8 Best Practices to Increase Sales on Amazon
Amazon owns nearly half of all online commerce. Because of this online domination, many new sellers are entering the game, but only few have success. If you are a seller who struggles to compete on this marketplace, this article will show you how you can increase your sales on Amazon.
You can apply any of these actionable tips to your business today. The guidance you’ll find here works for all niches, and both new and veteran sellers. You can even use some of these tips if you’re a new seller with no money to start off.
Table of contents
- Understanding Amazon SEO Keywords
- Create an Effective and Unique Product Listing
- Boost your Brand’s Reputation by Getting More Reviews
- Focus on Providing Excellent Customer Service
- Use Amazon's Resources and Features
- Build your Off-Site Brand
- Engage With your Customers on Social Media
- Create Engaging Content (Blogs, Videos, or Podcasts)
- Price your Products Competitively
1. Understanding Amazon SEO Keywords
Amazon “SEO”, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of building an effective product listing, so it ranks well for target keywords. When SEO works correctly, Amazon's search engine recognizes your product listing as an authority in your selling space. This will allow you to rank higher, essentially getting free traffic without having to pay for it.
A “keyword” is a word or phrase people type into the Amazon search engine to help them find products. Sellers may include them throughout their product page so that they can appear among search listings.
There are three types of keyword you should be aware of:
Primary keyword - This keyword is your primary target. You place it once in your listing title and also a few times throughout your product description.
Secondary keywords - These are multiple keywords with less importance. You place these throughout your product description.
Backend keywords - These are multiple keywords with less importance that don’t necessarily fit naturally in your description. Amazon has a backend keywords area where you can put these.
When using keywords, be careful not to force them into your listing. It’s important for your listing to sound natural and well-written. If it doesn't, Amazon will penalize your listing.
Optimizing your listing
Once you understand how keywords work, you can move on to listing optimization. The first part of the optimization process is how effectively you use your keywords. The other half of optimization is ensuring that your listing is appealing to customers by including quality product images, titles, and descriptions.
Here are some areas you can focus on for optimizing your listing:
Product images - The images you choose need to be professional photographs of your product. Your first image needs to have a white background while additional images can show the product in use, infographics, and other important information.
Title - The product title should include your primary keyword and describe your product in detail in under 200 characters.
Description - The product description should include secondary keywords and illustrate how the features of your product will benefit the user.
Product features - These bullet points should also include secondary keywords and mention the most important features and their benefits.
Product category - It’s best to select the most narrow product category so that you give yourself the best chance to rank among Amazon search results.
Amazon A+ Content - Amazon brand registry members can use A+ content to improve their rankings. This is a combination of text and images designed in an engaging format that Amazon prefers.
Optimizing your listing with the right keywords and images is just half of the work. The other half will improve your sales through an understanding of how Amazon ranks their sellers.
Understanding the Amazon A10 Algorithm
Amazon runs on the “A10 Algorithm”, which is a system that automates the ranking process based on how each listing is structured. The algorithm relies on various statistics, including (but not limited to) those below:
Sales history - Amazon puts higher stock on sales history made as a result of finding you via search.
The number of impressions - "Impressions" is another word for views. These views can come from any source.
Seller authority - An overall perspective of how well you do on Amazon overtime (such as your return rates, seller tenure, and customer feedback).
External traffic generated - If you bring in traffic from off the site, Amazon sees you as a desirable brand.
Click-through rate (CTR) - The number of people who click your ads.
Researching Relevant Keywords on Amazon
Use the AMZScout Amazon Keyword Search tool to measure demand for your product and discover the right keywords to use in your listing.
1. Go to the AMZScout Amazon Keyword Search tool. If you are a new client, fill out the form to check out the free trial.
2. Enter your search. Start with a “seed word” (this is the simplest way to describe your product). From there, look at the related keywords and pay attention to those that best describe your product.
3. Refine the list to make sure it meets your needs. You can do the following:
Set a minimum or maximum number of words
Set a minimum or maximum search volume (how many people are searching for the term)
Exclude certain words or phrases.
4. Check the results. Click Find Keywords to get results based on your filters.
Look At Your E-Commerce Competition
Another way to find effective keywords is by looking at those used by your competitors. With the AMZScout Reverse ASIN Lookup tool, you can find the keywords for which they rank among search results. Follow these steps so you can use competitive data in your listing:
1. Go to the AMZScout Reverse ASIN Lookup tool. You'll be invited to register for the free trial, if you haven't already.
2. Enter the ASIN of your competition. You can find this on their product page.
3. Check the results. Click Find Keywords to get a list of keywords for the product. Pay attention to the data you get. This will include the number of searches per month, where the product ranks on the search terms, the number of sales you are likely to get, and the keyword relevancy.
