Marketing products on marketplaces like Amazon, Etsy and eBay are distinctly different from promoting products from your own website. So for some expert insights on how to increase sales on Amazon, we reached out to some experienced marketers and expert sellers for their top tips.
Whether you’re taking the first step toward building your online empire, looking for a way to sell your handmade works of art or looking to complement the sales of your own e-commerce website, online marketplaces provide sellers with the opportunity to get their products in front of a huge audience and boost sales. Check out what the pros had to say:
Get the basics right
To increase sales on Amazon and maximize the impact of your product promotions, you want to make sure you get the basics right first. From optimizing your product titles and pricing to encouraging social proof through reviews, there are some simple things you can do to improve your sales from the get-go.
1. Title optimization:
“Buyers judge products by the title of a listing so Amazon wants your title to be short, descriptive and to the point. Here are some elements to include in your title:
- Brand Name
- Name of the Product
- Any feature such as color, size or use
“For example, if you sell women leggings, your title could include Galaxy Cotton Women Legging – Stretchable – Skinny Fit – Grey and White Color – Set of 2 – Flower Print Cotton Women’s Leggings.”
– Muhammad Sajjad, Ecommerce Community Manager at Cloudways
2. Follow the rules:
“Creating quality Amazon listings will help drive higher Amazon search results and sales conversions. Since Amazon’s listing requirements and opportunities are ever-changing, sellers should stay on top of what they can and can’t do in their listings…
“Growing purchaser reviews for products is a key marketing tactic that helps boost Amazon search results, but it’s important to stay within Amazon’s strict buyer communication guidelines. Links to the review page are permissible in your email updates and notifications. But asking for good reviews or offering an incentive, like a coupon for a review, is not.
“Ultimately, marketing on Amazon starts with keeping product listing pages current and updated to Amazon’s quality listing standards, and communicating properly with buyers. If you don’t do this correctly, any added marketing methods, like Amazon ads or social media pushes, are just wasted effort.”
– Krista Fabregas, e-commerce Analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com
3. Take advantage of the flywheel effect:
“Large marketplaces such as Amazon host hundreds of millions of products. When you publish large inventories, even of known brands, there will always be groups of products that get good visibility and others that do not. This is because highly visible products benefit from a flywheel effect and less visible stay hidden.
“In order to increase your sell-through in a balanced way, you should cluster your inventory and build your flywheel for less visible products. A recipe for inventory management and selling that has worked for us involves these 3 ingredients:
- Put a set of these products on FBA to qualify for Prime shipping and therefore gain visibility.
- Combine Headline Search and Sponsored Ads to strongly push them for 2-3 weeks. A big push in a short timeframe can help a lot.
- Implement a process that allows you to ask for specific feedback on these products.”
– Vito Perrone, CEO at marketplace distributor YOCABÈ
4. Optimize your Amazon sales funnel:
“If someone checks out your sales page, chances are that they are interested. However, if they don’t buy, it means that you haven’t established enough value in the person’s mind for them to actually purchase. Here’s how to solve that problem – sit down and write out all of the objections your prospects have. Then answer those objections in your sales copy. Every single time I have done this, without exception, I have seen a conversion rate increase.
“A good example of this is the question-and-answer section on Amazon. Whenever people ask questions about a product, it is an objection to buying. They’re hesitant. Amazon did this to boost sales, and I’ve heard that it has worked.”
– James Pollard, Marketing Consultant at TheAdvisorCoach.com
5. Protect yourself from third-party competitors:
“Try setting up your campaigns in a way where the customer’s search discovery process – i.e., when they are first introduced to your brand on Amazon – is always under a certain price. Set custom labels that tier products by prices, exclude as many SKUs (Stock Keeping Units) as you need to, and you’ll be sure third-party retailers won’t steal your customers by offering cheaper rates. By choosing not to bid on certain products that are beyond a specific price point, you can still beat the competition on Amazon.”
– John Pellinghelli, Co-Founder at Metric Digital
Use tools to increase sales on Amazon
Like with many aspects of marketing, having a well-stocked tool belt at your disposal can make a huge difference to your bottom line. It is no different when it comes to promoting products on the Amazon marketplace. Keyword research tools can give you an edge over your competitors, while others simply save you time that you can spend elsewhere. Check out the tools that our prod are using.
