If you’re selling on Amazon you will already be well aware of its benefits. Worldwide reach, exponential growth opportunities, a ready-made customer base and association with an established and credible brand.
Here’s the thing though – it takes a lot more than simply being present on Amazon to take advantage of these benefits, stand out from the competition and ultimately generate sales.
So, the million-pound question:how exactly do you increase your sales on Amazon?
Throughout this article we have covered everything you need to know (and do) to increase your Amazon sales and we have even asked a number of experts to share their top Amazon selling tips and practical advice on what’s worked for them.
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Find high demand and profitable products to sell on Amazon
Whether you’re looking to increase your sales on Amazon by selling new product lines, or you’re just getting started and need some inspiration on what to sell on Amazon, there are a couple of routes you can take to help you identify profitable products.
While one option is to find a gap in the market, a potentially easier route you can take is to identify and capitalize on products that are currently in high demand.
With the abundance of data that is available to you as an Amazon seller.
This information is accessible on the product details page of any Amazon item and will tell you where the product is ranked in terms of product sales in its category and sub-category. You should, however, keep in mind that not all BSR's are equal.
Think about it – a product with a BSR of 4,200 will be more popular in a higher demand product category than a product with the same BSR in a lower demand product category.
Which leads me onto the next question...
Which Amazon product categories are most in demand?
FBA Empire shared a breakdown of the following categories by product demand:
High demand Amazon categories:
Home & Kitchen
Health & Personal Care
Sports & Outdoors
Medium demand Amazon categories:
Toys & Games
Low demand Amazon categories:
Industrial & Scientific
Arts & Crafts
I should point out that just because certain categories have less demand, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be selling into that category. If anything, it could mean less competition, you will just need to do thorough market research.
You will also need to consider whether the product has a good profit margin. Amazon experts recommend starting with a product that you can sell for more than £15, or a product that has a 100% mark-up.
There’s no denying that the best way you can increase sales on Amazon is to be seen by more potential customers.
This is often easier said than done though when you’re competing with potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of other sellers also trying to rank on the first page of Amazon for the exact same keyword.
So, what really is the secret to ranking higher on Amazon?
While there are a whole host of factors that Amazon’s algorithm – A9 – takes into consideration, the keywords you use in your title and descriptions are a good place to start.
Amazon place a high importance on the text (read:keywords) you use in your product listings, for the simple reason that the closer they are to matching a user’s search query, the higher chance the product will be relevant to the customer.
But how do you find the best keywords to use in your Amazon listings?
With this, you can compare metrics such as monthly search volume in your target markets and keyword difficulty.
“Download the “Keywords Everywhere” Chrome extension as this will tell you the search volumes of specific keywords people are searching for in Amazon’s search bar (it’s insanely useful). When you’re thinking of your product title and heading, you’ll want to choose a keyword with a high search volume. This means there will be consistent searches for it and you have a higher chance that someone will navigate their way to your product, especially if you’ve got reviews and other blogs linking to your product as well. In my opinion, this extension is absolutely crucial when deciding what your product listing should look like”.
“Optimize your product listing titles to get a boost in search results. eBay’s research tool Terapeak provides good insights in terms of relevant keywords. Also, find successful competitors and analyse what they do and how they do it”.
It’s also important to consider whether you're going to include these keywords in your product title, the key product features section, your product description or the back-end search terms in Amazon Seller Central.
“Use professional images and ensure you are optimizing your product details for search. This means considering the search terms in your product titles and descriptions, and adding information such as product identifiers, size and color. This not only increases the chance of buyers finding your product, but also the chance of them making a purchase”.
Keywords aren’t the only Amazon ranking factor though.
Sure, they help Amazon understand the relevancy of your product in relation to the user’s search query, but your account health and seller performance – among other things – play an equally important role in helping you. These include:
Positive customer reviews help to convince Amazon that your products are worthy of holding the number one position. Ultimately, Amazon needs to know that you’re a reliable seller and nothing helps them understand this more than through customer feedback.
“Reviews are crucial in order to compete on Amazon. In fact, they’re a vote of confidence to buyers, so if you want to increase sales you need to be getting good reviews ranging from 4-5 stars minimum.
