Before we dive in, it’s critical to keep in mind that the modern Amazon consumer behaves differently than shoppers on a brand-specific website, your social media channels, or brick and mortar store.
But the brands who want to win the sale (and actually do) proactively seek new ways to:
- Optimize their listings
- Elevate their product
- Cater to shifting consumer behavior
- Deliver better customer experiences
- Expand their brand reputation
Understanding Your Amazon Audience
2021 Amazon consumers:
- Are more technical and feature-focused
- Consider price, ratings, and reviews top factors in their purchase decision
- Are not as brand-loyal as they would be on other channels
- Expect their questions, issues, and hesitations about products to be addressed as fast as possible
- Are looking to make decisions quickly and easily
- Assume that the product they see online will be the exact product they will receive in the mail
Because Amazon shoppers are motivated in a different way than traditional consumers, brands can’t rely on the same marketing strategy to attract both audiences. To the millions of Amazon consumers, Amazon is a trusted, convenient, and compelling place to shop—but it’s up to you to employ the right strategies catering specifically to their needs in order to stand out and win their sale on the marketplace. Which leads us to the very reason why you’re reading this playbook in the first place…
” Over 60% of all online shoppers begin their search on Amazon “
“215+ M shoppers log on to Amazon every month in the U.S.”
This guide breaks down five key sections highlighting the most crucial marketing and advertising strategies sellers need to leverage in order to attract and convert Amazon customers. It’s important to note while each of these strategies can individually increase your conversion rate and sales, they are most successful when executed simultaneously.
Here are the 5 main ways brands can improve their success on Amazon:
- Optimize your copy for Amazon SEO
- Quality Product Photography and Video
- Take Advantage of A+ Content (EBC)
- Create a Compelling Amazon Storefront
- Maximize Paid advertising on Amazon
STEP 1 : Optimize Your Copy for Amazon SEO
One of the most impactful changes a brand can make to drive more conversions is by optimizing your product listings with SEO-rich keywords.
Amazon’s search algorithm looks at the following to determine where a product lands in its search results:
- Keyword indexation
- Seller ranking
- Product reviews
When it comes to writing copy for product pages, an optimal listing combines valuable indexed keywords and the vital information the shopper needs to make a purchase.
But, writing and creating successful copy for product pages hinges on whether or not a brand knows and understands its consumers on the Amazon platform. Because Amazon shoppers are so feature-focused and hyper-aware of the technical specs of products, they’re going to be searching for more specific keywords. Adding these search terms into every facet of page copy (outlined on the next page) will help ranking and close rate.
“Up to 30% conversion rate increase from Optimized titles and bullet points”
Key Amazon Content Optimization Strategies
Should include the brand name, product name, and top keywords
Product titles should target specific keywords that have a better chance at ranking well. For example, let’s say a brand is selling multi-vitamins on Amazon.While including ‘multi-vitamin’ in a listing is tempting, the marketplace is saturated with vitamin companies and it’s hard to rank for a keyword that is so generic and widespread. Instead, the brand should target specific search terms that the Amazon shopper is using that relate to their product. Brands can use multiple third-party tools to identify which keywords are trending and then include these in their product copy. In the case of a multi-vitamin brand, ‘multi-vitamins for women’ or ‘multi-vitamin gummies’ are more specific and will be easier to rank for.
BULLET POINTS + PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
Highlight the features of the product while focusing on the brand and its message
The bullet points and product description section of a listing should highlight what the product does and how it can solve the shopper’s problem. Consider these when writing:
- What problem the product is helping to solve
- The value it is providing
- What makes this product better than a competitive product
- What’s included—and what’s not included—in the package
Best practice is to have the product description focus more on the brand and the company selling (or manufacturing) the product than on the product itself. Because the product description is often further down on a page, it doesn’t attract as many viewers as the bullet points, which are located right next to the photography section. Additionally, any A+ Content effectively overwrites any product description, so it isn’t really as critical.
Showcase the different sizes, colors, or shapes of a product on a single page
If you have two products that are exactly the same but come in two different colors, you can put them on the same product page with a variation. These variations show consumers how they can customize the product or even upsell to a better model. In addition to grouping product listings for easy viewing, variations also combine ratings and reviews which is proven to increase the product’s organic search rank and close rate.