You can also choose to break a lot of this data down by day if you sell in the short-term. In cases where you target high-volume products, understanding your options can help. By using this data, you can maximize your results and target the most effective keywords
2. Create an Effective and Unique Product Listing
Understanding effective keywords and having general advice is helpful when creating a product listing. It’s also important to be sure your listing addresses customer pain points. Additionally, take time to ensure that your listing looks professional in terms of both your descriptions and product images.
To get started with this stage, ask yourself some critical questions about your listing:
Do you have enough quality pictures?
Is there enough information on the page about your product?
Is there sufficient information about your brand?
Would customers know how the product is helpful to them by reading your listing?
How will this product solve their problems?
By answering these questions, you grow to understand your customer. This way, your descriptions can better address those customer pain points mentioned earlier.
When focusing on the quality of your product listing, start with the description and title:
Is the title dynamic enough to attract buyers?
Does the description connect your product specifications to customer-centric benefits?
How will these benefits translate into a better experience for your customer?
As you ask these questions, check your listing for correct grammar and clarity. You want your customer to understand and see the connection you are making. Any confusion will result in no sale.
Best Practices for Product Pictures
When moving to images, Amazon has strict rules regarding the types of images you can use. To start, your primary image needs to be a white background (RGB 255, 255, 255) taken with high-quality professional photography standards. If the image looks blurry or pixelated, nobody will buy from you, and Amazon might take the listing down.
Alternatively, do competitive research to see how your competitors use pictures. Ideally, a good product listing should include infographics, images of the product in use, and images that give customers a simple idea of the size of the product. Don't include any accessories that don't come with the product in those images, as this can lead to unnecessary confusion.
Making your Amazon Product Unique
Once you ensure your listing’s quality, now you can think about l how to make your product unique. This often comes down to enhancing the design or branding. However, you might also consider adding interesting product features.
To make your product more usefully unique, research customer pain points through competing products. You can do this by looking at online reviews of those products and identifying common complaints. From there, see if you can address the option of improving upon that design flaw or missing feature in your own design.
To make your product more unique with marketing, it's best to connect it to the user’s emotions. Customers often make buying decisions based on their emotions. It’s the reason that major brands instead of focusing on product features connects the products to a good cause.
While advertising product features is still important, customers aren’t likely to remember a brand without a cause. In many cases, this “cause” can connect the brand to having a personality.
For example, look at dynamic branding projects with personality, like the Liquid Death brand. Your brand doesn't have to be quite as extreme, but Liquid Death provides a good reminder: marketing with personality gets people talking. Regardless of where you sell (eBay, Shopify, Amazon, Walmart), these rules can help.
3. Boost your Brand’s Reputation by Getting More Reviews
A consistent way to drive sales is to get more positive feedback on your product. Positive customer reviews can help you sell your product. After all, customers see these reviews as a form of social proof, which means that other people (like them) are buying the product.
The struggle for most new sellers is that they have trouble getting reviews. Most customers will ignore automated review requests sent by Amazon. There are a few different ways you can encourage these reviews through creative approaches.
However, we caution against using paid reviews. If you pay someone to review your product and Amazon finds out, you'll likely be permanently removed from the platform.
If you want to get reviews without upsetting Amazon, use these strategies.
Reach out to customers with a timely email. This will require you to make some personalized effort to stand out from other senders. Avoid the "canned response" approach.
If you have an off-site audience, ask those customers to leave a review. You can create an audience with an email list, social media page, or YouTube channel.
Send a product insert thanking the customers for their purchase. Ask them for a review in the insert and emphasize how it helps your company. Appreciation goes a long way.
When asking for reviews, be careful about the language you use and what you include in your message. Amazon has strict rules regarding how you ask for reviews. For example, including a discount code with the product review request might be seen as incentivizing your customers. Don't offer free stuff in exchange for reviews.
Also, don't use language that encourages positive reviews or discourages negative reviews. When asking, request the honest opinion of your customer. Doing anything else is seen as a language that leads the customer.
4. Focus on Providing Excellent Customer Service
Ultimately, there are a lot of factors that go into being a good seller. Most of them include focusing on the needs of your customer. So if you prioritize customer service, you'll increase your sales on Amazon.
Good customer service includes responding to messages quickly and thanking customers for their feedback. Being responsive is the best way to effectively address most of the problems you might encounter.
If a customer has negative feedback, don't take it personally. Note it for future reference as the potential to improve (or in some cases, someone acting crazy). If you start noticing a trend in negative feedback, take action to address it.
Be sure that your product maintains quality standards through testing. If you run a small operation, this means getting samples of your products. You'll want to do this when adding new products and occasionally while managing current products to ensure you sell products you are proud to represent.
Another important aspect of customer service is avoiding inventory stockouts. This is more common for new sellers around the holidays, as they might not be completely ready for the boost in sales that comes during the holiday season. Also, be aware of how the holiday seasons change depending on where you sell (for example, the UK and Canada have different holidays).
5. Use Amazon's Resources and Features
Amazon has many different built-in resources for customers. By educating yourself on these resources, you can utilize them to help boost your sales.
