Staying Ahead of the Competition in 2020 by Improving Your Amazon Sales Rank
Exceeding Amazon’s expectations when it comes to an exceptional customer experience has always been one of the most important priorities as an Amazon seller, because it helps your Amazon sales rank. As we continue to work through 2020 and this global COVID-19 pandemic, this challenging time is the perfect opportunity to focus on optimizing the way you do business on Amazon.
With so many sellers listing their wares on the world’s largest eCommerce platform, it has never been more important to deliver an unmatched buyer experience. In this eCommerce climate, inspiring brand loyalty from the Amazon customer is an essential strategy to help cement your status as a reliable seller.
Here are a few steps that you can take as a seller to not only meet Amazon’s expectations, but to exceed them - and to keep your customers coming back for more!
Your Seller Reputation Should Be Your Top Priority
Even though the world as we know it has been shaken, irreversibly by the COVID-19 crisis, it is as important as ever to establish a sense of normalcy when conducting business on Amazon. Customers, now more than ever, crave consistency and reliability from the people who deliver their essential and non-essential items.
Now is the perfect time to focus on improving your reputation as a seller by delivering accurate and speedy fulfillment, providing high-touch, personalized customer service, and making your customer feel like they are your number one priority. At the end of the day, nobody wants to buy from a seller whose reviews and reputation are negative or questionable.
How Amazon Sales Rank Works
More sales equate to a higher product ranking on Amazon, and those higher rankings ultimately lead to more sales. To help, the number of product reviews is important, as well as the quality of those reviews. Answered questions on your product pages, even if it seems like a trivial question, also helps you rise in the rankings and plays a crucial role when it comes to your conversion rate.
Remember, selling on Amazon is not about the sprint, but about the marathon. A little effort goes a long way when it comes to customer engagement. Due to the nature of eCommerce being a highly visual marketplace, high resolution, cutting edge images are a great way to boost your Amazon sales rank per listing. When choosing images for your product page, make sure to adhere to Amazon's image guidelines. Although many sellers view Amazon’s guidelines as more of an annoyance, they are actually put in place to help YOU, the seller, by creating visually appealing content that has a high impact on potential buyers.
It is in your best interest to follow Amazon’s guidelines, instead of fighting them. When evaluating your product page, make sure your images are a minimum of 1,000 x 1,000 pixels, and that the zoom feature should be enabled so the customer can click on the image and view the product in closer detail (this feature is often overlooked by most sellers!). The price you choose for your products also influences your conversion rates and sales, and can affect your ranking on Amazon as well.
Tips for Boosting Your Amazon Sales Rank
Choose an Amazon Approved Title
Each title should contain keywords, be easy to read, and needs to stay under 200 characters. You should also include your brand in the title, then any additional product information.
Create Easy-to-Read Bullet Points
When you list all the product features in this format, you are making it much easier to read the important facts about your product and it allows you to again fill in those keywords to increase conversions.
Tell Your Brand Story By Writing an Engaging Description
This is where you can expand on those features (this area gives you more room to write about your brand story, uses of the product, etc.) while still including your keywords. This also helps to increase customer engagement as well as your conversion rates.
Don't Forget to List the Technical Aspects of Your Product
This information should include the size of the product, the weight, color, and any other information that provides specifics for your listing.
Use Relevant, High-Ranking Keywords to Boost Your Search Results
There is a character limit on Amazon when it comes to search terms, but you can use a keyword planner to help with this. Never provide irrelevant or misleading information, don't include content that is just too long, and only use a single space to separate your keywords.
A Word About Amazon Reviews
Social proof is not a new concept, however, in this day and age of the electronic marketplace, online reviews have now largely replaced word-of-mouth information, which is why, as a seller, cultivating a loyal customer base is essential to your success. Having a great product is one thing, but pairing a great product with an exceptional customer experience is akin to finding the holy grail. Okay, so maybe that is a little dramatic, but the point is just as valid. Your reviews can either make or break your listing, and some sellers have to start their entire listing from scratch in order to find a fresh start after encountering less-than-kind reviews. In addition to proving that you are a reputable seller, a plethora of positive reviews can also help nudge on-the-fence buyers into a purchase.
Here is a Quick Checklist of Things You Can Do to Encourage Reviews:
Exceed Customer Expectations
Deliver an outstanding customer experience from start to finish.
Anticipate Your Customer's Needs
Send a personalized follow-up email to ask if your customer is satisfied with their purchase, or to offer to answer any questions that they may have that are relevant to their purchase.
Never Be Pushy
Always be courteous and friendly when reaching out to your customer, even if that customer isn’t completely satisfied with their purchase. Most of the time, you can turn a negative experience.
Always Be Responsive
When it comes to difficult questions and negative feedback or reviews, don’t let them go unanswered. Even the shortest response is better than no response, and it shows your customer and other potential customers that you, as a seller, are doing your best to listen to their feedback and meet their expectations.
What is the Amazon Buy Box?
As a way to incentivize sellers to follow those criteria, Amazon tracks each seller’s performance metrics relative to established goals for those criteria. Then they feature the highest performing seller’s product in an area that is highlighted to buyers. Amazon has branded this highlighted area as the “The Buy Box.” As a result of winning the Amazon Buy Box, those sellers are rewarded with a competitive advantage that typically results in much higher sales volume than they would otherwise achieve for that item. Because of the way the mobile website and the app are laid out, mobile users accessing Amazon via either route are more likely to buy from the Buy Box than from shoppers accessing Amazon from their PC’s. That is especially significant given that, according to sources, almost 70% of 2017 holiday shoppers shopped Amazon using mobile devices.
Are Your Amazon Listings Mobile Friendly?
Since the majority of Amazon customers are utilizing mobile devices to shop it's a smart business move to ensure that your product listings are optimized for mobile. Read more about Amazon Mobile Optimization for Product Listings.
Must Do Criteria to Compete for the Buy Box
These four basic criteria must first be met before a seller can be deemed potentially worthy of competing to win the Amazon Buy Box for their product.
Seller must have a professional seller account – sellers with individual seller accounts cannot compete for the Buy Box.
Sellers must have attained the status of “Buy Box Eligible” by Amazon. This is essentially recognition by Amazon that the seller has sold successfully via Amazon for a while.
A distinction must be made between new and used products. The Buy Box is for new items. Used items have their own version of the Buy Box, called a “Buy Used Box” which operates separately from the Buy Box but uses similar criteria in seller evaluation.
The item must be available – if it is not in stock, the seller cannot have the Buy Box. An exception sometimes applies if a product is listed as backordered, but generally the process works more smoothly for a seller who practices good inventory management.
How to Check Your Buy Box Eligibility
Click on the Inventory tab in Amazon Seller Central and select Manage Inventory
Click on the Preferences tab
In the Column Display section, locate the field for Buy Box Eligible
Select Show When Available from the drop-down
Look at the Buy Box Eligible column for a particular SKU. If the seller is eligible, it will say "yes."
You may not be eligible to win the Buy Box for all your products. If you believe you should be awarded Buy Box Eligible status, you should contact Amazon seller support directly.
At the end of the day, as a seller on Amazon, it is your attention to detail and the ability to anticipate your customer’s needs that will help you get ahead (and stay ahead) of your competition. If you need assistance staying on top of your customers needs and the health of your Amazon seller account, schedule a quick 30-minute phone consultation with us.