Chapter 15 25 Essential Selling on Amazon Tips to Grow Sales and Win Market Share
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Fifty-five percent of all online product searches begin on Amazon.
Last year, the retail giant surpassed $107 billion in total sales — or over $12,000,000 in average hourly sales.
Amazon Prime alone boasts over 54 million members and counting. If Prime were a country, it would have 8,000,000 more people than Spain and be the 27th most populous in the world. Again, just Amazon Prime members.
If you take into account all active Amazon customers, they had over 300 million in 2015, which would be the 4th largest country in the world.
These mind-blowing stats are indicative of an undeniable fact: Amazon isn’t going anywhere.
Many online sellers fear that Amazon is going to cut into their profit margins and inhibit — or outright squash — growth. And let’s be honest: depending on your business model, those fears can be justified.
But Amazon’s dominance offers an upside that is proving lucrative for savvy ecommerce pros who have figured out how to make Amazon work for, not against them. Amazon’s control of market and mindshare isn’t a closed ecosystem — they make it quite possible to leverage their advantages for your own business. You simply have to know how to play the game.
That’s why we rounded up these 25 experts who know how to win on Amazon and have been doing so for years. Expedite your learning on selling on Amazon by tapping into their expertise below.
Ryan Bemiller, Founder, Shopping Signals
Understand that reviews and SEO play a large part in getting your product listings in front of more people.
Amazon is a search engine as much as it is a marketplace. People search for products on Amazon. And Amazon has ranking factors to help it determine which products to show, in which order, when someone performs a search.
So do some research on Amazon’s SEO factors. Things like title, subtitle, description, questions and answers, and even pictures all factor in on how a product will rank. Pay attention to keywords that people will use to find your products, and look at what keywords your competitors are using.
Reviews also play a big part in your ranking on Amazon. The frequency and overall number of reviews you get will help Amazon determine your rank. Be careful not to break Amazon’s terms of service with respect to soliciting reviews, but do try to solicit reviews. You’ll need them. Especially early-on when you’re trying to get some traction for a new product.
James Thomson, Partner, Buy Box Experts
Calculate and know your unit profitability (including an allocation for overhead costs). Most Amazon sellers waste at least some time selling products that actually make no money for the seller, while only benefiting Amazon and Amazon customers.
Jan Lastuvka, CEO & Co-Founder, MonkeyData
Sell with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Not only does this reduce work in handling orders, FBA products will appear in Prime-filtered searches.
Also, products which are Prime eligible have higher conversion rates than those that do not. On top of this, having FBA products will allow you to tag on to the success that Amazon has built with its brand and align your business to their reputation.
William Harris, Ecommerce Consultant, Elumynt
The best way to sell more on Amazon is to win the buy box. If you sell the same products as a dozen other retailers, then the best way to win the buy box is by dynamically re-pricing your items.
There are great tools like Wiser or AppEagle that automate this for you so you can set the rules to win without worrying about it going so low that you sell for less than what your cost is.
Chris Van Dusen, CEO, Parcon Media
Use Amazon’s Keyword Tool to optimize your copy around long-tail keywords that are less competitive.
Sell more through Amazon on your own site by using the pay with Amazon button. Consumers trust Amazon more than you and they have their credit card details already stored for easy checkout.
Larry Kim, Founder, Wordstream
Diversify! They’re not the most vendor-friendly platform and make changes from time to time that aren’t in the best interests of sellers. Not saying Amazon isn’t a big deal, just suggesting that Amazon should be just one pillar of four or more major channels including Facebook Ads and Google Ads –– and, of course, your own direct web storefront.
Andy Eastes, Founder and CEO, SKUVault
Focus on decreasing inventory errors like mis-picks, mis-ships, and out-of-stocks. Order & inventory accuracy, as well as fewer customer mishaps, are both highly determining factors for winning the Buy Box and gaining access to the Prime Merchant-Fulfilled program.
Brett Curry, CEO, OMG Commerce
Get reviews! Quality and quantity are necessary. It’s also better to have a few not-so-great reviews mixed in as long as your overall rating is strong. It makes your listing look real. If all you have is a few 5 star reviews, customers will assume it was you or your mom who reviewed your product. Several studies show that products with more reviews outperform products with fewer reviews, even if the product with fewer reviews has a slightly higher average rating. More reviews = more confidence.
Michael Ugino, Co-founder, Sellbrite
The #1 rule of retail economics will always be that you make your money on the buy. Thus, driving additional sales, even at less than your target price, will allow you to ultimately buy more and lower your sourcing costs. The best way to drive additional sales on Amazon is by using a repricing tool (with price floor limits of course) to constantly fight for, and win, the buy box.
Aaron Agius, Managing Director, Louder Online
Give Amazon’s suggested PPC campaigns a try. I’ve seen a number of clients test them compared to the campaigns they built themselves based on tons of keyword data, metrics, etc, and still have Amazon’s auto-generated campaigns produce a higher ROI. If it works for your brand, that’s time you can spend elsewhere.