Understand keyword indexing and how to get your products seen
If your listing is indexed for a keyword, that means it will show as a result when a customer uses that search term in the Amazon search bar. Simply put, increasing the number of keywords you are indexed for increases the ways in which your customers find your products on the marketplace. If your product is not indexed with the right keywords, then buyers will find a competitor’s products or will not find any products related to their search.
On Amazon, brands have a limited number of characters or opportunities for keyword indexing, so focus on keywords that are highly relevant and have search volume. Also, keyword research and indexing is not a set-it-and-forget-it process. Trends and consumer needs continuously evolve, so brands need to regularly check and update their keywords for relevancy and conversion.
When it comes to creating the perfect product description and keyword-optimized copy for product listings on Amazon, the words you include on the page do more than just sell your product to potential customers. You’re also giving consumers another way to engage with and, ultimately, judge your brand. Many consumers go to Amazon as a first step before they make a buying purchase, and oftentimes they’re simply looking at the reviews on the page. The way a product and a brand are represented on every single product page can help influence whether or not a shopper converts. This means that there must be cohesive branding, high-quality content, and meticulously maintained brand responses on every single listing
Step 2: Take Advantage of A+ Content
A+ Content gives brands the space to take their listings to the next level—but the content must be thoughtfully crafted to win over customers.
One of the most underused yet most effective elements of an Amazon listing is A+ Content. Located further down on the product listing page, A+ Content is a valuable retail space that enables brands to expand upon product details while giving them control over their visual identity, leading to consistent branding across channels and legitimizing the product within Amazon.
This visual content is an excellent opportunity for brands to share their unique story, highlight key features, expand on product specifications, and display a consistent brand identity. However, not all A+ Content is created equal. Many sellers across Amazon use the generic modules that result in a 5% average increase in conversion rate when applied. But developing strategic A+ Content with a thoughtful approach to design and storytelling (we’ll share how to do that next) has proven to increase conversion rate by up to 25%.
Up To 25% conversion rate increase from the addition of A+ Content
Key A+ Content Research Strategies
The most important part of implementing an A+ Content strategy that sells? Research. Your enhanced content won’t resonate with consumers unless it’s developed or optimized specifically with their needs in mind. Some considerations during your research sessions should include:
If content already exists, what brand assets can you work into your design to appeal to the Amazon shopper? Share your company’s history, your unique story, and mention accreditations, awards, or health and safety considerations pertaining to your products. Then, after publishing, pull out your phone and make sure your A+ Content is consistent across desktop and mobile.
COMPETITORS & OTHER MARKETPLACES
Every product on Amazon is in competition with dozens of other products. And because of Recommended Products that appear on the listing, it’s more crucial than ever that you make your product stand out. Inevitably, most consumers will navigate away from your listing to explore the other options on the market. The best strategy to ensure customers don’t leave your listing in the middle of their decision-making process is to show the Amazon shopper the key differentiators of your product.
Research the feedback and questions your customers have so you can address them up front. If there are recurring issues or questions in the product reviews, proactively address these in your A+ Content to deliver a better customer experience.
For example, a brand selling health supplements should address where their ingredients come from, any certifications that add credibility, and information on how or why their products work. A brand selling a power tool should address manufacturing processes, materials that make it high-quality and long-lasting, or call out features that make it safer to use.
A+ Content blocks are the best place for your unique brand voice to shine through and to create a consistent brand experience for your customers. Utilize your brand’s typography, logo, colors, and photography to reinforce your branding and stand out. A+ is the perfect avenue to establish credibility and industry reputation with an audience that may or may not have heard of your brand before.
Step 3 : Maximize Paid Advertising on Amazon
Amazon ads are a powerful way to drive purchases, increase consideration of your product, and reach customers at every stage of their journey.
Amazon Advertising lets sellers drive traffic to their listings and increase sales—it is currently Amazon’s fastest growing sector and is expected to seriously compete with Google and Facebook in the next few years. Any brand not currently utilizing Amazon’s advertising offerings, particularly Amazon Sponsored Ads, is playing catch-up.
Amazon marketers must be able to handle variables specific to Amazon, such as the Buy Box, the competitiveness of a particular category on Amazon, and detail page placements versus search placements. A successful Amazon advertising strategy is built on both product and channel expertise, and continuously optimized for peak performance.
