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Sell on Amazon – Assumptions and Optimisations

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There are many resources, guides, eBooks and whitepapers freely available to educate Amazon sellers on the best way to optimise their product listings. Most offer great value and advice, but there is also a lot of hearsay and un-tested theories that are taken as fact.

Some of the more common assumptions are down to advice and basic guidelines on how to sell ‘Amazon Private Label’ products, which are:

  • Amazon product descriptions are not read by customers
  • Price increases will result in reduced sales and revenue
  • Product titles and bullet points should be long-form and stuffed with keywords
  • Increase sales by using a sale price

Research recently conducted by Splity, looks to dispel some of these assumptions. Not to say these methods aren’t good when used at the right time on the right products, but should not be thought of as standard optimisation tactics.

  1. Amazon product descriptions are not read by customers

How important are your product descriptions? If you think they are insignificant, and have not spent very much time thinking or writing them, then you could be missing out on potential sales.

Don’t just think because the description is further down the page, users won’t scroll past the title, pictures, price and main features. Tests have shown that writing more compelling descriptions can help to improve conversion, sales and profit – clearly demonstrating users do read descriptions.

So how can you improve your descriptions? Following some simple guidelines when writing your descriptions can help sell and persuade users to make the purchase:

  • Focus on who is buying the product – think about who they are and why they want to buy it.
  • Seduce with benefits – not everyone is enticed by the features, but most want to know what is in it for them.
  • Avoid the obvious – when using phrases such as “top quality”, everyone expects this, so become less persuasive. Use phrases that give an impression of quality e.g. “hand-made”.
  • Prove any superlatives – if you use any superlatives make sure you back them up with facts otherwise they may come across as disingenuous.

Apart from the copy itself, it is important to highlight main points and tag lines using bold and capitalised text, and have proved to aid conversion.

  1. Price increases will result in reduced sales and revenue

Assuming, showing the cheapest price against comparable products will deliver the most revenue, could be harming your overall profitability.

Don’t always assume that an increase in price will decrease sales, some types of products rely on a higher prices to raise the perceived value, especially in more luxury items.

Using Weber’s Law of ‘Just Noticeable Difference ‘, which states – “the minimum amount by which stimulus intensity must be changed in order to produce a noticeable variation in sensory experience”. And the minimum amount being a fraction of 0.1. Try increasing your prices by 10%, and measure the effect on your sales and profit, to decide the result.

This test can be conducted again and again, until you find the optimal price. This method can also be used when reducing prices.

For products with multiple sellers, price (as well as other factors) plays a large part in who wins the ‘buy box’. So getting your pricing right can make a big difference to sales. This is when using re-pricing technology can give you an advantage over your competition.

But again, it is important to make sure if you use software, it will follow competitor prices and increase your prices as well as decrease to deliver the best possible profit.

  1. Product Titles and Bullet points should be long-form and stuffed with Keywords

Although, using long-form and multiple keywords can work in many cases, it is always worth testing these to make sure you could not be getting a better result by improving the presentation of your product listings.

Using long-form in bullets can look careless, un-professional and difficult to read for the user, who may be put off making the purchase. Focus the copy on the main features and benefits of the product, and always use all bullets available.

Stuffing keywords into your titles can certainly help to increase impressions but can sometimes have a negative effect on the product’s conversion rate, by generating irrelevant views. If you get this wrong, your products could get penalised by Amazons A9 search engines and lead to a decrease in rankings.

  1. Increase sales by using a sale price

While using sale prices and discounts are a great way to convert highly motivated buyers, and potentially gain your products greater visibility in your category and through Amazon’s ‘Hot Deals’ and ‘New & Noteworthy’ category – this should not be assumed, and again, could be harming your profitability.

Don’t just assume you have to use the sale price, as using the standard price might be enough for certain products. Testing is a great way to find out what works best. Test combinations of both the standard and sale price, to gain the most sales and the best profit margin.

Conclusion:

Don’t take anything for granted – always test, refine and analyse your data, to find the most profitable way to sell on Amazon.

Adrian Tomlinson

I love writing and editing content so to do this day in, day out is a bonus!

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