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“A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet,” wrote William Shakespeare, meaning that a person’s name has little bearing on the image they present. It’s a nice concept, but we’ll soon see that it doesn’t apply at all to pricing. It not only matters a great deal what your price is, but also how you present your price. For instance, did you know that the presence or absence of a comma in an item that costs more than a grand has a noticeable effect on the buyer’s mindset? RepricerExpress takes a look at this, as well as other Amazon pricing strategies, so keep reading to learn what you can use to vault you to the next level on Amazon and your other channels.
How Easily Do Your Prices Roll Off the Tongue?
Just because we like pop quizzes so much, here’s a quick one for you. Of the prices listed below, can you rank them in order of most to least favourable in terms of what customers prefer?
They dislike the top one the most because it takes the longest to say—implying they have more time to focus on how much the item actually costs—and like the bottom one the best because it takes the least time to say. The extra syllables in the price, even though each one is the same, makes the product feel more expensive to buyers and is something they’ll shy away from.
Don’t Hit Them All At Once
If you’ve ever gone in to buy a car or house, you know that the sticker price is a hard one to swallow. Few people have the financial means to pay for either with cash in pocket, as each one runs into the tens of thousands.
If you’re selling high-priced items on Amazon, one great pricing strategy you can use is to break up the price so it’s more palatable. For instance, if you’re selling something like an HDTV or MacBook Pro, one way you can put buyers’ minds at ease is to tell them what it’d cost each month. You still have to list the actual price on your Amazon page, but once they get in, letting them know it’ll only be X amount each month makes the final price a lot easier to bear.
How Do Your Prices Grow?
In the first point, we talked about how to break up the syllabicity of your prices so they feel cheaper to buyers, but did you know, regardless of that, it makes a difference of what the last digit is?
Quantitative Marketing and Economics found that if you list your price ending in a “9”, you’ll have much better luck selling it, even if it costs a little more. What’s interesting to note is if you introduce a sale price on your product, then that trumps the “9” ending.
But—and this is where you should be taking notes—if you introduce “9” into the sale price, as in “Usually costs $100 but now on sale for $79”, buyers will react to it more positively than if you listed it for a slightly cheaper price that doesn’t end in a “9”. Just something to consider.
Bundle, Bundle, Bundle
Customers love when they can get certain items for cheaper, but you can always just knock a few dollars off each product and still keep a healthy bottom line. Repricing will help a little with this, but you should still be using other strategies.
One of our personal favourites is bundling, the concept where you little pieces the shopper would normally buy, package it together, and reduce the overall cost as compared to what it’d be if everything was purchased separately.
Have you ever built your own bicycle? If you have, you know that buying the tyres, frame, handlebars, gears, derailleur, brakes and everything else amounts to more than if you’d just purchased the bicycle as an already-assembled unit. This is a more seamless version of bundling, but the idea’s still the same: offer to bundle features together for a lower overall cost, which will make your buyer very happy. You’ll also be very happy, too, because you’ve just sold more items than you initially thought.
At RepricerExpress, we’re always on the hunt for neat ways you can improve your seller status on Amazon and get one step closer to your goal of another Buy Box. It’s pretty cool to be able to show off your Buy Boxes on your figurative Amazon mantle, and these pricing strategies are an excellent way of getting there. Another strategy you should be using is repricing so your shoppers know they’re always getting the most competitive price. Try our repricing software today for a 15-day free trial.
Profits are the single most important thing that dictate the direction of your ecommerce business. Have a healthy profit margin, and you can continue to grow and expand. Have a meagre one, and you’ll be forced into a corner of making survival, not thriving, decisions. RepricerExpress takes a look at seven ways you can boost your ecommerce profits, with some achievable in less than a day.
1. Use the ‘KISS’ Method
You’ve no doubt heard of the ‘KISS’ method: keep it simple, sweetie. Many merchants tend to overcomplicate matters greatly, whether it’s by designing a web page that’s cluttered and hard to follow or loading their inventory with too great a selection. Identify what it is that’s the essence of your business and build out from there. If you’re selling teddy bears, then you can probably cut the dinnerware and electronics from your line. And in terms of navigation and shopping, give buyers as few clicks as absolutely necessary to actually purchase a product.
2. Settle on a Dominant Colour
When designing your website, appearance matters a whole lot. But instead of complicated code talk and placement of buttons, focus on colour for a second. In interior design, it’s a well known maxim to have one dominant colour in a room with one accent colour, plus little splashes of complementary colours that add an energetic boost. Say your dominant colour is orange, which gives the impression of energy, youthfulness and vitality. Your accent colours can be the following: white, for a really clean aesthetic; brown, for a classic and complementary appearance; green, for a fresh and outdoorsy look; and even turquoise, for the truly daring and innovative.
3. Stay Away From Cheap Site Templates
There’s a reason why some site templates are priced very cheaply, or even free: they look it. Using one of these templates tells the world that you couldn’t be bothered to spend more than a minute or two on your website and took the laziest way out. Although it may sting a bit, shell out for a fancy template or to even have it custom designed. After all, you’ll be paying once for the design but reaping profits a lot longer than that.
4. Ignore the Price Wars Around You
There are several stores in the world that have made super low prices their calling cards. It’s attractive because buyers strongly respond to that, the stores continue to make huge profits, and it seems like everyone wins. Except they don’t. There’s no way you as a single merchant can ever compete with them, so don’t even look down that alleyway. Instead, focus on traits like quality, customer service, customer retention, prompt delivery and competitive pricing. Having the lowest price will get you noticed, but it won’t create the kind of lasting impressions you want it to.
