As of 2019, more than 2.5 million sellers are currently doing business on the Amazon marketplace across the world.
Given the ease with which people can launch a new product business on Amazon, thousands have already flocked to the site, with the numbers increasing by the day.
If you are looking to become one of them, you need to realize that the competition is going to be fierce, irrespective of the niche you choose.
Gone are the days when you could easily make six-figure revenues in no time on Amazon.
Whether you have a product under a private label, your own brand, or just reselling it, chances are there is someone else already doing the same with good sales.
Hence, amidst a highly competitive landscape, it is vital for you as a seller to distinguish your product in any way you can.
This makes your job of launching a new product all the more difficult.
The question arises – how do you launch a new product in a way that draws the attention of the customers and leads to decent sales?
The Vicious Cycle of Ranking on Amazon
Among other things, Amazon is also notoriously known for making it a bit tricky for new sellers to propel their business.
You see, for a new product to sell, it needs to be visible at the top of the search results because, let’s face, chances of someone going to the depths of the Amazon marketplace to find a product are minimal.
And for a product to be visible at the top, it needs to rank quite high, which, wait for it, is driven by its sales history.
Do you see the conundrum? You need a good rank to drive sales and sales to get a good rank.
In other words, you need to generate sales and boost your rank at the same time!
Let’s Crack the Code
Initially, it may seem like a tricky code to crack and it is. Anything worth doing requires a lot of effort, hard and smart work, and persistence. The key here is to understand Amazon’s A9 algorithm and use that knowledge astutely in your business.
You need to realize that while there are a lot of factors that Amazon considers to rank a product, there are three main metrics that play a big role. They are interconnected and if you get them right, your half the battle is won.
- Sales Velocity: It is nothing but the rate at which you are selling your product.
- The faster you sell, the more your product seems popular on the marketplace and consequently, Amazon will push it up in the rankings for more people to see.
- Click-Through-Rate: CTR is the percentage of customers who see your listings in the search results and click on it to visit your main product page. A high CTR implies that the listing is relevant to the query in question.
- From this point on, the customer will make his/her decision to buy the product based on the information provided on the listing page.
- Conversion Rate: This is the percentage of people who actually buy the product.
To get all three right, you have to focus on a few things and it is crucial that you do it from the moment you launch your product on Amazon. Let’s take a look.
The Best Way to Launch a New Product on Amazon
Before doing anything related to a product launch or sales, the first thing you need to do is ensure that your product listing page is well optimized for conversions.
A customer visiting your product page is already three-fourths of the way there – you now need to convince him/her to purchase the product. You can do this with the help of a compelling, rich copy that clearly elucidates the features, benefits, and uses of the product.
You need to provide value to your customers by addressing all the questions they may have related to the product.
Make use of high-quality images, relevant keywords that reflect actual customer search queries, concise bullet points, and if possible, Enhanced Brand Content.
To ensure that your listing is on track, get it analyzed by our Listing Quality Index and identify the key areas of your listing that can benefit from further improvement.
Phew! With that out of the way, we can now dig into the strategies for a successful product launch on Amazon.
- Focus on Getting Reviews
Reviews are a critical part of any Amazon business – without them, it is going to be incredibly difficult to drive sales.
People rely on honest customer reviews to make a purchase – as a new seller, your utmost priority should be to get as many of them as possible. One way to go about it is by joining the Amazon Early Reviewer Program. Whenever someone buys your product, Amazon will contact them randomly and ask them to leave you a review in return for a gift card. So, as you go about promoting your products online, you boost your chances of getting the much-needed feedback for your business.
Another good strategy to get reviews is by using package inserts requesting customers to leave you a review, provide exceptional customer service, and work with high standards. You can also send an email to your buyers after delivering the product, taking their suggestions and requesting them to leave you a review.
Pro Tip: Do not be tempted to find a way around Amazon’s T&C regarding the same and ‘hack’ the system to boost your sales. Amazon will find out and take strict actions. Always try to get reviews legitimately.
- Make use of Promotions and Discounts
Make them an offer they can’t refuse – people built businesses on this very philosophy and the same holds good for Amazon too. An ideal way to get your product off the ground is with promotions and discounts – create lucrative deals and offers that make people visit your listing and buy your products.
You can use different types of promotions on Amazon to improve the visibility of your brand in the market.
Among the most popular is a giveaway, followed by other variants like buy one get one free, free shipping, percentage off, social media promo codes, among others. You can make it more exclusive by setting your own conditions.
With this approach, you will achieve three things:
- Generate a hype about your products in the market
- Create brand awareness
- Drive people to your listings that lead to reviews and subsequent sales
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when it comes to promotions. You need to decide the budget/hit you can afford to take on your products. Since you are going to give your products away for free or at a discount, you need to ensure that you achieve your objectives without taking a big hit on your margins. Since you are just starting your business, it may be prudent to operate without a profit for some time and invest that money in promotions to generate brand awareness.
