Amazon continues its reign as one of the top eCommerce sites in the world. That’s why more and more sellers are entering the marketplace.
While this means big bucks for Amazon, it also means more competition for Amazon merchants.
So, how do you stay ahead of the competition?
By understanding how Amazon works and finding creative ways to market your product inside and outside of the marketplace!
In this guide, you’ll learn “evergreen” strategies that will help you drive traffic to your Amazon listings so you can take your brand to the next level.
Analyze your competitor
Before you can start promoting your Amazon product, you first need to know what exactly it is that you’re up against.
Instead of ignoring or running away from the competition, start analyzing them to get a better understanding of what your customers want.
As the old saying goes, “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”
By keeping tabs on what your competitors are up to, you’ll see which of their strategies or techniques actually work.
You’re also bound to uncover promotional opportunities that you haven’t thought of yourself. What’s more, you’ll learn about your target market’s wants and needs by reading the reviews on your competitors’ pages.
Here are some tips on how to spy on the competition:
Scour product reviews and Q&A pages for customer feedback
There are really only two instances when customers leave feedback about the products they buy. They’re either really happy about the item they bought or they’re very disappointed.
Reading up on reviews and comments will help you figure out how you can improve your products. It’s also a great place to start brainstorming ideas for building your brand on Amazon.
Are customers frequently mentioning pricing in their reviews?
How many customers have complained about the packaging so far?
What aspects of the product are customers most happy about and what features do they find faulty or useless?
These are just a few questions to ask yourself while spying on the competition.
Keep an eye out for brands in complementary categories
Complementary brands are not your competition per se. But you can still learn a lot by keeping them in your radar.
For example, if you’re selling maternity wear, then you can look for brands that are selling baby clothes and supplies.
Study their marketing techniques and see if there are any opportunities where you can team up to cross-promote each other.
Do they have any keywords that you can target for your own sponsored product campaigns?
What insights can you get from their product and brand pages that could help you improve your own brand’s searchability on Amazon?
Make it your goal to learn as much as you can from brands in complementary categories.
Get inspiration from top-performing brands
Big brands don’t just give you something to aim for, studying them can also give you tons of insights on how you can run your Amazon business.
From knowing which products will sell to handling negative customer reviews, you’re sure to learn something new when you take a look at the top-performing brands on Amazon.
Is there anything that they’re doing particularly well that you can do for your own brand?
Are there any trends that you can ride?
What kind of promos are they offering that you think would work well for your brand?
Remember, these brands didn’t become big for no reason. Find whatever it is that makes them top performers and look for ways to implement it in your store.
Golden opportunities often come when you least expect it. So, always be ready to strike when the iron is hot!
There will be times when a major competitor will suddenly run out of stock so you need to be ready with a good deal when that happens.
You can either lower your pricing or increase your ads spend to get the attention of paying customers.
If you notice a competitor rising the ranks faster than you, then you need to figure out why it’s happening.
It might be time for you to change your product description or tweak your marketing strategy.
The trick to driving traffic to your listings is to constantly think of innovative ideas and implement them quickly before any of your competitors.
Review and tweak pricing strategy
Finding the right pricing scheme is something that many Amazon sellers struggle with.
Even though the end goal is to make a profit, it’s not always easy with Amazon’s complex system and the other sellers you have to compete against in the marketplace.
Smart sellers need to find the perfect balance between making a profit and keeping customers happy with their pricing.
Therefore, if you want to get your pricing right, there are three important things that you need to remember:
Follow the pricing parity clause
When you signed up to be an Amazon seller, the price of the product you’re selling can’t be lower at other sales channels you’re using.
For example, if you’re selling an item for $1, you can’t sell that same item on your Shopify store for .99c. Failure to follow the mandate is a ground for account suspension.
Fight for the Buy Box spot
Amazon is considered as an open marketplace so you’re competing against possibly hundreds of thousands other sellers like you for the “buy box.”
The buy box is like your golden ticket to getting more customers to buy a product from you. One way to win the buy box is to consistently offer the lowest price for a product on Amazon.
Automate the pricing decision
You don’t always have to make your pricing decision yourself. It’s normal to encounter issues when finding the right price for your items.
If you are undergoing problems with it, automate by using Amazon’s “Automate Pricing” tool via your Seller Central account.
This tool helps you find the perfect price that is guaranteed to earn you a decent profit from your products. You still need to consistently do your competitor analysis to set rules that the tool will implement.
If there’s one thing that ALL Amazon buyers have in common, it’s that they won’t say no to the chance to save some money.
One of the most effective was to drive traffic to your Amazon product is by way of promotions.
Whether it’s lightning deals, buy one get one offers, or discount coupons, you can boost your sales and increase brand awareness by offering great deals.
Generate more customer reviews
Even though there is an influx of fake reviews in the marketplace, they remain to be one of the most important factors that will drive customers to your product listings.
You see, people don’t read reviews just for the sake of reading something. They read reviews when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision.
Even if a person plans to buy a product elsewhere, there’s a chance that he or she will stumble on your product listing just to read the review.
Consumers, in general, want to see how a product can help them solve a problem, so working on your social proof is not only going to build your brand credibility, it will also attract high-quality traffic.
So, how do you convince more customers to leave reviews? By sending out follow-up emails. Here’s how to create an email follow-up campaign that will engage your customers.
