In 1995, a book was the first item to be sold on Amazon, which marked the beginning of the e-commerce era.
Today, e-commerce is one of the most common types of shopping worldwide and its growth seems unstoppable.
The total revenue generated in the e-Commerce field is projected to reach a whopping $2.2 trillion in 2021!
The COVID-19 pandemic has only given an added boost to e-commerce with governments across the world imposing strict lockdown measures and forcing stores to shut down.
Consumers have naturally pivoted online for much of their shopping. This trend is not likely to change even when the pandemic dies down and the world gets “back to normal” – consumers will get used to the convenience of e-commerce.
An E-Commerce Giant
In this expanding e-commerce universe, the one brand that has become practically synonymous with e-commerce is Amazon. It’s the planet’s largest retailer – it generated $280.5 billion in revenue in 2019 alone!
Around 24,000 Amazon sellers generate over $1 million in sales.
Interestingly, Amazon has also become a valuable source of information – consumers go to Amazon to compare prices, discover products, and read reviews before purchasing an item.
Therefore, Amazon is not only a retailer but can also serve as an advertising platform for your brand and products.
What sets Amazon apart from other platforms is that its users are open to the possibility of making a purchase. People who land on your page are prepared to buy even if they’re only researching products.
It’s up to you to present your product in such a way that will get them to click “buy.”
However, Amazon can be confusing to beginners, which is why you should consult this guide to build a successful Amazon marketing strategy.
Let’s dive into how small businesses can succeed on Amazon.
Newcomers usually become disheartened when their products don’t rank at the top of Amazon’s results page. While it may seem challenging in the beginning, sticking to Amazon is worth it because consumers instinctively turn to this retailer to make purchases.
There are several different aspects of a successful Amazon marketing strategy:
- Optimising Product Pages
- Amazon Advertising
- Customer Reviews
- Direct Marketing
Getting Started with Amazon Marketing
Advertising on Amazon is no different from any other type of digital marketing activity: you need to start with a plan. Do you want to raise brand awareness or increase sales? For example, if you want to focus on promoting your brand, then your Amazon marketing strategy will use impressions as your metric of success.
Start with the Best
As you’re starting out, it’s important to use your best-performing products to grow your presence. Make sure that you have them on stock and that the prices are competitive – the competition is steep so you need to come prepared.
By choosing the right products, you are increasing the chances of getting sales early on.
Your product pages need to be optimised before you can start selling. While Amazon ads can help drive traffic to your products, it is the product detail page that will convert them.
Let’s take a closer look at how to optimise each element of your product page.
Amazon allows product titles to be up to 200 characters. However, that doesn’t mean that you should stuff them with a bunch of keywords. The product should be clear, to the point, and without any fluff.
The title is the first thing a user sees when looking through Amazon, so make sure to grab their attention properly.
The product title should include:
- The name of your brand
- Product name
- Descriptive features such as colour, size, weight, etc. However, feel free to leave any of these features out if not relevant to the item.
- At least one benefit to the consumers
Your product description must not contain subjective terms such as “best”, “greatest”, or “finest.”
Also, capitalise the first letter of each word except for those like “or”, “is”, or “and.”
Finally, write out the word “and” instead of “&” and numerals “6” instead of “six.”
As you’re writing the title, think of the keywords customers would type to find your product.
Merchant Words is a great tool to discover possible keywords.
Include keywords that let consumers know what to expect even before they land on your page.
A picture is worth a thousand words – Amazon shoppers will decide whether to click on your page largely based on the product’s image.
Once they make it to your page, images play a great role in whether the consumer buys the product.
Therefore, it’s critically important to only use high-quality images of your product. Amazon allows 9 images per product.
Ideally, you want to upload all 9 only if they are high-quality images. If you can’t use 9, then aim for at least 5 relevant high-resolution images – your images should be at least 1,000px X 1,000px.
This is important because Amazon lets people zoom into each image to avoid being misled about a product due to grainy images.
Here are some other proven tips to consider:
- Upload images from different angles. This is to avoid misleading customers with deceptive angles of the product.
- Show the item being used. For example, a t-shirt should be on a model (a real person and not a mannequin) and a ladder should be placed against the wall with a person climbing it. You see where I’m going with this.
- If you can, upload images of the item taken by actual customers. This will give the person viewing the image an unfiltered view of the product. Make sure that people know that the image came from existing customers.
- Use images that compare the product with its competition using tables or charts.
Make sure that the main product is photographed against a plain white background – this is a requirement.
Product features provide sellers with another opportunity to convince shoppers to make the purchase, which is why you should take some time to write the copy for this section.
This means that your title, high-resolution images, and prices have convinced the consumer to consider your product and keep researching.
Use this section to explain how the item’s features will benefit the customer. Don’t get mired down in only listing the technical specifications – instead, show the benefits that come from the product’s features.
For example, let’s say that you’re selling a cast-iron skillet. In that case, mention how the skillet’s smooth finish allows it to be used for frying, baking, grilling, and broiling. The customer gets incredible cooking versatility.
There is a guideline that all successful Amazon sellers follow when writing this section:
- Organise the content into bullet points with one paragraph per bullet.
- Make at least the first word capitalised so that the reader knows what the bullet point is about. You can also capitalise the first several words of each paragraph.
