You’ve seen all the ads, watched all the YouTube and TikTok videos. You know that selling on Amazon can be a lucrative venture if you excel at implementing the appropriate measures needed to build and launch your brand.
However, in the vast and competitive realm that has become e-commerce, excellence is not just an advantage – it’s a necessity. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced seller, there’s always room for improvement. That’s why we at My Amazon Bee put together this all-inclusive guide on how to elevate your Amazon game to the next level and have your products win Amazon’s “Best Selling” badge.
1. Research, Research, Research
Knowledge is power. Quality products in a high-demand niche with great advertising is money.
Before deciding on a product, research your niche thoroughly. Make sure what you are selling isn’t just something you want to sell, but something that is actually in-demand. Our whole lives, we’ve been taught to listen to our gut, which is great advice most of the time. But if you land on a product that your gut is telling you will be successful, but the research and data are telling you otherwise, consider that your gut may be misguiding you. At the end of the day, while it’s important you sell something you enjoy, it also must be something consumers want. That last piece is the main difference between a successful product and a doozy.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, though.
Exception 1: You don’t want to sell a product on Amazon that is already in a completely saturated sub-market. Yes, the data may show a particular product is in high demand, but in order for your product to show up on the first page of Amazon SERPs, this generally will require an astronomical amount of marketing efforts and funding. And, even with that kind of investment, there is no guarantee you’ll be able to beat your already-established competitors.
Exception 2: You intend to develop a new product that is neither on Amazon nor anywhere else. In this case, listening to your gut may be the right move. For example, here is a list of products nay-sayers insisted wouldn’t be successful, but were instant successes. If you are going to invent something new, your main hurdle while selling on Amazon will be consumer awareness. After all, how can a person purchase a product they don’t even know exists?
While utilizing Amazon’s built-in tools with third-party research software programs is important for establishing numbers, it is just as important to look at what competitors in that niche are doing. Don’t just look at their sales history. Check out their listings and how they market their products. Read customer reviews. What did their customers like about the product? What didn’t they like? How can you make a similar product even better? How are your potential competitors marketing their product? Are they just using PPC? Or do they run Facebook and Google ads? And, more importantly than anything else, what are the profit margins and can you develop a similar product and still make money after all is said and done?
Finally, in-depth research surrounding your potential niche and your potential customers is fundamental to the success of your future business. Virtually all niches on Amazon attract specific demographics and their needs. Exhaustively studying your niche will help you tailor your product and marketing strategies so you can maximize your opportunity for a successful, thriving Amazon store.
2. Optimize Your Product Listings
So, you’ve finally decided on a winning product after investing time into Amazon products and marketing research. You’ve sent out your prototypes, the sample piece from your manufacturer has been approved, and you’re ready to create your Amazon seller account and craft a killer, keyword-rich product listing.
Images & Videos for Your Amazon Listing
More than ever before, online consumers rely heavily on images and videos to decipher if a product meets their demands.
DO NOT SKIMP ON QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO PRODUCTION. Back in Amazon’s “Wild Wild West” days, a seller could slap on any old, low-res picture to their listing and solidify a sale. But with more and more consumers transitioning to online retail, these shoppers expect a virtual “experience”, not much different than going to Macy’s during Christmas. They want to feel like they are seeing your product in person, escalating the need for high-quality images and persuasive written copy that answers any questions a shopper may have.
But an information-rich listing with vivid photos and graphics won’t help you or your potential customers if nobody can find your listing. This is where keyword optimization on your listing is incredibly important. Matching keywords with consumer search inquiries won’t solidify a sale for you, but it will help your customers find you on SERPs. Think of keywords as a GPS to your storefront. Half the battle is getting potential buyers to your listing, the other half is getting them to click the buy button.
Keywords need to be positioned throughout your title, bullet points, and descriptions. More clicks are drawn to well-optimized listings with compelling, succinct, and clear content. Your title needs to have enough information available to convey the value proposition of your product. More traffic to your product pages generally results in a higher CTR.
One mistake we see many new sellers make is misrepresenting their product on their listing. We get it! You want to sell your product and boost its perceived value as much as possible to cement more sales conversions. However, do not lie, exaggerate, or misrepresent your product. When you do this, two damaging things occur:
1) You end up with a lot of unhappy customers. And unhappy customers like to leave scathing reviews when they feel they’ve been tricked. Bad reviews bring your ratings down which drops your position in Amazon’s SERPs. Plus, it obviously scares away potential customers.
2) Amazon has a return percentage threshold, which varies from category to category. If a listing has reached a prespecified percentage of returned products (compared to all transactions), your listing will be suspended. To learn more about your niche’s return rate and how to check your current return rate on your listing, read this article.
3. Provide Exceptional Customer Service
Brick-and-mortar stores typically don’t have as many bad reviews as online stores do. Want to know why? It’s because physical stores have a buffer – human interaction. When a customer has to return a product, there is someone there who (hopefully) can offer support and a resolution.
With online stores, shoppers don’t have that human connection, so they are more likely to slander a product or company if they have a bad experience. This is why it is so important to provide exceptional customer service. You need to make sure you are consistently responding to customer inquiries, addressing concerns with professionalism, and resolving a complaint or issue swiftly.
Here’s why exceptional customer service is essential for Amazon sellers:
Positive Reviews and Ratings: Amazon customers heavily rely on product reviews and seller ratings when making purchasing decisions. Exceptional customer service leads to positive feedback and high ratings, which can significantly boost your visibility and sales on the platform. Alternatively, unsatisfied customers who have a good experience with customer care are less likely to leave bad reviews.
Customer Trust: Building trust with customers is vital for long-term success. Providing excellent service helps establish trust and credibility, which makes customers more likely to choose your products over your competitors’.