But how do you get good Amazon reviews?
Well, firstly you can approach various Amazon affiliated blogs to review your products by providing them with a voucher or redemption code. They must purchase the item using their own account in order to be shown as a verified purchase, but you can reimburse them if need be.
It’s worth the cost of 10-20 items if it means you can get secure good reviews”.
Getting positive Amazon feedback is only half the job and you will need to ensure you’re doing all you can to avoid negative reviews as well.
“Timely delivery is crucial. Dissatisfied customers who wait a long time for delivery tend to give very poor reviews, as buyers are accustomed to having goods they have ordered on Amazon delivered quickly compared to say eBay. You should therefore be shipping your items within 24 hours of purchase. This is particularly important when shipping products abroad”.
Given that one of the main reasons buyers shop on Amazon is for the best deals on the market, pricing will naturally be one of their ranking factors.
But how low should you go?
“Price your Amazon products reasonably. Offer your customers discounts and special deals, but make sure that your prices aren’t too low compared to other prices. An aggressive cut-price policy can actually be damaging to your business, as it can lead to doubts about the quality of the product”.
Now that we’ve covered your options for selling internationally on Amazon, let’s look at the full list of global Amazon sites…
Increase exposure by advertising on Amazon
Another way to boost product visibility and sell more on Amazon is by investing in advertising.
One of the most popular Amazon advertising options is Sponsored Products, which are essentially pay-per-click image ads that appear either in Amazon search results or on product detail pages.
While these ads look very similar to organic results, you can see that they include the tag 'sponsored'.
But, how exactly do they work?
Sellers wanting to advertise their products on Amazon are required to bid on relevant keywords, which are then matched against customer search queries – either by exact match, phrase match or broad match, whichever option you select.
Should your bid win, your sponsored product will be displayed on the search results page, maximizing both visibility and sales opportunities.
Like Sponsored Products, Amazon also offer Headline Search Ads, which are keyword targeted ads that can appear above the search results.
Additionally, Amazon Product Display Ads work in a slightly different way, in that they are displayed based on shopper’s interests or the products they are actively viewing. For more information about each, have a look the FAQ’s for advertising on Amazon.
While it’s still incredibly important that you’re considering Amazon SEO for organic rankings, product advertising can be a relatively easy way to appear at the top of Amazon. It does of course require investment though, so you will need to factor in profit margins.
That’s not all though.
You can now also make your products eligible for Amazon Lightning Deals.
A lightning deal is a time-bound, promotional offer found on the Amazon Deals page. These deals are featured for a number of hours and are proven to increase sales and help you shift your inventory, making it the perfect option for slow-moving stock.
This advertising option is only available to Professional Sellers that meet certain criteria, including an exceptional sales history, having product variations, being of new condition and having a minimum of five ratings per month.
“Run a promotion to boost sales. Depending on the discount and predicted volume, you can secure a ‘lightning deal’ which runs for a few hours, a ‘best deal’ which can run up to two weeks, or just a regular site promotion which is really flexible on timing and discount”.
Write compelling product descriptions and bullet points
Sure, your title and images need to be optimized to attract visitors, but it is your product description that converts them into paying customers.
You should therefore be writing product descriptions that persuade people to purchase, while addressing any questions they may have about the product.
Elaborate on the key points and features listed in your bullet points and include any additional information that may be relevant.
“Your listings should include comprehensive product information, including product title, high-quality images and descriptions, as well as accurate information about the brand. Of course, all products should also be positioned in the right category and use the correct keywords”.
Your product descriptions are also a great place to make use of the long-tail keywords identified in your keyword research stage.
“Make sure you include the bullet points in your listings. These bullet points are even more important than your descriptions on Amazon, so use them to describe products and also to include keywords for Amazon SEO”.
Winning the Amazon Buy Box is one of the most effective ways to increase your sales on Amazon. But what exactly is it?
The Amazon Buy Box is the area on the right-hand side of an Amazon product detail page.
With multiple different merchants often selling the exact same product, only one seller is awarded this premium placement at any given time and all other sellers are be listed either in the “Other Sellers on Amazon” section below, or on an entirely separate page, accessible from the “used & new” link.
So, what does it take to win the Buy Box?
