So if you’ve tried to sell any sort of physical product online in the last decade you know the importance of getting your product on Amazon. The problem is that it can be a real pain in the ass to get your listings right and approved by the Bezos that Be.
In this short-but-sweet approach post we’re going to share our own hard-earned lessons, rookie mistakes we’ve seen made, and some tips for what to do once your products are up and live to get some traffic flowing to your listings. We may also cover why Amazon is important but not the be-all-end-all.
Let’s dive in.
Rookie Mistake 1: Not Allowing Enough Time
If you’ve looked at as many Amazon product listings as we have it’s easy to believe that they make it straightforward to get your product up and live. I mean, everyone’s doing it right? Wrong. The first time you go to launch a product on Amazon, be prepared for a hefty wait and long ride.
With the Pandemic-era timelines we’re living in currently there has been a serious decline in customer service, to say the least. It’s understandable given the circumstances but what this translates to is everything takes twice as long. Including your Amazon verification process.
The rookie mistake we’ve seen made right out of the gate was underestimating just how long it can take to get your business, person, and products verified. We’ve had to adjust timelines a few times to meet the new expectations put forth by the Amazon team. The process itself isn’t difficult but allowing enough time to get all of your ducks in a row is definitely something you’ll want to factor into any sort of launch schedule you may have.
Rookie Mistake 2: Crappy Photos
Seriously though, this one is the toughest pill to swallow sometimes. It seems like an obvious thing — shoot your images on a white background to really make the Amazon listing gods happy. Why? Because it’s clean and easy to showcase your product. You’re not competing with noisy or dark backgrounds and should you need to cut the background out of your image to mock up a real-life situation or demo for supporting materials, you’ll already have half your battle won! Images sell your product for you well before a catchy headline — take the time and hire a professional
Rookie Mistake 3: Not Doin’ Your Homework
It’s the internet, which means that keywords and search intent matter. They matter even more on Amazon or another crowded marketplace where everyone is trying to make a quick buck reselling products. If you have a unique product in a somewhat blue sky market, you’re going to have way more luck than the poor soul trying to sell an overstock of home baking bread kits now that we’ve all gone back to work!
Taking the time to really do your competitive analysis research and figure out what folks are looking for and want out of their search efforts is critical to getting your product to the coveted top of the list. You can do this through your listings, the keywords you associate with your product, and the product headline itself. Just proceed with caution–it’s tricky to get Amazon to accept your listing titles and even harder to change them! (ask us how we know)/
General Best Practices:
So, if you can avoid making those top three mistakes and you’ve gotten your product live on Amazon , now what?? Well, first off celebrate! Secondly, get serious about driving people and buyer’s to your link to make a purchase and leave. a. review.
Yes, social proof on Amazon is the main driver for getting more eyes on your product and outranking the competition. You already know the importance of a good review — we’re betting you used them to guide your last big purchase.
In addition to collecting raw sales and social proof you need to take the time to keep your listing well maintained and in working order. Pricing can change, terms can change, search intent can change and all of these things need to be handled with care and attention on your listing. General edits on an Amazon listing take just 15 minutes to take effect but heftier changes to product types or descriptions can often be subjected to a full review. Keeping your item hygiene in order saves you a lot of time and struggle down the road and helps you avoid Amazon shutting your product down for some unknown violation.
Finally, consider advertising.
It’s a pay-to-play world out there folks and the reality is that most of the top page listings are paid or sponsored by the seller:
It’s subtle but you’ll notice the “sponsored” in the bottom right corner of that mega banner ad. I just want to buy a stainless steel cook pot and I have to wade through the sponsored posts to find one that is organically ranked at the top. It’s pretty bonkers but it’s a valuable lesson to learn early and often.
Advertising on Amazon is not for the weak of heart or constitution, however. It can be expensive and handled incorrectly it can take quite a lot of effort to get around the learning curve.
Tl:Dr: Amazon is a powerhouse tool no doubt but it makes it hard on small business owners and product owners to get up and running. Avoid the most common rookie mistakes, set aside an advertising budget and maybe, just maybe, consider driving traffic to your own website instead of supporting Bezos. It’s no more effort usually and the payoff is quite rewarding.