Launching a product successfully on Amazon goes beyond simply making it available for purchase.
It involves strategically positioning it to stand out amidst a vast sea of competitors. This is particularly crucial on Amazon, a platform flooded with millions of products and sellers dying for consumer attention.
That's why we've put together this comprehensive guide to walk you through each critical stage of a successful product launch on Amazon. Whether you're a Amazon seller looking to make a big boost or an experienced retailer aiming for your next hit, this guide will answer all of your questions about how to do an Amazon product launch successfully.
In this article, we'll cover:
When someone wants to buy something on Amazon, they typically search using a specific term. Amazon suggests keywords as the user starts typing. Therefore, it's critical to have in your product title the search terms you want to rank for.
Keywords research in the title have a significant impact when it comes to ranking on Amazon.
So, how do you select the right keywords for your product listing?
One effective way to determine what should go in your title and bullet points is to study a competitor's listing, especially if they're making good sales. By "making a mirror," we mean incorporating their ranking keywords into your listing, not copying their text verbatim.
Also you can use Helium 10 for initial research, but we also recommend using Brand Analytics for deeper insights.
A useful tool is Scribbles by Helium 10. As we start drafting the listing, Scribbles highlights keywords that have already been used, preventing redundancy and ensuring that all important keywords are included.
Brand Analytics on Amazon Seller Central Dashboard is really helpful for growing sales.
There are two ways you can use this tool. One is by directly searching for a keyword that a competitor is using to see its Search Frequency Rank, which informs you about the most commonly searched keywords on Amazon.
Now, whether you are using this tool in the U.S. or in Europe, Brand Analytics can be a goldmine for finding specific long-tail keywords. For instance, if a keyword has high search volume but low conversion rates for the top three products, it's likely that customers are just exploring. Conversely, if a long-tail keyword has a low SFR and high conversion rate, that's an indicator that the keyword should be included exactly in your product title because it's a strong candidate for ranking.
The second method involves using the competitor's ASIN to see which keywords Amazon has data on for that particular listing. Be aware that if you monitor keywords on a weekly basis, Amazon may consolidate the data. For instance, if you have five keywords on one day and ten on another, the weekly report may only show five keywords. This happens if the additional keywords didn't make any sales on other days.
Once we've identified highly relevant keywords, we create a list and select the ones we want to focus on for our product listing. As many of you may already know, the bullet points in your Amazon listing also carry significant weight in keyword optimization. Therefore, we strategically include these keywords not only in the title but also in the bullet points of the listing.
If there are related keywords that don't naturally fit into the title, bullet points, or description, we place them in the "Search Terms" and "Subject Matter" fields. It's worth mentioning that, based on our experience, the "Subject Matter" field tends to have more ranking power than the "Search Terms" field.
A prevalent error we see is the repetition of keywords in the search terms field. It's essential to understand that search terms are not cumulative; they are considered as separate keywords divided by space. There's no need for commas or full stops. Use unique keywords that haven't already been used in your title or bullet points. The same logic applies to the subject matter field
In the early days of Amazon, when the marketplace was mostly filled with generic products, sellers often stuffed their product titles with random keywords to rank higher in search results. While this may have been effective for SEO, it often led to titles that were not easily readable for potential customers. From a buyer's perspective, it's crucial for the title to be readable.
Amazon has implemented character limits for product titles, and failing to comply may result in your listing being hidden from search results. In such cases, even if people have the direct link to your product, it won't show up in Amazon's search, and you won't be able to run ads for it.
It's important to include keywords that are highly relevant to your product and for which you aim to rank. Avoid using broad or high-volume keywords as they often don't translate into sales. Instead, focus on long-tail keywords that are more specific to your product.
You can use symbols like commas and dashes to visually separate phrases in the title.
If you're selling a product with multiple units, it's advisable to put this information at the beginning of the title. For example, if your product comes in sets of two or three, include that at the start. This is important because Amazon truncates titles in search results after a certain number of characters.
Including your brand name in the title is not just for brand awareness but also important for Amazon's Product Listing Algorithm (PLA). If you don't include your brand name initially, Amazon may add it automatically, and you won't be able to remove it later. However, if your brand name is exceptionally long, Amazon may move it to the end of the title to ensure that shoppers can read the essential information first.
One of the key factors determining your ranking and conversion rate is the quality of your product images.