Repeat Business: Providing outstanding service promotes reoccurring business. Client retention and revenue growth are positively correlated with customer satisfaction, as they are more likely to make repeat purchases. Fun fact: Did you know it costs between 5-7x more to gain a new customer than it does to keep one? This is why customer retention is crucial.
Referrals and Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Content consumers are more likely to tell friends and family about your products, which grows your clientele. Plus, the marketing is free!
Aside from providing exception customer care, you should consider analyzing why your company receives complaints and/or returns, so you can reduce the time and money you spend on unsatisfied customers and refunds.
For example, if many of your complaints are due to human error, we advise you to add a “how to” video on your listing so you can minimize the friction.
Are you overselling your products’ value by using misleading images and embellishing their quality? As mentioned earlier, being transparent and honest in your listing is the best way to go. If your product is poor quality, you are better off redesigning and re-manufacturing it than if you overstate its value.
Remember: Positive customer experiences lead to higher seller ratings, better reviews, and increased customer loyalty. If you do not have the time to be quick and responsive, you can hire a third-party company to manage your customer interactions.
4. Mastering Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Keywords
Understanding Amazon’s search algorithm is crucial as it is the GPS to your listing. It doesn’t matter how great your product is – if people can’t find it then they can’t buy it.
Mastering the art of Amazon SEO can never be overstated. Not only must you target search terms people are actually using, you also don’t want to target keywords that are too common or those that result in thousands and thousands of products on the SERPs. Fighting for first page on inundated SERPs may prove to be incredibly difficult and/or incredibly expensive.
Keyword placement is crucial, too. Placements for keywords throughout your listing are weighted differently in value. As an example, your title holds the most “real estate” value, but if your targeted search term is a longtail keyword phrase, it may be truncated on mobile devices, rendering the title ineffective at providing enough information for viewers to feel compelled to open your description page. Like we said originally, it’s an art form.
Here’s why mastering Amazon SEO is important:
- Increased Visibility
- Higher Click-Through Rates
- Improved Conversion Rates
- Competitive Edge
- Enhanced User Experience
- Targeted Traffic
- Algorithmic Preferences
- Brand Credibility
5. Consider Diversifying Your Product Portfolio
Every product has a shelf-life. Whether you created your own product or improvised and improved a product already on the market.
Every toy, gadget, electronic device, clothing accessory, baby item, and home accessory cycles through what is known in marketing as the product life cycle.
The bell curve above displays the stages every successful product goes through when brought to market. Many online businesses fail because business owners make the mistake of thinking their product’s longevity is infinite. It’s not. This is why even the most successful companies are continuously bringing “new and improved” products to market. No matter how innovative and high-quality your item is, someone will create something better and your “cash cow” will become a “crash-and-burn cow.”
The proper timing to introduce a new product to your catalogue is when your original product is in the “maturity” stage of the product life cycle. This is when your brand has established a lot of sales, reviews, and credibility, so shoppers are more likely to show interest in your next product. Wait too long, and the momentum your original product had may not be leverageable.
Other compelling arguments for diversifying your catalogue includes:
Increased Sales Potential: Having a larger product selection gives you more opportunity to draw in a different clientele. Reaching out to a larger customer base can result in higher revenue and sales.
Cross-Selling and Upselling: By having a diverse product line, you can upsell and cross-promote, using Amazon’s bundle option to add value to shoppers who may be hesitant to buy.
Improved Market Penetration: By broadening your product offering, you can access new Amazon marketplace categories and niches. This can assist in breaking into new markets and strengthening your position in your industry.
Brand Loyalty: If you just sell one product, customers may be loyal to your product, but that’s it. When you sell multiple products that people enjoy, you are positioning your entire brand as one of integrity and quality. Remember earlier when we said it costs significantly more to gain a new customer than it does to keep one? This is why brand loyalty is so important.
6. Knowing When to Outsource Work
As entrepreneurs, we all share one thing in common: the drive to do what it takes to be successful.
While hard work and tenacity are inarguably important qualities to strive for greatness, sometimes we can get in our own way.
In any Amazon or e-commerce business, regardless of discrepancies in structure and operations, there are hundreds of moving parts. From PPC to social media to customer service to supply chain, managing all these aspects of a business (and doing it well!) is nearly impossible.
Part of being a savvy online seller is knowing where your strengths and weaknesses are. In the areas of your company for which you excel and enjoy doing, focus your efforts there and commit to improving those skillsets. Anything else, outsource where you can. Virtually all prosperous brand owners on Amazon rely on a combination of software tools, VAs, and third-party service providers to help streamline their operations. You simply cannot thrive in your areas of expertise if you are constantly struggling through your areas of resistance.
Success on Amazon is a gradual process. The YouTube and TikTok videos might make it seem like it happens overnight, but it doesn’t.
Learning, adjusting, re-inventing, and optimizing all aspects of your growing company is just part of the job you signed up for. These days, doing anything subpar when it comes to your Amazon or e-commerce business just won’t cut it. The Amazon marketplace is cutthroat, so every aspect of your brand must be seamless.
This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect in every area of your business. That’s not sustainable or even possible. Knowing when to outsource some of the work is what makes the difference between savvy business owners and stubborn business owners.
Perseverance, innovative thinking, commitment, knowledge, and a customer-focused mindset are the key ingredients to any household-name brands.
Happy selling and best of luck!
Interested in outsourcing some of the operations of your online store? Reach out to us at https://myamazonbee.com/.
With over 10 years of experience, My Amazon Bee helps e-commerce and Amazon sellers develop marketing systems to scale their business upwards of 7+ figures. We are an all-service, Amazon-focused company with expertise in PPC and campaign marketing, listing creation and optimization, inventory management, account health, and keyword research.