by Jessica Dahlquist, Director of Operations | Sales
Do you sell on both your own website and Amazon? A major objection we hear from physical product sellers is that they don’t want to sell on Amazon because they don’t want to cannibalize their sales on their own site. While we totally understand this concern, we also wanted to provide you some rationale about why being on Amazon can only help your overall sales. So if you’re on the fence about selling both places, let’s dive into why we advise physical product sellers to have an Amazon presence.
The first thing people object to is simply the idea that if someone buys your product on Amazon versus on your website, you have a lesser margin on the sale after Amazon fees. This is completely valid, and there may be a percentage of buyers that hear about your brand from somewhere and then search to see if it’s on Amazon. When they find it there, they follow through because it’s just easier than going to a separate website. While those pesky Amazon fees do cut into your margins, what if someone hears about your brand and doesn’t go to the effort of tracking down your website? You lose the sale entirely. But if someone is able to type in keywords close enough to yield your product listing on Amazon, you’ve just made a sale that could have been lost.
Going along with this same idea, some people don’t feel comfortable shopping on websites they’ve never heard of. In an age where credit card fraud is a major issue, Amazon tends to be the most trusted shopping site. People already have their payment info logged in and they are literally one click away from an impulsive purchase. Sellers want to eliminate as many barriers as possible to get someone to purchase.
Making it easy for customers to to find your product, put it in their cart, check out with ease, and trust that they can get the product on their doorstep reliably and in a short timeframe, is what makes shopping on Amazon a customer’s #1 preference if given the option. To be honest, if I am shopping on a seller’s website and go to complete my purchase, but my purse is in the car and I don’t have access to my credit card right away, I will typically just abandon my cart. Sale lost. But there have been countless times when I remember while waiting in the carpool line that I need to order new supplements, and I pull out my phone, easily find the ones I want, and less than a minute later the purchase is done!
Here are some tips for sellers who are still concerned about if Amazon is the right fit:
- If you have a large catalogue of products, only list your top sellers. Don’t waste time on less profitable or less popular SKUs. Spend your time and money on listing the ones that will offer you the most return. That way, even without having all your products there, your brand has a presence on Amazon when someone searches for you.
- Check the potential in your niche. Not every product is a homerun on Amazon. Heavy, hard to ship items (unless you go the FBM route), products with tight expiration date, merchandise that is so unique no one would think to search for them, and SKUs that are doing less than $10k per month are typically not a good fit.
- If you’re worried about profit margins after the Amazon fees, you can always list the retail price slightly higher on Amazon than it is on your website. Many customers either won’t compare the prices at all or, if they do, they figure the speed and ease of Amazon make the price worth it.
While every case is different, and we’re super happy to give you our honest assessment as to your potential on Amazon, we believe that it is in the best interest of most sellers to have a presence on Amazon, even if they are already doing well on their own site or in retail. The exposure you get being featured on Amazon’s platform is unmatched by any other sales channel in the world! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your audience beyond those who have already heard about you, and reach the millions that click “Add to Cart” on Amazon every single day.
by Jessica Dahlquist, Director of Operations | Sales
We are down to the wire for achieving 2019 goals… how did you do? Did you hit your numbers? Did you achieve the things you wanted? While some goals are very tangible and measurable (hitting sales goals, achieving your desired ACOS, etc.), there are plenty of goals and achievements that you won’t find on a spreadsheet. Let’s talk about some of those metrics you might want to look at as you’re wrapping up the year?
As product sellers, sales are the number one metric used to measure success. If you met or surpassed sales goals, that’s reason enough to pop open the bubbly! Congrats! If you didn’t, take some time to reflect on where you fell short. Was there a certain quarter that was lacking, and caused a deficit the rest of the year? If so, how can you make that quarter more robust the coming year?