6. Check out the competition:
“Picasso once said, ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’. Selling on Amazon – and being successful at it – follows the same principle. If you’re not looking at what your competitors are doing, you’re missing one of the most obvious resources to improve ROI on Amazon, or anywhere else for that matter. Here are four tools for marketing products and increasing sales:
- Use SEMRush to gather information on organic and ad keywords to see how competitors rank.
- Use Ahrefs to view which of your competitors’ web pages are the most successful. If there’s an evergreen blog post they have that refers readers to their Amazon product page, you need to know about it.
- Moat is a great tool for seeing where competitors spend ad money. For it to be effective, you’ll want to turn off your adblocker. It’s a useful way to know how your competitor targets your shared pool of potential customers.
- Obviously, pricing is a big part of any customer’s decision to buy from you or a competitor. CamelCamelCamel and Honey are easy to use pricing trackers so you know exactly how and when they’re adjusting the price of products.”
– Jake Rheude, Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment
7. Sync products to save time and lift customer experience:
“One option we recommend is to sync your products from your e-commerce store to Amazon, eBay and other marketplaces.
“The benefit is you can keep your quantity levels in check on all platforms. You can also update item specifics and product variations easier than you can manually. Look for a third-party provider to sync software between your e-commerce store and shopping marketplaces.”
– Ben Stanford, Red Cedar Websites
8. Get some feedback from your target audience:
“E-commerce stores should test their featured photos and product descriptions using a polling service like PickFu. By polling respondents who match your target demographics, you can glean insights into what makes your listing more attractive.”
– Kim Kohatsu, Director of Marketing at PickFu
Let’s get visual!
Online consumers rely heavily on product descriptions and images to inform their purchases. The Shotfarm Product Information Report for 2015-2016 surveyed over 1,500 consumers about their online shopping habits and found that images are critical to them. 30% said images are important, while 63% said they are very important. This means a huge 93% majority place much heed in them and this makes images a key part of how to increase sales on Amazon.
Consumers said product images are significantly more essential than reviews, showing just how important the information coming directly from sellers is. For this reason, Amazon – along with other major marketplaces – has set out minimum requirements for product images.
Amazon’s product image guidelines encourage sellers to upload images at least 1,000 pixels in width and height. Once this guide is followed, images are big enough to activate Amazon’s zoom feature, which the platform says enhances sales. Here are some tips from the experts on how to increase sales on Amazon with your choice of images.
9. Invest in products photos:
“My #1 marketing tip for online vendors is to invest in the best photography you can afford.
“Why? This is vital because its the difference between people buying your product or not. It doesn’t matter how much you have invested in SEO or how awesome your products are, if your product photos lack professionalism, no one will be motivated to purchase. All the time, effort and cost you have spent building your online shop will be wasted.”
“The sales for each of these examples above prove my point – the shop with good photos has sold close to 1,000 products, while the other has sold only one.”
– Melissa MacDonald, E-commerce expert, and owner at Sweet Spot Marketing
10. Diversify your photos:
“On marketplaces, you’re competing with thousands of other brands and you need every edge you can to tell your story and compel potential customers to click on your listings and convert. If all your photos are just plain white background or have the same model, look or location then you’ve not brought the customer through enough of a journey.
“For every listing, we aim to have 2 to 3 high-quality white background photos and 3 to 7 lifestyle photos each with a different model in different locations and poses. Our wide range of photos helps customers imagine themselves using our products.”
– Ryan O’Connor, Co-Founder of One Tribe Apparel
11. Don’t forget to include graphs:
“Adding additional graphics to product images can also be hugely beneficial.
“Highlighting core value points within your product photos can help users get a better idea of what your product is all about at a glance. Emphasizing major features with visuals allows users to quickly understand your product’s value, while not forcing them to read large chunks of text.”
12. Tell a story with your images:
“Since half of Amazon purchases occur on mobile, make sure you ‘tell a story’ with your photos as most customers just thumb through and make their primary decision to buy based on what they see.”
– Ryan Flynn, CEO & Founder of Charmac
Optimize for search
Sometimes sellers can forget that Amazon isn’t closed off from the rest of the online world. Marketing product listings through social media and other marketing channels have a major impact on sales. As does a page’s organic search rankings within the Amazon marketplace and on other search engines. If you’ve built up a following, they may search for you elsewhere.
13. Don’t forget about Google:
“When people get deeply involved in popular marketplaces, they tend to forget that Google is an over-arching marketplace that sees into the content of all of these other websites as well… Everything we do will probably be indexed by Google as well. So just because you’re selling on Amazon, don’t neglect using traditional SEO methodologies. It can and will make a big difference.”
