When you’re preparing to launch a new product on Amazon, you work hard to get everything ready, settling for nothing short of perfection when the time comes to introduce it to the rest of the world. To make this step as smooth as possible and market a successful product from the get go, you need to define a game plan that will ensure business is booming.
No two products are the same, and each requires a well-tailored strategy to set it apart in its niche, and make your product shine enough to reach those high rankings. This means pinning down a solid pre-launch, launch, and post-launch strategy.
Amazon Product Pre-Launch Strategy
1. Learning the Ropes: Amazon’s A9 Algorithm
Even if you’re familiar with Google’s SEO algorithm, you’ll find that the system Amazon uses is quite different, so you need to get acquainted with their working algorithm. This is one of the first protocols to make sure that once launched, your product doesn’t fall into the common trap of generating little to no sales.
Amazon’s primary focus is to sell, nothing else matters nearly as much–not relevance, not search intent. Their entire focus lies in making as many sales as humanly possible, and more specifically, maintaining sales velocity as their focal point. Simply put, Amazon values how fast–both by speed and volume–a seller’s inventory moves, and not how ‘suited’ it may be to the search terms a visitor uses. So, how well a product ranks lies in how likely it is to sell, according to Amazon’s algorithm. This calculation is based on several direct and indirect factors that boost revenue, which can be summarized as: conversion rate (think competitive pricing), keyword relevance (titles, bullet points, product descriptions), and customer satisfaction (customer journey, user experience, reviews).
If you want to make it big on Amazon and attract customers, you need to first master the Amazon algorithm.
2. Lots, and We Mean LOTS, of Research
When venturing into the territory of selling on Amazon, you need to take a deep dive and uncover as much information as you can about your niche and competing products. Do you know who your target demographic is? What are their needs and interests? How does your product make their lives easier? What challenges can you iron out for them? And most importantly, what sets your product apart from the rest, and makes it rise to the top?
Figure out who the competition will be. Depending on what you’re launching, you might be unknowingly entering a saturated niche. In this case, you have two options: evaluate your product choice and pick an item that will have less rivalry, or, with the right tool, you can conduct thorough recon on everything about other sellers, from number of ASINs they sell to their monthly revenue, and even the keywords they use for each product listing. Identify what your competition is doing so you can do it better.
We said lots of research, remember? In addition to seller research, you’ll need to analyze products too. If you have Amazon product research software like Keyword Inspector in your arsenal, you’ll access valuable information in no time without breaking a sweat. Get an accurate picture of how similar products have been performing, including average monthly sales common list price the item goes for, and how profitable the product is with a handy profitability calculator.
3. Establish Your Brand
Don’t just sell a product to somebody, sell them your brand. From the investigation you’ve done, you can already tell there’s a ton of other sellers in the marketplace. So what makes you different? Establishing your brand means your customers can find something to relate to in who you are as a business.
Buyers can get most items from virtually anywhere, so make sure you tell a story with your brand, and make it one they can fall in love with that will draw them in. You want your brand to shine brighter than the others. Pay attention to the little details, like how you package your product, what the design communicates, and the colors you use. Build a unique brand identity that sticks in people’s minds, and most importantly, entices them.
Product Ready: Launch Strategy
Done right, your pre-launch strategy oils the machine for your actual launch so that it flows as smoothly as possible. Once you’re in business, getting some powerful software that can take care of all the details and moving pieces of your seller operation and help you accelerate your business growth is key. This helps you automate otherwise repetitive or tedious processes, making time for you to focus on other things that require your full attention to make the launch a success.
1. Optimize Listings
When enhancing your listings, focus should be on keywords, which are divided into three aspects:
- Keyword Research: Compile a list of all the terms and phrases related to your product, including long and short-tail keywords and common misspellings, so you can incorporate these into titles and product descriptions. You want to cast a wide net to capture all imaginable words a consumer may type in when looking for your product. Make your search as vast as possible to make sure your product is as visible as possible.