- Be concise and don’t repeat things that were mentioned at the top of the page or list obvious information.
Don’t forget that bullet points are designed to be scannable.
If you need inspiration, look at how successful sellers offering similar products write their product features.
Also, look at customer reviews and address features and benefits that are important to them in the Product Features.
If you want to get even more information on what’s important to your audience, look at your competitors’ copy.
Since you are after the same audience, it’s likely that they’ve done some market research. Take a look and you might come across some insight into your potential customers’ needs and pain points.
Too many sellers don’t pay enough attention to this section, which is a huge mistake. In order to get to this section, people need to scroll down past a lot of featured content:
- Frequently bought together
- Sponsored products related to this item
- Inspired by your recent shopping trends
- Special offers and product promotions
As you can see, it’s fair to say that whoever makes it down to this section is interested in your product.
The shopper is strongly considering your product, so use this section to seal the deal. There are a few different things you can do here.
You can discuss some little known features that might be of interest to your potential customers or include additional images of the product.
Many sellers use this section to highlight all the features that make their product better than what the competition is offering.
Enhanced Brand Content
Amazon offers its sellers templates which can be used to customise your product listings with visually rich content to make them more attractive:
- Interactive content & copy
While EBC is a free feature, you need to meet certain requirements. Namely, only professional sellers who are recognised as brand owners by the Amazon Brand Registry can be approved.
It may take some time to get this approved, but it’s definitely worth the investment. EBC is an effective way to reduce bounce rates, build brand value, and increase conversion rates.
Amazon Marketing & Advertising
The starting point of Amazon marketing is optimising your product pages. Once your page is properly set up, it’s time to attract potential customers to your product. Amazon offers a wide selection of advertising tools to help sellers find their audience, and customers their products.
Sellers use the Amazon Advertising console to promote their products:
- Sponsored Products & Sponsored Brands: Place products in front of the right people. These ads are shown on product pages, just above the product description. A great way to improve the discoverability of products.
- Display Ads: Come in different formats and are a powerful remarketing tool to target shoppers who have previously either viewed your product or similar products. They are generally displayed under the right sidebar’s purchasing options.
- Video Ads: An effective way for sellers to engage customers and tell their brand story. The ads are auto-playing, keyword targeted, cost-per-click, and take the shopper to the product detail page. They are displayed in a below-the-fold Amazon SERP.
- Stores: Free premium content that allows sellers to create their own websites and show a specific selection of products. It’s designed to help shoppers discover your products and allows sellers to maintain their brand identity.
The platform also offers measurement solutions designed to help sellers optimise their advertising campaigns and improve results.
Amazon is not just an online retailer – it’s also a search engine. Therefore, there is a way of optimising your listings for Amazon’s SERPs.
Amazon’s algorithm is called A9 and it is often updated, so you need to keep track of the changes. It also favours the shoppers more so than the sellers.
So, you need to think like a buyer as you’re optimising your listings. There are 3 main things you need to target: discoverability, relevance, and sales.
There are many ways of helping shoppers discover you on Amazon. These are some of the most important things to pay attention to:
- Your titles should be clear and contain a few relevant keywords.
- The most relevant keyword should be first.
- Look at the competitors that are ranking high and compare their titles with yours.
Also, make sure that you’re using all the possible combinations of your products – this includes hyphenated words as well!
To optimise for relevance, make sure that:
- You use only high-resolution images, and that your main product image presents the product in the best way possible.
- Include relevant keywords in your bullet points because this will indicate to shoppers that they are on the right page
Relevant keywords should also be used in the product title for the same reason.
Marketing can only do so much; if a product is not good, then the business cannot succeed.
Therefore, make sure that what you’re selling is what was advertised – as we discussed, the last thing you want to do is mislead shoppers.
Testimonials play a huge part in whether someone buys a product or not. So, include as many reviews as possible on your page. Around 90% of Amazon shoppers report that they wouldn’t purchase a product with fewer than 3 stars.
Let’s dive into that next.
Nowhere are customer reviews more important than in e-commerce. Since shoppers can’t physically inspect the product, they must rely on customer reviews (along with high-resolution images).
Therefore, nurture the customer review section by kindly requesting a review in a post-purchase email.
You can also include a request in the product shipment along with a thank-you card.
Since you are allowed to respond to customer reviews, use this to engage with your customers.
You can reach out to your customers outside of Amazon using well-known marketing strategies.
An increasing number of sellers are setting up their own email campaigns to promote their brand. After each purchase, make sure to thank your customers and continue engaging with them, but only if they agree to it!
Add your social media accounts on your product pages to build an audience. Then use social media to announce promotions, discounts, and new arrivals.
Amazon is great for brand awareness and building your customer base. However, if you are serious about growing your business, then you should invest in a digital presence that doesn’t include Amazon.
A vast majority of sellers use other avenues – their own websites, physical stores, or even eBay – to sell their products. Therefore, don’t neglect alternative ways to acquire new customers. A website gives you an identity and a great way to reach potential customers.
Time to Start Selling
You now know what it takes to start selling on Amazon. The most important thing is to optimise your product listings – otherwise, your Amazon marketing strategy can’t take off.
Only after should you use other marketing strategies to drive traffic and increase sales.