With that, you also need to consider the type of promotion, its duration, products to promote, among other things. Check out this guide on how to run Amazon promotions for your products.
Pro Tip: If you have a product that is already performing well on Amazon, you can bundle it with the new product as a combined discount deal. That is, people get a discount when they buy those two products together. On the flip side, this plan is likely to work as long as your new product complements the best seller.
- Promote Your Products on Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – more than half the world are on these three platforms and by default, they are your biggest audience.
Undoubtedly, this is where you should market your products but the trick to do successfully is by providing something of value to the people.
Discounts and promotions have proven to be among the best ways to get people to buy new products. You will benefit significantly more if you have a large group of friends/followers on social media.
You can also tie up with social media influencers to promote your products. This will likely lead to better visibility and brand awareness for your products as influencers generally have a lot of followers. On the downside, you may have to pay them a premium or work out a deal that may eat into your margins. This is where you need to consider the kind of exposure you stand to get.
- Take Advantage of Amazon PPC Promotions
Amazon Sponsored Products, most commonly known as Amazon PPC, is the most powerful marketing tool you have as an Amazon seller.
A lot of sellers have successfully launched their new products through Amazon PPC and brought them to page one in the search results.
At the same time, you need to remember that even though PPC campaigns are incredibly effective in boosting sales and visibility, a lack of fundamental understanding of how they work will be detrimental to your ad budgets.
You need to understand how Amazon PPC campaigns work and the different optimization strategies to make the best of the campaigns.
For instance, you can use the product targeting feature and have your product ads displayed on the listings of those items that are doing really, really well on Amazon. Similarly, you can also target those Amazon products appearing in Google Ads when people search for them. There are many ways like this to use PPC to your advantage. Visit this blog for more advanced Amazon PPC strategies.
Remember: Through our experience, we have observed that for PPC campaigns to be effective, the product needs to have a few reviews. Customers are not that inclined to buy a product that is appearing in the ads with zero reviews. Therefore, before you explore this path, make sure you have at least 3-5 reviews on your listings.
Fulfillment by Amazon, more commonly known as Amazon FBA, is among the most preferred way of doing business on Amazon.
Your products will proudly carry the sleek Amazon Prime badge, which will lead to improved visibility and more chances of getting conversions.
More than that, Amazon will take care of the heavy legwork for you – it will use its fulfillment network to store your inventory, ship and deliver the items to your customers. With that, it will also provide customer service and process refunds and returns.
- Maintain a Full Inventory
Nothing drives a business down faster than a product that is out of stock. If that happens, you will lose your ranking in the search results and you will have to start from scratch to rebuild your position in the market. Hence, before you start, make sure that the products are in stock so that you can focus only on the business. You can also make use of advanced inventory tracking software to help you track your inventory levels more effectively.
As you can see, launching a product on Amazon requires a lot of work but if you do it right, there is no reason why you cannot be on your way to make good money. It needs a systematic approach, discipline, and patience. A smart idea would be to have SellerApp in your arsenal – your one-stop analytics solution for your Amazon business. You can try this tool for free for one week before starting your subscription.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. I just launched my product on Amazon but it is not showing up in the search results. What can I do?
It may take some time for a new product to reach the top of the search results, provided it is generating sales and has good customer reviews.
In this scenario, however, you can first check whether your product listing is indexed or not by entering the product ASIN (10 digit number) and the main product keyword in the search bar. If your product shows up, it is indexed.
To improve its rank, you need to work on optimization, PPC ads, and reviews as we mentioned above. You can also use the Keyword Tracker to monitor your optimization efforts and see where your keywords are ranking in the search results. If you have just launched your product, the ranking may be beyond page 10, and you need to put some effort into improving its visibility.
Q. What kind of products can I sell on Amazon?
You can pretty much sell anything on Amazon except for restricted items. However, it is a whole different question whether you can make a thriving business out of it. A rule of thumb is to sell a product that is in good demand, has low competition, and does not suffer from seasonality. For more information on what kind of products to sell, check out this Amazon product research guide.
Q. I just launched a product and Amazon removed my listing! What is the way to go about here?
Amazon may have removed your listing because it was in violation of its selling policies. You must have received a notice regarding the same. Go through it carefully and understand the rules you violated – whether it is selling counterfeits, improper listing, violation of intellectual property laws, et cetera. Once you identify the problem, fix it and appeal to Amazon to rescind its decision.
Arishekar N has over five years web development experience and is the senior digital marketing strategies at SellerApp, Specialist in SEO, SEM and best conversion rate optimisation strategies that deliver industry leading ROI. Arishekar has helped companies through more effective search engine marketing and SEO strategies. He is most passionate about working with e-commerce companies.