Five Steps to Get Ready for Q4 on Amazon

Amazon’s largest sales season is rapidly approaching, and it’s all hands on deck for third-party sellers who want to get their piece of the money pie. Last year during the busy holiday season, more than 1 billion items were ordered from small and medium-sized businesses on Amazon, with 140 million items ordered between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.

So how do you make your products stand out in Amazon’s crowded marketplace and maximize your opportunity for holiday sales? The answer is a combination of an optimized product page and effective Amazon advertising and promotions. I’ll go through the five things you need to get your product page ready and drive traffic through advertising.

Optimizing your product pages

1. Optimized product copy

Before those waves of holiday traffic start, you need to make sure your product listing is both indexed for the keywords relevant to your product and optimized for conversion.

Start by brainstorming a list of keywords that describe your product and that you think customers will use to search for your product. You can take that list and validate or expand it by typing your keyword into the Amazon search bar. Amazon will start to auto populate suggestions related to that keyword. You can also use third-party tools to bring up longer lists of related keywords and even show estimated search volume.

Take your keywords list and review your title, bullets, and description. Are you using those keywords in your copy? If so, great—you’re halfway there. If not, consider revising your copy to use more of those keywords, but do not keyword stuff or use keywords at the expense of clarity. The primary job of copy, after all, is to educate the customers. Don’t forget you also have the backend search term field for keywords that don’t fit naturally on the front page, but it is limited to under 250 characters.

In addition to reviewing for keywords, take a step back and review your copy. Or even better, have someone less familiar with your product review it. Does it clearly explain what the product is? Do you highlight the features and benefits? Do you explain your unique value proposition to differentiate yourself from the competition? If you are missing any of these things, revise your copy. Make it clear and compelling so the customer has no question about what your product is or does.

2. Optimized product images

Product images are a vital part of the Amazon product page; sellers should use images to give customers as close to an in-store experience as they can. This means that in addition to the main image (product only on a white background as per Amazon requirements), you need to include product photography that shows the item at different angles and even closeups of different features. All images should be at least 1,000 px to enable Amazon’s zoom feature.

Infographics are also a great way to showcase different product features and benefits and can capture customer attention better than just copy. Use graphics and short phrases to call out different product features, create an infographic showing what is included with purchase, or even enhance a lifestyle image by calling out the benefits of using the product.

3. Enhanced Brand Content

Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) is another opportunity to use graphics to showcase your product and brand. Located about halfway down the page when viewed on desktop, EBC replaces your plain text product description and can increase your conversion rate by several points. EBC uses a combination of images, infographics and text and, when designed correctly, is mobile-friendly. In addition to highlighting product features you can spotlight your brand and even include comparison charts showing other products within your brand.

4. Amazon Advertising

Advertisements are often the first thing a customer sees when performing a search on Amazon, with the first 1–3 page placements dedicated to ads. If you are not using Sponsored Products or Sponsored Brands, you’re missing out on increased visibility and sales.

Sponsored Products are the most common advertisement, showing up in both search results and on the product page and bringing in the majority of a seller’s ad revenue. You will want to set up both an Automatic and Manual campaign for each product. An Automatic campaign will cast a broad net and capture search terms you may not have thought of, and a Manual campaign will let you target specific keywords. Both these campaigns should be reviewed and optimized weekly, reviewing and adjusting bids and using the search term report to find more keywords.

Sponsored Brands, formerly known as Headline Search, are more customized ads that appear as a banner ad at the top of search as well as in the sidebar and bottom of page. These ads are only available to brand registered products and sellers. They can be customized with your brand logo, three products and a short message. Because these ads can be very visible, it is important to tightly target your audience and test different approaches.

For brands that have a larger advertising budget, programmatic display advertising can be a good opportunity to really extend your brand reach and visibility. These ads appear both on and off Amazon across a wide variety of websites. There are a variety of targeting options including retargeting customers who have visited your product pages or other product pages in your category. Display advertising is managed by either Amazon Advertising or a qualified agency.

5. Promotions and Coupons

Last but not least is promotional pricing. To fully capitalize on Black Friday and Cyber Monday traffic, you will want to seriously consider running a promotion of some kind for at least that weekend. Customers will be on the site looking for deals and will likely overlook products not running a sale. There are a few ways to do this, each with different levels of visibility on the site.

Lightning deals are the most visible, with placement on Amazon’s Today’s Deals page. This is the second most popular page on the site, after the home page. These are flash sales that run for 4–6 hours. To run a lightning deal, your product first must be included in Amazon’s recommendations. You will pay a fee between $150-$500 depending on the day it runs, your discount must be at least 20% and you have to have enough inventory to last the duration of the deal. If you want to run a lightning deal on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, those will cost between $300-$500 and the deadline to submit is September 21, 2018.

Coupons are another good option, especially if your product doesn’t qualify for a lightning deal or you want a lower cost option. Products are displayed on Amazon’s coupon page and an orange coupon flag will be visible in search and on your product page alerting customers to the offer. You can choose either a $ or % off and will be charged just $0.60 per redemption.

Amazon promotions tool is one more option to consider. It has the least amount of visibility, with just a message on the product page, but you won’t be charged anything. You can also cross- promote items with deals like “buy product x and get 15% off of product y,” or encourage shoppers to purchase of multiple units with tiered discounts if they buy 2, 3, 4 or more of the same product.

Start now and review your product pages, advertising and promotional strategies for Q4. Don’t be caught flat footed when Amazon’s site is flooded with holiday traffic. Amazon is expecting record amounts of traffic for Q4 this year and is projected to bring in half of all ecommerce sales with 68% of those sales by third party sellers. There is a huge opportunity for your brand and business but you have to work harder and smarter than ever before to make your brand stand out.

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Get expert help in preparing for the holiday rush. At Egility, we offer a variety of services designed to help your brand shine on Amazon. Visit our Services page for more information or contact us for a free consultation.

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