Before anything else I should point out that Amazon does often rotate it between a few merchants, although the time in which a seller holds it for isn’t always equal and depends on various factors which you can see here.
It’s also worth noting that not all sellers are eligible.
In fact, to be in with a chance of winning this prime position on the Amazon product page, you must have a Professional Seller account, your item must be in new condition and you must have excellent seller metrics.
Being eligible doesn’t guarantee placement though, it just increases your chances.
The ultimate winners are determined by Amazon’s algorithm, which considers factors such as:
Product listing –are they detailed, optimized and complete?
Pricing –are you offering competitive prices and free delivery?
Delivery method –how fast do you dispatch your products?
Order defect rate –do you have a low order defect rate?
Customer service –do you respond to complaints, negative feedback, queries and return requests promptly?
Stock availability –do you have enough stock to fulfill orders or are you at risk of overselling?
Seller performance –is your Amazon seller rating score above 75%?
It can be pretty challenging and time-consuming to work out and keep track of all this data, especially if you sell across multiple Amazon sites and other channels, which is why it's good idea to explore your opportunities with Amazon inventory and order management software.
Using FBA does also increase your chances of winning the Amazon Buy Box, however it isn’t necessary if you excel in all the above areas. For more guidance and best practices for getting the Buy Box and ultimately boosting your Amazon sales, have a read of this.
Use FBA to reach Amazon Prime customers
One of the most effective ways to sell more on Amazon is to target the marketplace’s most active and loyal customer base – Prime users.
With over 100 million users across the globe, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity for sales if your products aren’t eligible for Prime. After all the majority will automatically filter their search results on Amazon to include only these products.
But how do you make sure your products are available to Prime customers?
Well, the easiest way is to fulfill your orders through Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
A few advantages of using Amazon’s fulfillment service – besides reaching more customers – include:
More time and space
By handing over the entire fulfillment of selected products to Amazon, you not only save valuable time managing your business processes, but you can also save a lot of warehouse space.
Unlike other fulfillment services such as eBay’s Global Shipping Programme (GSP), with FBA you store your inventory in their fulfillment center prior to the sale, and they handle everything from picking and packing, right through to shipping and customer service.
It’s also worth pointing out that you don’t actually need to use FBA for all the products you sell on Amazon, and you can even use it to fulfill products from your other marketplaces.
“Use FBA to provide better customer service, reduce operating expenses & tap into Amazon Prime. By using this fulfillment service there’s no need to hire anyone in-house to fulfill orders, as Amazon will do this on your behalf. You can also invest the money you would spend on shipping to cover the FBA fees instead.
Other benefits to using FBA include the fact you can outsource your customer service to Amazon and let them handle messages, expand to a wider customer audience by offering Amazon Prime, and finally increase the reputation of your business as buyers trust Amazon”.
Ross Boguslavski, Managing Director at Pitaron
More satisfied customers
As we’ve already mentioned, Amazon handles all customer queries or complaints regarding the products they’ve fulfilled on your behalf and what’s more, they will also remove any negative feedback about these products.
Ultimately, by using FBA you will benefit from their world-class customer service and can be confident that your customers will be left satisfied, increasing your chances of repeat custom and positive feedback.
This becomes even more important if you are selling internationally, as Amazon are able to offer customer support in the local language, for the countries you sell into using FBA.
This saves you having to hire a customer support representative for each of the markets you sell into.
Another advantage of using FBA is that you can offer next-day delivery to your customers, something that isn’t always viable when fulfilling your own orders.
You can also guarantee that your orders will be dispatched quickly and efficiently, leading to increased customer satisfaction.
Better chance of winning the Buy Box
While you can of course win the Buy Box without fulfilling your products through Amazon, if you’re only just getting started selling on Amazon, FBA gives you a chance to win the buy box (and boost your sales) from day one.
It can’t be ignored that FBA is only one way to reach Prime customers and if you meet certain criteria as an Amazon seller, you may be eligible for seller-fulfilled Prime.
Scale your business on Amazon
So, there we have it.
Eight ways to increase Amazon sales, complete with 13 Amazon seller tips, covering everything from SEO, to international expansion, right through to listing optimization.