When selecting images, the main image should be particularly eye-catching. This is because the main image influences the click-through rate, and a higher click-through rate positively affects your PPC campaign performance. Typically, people click on products with the most reviews and ratings. However, the quality and appeal of the main product image also play a significant role.
Amazon's guidelines recommend using a real photo for the main image. However, Many sellers choose to use 3D images., which tend to be clearer and sharper. Moreover, 3D images allow for easy manipulation in terms of position and additional elements. From a buyer's perspective, a 3D image can often be more appealing than a real photograph, and thus, can lead to a higher click-through rate.
If your brand is already recognizable and you run a lot of ads on your website, which drives spillover traffic to Amazon, you can enhance brand recognition further by including the box in the background of the main image. This technique can serve as an alternative to placing a logo directly on the image, which Amazon generally prohibits.
If you have two listings that complement each other well, consider bundling them together and promoting the bundle with an image. For example, a promotional image could indicate that customers can purchase the bundled items at a 20% discount. This strategy not only drives sales but also enhances product ranking.
Lifestyle images can provide potential buyers with a sense of the user experience and give them an idea of the product's size. This is particularly important as online images alone can be misleading regarding the actual size of the product.
But nowadays you don't want just lifestyle photos; you need images that tell a story or explain the advantages of your product. Given that consumers nowadays prefer visual media, these images can be much more effective than text alone.
Images should include directions for using the product. Because customers can't physically touch or feel the product online, it's crucial to clearly explain how to use it. For example, an image highlighting the advantages of a supplement might list that it "accelerates muscle growth," "replenishes muscle cells." These benefits, if only listed in the bullet points, might not capture the consumer's attention effectively. For example, stating "Easy to operate; one button, two fan speeds" in an image can be more effective than burying this information in bullet points or descriptions.
You might also include two to three product reviews in the images. This is a somewhat grey area in terms of Amazon's rules, but there haven't been penalties for doing so far, based on monitoring of various client listings. Choosing reviews that have the most votes can significantly help in converting potential buyers as they scroll through the images.
It's beneficial to show an image of what is included in the box, especially if the product comes with additional items not offered by competitors. This can be another avenue to differentiate your product and can help boost the conversion rate.
Providing a visual representation of the size of a product can significantly reduce return rates and increase conversion rates. For instance, a product like a pop-up socket might experience high return rates if customers can't accurately gauge its size. However, displaying it next to a well-known object, such as a MacBook, can offer a familiar size reference and reduce returns for sizing issues.
An image highlighting the materials or ingredients of a product can be incredibly effective. For example, showcasing the ingredients of probiotic bites visually can be much more compelling than listing them in text at the bottom of the product details page.
Images can be used to visually represent the quality of a product. For example, if a cup is advertised as having "four layers of protection," an image breaking down these layers can make the feature more tangible for the customer, potentially boosting sales.
Essentially, Amazon aims to sell products and generate revenue. They rank products in top spots based on their likelihood to sell. Amazon uses various time slots—daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and even yearly—to track sales and rank products accordingly.
If your product doesn't have as many sales as a competitor for certain keywords, regardless of how optimized your listing is, you won't outrank them. Amazon needs a reason to place your product higher in the rankings, and usually, that reason is sales volume. If a listing isn't generating sales during product launch period, it becomes difficult to start ranking after a few months.
Many sellers are familiar with the term "honeymoon period," but the actual meaning may not be fully understood.
When you launch a new product, these time slots initially don't contain zero sales: they're blank. Amazon has no past data to compare with competitors for your product. As a result, they rely more on the keywords you've included in your titles and bullet points. Amazon essentially gives your new launched product a boost in keyword ranking. It's common for new products to start ranking on the first few pages for their keywords almost immediately if inventory is available.
If you don't generate sales for those initial keyword rankings in the first few days or weeks, Amazon will start to drop your positions. They're essentially testing your product to see if it can outsell competitors. If it doesn't, they'll start comparing the sales data from the different time slots, and your ranking will adjust accordingly. Therefore, missing the honeymoon period can be a lost opportunity for establishing a strong initial ranking.
If you launch your product at a deeply discounted price to quickly generate sales, Amazon algorithm will interpret this as your product performing exceptionally well at that specific price point. You may even find yourself ranking highly for certain search terms. However, when you later increase the price—by 30%, 50%, or any substantial amount, Amazon's machine learning algorithm essentially treats this as a "new product" for which it has no relevant sales data. As a result, your rankings could plummet.
