In 2021, ecommerce is thriving like never before, and Amazon is the leading marketplace. If you’re an Amazon seller or brand owner, this is a great time to focus on increasing your sales. Try these seven strategies to maximize your online sales and grow your ecommerce business.
1. Optimize Your Product Listings
If you want shoppers to discover your products and increase their likelihood to convert, you need to make sure you’re making full use of your product detail pages. Nobody wants to buy a product if they can’t understand what it is or how it works.
Product listings need thoughtful and thorough descriptions of the product, and those descriptions need to organically incorporate appropriate relevant keywords consumers are searching for. Listings also need images that help shoppers understand what it will be like to own the product – this means both product shots, lifestyle imagery, and key product information. Consider using video on your product listings for an even better shopper experience that’s proven to reduce return rates.
It’s no surprise that fully optimized product listings make for more efficient Amazon ads. We’ve seen sellers spend on Sponsored Products for ASINs where they want to drive sales volume, only to see high ad views and clicks, but low conversions. That usually means there’s something lacking in the product listing. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink – or in, ecommerce terms, it’s not enough to have an excellent product and to spend money on ads; you have to get that message of excellence through to your shoppers with a stellar product detail page that drives them to purchase.
2. Get Tons Of Reviews (The Right Way)
What’s even better than your own word about the qualities of your products? Other shoppers’ testimony. That’s right, consumers trust user-generated content from other consumers like themselves more than they trust brands, so the more great reviews and ratings on your product, the more sales you’re going to generate.
Amazon sellers have sometimes shied away from trying to push for reviews because of wariness around Amazon policies and not wanting to end up with a suspended account. They’re right to be careful not to violate the policies, but that shouldn’t stop them from soliciting reviews. In fact, you need to be asking for reviews regularly.
You can use Amazon’s own Request Review feature in Seller Central, or you can get more control and more automation by using a product like eComEngine’s FeedbackFive, Seller Labs’ Feedback Genius, or FeedbackWhiz.
Be on the lookout for bad actors leaving fraudulent reviews on your products. These can tank the sales of your product and even lead to a product or account suspension if you don’t act fast to assure Amazon that you’re aware of the situation and want to combat it.
Amazon shoppers love to see lots of stars and positive reviews and are more likely to convert when they do, getting you the increased sales volume you’re after.
3. Make Sure You’re Winning The Buy Box
The next thing to be aware of for increasing sales on Amazon is making sure you’re winning the Buy Box as much as possible. The Buy Box is a section on the screen on the Amazon website or app where a shopper will click to make the purchase. The shopper might not even realize that this click is also a choice to buy from a particular seller.
You can check Buy Box frequency for each of your products in Seller Central. A low Buy Box frequency will make it difficult for you to increase sales, and you cannot run ads if you aren’t currently winning the Buy Box, so it’s important to get a pulse on how your products are doing.
Several factors go into Amazon’s determination of who gets the Buy Box, including price, delivery time, and Prime eligibility. Losing the Buy Box indicates there’s at least one area with room for improvement. Making the right changes can make a huge difference in how frequently shoppers who want the product you’re selling actually buy it from you.
4. Invest In Advertising
If your listings are optimized and you’re winning the Buy Box, it’s time to invest in advertising. Because the marketplace is so saturated and your competitors are also likely investing in advertising, your products may not catch your customers’ attention without the support of advertising.
The place to start is with Sponsored Products, which is a pay-per-click (PPC) ad type. Use Sponsored Products to ensure that relevant searches include your product on the top of the first results page. One big key to success with Sponsored Products is well-structured ad campaigns that enable smart bidding on the keywords that are performing well. This is why AI-powered software like Teikametrics Flywheel will take hours of manual calculations off your plate each week.
If you’ve already got Sponsored Products humming along, it’s time to investigate layering in higher funnel ad types like Sponsored Brands or Amazon DSP. When handled properly, these ads become the fuel that powers the growth of your business.
5. Take Advantage Of Brand Registry
If you’re a brand owner and your listings and sales are in good shape but you want to grow faster, you should be taking advantage of Amazon’s Brand Registry and the brand-building programs that go with it. Registering as a brand is free if you’re already selling on Amazon, and it provides your brand with some degree of protection, along with access to exclusive programs.
Start with the free programs to build out your brand presence on Amazon. Once Brand Registered, every brand should have an Amazon Store, which enables you to curate a shopping experience with the look and feel of your brand, as well as helping customers navigate their options within your catalog.
You might also want to experiment with Amazon’s social shopping options — Amazon Live and Amazon Posts. These are also free programs that enable you to create a media-rich branded experience for your customers on Amazon.
Brand registry opens up access to ad types like Sponsored Brands which, on top of unique metrics like ‘new to brand’, allow you to utilize custom images, copy, and even video. That makes Sponsored Brands an excellent expansion opportunity for brands that are already rocking Sponsored Products.
6. Get Strategic About Conquesting The Competition
Growing your sales on Amazon probably means taking sales away from your competition. There are a number of ways to get strategic about conquesting the competition so you know who you’re up against and can fine tune your targeting accordingly.
First, do your research about your competition. Sellers often handle this manually by going onto the Amazon marketplace as if they were a shopper and searching for products like their own to see what shows up both in paid placements and organically. If you are running ads, you can also download the Search Term Report from the Amazon Ad Console to see what ASINs are leading to sales of your products. To make research both much faster and much more effective, Flywheel 2.0 will incorporate competitive intelligence capabilities directly into the platform so you don’t have to dig for the data you need.
You can conquest competition with competitors’ branded keywords in your ad campaigns. Be sure to isolate these in their own “competitor” campaign or ad group. Capturing a sale from a competitor keyword is both high value and more difficult, so you want the ability to bid on them differently compared to other types of keywords.
Another strategy is to use product attribute targeting (PAT) campaigns to target competitor ASINs or categories (instead of the usual keyword targets). This can be particularly effective if you target products where you’re clearly offering something of greater value due to higher ratings or a lower price.
7. Manage Inventory So You Never Miss A Sale
Managing inventory for Amazon has become increasingly complicated. With Amazon’s reliance on the Inventory Performance Index (IPI) to determine FBA limits, sellers need complete transparency into how their inventory is moving. Likewise, when Amazon deprioritized most products to meet immediate pandemic crisis needs last spring, many sellers realized they can’t count on inventory matters to proceed as planned.
If your goal is to increase sales, it’s critical that you avoid stocking out. After all, you cannot possibly sell more products if you have no products on hand to sell. But it’s just as important to avoid paying fees on stale products sitting around in warehouses.
We recommend breaking down silos between inventory management and marketing to ensure optimal sales performance. Flywheel 2.0’s inventory management feature will do exactly this.
A Note About Sales Volume And Profit
These are all tips aimed at increasing sales volume. But be thoughtful about which circumstances would make your goal increasing sales, such as when you’re launching a new product or trying to liquidate an older one.
In many cases, your goal is likely to be not solely to increase sales but to drive incremental increases to maintain or increase profitability. In other words, don’t confuse sales with profit. Know what your goal is and tailor your efforts accordingly.
Here’s To 2021
So there you have it, seven tips for growing your Amazon sales in 2021 – optimize product listings, get lots of reviews, win the Buy Box, invest in advertising, utilize brand registry, conquest the competition, and integrate inventory management with the rest of your business functions.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that change is inevitable. When things change on Amazon, we’ll be here offering guidance and updated best practices so you can continue to grow your business, no matter what 2021 throws your way.