by: Drew Estes
If you want to increase Amazon sales, there’s no sense wandering in the dark. Luckily for you, help for sellers is easy to find. With all the new data and technology out there, and the amount of insight into both the Amazon Marketplace and the customers who shop there, it’s easier than ever to become a successful merchant. So if you want to learn how to increase sales velocity on Amazon, read on! And if you don’t even know what sales velocity is yet, don’t worry: you’re in the right place.
We’ll get you oriented with terms, show you how to choose the right product, then walk you through all the different strategies, hacks, techniques, and tweaks you can apply to boost your sales and open the floodgates for new customers. As a bonus, we’re even giving you some guidance on how to keep your ship afloat when that wave of sales comes.
Part of being a successful Amazon seller is learning all the terms they throw at you (and don’t always give you much explanation for). To familiarize yourself with some of these terms, check out the
Amazon Jargon Dictionary.
You don’t need to know all these terms to move forward, but we want to make sure you’re familiar with some basic concepts when it comes to selling on Amazon. Until you get the basic sense of how it all works, you might be applying unnecessary effort in all the wrong areas. So before you run off to promote Amazon products left and right, get a sense of where you’re going first:
Now that you’ve got an idea of what you’re working with, it’s time to figure out what you want to sell.
No matter how much time and money and effort you throw at product sales, you may as well flush it down the toilet with your hopes and dreams unless you’ve taken the time to choose a product people want – and one they aren’t already finding great options for.
This is where product research tools come in.
There are plenty of these tools out there, but we’ll still plug Massview’s product research tools because it has a free Limited Use option (so you don’t even need to pay if you don’t want to), and its algorithms are more sophisticated than the average keyword tool, letting you search concepts rather than mere phrases. If the Free Plan isn’t enough for you, the paid plans also offer a 7-day free trial.
This concept-based search means you have a much easier time finding an untapped niche with low competition, because the app shows you product ideas you wouldn’t think of on your own – for any category you search.
High search volume + low competition is the name of the game here. You want to find a product that people actually want (search volume is a great proxy for market demand), but in a niche where you don’t need a high sales velocity to rank.
No matter how you find your next winning product, once you’ve found something with the right potential, it’s time to get started.
There are a lot of strategies you can use to increase your sales on Amazon, and you don’t need to limit yourself to just one. As a rule of thumb before moving forward, be sure to familiarize yourself with Amazon seller Terms of Service (ToS). Knowing the rules and regulations of being an Amazon merchant will keep you out of hot water down the road. There’s no point putting all this effort in if you’re just going to lose it because you broke a rule you didn’t know about!
With that said, here are some of the most effective ways to increase Amazon sales:
Many sellers are forced to compete on price because Amazon shoppers can compare similar products so easily. If you make the mistake of selling a low-margin product, you aren’t going to last long in a price war. This is hard to avoid if you’re selling a common product, but if you create your own unique variation or offer a higher quality version of the standard product available, you can sell at a higher price than competitors.
For more information on strategic pricing, read about how to price your product on Amazon.
One pricing method is to price your product above or below the market average, by either a percentage or a flat dollar value. The market can shift quickly though, so you may want to use a repricing software to keep your strategy in place without all the extra effort.
We’ve used the Sellery repricer in the past and can recommend their services for this, though there are some great repricers out there for a range of budgets and technological skill. For more specific recommendations to match your business, read the product pricing article linked above.
Everybody wants to win the Amazon Buy Box. It’s that little box on the right hand side of the product page, where customers can add the item to their shopping cart or even buy it now. Having this convenience boosts your chances of a sale, in part because it makes it easier for the customer to purchase the item. Amazon sales accounted for $280 billion (net revenue) in 2019, with over $232 billion worth of those sales going through the Buy Box.
To get selected, you need to meet certain criteria, and Amazon must choose you from the group of eligible sellers who also offer that item. Here are some factors to keep in mind to win the Buy Box:
Despite all this, if you’re the only seller for a product, you’re pretty much guaranteed the Buy Box. This is a huge advantage of starting your own private label. Read our full guide to winning the Buy Box for more details
Remember, Amazon is a giant search engine. The A9 algorithm they use is simpler than the likes of Google, but it’s a search engine nonetheless. The easier you make it for customers to find your products, the better chance you’ll have to get sales. Everything from your titles and descriptions make a difference, and finding the right keywords to use can make a huge difference.
If you’re not sure what kinds of keywords to use, check out the Massview keyword tool free plan (no credit card required).
Don’t forget about product photos! Good product photography can make or break your success. Make sure your photos are high definition with clear details, and ideally offer multiple photos from different angles, and if applicable, of someone using the product. For more info, read our blog post on mastering Amazon product photography or watch our product photography video.
Shortcut: if you’re looking for someone to take care of the professional photography for you, go check out POW Product Photography.
This section applies if you’re selling a product of your own creation, or any kind of private label. If you’re dropshipping, wholesaling, or doing retail arbitrage, feel free to skip this.
