Originally published on January 22, 2019, updated June 4, 2020
Properly optimized listings can make a big difference in your product’s success on the Amazon marketplace. Liz and Thaddaeus Hay from Buy Box Experts (formerly Nozani) cover what makes a killer listing, while explaining:
You know you’ve got a good product and you’ve created your listing — so why isn’t anyone buying? The reality is that in a space as competitive as Amazon you need to stand out in order to be successful.
When every listing looks the same, customers will just pick whichever one they see first. Don’t play Russian Roulette with your business. Go the extra mile to dazzle potential buyers! Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you covered!
As an Amazon seller, you always need to think about the site’s algorithm. When your customers are happy, when your performance is consistent and your content contains the right keywords and phrases, you’ll find that your ranking will jump.
Amazon cares about their customers more than anything. As sellers, we are not their customers. Every way that we can help those customers have better experience, those things in the end increase your rank.Thad Hay
Another crucial area, Hay said, is inventory management. “This is something you can control and it’s important because Amazon wants sellers who are reliable. They want their customers to get what they want, when they want it."
When you are coming up with a strategy, you must always keep your target audience in mind. According to Amazon, there are three types of buyers — the Head of Household, Impulse Buyer and Product Researcher. Considering the needs of your customers will help you understand how to best optimize your listing.
If your target buyer is a price-conscious mom looking for the best deal, you might want to offer discounts, coupons and/or run regular promotions on social media. If you’re hoping to secure an impulse buy, blow them away with presentation. “They should be able to buy the product from looking at images alone,” said Hay.
You’ll have to work a little harder for the Product Researcher. Typically scouring in categories like Automotive, Baby Products or Electronics, this buyer looks at everything on a listing before making a purchase. You’ll want to be on top of your game in terms of answering questions and having quality reviews, but Hay says to also “make sure you have Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) because that’s going to convert better.”
Amazon is notoriously tight-lipped about the best ways to write content but Hay suggests incorporating as many keywords and search terms as possible into the title and bullet points. Of course, you still want it to feel natural, so it’s all about finding a balance.
Every category has specific guidelines for the number of characters that can be used in a title so it’s a good idea to become familiar with this and use as many characters as is allowed. With Amazon, things are always changing so, if you notice your ranking drop suddenly, double check the guidelines to make sure you’re still compliant.
Having a visually appealing listing is extremely important in the online retail space. “Images will impact conversion, sales and a lot of things. You want to catch someone’s eye with that first image,” said Hay. “Video is the way of the future and is the main source of knowledge on this platform... 64-85% of customers are more likely to purchase an item after watching a video. It doesn’t have to be long but it’s helpful.”
In the webinar, Hay goes into great detail about EBC and one of Amazon’s newest offerings, Storefront. If you haven’t already listened to this in-depth discussion and how you can use these tools to take your business to the next level, be sure to check it out.
Having reviews on your product listing page can increase confidence in your buyers. Being unable to interact with you or the items in person, it really helps to be able to gain insight from the experiences of other customers.
Hay explains that, when working with clients at Nozani, they primarily use FeedbackFive. While this tool can make solicitation efforts easier, Hay cautions that feedback “is the only thing you can’t really control. You have to rely on other people. We recommend putting a QR code or instructions [in your solicitation emails] so that you’re not just receiving seller feedback. Help them get to the right place and leave a review for a product.”
Meanwhile, Fickenscher advised that sellers “do have to follow the rules when requesting feedback from customers. It’s in Seller Central so check on it. They don’t want you saying, 'our business depends on your reviews.'” Instead, go with a short, simple message that is neutral, impartial and not manipulative. Again, Liz reiterated that sellers need to “pay close attention to those Terms of Service because you don’t want to get suspended or in trouble because of an email you sent.” You can also use the Request a Review button to send messages that are completely compliant with all of Amazon's guidelines.
Trying to juggle all the demands of being a busy Amazon seller while trying to grow your business and please your customers? It’s exhausting, but investing in your own success is worth it! Fortunately, eComEngine can help make things easier.
While RestockPro can streamline inventory management so that you never run out of stock, FeedbackFive will automate the feedback solicitation process so that you can free up the time you need to focus on other things. Customer reviews are the equivalent of “word-of-mouth” promotions in the online retail world, so never underestimate the importance of this aspect of your business’s reputation!
Thaddaeus: Hey, guys. How are you? Sorry.
Liz: Say hi to the folks.
Thaddaeus: Hello. Glad to be here.
Liz: We're really happy to have you here. I know that this webinar is packed with all kinds of great information. We're going to get started in just a second, and I'm going to hand the controls over to you in just a minute. This is what we look like in case anybody wondered. I'm the one on the left. A lot of webinars make you wait until the very end before you see the special offers. We're not going to do that to you today.
