay attention to when getting started with a new product is the number a reviews your competition has. If they have thousands of reviews, it’s going to be much harder to compete because it is more difficult to reach a competitive level.

Make sure you competitors only have a hundred or so reviews so you can better compete. Then you can use other services to help get legitimate reviews. You can also try to get traffic coming in from off Amazon.Ads on Facebook, Google, and Bing are great places to start.

There are also ways you can use Amazon to boost your listing. Spending heavy on PPC at the beginning is a good way to drive traffic when selling on Amazon.com. Once your listing gets going, then you can cut back to where it’s profitable. One thing David mentioned was participating in Lightning Deals. These deals on put on by Amazon that offers their shoppers very good discounts for a very limited amount of time. There is a link underneath your Advertising tab on the main screen of Seller Central. It’s not all the time, but Amazon will offer you a Lightning Deal when it’s relevant. This is a great way to drive a lot of sellers to you listing and gives a nice boost to new products.

Amazon sets the parameters. They will tell you the time slot, the minimum number of units, and the sale price which is based on your sales history. David, for example, recently got a time slot for 1am to 7am. Not the best time as many people aren’t looking at Amazon so early in the morning. Despite that, he had an additional 40 sales from the deal.

137 Best Products to Sell Online with Greg Mercer – Part 3 of 5

Talking about the best products to sell online , Greg Mercer, Let’s back it up to how get ideas in the first place. Do you do that organically, or do you use some sort of tool?

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.

Let’s talk about competition. I would imagine by the end of the year, a lot of people will be using the same tools when deciding what to sell online. A lot of people will be using the Jungle Scout suite trying to find the obvious products. How do we deal with the competition? You mentioned going for the obscure products, do you have any other ways to find the best products to sell online on Amazon?

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. 

135 Greg Mercer on the Best Products to Sell On Amazon – Part 1 of 5

We have Greg Mercer on the show again. You can listen to our previous interview on product research, as well as one on supplier negotiations. Greg studied civil engineering at university and had a corporate job that he hated. He began selling on Amazon as a break from his day job. He managed to quit his day job and just do FBA full-time. He did that for about two years when he was frustrated by trying to find products to add. The best way to scale your Amazon business is by adding more products. Greg didn’t have a lot of capital to throw around so he wanted to find ones. Out of this need, Jungle Scout was born. Now he joins us to help us find the best products to sell on Amazon.

Today, Greg is still selling on Amazon. He has released a few products in the last few months. He’s been working on Jungle Scout, and that has expanded into a quite a tool for Amazon sellers. There is Jungle Scout, which a research tool. Jump Send is a deal site to get you additional sales, as well as a follow-up sequence. Splitly is an AB testing tool for Amazon sellers. Fetcher, which is profit analytics. It calculates what you’re really making after refunds, promos, etc. All the numbers Amazon likes to hide from you.

Let’s start with the one thing that every struggles with: finding something to sell. What is your first step to finding the best products to sell on Amazon?

That’s a common issue. Everyone knows how good of an opportunity Amazon is, but it’s finding products to sell that is a struggle. The best products to sell on Amazon are ones that have existing demand, that means Amazon customers are already searching for it. You want products that have low competition and that have good margins. Those are the main things. Other things you may want to consider are whether they may infringe on any patents, and they don’t need to be licensed. Think of liability; if a person can hurt themselves with it, you may want to steer clear. Lighter, smaller items are generally less complicated. They are easy to ship and you don’t have to worry about oversize storage limits.

Jungle Scout was created to solve that issue, but you can look on the Amazon’s best sellers page. You can get ideas from Pinterest, look at what people pin a lot. You can hang out in big cities where trends start first. Once you do that, make a list of product ideas and go to Amazon. There is actually a free way to find out how well a product sells. You can click on a listing, then look at the best sellers rank under the product description. Then you can go to junglescout.com/estimator. It’s a totally free tool, you don’t even have to put in your email. You put in that sales rank and it will give you an estimated amount of units that product sells on a monthly basis and see what the demand is.

You say you want high demand and low competition, can you define that in some way, and how do you find that out?

For demand, you want to look for products that are already selling on Amazon. A beginner mistake is that people “know” that a product will do well if it gets on Amazon. A small percentage of the time, that might be true, but more often than not people are wrong. It’s much safer and less risky to go with something that is already selling.