5. Create a Unique Customer Experience
While there are a lot of factors outside of your control, one thing you can keep within your grasp is what your buyers experience. Do you have a live chat in place so they can get their queries answered right away? How about an extensive FAQ section or quick email response time otherwise? Are you able to chat with them in multiple languages, or just English? As well, remember it’s an inevitability that you’ll get complaints, but how you deal with them doesn’t have to define you for the worse.
6. Consider Your Return Policy
No matter how awesome your products are, there’ll always be that one person who’s not happy with them. It happens and you won’t want to give money back, but it’s a smart idea to do so. Not only does it reassure your buyer that they can get a second chance in the online world, but it tells everyone you’re the kind of seller who’s supremely confident in their inventory and isn’t afraid to accept a return or two. Think of it from the shopper’s point of view: they’re taking a big risk in buying something without being able to touch it and feel it, so the least you can do is have a return policy in place just in case things don’t work out.
7. Use Higher-Priced Items to Cement a Reputation of High Quality
There’s a reason why such a big population adamantly sticks to Starbucks instead of getting corner store coffee: they perceive it to be of a much higher quality and are willing to pay for it. And while it’s true that Starbucks coffee is generally of a higher quality than what you’d find in your corner store, it’s not so great that it warrants costing three or four times as much. But yet, people go. You can introduce the idea of higher quality in your store with a few items that are priced higher than other merchants, but you need to couple this with superior customer service to make it work.
We sort of alluded to a tip that can also boost your ecommerce profits, and that’s repricing competitively. Buyers want to see that your prices are in line with everyone else’s and the easiest way of doing that is with RepricerExpress. All you have to do is sign up today for your 15-day free trial, making it the tip that takes the least amount of time to implement.GKB likes this.
One of the biggest questions we here at RepricerExpress deal with is, should you offer free shipping and returns? Countless merchants grapple with this issue and its benefits or consequences — should they eat the small extra cost to lure in more buyers, or just work it into the final price? Spoiler alert: we’re in favour of it, but read on to find out why.
Dream Come True for Buyers
Think of all the times you ever shopped online and were on the fence about purchasing a product. It seemed pretty cool and at a good price, but what if the item you returned was defective or not quite as advertised? Something that could tip the purchase in your favour was the promise of free shipping.
Now insert this hypothetical scenario into the minds of each and every one of your buyers, and you’ve got an accurate idea of just how powerful the lure of free shipping is. It is, quite literally, a deal maker or breaker for most of your buyers, a tool that can either convince them to go ahead and splurge a little or to find another merchant who can provide free shipping.
Mind you, free shipping may not always be practical or possible, but when it is, here’s how to implement it without your profit margin taking a huge hit.
Figure Out Which Items Can Handle Free Shipping
Most merchants choose to set some sort of limit on their free shipping promise, whether it’s by using a price or item number threshold, offering it to just domestic purchases so there are no foreign custom taxes or fees, or raising the cost of all items a tad to cover the free shipping.
When free shipping is involved, one party invariably has to pay for it, but the trick is to make it seem like it’s manna that fell out of the heavens. If you deal in low-priced trinkets, having free shipping on any number of items isn’t the best business practice, and neither is raising the price of all items (they’re low-priced for a reason and there are certain products people won’t pay more for). In this case, you’ll probably have to implement a price or item number threshold to make free shipping worth it.
Likewise, if you sell really heavy or large-sized items, free shipping may pose a financial risk to you. You’ll have to look at techniques and tricks where neither you nor your buyer have to shoulder a burdensome load. But if free shipping just isn’t a possibility, then here are two alternatives where you can still win over your buyers.
Forego Free Shipping for a Shipping Calculator
Shoppers are savvy enough to know not everything will always go their way; when that happens, what they want most is honesty and transparency. If you can’t provide free shipping, what you can do — that’ll score major brownie points — is to be straight up with them and say exactly how much it’ll cost.
You can implement a real-time shipping calculator on your site where buyers can choose which shipping method they want based on how much it’ll cost them. There are no surprises, as they’re getting the information straight from the horse’s mouth and get to maintain control over the method and cost. Plus, buyers will also see you’re not trying to hose them and instead are trying to be as honest and transparent as possible.
If you don’t want to go that route, you can put in a flat shipping rate yourself. It’ll mean a tad more work for yourself because you’ll have to calculate how much different packages and weights ship for, then select the average based on that. This can be tricky because you’ll need to take into account which of your items sell best, and then come up with that magic number that’s as close to the button as possible. You may end up being a smidgen over or under, but it’ll average out by the end.
Free shipping or not, one factor that can make a huge difference in the profits and buyers you can be proud of is RepricerExpress. Our repricing software will work magic with your prices so you can continue to leap ahead of competitors, giving you precious time to work on the really important things in business. And to make things even easier for you, all you have to do is click your way to your 15-day free trial and sign up now.
* This article first appeared on RepricerExpresscarkgriswold likes this.
A Rundown of FBA in 100 Words or Less
You pay a little fee each month and in return, Amazon takes care of packing and shipping your orders. You send your inventory to Amazon so that every time you get a sale, they send pickers through their warehouse to select the product and send it to its new owner. If anything goes wrong with the order or delivery, Amazon takes care of things. They also offer help in the way of 24/7 customer support in the languages of the marketplaces it sells in and provide tracking information.
Having said all that, let’s now take a look at what the advantages and disadvantages of FBA are.
Advantages of FBA
Frees Up Time: You can’t put a price tag on having time to grow your business and focus on strengthening it.
Storage Space: It’s entirely taken care of, and you don’t have to worry about stepping over boxes to reach your bed or kitchen.
Reputation: Amazon’s got a solid name and buyers trust it. When you back up your line with Amazon, you increase your chances of landing a sale.
Shipping Protocols: Don’t want to hassle yourself with complicated customs regulations and shipping practices? You don’t even have to make it a whisper of a thought.