Liz: So, if you want a 30-day free trial of FeedbackFive or RestockPro, you can use the Bitly links here. I'm going to paste those into a chat for you guys to make them easier to click on. You can also get 150 free credits for eComSpy, and Nozani is generous enough to offer a 10% off coupon using the code eComEngine for content photo, enhanced brand content, A+ content, infographics, storefront, all the cool stuff that they offer with their services for Amazon sellers. So, that's great.
Liz: A little bit about eComEngine. If you don't know, we are the inventors of feedback automation for Amazon sellers. FeedbackFive was born back in 2009, and we've been going strong ever since then. We've got RestockPro, which is a smart inventory management, and supply chain tool. And we've got eComSpy that helps you make good decisions about what products you might want to source to sell on Amazon.
Liz: That's us in a nutshell. I'm not going to steal any thunder from Thaddeus because he's got a lot of cool stuff to say to you guys today. So, why don't you take it away?
Thaddaeus: Perfect. Here we go. Let me grab the screen from you. Super happy to be here, and thank you so much, Liz. And I'll go ahead and introduce Nozani here really quick. So, Nozani is a one-stop shop for complete Amazon optimization. We've been around just under two years. We have roughly 65 employees, and we focus exclusively on the optimization of Amazon accounts.
Thaddaeus: And so, it's at the forefront where we're talking to Amazon about this, we have a lot of great knowledge that we want to share with everyone today. It's what we do all day long. And today, we want to focus exclusively on the optimization of a listing. So, how the agenda is going to work, it'll be an overview of a listing to start, Amazon algorithm in the Amazon market, aspects of Amazon listings, examples of optimized listings, and then we'll finish off just a reminder again, with the special offers.
Liz: And if anybody has questions during the presentation, feel free to put them in the question and answer section of Zoom, and we'll address them as we go along. We'll also have a Q&A at the end.
Thaddaeus: Yes. Perfect. All right. So, to start, let's break down a listing. This is one of our clients. They're called Blackwing. They sell pencils. They're fun. They sell 12 pencils for $25. So, it's more high end, it's perfect as you can see in the infographics for artists and musicians. It's a little bit better quality of a pencil. People that care about what their writing, looks like, and feels like, what their drawings look like and feel like, this is for them.
Thaddaeus: So, an optimized listing for them is probably different than an... I mean, it's got the same components, but it would look different than an optimized listing for 12 pencils for $3, right? But what an optimized listing... the essentials of the optimized listing, we believe are lifestyle infographics and white background photos being a huge priority.
Thaddaeus: Optimized content, that includes the optimized title, bullet points and description, and enhanced brand content down below. These are all things you can completely control. And so, from our perspective, if they're not up to par, if they're not done well, if you don't have great photos, if you don't have great content that's been optimized for search, if it's not relevant, then that's something you can change, something you can control.
Thaddaeus: And we recommend all of the customers, we work with all the sellers, everyone I talked to take advantage of these things. And we'll go through in detail each different aspect. But on the left-hand side, you can see, for instance, Blackwing, they saw about 33% increase in sessions from a year prior, just from the written content. So, the content increased the sessions there.
Thaddaeus: And then, with the enhanced brand content, the photo and the infographics, their conversion went from 8% to just over 12%. So, it jumped over 4%, and when you're increasing sessions and increasing conversion, you're increasing sales. So, that's an exciting thing for our customers and for anyone, really. So, we'll start what matters about a listing, why do these things matter?
Thaddaeus: And I want to emphasize, you'll see at the bottom of my screen on most slides, I have this thing bolded, the customer experience, mimic in-store buying experiences. This is huge. And as we meet with Amazon, this is the thing they continue to emphasize. Amazon cares about their customers more than anything. And it sucks, but we're not their customers. As sellers, we are not their customers.
Thaddaeus: Their customers are the end buyers, the people that buy from us. And so, in every way we can help, those customers have a better experience, be happier about the product, understand the product more. Those are things that in the end, increase your rank. So, Amazon categorizes those things, and we'll talk about four of the categories. Sales velocity, are you selling?
Thaddaeus: If you're selling, and it's consistent. That's the other thing. The algorithm is based heavily on consistency. If you sell 100 units today, and one tomorrow, Amazon is going to say wait a second, what's going on? Do people really want this or did they want it for a second not anymore, and not anymore? And your rank is going to start to drop, relevancy and conversion.
Thaddaeus: So, when somebody does click on your product, let's say they searched kid's rain boots, and all of a sudden, you have kid's socks pop up, maybe that's great. But if they're not converting, if it's not relevant to the search and people aren't buying it, then you're going to lose rank. So, you want to make sure you're ranking for words that convert, you're bidding on keywords that convert in your PPC campaigns.
Thaddaeus: And you're including keywords in your content, your descriptions that will convert. Price, is your price competitive? If you're selling a $200 product, but the average seller is at 50 or 100 bucks, you're probably not going to take advantage of that aspect. Now, at the same time, we've worked with some high-end skincare lines, and they have a great brand, and they're able to overcome that similar with Blackwing.
