Amazon Traffic Levels

Discussion in 'Ecommerce Forum' started by Gordon L, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Gordon L

    Gordon L UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Is there any way of understanding traffic levels on the UK amazon platform?

    Reason for asking is that I want to try to understand a recent downward blip in sales I, and many others, appear to have experienced on the platform. It will help me understand whether there is either a problem with my listings and ads, or that traffic is generally down versus August.

    I am in the gifting area, related to alcoholic spirits (gin) and as a relatively new seller (7 months) I don't have a annual picture on sales trends and so on. My products are highly seasonal (xmas) so i am a bit worried that something 'could' be going wrong, which I do not want to happen as we get towards christmas.

    Posted: Sep 21, 2019 By: Gordon L Member since: Jul 22, 2019
  2. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Amazon? Measure the traffic in millions.

    However that does not help you.
    Instead look at the page views. Look at where your items are in search results. Look at what competition you have.
    Are you using advertising? If so then look at ways of finding out what the result of your spend was - or even if your advertising has any effect on sales at all.
    Posted: Sep 21, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  3. Mister B

    Mister B UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Do you sell elsewhere apart from Amazon? And if so, do you have historical data that you can compare with? My own limited period in the gift market was that August/September sales were always pretty flat but people are researching for the Christmas season so take this quite time to optimise all of your listings. As Mr D says, check yout your page views and see if your rates of conversion have dipped, if so, did deeper to find out why.

    On the Amazon forums, there's lots of talk about changes to the algorithims and title requirements, but IMO, this talk needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. As soon as sales on Amazon ease off, there's a plethora of people who start a consipracy theory in an attempt at explaning the tail off of sales. We used to be one of those groups of people, (three years ago,) but we soon learnt that Amazon gets more competitive by the day and it's normally nothing to do with the way that Amazon run their site, but that increased competition leads to a reduction in sales. For this reason, you need to be on the money in all aspects. Whether that be product selection/quality, imagery, titles or description. Focus on your business and not what others do and it should bear fruit.

    FWIW instead of whining, we've used our time wisely. MTD we're 20% ahead of last year on Amazon, but I'm not naive enough to believe that this growth is sustainable.

    Good luck with it.

    Mister B
    Posted: Sep 24, 2019 By: Mister B Member since: Aug 31, 2007
  4. Gordon L

    Gordon L UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Dear @Mr D and @Mister B

    Thank you both.

    I think you are quite right about both the competition and also pages views and rankings, as well as the fact that Amazon gets busier by the day. In the last two weeks there has certainly been a lot of moaning, and I must admit I have joined in. However, it has given me a bit of a kick up the rear and the spur to re-look at my written content on the listings (again) and also to look at the photography on one of my lines, which I am not entirely comfortable with as I do not believe it shows off the product in the best way. Thankfully I have only 5star reviews, so the products have sound credibility.

    The photographer I use isn't cheap (£300 for a half day) but the quality is excellent and I can sleep soundly at night knowing that this is well taken care of. But I missed a trick in the last shoot and need to re-design the images for the 'not so good' listing to show it off better.

    I also notice that a competitor has come into the niche I am in, aggressively. What I can't believe is how much he is spending on cpc advertising (though he misses some of the important keywords), because as his product is similar to mine in style and price - and already at a similar ranking, a little below - I know what he needs to spend to maintain this and broadly what his rate of sale will be So I agree that it is correct to focus on my business, not his, so I can at least make some money. I am relaxed now, having spent most of the weekend working out why a new product with no reviews, can be positioned so highly on search. They are spending a fortune I believe, so I will leave them to it.

    You ask a good question, @Mister B in relation to other platforms. Yes, is the answer. I used an independent marketplace last xmas season and the results were excellent (up 5.7 times from august in November, and 10.3 x august sales in December). I barely kept up with it to be frank. I still use that marketplace, and sales are half on that platform than they were this time last year. However the internet as a whole has made the niche more competitive and thankfully Amazon is working for me.

    What do you think about the 7 day sales and also the black friday deals please, @Mister B ? I can participate in both of them, and as my product margin is decent, and we are going into the xmas season, I have signed up for a 7 day deal in two weeks on my best seller (the aim is to increase organic ranking and get additional sales (cost, £50)) and I am tempted with black friday too, though purely for the sales exposure.

    Do you think they are worthwhile exercises?

    Thanks a lot, I appreciate the input of you both, and indeed, this week already I have seen a sudden rise in sales. So it seems, I think, that xmas may be starting.

