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How to Kickstart Your Amazon Sales with PPC Sponsored Products Ads

If you started considering Amazon as one of your sales channel, here’s how to kickstart your Amazon sales.

First, you must understand that Amazon is a highly competitive platform for sellers. One must know all the basics to generate sales through options such as the “Sales Button” or using correct keywords to be found by customers that don’t know your brand. We’ll get you started with the basics and once you feel ready, you can read a full and detailed guide for beginning your Amazon career.

Vocabulary of Amazon Sponsored Products Ads

To know how Amazon Ads work, you must at least know some key vocabulary that will be part of your daily life. The main ones are the following:

PPC: pay per click (you only pay when someone clicks on your Ad) – type of campaigns
CPC: cost per click – actual ad cost spent on each click
Ad: the slot that displays your actual product sponsored, appears on different placements of search result
Group: contains one or more ads
Campaign: contains one or more groups
Portfolio: contains one or more campaigns
ACoS%: Advertising Cost of Sales (one of the key metrics for performance)
Manual Campaign: a campaign where targetings (keywords or products) are manually selected by the user
Automatic Campaign: a campaign where targeting is automatically selected by Amazon

Sponsored Products Ads Must Know

On to those different types of ads. You will have your pick of Sponsored Products Ads to pick from., which are the main ads you will need to power sale your product. First. You have the top search placement. This is where you want to be when people look for terms that can describe your product.

Amazon Sales, Starting guide, How to sell on amazon, Amazon top seller
Top Search Placement on Amazon

Another Sponsored Product ad is the product placement page. This is another great place to be as when customers search for products similar to yours, you can get a chance to also show up as part of their research.

Product Page Ad Placement

1. Gather Data About Your Product

Now that you know how close you can be to your potential buyers, the first step is to do some research. That research is mainly focused on the type of words to use and what the competitors are doing.

You can start buy looking up what the competition is doing and build yourself some essential keywords to describe your product. After, you need to take a leap of faith and start a campaign with at least a 20$ budget/day and matching the average CPC bid. Top that campaign with a manual campaign as well to target keywords from different sources while keeping the match type broad and the Amazon suggested bid. If you are new to campaign creation, here’s the complete guide you can use to create your campaign.

Once you run these ads for about two weeks, you will have gathered important and relevant data. You can use the best performing targeting from both of these campaigns by downloading the PPC search term report. You can focus now on the ones that have a good ACoS%.

Although this phase is more expansive, it’s an important part to be able to find which keywords are associated with your product and optimize your future strategy to bring your costs down.

2. Expand Your Terms

Now that you found the keywords that trigger your sales, you can build a new strategy around it. First, use the keywords you found from your Search Terms Report and you select the highest performers. Second, you go the extra mile through Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Semrush or Merchantwords. These tools while help you expand your terms. And third, your competition is a great source of inspiration for additional keywords. You can combine competitor brand names, features, use of product and naming strategies to make sure you are competing on the same level. Here’s a great example from WeAreGrowthHack.com .

Get terms from Title + Bullet Points of your competitors

USB C, Charger, Anker, PowerPort, Power, Port, Delivery, Macbook, iPad, PowerIQ, iPhone, Compatible, Charge, Standard, phones, tablets, output, etc. These are 17 terms ready to be mixed and matched in multiple search terms combinations – up to 5 words for a single search term.

By digging in the Q&A section and the Reviews, you can find extra keywords that help you define a promising bidding strategy for your products.

3. Start Your Campaign

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to start your campaign. Do you want to know everything on how to start up, manage and optimize your Sponsored Products campaigns? You can find a step by step guide to campaign creation and optimization right here.

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Why You Should Sell on Amazon?

If you are brand owner – why should you sell on Amazon?

 

You might already have a successful wholesaling operation

 

OR, you might be established on your own webstore via Shopify, Bigcommerce, or something similar

 

OR, you might be a new brand looking to gain traction as soon as possible.

 

And now you’re thinking about expanding your channels.

 

You’ve likely heard Amazon is a logical next step – but why?

 

As a logical brand owner you want to understand WHY before you ever make a decision based on hype simply for hype’s sake.

 

The “WHY” is what I’ll address in this blog post.

 

Let’s get right into the first reason.

 

Brand Protection

For most brands I talk to this is a huge reason they choose to take control of their brand on Amazon.

Consider this, if you already have distributor relationships chances are that one of your distributors has already gotten wise to the fact that you’re not selling directly on Amazon.

They will think to themselves there’s this amazing sales channel just waiting to be taken advantage of and then add your brand up on Amazon themselves.