Thaddaeus: So, there are things to consider, but price is definitely huge, and available inventory. Running out of inventory is another thing you can control for the most part if you plan effectively, and that that hurts your rank a lot. Amazon needs to know that you're reliable, that you can provide those products that customers want, when they want them. And that's the whole purpose of their two-day shipping, their whole Prime Now, all these things are huge.
Thaddaeus: And as you look, this is Jeff Bezos' infamous flywheel of how he sees the growth of Amazon. It's a lower cost structure, lower prices, more competition, better customer experience, it all makes the growth of the platform. And so, when you're thinking about optimizing a listing, it's not just about content, and keywords, and all this stuff, enhance the customer experience, and doing that will enhance your rank.
Thaddaeus: So, the next thing I want to talk about are the three types of buyers. I should have put a summary up here beforehand, but the three types of buyers are number one, the head of household, number two, the impulse buyer, and number three, the product researcher. Now, we'll go back, we'll talk briefly about each one, but this is all getting sent to you after the webinar.
Thaddaeus: So, you're more than welcome to look at it more in depth afterwards. It's awesome. It's good for you to think about with your business, it's good for you to optimize for these buyers. This data comes from Amazon. So, Amazon shared this with us. We'll be having some blog. We'll have a blog at the Prosper Show that goes over this in more detail as well. But anyway, so then the first buyer, the head of household.
Thaddaeus: This type of buyer is typically, they're a mom or a dad, and they're looking for the best deal. They're very price conscious. They're probably Prime members, they're looking for two-day shipping, and they want it to get to them quickly, but also, they want the best deal. You can see the common categories here, the common product categories, and how we optimize them would be making sure you have a coupon, making sure that there are discounts.
Thaddaeus: So, there's ways for them to get one at a cheaper rate, or even running promotions. Every once in a while, it's great for these guys. Even thinking about running a promotion from social media or something to that effect could be huge. Now, these guys, they're not going to take a lot of time to research the product. But having positive reviews, at least having like... Amazon recommends over three-and-a-half-star review, allows you to be retail ready.
Thaddaeus: And so, for these buyers, they want to know, "Hey, you do have a good product." So, good reviews are important. But they're not the only selling point. Now, the second type of buyer is an impulse buyer. We're all familiar with these things, with these buyers. You and I have probably both been there, and done that.
Thaddaeus: Yeah. Actually, super funny story. So, we had a Halloween party three months ago, and it was Halloween, funny enough. And Kyle, he's our chief product officer here. He showed up with this most outrageous costume. If you're really interested, you can go and look at on our Instagram, but it was a man doing a handstand, and it's situated in a way that you can stand up straight like this, and the arms come up over your head, and looks like you're doing a handstand all day long or whatever.
Thaddaeus: It's pretty hilarious. It's hard to describe, but he bought that in his sleep on Amazon. He had no idea that he had purchased it. All of a sudden, it showed up at his house. But anyways, that's an extreme example of an impulse buyer. I was just dying when he wore that to work, and I'm just like, "Wow." And he bought it in his sleep, had no idea.
Liz: Sleep shopping. It's an easy thing to look out for.
Thaddaeus: Yep. Drunk shopping. People do that all the time. So, there are some funny impulse buys, and I think it ranges for a lot of different reasons. But Amazon wants to make it easy to buy. You have one-click buying now, lots of things that Amazon is allowing you to do. So, the impulse buyer, which I'm not sure what the percentage of all the buyers or impulse buyers, but I'm assuming that there are quite a few, especially in the certain product categories.
Thaddaeus: But you're typically seeing these products, no more than $50 to $60. It's not something they have to go home and consult their spouse about, or their partner, or their friend, or whatever it may be. They don't have to do a ton of research. So, these products, the strategy we use is get them with the images, the infographics, the videos, compelling presentation of the product will convert these customers.
Thaddaeus: Obviously, they're going to look briefly at the reviews, but even if there's only six reviews or five reviews, but their five star, they're not going to care too much. So, these guys, blown them away with the presentation of the product, the video, the images, and so forth. And Amazon and Nozani, we've coined this phrase, if you will, that they should be able to buy the product from looking at the images alone, the images and the video.
Thaddaeus: That should be the goal of any listing. The last type of buyer is the product researcher. Now, these people, they still exist, believe it or not. I wonder what the demographics is like. I'm sure that a lot of them are older. But that's my data opinion, if you will, but the product researcher is going to look at everything. And you can look at the common product categories here. But they're typically concerned about quality and quantity of reviews.
Thaddaeus: They're going to read through the questions. They're going to read through the responses. They're going to look at your content. They're probably more than likely going to look at your EBC if you have it, or your description. So, you better have an EBC because that's going to convert better. Product comparison charts potentially are a great fit here. There's lots of these things that you have to understand, but the content is huge. The way you present the product, the details if you do sell, that is going to be product research.