Amazon Prime: FBA translates into automatic qualification for Amazon Prime, which your Amazon Prime buyers will be very happy about.
Returns: Amazon will take care of all of that for you, from talking to the buyer to sending them a new product.
Sell Volume: The FBA fees, along with Amazon’s commission, may seem like it’s hard to get a profit — until you see just how much more your sell rate has increased.
Listings: Yup, you can use other people’s listings for your own, adding even more time saved by using FBA.
Money-making Tips: Bundle and multipack your items for even bigger profits.
Disadvantages of FBA
Cost: FBA isn’t free, and can eat up your profit margin if you sell large, heavy and/or inexpensive items.
Co-mingling: Your inventory is sorted by like, and the product that goes to your buyer may not necessarily be the one you sent Amazon.
Order Volume: It can be tricky to ascertain how full you need to keep your inventory, particularly around busy times like holidays.
Control: You give up a lot of it because Amazon packs and ships their way, so you don’t get to suss out cheaper materials or routes.
Sending to Amazon: You have to follow very specific ways of sending your inventory to Amazon, like labelling products individually.
Competition: We don’t want to say you’ll have to start sleeping with one eye open, but you should definitely be aware of Amazon cutting into your potential revenue.
Part-Time vs. Full-Time: If selling on Amazon is your sole occupation, it can pay off to use FBA. But if you’re a casual seller, then the costs may cut into your profit margin too much.
Patience: It may take time to see a profit, and the trial-and-error period — where you may be in the hole for a while — can be uncomfortable to bear.
What to Sell? Market research is necessary to know what the efficient-selling items are — and which ones to steer clear of.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if FBA is worth it or not. However, one choice that never requires any second thought is going with RepricerExpress. Competitively pricing your items is one of the fastest, easiest ways to improve your sell rate and put more profit in your pockets. Don’t let another minute go to waste and sign up for your 15-day free trial now.
George Ilincuta likes this.
Whist customers on Amazon can add products to their shopping cart in various ways, the most widely used is via the ‘Add to Shopping Cart’ button, often referred to as the Buy Box. Having your listing placed in the Amazon Buy Box will certainly increase your sales of that product, but with only one Buy Box available to win for any product detail page, just how can you increase your chances of winning the elusive blue box?
Are you Eligible to Win the Buy Box?
Your eligibility to win the Buy Box is tied to your performance as a seller and when you consistently exceed Amazon’s standards you’ll obtain the Featured Merchant Status, which is also a prerequisite to becoming eligible for winning the Buy Box. As Amazon sell on their marketplace too, they expect sellers to live up to their reputation for excellent customer service, value for money and delivery.
Factors for the Buy Box
- Featured Merchant Status — How trustworthy you are based on past account history.
- Price — Your low total price including shipping.
- Availability — Can you quickly and consistently fulfil orders?
- Volume — Do you consistently sell many of the product?
- Refunds — Have you a low refund rate?
- Customer Feedback — Do you have low negative feedback?
- A to Z Guarantee Claims — How often do you get returns (Low A to Z claims)?
- Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) — if you choose Amazon to fulfil your orders then Amazon will heavily promote its FBA sellers and only substantial price differences will push FBA sold merchandise out of the Buy Box.
Well, with all things being equal, it’s likely your competitors are doing the very same thing so you need to get a competitive edge…
Getting the Competitive Edge
- Keep enough inventory in stock. If you’re out of stock, you simply can’t win the Buy Box.
- Customer service, customer service. Ship fast, keep customers happy and respond super quick to any queries or complaints. Multichannel solutions like SellerExpress can ensure you keep inventory management, listings and order processing within one easy-to-use system to help you be the best seller possible.
- Keep your pricing competitive — by repricing your inventory continually with solutions like RepricerExpress, you can stay ahead of the competition. You can choose to beat FBA, the Buy Box and competitors against specific conditions that suit your business. And because an intelligent repricing solution like RepricerExpress is fully automated you can set it up with your minimum and maximum prices and let it run on its own, ensuring you are in total control of your margins and profits.
Learn how Amazon repricing works to help you increase sales and beat your competition
Much confusion surrounds how the Amazon repricing process works, so we’ve created this simplified infographic to explain all—when repricing occurs, how long it takes and the limitations of Amazon’s Subscriptions API, which is the most up-to-date way Amazon has provided for getting pricing and seller information from its marketplaces.
Download and Reference
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*This article first appeared on RepricerExpress
One of the most dangerous things you can do as an ecommerce merchant is settling on something that works and never changing it. Being static is one of the most surefire paths to failure, as you can bet your competitors are constantly keeping their eyes out for the next trend that’ll benefit them. But with a little help from RepricerExpress, you can improve your webstore product pages so that you’re always getting the best out of the information around you.
1. Use Professional Photos
You don’t have to be a Patti Smith or Ansel Adams with your camera. All you have to do is remember things like:
- Shoot against a white or neutral background
- Set your camera to high resolution instead of low
- Balance your camera on something (i.e. tripod, table) to reduce/eliminate camera shake
- Move in close to highlight important details and features
- Experiment with dynamic angles instead of always shooting straight on
- Work with casting the light on from the side instead of from directly behind you
- Divide your subject and scene into thirds
Photos are great, yes, but they’re still and don’t tell as much information as a short video does. Not everyone has that fantastic spatial ability to rotate an image in their heads and picture how it’s used, so connect the missing dots with a video. Show your buyers what something looks like from different angles, how it’s used, the level of durability it has and any other special tweaks or benefits.
3. Have a Special Section Just For Reviews
You can tell your buyers everything you know about a product, but it’ll still be biased information because you have a vested interest in it. But when you balance it with real reviews from real people, then shoppers get a more accurate idea of what that product is actually like.
4. Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
To paraphrase the saying ‘if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well’, you need to be able to inform your buyers of your business in a matter of seconds. All you have is a brief snapshot of time in which to tell shoppers what you sell and why they should trust you, so streamline your website to the point that you only need three seconds to get your message across.
5. Check Your Copy for Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
Spelling — when words appear the same as they are in dictionaries. Grammar — when they follow the rules of a particular language. You should never ignore one (or both!), as that’ll make your copy come off as amateurish. Take the time to reread what you’ve written, Google anything you’re even the least bit unsure about, and have a fresh set of eyes proof it when you’re done. Really, one of the worst things you can do for yourself is not having your writing adhere to a basic level of competency.
6. Show, Don’t Tell
Know why Hemingway is considered one of the greatest writers of all time? He just about nearly eliminated all adjectives from his writing so that his stories show as much as possible. He didn’t waste time fluffing things up; Hemingway arranged words into sentences that were punchy and showed exactly what was going on. Give yourself the same writing exercise of eliminating adjectives and see just how much your copy improves.
7. Know Who Your Audience Is
Selling expensive wristwatches? Use elegant language that speaks to a mature demographic. In the market of selling sports equipment? Use shorter sentences with more current lingo. Have an inventory of children’s products? Use bright words and tell parents how it’ll make their lives easier whilst enriching the lives of their children. You never want to use the same kind of tone across the board, but rather address each market as specifically as possible.
8. Remember That Less is More
If you’re ever in doubt of how to design the layout to improve your webstore product page, err on the side of minimalism. Imagine yourself walking into two rooms:
- Room 1 has white walls, white floor and white ceiling. There’s one table with two chairs around it, and a red box on top.
- Room 2 looks like a teenager’s room with clothes on the floor and unmade bed, walls filled with posters, a desk covered in small knickknacks and accessories, an open closet that’s filled with clothes, curtains half-pulled across the window and the same red box in the middle of the room.
9. Put Your Contact Information in an Easy-to-Spot Place
The bigger your business, the more you’ll be contacted, whether it’s queries, complaints or compliments. You’ll obviously want to avoid the middle one as much as possible but it’s inevitable that you’ll hear from people. However, if you put your contact information in a super visible spot, you’ll be giving the impression of transparency, which is something that all shoppers love. They want to know that you’re being forthright and upfront with them — two qualities especially important in the online world, where buyers have to make a bigger leap of faith with you than they would if shopping in person.
10. Make Everything Fast and Easy to Load
Remember the days of dial up when trying to do something like watch a video was just so silly because of how long it’d take to load? Yeah, that problem still hasn’t gone away with the addition of high-speed internet. Unfortunately, pages and images and text still take a while to load, which really hurts your chances of improving your webstore product page efficiency. Do things like:
- Compress your images so users aren’t waiting forever to see what your products look like. You can either reduce the size of your images or use something like JPEG Mini to accomplish this.
- Use an Apache module like mod_pagespeed to decrease latency and bandwidth (or, in other words, make your pages load faster).
- Regularly monitor the plugins you’re using and whether there’s something more efficient you can install instead.
- Cache on a regular basis to avoid overload
- Eliminate all unnecessary scripts. Usually, this comes in the way of duplicate scripts, but you can also move scripts to external spaces to make pages load faster.
- Get rid of any whitespace in your source code, using something like an HTML optimiser if necessary.
* This article originally appeared on RepricerExpress
As an Amazon seller, you’re fairly used to things going in a linear fashion: set up an account, upload your listings, draw in customers and their orders, and then package and ship items to them. Until, one day it doesn’t — you log on to find out your Amazon account has been suspended. It’s a message no merchant wants to see, and yet it happens regularly. RepricerExpress takes an up-to-date look at why your account has been suspended and what you can do to get it back.
Reasons for Suspension
Amazon is far from being a perfect system, as it’s so big that occasionally mistakes slip through the cracks. But for the most part, they use algorithms to notify them when the following has taken place:
- Performance: When you first start out selling on Amazon, there are certain benchmarks you have to meet. If they feel you’ve been lagging, then they may suspend your account. This is to keep the marketplace competitive and not full of names who say they sell but don’t actually use the site.
- Violation: Any time you join any organisation you yourself didn’t start, there are always going to be certain rules and regulations you have to abide by. Amazon has theirs, and you showed an understanding of this when you signed up. If you broke these rules (either once or repeatedly, depending on the rule and severity), Amazon will suspend your account.
- Restricted Products: As an example, it’s a bit of a no-no to sell things like ivory or prescription medication on Amazon. They tend to frown on those sorts of items in their marketplaces, and you can guess that your account will be suspended if they’re linked back to you.
What Steps to Take Next
The great thing about Amazon is they understand what it’s like to be an everyday merchant. They may not have the time nor the staff to sit down and chat with you over a coffee, but there are many steps you can take depending on which infraction has gotten your account suspended.
If it’s a violation-based suspension…then your obvious first step will be to take those items out of your inventory, post-haste. They can’t have you shipping ivory across country and continental lines, so make sure to take a look at what Amazon’s selling policies are and what you can and can’t sell.
If it’s a performance-based suspension…then you’ll need to examine why you’ve been lagging in this department. Do your packages regularly arrive after the date you said they’d be there? It may be time to re-examine your shipping process or go with Fulfilment by Amazon if you truly can’t handle both growing your business and taking care of the shipping side of it. Do your orders have a high defect rate? A good place to start sniffing around would be how you handle your inventory.
Show Amazon What You’re Capable of With an Action Plan
As we mentioned before, Amazon’s pretty good about hearing you out if you want to appeal your suspension, but you have to show them you really mean business. You’ll need to assemble an action plan that outlines you not only understand why your account was suspended, but what steps you’ll be taking to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It’s a good time to be as specific as possible and include some of the following general examples.
