When it comes to retail trends, no single organization has done more to change the way that people shop in recent years than Amazon. This remarkable company is innovating at a faster pace than everyone by improving the shopping experience with rich, easily searchable content and by adding the immensely popular Prime. Sellers who ignore the impact of this marketing juggernaut run the risk of missing a huge opportunity to reach a constantly growing number of customers who shop online first.
Our experience has shown that the more you invest in your product pages – both figuratively and financially – the better you will be treated by Amazon, and the more you will sell. Simply put, Amazon encourages smart marketing practices by sellers and rewards those who develop attractive displays supported by good content and sound SEO strategies.
Amazon is the unquestioned reference point for shoppers, both online and in-store. According to a recent survey of consumer shopping patterns by Bloomberg, 55% of U.S. online customers begin their product searches with Amazon. That’s compared to 28% that start with search engines.
Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your program:
- Use quality images. Like a retail storefront, a visually compelling display on your product page draws more eyes and sells more products. Quality images are absolutely essential for pleasing the customer and closing the sale. Don’t settle for poorly lit, low-res shots taken on your cellphone. You can feature up to 6 images – use all of them! – and they need to be the right size and resolution or Amazon will not approve your submission. Professional images convey quality and build trust, essential for online shoppers. Product-as-hero shots are most important, but lifestyle (product in use), product detail (focusing on key features), packaging and “what’s in the package” shots are all important for creating interest and for shopper’s peace of mind.
- Use video. You are allowed up to one video per ASIN. It does not cost extra to add a video to your page, so do not miss this opportunity. Today’s shoppers expect video demonstrations on how to set up and use your product. Even a simple video goes a long way to allaying shopper’s fears and aiding the buying process. Videos can be any length (and may vary on the complexity of the product), but typically they should not exceed two minutes to retain viewer interest. For production tips, check this Video Shooting and Edting article.
- Write a better product title. Don’t underestimate the power of your product title. It’s key to your Amazon SEO strategy, ensuring better rankings on Amazon SERPs (search engine results pages) and on Internet search engines. Titles have a limit of 200 characters, but keeping them below 100 is generally recommended. Titles should include brand name, variant (color, flavor), unit size/quantity, and keywords (what the product actually is and how it works). Studies show that keyword-rich titles tend to rank better in Amazon SERPs, so do your research and pinpoint those words that connect with your audience’s needs and interest. Amazon offers a Keyword Tool for help and is a good place to get started. Overly complex titles, however, may hurt sales by making customers skeptical of the product offering. So there’s a delicate balance to maintain.
- Consider developing A+ pages. Sellers have the option to sign up for A+ Content, a program to enhance your product detail page with added visuals and marketing content to help customers make informed decisions and increase shopper engagement. Enhanced content can include in-depth product information (sometimes in narrative form), charts, selection guides, video and rich images. Although the A+ content appears “below the fold”, Amazon says that on average it increases page views by 200% and sales by 7%. There’s an added fee that varies depending on which module you select, but it’s an investment that can pay off handsomely for your top-performing products. Amazon enforces stringent style and structure requirements for text and images on A+ pages, so working with someone who has experience in A+ content development will save you the hassle of submissions being rejected.
- Support with advertising. Amazon offers a paid advertising model that improves your search ranking and places display ads on relevant SERP pages and competitive product detail pages. Much like Google Adwords, you bid on relevant keywords. And if your bid wins and your ad matches the search, it gets displayed to shoppers. You are only charged for clicks and you have the flexibility to adjust budgets, keywords and pause or restart at any time. Paid advertising is becoming the norm for sellers who face stiff competition from other brands and for those who want to stay in favor with Amazon.
- Encourage reviews. Positive reviews online can do much to turn a browser into a buyer. Nearly 90% of all Amazon customers read reviews before purchasing, so increasing the volume of feedback can work to your advantage. The best way to encourage good reviews is to do something to deserve them. Have a good product to begin and do an especially nice job with packaging. But it also helps if you can provide something unexpected in the package like a free tool to help the buyer assemble the product or a template to make hole locations easy. Adding a note to encourage honest reviews is always a simple yet effective way to nudge the customer toward engagement. And if all of this is not enough, a program like Feedback Five has been shown to increase the volume of reviews while minimizing negative comments.
- Work with a professional marketing firm. In our experience, working with Amazon is much like working with any big box retailer. They all have their own set of requirements and quirks that you must master in order to earn their respect and maximize your position. The more you know about Amazon’s unique way of doing business, the faster you will optimize your program’s effectiveness, enhance your relationship with them, and sell more product. If you are lacking this familiarity, there are marketing partners who can flatten the learning curve.
Firms such as Heinzeroth have experience with Amazon and can set up and optimize the content and design of your product pages, as well as A+ pages, for maximum impact and minimal wasted effort. For strategic planning, content creation, photography, video development, uploading and program maintenance, Heinzeroth is your one-stop shop for Amazon marketing solutions. Contact us today and we’ll review your current Amazon program and make recommendations. Or if you’re new to Amazon, we can help you get started.
Among the most frequent users of Amazon are of course the Millennials segment. They are raising familes, moving into new and larger homes, and quickly growing in purchasing power. Download this free guide to sharpen your focus on marketing to millennials.