Thaddaeus: Now, with that understanding, we now can talk about the specifics. Now, what does optimized content look like? What does optimized photography look like? How does this work? And once again, keep in mind, the customer experience is central to an optimized listing. So, looking here, this is the Palomino Blackwing Pencils, the same listing that we were looking at before.
Thaddaeus: What the content here, and two, I want to do a little precursor here. In talking with Amazon, they are very hush-hush about really the best way to write content. And there are a gazillion different opinions in the industry. The standards that Nozani has taken is we like to incorporate as many keywords and search terms as possible into the titles, and to the bullet points. Now, what we don't like is when it's becoming not natural to read, not to the customer advantage, the customer experience is huge here.
Thaddaeus: But with that being said, we do advise our customers and we personally, do use as many characters in the character count as possible, never to exceed, obviously, but as many as we can. And we found that to produce some pretty great results for almost all of our customers. And as far as what that entails, the title, the bullet points, the description, the keywords, all are important there.
Thaddaeus: And it's important to look at your category to make sure you understand the title, like the requirements as far as the keyword, or the character counts for each different category, and the titles, and the bullet points. And you'll notice sometimes that it will change randomly. Your rank will start to drop, and it's important to keep on top of those things. And obviously, the description is part of this as well, even though we don't have that picture.
Thaddaeus: So, that's content for you. Images is really, from my perspective, I think it's one of the most important things currently on Amazon. It is going to impact the conversion, it's going to impact your sales, it's going to impact a lot of things. How do we view images? We like to throw out the Tinder test. Tinder, as most of you know, it's that online dating site where you swipe, and you swipe right if you're interested, and the other person can swipe right.
Thaddaeus: And so, it's this concept of how you catch someone's eye with that first image. And we like to think of Amazon as a Tinder for products. Catch their eye, especially because most of them are on their mobile device. Get them to look at that first image to swipe right. And so, images are so important. Nozani's typical structure, how we do it is we typically have a main image that needs to follow Amazon's rules, and make sure for most categories, it's a white background image.
Thaddaeus: Then we usually provide to detail shots, one lifestyle, one infographic, one lifestyle, one infographic. We've seen that structure, if you will, work quite well. Now, what's an infographic? There are a couple of examples over here. You can see the Kimera Koffee example. The infographic's goal is for the customer to know all of those key facts, all those things you'd want in your bullet points, all those things you'd want the customer to know before purchasing on the images, right?
Thaddaeus: So, that goes back to my first statement of the customer should be able to purchase this product from the images alone. So, you can see a couple of examples of infographics here, but this flyswatter is actually fantastic. If you like flyswatters, you should totally go and buy this one. Obviously, if you like flyswatters, that's a funny statement. But if you're in need of a flyswatter, buy it, it's awesome. It actually stabs the fly. It's been a fun client for us to work with.
Thaddaeus: They just have this one product, but it is so funny. So, it stabs the fly when you swat it so it's not a mess, and it cleans it up. And so, we've had a fun time.
Liz: That's brilliant.
Thaddaeus: Really, it's brilliant. It's just this inventor that made it. He's an awesome guy. And anyways, so we infographics for his brand have been huge, understanding how the product is different from the competitors, understanding that from the images alone is awesome. If it's just a white background image, it doesn't quite tell the story. And so, then you can see the lifestyle photos, white background photos, it's important to encompass all of these things for all three of the buyers, really.
Thaddaeus: The video, now this is new. Now, if you ask me, what should I be doing if I have an optimized listing, if I feel good about my Amazon account, I would say start investing in video. Video is the way of the future. I don't think it's long before that is the main source of knowledge on these buying platforms. And wants again, it enhances the customer experience. If you're Brand Registry 2.0 only, then please, I would say look into getting a video.
Thaddaeus: There are plenty of places you can do it for, for very, very cheap. You could probably do it yourself and a lot of cases. Obviously, we do videos here at Nozani. But we want the customer to do it in a way that fits their business. As far as the stat Amazon provides here, 64% to 84% of customers are more likely to purchase an item after watching a video. That is huge.
Thaddaeus: And so, we'd like to emphasize, the video is the way of the future. It's helping you now as well. Please, please look at that. And it doesn't have to be a long video. It can be a 30-second video, it can be a 10-second video, whatever it may be, but it's helpful. The next thing to consider, enhanced brand content or A+ pages, depending on if you're a vendor or a seller.
Thaddaeus: This enhances the customer experience. It allows you basically to pull a page from your website, a landing page, if you will, that goes more in depth about who you are as a brand, about your products, and helping the customers understand these things. We are seeing sales go up. I don't have an exact percentage for you here, but conversion is definitely affected by using enhanced brand content.