- If it’s a matter of not being able to get to your deliveries on time, tell Amazon how you have staff specially designated for orders alone and how your orders will all get taken care of each day. And because Amazon has a tier of shipping options, you’ll also want to mention how you’ll be triaging the orders to make sure expedited or Prime orders get out on time.
- If customers have repeatedly said you ignore their questions or complaints, Amazon will want to know how you’ll rectify this. They have customer support services available that can do this for you if you want to avail yourself of them, or you can just tell Amazon the details of how you’ll be getting back to customers (e.g. what time-frame, how you’ll handle different languages, etc.)
- If your order defect rate is high, it’s because you had a high pre-fulfilment cancellation rate that precipitated it. One of the biggest issues surrounding this is how you manage your stock, so be explicit in telling Amazon the steps you’ve taken to better control your inventory.
- If you’re selling items that are on Amazon’s do-not-sell list, then take them off right away. This is a non-negotiable and not open to any grey area, as they have to abide by many different laws, the likes of which trump what you may want to do as a merchant. If your supplier is giving you shady goods, like bootleg DVDs or counterfeit material, it’s a good time to start looking for another supplier (and also telling that to Amazon).
RepricerExpress understands how difficult it can be to be an Amazon merchant: you’ve got so much to worry about as a business owner that keeping track of everything can sometimes get the better of you. This post has taken care of one possible scenario, while our repricing software can tend to another. Once you’ve got your Amazon account back on the path you want, check out our free 15-day trial to see what new heights you can reach for.
* This article originally appeared on RepricerExpress
We here at RepricerExpress have written plenty about the importance of SEO and all the different components you need to focus on, but sometimes it helps to have a little checklist to refer to. The crux of the message can get lost in tome upon tome, so we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the most important points to follow when it comes to SEO and keyword research for Amazon sellers.
1. Target Your SEO to Your Audience
It’s easy to think of SEO as having a one-size-fits-all feel, but different search engines demand different things. What works for Google may not necessarily be in the same order as for Amazon, so remember when you’re working on your SEO as an Amazon seller to target that specific audience. The biggest difference is that with Amazon, you have to be far more detailed than you would on Google.
2. Know What Your Amazon Audience is Searching For
Putting together a list of general keywords is easy; it involves things like ‘books’, ‘DVDs’, ‘clothing’, ‘Kindle’, and the like. In other words, it’s the broadest definition of the type of product you’re selling. And it’s also what’s going to water down your SEO ranking because all your competitors will be doing the same. Instead, come up with tiers of keywords based on your research that narrow down the scope, like ‘Kindle Fire HD’, ‘Blu-Ray’, ‘men’s hoodies’ and ‘first edition books’.
3. Adhere to Amazon’s SEO Structure
Amazon has a very specific way they want their sellers to input information for their own search engine, and you’d do very well to follow it to the letter. In a way, it’s easier than formulating your SEO for Google because Amazon’s already done their own research. They want certain types of words and phrases that’ll result in conversions because their main aim is to sell products, so give them what they want. Having said that, it’s important to remember to…
4. Write Compelling, Unique Copy
Once you’ve filled in the first part of things on Amazon — the formulaic part — it’s time to get a little creative. Remember, yourtop goal is to convert hits into sales, so write the kind of copy that will do that. If you’re feeling stuck, tell your buyershowthe product will work for them rather than simply describing it. Put the product in the consumer’s life and soon, it really will be there.
5. Fill In As Much Information As Possible
There’s no reason why any of the information fields should be blank — ever. If a manufacturer made it, then the information is out there. And ifyoumade it, then you already know all the information. Empty fields means a risk of shoppers accidentally skipping over your listing because you haven’t told them you’ve got what they’re looking for.
6. Differentiate Between Keywords and Longtail Keywords
The only thing you have to remember here are longtail keywords are a string of three or more keywords. That’s at its simplest, though. If you need motivation on why they’re so important, keep in mind that they make up almost three-quarters of searches online. And the more searches you have, the better your odds of converting.
7. Tailor Your Keywords According to Competitiveness
In this instance, we’re not talking about the sellers you’re competing with — or at least, not directly. Instead, keywords are competing against one another out there and your job is to break away from the pack a little bit. The best case scenario is hitting upon keywords that are high in search volume and low in competition and finding them is a bit like practising your basketball skills until you can sink more shots than not. It takes mostly patience and persistence in uncovering them, and also a bit of luck. Speaking of competition…
8. Ignore Your Competitors
In the case of SEO, it’s best to put on a pair of blinders and forge ahead. No two Amazon sellers are exactly alike and measuring yourself by another’s standards isn’t the best way to go. Of course, you want to be generally in the know about what your competitors are doing,particularly on price, but it’s a far better idea to spend that time developing your own SEO strategies.
9. Be Consistent
The key is to strike that nice balance between getting the formula down and still being unique and creative. As we mentioned before in previous points, Amazon has their own way of designing their search engine and what information ranks highest, but you want to temper that with good copy. At the end of the day, don’t stray too far in one direction or another and use essentially the same approach. For example, your product titles should always have the same order of keywords, regardless of the variation; in the product description, you can make the product come alive.
Phew, seems like a lot, eh? Don’t let yourself feel bogged down or overwhelmed. Use what time you have productively and put some effort daily into your SEO. To make your listings even more visible, it’s crucial you have the right repricing software in use to keep your prices competitive—and there’s no quicker way to charge up the search results than to have your prices adjusting 24/7. All you have to do issign up today for your 15-day free trial.
To the uninterested, Pinterest has seemed like the domain of single girls curating their future weddings, and Instagram the result of a smartphone-generation with too much time on their hands. Neither is quite true, of course, and RepricerExpress takes a look at these two sites from a different perspective: how you can boost online sales with the two.