Below is a list of those resources you should consider:
The Amazon Brand Registry - This is a fantastic tool for brand owners who sell on Amazon. By registering, you get access to better brand protections, more analytical data, and a unique storefront for your brand. Selling in the brand registry is really useful for private label sellers (those who put their branding on goods manufactured by third parties)
Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) - FBA sellers are a unique breed of merchants who provide their inventory to Amazon for fulfillment purposes. By giving your stock to Amazon, they handle the shipment, storage, and (most of all) customer service for you. Just know Amazon takes a higher percentage of your earnings when you use their services.
Amazon Subscription Boxes - If you want to join the ranks of those providing subscription boxes, it can be a unique way to make people aware of your products. Build these boxes around your niche, filling them with interesting and unique products.
Amazon Discounts - Amazon Seller Central has various tools you can use to build promotions and discount products. Product savings is a great way to push sales, emphasizing the potential exclusivity and time-sensitiveness of coupons that help customers with spending less money.
Take the time to research what is available on Amazon Seller Central after creating your account. You might find some valuable tools that can help you boost sales. Knowledge is power.
6. Build your Off-Site Brand
The Amazon Brand Registry is a great way to protect your brand, but it does nothing for exposure. By focusing your brand-building efforts to only Amazon, you narrow the audience who will see your brand. In addition, giving Amazon complete control over how much your brand sells can put you at risk of losing income. By using multiple sales channels, you reduce this risk.
The tax of using Amazon comes back to how they make it hard to build your brand. After all, Amazon would prefer customers to see these brands as a feature of Amazon. After all, it encourages buyers to stay on the platform.
Create a website for your brand where you can provide details about your products. Educate people about your brand’s mission. This is one way you can connect with people's emotions.
You might also consider selling away from Amazon, giving yourself a more diverse e-commerce experience. We recommend doing business across multiple platforms, including creating your own website on e-commerce sites, like Shopify. Eventually, you might not need to rely on Amazon to get big sales and more clients.
7. Engage With your Customers on Social Media
Social media is the driving force behind a lot of e-commerce today. People use social platforms to follow brands they love, view the memes they share, and get attention from customer service. Social media is a great way to connect with your customers.
There are different ways to use social media:
You can hire influencers on social media to advertise your products to their audience
You can pay for advertising on social media
You can use social media as a way to engage your customers
Social media is a great way to build your brand’s personality
Social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram. Before joining, do your research to see what people look for on these platforms. That will help you with our next suggestions.
8. Create Engaging Content (Blogs, Videos, or Podcasts)
Content marketing is the practice of creating media items as a way to engage prospective customers. Businesses are creating content more often because it offers many benefits. The main benefit comes back to driving customer loyalty.
However, if you decide to create content (through blogs, videos, podcasts, ebooks, etc.), you need to create value. Much like your products, you need to focus on how this media can benefit your customers.
Here are a few suggestions:
Provide people with instructional videos or blogs on how to use your product
Address customer needs by creating content on how to solve problems common in your niche
Add value by providing humor or a lighthearted approach to marketing that entertains
Try to avoid becoming too salesy with this content. Ultimately, your goal for creating this content is to drive more sales. However, if you want to drive more sales, you need something helpful. So focus on creating valuable content and include sales as a small afterthought.
9. Price your Products Competitively
Competitive pricing is the practice of basing your price on your competition. On Amazon, the most competitive products might see adjustments by just pennies. Adjusting your price can often lead to you getting more sales.
Competitive pricing has less importance when considering product quality and seller authority. However, because so many sellers are very close on quality, pricing is a big deal when you’re competing.
To remain competitive, you'll want to pay attention to how your ranking changes as your competitor's prices change. If you drop in rankings, you'll have to decide how to respond.
For actionable responses, it's essential to know your profits. Having a minimum price threshold will tell you how low you are willing to go before it's too cheap. You'll want to avoid prices that result in a negative profit margin.
Making your prices too low also might hurt product perception. You might be seen as a "cheap provider," which results in fewer sales. On the other hand, if you price too high, you might not see any sales.
Do your research on other products to find out how much people are willing to pay. You can use the AMZScout PRO Extension to simplify your research process, as this tool has a history of pieces and sales broken down by niche and product. Using this data will help you make better pricing decisions.
When increasing your sales on Amazon, it's important to be thoughtful in your decisions. Here's a quick reminder of the tips you can use in your Amazon business.
Understand Amazon SEO
Create an effective and unique product listing
Get more (positive) customer reviews
Provide excellent customer service
Educate yourself on Amazon’s resources
Build an off-site brand presence
Use social media
Create engaging content
Use competitive pricing data
When using these tips, you'll find that your potential customer is more likely to make a purchase. So, if you are struggling to meet your target audience's needs, we hope these tips help bring you to the next level.
Business owners who put in the work will find that it's worth it. Increased visibility through these activities will help support you with more sales.