Boost Sales on Amazon | 20 Steps to Success
Remember when Amazon only sold books? Since then, the platform has seen incredible growth. It now offers products from more than 1.7 millions sellers, ships billions of products worldwide and operates 12 marketplaces across the globe. With so much competition out there, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for sellers to boost sales on Amazon.
The thought of competing in such a crowded marketplace is incredibly intimidating for many sellers. Some even worry that attempting to break into the Amazon space will hurt their sales and squash their growth. And while, admittedly, it can be challenging to break through all the clutter, the right approach can result in tremendous success for almost any seller. Increase sales on Amazon with our 20 steps!
Here are just a few tips you can use to keep up with the competition and find the most Amazon success for your business.
1. Set competitive prices to increase sales on Amazon
With so many sellers offering the same or similar items, price is often the biggest differentiator between products. One of the best ways to be successful is to offer a price lower than that of your competitors. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should slash your prices for the sake of making sales. Instead, use competitor prices to help decide what products are worth selling on Amazon.
If you can’t offer a competitive price, or give consumers a compelling reason why they should spend more on your product, consider removing it from the marketplace.
2. Rack up reviews to boost sales on Amazon
The more positive reviews a product has, the more likely it is that a customer will purchase that product. It’s been shown time and time again that social proof has a significant impact on people’s shopping behaviors. In fact, 9 out of 10 shoppers say that they put as much stock in online reviews as they do recommendations from friends and family.
Keep in mind that quality and quantity are equally important. As long as your overall rating is strong, it actually helps to have a few not-so-wonderful ratings in the mix. This makes your listing look more real and reliable to potential customers. Numerous studies have shown that products with more Amazon reviews tend to make more sales than products with fewer reviews, even when those reviews were better on average. Learn more about how to get Amazon reviews.
3. Play by the rules
To meet its mission of becoming “earth's most customer-centric company” Amazon has put many rules and regulations in place to ensure that what customers see is what they get. By complying with these rules, you not only protect sellers but your own business, as well. If you are caught breaking the rules, you could have your account suspended or even shut down entirely. No account. No sales.
4. Study the Amazon algorithm
Amazon’s algorithm has the power to get your listings in front of millions of customers or bury them behind pages and pages of search results. Your Amazon success is dependent upon your ability to tailor your content for the algorithm to boost sales on Amazon. Unfortunately, because Amazon’s algorithm is constantly changing, no one really knows all the ins and outs of how it works. That being said, we do have a general understanding of how it assesses content and how you can optimize your listings based on these findings. Read more here.
5. Invest in SEO to increase sales on Amazon
With so many sellers flocking to the marketplace, it’s becoming less and less likely that shoppers will run across your products organically. One of the best ways you can increase your rankings and make sure your listing is getting in front of the right customers is to invest in SEO. Strategically incorporating relevant keywords throughout your listing can go a long way toward capturing shopper attention and increasing your sales.
6. Get into Amazon advertising
A well-optimized listing with strong SEO is a great asset to have, but it can only take you so far. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads, on the other hand, can bump you up to the first page of search results immediately. With the help of advertising, you can more efficiently target shoppers who are already looking to buy products like yours.
7. Think beyond Amazon
One of the most surefire ways to increase sales is to drive traffic directly to your listing. This eliminates the number of steps a shopper must take to get to your listing and lowers the chance that they’ll come across a competitor’s product along the way. Use inbound marketing tactics like content marketing, influencers and the press to funnel customers to your listing. Social media alone can help drive hundreds of customers a day right to your product.
8. Protect your brand
As Amazon expands, the platform is becoming more and more inundated with fraudulent products. If your unprotected product is being sold alongside these low-quality imposters, your sales and reputation could take a major hit. A great solution to this problem is the Amazon Brand Registry. This program protects your brand and automatically removes content that infringes on your brand or promotes false information. Brands that own an active registered trademark and have an Amazon account are eligible to join the registry.
9. Invest in high-quality photography
Online shoppers cannot see, touch or interact with your product before buying the way they can in a brick and mortar store. The closest thing you can give potential customers is high-quality photography that accurately represents your product and covers off on all of its key features. Small enhancements to your imagery (like better lighting, multiple angles and lifestyle environments) can go a long way toward converting more customers and making more sales.