Start Off with Rich Pins for a Great First Impression
Just about anyone with the vaguest notion of what Pinterest is knows what pins are, but rich pins take it several steps further. Instead of just having a picture of something on your wall, a rich pin adds in a lot more detail about that object. Pinterest has five different kinds of rich pins, each with its own subsection of extra information.
- Article pins: Under the picture, pinners can see the article headline, author and brief description of your story. This is excellent if you want to share relevant information with your buyers, especially if you’ve written your own post.
- Movie pins: You can show off some of your favourite movies here, with rich pin info including actors, ratings and reviews. This is especially useful if you sell entertainment-related items, most notably movies and/or TV shows.
- Place pins: With this pin, you can ‘pin’-point (sorry for the pun!) a location with a map, address and phone number. Good if you want to highlight your own adjunct shop, work with other merchants in terms of providing a fleshed-out inventory, or simply highlight areas of importance related to your product line.
- Recipe pins: Exactly as it sounds — you’ll be listing the ingredients and directions needed to make certain dishes, and is handy if you’re selling items like cookware or baking tools.
- Product pins: We saved this one for last because it’s by far the most important on the list. This is where Pinterest really blurs the boundaries between what it usually does and what online stores do, with pictures of your product displaying real time pricing, availability and where to buy. Plus, because we know you faithfully reprice your merchandise with RepricerExpress, the product pin will also alert pinners when your items have decreased in cost so they can jump on it right away. Just make sure you link to the product page so people can actually buy it.
Like it or not, Instagram has followed in Twitter’s footsteps by using hashtags. They’re a quick and easy way to centralise posts and photos — but only if you do it right. No doubt you’ve come across tweets that #have #hashtags #after #every #word or more hashtagged words/phrases than are in the actual tweet. It’s annoying and shows the person tweeting doesn’t have a good grasp on the subtleties of Twitter.
Sites like Websta or Populgram will tell you what the most popular hashtags are right now, but you’ll still have to add on your own knowledge and experience to make it work. This is when your own keyword research, combined with a hashtag relevance site like IconoSquare, can help you come up with a list of hashtags that are both relevant to your business and will help connect you with like-minded shoppers.
Pin Quality Over Quantity
Sure, we know that the more pins you put up, the likelier your business is of getting noticed. But just because you throw a bunch of pins out there doesn’t necessarily they’ll be landing with the right audiences. If you ignore these tips, your pins could very well be disappearing into the ether.
- Keep faces out of images and watch your posts get repinned 23% more
- Try to keep your background (whitespace) to under 30%
- Stay away from very dark or very light colours, choosing instead to go with bright dominant colours so you can get repinned at 3.25 times the normal rate
- If stuck on choosing a colour, opt for red over blue. And if you can toss a bit of orange and brown in there as well, go for it.
- Choose taller pictures (i.e. 800 vertical and up) for best results and don’t skimp on the width either (600-736 horizontal)
Now that you’ve read this far and implemented these practices, you’ll have to see which ones work best and which ones need a bit more time. We’ve tried to include fairly universal tips on how to increase ecommerce sales with Pinterest and Instagram, but they’ll work a little differently on each seller. This is when you should be looking closely at your metrics and analysing the stats to see just where you’ve struck gold. And don’t be too hasty! Give each new move a month before deciding it’s just not working out.
Sellers sign up on Amazon because they fall into one of two categories: they have a couple of loose odds and ends they want to turn into money, or they’re looking to start a full-time business in the online world. If you fall into the latter category, RepricerExpress has learned of four areas that may be affecting your bottom line.
1. Not Understanding How Shipping Works
No doubt you’ve sent a letter in your lifetime and have a good working knowledge of how a mailbox works. It seems pretty simple, too — you put postage on the envelope, slide it through the slot, and it arrives at its destination pretty fast.
With Amazon, sending something from Point A to Point B gets a whole lot more complicated. You have to contend with Customs in various companies, package size and weight, various post offices and shipping carriers and the different methods and speeds in which each one ships.
It may not seem like a terribly big thing, being a day or two late with when you said the product would arrive, but shipping time is one of the factors Amazon takes into consideration when awarding a Buy Box. And if you’re consistently behind on your shipping times, it could lead to Amazon penalising you, which we’ll discuss in a later point.
2. Not Understanding Handling Time
If you’ve ever watched shopping channel infomercials on TV, you’ve noticed a really common phrase: “shipping and handling”. The former we’ve discussed in the above part — the process of actually sending out a package to its destination — but handling is a little different.
Handling is what you do with the product before sending it out for shipping, the sorts of things that cover everything from processing an order to getting the package ready to go out. It’s not something that takes a terribly long time but if you’re the kind of seller anticipating dealing with dozens or hundreds of orders, you need to figure out a pretty efficient system — and fast.
Amazon won’t give you all the time in the world for handling time. In fact, they want you to get everything done and have the package out in two days or less. It sounds like more than enough time when you’ve only got a handful of packages to take care of, but as business starts to ramp up, that 48-hour window will seem to shrink more and more each time…and it may be time to consider something like Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to ensure you meet Amazon’s criteria.
3. Letting Your Orders Slide
FBA is one of those really neat services where you can pretty much pay Amazon to take care of a whole bunch of work for you. All you have to do is pay them a fee and they’ll take care of everything else on their end at one of their fulfilment centres. They’ll store products for you, package products for you, and then deliver them for you — all within their time-frame and guaranteed.
By not using FBA, you run the risk of increasing your Order Defect Rate, which is a tool Amazon uses to measure your success as a seller. As a point of reference, the top sellers on Amazon, the ones who consistently get awarded a Buy Box, keep their ODR at 1% or under.