Thaddaeus: Now, one caution I give. There are lots of templates available. Amazon has released more templates recently. Because we do this on our desktop, you need to make sure that is mobile friendly. Now, this goes back to five years ago, 10 years ago maybe, I don't know how long ago, but when our websites sometimes weren't mobile friendly. And actually, I was just on websites morning, it was terrible on the mobile device.
Thaddaeus: But it's the same concept, right? We need to start thinking about that. Is this Amazon page mobile friendly because more and more customers are buying mobile devices? The stat is somewhere around half or more than half of the customers are pursuing on mobile device. Obviously, different categories differ there. But nonetheless, it's important to optimize for that mobile.
Thaddaeus: So, like for example, sometimes the product comparison chart doesn't look great, it's hard to use on mobile, it's not a great customer experience. So, when you're doing that, make sure it is a good customer experience. It makes sense. It provides the validation that you want, and it's really attractive. But you can see, you can have pictures to your content. It's awesome.
Thaddaeus: Now, this does help the content here, and you can put keywords behind the images. It helps slightly with rank, and with the searchability, or the ability to find the product, but it's not going to make or break the listing, if you will, as far as that goes. But if you have one, you might as well add the keywords, you might as well make it more effective. Now, Liz, do we have any questions coming in right now or are we good to keep going?
Liz: We're good to keep going. You all don't be shy about asking questions, we can definitely handle them. It's a little Q&A icon in Zoom. I will totally interrupt this brilliant guy to ask him your question.
Thaddaeus: Okay. Well, I don't know if the brilliance there worked, but nonetheless, I'm blushing. Storefront, that's the next thing we'll talk about here. It's a newer product that Amazon has and it's great, obviously, but it's constantly evolving. And the way it's interacting with the customer, the way your storefronts interact with the customer right now is probably minimal if they're finding you on just searching on Amazon.
Thaddaeus: But that we plan, we actually expect to change in the future as Amazon puts this as more of a priority. It's essentially a website, right? It's a website within Amazon, and it's designed like a website. It has pages. It has all these different things that are great. Currently, it has the best tracking available. Now, there are beta tests coming out for tracking to the specific listing.
Thaddaeus: When I say tracking, I mean you can drive external traffic to a storefront, and understand what's happening. That's so amazing for a lot of e-commerce sellers that want to run Facebook ads, or Instagram ads, or use Google to drive traffic here. And especially, when you're launching a product, it's a no brainer to drive traffic to Amazon because there're 300 million Prime, or 300 million users on Amazon, over 100 million Prime users, Prime members, and there's a huge marketplace.
Thaddaeus: If we can grow our presence on Amazon, you're more likely to get organic sales, and grow those sales again, and again, and again. Now, once again, this is for registered brands only, Brand Registry 2.0, but it is important. You can do a really simple one in five minutes. Just throw up images and stuff, or you can build it beautifully, and design like a website, have some custom designs, and so forth, if that's the route you want to go.
Thaddaeus: Obviously, at Nozani, we can help you. But if you want to just do it yourself, that's all the power to you. Once again, remember, customer experience is critical here.
Liz: We have a couple of questions.
Thaddaeus: Questions. Yeah.
Liz: So, first, about storefront, they rolled this out at Boost in June, and there was some other thing that a seller had to do. I think it was a certain percentage, or something like that. Is that gone now? Now, it's free to use and you just need to be brand registered 2.0?
Thaddaeus: A hundred percent free. Now, that may have been an Amazon exclusive thing where they're asking for percentage, but yeah, storefronts are free. They used to charge vendors, but now, they don't even charge vendors.
Liz: Okay, great. And then we had a question about video.
Liz: The question is video is available only for amazon.com, or is it also available for Amazon Europe?
Thaddaeus: Good question. I don't have the... I wish I knew it 100%. I believe they're rolling it out in Europe as well, especially for vendors, Brand Registry 2.0. I believe it's rolling out. I'm not sure if it's fully all the way.
Liz: And we can definitely check on that to the next person who ask a question, and we'll get back to you in a follow-up email. We have another question too. Should we invest in evergreen campaigns from external traffic Facebook, or Google, or should we only be testing experimenting? What works going to the store page?
Thaddaeus: Good question. And I think maybe hopefully, they can reply. Let me make sure you understand the question. Are you saying should you only test internal Amazon advertising products, or should you be also testing with Facebook and Instagram? Is that the question, you think, Liz?
Liz: Yeah. I think that's the question. So, should there be external campaigns? Actually, if the person who asked this could clarify, that would probably be helpful.
Thaddaeus: And I'll talk to that one point, if the question I'm understanding I think is yes, I would recommend looking at external advertising methods as well. Obviously, that needs to be tracked well, or else pretty soon, you're not going to be making any money because you're spending it on advertising. But if you can experiment with Facebook, or Instagram to a storefront, and you get a tag there that contract that traffic, it's really a neat opportunity.
