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There are plenty of reasons you should be considering Amazon as a sales channel for your product. It has become the go-to place for online shopping and product research as people discover all Amazon has to offer. In fact, people research twice as often on Amazon compared to Google, giving the search engine a run for its money.
Amazon is a great way to get further exposure to your own online shopping site to help generate additional revenue. Shoppers can discover your brand and make purchases easily through their Amazon accounts. With these points in mind, it’s time to start your Amazon marketing strategy. Here is the ultimate Amazon marketing playbook to help you succeed.
Advertising on Amazon
Many companies don’t realize that Amazon offers an ad platform that will market your products to their massive customer base. These Amazon Sponsored Product Ads use PPC (pay per click), providing you with exposure based on the device shoppers are using. Desktop users will see ads above, alongside, or below search results, while mobile ads appear below search results. You can also appear on product detail pages regardless of the device.
Amazon offers Automatic and Manual Campaigns. It is best to start with an Automatic Campaign as you can choose a budget to have keywords chosen by Amazon that are ideal for your category. From there, you can then set a manual campaign using the best performing keywords from your Automatic Campaign.
Amazon makes it relatively easy to place your ads, but it does take some practice and analysis. As mentioned, their automatic targeting helps you find the best keywords for your ads using their search algorithms. You can then set a flat default bid to be used for your keywords, which, in turn, provides you with data you can track to see how each keyword you have chosen performs.
You should track data for at least a few weeks, so you can begin assessing your Automatic Targeting Campaign. You can choose which keywords are the most effective for your Manual campaigns. Once you have set your manual campaigns, you can start adjusting bids to suit your budget. That will take up some time as you will want to continue to watch the data to determine how things are working out for you. You can continue to test both keywords and your bid amounts to find the sweet spot.
Using Competitor Analysis
Amazon competition can be fierce. You can use a competitor analysis to see just how the competition is in your category. By checking your competitor pages you could see what is currently working in the marketing:
- Customer Reviews: Nothing will be more precise than the comments you will find on competitor pages. From packaging to price, everything you need can be discovered under reviews. Negative reviews can often offer the best insight as you can get a glimpse at what customers don't like. By avoiding these pitfalls, you will be ahead of the game.
- Competitor Updates: Choose competitor pages to keep an eye on and determine if your competitors are making updates to their content. It can be images that they might update to suit the season or additional information for their product details. These little changes can be clues that they are trying to either capture more attention or meet the demands of their customers based on reviews and other forms of feedback. You can use their changes to get clues where you can make improvements to remain competitive.
- Cross Promotion Ops: Look at complementary categories to look for opportunities for cross promotions. Read customer reviews to see if they mention anything that shows they might be interested in your product. You can also often find comments on how they found a product, which can help in your content efforts. Cross promotions are a strategy you can use much like placing easy to grab items at a check out line.
- Take Action: Look for opportunities such as competitors that have sold out. That could be a chance for you to make a price change to attract their customers. You can also increase ads to let their customers see that you have the products they need and are ready to ship.
Setting the Right Price
The goal of selling on Amazon is to get your products into the "Buy Box." The buy box is on the Product Listing page and is the first step to the checkout process. It is tricky for a number of reasons. Not only do you have to remain competitive in an open marketplace that makes finding a better price a snap for customers, but you also have to follow Amazon’s selling agreement. Their parity clause states you cannot offer a lower item price and total price anywhere else including your own channels.
Amazon’s ‘Automate Pricing’ tool allows you to choose a setting that will update your price, so it is always beating the lowest price on Amazon by a set number of cents. That keeps you winning the buy box and can also provide an alert when your price is being beaten. You can also use promotions to raise visibility and get better reviews, which is something you can do on a rotational basis as you don't want to always be selling at a discount.
Amazon allows you to participate in promotions to establish your pages when you first start using Amazon. Offers such as Lightning Deals can help make sales and in turn generate those much-needed reviews. Lightning Deals are shown throughout Amazon including the Prime Day and Today's Deals pages. They are limited to one deal per customer.
You can also choose to participate in Amazon's Early Review Program where they select random customers and provide a reward for writing a review. Customers must have purchased products included in the program. That can of course backfire should they choose to write negative comments. However, Amazon does not allow customers who have provided dishonest or abusive rewards in the past to participate. If you're confident in your product, it is a great way to get the word out.
At-a-Glance Product Listings
You’re dealing with quick shoppers who want to find the best product at the best price now. You can make sure you offer that at-a-glance experience with the following tips:
- Use a clear title, so they know what you are offering, the brand, how it meets their needs, and the UVP.
- Use single lined bullet points that hit the selling points and benefits preferably all above the fold, so no scrolling is required.
- Use impressive pictures with the main image as the star and additional images that will show relevant angles and uses when it makes sense to do so. You can also display the ingredients or instructions on the box if applicable.
- Make sure you use your brand voice in your product description keeping to the short-and-sweet rule. Tell them in as few words as possible why they need this product and why they need it now.
- Avoid keyword stuffing as it takes up space and can interfere with search results.
- Visit your pages to respond to customer questions and reviews as people will notice the effort you put in, which can help build trust.
Ask for Reviews
The easiest way for a customer to decide if you can be trusted or not is to read the reviews. You can encourage reviews and avoid negative comments by sending a follow-up email to customers who have placed orders. Amazon does have some rules regarding this process including you cannot add promotions or marketing messages in your email or include links to websites other than Amazon.
You can also not come out and ask for incentivizing positive reviews. However, this is an excellent way to confirm the order was received and ask them to leave feedback. A friendly note thanking them will help encourage them to provide positive comments. As well, you can also ask them to give negative feedback directly to you to avoid it being posted where others can read it.
Share Your Marketing
Don’t omit your Amazon pages from your external marketing channels. Share the love and use your online content to also drive traffic to your Amazon listings. You can do some testing so that you can get a little more strategic. This way, you can be sure you are using the best channels suited to your own site and the best for driving traffic to Amazon. You can consider working with influencers as they generate valuable content that they can then link to your pages. They also get a commission if they drive someone to Amazon, providing more incentive to link to your products.
Amazon offers a world of opportunity where you can find new customers and provide reliable delivery of your products. You can also take advantage of their massive customer base by using their Amazon Sponsored Product Ads. Although there is never a guarantee you will reach your objectives, following this guide will help you have the best chance at success.