Our clients who see the best results selling online (Amazon or elsewhere) are definitely striving to not only sell products, but they are looking to improve the lives of their customers with those products. They are genuinely concerned with who is buying their product, what they want from the brand, and meeting those needs. Take some time to reflect on how your customers interacted with you this year. Did you boost your social media numbers and offer free content that was valuable to your community? Think about how you can, in the coming year, provide more value to your customers, and really encourage your customers to become fans instead of seeing your product as a simple transaction. Afterall, engaged customers will be the ones that become repeat buyers and your first purchasers as you launch new products!
This is such a critical part of the success of any business, online or elsewhere and I want you to think about how you improved the customer service experience this year. Did you respond to questions being asked or address critical reviews? How quickly and efficiently did you resolve issues for unhappy customers? Even if you really excelled in this area, there’s always room for improvement. Think about how you’d like to be treated if you were the customer and make changes accordingly.
At TurnKey, we are all about helping new sellers get started on Amazon the right way and showing established sellers how to make improvements to their listing, systems, and management, and to set new goals for crushing it in 2020. We’d love to help you if you’re feeling stuck, so head over here to find out EXACTLY how we can help.
Happy New Year!
by Jessica Dahlquist, Director of Operations | Coaching, Full-Service, Special Events
Are you one of those last-minute shoppers who binge buys on Christmas Eve? Or do you have you had your shopping list all checked off since late August? The holiday season and end of Q4 are MAJOR opportunities for sellers to up their game and achieve their highest sales of the year (unless you sell boogie boards, then December is probably not your top month!). Increased sales don’t happen on accident, you need to properly plan in order to see maximum returns in Q4.
When should you start planning for the holidays?
Since you may need to apply for some of the promotions you’ll want to run, we recommend planning for the holidays and its coordinating promotions at least a month in advance. This ensures you won’t miss the window to apply for certain deals.
Once you know what promotions you want to run, you should immediately start applying for them. Opportunities disappear the closer you get the holidays. If you know you want to do a Black Friday deal or a coupon, look for the application window NOW so you can ensure you don’t miss out.
Beginning prep this early will also ensure you have enough time to order the inventory you’ll need to get you through the holidays. Don’t miss out on sales because you’ve run out of stock in Q4! Avoid this hazardous mistake by forecasting early and planning ahead.
What promotions are most effective?
The answer is that it varies for everyone. To start, look at which promotions have worked best for you in the past. Have lightning deals been successful? Does it work to offer a discount on multiple quantity purchases? Have coupons been effective?
TurnKey Pro Tip: We see coupons that offer a dollar amount discount convert better than the percentage off ones because customers don’t like doing the math!
If you take the time to run promotions and ads for the holidays, make sure you get the word out about your deals. In addition to reaching out to existing customers, now is the time to attract new customers into the fold. Running external ads work very well in order to share your deals. People tend to trust Amazon more than purchasing on individual random websites, so it’s worth pushing people over to your Amazon listing versus just advertising to your website.
So, take some time to prepare for the holidays and maximize your Q4 sales. If you want even more strategies, our Client Manager Jenna is over on our Playbook for Amazon podcast chatting with Jeff on Episode 18 all about what she’s doing to help clients prep for the end of Q4!
by Jessica Dahlquist, Director of Operations | Accelerators, Coaching, Motivation Monday
A Quick Note From TurnKey:
As of October 10, 2019, Amazon Giveaways is no longer a feature hosted by Amazon. We loved this strategy so much and are sad to see it go. That being said, the principles that made the giveaway effective still apply:
- Leverage social media, email lists, etc. in order to send people over to a landing page to collect even more customer email addresses.
- Use squeeze pages to share more information and connect with customers. Video is a fantastic medium to include on the landing page because it gives you the unique opportunity to talk to your customers and pitch to them as if you were in the same room.
- Offer a discount code to people who watch the video.
So don’t worry just because Amazon isn’t offering this feature anymore. You can still find ways to incorporate the aspects of this strategy in order to impress your customers and increase sales! If you need more support, we have lots of other strategies to help you grow your sales, so don’t hesitate to reach out.