I want to see 2000 units a month, being sold on Amazon. Let’s use a coffee cup as an example. If you search “coffee cup” on Amazon. Then take the top 10 listings, or however many are relevant. Let’s say 8 are selling coffee cups. Then click on each of the listings, get the best sellers rank. This is helpful because it tell us how well this product is selling. This number, by itself, is very difficult to interpret. However, at Jungle Scout, they have come up with an algorithm that can estimate how many units are sold based on that number. It changes on a daily basis and they have a full-time data scientist that is always updating this. So, get that number for each listing, find the units sold on Jungle Scout and add them up. If it’s more than about 2000, then the demand is there.

One issue that many people have had, is regarding the monthly sales number. Some sellers have noted that the estimate Jungle Scout shows differs than the actual numbers when they lookup their own products.

The first thing is to look out how they drive these algorithms to estimate the sales. Depending on the category, they collect between 200,000 and 500,000 data points every month for that category. This is the relationship between the unit sales and the ranking number for that day. Then they run a regression analysis and they come up with a line of best fit to estimate the sales based on the rank.

The best sellers rank changes on an hourly basis. The way they estimate sales is that if a product continues to sell as well or as poorly as it has for the past few days, this is how many units will sell in a month. If, last week, your product was selling 10 units a day, but this week is selling 1 unit a day, Jungle Scout will estimate based on the 1 unit per day. So you’re sales might be 60 units that month, but Jungle Scout will only estimate 30. It’s the best they can do with the limited data Amazon gives out.

Some people will get on there and see their products are 10% more than Jungle Scout’s estimate and will conclude that you need to add 10%. That’s not true. If you look at the regression analysis, there are some points that run above the line, and some below. They’re taking the average of hundreds of thousands of products in a particular category. So, your 1 product may not fall on that line, but if you average the whole category, it will be on that line.

People seem to put too much faith in tools. You can give me the best painting supplies in the world and I still could paint a good picture.

Exactly. People get caught up, too much, in the tools. Keep in mind this is still just an estimate. You’re using this tool to determine a ballpark range on a product’s sales. Jungle Scout may estimate that a product does 900 units a month. In reality, it might be 800 a month, or 1000 a month, but you know it’s in that range. It helps with forecast and it help determine if there is good demand in there.

Let’s go back to the 2000 units a month number. I had a product that, on Cyber Monday, sold 103 units. Now, the same product is selling 4 or 5 units a day. How do you account for that, especially this time of year when sales volume tend to be low?

This is difficult. One tool that helps is Google Trends. This tool allow you to see how a search term has trended over the years and seasons. This is a fairly good gauge of how items will sell on Amazon. As many people know, Greg has done public case study selling bamboo marshmallow sticks called Jungle Sticks. Based on Google Trends, you can see how the sales have changed based on the seasons. January to February are the slowest times. July and August were the highest times. And if you look at the sales, you can see that matches up. So can look on Google Trends to determine if this is a high season or a low.

The reason I like to use the 2000 or 3000 units, is because people like to answer “It depends”. It’s too arbitrary if you’re a beginner. At the end of the day you’re looking for the item with the biggest spread between demand and competition.

As you know, sales tend to spike in December, plummet in January, then even out the rest of the year. Would you try to take account of that?

If I was a complete beginner looking to sell my first product on Amazon, I wouldn’t worry about that. That’s more higher level strategy. Focus on getting your first product up on Amazon and learn the rest later.

If you’re already have your products on Amazon, and you’re trying to figure out forecasting, that is a good idea. Two good resources are Google Trends, and Keepa. Keepa has a really nice, free database of how sales rank has trended. A lot of products have two years or so of data. You can look at the and see how the sales rank has trended over the months and seasons. You can try to start estimating how well your product is going to sell.

Some products you can tell by common sense. If you’re selling lawn products, then the summer months are going to be the best. Other products, like the marshmallow sticks, it’s not as clear when they’ll sell well and Google Trends can help with that. If Google Trends shows there is twice as much searching for marshmallow sticks in the summer months, then you know to order a little extra inventory.

How do you measure competition?

Reviews are a great indicator of competition. That’s probably the biggest thing to look at. On top of that, the quality of your competitors listings. If they have a poor listing, like one picture, a really crappy title, than that is someone that would be much easier to outrank. As opposed to someone with a really good listing.

The first thing to look for is how many reviews they have. Older, more mature products that have been selling consistently well, are harder to outrank.One way to tell how mature a product is, is how many reviews it has. An older product that sells well, is going to have more reviews. A product with 1000 reviews is going to be much harder to outrank than one with 15. A rule of thumb is to look for something, where 3 or 4 of the top reviews have under 50 reviews. That signifies that it’s probably a young niche.