– Ross Palmer, CEO/Founder of Aloa Marketing
14. Give Amazon listings a boost with ads:
“According to a Kenshoo study, 56% of consumers start product searches on Amazon. On the seller-side, 63% of Amazon advertisers plan to increase their budget this year – a larger percentage increase than Google and Facebook spend. In short, Amazon is the new Google for retailers and manufacturers, so strategic advertising is a must, not only to increase awareness and sales but also to influence organic rankings in Amazon product searches.
“My recommendation is to optimize product pages for maximum visibility within on-site searches. Best practices are similar to Google SEO’s, but it’s more complicated than that, as rankings are also determined by sales volume, reviews, and other metrics. If you separate out the pricing, order fulfillment and other performance factors, there are ways to achieve top visibility.
“A few of the best places to incorporate relevant keywords into the copy and tags, especially on Amazon, include:
- Brand Name: This field is linked to other products by the same brand
- Product Listing Title: Brand, model, name, features, colors, and sizes
- Product Descriptions: Keyword-infuse all form fields – ideally using bullet points
- Field Keywords: Appear in the product URL
- Nodes: Identify product category relationships (Root > Parent > Leaf structure)
- Field-BrandTextBin: This field is dedicated to the brand name and can be measured
– Kent Lewis, President & Founder at Anvil
15. Combine keywords for titles and tags:
“In a broad marketplace with lots of competition, you need to make every word in your titles and tags count. With a bit of creative wording, you can hit multiple search phrases at once, broadening your reach.
“For example, this one listing on Etsy includes the phrase, ‘Wedding Party Gift Monogrammed’. With just four words, this product will show up in search results for ‘Wedding’, ‘Wedding Party’, ‘Wedding Party Gift’, ‘Party Gift’, ‘Party Gift Monogrammed’, ‘Gift Monogrammed’, and ‘Monogrammed’.”
– Chrys Doucette, Consultant at SEO by Chrys
Increase sales by being on-brand
At Rebrandly, we’re constantly talking about the importance of showcasing your brand and this is especially relevant if you’re selling your products on a crowded marketplace like Amazon. Do what you can to show off your brand name and boost its visibility as this can really make your listings stand out.
Portray an image that people can trust and build a presence outside of Amazon on social media or your own site. This will reassure potential customers that search for your brand.
Consumers value visibility and credibility. Many people will choose to buy from a brand they trust and respect over a lower-priced option, so branding is an important asset for Amazon sellers.
In recent years, Amazon has increased sellers’ opportunities to present their brand, so there are ways to position your brand on the platform too.
16. Trademark your brand:
“A Registered Trademark provides you with an unprecedented opportunity on the Amazon platform, including access to Enhanced Brand Content, Amazon Storefronts, Headline Search Ads and their Trademark Violation Tool.
“Enhanced Brand Content has been proven to increase conversion rates and Amazon Storefronts allow you to create Custom Source Tags which allow you to effectively track external traffic to Amazon.
“Headline Search Ads also tend to be a fraction of the cost of sponsored listings while giving your ad greater prominence and Amazon’s Violation Tool allows you to easily track and file copyright and trademark infringements.”
– Shannon Roddy, Amazon Specialist at Marketplace Seller Courses
17. Create a storefront for your brand:
“Make sure to show off your products by creating a Brand Storefront using Amazons new Store Builder tool!
“Amazon has recently allowed sellers to create a Branded Storefront page. This is an incredibly easy way to spotlight your products in a way that aligns with your brand identity. The tool even helps you to gain insight from the page traffic, as well as direct ads directly to your Storefront.
“By simply clicking the brand name located above the product’s title, customers will be directed to your storefront.”
– Nick Salerno, Amazon Marketing Manager at JAM Paper
18. A tip from Rebrandly: Use branded links to drive traffic
When you’re promoting your marketplace products on social media, instead of presenting your followers with a long, ugly URL that features Amazon or Etsy’s brand name instead of your own, consider sharing a branded short link.
This way your links will be on-brand, short and feature a strong call to action. This can help significantly improve the CTR of your marketing messages and will ultimately lead to more sales.
Rebrandly provides analytical insights that you just can’t get from sharing a third-party website’s URL.
If you are selling your products on Amazon, you can also connect Rebrandly with Amazon Seller Central over on Zapier if you want to create an on-brand link to send to your customers every time a new order comes through.