Up to 50% boost in sales from optimized advertising
Breaking Down the Different Types of Amazon Sponsored Ads
AMAZON SPONSORED PRODUCT ads are Amazon’s most popular advertising offering. Advertisers bid for placements in search results or on detail pages under the “Sponsored Products Related to this Item” heading based on a set of predefined keywords. These placements can be triggered by search term bids or bids on competitive ASINs. Sellers strategically place these ads in areas on Amazon to help catch the shopper’s eye over organic product listings.
AMAZON SPONSORED BRAND ads appear in the headlines of search results or on product pages and are triggered by keyword searches only. They help build brand awareness by showcasing your entire brand on Amazon, not just a single product. This is a great way to bring awareness to your company and entire product line instead of just a single offering. Brands must be enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry to take advantage of Sponsored Brands.
Brands can now also use Sponsored Brands Video to stand apart from the competition. These ads will play automatically when 50% of it is on screen and link directly to the product detail page where they can learn more and purchase
AMAZON SPONSORED DISPLAY ads allow sellers to engage relevant audiences who are in the mindset of browsing, discovering, or purchasing products by placing their ad in front of those who have previously been on that listing, or a similar product listing. This ad type allows you to reach and retarget relevant audiences with your product or a similar product both on and off Amazon. Brands must be enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry to take advantage of Sponsored Display.
How to Maximize Advertising Performance?
USE MULTIPLE KEYWORD MATCH TYPES AND TARGETING TYPES
In order to have a strong advertising mix on Amazon, you’ll need to strengthen your advertising campaigns with multiple keyword match types while using a mix of broad, phrase, exact, and negative keywords. And when targeting these keywords, be sure to attack and bid for these terms in a variety of ways.
The different types of keyword targeting on Amazon are:
Additionally, it’s important for sellers to set up campaigns that isolate search terms. A search term is isolated when it only shows up in one keyword. Ideally, that search term is also the only search term that keyword is bidding on.
TEST NEW KEYWORDS AND AD TYPES
Amazon sellers should always be testing new keywords and targets, and have a plan in place to test any new or existing features you aren’t taking advantage of. Every product and brand is different in terms of finding the right advertising mix—brands should understand their position relative to competitive items to craft the ideal paid strategy on Amazon. Identifying similar products with poor reviews, a high price point, or low-quality content and photography can lead to massive gains.
MONITOR BUDGET AND BIDS
All brands typically have an awareness, volume, or efficiency goal when advertising, and many have some mix of each. Understanding your goals helps inform decision-making. For example, if your goal is awareness, you may consider bidding highly on Sponsored Products broad match terms and utilizing Sponsored Brands. If your goal is efficiency, it’s likely you’ll be using more exact match terms and regularly adjusting bids based on performance.
Step 4: Create a Compelling Amazon Storefront
Storefronts operate as a mini-website for brands on the Amazon platform, creating a cohesive brand experience that converts and keeps customers loyal.
Available to brand-registered sellers, Storefronts allow brands to showcase all of their products in a single location, highlight top content, photography, and graphics, and customize with personalized branding and logos. With an optimized Storefront, you can capture the attention of shoppers and use it as a landing page for advertisements to organize and showcase your full product assortment.
Amazon Storefronts are also helpful for sellers who want to better understand shoppers’ buying patterns. Amazon created Store Insights—a tool that shows brands the exact amount of traffic and sales their Amazon Storefront receives. This feature helps brands see what customers are thinking, adapt their marketing strategy, and then execute changes that lead to more shopper conversions.
If you’re not sure if you have an Amazon Storefront, or you’re hoping to check out a competitor’s, the easiest way to find it is by clicking on the brand name located under the title on the product detail page. If the brand has an Amazon Storefront, it will show the custom designed Storefront for that brand’s products
5 Steps Sellers Should Take to Set Up Their Amazon Store
GATHER YOUR BRANDING ASSETS
Like all product listings or brand assets on Amazon, your Storefront is an extension of your brand. It should look and feel like any other branding asset your company manages, including your own website or physical store. With your brand assets in one place, your team can better represent your message and value in the marketplace and create a single, streamlined identity across multiple channels.
