Amazon is an online monster – and as a smaller eCommerce business, you can choose to either fight against that monster, or tame it – and have it fight for you.
While getting to grips with Amazon might sound like a scary prospect – there’s a lot of good reasons to take the small amount of time and effort that’s going to be needed to make it happen. In fact, there’s around 6 million reasons every day – that’s roughly how many daily purchases are made on the platform, by over 350 million active members.
It’s not tough to conquer Amazon, but you do need to know where to start. What follows are 6 tips that’ll see you bring the world’s largest online retailer onside…
Make it a space for your best products
If there’s one thing you can be certain about on Amazon, it’s that poor quality products aren’t going to cut the mustard. While it’s difficult to get people to leave positive reviews (more on that later) it’s an absolute piece of cake to have them leaving terrible ones – so guard yourself against that by making sure you’re offering a quality product and service.
Knowing when to market your product on Amazon is also vital. You might have an incredible product, but if you’re entering the marketplace late, you’re going to be fighting against more established listings that already have a lot of positive review weight behind them.
Choose products you know are good quality – and enter the market before demand explodes.
Think like an Amazon user
What do you do when you use Amazon? That chances are, it’s exactly the same as 99% of other Amazon users:
Firstly, you’re going to be clicking on descriptive titles that have attractive prices. Then, when you hit the listing, you’ll spend a lot of time looking at pictures, scan the description – then head for the reviews to see what real people think of the product.
So, if you know what people are going to do, it makes sense to give them what they’re looking for. This means, well thought out titles, competitive prices, good pictures (and maybe a video) – and service the inspires good reviews.
It might sound like common sense, but you’d be amazed to see the numbers of people who think they know better than the people who are looking to buy their product…
Always be testing
If you’re looking for evidence of customer behaviour that will inform your approach to selling on Amazon, the very best way to amass that data is with split testing.
This is especially true on Amazon, because, unlike the Google Analytics or platform specific tools you’re used to using at the moment, Amazon doesn’t share a great deal of info about where your traffic comes from or click rates.
So, you’re going to have to collect the info yourself. The concept of split testing is simple – two adverts or listings, running at the same time, for the same product – but with slightly different details. Perhaps you’ll change titles, descriptions, pictures – or some other detail – but when you do, you’ll be able to look at which product performs the best. When you’ve got your answer, you’ve just improved your conversion rate. The great news is, split testing never needs to end – so you can always be working to up the profits from your products.
Use the right tools
Amazon’s seller central dashboard offers only a fraction of the information that you can lever to your advantage when you’re an FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) seller. If you want to take your Amazon selling into the stratosphere, you’re probably going to need to use software, apps and services that offer you more control.
The good news is, there are plenty to choose from. I’ve put together a guide that walks you through 43 of the best FBA tools that are out there at the moment – and there’s something for everyone. Want to do a better job of tracking profits? There’s an FBA tool for that. Would you like to manage your inventory a little better? Or translate your listings into other languages? Perhaps you’d like some help on managing refunds? If there’s a need, there’s a tool that does the job far better than a human with Seller Central can do!
Great FBA tools are like a good accountant – they’ll make or save you much more money than they cost!
Understand what your competitors are doing
The beauty of Amazon is that there’s no hiding away behind complex websites backed by marketing campaigns with mega-budgets. If you’re selling on Amazon, the world can see what you’re doing – so use this to your advantage.
Read customer reviews and questions on your competitor’s listings. This will give you a great idea of how the marketplace is responding to what they’re doing – and means you can do exactly what the bulk of customers are looking for.
Are your rivals using promotions? Seasonal offers? Are they cross promoting their products? Or, mouth-wateringly – are they out of stock?! If you can act fast, you’ll reap the rewards. Either way, you’re piggybacking on the tactics of someone who’s already performing very well.
Reviews are ridiculously powerful on your Amazon listings. Over 90% of people will not touch a product with less than 3 stars – yet people are more motivated to leave a bad review than a good one. What’s more, your Amazon review links back to your ecommerce platform – so there’s no hiding.
This means you’re going to have to work hard for reviews. The best way to do this is with an email follow up. You can’t incentivize positive reviews, nor can you market to your buyers – but you can keep them posted on their order status and ask them to leave feedback. This gives you a chance to offer them a channel through which they can complain directly to you if they’re unhappy – keeping those dreaded one-star reviews well away from the customers you’re hoping to bring in.
Oh – and if you hadn’t already guessed, there’s a selection of great tools you can use to improve your chances of getting positive reviews – including some that allow you to split test your emails – a killer combination of 3 of these top tips!
In conclusion, small eCommerce businesses can benefit from Amazon’s platform by working with it rather than against it. Offering quality products and services, thinking like an Amazon user, split testing, using the right tools, understanding competitors, and encouraging reviews are essential ways to optimize selling on Amazon. Over 6 million daily purchases are made on Amazon by over 350 million active members. It takes time and effort to get started, but once done right, Amazon can help a small eCommerce business thrive.