10. Don’t overlook your titles
Your title and your first product image are the only parts of your listing that shoppers will see on search result pages. For that reason, Amazon’s algorithm puts a lot of stock in the quality of your title. Therefore, it has to work on two fronts to both persuade shoppers to click and to improve your search results. Well written titles are clear, concise (no more than 250 characters, although we recommend a maximum of 120), informative and optimized for mobile. Across mobile devices and some ad placements, Amazon will truncate a listing title anywhere between the first 30-60 characters, so make sure you’re including your most important information at the beginning of your title.
11. Enroll in FBA
Most of Amazon’s top sellers use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). This service allows you to send your inventory to one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers where they package and ship orders to customers on your behalf. You pay for storage and shipping costs, but the benefits are definitely worth it. FBA gives you automatic Prime eligibility, meaning Amazon Prime customers can enjoy free two-day shipping on your items. This is an important selling point and a great way to increase your sales.
12. Focus on the Buy Box
The Buy Box is a feature coveted by every Amazon seller. It is the box to the right of the product detail page that allows customers to click to add an item to their shopping cart. Every seller wants to have the Buy Box because it exponentially increases your chances of making a sale. In fact, we would say that the Buy Box is the best way to increase your sales.
How does one obtain this sought-after Buy Box? Amazon assesses sellers offering the same item and selects one seller for the Buy Box. It uses criteria like price, availability, shipping options and overall seller performance to make its selection. Keeping your listing, inventory and customer service in good standing gives you the best shot at claiming that Buy Box for yourself.
13. Consider bundling
These days, it’s hard to offer a product on Amazon that is truly unique. With nearly two million sellers across the platform, it’s almost guaranteed that another business offers a product similar, if not identical, to yours. A great way to combat this problem and help your product standout is to bundle your items. For example, say you sell both smartphone cases and screen protectors. Hundreds, if not thousands, of merchants across Amazon offer the same products. But bundle those two together as one unique offering and suddenly your competition drops dramatically.
14. Run promotions
Promotions are another great way to increase sales on Amazon. Amazon offers sellers numerous options when it comes to promotions and deals, including rebates, BOGOs, lightning deals and contests and sweepstakes. While promotions can be an excellent way to get brand exposure quickly, move inventory and get more customer reviews, be cautious about when and how you use them. You don’t want to undermine the value or integrity of your product by offering deals too often. And you definitely don’t want to rely on them as a long-term business strategy. They will definitely give you a temporary spike in sales, but they are no short-cut to long-term success.
15. Use enhanced content
With A+ and Enhanced Brand Content (EBC), you can create more compelling product descriptions. They allow for longer descriptions with more interesting formatting options and the ability to add photography. Instead of searching through a dense block of copy, consumers can quickly skim A+/EBC for a more engaging and easily digestible shopping experience.
16. Create a storefront
An Amazon Store is like a mini website for your company. You can use your storefront to promote your brand and all of your Amazon products in one centralized location. Plus, you can feature additional imagery and link off to your social media pages. Stores are one of the best ways to create a cohesive and immersive brand experience for Amazon customers.
17. Don’t cut corners on customer service
Customer service is crucial to pleasing shoppers, as well as Amazon's algorithm. Remember, the tool takes customer service metrics into account when determining which seller will win the Buy Box. Top notch service includes reliable shipping, timely responses to customer questions and low rates of order defects. Check each of these boxes, and you're on your way to success. Great service leads to happy customers, which leads to more great reviews, which leads to more sales. And so the cycle continues.
18. Look into subscriptions
If you offer products that consumers tend to purchase regularly, Subscribe and Save could be a hugely beneficial program for you. The program provides discounts to repeat buyers, at a 5% or 15% discount depending on the number of monthly subscriptions. If you can lock in a Subscribe and Save customer, that’s a guaranteed sale you can expect to make every few weeks, months, etc. depending on what delivery frequency the shopper selects. Check out this video from Amazon for more information.
19. Perform regular audits
Staying on top of your performance, as well as that of your competition, is key to any successful business. We recommend that you conduct periodic audits of your targeted keywords, titles, descriptions, images, reviews and ratings and optimize where needed. Compare these features to those of your competitors to see where you are excelling and where you are falling short. Identifying your areas of weakness and correcting them early on will significantly improve your sales over time.
20. Hire help
It takes a lot of time and effort to do Amazon the right way. Sellers who take a “list it and leave it” approach to the platform rarely, if ever, see success over time. Very few companies have the time, manpower or experience necessary to stay on top of every aspect of their Amazon business and cover all the tips we’ve talked about here. That’s why we recommend working with a professional Amazon consulting company to help you manage your business. They can take care of the day-to-day operations and you can focus on doing what you do best – running your business.