4. Getting a Suspension on Your Account
If you ask the best sellers on Amazon, they’ll tell you they’ve made loads of mistakes. Getting to the top has its own learning curve and some of the best learning experiences come from messing up. It’s a swift kick that stings, but if you’re smart, you’ll take it to heart and avoid that route in the future.
However, if you ask those same top sellers on Amazon if they’ve ever gotten suspended, the answer will probably be quite different. There’s a difference between messing up once and doing so to the point of suspension, and the best sellers educate themselves so their learning curve is as minimal as possible.
Getting suspended is something that’ll harm your bottom line a lot, as you can’t make money if you’re not an active seller.
* This article was originally published on RepricerExpress
Google Analytics for ecommerce businesses is no longer optional, it’s mandatory. Well, it is if you have any plans of succeeding in ecommerce. Even if you don’t and are content to go at it very part-time, it’s still a very useful tool to have around so you can measure who visits your site and where they come from. RepricerExpress takes a look at this new aspect of Google Analytics and why you should be hopping on board as soon as possible.
Google Analytics: A Recap
Most merchants are no doubt familiar with Google Analytics but just in case, here’s a little rundown of its most important points.
- Tracking: This is the first part of getting started and all you’ll need is a Google account, which you may already have. You’ll next have to set up an account on Google Analytics, link your website, and then copy and paste the tracking code they provide.
- Reports: Remember that Google sometimes takes up to a day to get its ‘tracking robots’ in order, so don’t expect results right away. Once they do start coming in, you’ll be able to monitor information in one of five ways — real time, audience, conversions, behaviour, acquisition. Google will show you information from the last month, but you can change this anytime to have a reporting period exactly how you want. Note: real time is obviously excluded from this.
- Site Search: So far, we’ve covered that it’s good to know where your customers are and what they’re doing at various times, but it’s also important to know what they’re looking for on your site. You’ll have to activate Site Search Tracking but once you do, you’ll be able to see what products shoppers are looking at under the Behaviour setting. Remember to also give this one some time, as Google can take up to a day to start sending numbers your way.
- Campaigns: This part doesn’t come automatically, but setting it up takes no time at all. All you have to do is input the relevant information into Google’s Campaign URL Builder tool, and then presto! You can now track your campaigns!
It’s pretty spiffy so far, isn’t it? Google Analytics lets you keep track of an awful lot of information on your site so you can tailor your marketing more specifically, letting you get even further ahead than before. With all these elements, what could Google possibly add to make Analytics even better?
In a nutshell, far more detail.
Enhanced Ecommerce consists of four main parts that put even more control in your hands, and they are:
- Shopping and Purchasing Behaviour: One of the most maddening things for merchants is when a shopper loads up their cart with items…and then changes their mind at the last minute and empties it. What happened to that possible conversion? You can now know by getting a report on why/how buyers put items into shopping carts, initiating/abandoning and if/when they go through with the transaction.
- Merchandising Success: One of the factors that strongly affects conversions is how swaying your marketing and campaigns are. It’s never a guarantee that excellent marketing will totally and completely result in sales, but now you’ll be able to see, in black and white, just how successful your internal and external marketing is. This part tracks things like mean order cost, transactions and revenue, and it also works if your shoppers use coupons you’ve issued. Plus, you’ll also be able to track how good you are (or if your strategy needs improvement) at using product lists for merchandise.
- Economic Performance: Money talk — it’s hugely important for measuring the health of your site. In this section, Google will show you things like revenue, conversion rates for individual products, the number of things bought in an average purchase and how much it totalled, any refunds/returns and how buyers load up their shopping carts after eyeing a product on product-detail pages.
- Product Attribution: We briefly mentioned product lists above, and this section helps you better understand that. Ecommerce sites are set up so vastly different from one another, but generally, people look for products either from search results, a merchandising block or on a category page, and this part of Google Analytics helps you target each one accordingly.
* This article originally appeared on SellerExpress
It’s hard to believe that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over again for another year. With this in mind, we reflect on the past year and offer some advice to help you get your online business in shape for 2015.
Rise of mobile commerce
Organizations are allocating more resources than ever to their digital channels. John Lewis is one example of a large, high-street company investing heavily in digital creative properties, including Monty the Penguin.
According to Mark Lewis, John Lewis’ marketing director, “customers want to be able to shop seamlessly across all channels and mobile is now the go-to choice alongside visiting our shops.”
In China, Alibaba’s Singles’ Day highlighted the rise of mobile commerce with 43% of all purchases being made through mobile devices. Smartphones, tablets and phablets are being used by consumers globally to browse and complete purchases for goods.
Recent figures from Statista estimate the number of digital shoppers in the U.S. alone to be 274 million and growing. Therefore, responsive web-design across multiple devices is essential for any business looking to sell online.
Social media is a great tool for connecting with customers. These platforms are a cost-effective way to promote your business online and start conversations with your customers. You can help grow your number of likes and followers by including social links on your website and email marketing.
Businesses should be aware of the myriad segments, Generation X, Y and Z, and how they interact with social media differently.
Customers want their products as fast as possible; Amazon has even started trialling deliveries through a taxi service to meet this demand. Getting your goods to your customer within your estimated time frame is important in helping to build customer loyalty and get repeat business.
Don’t forget to use appropriate packaging for the goods you are shipping and keep your hot products in stock.
As a seller, you should be aware of the importance of gaining positive feedback from your customers, demonstrating you have met their needs. Ensure you use accurate product descriptions combined with high quality images that illustrate your products well. Positive feedback can be achieved by offering quality products, shipping them on time and responding to customer queries in a timely manner.
The price is right
Showrooming and webrooming continue to take place as customers become more price savvy and look to secure the best deal possible.
Consumers can very easily compare buying options from sellers and decide which deal offers the best in terms of price, delivery and customers’ feedback.
