Recent shopping seasons were certainly atypical. During a historic pandemic, shoppers abandoned brick-and-mortar shops in droves, with Black Friday foot traffic falling by more than 50% year-over-year. In contrast, online sales surged, particularly for Amazon. In 2020, the online giant reported that independent sellers on its platform had moved $4.8 million of merchandise on Black Friday and Cyber Monday — up 60% over the previous year.
Even as life returns to normal in the United States, there’s no indication that shoppers will flock back to malls and retail stores simply for the experience. It’s more likely that consumer’s habits have permanently changed, and they’ll again turn to Amazon for much of their shopping. As marketers everywhere begin planning this year’s strategies, this platform must play a central role.
Selling On Amazon Is Critical
Last year, more than half of all e-commerce sales went through Amazon.
That market dominance means online sellers must maintain a presence on the platform to recapture some of that traffic (and revenue) they’d otherwise lose. However, selling on Amazon comes with costs and unique headaches, preventing many sellers from seeing the results they want. Businesses should have their game plan finalized well in advance to compete in the Amazon marketplace. Fortunately, there are concrete steps you can take today that will boost your Amazon sales:
A great place to begin this project is by allowing your products to shine. If you haven’t already set up your Amazon store, this is a crucial first step. Your Amazon store is essentially a mini website within Amazon’s broader ecosystem where you can display your entire product line and gain new cross-sell and upsell opportunities with users who discover your brand. By building out your Amazon site, you’ll also be prepared to take advantage of new products and features as they roll out.
At the same time, you should focus on updating or implementing A+ content for all your Amazon listings, which are the image-heavy features on product detail pages. Your products will be eye-catching with A+ content in place and have more of a consistent brand feeling. You’ll also see a boost in conversion rates that make the extra effort well worth your time.
While making your products look attractive is certainly important, you also want to make sure your products are more shoppable for Amazon users. To do this, take a second look at how you’ve grouped your products.
Some Amazon sellers opt to list products with different features (say color or size) as individual products. So, the small green tank top you sell would be another product than the same tank top in a large size or red color. There are benefits to this approach, but it’s not very user-friendly. Instead, try using the parent-child relationship feature to group products together, so they’re browsable. That way, when a user discovers your tank top, they can easily switch between available colors and sizes on the same page until they find precisely what they want.
You can also audit your product listings to optimize how they’ll appear in search results. Amazon won’t show a product unless it features all the search words somewhere in the product listing. With that in mind, you should include everything you know about your products and their features, along with relevant search terms, to optimize your product titles, backend keywords, descriptions and bullet points. That way, your products will be much more likely to show up in searches. Here’s an insider’s tip: how people search for your product changes depending on the season. So, be sure to update your listing to take advantage of seasonal trends.
Once you’ve optimized your products, start testing the new advertising products and features to put them in front of relevant buyers. For example, you now can use sponsored display ads to target audiences based on their purchase data. These ads show up on product detail pages so that you can compete directly with similar products, and they can also appear on the Amazon home page. A big bonus for these ads is that they’re featured on the Amazon Display Network, which are ads that follow users around the internet.
Amazon also recently launched sponsored brand video ads. This new ad group is particularly exciting because most Amazon users have never seen a video pop up before, making them extremely eye-catching. They also offer first-page placement, which is critical when considering that 40% of buyers never venture past the first page they open. Currently, fewer people are using these ads, so the cost-per-click is very low.
Step 4: Settle on Your Seasonal Promotions
The right promotion can be the difference in turning ad-generated traffic into conversions. If you’re going to offer a promotion, it’s critical to lock those details in early because Amazon needs advance notice to set them up in time… especially for Black Friday and Cyber 5. Promotions are a tricky thing and won’t work for every business or product. However, one effective Amazon promotion strategy is to create virtual bundles that tie related products together. Not only does this strategy help cross-sell and upsell similar items, but you can also use it to increase visibility for newer products that don’t rank well.
The final step you can take to get a jump on Amazon sales is to build out your Amazon Posts presence. The company is always looking for new ways to keep users on the site for longer, so it’s begun experimenting with a social side to shopping. Brands build pages and post much as they’d do on other social media platforms. Users can also follow their favorite brands.
What makes Amazon Posts so exciting is that they show up on product detail pages and competitor product pages. This visibility makes them a great tool to get extra exposure for your brand and products. In the months leading up to your promotions, try testing different images and messages to see what resonates. You can start this process quickly and efficiently by recycling posts you’re already using on Instagram and Facebook.
Getting Successful on Amazon
Hopefully we’ll all enjoy this year free from the anxiety and uncertainty we experienced last year. However, no matter what happens, we know that consumers will increasingly turn to Amazon for their shopping needs. That’s why you should put this platform front-and-center as you begin developing your promotions strategy. By performing some strategic work now, you’ll be in a great place to see your most successful season on Amazon yet.