Amazon Brand Registry is a free service that lets you prove that you own the products you’re selling, and reduces the risk that someone sells knockoff products under your brand name. Getting a trademark to access Brand Registry can take months, but Amazon provides a service to help you get access in just a couple weeks. Read about the Amazon IP Accelerator for more information. By protecting your brand, you protect your product’s reputation, and you keep competitors from stealing sales.
As a perk, you also get access to Amazon’s A+ Content feature. This lets you put brand identity info like your values, mission, and a listing with more depth overall, such as enhanced images and text placements. A+ Content is a great way to build more trust with customers and increase sales as a result. Check out our article to learn more about why you need to register your brand with Amazon.
For individual Amazon sellers, the Amazon Selling Coach feature is available to sellers with Amazon’s “Professional” plans on your seller account. It offers personalized recommendations to help you increase your success on Amazon. You can find it on your seller homepage and it will suggest you seize opportunities in areas such as:
Amazon’s review system is one of, if not the major factor in your product ranking and visibility in the marketplace. Getting more reviews gets you noticed by the search engines, and it establishes social proof so customers are more willing to buy your product.
Some methods for getting reviews are more ethical than others, and some of the sketchier methods can result in some serious consequences, with both your seller account and with the US government. We’ve written posts about proven strategies to get Amazon reviews, and an updated post with more detail, which talks about how to legally buy Amazon reviews.
As your sales start to increase, a tool like the Autorequest Review feature on the Massview Chrome extension can save you a ton of time and boost your review rate (ours more than tripled in one experiment).
If you want to stop slumping over, exhausted and overwhelmed by having to jump through countless hoops (when you just want to start selling), skip the BS with our Amazon review tools. We keep it simple with just two platforms. You can do one or both, and we’ll guide you every step of the way. We’ve already helped nearly 5,000 Amazon sellers get their product ranking on the front page, so if you need a hand, we’ve got you.
On top of these, you’ll also want to consider the Amazon Early Reviewer Program and Amazon Vine. To learn more about these methods and some other tips, watch our video on how to get Amazon reviews in 2020.
It’s an obvious solution, but it works. Any advertising service is going to cost of course, but Pay-Per-Click (PPC or CPC) ads can be incredibly cost effective. Amazon’s Sponsored Products service is a great place to start, and can help get your product appearing in the first page search results before you’ve gotten it ranking there organically.
You can advertise any of your products, assign keywords to each one, and enter a cost-per-click bid to set how much you’re willing to pay to beat out competitors’ ads. You only pay when a shopper clicks your ad.
Don’t be shy about offering discounts on the product or shipping costs: Amazon ran a study and found that offering free shipping on larger orders increased sales by so much that they actually added the feature to their site.
Similarly, beyond Amazon you can leverage Facebook Ads and Google Ads, both of which are efficient ways to get your product noticed by your audience. Since Facebook owns Instagram, you can serve up ads on Instagram through the Facebook Ads platform, which is a great way to put product images in front of potential customers. Additionally, while Bing has a much smaller market share than Google, their Product Ads feature is another great way to reach customers, sometimes with less competition than Google.
Of course, as with any promotion strategy, PPC ads cost money. If funding is an issue, you may want to consider different ways to raise money for your Amazon business. The options are much more limited than a typical startup would have, you have some choices.
Aside from Facebook Ads, don’t ignore the potential of your friends and groups on Facebook, especially in the early days. This goes for most social media platforms too, from Twitter and Instagram to Pinterest or wherever else seems fitting for your product. Just don’t get spammy, because no one wants to be that guy.
On top of social media, consider writing blog posts to promote your product, or even paying popular bloggers in your category to link to your product. Influencer marketing is a bit of a mixed bag these days, but finding someone whose audience aligns with yours to promote your product can be a powerful sales generator. Consider checking out Amazon Associates for affiliate marketing or the Amazon Influencer Program.
If getting initial sales is proving difficult, promotion platforms like Snagshout are a great way to generate early sales and build the sales velocity you need to start ranking higher.
For influencer marketing outside of Amazon’s offerings, check out Shoutcart. Shoutcart connects you with social media influencers, who you can then pay to promote your marketing content.
Many sellers get so focused on raking in new sales that they forget how valuable their past customers are. Past customers are not only more likely to buy from you again, they also tend to spend more and buy more products from you over time if they were satisfied with their first purchase. On top of that, the advertising costs per sale are much lower with past customers, so you can save loads on ad costs if you play your cards right.
Aside from providing great customer service and meeting (or exceeding) customer expectations, it helps to have a memorable brand (this is where having a private label comes in handy) so they have something to remember you by. From here, you’ll want to do everything you can to build a mailing list of past customers so you can retarget them without spending a dime.
Since Amazon doesn’t make it easy to collect email addresses of your customers, you can get creative in several ways. Some merchants will put small cards or other product inserts in the packaging, directing your more loyal customers to follow you on Facebook or another social media platform, or to subscribe to your newsletter on your website. For better results, consider offering them a little something special for signing up. When you launch new products or have sales down the road, you now have a list of your most likely buyers!