This means they would manage the price of your brand’s products on Amazon.

And who knows if they’ll stay within the MAP (minimum advertised price) agreement.

And even if  you do have an agreement set up are you policing Amazon to make sure they stay true to the agreement.

Brand Quality

Also, your distributors don’t have as much invested in your brand to ensure the brand quality is represented in the brand’s listing on Amazon.

We’ve had brands come to us showing their listings one of their distributors put up on Amazon that is simply a single picture taken in some warehouse with poor lighting and a few bullet points of text “explaining” the product.

Of course the brand owner’s are not happy about this and the way it represents their brand to the market.

And in many cases the brand owner has no way of knowing which wholesale partner is listing their products on Amazon.

Brand Control

In this situation, when someone lists your product on Amazon, they also have control over customer service interactions on Amazon too.

You as the brand owner have no way to tell how they’re treating the customer and what kind of experience that customer is receiving on behalf of your brand.

When you take control of your brand on Amazon you can ensure brand trust, ensure brand quality is consistent, and be sure customers are receiving the same brand experience across all your marketing channels.

Gain Traction Fast

The second reason why you should be on Amazon is specific to those of you that own newer brands.

As an agency owner I’m on calls with a lot of new brand owners who are trying to figure out the answer to the conundrum of which distribution channel to tackle first.

You might have a new and innovative product or a differentiation that sets you apart but how do you get it to the masses.

Typical channels like your own online store or distribution channels can take lots of time and money to get up and running profitably.

One of the major benefits of new brands that we see is that Amazon offers a marketplace of buyers that are just that – primed up and ready to buy – they’re buyers.

These customers are on Amazon with the express purpose of buying something.

AND they are searching specific terms to find products like yours.

In our experience, every time we work with brand owners that are setting up their own online store and setting up their Amazon listing(s) at the same time, Amazon outperforms their own online store every time.

It’s just easier to gain traction on Amazon than just about anywhere else.

This is particularly the case with products that come off Kickstarter (or other similar crowdfunding platforms) and looking for a place to duplicate their early success to the general market.

Costs

The third consideration for selling on Amazon is costs

Amazon fees are considerably lower than what you might experience in a traditional retail environment.

And in most cases lower than what you’d experience selling on your own store.

Take some numbers for example.

Advertising

This is a huge cost of doing business for brands selling online.

If you’re selling on your own webstore (say shopify for example) the industry standard for ecommerce is to spend around 30% of revenue in ad spend.

Across the accounts we manage on Amazon this number is a average of a mere 10% of revenue.

Warehousing

Amazon has one of the largest fulfillment and warehousing networks of any company worldwide. This scale allows them to charge lower fees to fulfill the same product.

Whereas warehousing companies just don’t have the scale to keep the prices as low. And will, in most cases, charge anywhere from 20-50% more to fulfil the same unit.

Not to mention Amazon’s nationwide (even global network of warehouses) which significantly cuts down on shipping costs.

Shipping

We’ve had brand owners come to us saying that they’re shipping relationships are charging them triple what we know Amazon will charge for the same size and weight!

Why?

Because they distribute your product across multiple regions and have the best rates in the world negotiated with major shipping companies to get the lowest rates.

Rates you simply cannot negotiate as a single brand owner.

Overhead

Lastly, if you’re a traditional retailer, you already know the struggles and costs of maintaining staff and the overhead to house your inventory.

Amazon all but eradicates the need for such inefficiencies.

Existing Brand Presence

And a final consideration for owners of recognizable and strong brands.

Does your brand already have a strong presence?

Do consumers already know and trust your brand across the regions you sell in?

Then, GOOD NEWS!,  your customers are probably already looking for you on Amazon.

We’ve talked to a number of well known brands that haven’t put themselves up on Amazon yet, and every time when we run the keyword search term data we find that a sizeable number of searches are coming up specific to the brand name.

That’s basically cash waiting to be taken simply by putting your brand up on Amazon.

Someone Else Takes The Money

Let’s not forget, if you are the owner of an already strong brand and you’re are not directly selling on Amazon then someone is likely already selling your product on Amazon.

Who?

Well it could be anyone purchasing your product and turning around flipping it for a profit on Amazon.

Because they see that there is demand for you product and there’s this amazing marketing channel that’s not being used by the brand owner.

Essentially they’re grabbing the profits right out from under you.

And they likely don’t give a care about your brand image or perception on Amazon – as long as they can move units and make a profit.

So, if you take back control of your brand on Amazon you’ll be able to directly benefit from those profits and not have to worry about some 3rd party cannibalizing your listings.

