Product launch on Amazon is a very hot topic for any brand or seller willing to grow its business. Since it takes time, money, and focus, it should be done perfectly.
Here are the main steps that any product launch should consider, there more advanced and complex PPC strategies that we won’t describe here.
Keywords and competitors selection
The prerequisite of a successful product launch is having a perfect listing. The best Amazon product pages have a concise title that contains the main keywords, a clear description, and bullet points that also include the main search terms. When there are different variations of a search term, it is not recommended to add them all in your listing, they need to be prioritized based on their search volume on Amazon. Adding search terms in a listing is important for the ranking and for the Amazon algorithm to index your product on them. It is important also to keep in mind that the listing is also for the end-user that will be reading it. If you over-optimize the product listing for the SEO, it might hurt the user experience that will end up impacting the product ranking.
It is also important to have appealing product images. A good starting point can be checking what the best competitors are using in their visuals. So everything mentioned before needs to have a list of keywords and competitors for the ASIN to be launched.
There are many ways of creating this list. Many tools on the market can help build it, like Datahawk, Helium10, or Junglescout … Or for sellers with a registered brand, they can use brand analytics reports. For example, reverse ASIN search on Brand analytics can help get the main keywords ranked on SFR. Or, searching for the main keywords, can help give the list of the biggest competitors in terms of sale for each search term displayed.
When launching a product, the Amazon algorithm gives a chance to any new product. This chance is given at the search term level, which means that we need to let the Amazon algorithm knows that our product is relevant on a subset of search terms. Using the right keywords in the listing is one way of giving this signal. Another way is to do it through PPC. And the last way to do it is through search-find-buy on these keywords.
This period lasts a couple of weeks and it is impossible to know exactly its duration. It is not a hardcoded duration that Amazon decided to give to new products, it is just the consequence of Amazon using Machine learning algorithms to compute the rankings. By design, a machine learning algorithm needs data to predict the output, when there is no data or history, which the case for a new product, it will make the assumption that it should behave like the average. This average is usually high because the top-selling products represent a big chunk of the market.
Knowing that this period can be beneficial for new products, everyone should prefer shorter strategies.
Importance of keywords tracking
While doing a product launch, one of the main metrics to keep a close eye on are sponsored and organic rank. As long as the product is not on page one sponsored or organic, it means that something needs to be done. Either increasing PPC intensity or improving visuals or increasing reviews.
There are many tools in the market providing keywords tracking, everyone should make a tour and bench a couple of them to select their favourite.
Amazon PPC is the easiest way of getting a product to page one, it can be costly so make sure to have budget caps during the launch period.
Visibility Against Performance balance
While doing a product launch, there are two ways of configuring it:
- Forcing the product visibility: the idea is to set a budget and increase bids very high until the product is on page one. The metrics to look at are the spent budget and the sponsored rank of the product. This will give exposure that will help gather data about if users are clicking and buying the product.
- Optimizing for the ACOS: the idea is to set an ACOS target that should be high as well. The bids should be adjusted in order to maintain the ACOS.
One way of doing a product launch with Amazon PPC is combining these two tactics.
For example, with a shortlist of 20 keywords and 20 competitors to kick off the product PPC launch, the top 3 in terms of search volume from both list can be used in the force product visibility tactic and the remaining can be optimized toward an ACOS Target.
This combination of tactics can be done with for manual campaigns using only exact keywords and products targeting:
- Campaign 1: Top 3 keywords in exact
- Campaign 2: Top 3 competitor ASINS in product targeted
- Campaign 3: remaining top keywords in exact
- Campaign 4: remaining top competitor ASINS in product targeted
Budgets for product launch
The budget depends on the PPC cost of the category and the market. If the average cost per click on page one for a product and search term is 1$, at least 5 clicks per day are needed, so for one search term, the monthly expected budget should be around 150$.
The main thing is to have enough clicks to explore if the product is converting, so the budget will heavily depend on the average cost per click.
Forget about your ACOS, concentrate on the TACOS(Target ACOS)at this stage
During the product launch, don’t expect to make any profits. It can seem frustrating to reinvest all the sales revenue in PPC but it became crucial to maximizing the product launch success. Taking into account the organic sales in the PPC strategy will help fuel more the advertising engine and will help to go faster. So instead of steering with the ACOS, we recommend monitoring the Total ACOS that includes the organic sales.
Not all product launches will succeed
A product launch shouldn’t last more than 4 months in most cases. So if you are still losing money are seeing very low sales for the new products, chances are high the product launch failed. This means that the product margin is not enough to absorb the PPC.