From picking the correct item to advertising techniques and inventory management there’s a ton of elements you need to think about when launching a new item on Amazon.
Amazon has a notoriety for rolling out quick improvements, and a year ago they reported they will never again allow free or on the other hand limited items in return for reviews.
In the accompanying guide, we will cover everything Sellers need to think about growing their business and propelling a new item on the Marketplace counting item sourcing, production network the board and advance PPC techniques.
Tabel of Contents
- Why do a product launch?
- What is Amazon Product Launch?
- Pre-Launch :Preparation and Strategy Before Launching a Product
- Actual Launch : Distributing Your Coupons
- Post Launch : Maintain High Ranking
Why do Product Launch?
Product launches are one of the more involved steps in the Amazon selling process due to the many moving parts and effort from you the seller. The purpose of doing a product launch is the same reason any other company markets their product when it first becomes available:
Provide visibility and awareness of the product to a target audience that is actively searching for such a product, or has considered it.
Unlike many other companies who may sell their products in brick-and-mortar stores, private label brands on Amazon must reach their target audiences through only the Internet (it’s a blessing and a curse).
Without the ability to interact with customers in person, you’re limited to a less personal relationship. However, the Internet (specifically Amazon) allows for you to reach out to more people beyond a traditional store. For most sellers on Amazon, their budgets will be limited to digital marketing through email, social media, search engines and Amazon itself.
Gaining sales momentum
Additionally, when you first launch your product on Amazon, no one knows about you. Why? You have zero sales history — a significant factor that Amazon’s algorithm uses to rank products in the search results. Without sales history, your product is likely to get buried on the bottom of Amazon’s catalog where no one can find it.
Generally, the lower your product ranks, the less likely you are to be seen by customers searching within your product niche and get sales. If that notion seems strange to you, just ask yourself, “How often do I click to page two or three when searching on Amazon?” If you’re like anyone else,it’s not often.
According to a Marketing Think Tank webinar hosted by Search Engine Journal, only 30% of customers ever venture beyond the first page results of their Amazon search queries. Also, 81% of clicks occur on brands that appear on the first page of search results.
How to Get More Visibility on Amazon?
To put it bluntly, your product needs to generate sales right out of the gate. Here’s how launching products on Amazon works:
Generate initial sales > product rank increases > organic sales increase
However, in order to generate initial sales, Amazon must index your product listing as relevant for the keywords you want your customers to use in their search queries to find your product. Trying to rank for irrelevant keywords and phrases will do you no good, so choose your ideal search terms carefully to ensure your marketing dollars are spent wisely.
What is Amazon Product Launch?
Now that you know the purpose of product launches, let’s get into what a product launch looks like using the effective “giveaway” method. A “giveaway” product launch is a process by which a seller distributes a set number of coupon codes to generate some initial sales. This can be done via multiple digital channels such as email, social media, or other online advertising methods once your product becomes available on an Amazon marketplace.
Once customers click on the link, they are taken to a search results page that is already set to a specific keyword and highlights the intended product; this keyword search tactic is known as a “two-step URL” because a customer is able to buy the product in two steps: click on the product listing, and then click again to buy. This action is done in the hopes that the discounted unit sales will generate significant initial sales of the product, thereby telling Amazon’s algorithm that you’re worthy of that coveted page one rank position.
With a high rate of sales in a short amount of time, Amazon will theoretically rank the new product higher and faster than similar products. These initial sales, often generated below break even, are known as loss leaders a product sold at a loss to attract initial customers.
How Product Ranks on Amazon?
There are key factors that Amazon’s algorithm considers when determining product ranking:
Sales velocity – The increase in the number of products your sell each successive day, week, and month over time.
If your product’s sales velocity increases over time (meaning each successive day/week/month you sell more products than the previous period of time), Amazon will take that into account as a positive ranking factor. Amazon is more likely to rank a product higher that is selling well as opposed to a product that is not.
Sales history – Your product’s total number of sales over time.
Linked with sales velocity, sales history tabulates how your product’s sales have fared since you first launched the product. Dips and rises in sales are normal for many products depending on a number of factors that include seasonality,competitiveness and overall demand.
However, if your product’s sales have been steadily climbing over time and have remained high during its lifespan in the marketplace, Amazon will likely view your product as a strong seller and push it up in the rankings. A steady sales history might eventually earn your product a prestigious badge once it reaches page one ranking such as “Bestseller” or “Amazon’s Choice” badges. If attained, these have been known to increase your conversion rate even more.
The ratio of the number of people who have purchased your product to the number of people who have visited your product listing, usually within the same session.
Getting people to click on your listing is not enough to trigger a substantial or sustained increase in rank according to Amazon’s algorithm. Your listing must be attractive enough to persuade customers to commit to a purchase and convert. If your conversion rate is high, Amazon will reward your product listing with a ranking boost.
Pre-Product Launch: Preparation and Strategy
In order for your product launch to work on Amazon, you need to do your homework and ensure two fundamental things are in place:
- A list of the most relevant and high-volume Amazon keywords and phrases.
- A fully-optimized Amazon product listing that will attract customers.