On a scale of 1-10, how nervous do you get when it comes to staying compliant while trying to get reviews? I know…it can literally leave you feeling helpless as your niche is getting more and more saturated and you don’t want to overstep with any shady strategies that will get you slapped on the wrist. The rules surrounding customer reviews and giving away products have definitely changed in the Amazon world over the years, so how do you know what’s okay and what is not?
While there’s a whole list of terms you must adhere to on Amazon’s website, at TurnKey we try to focus on what you CAN do to get results, and not just what you can’t do. One of our favorite strategies is utilizing Amazon Giveaways. The giveaway is literally hosted BY AMAZON, and as long as you follow their rules, you are good to go. Our clients have seen huge returns by running Amazon Giveaways. We are talking $1k in product for $10k in trackable revenue from a Giveaway.
So what’s the secret? Well, it’s important to first know HOW to set up an Amazon Giveaway. We walk you step-by-step through how to do that on Episode 2 of our Playbook for Amazon Podcast. Then once you understand the process, how do you actually make it result in massive returns?
Our #1 tip for running a successful Amazon Giveaway is to include a promotion for customers that don’t win the giveaway. By giving them a discount for entering, you’re much more likely to have an immediate customer or a customer down the road.
And if you want a bonus tip… we love adding educational videos to the squeeze page for the Giveaway. This is your chance to connect with your customers, appeal to their emotions, and get them to buy into the “why” behind your product. Make sure your video focuses on the benefits of the product and how they will feel after they use it. That’s exactly how we 10x’d our investment for the client I mentioned above.
If you haven’t already given Amazon Giveaway a try, we HIGHLY recommend this tool for getting more sales and in turn more reviews. If you want more information on Growth Strategies, we have a course designed specifically for the seller who is looking to GROW!
Need a bit more help generating the reviews you need to gain sales? Check out our Review Generation Accelerator for step-by-step strategies to increase your review numbers!
by TurnKey Guest Blogger | Guest Posts
This post was written by our friends at MerchentWords for the TurnKey Success Blog
In 2018, Amazon beat Google as the destination for 54% of all online product searches. As an Amazon Seller, this is important for two reasons. Firstly, this means more people than ever are accessing Amazon regularly, which increases your potential customer base. Secondly, due to the fundamental difference in nature between Google and Amazon, that means more people are shopping online. Therefore, not only the quantity of potential shoppers has gone up, but the quality as well.
The primary difference between searching on Google versus searching on Amazon is the intent. Keywords that come from Google are research-based; their primary purpose is to deliver information. Whereas keywords that originate from Amazon are purchase-based, they drive a sale. That means that it’s more important than ever before to ensure your keyword data is current, accurate, and properly placed.
There are two types of purchase-based keywords you can use to optimize your listing and ad campaigns: top-of-the-funnel and long tail.
Top-of-the-funnel keywords are broad seed keywords that have high search volumes like “shirt” or “phone case.”
Long tail keywords are phrases with two or more words with lower search volumes that tend to be specific to the product you’re selling or a niche audience. In the example above, some long tail keywords would be “workout shirts for women” or “clear iphone 6s case.”
You need to include both to ensure customers can find your listing and then purchase your product once they’re there. High traffic with low conversion rates leads to little profit; while low traffic with high conversion rates leave money on the table.
There are four key elements to an Amazon listing: product name, product features, description, and search terms. Amazon’s algorithm looks at each of them differently, so it’s essential to know which keywords to place where. Let’s go through each one individually.
Your product name (aka title) should include top-of-the-funnel keywords that accurately describe your product. A concise and relevant title will improve search results, catch a customer’s attention, and drive traffic to your product. Each keyword in your title should be relevant to your product and searchable on its own.
When formatting your title include the brand, product, and critical attributes like size, color, and quantity. Search each of these qualities individually in your keyword tool of choice. Find relevant keywords with high search volumes and place them in your title.
Be careful of how many keywords you include. You want your title to read clearly on desktop and mobile. Amazon also limits the number of characters by category so be sure to review the guidelines for your product. The trick is maximizing your number of keywords while also keeping it readable.