For merchants who sell on Amazon as well as their own web store, repricing software can help sellers increase their Amazon sales and profits—sellers can automatically compare their product prices to those of competitors’ and adjust them accordingly within their own floor and ceiling limits, 24/7.
Getting the attention of consumers is an ongoing challenge for all online businesses. In addition to using social media, advertising through Amazon Products Ads or Google Adwords can help increase high-quality traffic that is relevant to your business.
Amazon Product Ads allow sellers to advertise their products on Amazon but drive customers to their own websites to complete the transaction. With Google Adwords, you choose which products you want to advertise, assign keywords and enter your cost-per-click bid.
Hopefully we’ve provided some guidance to help prepare your business for the holiday season and beyond, into 2015. As with any business, you have finite resources to employ in terms of driving your sales ever higher—experiment with different initiatives during the year and find out what’s working for you.
Every business is different and what works for one doesn’t always work for the other, but before we get to 2015, here’s hoping this holiday season is the best one yet.
Guest blog post by Chris from RepricerExpress
**This article originally appeared onThe Ecommerce Authority
Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends. Here are some jokes to make you smile (or groan) this Thanksgiving! Click on the attached JPEG file to view our infographic.
Repricing software allows Amazon sellers to automatically compare their product prices to those of competitors’ and adjust them accordingly. Price is so closely linked to sales and product visibility on Amazon that sellers need to continually ensure their products are priced competitively. If you have hundreds or thousands of products, doing this manually isn’t viable.
RepricerExpress offers a solution which will automatically manage the prices of the seller’s products, adjusting them regularly to ensure they are well ranked and visible. Sellers can set their min and max prices for their products and the software then knows never to go below or above these price.
Every 15 minutes, the repricing software will check prices and adjust when necessary with the goal to win the Buy Box or rank highly in search results. With an increasing number of sellers using repricing software it is very much becoming an essential part of your ecommerce business rather than a nice tool to have.
What’s the Buy Box?
On the Amazon marketplace, both Amazon and third-party sellers are responsible for selling products. When a customer reaches the product page, Amazon places one seller’s details and price in the Buy Box.
Because the Buy Box is so prominent and linked to the ‘Add to cart’ button, any seller with placement in it, will guarantee more sales for the seller that wins it. In search terms, the Buy Box is effectively the first result of a customer’s search for a specific product, and the one that they are likely to click most to complete a purchase.
Last year, Amazon’s revenue was close to $75 billion, with more than $60 billion of sales coming through the Buy Box and with $30 billion being attributed to third-party Amazon sellers.
How can l win the Buy Box on Amazon?
Your eligibility to win the Buy Box is linked to your seller performance.When you exceed Amazon’s standards you’ll obtain the Featured Merchant status—a prerequisite to Buy Box eligibility.
When that’s in place, your placement within the Buy Box can be largely governed by price, which is why anyone seriously selling on Amazon needs to put repricing strategies in place to consistently maintain healthy sales.
Reach 237m customers
An area that small sellers often overlook is the huge audience of consumers are on Amazon—with around 237m customer accounts globally, any small seller with their own website is never going to be able to bring that size of audience to their own site.
Amazon’s new Subscriptions API means that sellers are able to filter their competitors with much greater control and only compete against similar sellers instead of reducing their prices against non-featured merchants and those who aren’t eligible for Buy Box placement.
What are the biggest fears of customers using repricing software?
The number one fear of sellers is that repricers can lower prices to as low as a penny, but the truth is that sellers need to input their minimum and maximum sell prices before repricing begins—so if you set a minimum sell price for your football as £5 your price will NEVER get pushed below that.
A modern repricing solution will increase your prices where possible. If your min and max prices for the football are £5 and £20 respectively and your competitor sells out of stock, the repricing would push your price up to maximise your profits on any new sales.
There are so many myths about repricing software but the truth is, the practice has been going on in retail for decades, albeit in a different way. In any competitive market, you’re going to have to compete on price in some regard, particularly on a marketplace that is renowned for its competitive pricing, however, with a repricing solution, you get to compete on your terms where you can win.
Have you any advice on executing a repricing strategy?
Sellers should use a pricing strategy in line with their overall business strategy. It is important your repricing software allows you to decide who you want to compete with and also who you don’t want to compete with.
There isn’t one quick fix for all sellers since everyone is different, but what you do get with a modern repricing solution is the ability to match your repricing rules to your own business, so you’re competing only where you can win a sale.
What features does RepricerExpress offer?
With RepricerExpress you get a super-fast repricing solution that:
- Is really easy to set up,
- Offers continuous and blazingly fast repricing,
- Offers multiple ways to increase sales,
- Allows you to compete with different sellers in different ways,
- Can run in Safe Mode (whereby you can try repricing without affecting your live marketplace listings),
- Works across eight Amazon marketplaces,
- Can include or exclude specific sellers*,
- Offers infinite customisation of your repricing strategies*,
- Can filter competition based on seller rating, feedback, shipping country and dispatch times*,
- Auto-enables price increases under common scenarios*,
- Comes with a 15-day free trial.
How long does it take to set up?
Because RepricerExpress is online and ‘talks’ directly to your Amazon account, there is nothing to install or setup outside of the app—you can be up and running and trying repricing live or in Safe Mode (won’t affect live listings) within 30 minutes of sign up.
How much does it cost?
Our packages start at £30 a month which includes 2,500 SKUs. We also offer a free 15-day trial so you can find out if repricing is suitable for you without it costing a penny.
If you have any further repricing queries and can’t find the answer on our website please get in touch via [email protected] where Seamus or one of the team will get back to you asap.
About the author Seamus Breslin
Designer, marketer and all things ecommerce related.
*This article originally appeared on Taxjar.com
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