Convinced yet?

I might be biased but I’m just going to say it.

If you’re not Amazon yet – you should be.

If you have questions about your specific case please leave a comment on this post and I’ll work my best to answer for you.

Now that you know WHY you should be on Amazon in the next post I’ll address how to manage the Amazon marketing channel when there are so many channels to manage.

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Enhancing Brand Visibility Using Amazon Marketing Services

The Importance of Amazon Marketing Services (AMS)

Available for Vender Central and Vendor Express, Amazon Marketing Services is an online, self-service advertising solution to enhance brand discoverability. Like other advertising solutions, advertisers use AMS to drive demand for their products through Sponsored Search, Headline Search and Product Display Ads. Amazon vendors and even some 3rd party sellers who have been using Amazon for a long time can benefit from Amazon Marketing Services, but access to Amazon Vendor Central is required in either case. Amazon allows advertisers to start their advertisement campaign even on a low budget (as little as $100) and on a click-based payment.

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Protecting Your Brand Using Amazon Brand Registry

Sellers who have their own brands and sell/manufacture their own products are often concerned about limited control over their product listings and unauthorized sellers. Amazon brand registry helps address their concerns and is a program to make it easier for them to better manage their brands. Amazon brand registry is a great tool to prove the ownership of the products and allows sellers to:

  1. Have increased control and authority over product listings, including titles, images and descriptions
  2. Use product IDs such as Model Number instead of standard product identifiers such as EANs and UPCs, which is useful if a manufacturer has a private label brand or sells specialized products that do not have standard identifiers.
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Amazon Seller Central vs. Amazon Vendor Central

Amazon Seller Central and Vendor Central may sound like the same thing, but the differences are significant and change the way you do business on Amazon. Amazon Seller Central is an excellent option for third-party sellers that want Amazon shoppers to see their stock on the site. Almost anybody can use Seller Central to sell their products to Amazon customers who are ready to pay a premium. However, the same is not true in the case of Amazon Vendor Central as it’s an invite-only system. To qualify for Amazon Vendor Central, your business needs to be prominent on Amazon’s radar. Popular brands and big companies are usually the kinds of sellers that make it to Vendor Central, which also changes the seller status from being a third-party seller to becoming a first-party seller (in fact Amazon is doing the selling for you).

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Hiring an Amazon Marketing Agency vs Managing your own Seller Central Account

Sometimes things don’t work according to our expectations, often due to lack of expertise, skills and time. Managing your Amazon seller central account in such a way that it turns into a success, demands a professional approach and many may feel puzzled by all the ‘stuff’ that Amazon expects from third party sellers. Make one little mistake and you risk ruining the reputation you made over time with so much hard work. That’s where the professional service of an Amazon marketing agency can help you stay out of trouble using the expertise, experience and skills they have about Amazon TOS, Amazon Marketing and dealing with Amazon support stuff.

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Amazon Buy Box Explained – Tips to improve your buy box share

First of all, what is the Amazon buy box?

The Amazon buy box is the big orange call to action that usually says “Add to Cart” and leads shoppers to the payment process when clicking on it.

When you are just a shopper on Amazon you might not even know about it, but when you search for something and click on a listing that comes up, then only one seller, even if there are many for that particular product, will be the one that “owns” that listing for the moment. That seller is in the buy box. What about the others? There is a small link below the buy box, the call to action that says “3 New from $X,XX”. Ever noticed that? Well when you click on that you’ll see a list of sellers, their item price, shipping cost and estimated shipping time. Only the one on top is in the buy box.

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Amazon International Selling: Expand Your Business and Sell Globally

People who want to expand or even start with Amazon international selling often find themselves in a tricky situation. With the excitement also come fears of things like shipping delays, credit-card frauds and a whole bunch of other things. But selling internationally on Amazon is not as risky as many people believe and with the right strategy, selling through Amazon’s international marketplaces can be very rewarding.

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amazon reviews

8 Ways to Get Amazon Reviews for Your Product

Important Update: Due to changes in Amazon’s Terms of Service, giving away a free or discounted product in exchange for a review is not allowed anymore. Therefore some of the methods described here (such as 2. and 4.) are not viable anymore. Methods like Post-Sale Follow Up Emails (5.) are now even more important for getting genuine product reviews.

Around 2/3 of customers read online reviews before making a buying decision, but only a tiny fraction of customers actually write a review of products they bought. No Amazon reviews means almost zero sales, which consequently means no reviews, and the cycle continues. Here are some tips to break the cycle and how to get reviews on Amazon without breaking a sweat.

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