Another way to build an email list is by pairing Facebook Ads with conversion software, like the chatbot Masschat. Masschat promotes your product with discounts or rebates, which boosts your sales velocity (perk #1), but then collects the email addresses of buyers and interested customers. This list is easily accessible in your database, so you can reach out to your mailing list when you need to.
Creating your own private label to sell on Amazon tends to be the best option here, especially if you have your product designed differently than anything currently listed on the Amazon Marketplace. The more you differentiate your product, the less competition you have, and the more cost-effective your advertising can be.
But what if you don’t want to go through the effort of creating a unique product? Well, you’re in luck: you can create unique offers instead. If someone else is selling the same items as you, try bundling products together in a new combination. This will be listed as a unique product by Amazon, so when you’re the only seller with this combo, you’ll have an easier time winning the Buy Box, and you may even have an easier time ranking for your keywords.
Video marketing is an insanely persuasive way to drive conversions and familiarize customers with your brand. Studies show sellers who use product videos increase sales by 144%, and sometimes more. Don’t go thinking every video needs to be a traditional advertisement though: there are plenty of great ways to reach customers with video. For instance:
Through a partnership with Amazon, Massview allows you to submit videos to the related Amazon Video Shorts section for your product listing. This lets you add videos to your product detail page. Amazon has agreed to let us upload the following video types for you:
To learn more, select the Video Shorts box on your Massview dashboard.
When you’re set up with FBA, Amazon makes it easier than ever to ship your products internationally. They take care of all the legal side of it, and the fees aren’t too bad either. You’ll hear the term “emerging markets” thrown around when it comes to places like Brazil or India as the number of potential buyers grows with regional economies, but even places like Australia are relatively new to Amazon and have a ton of untapped demand. Don’t wait around!
Lightning Deals are short-term promotional offers where a product is featured for a limited time (usually 4 to 12 hours, depending on what Amazon chooses) on the Amazon Deals page. This can often help increase sales, and is a good way to clear inventory if you need to move your goods quickly.
If you’re new to selling on Amazon, you may just have one product going for you, and that’s perfectly fine. But if you have the resources and bandwidth to launch multiple products, try this: use all of the previous steps to get your product listing as optimized and visible as possible, and run some PPC campaigns. If one of your products is converting at a much higher rate than others, consider moving your investments more to that product. This strategy alone doesn’t increase sales per se, but it keeps you from putting all your eggs in one basket when it comes to selling a hit product.
The problem we all look forward to: having more sales than we can handle. As you scale up, you’ll find tons of ways to save time and money. It’s easy to understand and easy to forget, but profit comes just as much from cutting costs as it does from increasing revenue!
In the early days you won’t have quite as much wiggle room, but don’t wait too long to make these adjustments: more profit means greater ability to invest in new improvements. Plus, if you literally get more orders than you can fulfill, your brand image might suffer for it, and Amazon’s algorithms won’t like it either.
If you’re selling more than 40 items per month, there’s no reason not to do this. It costs $39.99 a month, and eliminates the $0.99 fee you normally have with each transaction. The savings add up quickly as you scale, but there are some other perks too, such as enhanced reporting features and some more selling options.
FBA, as opposed to Fulfillment By Merchant (FBM), lets Amazon take care of inventory and shipping for you. All you need to do is get your inventory to Amazon and they’ll take care of the rest, even handling packaging. You’ll pay some FBA fees to cover warehouse storage and shipping fees, though this often ends up being the cheaper option.
A huge benefit of FBA is how much of the legwork they take over, freeing you up to focus on more important things. If you haven’t figured out how to optimize international shipping yet, doing so can help you keep your costs low as you scale. Plus, using FBA makes you eligible for Prime Shipping, which is a huge incentive for customers to buy your product (products that are Prime-eligible have higher conversion rates than those that don’t).
If you don’t use FBA, make sure you have competitive and affordable shipping options, or else your sales may suffer. Read more about how to get your product from the factory to FBA, or about how to choose a freight forwarder.
One of the best parts of scaling (aside from that beautiful new cash flow) is the new opportunities for cost efficiency. Once you start moving more serious product, you’ll want to see where you can cut costs. A few cents saved in manufacturing may not seem like much, but it adds up quickly when you’re selling a lot.
Start by talking to your manufacturers about getting better deals on bulk orders without sacrificing the quality of your product or packaging. If you sell multiple items to the same customers, you might even benefit from some pre-bundled packaging.
Next, talk to your freight forwarders (remember them from above?) and see where you can save some cash from scaling up your shipping. Here’s a great start: most 40-foot freight containers cost only a little more than 20-foot containers (they’re about 1.33 times the cost, rather than double).
That’s twice as big a shipment for a marginal pricing difference. So once you start ordering enough to fill most of a 40-foot container, you should definitely make the switch. Many freight companies will give you the option to fill half the 40-foot container, then they’ll fill the rest with cargo from other suppliers.
Increasing your Amazon sales is one of the eternal struggles of merchants everywhere, but it’s not as mysterious as it seems. Now that you have a roadmap, and you know which tools can help you on the journey, you have everything you need to get out there and start selling. All you need to do is start.
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