There are a few things to remember with an Amazon product launch. You need to get as much traffic and sales velocity for your product as quickly as possible. This is a given in any sales capacity. Also, you need to high rankings early, as in on the first page, using an important key word related to your product. Run a promotion when your product goes live which will get people talking and stimulate sales velocity. You can make your products even more visible by turning on the automatic sponsor ads. Lastly, go after some reviews and use family and friends, who will be sure to help your product out in the early days.
It goes without saying, you need to find the primary and most relevant keyword for your product. This is something that people will be able to identify and make the connection to you as the one selling said product. You should make sure the keyword(s) are in the title of your product AND inside the URL address. People can be very lazy so when they are looking for something they are overjoyed when they can find it with relative ease. You can run Facebook ads, external ads and even banner ads from Amazon Marketing Service. Aside from Anthony’s launch too, Zonblast, you can also use Keyword Inspector and Merchant Words.
This has a lot to do with the total views your product actually gets during an Amazon product launch. If you have a low number of searches in a month, say under 20,000, you could see sales velocity stimulation in one day, see some solid movement, as opposed to over several days. However, if you only spike with search hit one hour of each day, your average will be lower. It would be much better for you to spread it out over a number of days for better results. Anywhere from 4 to 7 days seems to be a good time frame in which to work from. It’s all about averages. If you can spread your views and sales over a longer period of time, it will average out to a total that will look much better to you as the seller and to a potential buyer as well.
Make sure you understand Amazon’s new Terms of Service. ‘Free’ sales or giveaways are now considered product manipulation. The big reason the Terms of service were put into place was to stop people from operating multiple accounts and thus being able to receive ‘sales’ of the same product anywhere from 50 to 100 times during an Amazon product launch. Specifically, Amazon are trying to stop buyers from receiving codes to allow them to do this for free. You can now have your product suspended for this. Always remember this and you’ll be fine: Real sales are unique sales to an individual.
Great customer reviews are always welcome but you should not depend on them to help boost sales of your product. While Amazon won’t remove or stifle a review if a customer got a discount on your product (remember though, no coupon codes for free) they can take down good reviews, paid in full by the customer, if they have been attacking the buyer accounts. There is also some unpredictability overall in terms of the reason or reasons why Amazon removes some reviews. All you can do is turn the review machine on, have a great follow up sequence in place, and get reviews as naturally as you can. The best way to success is to have a great quality product and then you can worry about everything else.
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.
Q& A Tuesday No. 7 Show Notes:
Q1: Anila: I know that inventory listed in Amazon.com can be listed on Amazon.co.uk under the same ASIN but can it work the other way round too? i.e. listed in UK first and same ASIN listed in US after?
Michael : Hi Anila, not done it personally but I believe so. Talk to SC – but maybe talk to more than one rep so you check it out properly.
Seller Central Response:
“Dear Anila,Thank you for contacting us. As per your concern, I would like to inform you that you can use the same ASIN in various marketplaces. Lets say, if you are selling an item on Amazon.co.uk then you can list the same item with same ASIN on Amazon.com or any other market as well.”
Q2: Dan: Quick question for those selling in the US and the UK – once you’ve set up your US seller central account, and then when you’re planning to sell the same product in the UK also, do you set up a completely new UK seller central account? When I try to set up my UK account, using my business email address, it says the email address is already in use. So should I set up a completely new UK seller central account using a different email address, and pay the monthly fees separately, or should I be somehow linking my US and UK accounts?
A2: Simple answer, yes, you need a new Seller Central Account for the UK. With a different email address. But actually it is a Europe account so it includes UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain Amazon marketplaces (ie all Amazon European marketplaces).
I think this is actually good news in that it diversifies your risk – even if your US account was shut down (worst case scenario), your Europe one should be safe – and vice versa (as ever, check the latest ToS at the time of reading however!)
Q3: Ben: I noticed in your blog post to support the latest podcast that you recommend using <b>bold</b> html in the listing. [also paragraph <p>paragraph</p>] I can’t get this to work for love nor money…is there something I’m missing or have amazon stopped this? All my competition has bold in their listings…
Rob Sleath – “this has been against TOS for at least a year, if not longer. However general consensus seems to be to do it until you get told otherwise. I think they typically give you a performance notification/violation and blank out the description entirely. Performance notifications etc. are serious, particularly if you’ve had a few before. If you decide to do it you might need to do it via flatfile upload if it won’t let you enter it in the backend.”
Michael: It may be that Amazon have stopped the ability to do this directly in certain categories. I tend to copy or try to beat the competition until Amazon raps me over the knuckles but you need to weigh up risk and reward.
Q4: Ruth Hi everyone, what are the rules now on getting friends and family to review your products? Is this no longer allowed or is it allowed with a disclaimer? I am selling in the UK and after many delays my product is finally being on its way so I am working on my listing and my launch plan. I am also looking at review groups but I do have many friends and family wanting to support me and buy my product which is great, but if they could review it as well that would be even better. Also, if you sell items through other means (like in a shop or market or somewhere that’s not on amazon) – can the customers still leave a review on amazon?
Hi Ruth, as far as I know it’s always been against ToS (Terms of Service) in theory. I think it always was, to be honest.
It’s an obvious conflict of interest. Amazon and their customers obviously want objective reviews. We obviously want favourable reviews!
Having said which, if Amazon can’t link the buyer to you, you should be safe. Apparently, it’s easy for them to put you together if you’ve used the same IP address etc., otherwise you should be reasonably safe. I’ve heard that they may be able to trace your friends if you are Facebook Friends with them. But I have no strong proof or insider knowledge either way. Again a risk you need to weigh up. I might do it on a small scale if I had to but I wouldn’t want to do a large giveaway that way.
Again, you have to weigh up risks and benefits.
Risking a listing suspension over HTML in description is probably not worth doing, as the Description is no longer indexed by the algorithm and probably has little impact on buyers and thus conversion these days. So if you have had too many performance notifications, I would give that a miss.
But getting Reviews is vital, so if you have no other ways of doing it, I might push it a bit more on that front.