Work on your timing
You’ll want to start your follow-up campaign when your customer has just started using the product.
Wait for more than a week before you send your first email and your customer might not be interested to talk about your product anymore.
You’ll also want to get the message in front of your customer when they’re the most receptive so avoid sending your follow-up email when they’re most likely to be busy at work.
Focus on improving the customer experience
Always start your email sequence on a positive note.
Make your customers feel good about your brand and product by thanking them for their purchase.
If you focus your emails’ message on wanting to improve the customer experience, people will be more likely to respond positively to it.
Whenever you reach out to a customer, avoid sending a copy-paste job.
Your every email you send must serve a purpose and construct targeted messages with a clear call-to-action.
Create a sequence that has a smooth flow so you don’t confuse or frustrate your customer. If you only have three emails in your sequence, make sure that each one is packed with value.
Avoid sending the same email over and over
Unless we’re talking about the canned meat, no one appreciates spam.
Amazon already has its own system that emails customers shipping updates and reviews reminders so try not to be too repetitive.
Instead, ask customers about their shopping experience and welcome them to your brand. Make sure that your customers are happy before you ask for feedback.
Avoid committing these email “sins”
Amazon allows sellers to send their follow-up emails to their customers, provided that they abide by the rules.
One rule is you can’t send emails asking for a positive review straight out.
You can only suggest that they leave their feedback, and even then, you have to be careful about the words you use. You also can’t incentivize positive reviews or include links to other websites.
Run Sponsored Product Ads
Not many sellers realize that Amazon isn’t just a marketplace, it’s also a powerful ad platform.
Amazon Sponsored Product Ads work based on the PPC model and let you market your products in the search results and the product detail pages. And the great thing about this is that it often shows your listings to people who are ready to buy!
Since Amazon wants people to spend more money in the marketplace, they’ve built a platform that basically triggers customers to buy. You’ll notice this with their ad placement.
On the desktop, you’ll see ads above, beside, or below the search results and on product detail pages. While on mobile, you’ll see ads below the search results and again, on the product detail pages.
If Amazon Sponsored Product Ads is not part of your marketing strategy, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. To help you get started, here’s how you can launch a Sponsored Ad campaign quickly.
Leave it to Amazon
Set your ads to automatic targeting and let Amazon’s powerful search algorithms do the work for you.
If you’re still learning your way around keywords and PPC, automatic targeting is the perfect place to start.
Just place a bid on all of the potential keywords that Amazon suggests so that you can see which ones will bring in the most clicks.
But do you really need to bid on all of those keywords? Well, yes, if you want to see how each performs. The goal here is not just to make some quick cash, but also to get data on how different keywords work.
Evaluate your campaign after a month
Once you’ve collected enough data, you can start evaluating your campaign to see how each keyword performed.
Although you can already start evaluating after getting a couple of weeks’ worth of data, experts recommend that you start the evaluation process after a month.
This should give you a clearer view of which keywords have been the most effective over a 30-day period.
Evaluating your keywords is a crucial step towards manual targeting. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of keywords, you can then put all your bids on the best-performing ones.
Over time, you’ll get a better grasp of how the system works and you can start experimenting with different keywords and bid amounts.
It’s only through constant testing, measuring, and improving your Sponsored Product Ads strategy that you’ll be able to streamline your campaign.
Gathering and evaluating data may seem like a lot of work, but it’s the only way to becoming a master at Sponsored Product Ads.
Just continue testing and implementing changes until you create a system that works well for you.
Perfect Your external traffic generation plan
If you’ll notice, the first four strategies were about driving traffic using Amazon.
Now, we’ll talk about getting traffic from external sources.
While there are plenty of ways to drive traffic to your Amazon listing from the outside, not all of your actions will prove to be beneficial in the long run.
You need to build your external traffic generation plan on best practices.
There is no secret formula that will guarantee a constant stream of traffic to your listings. However, you can perfect your strategy by tapping into these sources:
- Email – sending out promotional newsletters to your existing email list.
- Social media (organic) – posting updates and product links on your business accounts and relevant groups on LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Social media (paid ads) – Paying for ads to appear on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, etc.
- Search engine Ads – Paying for ads to appear on Google, Bing, Yahoo search engine pages.
- Content marketing – writing blogs for your target market, no matter what stage in the buying process they’re in.
- Influencer marketing – teaming up with influencers to promote your products to their audience.
- Affiliate marketing – partnering with affiliate marketers to promote your products through their channels.
But, how do you know which traffic sources to choose?
For this strategy to work, you need to consider different factors.
First, you need to check what assets you already have and see how you can take full advantage of your available resources.
You also need to know who your target market is in order to give them a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that they won’t refuse.
The only way that you can identify viable traffic sources is by testing them one by one and see which of those will eventually give you the best results.
There’s no denying that the Amazon marketplace is probably one of the most competitive places on the internet today.
But that shouldn’t stop you from trying to position yourself as a major player. You can get your sales by focusing on what you think customers would like to get from your store.
When used correctly, all the techniques you have read should help drive quality traffic to your Amazon listings.
More importantly, they will help you safeguard your store for the future!
Even if Amazon makes changes to their algorithms, your store will stand strong because you already put a lot of work and effort into doing things the RIGHT way.