“My products are top quality and they are items that are in high demand. So why are they not selling quickly?” If that’s a question that you have, read on.
As a distributor/seller in Amazon, it is critical that you find in-demand, unique items that your target customers want to buy on a regular basis. After all, without those products you have nothing to sell. Liquidation, wholesale, arbitrage, private label and other forms of acquisition are the core of Amazon’s success. However, vital product sourcing is only one tiny part of the equation.
Behind the scenes, Amazon has an integral system designed to match customers’ searches with the products you have listed. Hence, If you don’t understand how this system works, and/or you don’t use the system to your advantage, it wouldn’t matter how extraordinary your products are. No one will be able to spot them.
“So, what do I do? Market great products, master keyword research, and I am all set?”
Hmmm, not quite.
After your product listing is found by your target audience, you still have to convince them they should buy your product instead of the other options they have.
If your product title, bullets and description aren’t enticing and engaging, visitors will quickly click on other options or decide to wait and not purchase at all.
To understand why your products are not selling, ask yourself these seven questions and see what your product listing might be missing:
1. Is my product listing content optimized for the search engine AND shoppers?
This is the first step because it impacts both the product’s ability to come up on searches and shopper’s experience
Writing product listings is an acquired art and skill. It is not as simple as filling out the necessary fields and adding a corresponding image. An expert product lister possesses a multitude of skills needed to create a product listing that converts.
Did you realize that I capitalized the word “AND” in the question above?
Many distributors/sellers only focus on trying to have the most keywords in the title because it is known that the title has the most weight for SEO keywords, but they forget that Amazon’s algorithm won’t pay for the product. Only an actual human customer will.
Hence, the description must be easy to read and sellable for humans to make them take out their credit card.
Just having a list of keywords spread out all over your title / bullet points / description and backend search terms is simply not enough. You will also need to make your listing content sound like you have the most incredible product on the planet…as if your product is all they need to have for a happier life.
For example: I was approached by one of my clients recently, who asked me:
“I have such a great product. It is better quality, with so many added features compared with my competition. But why is it not selling more than theirs?”
My answer? Because only ‘you’ (the seller) knows how good and unique your product is. It’s impossible for the algorithm and the potential customers to know that, and that can only be achieved by explaining it to them in writing in the listing copy.
Indexing for keywords only works when it leads to conversions. If your product ends up on the search results page but it doesn’t tell the visitor how yours is better than the others out there, they are going to keep scrolling and looking into other options.
2. Do I have an excellent selection of images?
The right image is a very important element of the online shopping experience. Shoppers need to see the overall product, colors, textures, and details, as well as the product in use in a relevant setting.
Amazon has some pretty high standards for images, which is a large part of what keeps the quality of the shopping experience consistently high. Unfortunately, Amazon does not always enforce these requirements well and it falls to the seller to make sure they are presenting quality images.
Click here for Amazon’s Photo Guidelines and Requirements.
The shopper needs to see your products in as many ways as possible. The listing must have clearly lit, high resolution photographs that will make the shopper feel like they are actually holding the product in their hands. This will help replace the in-store experience. If your product listings only show one or two images, you will lose out to the more thorough and descriptive listings offered by your competitors.
3. Is my inventory consistently in stock?
You have managed to source a really great product and you have a well optimized listing, you’re in a great place to rank high in the search results and outsell your competitors. But there is one monster that can quickly destroy your hard work, which is running out of stock.
If you run out of stock and you have to wait for your product to make its way across the ocean, this can mean weeks of zeroes. Your keyword rankings will fall, and so will your overall best seller rank. Your competition will also then have a chance to gain ground and overtake your position.
Never run out of stock, Period.
4. Are my prices competitive?
Most online shoppers these days are pretty savvy. Once they’ve found the product they want, they are capable of searching the global internet to find the best deal and choose accordingly.
Trying to build a higher priced luxury brand is good for your business. You may think that you’re being unique and want to stand out by targeting the upscale customer base. Unfortunately, this does not work on Amazon.
When the Amazon customer searches for a product on Amazon, they are usually looking for the best rated product for the best price. They are not willing to pay a higher price because you wrote in your business plan that you are going to build a high-priced luxury brand. They don’t care about you or your business. All they care about is finding their product and grabbing the best deal out there.
Selling items that are higher-priced than the competition does not work on Amazon (unless you are David Beckham selling Haig whiskey).
5. Does my product have a good number of reviews to provide trust to potential customers?
Opinions from your peers are one of the most important factors in the general online buying decision process.
Although reviews have obtained a bad reputation in recent years, with a lot of them being called out as fake, Amazon has a good handle on the review trolls, by only allowing reviews from verified buyers. This means that brands and sellers need to encourage more real reviews from more real shoppers. It is also very important to promptly reply to negative customer reviews. While some negative product reviews are bound to happen, oftentimes a customer can be satisfied if the seller or brand reaches out to make things right. A large number of negative reviews without responses is damaging to you and your brand.
Reply to them.
6. Is the customers’ question & answer section being utilized?
Perhaps, one of the most underutilized sections of an Amazon listing is the Questions & Answers section.
Remember, this is not a local store where a customer can walk over to the sales rep and ask questions about the product. That means, all information that a customer might want to know before placing an order, should be mentioned in the Question & Answer section so they can make their decision right away without leaving your page.
Many distributors/ sellers assume that they can simply sit back and wait until customers start asking questions for this section to be utilized. Instead, consider seeding the section by asking a colleague or friend to put a question that is common for your product so that you can answer it.
Once questions are asked, a unique feature is that the answers can be submitted by both, other customers or by the seller. So, you should take advantage of that and answer the questions with accuracy and with keyword rich content. That way, you are optimizing the listing for the customer and the Amazon algorithm.
7. Finally, is my listing optimized for mobile?
From a sampling of 1,000 U.S. shopper in 2017, 25.4% bought through the Amazon smartphone app and 22.6% bought on the mobile browser Amazon.com. That’s almost 50% of shoppers making purchases on their mobile devices rather than a desktop.
The shopping experience is different on a smaller screen, therefore product listings need to shrink a little, while still being informative and relevant. Product descriptions should be distilled down to their most accurate descriptions and distributors/ sellers should feature images that give a clear view of the product on a smaller screen.
In an online business, timing is everything. Every day that goes by without your listings being fully optimized can affect your bottom line dramatically. Don’t let your products just sit!