Therefore, it's crucial to initially set your product's price at the level you intend to maintain post-launch. The sales data collected at this price will be more relevant and sustainable for long-term rankings.
Price anchoring is a strategy that involves setting a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) that's higher than the actual selling price. This tactic allows for a 'List Price' with a strike-through and an accompanying "You Save" text on the Amazon listing. While Amazon has started to remove the option for showing discounted prices, using MSRP in this way has proven beneficial. It enhances the listing's visual appeal and makes it stand out among competitors in search results.
One effective way of generating initial reviews is through Amazon's Vine Review Program. If you are selling a product in multiple marketplaces, you can accumulate a significant number of reviews quickly. For example, Amazon may allow you to get 30 Vine reviews for each marketplace. If you're selling in all five European markets that support Vine Voice, you could potentially start with 150 reviews.
While the Vine program can provide a considerable number of initial reviews, it is important to note that Vine reviewers can be very critical. Hence, the quality of the product is crucial.
If you are only selling in one marketplace, you can use "dummy variations" of your product to get more Vine reviews. For example, you can create variations based on the quantity, like one piece, two pieces, and three pieces. Reviews for these variations will aggregate under the parent listing, allowing you to amass a large number of reviews even if you are only selling in a single marketplace.
But please make sure you are in compliance with Amazon's terms and conditions, it could potentially be risky if it violates Amazon's policies.
Many buyers block emails from sellers, making traditional review request emails less effective. However, using Amazon's "Request Review" button can yield good results. There is no threshold for the number of reviews you can request using this feature. If you have 5,000 orders, you can request reviews for all of them within 24 hours without facing a review ban from Amazon.
But please avoid Artificial Reviews and adhere to Ratio Guidelines. If you are generating reviews artificially by paying people or using services, it's important to maintain a low review-to-order ratio, especially in the beginning. A good rule of thumb is to aim for no more than one review for every four orders initially. Over time, a review-to-order ratio not exceeding 10% is advisable, although even that can be considered high.
When optimizing your listing for a product launch, there are some efficient PPC campaigns to consider.
The first strategy focuses on targeting long-tail keywords that you want to rank for. Given that your product initially has no sales data, it's crucial to get those first sales. To achieve this, set your ACoS to 100% and target long-tail keywords that you aim to rank for.
The second complementary strategy is to target competitors who are already ranking for those long-tail keywords. When a user clicks on a competitor's product and then navigates to yours, Amazon attributes keyword sales relevance to your product. This even makes Amazon think that your product is better than the competitor's, effectively allowing you to "steal" sales directly from them.
Some Amazon sellers may bid on a competitor’s brand name. This can be considered as unethical, so if you want to do it as well, make sure it’s worth fighting for. At the same time it’s also necessary to prevent your branded keyword traffic from being stolen by you competitors, you should try to set up a brand defense strategy.
If you aim to rank using PPC, another effective method to consider is the Search Find Buy (SFB) technique. This involves paying customers to search for specific keywords and then buy your product. When you combine PPC and SFB, it's highly unlikely that you won't secure top spots for your targeted search terms.
Time Slot for Ranking: It's advisable to go for a longer time slot when targeting search terms. If you only match sales for a single day, Amazon is likely to drop your ranking. However, if Amazon's algorithm sees that you maintain consistent sales over a longer period, it learns better and is more likely to keep you at the top spots for those terms.
For the effective execution of these strategies, several tools are recommended. One of those is m19, which comes highly recommended for its capabilities. It is also particularly useful for keyword traction which can help you track the ranking of a list of ASINs on a specific search term.
The cost of an aggressive product launch depends on various factors, including the cost of your product and the competitiveness of the keyword you are targeting. If you're in a highly competitive niche, the PPC could be expensive, but the costs of giveaways may be less.
Helium 10 has a feature called CPR 8-Day Giveaways, which helps you estimate the number of units you need to give away over an 8-day period to rank for specific keywords. However, as mentioned earlier, an 8-day period is quite short; you should aim for at least a 14-day time frame to see significant results.
To calculate the actual cost of the product launch, you'll need to consider not only the product cost but also Amazon's fees and the marketing costs associated with acquiring those sales. When you pay customers to search and buy your product through the SFB method, this money eventually returns to your account as revenue. Therefore, the actual cost would be the sum of the product cost, Amazon's fees, and marketing expenditures.
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