Thaddaeus: Obviously, continue to spend on Amazon, never stop, it's becoming more than ever a pay-to-play type of platform. But I would definitely test elsewhere as you may be able to find a cheaper driving traffic.
Liz: And then we've got, back to storefronts, someone has asked what is being done to drive customers to storefronts? Are there any plans to educate customers more about them?
Thaddaeus: About storefronts in general? I think, Amazon, so in our conversation recently, we're meeting actually with the people in charge of the storefront. And they mentioned to us that there are lots of plans to make it more... because right now, it's hard to find. If you're not driven directly to a storefront, it's hard to find. You have to click on the brand name.
Thaddaeus: And the only people that do that are like you and I that are exploring what a brand does, but the traditional buyer maybe doesn't do it as much. So, they're trying to incorporate it more and with that, will come more education. As far as driving traffic, you should be able to go into your storefront and claim a tag. That tag can then be used on external advertising platforms like Facebook, Google, and so forth.
Thaddaeus: And it should, it's not accurate, you can definitely do that. Yeah. This maybe isn't the place to walk you through where everything is, but go check it out for yourself. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to Nozani, my emails at the end, and you can always contact Nozani for any questions there.
Thaddaeus: So, one of the last things we want to cover here before we jump into a good versus bad listing is reviews. And I'll have Liz help me out here a little bit as they have FeedbackFive, which is seriously an awesome tool. We work with lots and lots of Amazon sellers, and we use FeedbackFive primarily in all of our review feedback, or in all of our automated emails to get to the feedback.
Thaddaeus: And it's important to here that you're taking advantage of what it provides, and that message to the customer. But Liz maybe has a couple thoughts on best practices for those emails.
Liz: I do spend a lot of time thinking about that. And I spend quite a lot of time on a soapbox about Amazon's Terms of Service because you do have to follow the rules when you do request a review from a customer, and they're all in Seller Central. They're there for viewing. Check back on them often because they do tend to change a little bit. But you can never, just like they got rid of incentivized reviews, you can't be manipulative in your wording of your email.
Liz: So, Amazon doesn't like you to use if then statements. If you're happy, then please leave a review. They don't like you saying our business depends on your reviews. So, what we recommend people do is just send a short sweet message that says, "We hope you enjoyed your purchase. Please leave us a review so that millions of Amazon shoppers can benefit from your experience," or something like that.
Liz: Keep it nice and neutral. Keep it nice and completely impartial, completely nonmanipulative, and we find that that converts just fine. But I think that you're going to cover this in a second. It's important to solicit or ask for reviews from your customers. You never get them if you don't ask. There are people who are avid reviewers, and we love when they buy our stuff. So, they'll go and leave us a review, but it behooves you to go ahead and ask.
Liz: And FeedbackFive is great because it's automated, and it's just based on your orders. And you can do campaigns, and customize them, and we can teach you how to do that some other time. It's not right now, but just pay close attention to those terms of service because you don't want to get suspended, or in trouble because of an email you sent. It's just not worth it.
Thaddaeus: Absolutely. And I couldn't agree with Liz more, I think sometimes we Amazon sellers tend to try, and get around the terms of service, and try to get as close to the line, or even get into these gray or black hat tactics. I would recommend we tell our sellers do your best to follow Terms of Service, it's not worth hurting your business. Well, and that same advice really goes well with the product inserts or the QR code method that we also use for reviews.
Thaddaeus: Reviews is a funny thing because it's the only thing that you can't really control. You have to rely on other people to do within Amazon, as far as the optimization goes. And so, product inserts is basically just like a business card, inserted and put into your product, we recommend put a QR code there that takes them right to where they need to leave review, or put instructions on how to leave reviews so that you're not just getting seller feedback, which happens so often.
Thaddaeus: Give instructions, help them get to the right place, and leave a review for the product. And then the last thing is when you're launching a product, I actually would highly recommend considering the Early Reviewer Program for Amazon, you pay $60 in ASIN, and it gets you up to five reviews, you don't have to pay until you get the first review. And now, it's honest feedback.
Thaddaeus: It still is I think incentivized in a way, but Amazon because it's them, they can control it. They're okay to do that. So, it's interesting. If I personally was launching a product, I would totally use it. But you also have to understand it is Amazon. You can only count on them so much, but we like it, and they're coming out with more and more resources to help here.
Liz: Well, and I feel like that was a good phase, after incentivize reviews, what I like to call review gate. I feel like it was a good phase move by Amazon to say, "Okay, hey, you can enroll in this Early Reviewer Program. It's only $60 in ASIN. You don't have to pay until you get your first one. You might get up to five reviews. We're not going to promise that they're good, and the easy way for you to participate in an Amazon sanction program that can result in more reviews."