- Keyword Optimization: Once you collect relevant search terms, strategically work these into your title, bullet points, and descriptions. Remember not to stuff your product listing details or title with keywords, as you are limited with a character count on Amazon and don’t want to waste it. High-quality, targeted keywords make more conversions. Keyword optimization is not a static process; it requires continual monitoring of changing market trends and current top search terms. To stay on top of the game and update your listing to reflect high-converting keywords, you’ll need a comprehensive solution that tracks every keyword on Amazon product listings and shows you everything from search volume to word frequency.
- Keyword Tracking: You should have a means of tracking how well your keywords are performing, especially for a piece of the puzzle that requires constant research and updating. It’s pointless to collect thousands of keywords that don’t convert, so you need to have performance metrics in place to get a clear picture on how your keywords are doing, where you can view reports and historical data.
2. Generate External Traffic to Your Listing
Start generating hype around your actual launch date by being active on social media and any other external platforms where you can post. Share exciting sneak peeks if you want to create anticipation, or if your audience already knows what you’re launching, go all out with a full-blown marketing campaign leading up to the drop date. This will help generate traffic towards your Amazon product listing.
There are so many options when it comes to creating a buzz online, either via blogging a guide to your product or sharing info about it on your website. You could also go a step further and take advantage of your subscriber list to send an email blast, hyping and sharing information about your newest launch.
The last part, and in no way, the least important, is your strategy to handle the impact of your product launch. Your post-launch strategy is essentially a way to seal your efforts into a cycle and guarantee that you will continue to keep climbing up the rankings.
Ask for Reviews to Build Social Credibility
Once steady sales start rolling in, it’s tempting to think your work is done and you can sit back and put your feet up. But it’s not quite time to relax just yet: this is the time to cultivate and nurture all your hard work so that your business continues to grow. For every sale made, make sure to follow up and ask for a review. This is daunting for obvious reasons, but it’s important to get public proof of your customers’ satisfaction.
Shoppers have many options to choose from, so when looking at multiple products that all do the same thing, having the recommendation of other consumers helps push new buyers and convince them of one item over another. The more glowing your reviews are, the better your conversion rate. Think of positive reviews as confirmation to prospective buyers that your product does everything it claims in your description. There are several ways to collect Amazon customer reviews, just make sure as you request them, you adhere to Amazon’s regulations regarding customer reviews and review requests.
Having a product that sells well is never a bad thing, but low stock and stockouts are. Make sure to restock so that your customers aren’t directed to a competitor if they see that you are “out of stock” when they come to make a purchase. Better yet, get yourself a tool with an Amazon restocking alert, like SellerMobile, so you never miss out on sales. Comprehensive seller software will include a whole module dedicated to tracking inventory and analyzing historical sales data, to then notify you when stock levels are low, so you never find yourself with missed sales. And most importantly, you never send a shopper to another seller.
Employ a Killer Marketing Strategy: PPC Campaigns
Some sellers absolutely love it, others detest it, but it wouldn’t be sales if there wasn’t marketing involved. Effective advertising isn’t about shoving a product down customers’ throats. It’s an art that requires a discriminating strategy, and a skillful dance to show consumers why your product is supreme and how it will ultimately improve their lives. A solid marketing campaign aims to inspire new buyers but also harness customer retention, which can be achieved in a few different ways:
- highlight the product’s benefits and how it will fit into a user’s life, not just its features
- understand the most practical and productive sales channel for your product–determined by your niche and target demographic, among other factors
- familiarize yourself with your ideal buyer, identify how you can reach them and what publicity will pack the most punch
- understand what exactly customers want from your product and present your product as customer-based, making sure it addresses their needs and wants
Additionally, make sure to plan a budget for PPC campaigns so you don’t overspend, and keep them organized and track click-through rates and conversions, so you see a positive effect from your advertising, rather than winding up losing money.
Ready to Rank on Amazon
Seller success on Amazon starts with a single step, so launching a winning product can pave the way for a prosperous seller business. The journey involves planning and juggling multiple projects at once, but when done well, you will be rewarded many times over with a growing FBA business. Take your newfound knowledge and introduce that product to the most powerful selling marketplace!