Tell me about the relationship between the average review and the number of reviews. I had a product that had a 4.9 average but only 22 reviews. It was selling quite well against competition which had 700 reviews. Is that a one-off thing or is there a correlation between the average review?

One thing to understand is how Amazon ranks the listing. They use keyword relevance. The sales velocity probably makes up about 50% of the algorithm. That would be the number of sales per day. Another factor is the conversion rate of your product. Now the sales velocity and the conversion rate depends on a number of factors. Those including the quality of your pictures, the price, the social proof, the average star rating. If you competing against other listings that have a lower rating, then you’re probably have better conversions and more social proof. People would much rather buy a product with a higher average rating than one with more reviews.

I’ve noticed that if a product goes from 4.9 to a 4.6 average, the conversion almost halves.

Yeah. Visually, if you have a 4.9 average,Amazon displays 5 stars. But a 4.7, they show 4 and a half stars.

126 What Really Makes Ama­zon Shoppers Buy

I wasn’t planning on recording any podcast for a few days but I just had an experience as an Amazon buyer that is very important for Amazon sellers to understand.

Psychology is very fascinating to me and it should be to you as well. There are different parts to the Amazon supply chain and psychology plays a major role in many of these. The aspects that I am most fluent in are negotiations and selling/marketing. What makes consumers buy and what makes consumers attracted to your projects?

Recently we talked about message to market match and that if someone is looking to buy a red dog bowl and you are specifically selling a red dog bowl then they are much more likely to buy your product. This is a very powerful concept. This can be the basis for an incredible business. The other thing we talked about was Know, Like, and Trust.

Seeing this from the Buyer’s Perspective

The other day, I was going to print some music from my Brother printer and I was getting an error telling me to change my toner. I didn’t want to deal with this but I knew I had to take care of it and not be lazy. Notice, I’m reacting to a problem. I’m not thinking this through like a business transaction. It’s a consumer purchase, I’m not a print shop, I’m just a musician that occasionally prints some stuff. I didn’t plan it, I didn’t know about it and I didn’t want to do it but it’s a necessity. I was motivated by urgency.

Urgency as a Driving Force

That’s often the case with consumers on Amazon with all types a products. From things as mundane as a printer cartridge or as urgent as forgetting to get a birthday gift for your spouse. If I had more time I would go down to the shop and buy the cartridge or item I needed. However, I just so busy, I need to buy it quickly on Amazon and get on with my day.

In my urgency and need to be done with this quickly, I almost missed the mental processes that took place. So, I get on Amazon, search for the printer cartridge I need and scroll through the listings. I got to about the fourth one down and immediately decided that’s the one I want, almost missing what was going on in my head.

The Value of Bundling

The first listing was £9 and it looked like a compatible item, but I scrolled past it until the fourth or fifth which really caught my attention. It was such an intuitive process that I had to slow it down and ask myself, “why am I about to but this?” First off, I’m not in a price comparing mood. It was way cheaper than I was expecting. I was expecting £40 or £50 for an actual Brother cartridge and the listings were in the £9 to £15 range. My price resistance was way down because I was prepared to pay almost 5 times that amount and move on. Since it was so much cheaper, I wasn’t going to sit there and compare prices.

What set the listings apart, and what won it for me, was the one offered a two-pack. If I were to reverse engineer my buying thought process, the first thing that got me was that it was a two-pack and bundling brings out the value thinking. The price compared to the top listing. I could see that it was a value to get the two-pack over the one pack. The my frustration of running out. Since I didn’t want to be in this situation, I would want to buy the two-pack so I wouldn’t have to go through this. This is true for a lot of stuff. If you are selling anything renewable, bundling them brings value to the buyer because they don’t want to run out in a month or two.

The Value of Message to Market Match

The next thing thing that won me over was that it specifically said it was for a Brother printer. The listing said exactly what I wanting to see rather than almost what I wanted to see. That helped push me over the edge and buy it.

Psychology of Sales

Even as an Amazon seller, I was almost taken unaware with the way selling works. If I didn’t spend my life working on Amazon and teaching others how to sell on Amazon, I would have completely missed how the psychology of this process works. It came down to three things.

  1. The price, relative to the other listings
  2. The bundling value
  3. The exact match of what I was looking for

The last thing I noticed that influenced my decision want the ratings. The top listing had 39 reviews and 4.5 stars. It was that little bit of imperfection. Whereas the one I bought had 16 reviews and a 5 star average. If I were being objective, I would calculate it. The one listing had many more reviews and likely had just as good overall satisfaction. Some buyers will do this, so it is a very important aspect to be aware of. However, in these urgent situations, consumers tend to be irrational and see 4.5 stars compared to 5.