Liz: I feel like it was a nice thing for them to do. It's interesting that you recommend it. I have heard both people who found a lot of success with it, and really loved that they participated. And then I've heard other people say that it didn't do them any good. So, I guess it depends on what your product is, and how you also optimize your listing to make people want to buy it because people still have to want to buy it, right?
Thaddaeus: Yes. Well, and I guess I'd put it this way. If $60 was the last money you had and after that, you were going to be zero dollars, I'd probably put it in advertising before I put it in Early Reviewer Program. But if $60, to a business who's launching a new product, you have existing revenue, $60 is not a lot of money. And even if you get three or five reviews, those reviews are worth their weight in gold, especially if they're good reviews, and so do it.
Thaddaeus: Just give it a whirl, and from that perspective, I would personally as a seller do anything and everything to get reviews that follows Amazon's Terms of Service. FeedbackFive is a big one, and it's very affordable, and product inserts, QR codes, relatively free. Obviously, you pay for the cards. Early Reviewer Program is a one paid method. I mean, FeedbackFive is slightly paid, but you get the point.
Thaddaeus: So yeah, I would recommend it just because it's another way to do it. And this comes back to the thing, I've emphasized the whole webinar, customer experience is essential. And that's where Amazon is pushing, they want customer experience to be the biggest focus of sellers, and so forth, and reviews definitely play an impact there. Now, for I guess, an interesting part, we'll go through two listings.
Thaddaeus: The first one we'll go through is a bad listing. The second we'll go through is Kimera Koffee. You've seen snips of their listings here, and they're one of our customers. They're a great brand. I'd recommend them. But here is the first one. So, Folgers is as you can see, they've done a really, really poor job of optimizing their listing. But what I want to point out here too, this is an interesting example, but Folgers has a great brand.
Thaddaeus: And there's a lot of people out there that will say Amazon sellers don't need a brand. I believe those days were, and they're in the past, if you will, and they're becoming more and more in the past. The future is all about brands. Branding saves you money. A good brand will save you money. A good brand will increase the longevity of your success on Amazon. A good brand helps people feel comfortable to buy the product.
Thaddaeus: And here you see that, they have one image and it's a crappy image. And they have some good reviews. There's no optimization of the content. There's no enhanced brand content. You see the product description. It's absurd actually, how little they've done here. But with that being said, they're still successful because of their brand. Now, you're not going to build a Folgers-like Brandon overnight. It takes time. Branding takes time.
Thaddaeus: But focus on it, and that's my recommendation. Now, we'll take a look at Kimera Koffee. So, Kimera Koffee is a smaller brand, but if you were to go and look, they'd appear quite frequently on Amazon. And they've done a fantastic job of branding and creating a product that's exciting, that makes a customer want to buy it. So, they're a pre-workout type coffee, very focused on athletic performance, and improving just that physical and performance.
Thaddaeus: So, if you look through their images, we'll just go slowly. It's enticing, they're exciting. They have these infographics. Yes, those are designed, so I might be a little biased, but they have these infographics up. You understand what's important here, why does it matter, what's so good about Kimera Koffee? These images that are enticing and interesting, they have a video that's great.
Thaddaeus: We did not do the video, but they did a great job here. And then the product listing here, the content, it follows those suggestions that we recommend, the initial things you want to emphasize are bolded, and they're all caps, and that helps the customer see them quickly. The content is written with keywords. It's written to convert and to succeed. Then they go down here, and there's a great enhancement content.
Thaddaeus: Kimera Koffee is premium ground coffee. It's powerfully infused with cognitive enhancers. It is amazing. Here, they drink the coffee become the legend. It's about a brand, it's about a feeling. And here, they have a successful guy probably holding it over the city, and it's part of a group, if you will, and branding has made this product very, very successful. And now if you go here, here's their storefront.
Thaddaeus: Now, they didn't do just an average storefront, we throw together in a couple minutes. It's definitely well designed, and taken some time to develop and build. But it's beautiful here. And so, this is very important for their overall branding here. And so, when you look at those two, you can see this dark contrast between the two, and it makes sense. Which one enhances the customer experience? Which one do you want to buy more?
Thaddaeus: Even without the brand that Folgers has, Kimera Koffee has done a great job. And that's what I'd recommend an optimized listing look like for you and your company moving forward. And here's the truth. Would I optimize everything after just with the launch of a product? Let's say you have 20 products, I would focus primarily on your top sellers, the products that drive you 80% of your revenue. Focus on those first, and slowly optimize the other things.
Thaddaeus: Don't break the bank for products that are brand new, and that haven't proven themselves on Amazon. Obviously, there's a sense of optimization that you need images, content, these things, but don't spend thousands of dollars on a video that you've just launching unless you know it's going to succeed. That would be my advice to you. Make sure that you are investing where you're going to see a return, but an optimized listing is the way to compete in the future.
