Firstly – why is selling on Amazon important?
The SEO software provider SEMRush suggests that Amazon.co.uk gets around 45 million visits a month from over 1.5 different keyword variations. Just think about that for a while. Not the fact that they get so much traffic in general, but the seemingly unending variety of keywords people use to search.
Although around 30 million individual searches are navigational – they are specifically looking for Amazon, it important to note there are millions of searches per month for a variety of other searches which return Amazon as a result. Here are just a select few from June 2014 data:
- PlayStation 4 – 823,000 searches
- aa route planner – 3,350,000
- Xbox – 550,000
- Samsung galaxy s4 – 550,000
- headphones – 74,000
- Clarks shoes – 246,000
- coffee machines – 40,500
- energy saving light bulbs – 5,400
- mgp scooters – 18,100
- pasta machine – 4,400
- Philips hr1861 – 3,600
- big button mobile phone – 3,600
If you’re in two minds about using the Amazon marketplace you may be thinking that it will be incredibly difficult to gain visibility for your products considering the sheer number of other companies using it – but you would be wrong.
Only around 30,000,000 visits a month go to their homepage. Another 15 million, at least, go to internal pages, and those 15 million visits are spread out across very niche search terms – more niche than the short list above. If we look through the 1.5 million or so search terms appears for ina give month a month, the first 10,000 search terms alone relate to a staggering 281 million individual searches and that’s just 0.7% of their searches. If you look at the total volume of searches that Amazon appear for in a given month then you’re talking billions – just for the UK. [NB: All search data from SEMRush]
So, what is the most important thing I need to do to use Amazon to my advantage?
The two most important things for ranking in Google (essentially) are links to a site or page and the relevant keywords on the page or title tag. With Amazon you don’t really have to worry about the links part, although if you wanted, you could link into an Amazon product page to boost its rankings.
Looking at the second aspect: keywords – then it is crucial that you consider all the ways that people may search for your product. Adding these into the product name will push the keywords into that page’s <title> tag (a vitally important tag for SEO).
If you’ve searched Amazon for any type of electrical device or clothing then you will see that often retailers put as many keyword variations into that tag as possible. An example is the Anker Astro Mini portable charger which has used a staggering 339 characters in their product name. Although Amazon’s own guidance on ‘content errors‘ states that ‘titles should include the product name only, not descriptive details’ – this is a subjective statement as, of course, a product name describes the product. Hence, using a keyword suggestion tool from the likes of Google, Ubersuggest, SEMRush, or other tools, and including many in your product titles will give you a legitimate advantage over those that don’t optimise their title tags.
With the particular Anker Astro Mini search, Amazon outperforms the maker’s website, YouTube, EBay, Huffington Post, HotUKDeals and many other websites.
Amazon places A GREAT DEAL OF WEIGHT on customer satisfaction, they monitor it intently, so here are some other things to consider:
- Despatch times – people love leaving feedback, whether on the product purchased or the company itself. It is crucial, therefore, that you do everything you reasonably can do to improve your seller ratings. The one aspect that annoys customers, and I have personally experienced, is the length of time it takes for you to fulfil an order after it was made. An example is my own purchase of some plants which took over a week to despatch from ordering – this most definitely affected my perception of the company and was expressed to Amazon. This negative review will affect their overall Amazon Seller Rating and may demote their featured seller for any given product and move them into the “more buying choices” box that people seldom use – this can affect sales greatly. Ensure, therefore, that you only list products that you can despatch quickly, or make it very clear to customers when they can expect despatch. An obvious solution would be to use Cloud Fulfilment to quickly and automatically despatch products.
- Accurate product descriptions – now I am hard to find an example for this post, however, on my recent visits to Amazon I have seen products that have had prominent notices informing me that I cannot buy a product as others have stated that it was not as described. This will not only, obviously, halt sales for that product, but will also likely to reduce your Seller Rating. So do make sure that you accurately describe your products and use correct photography. Adding useful, engaging and accurate product descriptions will increase your performance relative to those that don’t.
- Manage your feedback – occasionally customers will leave seller feedback which is unreasonable or inaccurate (or both). Their feedback will obviously be from their point of view. If a customer has, for example, stated that they have not received their order and are blaming you, then investigate the matter and reply to the customer’s feedback stating, for example, that the courier has tried on multiple times to deliver the item without success. Furthermore, some people may put reviews of specific products on your general seller feedback section. You can contact the Amazon support team to have it removed.Also remember that customers can ask questions about your products to those that have previously left reviews. An example can be seen with these Champagne flutes. If some are asking questions, you can be sure that others will be asking themselves them. I suggest that you look at those questions and amend your product descriptions so people can instantly have their concerns resolved.
- Make sure that your packaging is adequate. Customers can now rate how you have packaged orders. My recent order of a new Apple TV box was perfectly fine, it was delivered quickly (using Prime) and nothing was wrong. So I followed up and reviewed this aspect.Don’t forget customers also have the option to rate you as a seller and the product itself – so ensure you keep this one very important feature in mind as this is also a metric Amazon will monitor to decide which seller is recommended for a given product.
- Watch your Order Defect Rate like a hawk – If it exceeds 1% then you are likely to suffer as a business. Customers can give you a summary ‘seller feedback’ score where they select how many stars you deserve, if the order arrived on time (they can also do this in the packaging reviews section), if the item was as described and if you were ‘prompt and courteous’ if the customer contacted you. Again, make sure you do what you can to create happy customers.
- Be prompt and courteous – as mentioned above, if Amazon are asking customers if they are dealt with by sellers in a prompt and courteous manner then it shouldn’t be a great surprise if we suggest that you respond to customer questions every day of the week. Saturday and Sunday represent almost a third of the week. Not setting aside a few minutes to deal with customer questions then, or having a member of staff on hand to do so can impact your profile scores.
Don’t forget: price!
Another crucially important aspect, of course, is price. Having a great feedback score or a low defect rating can only take you so far. Offering the cheapest price – including delivery charges is vital. If you have the capability to monitor pricing intently and it is recommended. Being able to alter pricing can certainly deliver incremental sales.
Monitor your stats
Amazon provides useful product statistics such as page views over a period of time. If some of your products are getting hardly any traffic then it would be worthwhile to review your product titles, descriptions and prices. Also check to see if any of your ratings have fallen below an acceptable level or your product has been pulled for being ‘not as described’.
If you have read any internet marketing or ecommerce book then you will have it drummed into you about offering fantastic customer service, being responsive, data-driven and insightful. Taking those recommendations on board is never more relevant than selling on Amazon. If you are committed to making the most of the opportunity that Amazon offers then you just have to bend over backwards for customers. You have to predict the information they want to know before they ask for it. You have to deliver their orders on time and be incredibly responsive to their needs. If you neglect any of those aspects then you will simply be losing sales.
We can help you with shipping the correct products quickly. We can help you with integrating your web store with Amazon, it would just be down to you to monitor your Amazon feedback ratings, respond to customers promptly and set the right prices for your products. The increase in sales as you market to tens of millions of UK residences will make the effort worth it.
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