Amazon Marketplace: Winning Online Sales Strategies

About 44% of shoppers immediately visit Amazon when they're interested in making a purchase making it go-to resource for people all over the world who are looking to buy products. In fact there are 304 million active Amazon accounts. Yes selling on Amazon can be quite lucrative. Can open many new doors for brands and help to increase sales. Thankfully Amazon doesn't restrict who can sell products on their site. In fact they've made it easy for individuals and companies of all sizes to get in on the action by introducing the Amazon Marketplace. However it is important to keep in mind that simply listing your products on this platform probably won't be enough to bring in significant new business.

There is A LOT of competition in the Marketplace. So if you truly want to attract new customers and increase sales you must keep up with the competition and learn quickly what works and what doesn't. We're here to make that task just a tiny bit easier. Here's our 8 tips to help you become an Amazon Marketplace success:

1. Build a Recognizable and Trustworthy Seller Profile

One of the first things you will be asked to do when you create your Amazon Marketplace account is to build your seller profile i.e. the page your audience will see when they view your products. This needs to be a complete representation of your company and your brand on Amazon. Think of it as a football team's away kit. Use it to feature key elements like your company's logo tagline and other important details you would normally feature on your own site. Not only will doing so help create a recognisable identity (both on and off Amazon) but it will also help increase brand loyalty.

2. Get the Basics Right and Showcase your Product at its Best

Amazon shoppers decide within just seconds on whether they want to further engage with a detail page or go back to search results. So your product listings need to be spot on! When writing your product listings put yourself in the mind of the consumer. What are they looking for and how are they going to search for it? Here are some guidelines to follow when creating a product listing:

  • Make your titles count Does your title clearly describe what the item is and if it is compatible with your customers needs? Does it mention the brand name? Does it clarify what the USP or primary benefit is? And most importantly does it do all of this concisely so it isn't too long to skim?
  • Use bullets Make it easy for potential customers to skim and find the information they're looking for about your product. Use bullet points to mention key facts (like if there's a warranty) and key product details (dimensions weight colour options etc.). But try to avoid having bullets that are more than a sentence long.
  • Images are VERY important Your main photo should clearly show what the product is before zooming/panning in. Additional photos should provide further angles of the product and if relevant lifestyle imagery (e.g. people using/wearing the product). It's also worthwhile having an image of the 'back of the box' showing any ingredients instructions etc. if applicable.
  • Product descriptions matter too Remember that customers are skimming so a 10-line long paragraph probably won't do the job. Use your brand voice to reiterate key selling points and mention any supporting facts that can help customers understand why they need to buy now. And try not to repeat words from your product title as Amazon already factors those into search results.

3. Work Hard to Encourage Positive Customer Feedback and Product Reviews

Positive feedback is extremely important on Amazon as it gives you the ability to build your brand and authority as a seller help you qualify for Amazon's coveted seller offerings like the Buy Box (more on that later) help you rank higher in search results and help you improve the buyer experience. Positive product reviews help you build credibility and social proof which in turn helps to improve your sales and conversion rates. While both feedback and product reviews have a major influence on shoppers' buying decisions when it comes to your products. But what's the difference between them? Feedback is all about you the seller and the purchasing experience you gave the buyer. Customers are asked:

  • How satisfied they were with how their order was packaged and shipped (for products).
  • How satisfied they were with the work quality and professionalism of the provider (for services).
  • If they got good customer service and prompt resolution (if applicable).
  • Whether they would buy from you again.
  • What could have been improved about their experience.

Customers have 90 days from the date of their order to leave a rating and any comments. A product review is all about the product you sell. Here customers are asked to rate and comment on the performance of a product and on the individual features of that product (e.g. the "comfort" of a pair of headphones or the fit of a pair of jeans). Reviews give you great insights into your customers concerns and preferences. There's a 48-hour waiting period after a customer's first physical order has been completely shipped or their digital item has been purchased before they'll be able to submit a review. To encourage positive feedback and product reviews you should meet or exceed the expectations you set the customer. For example shipping timelines should be met and the product should be as described. But don't just wait for customers to leave feedback and reviews actively ask them for it! Here are some of the top do's and don'ts to consider when asking for feedback and product reviews from Amazon buyers:

  • Do: Contact buyers through your Seller Central Buyer Message system
  • Do: Customise messages sent using your Seller Central Feedback Manager
  • Don't: Try to get Amazon reviews by offering incentives or coupons to buyers
  • Don't: Specifically ask for positive feedback or a 5-star review
  • Don't: Ask a buyer to change a negative review

4. Don't ignore negative feedback or reviews if you receive them

It's evitable that you won't be able to please everyone. So negative product reviews and seller ratings are bound to pop up every now and then. However 84% of online shoppers view online reviews as personal testimonies and customer reviews are trusted more than product descriptions by a factor of 12. Therefore it's extremely important to address any bad reviews you receive. The most important thing to do when you receive a bad review or negative feedback is to contact the buyer immediately. And you can do this in two ways: by email or by responding directly to the buyer's review publicly.

  • By email If the review is attached to an Amazon order you can send a message to your buyer directly (and most importantly privately) asking how you can remedy the issue. Apologise empathise then offer a solution (e.g. a replacement or a refund).
  • By public comment It's important to keep your brand identity in mind when taking this approach. NEVER pick a fight. Leave a comment that begins with an apology for the buyer's bad experience reaffirm your commitment to customer service and add a link or email address so the buyer can contact you privately away from prying public eyes.

Note: Unfortunately once you've remedied the situation changing the review is up to the buyer. So even if you've solved their issue to their satisfaction they may not take the time to change their original negative review. Messaging buyers with requests to change negative reviews is a complete no-no but there are two more subtle approaches you can take:

  • Include a link to seller feedback and the product reviews pages in your response email or comment.
  • If you have resolved the buyer's issue privately there is nothing to stop you then adding your own comment to their product review publicly. Even if your buyer doesn't change the review you can mention that a reviewer's complaint is resolved explain how you handled it and express hope that the buyer is truly satisfied. When other buyers see your comment they should hopefully appreciate your efforts.

Amazon appetite whetted? Next week we'll be finishing our countdown and exploring four more ways you can dramatically enhance your success on the Amazon marketplace. Stay tuned! Interested in discovering more about how to increase your sales on Amazon? Get in touch with our team today!

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