CREATE A STOREFRONT STRATEGY
Before you get too far into the process of creating an Amazon Storefront, it’s important to have a purpose in place for why you’re taking this step. A Storefront can be used to educate consumers on your different products, add more details and specific use cases for individual products, or simply to increase conversions by creating a larger brand presence on Amazon. Having in place will help your team be able to build the Storefront and place specific products in the optimal locations.
DEVELOP CREATIVE AND IMAGES
Now comes the fun part. Creating your Storefront means organizing all of your creative assets, product listings, custom graphics and images, and even embedded videos and banners to reinforce your brand presence. The Storefront’s visual design must effectively communicate the relevant content—and the desired action—to consumers while accurately representing the brand’s visual identity and message.
INVITE FEEDBACK AND EDITS
Once your team has a Storefront design in place, it’s time to get feedback. Because Amazon is such a strong retail channel for so many brands, there should be adequate feedback on this investment. Your sales, marketing, operations, and even finance team should take a look at your Storefront to ensure it is conveying the right message and is set up for success.
PUBLISH AND REFINE
Publish your Storefront and start promoting to customers via paid ads and other channels. Be sure to track Store Insights, adapt, and make changes to your Storefront as necessary based on customer interactions, emerging trends, and the evolution of your brand over time.
Step 5 : Leverage a Mix of Quality Product Photography and Video
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and pictures on Amazon can be the tipping point that influences a purchase.
Around 70% of consumers will choose a specific listing based on the photograph alone. That being said, Amazon is quite strict with their visual guidelines, and there are set standards in place that brands must follow in order to be approved for listing. While the guidelines are more technical in scope (white backgrounds, different angles, high-quality photographs, etc.), following Amazon guidelines alone won’t lead to a successful Amazon strategy.
Product photography and now video have become increasingly important for brands selling on Amazon. Because Amazon shoppers are less brand loyal than those who shop directly from a brand’s website, product photos and videos can serve as a way to add in differentiating elements, highlight functionality, and reinforce product value.
70% of consumers choose a listing based on photography alone
Types of Product photography on Amazon
WHITE BACKGROUND PHOTOGRAPHY
This is the most common type of photography on Amazon. White background product photography is exactly what it sounds like—pictures of a product on a plain white background. White background photos help to accurately represent your product, minimize shadows and distractions, and meet Amazon’s strict photography guidelines.
Images of products in a styled scene or in use, that are usually shot outside of a studio, are called lifestyle images. These help customers see a product in context, visualize themselves or a loved one actually interacting with it, and allow them to determine scale and functionality.
Graphic photos are becoming increasingly common on the marketplace. These are images in a progression accompanied by visual callouts, copy, and other design elements placed on the image to enhance the customer’s browsing experience and understanding of the product. Graphic overlays on product or lifestyle photos can help reinforce or showcase the product’s benefits, features, and instructions, which has shown to improve conversion rate over standard white background photography.
ANIMATED PRODUCT VIDEO
According to Amazon video shopping experience data, shoppers who watch videos on Amazon are 3.6x more likely to purchase the products featured in the video than shoppers who do not. If able, it is worth the time and energy for brands to create a 30-60 second animated video that shows off the utility and value of their products.
Photography To-Do List
As you’re working through your Amazon marketing strategy, taking high-quality product photographs should be at the top of your to-do list. Here is a quick rundown of the Amazon product photography process to get you started:
- Run an audit of current product photography samples. What images do you currently have access to?
- Research competitors on Amazon and other vendors in the space. How can you differentiate yourself from
- other products?
- Analyze customer reviews and feedback. Are there any issues that are called out specifically that could be clarified with optimized photographs?
- Identify your shot progression. Plot out 6-7 images and the angles and features that will be captured throughout the series
- Shoot the images. Always take more than necessary in case there are issues or a change in strategy.
- Retouch the images. Work in a photo editor to remove any imperfections and distortions to ensure the product
- is displayed correctly and adheres to Amazon guidelines.
- Upload the images. Add the images to the product listings and, if issues arise, create Amazon cases if necessary.
Final Thoughts :
Planning, executing, implementing, and optimizing a successful Amazon strategy takes more than a few hours a week.