The best place to start when finding effective keywords is to see what terms your competitors are utilizing to generate sales. Start searching for similar products to your own and discover what high search volume keywords they are ranking for on page one. You can do amazon keyword research using Sellerapp’s keyword tracker for amazon sellers.
Once you have some strong keywords as a jumping off point, use amazon keyword tool to discover new and possibly stronger search terms that your competitors aren’t using.
Make sure that both your keyword list and product listing are fully optimized by following the information in The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Keyword Research and The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Listing Optimization.
If you are confident in your keyword selections and your product listing’s appearance, it’s time to determine what it’s going to take to rank your product quickly to page one of the results page for your main keywords. Ranking quickly on Amazon via product launch is mostly done through giveaways.
What are Giveaways?
The term “giveaways” is used to describe products you have designated in your inventory to be sold at a massive discount via the coupons you plan to distribute to generate initial sales.
Here’s how giveaways work in a nutshell:
A specific number of giveaways over a specific length of time
= quickly ranking to page one for your desired keywords
To make a product launch successful, you must determine how many units you must sell (or “give away”) to garner enough sales in a specific time period to persuade Amazon to rank your product to page one for your desired keyword(s). It can be difficult to determine this giveaway number and time frame without some help.
How to determine your giveaway ratio the easy way
There are companies out there that will help you launch your product and may charge you for the information you need to determine the right amount of giveaways.
The CPR method uses a proprietary data model to provide you with the estimated number of giveaways that need to be sold over a certain number of days (typically 8-10 days) to rank as close to the top of page one as possible.
Establishing your coupon discount
Once you know how many products you need to sell to get to page one, it’s time to figure out the discount itself. This part is where many new or inexperienced sellers can get hung up because they are unsure of how deep of a discount they should give for their coupon codes. Establishing a “percentage off” for your coupon codes is extremely important because the product launch strategy will only work if the discount is significant enough to encourage the shopper to make a purchase.
Here is an example: Say you are on Facebook and you see a sponsored ad for a new product that you’ve never heard of, but it looks interesting. The ad is offering you a chance to redeem a coupon code, but it will only be 10% OFF. That’s a relatively small discount that most people would ignore because it is not significant enough to spark a buying action. For your private label product, you’ll want to set a discount that’s aggressive enough to generate the initial sales you need to make the product launch strategy worthwhile. However, the discount you set needs to also be directly relative to how universally desirable your product is.
If your product has more desirability in a highly competitive niche, you may not want to give as significant a discount as something with less demand. For example, an iPhone charging cable is desirable, but is also highly competitive. You would be better off providing a 50% discount on that, and you will get a lot of people who would jump on it.
However, if you were selling something much less popular like beard oil, very few would want that at a 50% discount. But at a 85% discount, you might find people who figure “While I don’t need this, I’ll still buy it anyway because the discount is so low.”
Launching products on Amazon is all or nothing. Offering a sizable discount like 75% – 89% OFF is much more likely to get people’s attention, and even encourage people who may not be looking for your product to purchase it immediately.
This should help you generate sales quickly enough to get Amazon to rank your product higher towards page one.
NOTE: Some Amazon experts and influencers have reported that it is possible that high volume discounts at 90% or higher may result in an Amazon internal flag on your account.
The Actual Launch: Distributing Your Coupons
Now you know what it takes to launch your new product on Amazon. Even before making your product listing live, you must formulate a strategy to distribute your coupons. There are a few methods that are commonly used to distribute product launch coupons to potential customers:
Outside web traffic
Generating buzz for your product beyond Amazon is always a clever way to get people interested in your product prior to launch.
Social media outlets
Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have become powerful platforms to share your product to people who may be interested. Through the use of each platform, you can advertise directly to people based on their declared interests by targeting your specific customer avatar. Just like PPC on search engines, you can also purchase advertisements to pop up in social media feeds of people who may be more likely to show interest in your type of product.
Good strategy: On Facebook, you can create either a fan page or business page a few months prior to launching the product so you can build an initial base of followers who find your product interesting. Upon announcing the launch of the product, you can distribute many of your coupons to this audience with a much higher chance to get sales.
Additionally, the discount on your coupons can be smaller since these people are already interested in your brand/product.
Dedicated websites and blog posts
These are also powerful options that can highlight additional benefits of your product including the product’s purpose, functionality, features, and how it’s different from similar products. These mediums are evergreen in nature, meaning once published, they’ll live in the public domain forever so long as the original poster doesn’t remove it. This fact is important because it can create a constant stream of sales whereas Facebook ads typically only run over a predetermined time frame.
Good strategy: Drive traffic to your website and/or blog by posting it to related amazon forums and social media groups that may be interested in your product. You can also actively engage in meaningful conversation threads in your product niche, reviews forums, or other places in which you can subtly tell people about your product. Another great strategy is to engage with bloggers in your niche. Depending on your negotiation skills, you can often offer them your product for free to get them to blog about you.
Chat bots have become very popular in communicating with people through text. Chat bots can mimic real conversation with a live person through pre-programmed scripts that can branch off into other appropriate responses based on the answers typed in by the customer.