    Posted: Sep 24, 2019 By: Gordon L Member since: Jul 22, 2019
  5. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    From multiple years of black Friday, you get a boost in sales from more people buying on the site. You can decide to shift a load of stock at a cheap price if you want, depends what advantage to your business you can see from it. Amazon are quite happy for you to make a loss even.
    Posted: Sep 25, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  6. Mister B

    Mister B UKBF Ace Free Member

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    We've tried these a few times and to date, they've been pretty much a waste of time. (With the exception of one particular product last year,)

    As Mister D says, Amazon want the best price possible and don't give a monkey's if you make a loss on it. For the price you have to pay, (£50 per sku,) and the low price at which you need to sell the goods, in my opinion, unless you need to turn stock into cash quickly, it's not worth it. Although the deal may improve your organic rankings, if the product is already up there at the moment, I don't think that the benefits will be particularly worth the deal charge and loss of margin. You'll simply turn a lot of stock into cash for no profit. In my eyes, I prefer to sell at full margin and just make sure that nobody ever has a reason to chip me out of the best seller list. By this I mean that we're constantly revisiting and improving imagery, keywords etc. And never running out of stock.

    Mister B
    Posted: Sep 26, 2019 By: Mister B Member since: Aug 31, 2007
  7. crackerjackcommerce

    crackerjackcommerce UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Seller Central>Reports>Business Reports: By Date>Sales and Traffic

    We have been mainly up all year apart from the last few weeks, traffic has dropped. I know a lot of sellers on the forums are experiencing the same and there is good advice given above re: Amazon forums and search analysis.

    Generic giftware for us used to be September onwards but now it is much later, more like end November.

    Agree that competitive gets fiercer each year. The past two years or so have also seen a huge rise in sponsored ads which I feel do disrupt the market share.

    For Black Friday and Cyber Monday we have reduced prices using the sale feature, not a lightning deal or similar and we always do ok on those dates. I think it is because buyers are in a full on buying mode frenzy so we ride the wave.

    The sale prices we put on are not always big discount, but they are still genuine reduction and it gives the appearance of a sale deal, which it is, but not by a huge 30% +. We do not have that sort of margin to play with.

    Good luck though, it sounds like you have a good product and a good margin so Amazon could be very good for you. Also I would try FBA if you are not doing so already.
    Posted: Sep 26, 2019 By: crackerjackcommerce Member since: Aug 1, 2019
  8. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Good idea, having a sale at the time if orders are not quick enough.
    We generally don't, a few days of 20 hour days are enough without trying to get more sales. :)
    But the ability to do a 5% or 10% discount for a period of time rather than amazon wanting a fee to set up plus a 30% plus discount for the time they set...
    Ultimately businesses want to make money. Can't fault amazon for wanting to make more, can avoid getting less yourselves.

    If going FBA with stock for black Friday, now is the time to send it in. When amazon get busy they have been known to take weeks to process stock in. Literally dozens of trailers full of stock waiting to be unloaded at some centres.
    So get stuff sent in early enough. A 5 week delay to get processed in - which you find out only when your stuff is in the pile awaiting delivery - plus maybe a week to be transhipped across centres if amazon decide to...
    Not usually that bad. But it has happened more than once.

    Plan for the worst, work for the best outcome.
    Posted: Sep 26, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  9. Gordon L

    Gordon L UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    A belated thanks for your contributions above. Much appreciated indeed.

    Thank you.
    Posted: Oct 8, 2019 By: Gordon L Member since: Jul 22, 2019
  10. Gordon L

    Gordon L UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Can I ask the above, have you seen a drop in sales, or at least stagnation, in recent weeks? I have, across all my lines. Although gift / xmas related, they are in different niches and all have seen a decline in sales per day of late. I do understand from my suppliers that the market is a little quieter than normal in overall gifting and gift supplies at present.

    I'd be interested in anyone else's view/experiences.

    Thank you.
    Posted: Oct 9, 2019 By: Gordon L Member since: Jul 22, 2019
  11. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    We are in gifts area.
    Overall we are seeing growth, however part of that is due to getting a ton of extra stuff in past 2 months and increasing range of stock by about 30%. Not all Christmas stuff, we add in stuff for other times too.
    Its about another 6 weeks before we usually start to see the sales take off - late November. Then black Friday to probably around 17th of December, call it 3 weeks, will do a large chunk of annual sales.
    Then drop off as posting dates for Christmas get close. Still sell some, not everyone needs stuff in time for Christmas.
    Posted: Oct 9, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  12. Gordon L

    Gordon L UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Thanks @Mr D . I am finding that learning how amazon works is akin to a slow form of torture. I find myself jumping in and out of the seller forums, FBA facebook groups, FBA podcasts, seller university). When something goes wrong (or when I perceive something goes wrong) I am not sure whether it is something I need to fix, or not! An example is few days of bad sales, which makes me very jumpy, but it does focus the mind on optimisation and imagery, and keywords, and PPC.