Thaddaeus: Because it's just like a website that entices you to buy that, that builds that confidence in the brand, that attracts the person from the product researcher to the head of household, to the impulse buyer. So, that's all I have for you today. Here's the special offers, and there's my email at the bottom, feel free to reach out to me. I can connect you with one of our consultants here, or you can fill out a form, anything. I know there're some questions here, but Liz, anything else?
Liz: We've got some questions. Someone has asked, what is the order of importance when it comes to Amazon listing optimization, and how do each of those affect your overall success on Amazon?
Thaddaeus: That is a good question, and I touched on it there. I would focus primarily on the images and the content first. And when I say content, I mean the bullets, the title, the description, and the images. That's our first step. From there, images being lifestyle, infographics, and white background. And I would even say, having a good white background is great, having a good infographic is great, having a good lifestyle is great.
Thaddaeus: And it's not that you have to have loads of it, but just a couple of each would be great. And then, outside of that, I think things can slowly transition into an optimized listing as it's successful, right? Enhanced brand content is going to improve conversion. Storefronts are going to improve the whole brand feel. Videos are going to increase the confidence in buying the product without starting those initial things.
Liz: Awesome. This person has asked, once your listing is optimized, what's the best strategy to drive traffic to your listings, DSP, search, any best strategies to implement for maximum results?
Thaddaeus: Display advertising is very new for the seller, and unless you have a massive budget, I think they have a minimum spend there that's pretty high. So, for a small business, I wouldn't play with that as much yet. Now, I think that becomes more prevalent, and when that becomes bigger, then video advertising huge on Amazon. These things can be huge. And so, yes, I'd prepare for that. If the best way to drive traffic, I would say, start with just that PPC campaign.
Thaddaeus: Typically, we run an auto and a manual campaign. We always keep an auto campaign to continue to generate more keywords, so forth, revise and continue to refine that manual campaign as you move forward. There are lots of great software's out there that can help. And so, I would take a look at those softwares if you don't want to do yourself, but I would start there. And then as your company has more budget and you further your presence, Facebook, Instagram is great as well.
Liz: Awesome. And then someone has asked, what are the top three priorities or recommendations for a new vendor just starting out with Amazon? So, I guess we should take that at face value, and figure that you're on Vendor Central questioner, or are you talking about just being a seller on Amazon?
Liz: If you can pop in clarification, that would be great. But I guess we could tackle top three priorities or recommendations for a new seller or a new vendor in the meantime. Oh, Vendor Central. Thank you. So, they're Vendor Central. So, what are the top three priorities or recommendations for a new vendor starting out with Amazon Vendor Central?
Thaddaeus: That's good. And I think it goes a little bit... it's along the lines of what we've been chatting about. But I would say make sure your images and your content are great to start, and then don't forget to advertise. A lot of our vendor, the vendor clients that we work with, especially if they're used to being a vendor with Walmart, or Target, or other places, they think that the advertising takes care of themselves.
Thaddaeus: But on Amazon, not only do they buy your product from you and take your margin, but they also require you to advertise. And so, I would jump on the advertising, run Amazon ads, you can get sponsored brand, sponsored products, all those things after you have an optimized listing with some good content with good photography.
Liz: Great. Now, I have a question for me. Someone has said that they currently use FeedbackFive for reviews and feedback. And you can actually probably help me tackle this since you work in FeedbackFive so much. But she says that for however, we've recently launched a new product in our having zero luck getting customers to write a review to help increase our ranking, any suggestions to get those reviews?
Liz: So, from our side, I absolutely encourage you to get in touch with our customer service, or our customer success advisors who can help you look at your email subject lines, help you look at your campaign timing, we can take a look at your product, and give suggestions about what you might be seeing in your email, or how you might time your campaigns differently.
Liz: But I think that in addition to asking for those reviews and making sure you're doing that in the most effective way that will create the most amount of conversion for you. The other suggestions that we've heard today about if it's a brand new product, then maybe you could give Early Reviewer Program a try.
Liz: And make sure that your listing is totally optimized. But I absolutely would love to talk to you about your actual campaigns, and FeedbackFive, and your templates. So, I'll reach out to you after this to schedule something. And thank you for that question because we want to help everybody be as successful as possible.
Thaddaeus: I don't have anything to add there yet. I think that's accurate.
Liz: All right. Great. Well, if nobody has any more questions, I will be emailing this recording out to everyone. It will have contact information for both eComEngine, and me, and for Nozani, and Thad. And we hope that you learned a lot today, and we'll see you next time.
Liz: Thank you so much. Thaddeus, you are wonderful. You've done a great job. I love those buyer personas. That was super valuable. So, I think that's what everybody's itching to get their hands on so they can read every single word of those.
Thaddaeus: Yeah. Yeah. It's good stuff. No, thank you so much. I've enjoyed sharing some knowledge, and we always want to add value to the community. So, thank you guys.
Liz: All right. Thank you. Happy Tuesday, everyone.
Originally published on January 22, 2019, updated June 4, 2020
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.