This process has become more streamlined with services like ManyChat which allow sellers to create a virtual sales representative that is programmed to give simple directions to the customer via text to offer a relevant coupon or deal.
How it works: On Facebook, a customer sees an ad for a product they find interesting and click on it, initiating the conversation with the chatbot. The chatbot will have a scripted response that introduces the product, the deal, and instructions on how to claim the coupon. If the customer follows the directions (which typically involves typing a specific response back to the chatbot), they will be given their code and redirected to the product listing via a two-step URL. From the product listing page, customers can redeem the code and purchase the product directly.
This option can simplify the coupon distribution process by putting the heavy lifting in the hands of a third-party company that will list your discounted product on their website.
Typically, the website will take a percentage of the sale or charge a fee for using their platform to promote your product. Deal sites can be a good, low-hassle option to distribute highly discounted products. However, keep in mind that shoppers who frequent these sites are conditioned to buy products at high discounts.
Any marketing expert will tell you that building and maintaining an email list of potential customers is critical to increasing sales and customer retention. An email list grants you the ability to easily send your coupons to a group of people who have already demonstrated an interest in your brand. This option is very cost effective in that you spend little to no money to put your product in front of interested people.However, you should note that email lists require marketing efforts beforehand and can take some time to build up. This option works well for sellers who already have a following from fan pages on social media or previous product launches.
This option pertains more so to sellers who have already launched products on Amazon or have a customer base from another business. In this scenario, you will likely have a previous relationship with the customer, or will at least have their contact information. This option is likely to go hand in hand with email as the most direct method to deliver your coupons.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
While Pay-Per-Click campaigns are not a method to distribute coupons, they are by far the most popular option to launch products on Amazon. Pay-Per-Click platforms like Google, Bing and especially Amazon, are popular places to bid on ads for certain keywords that are relevant to your product. Each time someone clicks on your advertisement, you pay the ad network a fee, often on a “per click” basis.
However, it should be noted that in PPC, you will most definitely have competition for the more lucrative keywords that are searched for more often. Because of this high demand, the price for these high volume keywords will be significantly more expensive to run in a PPC campaign.
The lasting benefit of using PPC campaigns is that even after the product launch is over, you can change your advertisements to continue driving traffic to your product listing if you can afford to keep paying for the premium ad spot on search engines.
Lastly, while PPC is a popular option, depending on the keywords you’re targeting, it may take longer to rank via PPC than the options mentioned above.
Post-Launch: Maintaining high ranking and next steps
Once your product is live on Amazon and you have gone through the product launch process, your job isn’t done yet. If you have managed to get your product to rank on page one for your desired keywords and are getting an influx of sales, you must maintain product rank with a well-optimized listing. Competitors will try to unseat you in the rankings, so regular maintenance of your listing and vigilance to prevent others from usurping your ranking is necessary.
Changing your price
Many sellers will opt to set a price lower than their competitors at launch in order to attract initial sales. However, they may decide that with their success, they may want to increase the price to increase profits after launch. If you set a low price during your product launch and you think it’s time to raise it, do so slowly over time. If you increase too rapidly or dramatically, Amazon will think you are providing a poor buyer experience, or they might think you are ripping the customers off. And in this case, they actually take away the buy box from your listing unless you lower the price back down.
Keep up PPC campaigns
You should have begun running PPC campaigns on your desired keywords during your product launch. However, that doesn’t mean they should stop after your product is launched.You must continue your PPC campaigns for your strongest keywords to maintain keyword rank and keep others from
overtaking your hard-earned rank position.
Continuous listing optimization
Additionally, you should always be looking for new lucrative keyword opportunities and ditch ineffective ones in order to optimize your campaigns. At this point, you’ve been in the game for a while and you may have gained new insight into which keywords are converting from your sponsored product campaigns.
Get more reviews
You should always persuade customers to give your product more reviews. However, be cognizant of staying Amazon TOS compliant. You may hear of other seller’s hacks and tricks for getting reviews, but these will often get you in trouble with Amazon. The best thing you can do is to have stellar customer service by following up, answering questions, and being generally helpful. Always look for ways to improve your product, adhere to Amazon TOS rules and do not offer incentives for leaving reviews, and do not offer discounts in exchange for leaving reviews, especially positive reviews.
Extra Tips for Successful Product Launch
#Tip 1 – Coupon code Limitation
When running a product launch with coupon codes, be sure to limit the number of coupons you distribute each day to spread them out evenly over the launch time frame. Also, set a maximum order quantity on your listing (this can be done easily with Inventory Protector) to ensure that no one person wipes out all your discounted inventory, resulting in a massive
#Tip 2 – Patience is a Virtue
If you don’t see your product’s rank change until day four or five of your launch, don’t be worried! This lapse in time is normal, sometimes taking
over a week to show the results. Amazon’s algorithm takes time to factor in your trailing sales history.
#Tip 3 – Multiple URL’s
If a certain URL structure does not produce effective results for your listing, try a different one. You can find various two-step URLs on the Gems page of Helium 10.