When Amazon opened its virtual doors for business 25 years ago, no one could anticipate what a dominating retail force it would become. Today this massive e-commerce site is one of the “Big Four” technological companies (the other three being Google, Facebook, and Apple), amassing over $141USD billion in product sales last year.
The takeaway here is that if you aren’t on Amazon, you’re losing out on a lot of potential revenue. There are two ways in which Amazon can be used to drive product awareness and ultimately result in more sales:
- With ads
- Without ads
We’re going to cover both in this post, starting “With Ads”.
Generating Sales and Awareness on Amazon With Ads
If you’re familiar with the advertising platforms used by Facebook Ads or Google Ads, then Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) ads will make you feel right at home. The e-retailer offers what they call “Amazon Marketing Services” (AMS) which are available for both Amazon Vendor Central sellers and Amazon Seller Central sellers.
Sellers have three advertising options:
1. Amazon Headline Search Ads
This type of advertisement appears at the very top of Amazon product searches. Once clicked, these ads can direct leads to a variety of places, including a best-selling product, a custom URL or an AMS brand page.
The majority of people who click these ads are in the discovery phase of the buying process and aren’t yet ready to commit to buying. This makes this type of ad ideal for building brand and product awareness. It’s also important to note that for sellers to use this type of ad, they must be registered in the Amazon Brand Registry and have a minimum of three products listed.
2. Amazon Product Display Ads
Display Ads are those which appear on your or your competitors’ product listings (below the description of the product a user has clicked on). They are related to the product that the user is interested in.
This can be an effective way to attract interest, cross-sell and upsell items. This type of ad is currently limited to Amazon Vendor Central sellers.
3. Amazon Sponsored Product Ads
You’ve likely seen these ads on Amazon as they are marked with a “Sponsored” tag on listings and on the product page itself. How they appear to users, however, will depend on the device they’re using.
Desktop users will be able to see “Sponsored” ads above, below, and alongside search results. Mobile users will find “Sponsored” products below search results only. Both show products as being “Sponsored” on product detail pages.
This ad format tends to deliver the best results because, at this point, users have likely already completed their product research and are ready to make a purchase.
Generating Sales and Awareness on Amazon Without Ads
Sellers can appreciate the fact that there is no need to invest resources in Amazon ads in order to make a sale on the site. Here are three ways to improve your presence:
1. Research Your Keywords
A strong keyword strategy is necessary if you want to establish a strong presence on Amazon. While it will take a bit of time and research, the good news is that keywords are an effective way to drive free traffic to your product listings.
- Start by thinking about what you would type in the search field if you were the customer. Unlike Google, where the search terms can be rather broad, people on Amazon are likely going to be more specific. This means instead of choosing “denim jeans” as a keyword, use a more detailed title like “Light Blue Distressed Slim Fit Skinny Jeans 30W 30L”.
- Use Google for guidance. Review what’s sending traffic your way through the Google Search Console, and look at what’s trending on Google to pick up some new keywords you might be able to use on Amazon.
- Check out your competition. Your competitors’ listings can give you clues as to which keywords are working for them and which would likely also work for you.
2. Improve Your Photos
Top-quality photos are a must if you want your product to fly off the shelves. The good news is you can take gorgeous photos with your own camera or mobile device.
- Use natural lighting to your advantage. Taking a picture closer to a window will give your product a softer appearance while shooting from further away will brighten the image and create sharper shadows.
- Invest in a tripod. A shaky and uneven picture will not do your product justice.
- Shoot from several angles. Amazon allows for several images, and interested buyers will want to get as good of a look at your product as possible before making a purchase.
3. Encourage Customers to Leave Feedback
Social proofing your products with positive reviews is a great way to drive sales. Think about it: would you rather purchase a similarly priced product which received a 95% 5-star rating or one which received a 78% five-star rating?
Encouraging reviews is a bit tricky as you can’t incentivise customers into leaving your product a glowing testimony. This means offering no freebies, no discounts, not running any contests, and not outright asking people to leave you a good review.
One route is to use other ad formats, like Google and Facebook Ads, to drive customers to your Amazon product page. Other users may use Amazon Influencers to test out and then talk about their product through a blog or vlog.
Then there is using what you already likely have at your disposal: an email list and your social media account. Both are free to use and have proven to be effective for sellers.
Selling on Amazon can be incredibly rewarding. Much like several other aspects of your business, you’ll find that you’ll need to fine-tune your approach and methods constantly. While this can be challenging for some sellers, the hard work will certainly be worth it once you see your revenue totals begin to rise.