Kunle Campbell, Founder, 2X Ecommerce
Endeavor to own your brand and listings on Amazon. Competing with other retailers (including Amazon) on price is almost always certainly a race to the bottom. A single product listing with 10 sellers means that sellers can only really differentiate themselves by price alone. This is a dangerous position to be in as a retailer and in business. You may eventually sell at your desired target price, but this may mean making a trade off in keeping stock longer with reduced inventory turnover.
Jacob Firuta, Content Manager, LiveChat
Reviews from past customers give you the credibility you wouldn’t otherwise get. It’s an extra portion of word-of-mouth that boosts your offer. It’s in your best interest to get as many of them as possible.
Have a customer that’s raving about a particular product? Ask them to provide a review. Happy customers won’t mind and it can significantly increase the number of reviews you get.
Drew Sanocki, Private Equity Operating Partner, Empire Growth Group
For direct-to-consumer players, think of Amazon as customer acquisition. Choose some small AOV top sellers and make sure you put them on Amazon. Encourage follow-on purchases through your own site in order to capture more customer data, up-sell, cross-sell and increase overall LTV.
Kevin Rizer, Host, Private Label Podcast
Optimize Your Listing! Proper title, bullet points, description and great images can drastically improve your sales.
David Potts, Founder and CEO, SalesWarp
Amazon rewards sellers who can ship quickly and accurately. Our clients are, often, best of breed in their segments. They provide fast fulfillment and avoid oversells or cancellations, and as a result, Amazon rewards them with prime seller advantages.
Catalin Zorzini, Founder, Ecommerce-Platforms.com
Selling more on Amazon all depends on how many quality reviews you receive. The sales are obviously going to figure into how often your product shows up in search results as well.
The only problem is that telling you to get more reviews and sales doesn’t really help much. However, you’ll notice that many reviews come in because of free products being given away.
You have the ability to locate some of the more influential reviewers on Amazon, then you can give them 99% discounts in exchange for a review. The cool part is that many of the people that complete these reviews are willing to write quite a bit about the product, so other customers receive better information.
Jason Dea, Director of Product Marketing, Intelex
Try as best as you can to focus on your customer experience and conversion rates. Although you’re limited in what you can do on Amazon, anything you can do to optimize your marketplace listings for conversion will catch the eye of the Amazon search algorithms.
Dennis Yu, CTO, BlitzMetrics
You can go with paid options, of course –– but nothing beats working toward getting tons of legitimate 5 star reviews.
Danna Crawford, Owner, PowerSellingMom.com
Include quality, accurate, detailed descriptions. Buyers appreciate more than just the “pre-filled” descriptions of items.
Raheem Sardar, Founder & CEO, RewardCamp
Sellers are able to successfully charge higher prices for the same product using the following tactics on Amazon:
- Brand your product
- Register your brand with Amazon
- Use high quality images and videos
- Use your branding on product images, packaging, description, title, etc, so that it stands out from the competition
- Get lots of reviews
Justin Mares, Founder, FOMO
Focus on reviews. Positive reviews drive higher conversion rate and drive rankings. Email your customers after they purchase asking for Amazon reviews and watch your rankings go up!
Ned Nadima, Growth Manager, Rare.io
Master the art of branding. Whenever customers search for products on Amazon, the search engine displays many similar products. Understanding how to position your brand properly will help you stand out. This includes product pictures, pricing, product description, reviews, etc. In order to accomplish the feat, you must nail your target market. Deeply understand your target market and you will succeed.
Erik Qualman, #1 Best Selling Author, Equalman.com
The key on Amazon for their search algorithm as well as influencing buyers is to have good ratings and reviews around your product. There are many ways to accomplish this, but one critical thing to do is to comment/reply to all your current reviews.
Peter Attia, Founder, Cucumber Nebula
The biggest tip I have for Amazon is try to tack on an extra item with your listing. Normally if you’re selling an item on Amazon, other sellers can be on that same listing. That means you’re not guaranteed to get the sale for that item, especially if you’re not the lowest price.
We skirted around this by selling board games with a simple extra dice bag or expansion for the game. This allowed us to have our own unique listing that would still show up for the main product in Amazon search. This gave us more flexibility with the price, because we weren’t trying to compete with other sellers for the same item. Plus, every purchase that came through that listing, went straight to us.
Rieva Lesonsky, CEO, GrowBiz Media/SmallBizDaily.com
Amazon also allows you to sell your service on Amazon. When people buy products, your service can be offered as an add-on and everything is handled through Amazon.
This is something I know from personal experience. We bought a ceiling fan and at the same time I bought the installation from a local small company. Payment was handled through Amazon and then the company called me to set up an appointment.
The Amazon Seller's Solution Provider DirectoryWant to increase marketplace sales with help from the best Amazon professionals in the world?Read our Amazon Seller’s Solution Provider Directory, to connect with experts who can optimize your Amazon listings.
Do you have any selling on Amazon tips and tricks? Let us know and leave them in the comments section below!