Here’s an example of a good and bad title we found on Amazon.
This title is concise and informative. Chances are, you know exactly what this product looks like without seeing the picture.
This title is overstuffed with keywords and truncated in the search results. Many of the keywords, such as “8 Hours Playtime,” are better suited as bullet points.
Pro Tip: Capitalize the first letters of each word in your title and use numerals (2) rather than spelling out numbers (two).
Listed in Seller Central as Key Product Features, customers use the bullet points in this section to quickly obtain information about your product, especially those shopping from their mobile devices.
Think like a buyer, not a seller. If you were coming to Amazon to buy a product like yours, what would you want to know? Use each bullet point to highlight a top feature or benefit of your product. This area is a great place to include both high- to mid-volume keywords and long-tail keywords that characterize your product. But most importantly, this is your chance to highlight the aspects of your product that make it something you MUST have! Communicate the “WHY” behind why someone would want your product, and you’ll sell your customer in a heartbeat.
Amazon recommends writing this section in sentence fragments separated by semicolons or commas rather than full sentences. Again, think about how you can make it easily readable, while also maximizing keywords and character limits.
Here are our real-life examples.
Good Bullet Point:
Bad Bullet Point:
The top example quickly communicates which devices these headphones work with instead of the lengthy and hard-to-read approach of the bottom.
Pro Tip: Only include brand names in your listing if they are pertinent to your product. Amazon will suppress listings that include branded keywords to boost search traffic.
This section helps customers learn essential details and make a connection with your product. It should include product-related information that answers common customer questions and help guide them in their purchase decision.
This section is an excellent place to utilize keywords you haven’t used elsewhere on your detail page and continue telling the story of your brand and sharing why someone should buy your product. Think about how, when, and where customers are using your product; consider including care or operating instructions, and warranty information. Also, be sure that any product claims you make are truthful and can be substantiated.
While including the proper keywords is essential for Amazon search ranking, also ensure your copy reads well! Use correct grammar and punctuation and make sure that each word or phrase you include makes sense within the sentence.
Bad Description :
In the second example, the seller uses this section as an extension of the product features. It isn’t in paragraph form and repeats keywords used earlier in the listing. Using a variety of keywords allows more customers to discover your product. Keep it brief though, Amazon only allows 2000 characters. While spelling variations are useful (e.g., “lite” vs. “light”), consider using them in your backend search term section to maintain consistency and avoid duplication.
Pro Tip: More people than ever are shopping on their phones. Keep your language mobile-friendly! Convey essential information clearly and concisely, so you limit unnecessary scrolling.
Search Terms (AKA “Hidden” or “Backend Keywords”)
It’s important to place your most relevant, highly-ranked keywords into your title, description, and bullet points. For those that you can’t fit, you can include as search terms.
The search terms section is the place for keywords that don’t fit into the visible part of your listing but can help enhance your discoverability. Use this as an opportunity to get indexed for new searches; include spelling variations, other use cases and occasions for your product, and niche audiences. Consider incorporating relevant phrases in other languages.
Remember, this section is limited to 250 bytes, so do not include symbols, punctuation, duplicates, brand names, or misspellings.
The Ultimate Listing
By combining all of these techniques and tips, you’re well on your way to finding success. Even if you don’t sell on Amazon, Amazon keywords can play a large part in helping you be profitable in e-commerce.
Vox recently stated that “Amazon is uniquely qualified to spot and highlight shopping trends, as it’s where 75% of Americans do most of their online shopping.” Amazon shopper search terms give you incredible insights into high-level shopping trends, while simultaneously assisting you with the smallest of listing details.
As the experts in shopper search, MerchantWords is here to help you find the most relevant keywords to grow your business. We’ve collected and analyzed over 1.6 billion keywords and 390 million products since 2012. Our singular focus has been to ensure that you have the most extensive, accurate metrics available.
Utilize our shopper search data for product research, listings, and ad campaigns, or have our experts do the writing and optimization for you with our Listing Advisor service. Either way, we’re here to help you achieve success.