With more than 500,000 Amazon sellers in the U.S. alone, competition is stiff and growing fast. You’re competing for market share and consumer attention more than ever before. Amazon is a major source of revenue, (or perhaps the only source) for U.S. businesses, generating $80.5 billion in global third-party seller services in 2020 — nearly a 50% increase over the previous year. With so much to gain, ecommerce businesses have a lot to lose if product detail page optimization isn’t priority number one.
If you’ve read our Top 5 2020 tips for Amazon product page optimization, you’ve already got a leg up. We covered the basics of optimization, from titles and keywords to photography, product groupings, and brand registry. We’ve also done a deep dive into how to price your products on Amazon. Now, we’ve compiled 10 additional tips to help you level up your sales game, beat the competition, and reap greater rewards on Amazon.
Amazon is not a passive place for sellers who want to boost profits. Optimization of your listings takes a continuous commitment to testing and learning. Data is the key to unlocking greater performance. The minute you “set it and forget it,” competitors or re-sellers will sweep in and chip away at your advantage and stifle your brand voice.
We see many brands focusing on the wrong competitive set. Let’s take a beverage brand as an example. A flavored water wants to compete with the most popular soda brand on the market. The flavored water may sway a few consumers to try its product, but die-hard soda drinkers are outside the water’s wheelhouse. The flavored water brand would be better served by focusing on its immediate competition in the flavored water category. Dialing in on your niche category and your real consumer puts you in a far better place than overreaching against a soda brand’s loyalty. This comes down to knowing your true market. Tap into Amazon’s data gold to zero in on your true competition. Check to see which ASINs (Amazon Standard Identifying Number) hold the top three most-clicked product spots. How are they positioning their products compared to yours? Are there opportunities to promote your products using alternative keywords or search phrases? Whitebox does a deep dive into variations of search terms for its clients. For example, we might suggest our flavored water client experiment with “sparkling water,” “seltzer water,” “mineral water,” “soda alternative,” etc.
Now that you know what the competition is up to, how do you truly differ? Why should consumers care about your flavored water? As Simon Sinek advises, consumers “don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Your unique brand story and personality are the most powerful assets you have. Your Amazon listing should match your brand website in tone, feel and presentation for consistency across your channels. In addition, authenticity goes a long way. Younger consumers, for example, are shifting toward buying purpose-driven brands that reflect who they are. How does your flavored water reflect who your consumers are or aspire to be? Trimming your product description down to Amazon’s 1000 character limit while accomplishing all of the above may seem Herculean, but it’s doable. Be sure to build out your Amazon Store to create a mini-website experience that complements your own branded site. Stores offer all kinds of useful metrics too, such as where traffic comes from, average sales per visit and click through rates. You can even drive your ad traffic to that Store as your landing page versus an individual product page to encourage greater discovery and time spent.
Over 300,000 third-party sellers use Amazon Stores to connect with customers. – 2021 Amazon Small Business Empowerment Report
Amazon listing optimization takes planning and foresight. Mark the holidays and seasons that are most meaningful for your brand and product category. From there, plan backwards for three to six months to plan how you will drive conversions. What refreshes can you do around product description, imagery or videos across your Amazon presence for different holidays? Don’t limit your optimization to just during Q4 — add relevant terms year round, such as “back to school,” “pool party ready” or “stocking stuffer” if appropriate. You may want to add a dedicated tab to your Store to drive and capture that holiday’s special sales. Whitebox monitors search trends on a regular basis to help boost clients’ visibility and sales. We’ve seen spikes in sales within two weeks of refreshing titles with trending search terms for one client. The bottom line is to get ahead of seasonal changes using data, research and optimization tests.
