*This is a guest post by Becky Trowbridge, Managing Content Editor at eComEngine.
Competition is fierce on the Amazon Marketplace. Advertising products on Amazon is becoming increasingly important for sellers who want to excel and continue to grow their businesses.
When you’re advertising your products through Amazon Marketing Services, it’s important to make sure that you’re drawing attention to the right products.
In this blog post, we’ll share five steps to take before purchasing advertising for a product.
Steps to Take Before Advertising on Amazon:
1) Set Goals
Defining clear targets and goals can help you run effective advertising campaigns.
- Are you trying to liquidate inventory that you don’t plan on restocking?
- Do you want to boost a new product or a seasonal item to drive more traffic?
- Is one of your top products falling in the search rankings?
- Has a new competitor entered your space?
- Is your ultimate goal simply to establish more recognition for your brand?
Creating clarity around your advertising goals and intended outcomes makes it easier to build campaigns that drive real results. There’s no doubt that advertising through Amazon Marketing Services increases product visibility, but it’s important to use these advertisements strategically.
Defining the intended purpose of each ad campaign helps you spend your advertising dollars purposefully.
2) Invest in Excellent Content
Great images and well-written product listings can significantly impact your conversion rate. Driving traffic to your listing is awesome, but it’s important to ensure that the information on that page is accurate and attractive to potential buyers.
Consider what makes your product stand out and highlight those features in your content. Test your listing to see how it appears on mobile devices.
Investing the time and energy into creating an eye-catching product listing will help you create content that converts. It can also make the task of creating advertising copy much easier, since you’ll already have a solid foundation of images and copy to work from.
Prospective customers will have a better idea of what they’re buying, meaning they’ll be more likely to rate the product fairly and accurately. The more descriptive your listing, the better. Item color can be a hot topic, especially if you sell apparel or household items.
Consider including the Pantone color code for each variation of your product; if the color can vary based on fabric or other components, be sure to mention that in the listing. Clear communication can help you set realistic expectations for potential buyers.
3) Evaluate Product Reviews
Every aspect of your reputation matters when it comes to eCommerce, and this is especially true on Amazon. After all, potential buyers are trusting you and your products based on product reviews and seller ratings.
Amazon takes your seller reputation very seriously because maintaining high ratings shows that you can meet buyer expectations by delivering an exceptional experience.
Although product reviews might not be the first factor you consider when determining which products to advertise, these ratings are incredibly important. In Nielsen’s most recent Global Trust in Advertising study, two-thirds of respondents said that they trust consumer opinions posted online.
Shoppers rely on reviews as an essential component of the decision-making process. Quality product reviews can make a huge impact on sales by showing prospective customers that they can trust your product to meet their expectations.
But getting reviews isn’t enough. You also need to be able to monitor and analyze those reviews in order to learn how buyers perceive your products and what changes you might be able to make to differentiate your items in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
4) Make Improvements
Driving traffic to a listing with poor reviews can result in an equally poor conversion rate. This is especially true with advertising services such as Sponsored Product Ads, where product ratings are prominently displayed in the advertisement. Amazon customers expect quality products.
If your products are receiving poor reviews, it’s time to reevaluate.
- Does your listing set accurate expectations for product quality?
- Is there a problem with the product that could be resolved by communicating with the manufacturer?
Take the time to resolve these types of issues and then request product reviews from buyers to attempt to improve your rating before creating paid advertising for the product. (FeedbackFive makes it easy to monitor reviews and send product-specific review requests to buyers.)
Never try to influence the customer’s review or offer any incentives; Amazon policy prohibits both actions.
5) Check Your Stock
It can be tough to find a balance between keeping your product in stock and avoiding overstocking, but it’s increasingly important for your Amazon account health. If you fulfill orders through the FBA program, the amount of inventory you have at the Amazon fulfillment centers and how quickly it sells will directly impact your Inventory Performance Index (IPI) score.
Falling below an IPI score of 350 can mean overage fees and FBA storage limits; a low score can even result in sellers not being able to send products into the fulfillment centers.
Looking at past sales data for your product can help you get an idea of how much inventory to keep in stock.
Projecting potential sales is critical prior to advertising a product on Amazon.
You’ll want to be sure that you have enough product to meet demand. This may mean reevaluating your shipping model; if you typically ship products directly to Amazon you may find that it is more cost-effective to store some items in local inventory until there is demand for them at the fulfillment center.
Determine your lead time and ensure that you reorder top products in time to meet demand.
Once you feel like you have all the pieces in place, it’s time to start advertising your product. Building a solid foundation with great images, a well-written listing and honest reviews will help drive conversions for your product.
Making the extra effort to ensure that your item will meet customer expectations is a smart way to proactively manage your seller reputation on Amazon.