    I do, if you don't mind, have a question about 'tinkering' I have been doing a lot of this lately in all respects, with my man products. I have changes titles, imagery, keywords and been playing around with PPC to try to reduce spend inefficiency. Daily, in fact.

    Does this have an impact, do you think, on discoverability, visibility and rankings? Or not? If so, is is best to leave changes for a few days to see what happens?

    Thank you again

    Posted: Oct 9, 2019 By: Gordon L Member since: Jul 22, 2019
  13. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    I used any quiet times to buy & list more stock or fiddle about with the listings.
    When using the PPC advertising keep a very close eye on useage and results. Drop any keywords that cost money but don't give orders, and keep note of what you try.

    Sometimes its simply adding more details to a product page that improves things. If you've seen the duplicate listings for some items you may notice some are very detailed and some very lacking?
    I like to think some buyers appreciate the detail. In fact online can do rather more than the supermarkets and big shops do. They don't have the time or often even the knowledge of the stock to be able to give the details in full.

    The rankings are affected by multiple factors. Sales and reviews are the big things, its getting noticed to get the sales when using a poor product page or a new page.
    Posted: Oct 9, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  14. Gordon L

    Gordon L UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Thanks @Mr D .

    I really hope you don't mind yet another question. I am not going to do Black Friday, having considered yours and others' advice above. What I have instead done with a line upon which I am particularly focused, is reduce normal pricing for a st period/units sold (whichever comes first) in order to help develop its organic ranking. Although already quite high, I want to get a bit more oomph behind it. (for your information, my repertoire on Amazon is 7 lines, so I am sure considerably smaller than your presence!)

    However, I do worry about the lead tomes for Stock going into the xmas season. When is the 'last safe moment' do you believe, for sending items into the warehouses, for December Stock?

    I am on top of stock at present, for what I believe I can achieve in November, but a bit worried, if sales do go beyond expectations, about refreshing stock levels in late November for December. I see that in the main, my stock is being processed inwards quite quickly (stock I sent this Monday t Coventry Warehouse was made available yesterday, which was very quick.

    I'll take no offence if you are finding me asking too many questions. Happy to get a bottle of something over to you for your advice!
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: Gordon L Member since: Jul 22, 2019
  15. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Based on previous years, last time to send stock I would say is sometime in early September.
    Seriously they have had up to 6 weeks delay plus then shift things to another centre, delaying things another week or two.
    They get bogged down with incoming deliveries they have trailer units dropped in the car park until they get round to them.
    Things vary by centre - some are better than others at times. Amazon taking on thousands of temps does not help in the short term while they are learning.

    I only have a couple of dozen lines at FBA and will not be adding more this year. Much of what I do is unsuitable or problematic for Amazon.
    Plus a chunk of my stock has been for sale FBA and not sold enough.
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  16. Gordon L

    Gordon L UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Thanks @Mr D

    I'm now a trifle worried about getting stock in, I suppose I will have to 'hope and pray'.

    Thank you and on a personal note I would like to say thank you to you,very much, for taking trouble and time to respond. Hugely appreciated indeed, your helps has been entirely useful and constructive.
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: Gordon L Member since: Jul 22, 2019
  17. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Odds are your stock goes in without much delay.
    Just a few of the centres experience delays and stuff gets stuck awaiting unloading - its like driving to local city. May get caught in a traffic delay, may not - circumstances outside your control and you take your chances on it not taking too long.
    November in run up to black Friday of course you expect delays. So probably the time to avoid most (like rush hour in towns and cities).
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  18. Mister B

    Mister B UKBF Ace Free Member

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    FWIW, our FBA shipments are normally sent to BX4 and are currently being received and processed within 24 hours. I don't expect this to last for long we enter Q4 processing times of up to four weeks are not unheard of.

    To combat this, our replenishment alerts are set at six weeks. As soon as we hit December 1, we'll spin these down to four weeks and as we move into January, we'll drop them down to three, maybe even two weeks cover.

    In answer to your question though, we're currently tracking 30% above last year. But we are in a better stock position this year. We're not resting on our laurels though, we have a constant cycle of checking listings and are always looking to improve.

    And don't forget that there is life beyond Amazon, work on other selling channels as well. The Amazon bubbble won't last for long.

    Mister B
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: Mister B Member since: Aug 31, 2007
  19. Gordon L

    Gordon L UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    Thank you. This is a much better forum, for grown up information, than the amazon seller forum. Again,. I appreciate your help very much; and wish you both the very best for 'the season'.
    Posted: Oct 10, 2019 By: Gordon L Member since: Jul 22, 2019