We touched on keywords in our 2020 tips but here’s an important addendum. The biggest miss with keywords is confusion between keywords on your listing and those in the backend. Your front-end keywords are most important but don’t neglect the back-end’s behind-the-scenes power. Although not visible to consumers, backend search terms are crawlable by Amazon and can help you gain additional brand awareness. Think like a consumer. How would they search for your product or category? Continuing with our specialty water example, if a customer searches for “sparkling water,” chances are they are also interested in “seltzer water.” There’s no danger in adding those variations that may not directly correlate to your product in the backend, and there’s no need to duplicate what’s already on your listing. Consider the backend an opportunity to diversify.
Nearly 73% of the U.S. population owns a smartphone. Is your Amazon product listing optimized for mobile? Chances are, your beautifully laid out desktop listings, A+ Content, and Store don’t translate well to mobile. First, cut down your title to around 150 characters to improve readability on smartphones. Second, take a closer look at your text. Are there places you can increase the font size of text embedded into your images? Remember, the order in which content is displayed differs from desktop to mobile. On desktop, you see the title images and bullets all at once and at the top of the page. On mobile, you have to scroll through the product images, then see the A+ content and then see the bullet points.
U.S. businesses sold over 3.8 billion products (7,400 every minute) on Amazon from September 1, 2020 through August 31, 2021. – 2021 Amazon Small Business Empowerment Report
Take advantage of all the tools at your disposal. Amazon Posts is a new feature that offers a “browse and discovery experience” and free promotion of your products across Amazon. Think of Posts as an Instagram-like option to capture consumer attention and drive traffic to your product pages. There’s great data behind this feature too, such as engagement rates and unique users. Posts are a great way to get your brand in front of more consumers at no additional cost and should be part of your Amazon sales strategy.
Testing is key to improving performance. Give your tests the time and space to run a proper course. The longer you test, the more data your teams will have to accurately judge the results positively or negatively. What’s the right test length? Changing your product pages too often can sabotage your search rankings and confuse consumers. We advise testing for a minimum of one month in length to get an accurate read.
We’ve covered winning the Buy Box before but it bears repeating. The default choice for consumers, the Amazon Buy Box accounts for nearly 85% of sales on Amazon. That leaves brands outside the Buy Box a less than 20% chance of closing the sale. How do you win the Buy Box? As we’ve suggested, auto pricing can help boost your Buy Box percentage. For brands with a lot of competition, auto pricing “allows for changes in price in response to other sellers’ changes.” Working with Whitebox gives you an added advantage where the Buy Box is concerned. If you only utilize FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) for order fulfillment and sell out of inventory at Amazon’s warehouses, you’ll lose the Buy Box. But, by utilizing Whitebox fulfillment, we can seamlessly pivot and fulfill your Amazon orders from our own warehouse network meaning you can continue to own the Buy Box and never be out of stock. See how Ricola won back the Buy Box and more using Whitebox.
Flexibility can also aid your shipping, an especially sore subject these days with shipageddon. To maximize sales, consider offering multiple fulfillment methods. This will also ensure you’re never out of stock and your listing will always be live on Amazon. Whitebox offers its clients a distinct advantage in this regard by dynamically shifting fulfillment options, from Fulfilled by Amazon to Seller Fulfilled Prime to Fulfilled by Merchant. During peak Covid-19, shipping times were delayed across the board and Amazon limited inventory that brands could send to its warehouses. With Whitebox, brands could shift how they fulfilled orders without being hamstrung by Amazon’s backlog. Transparency into both the marketplace and fulfillment sides enables Whitebox clients to see exactly where sales are happening, how much product they have to fulfill those orders, and how to ship as fast and close to the consumer as possible.
Whitebox takes a pragmatic, data-driven approach to product listing optimization. Our unique combination of tech and talent gives our clients an unmatched competitive edge. With a dedicated Content Strategist from our Marketplace Growth team, Whitebox analyzes Amazon’s analytics reporting to better understand consumer search trends and shopping behavior specific to your product catalog. Our Omnifi Insights tool helps to identify new revenue potential across all your digital retail channels and has driven 15% average monthly growth for clients. Reach out today for your custom consultation.