So you need to sell more products on Amazon? Let’s talk Amazon FBA and what goes into ranking higher and seller better on everyone’s favorite ecommerce giant. On Amazon the winners win and sales speed more sales, it’s a flywheel of passive private label profit, here is what you NEED to know to start selling more Amazon items today!
The 6 Keys to Consistent Amazon Sales
- Reviews – How many do you need? How many should you giveaway? What’s the best way to run a product launch?
- Sales – How to take advantage of BSR spikes? What to do when sales drop? Why sales and reviews are the Amazon awesome engine.
- Sponsored ads – How to max out Amazon PPC? Ways to rebound ads after launches? Why it pays to spend hard on your keywords?
- Seller feedback – Does Amazon feedback effect rankings? How can you get more feedback?
- Conversions rates – How do conversion rates affect keyword ranks? What’s the best way to boost conversions?
- Number of products – Why do more products mean more sales? Why do bigger brands rank faster? How fast should you roll out new private label products?
Sell or Die!
Matt: Let’s go! And today, we’re going to be talking about the keys to consistent sales. Let’s look into that, Rus.
Rus: Cool. That’s basically (in a nutshell) reviews, more sales to keep consistent sales, ad spend and feedback.
Matt: I think we’re going to go a little bit deeper into that. Let’s dive into each one at once. So reviews – How do reviews affect Amazon’s algorithm? How does it help you rank higher?
Rus: The more reviews you get, the more star rating you have.
Matt: Absolutely! I’ve been getting some shitty reviews lately though. And that’s one of the things you guys really want to focus on – is making sure you’re getting high quality reviews. That’s actually in the beginning.
Rus: Yup. One of my first products was a massive seller which was awesome. We pushed it really hard using paid adverts and all kinds of awesome things. But unfortunately, it sucks.
So we managed to start off getting loads of really awesome five star and four star reviews by asking people to review the products. But then as time went on, we started getting two and one star reviews because people actually thought it sucked.
So when you’re picking products (going back to one of our more recent podcasts), you need to bear that in mind that reviews are king.
When people search with stuff and look at the listings and they see a product with 1 ½ thousand really good reviews at the top, and then further down, you’ve got this guy with just one review and it’s a one star – Where do you want to be on that list? Do you want to be at the top with 1 ½ thousand great reviews or at the bottom?
Potentially, what happen to us, hundreds are really bad ones. They’re very important.
Matt: What do you do when you see that happening?
It hasn’t happened to me when I have a clunker or a shitty product. Is that something where you would try to pick it up and have some improvements?
I know I’ve worked directly with my supplier. A customer will tell me – “This was screwed up. There were issues here.” And then I’m like – “Come on, guys. Let’s try to step the performance up.” We want them to have the sale better. We want a long term relationship. And they’ve been able to work with me.
What did you guys do there though?
Rus: That depends on your actual Amazon product strategy. I’m implementing two strategies at the same time. So we’re putting out awesome products which are going to sell consistently without too much work, but not at mad volume.
And they’re just going to keep selling. They’re going to keep getting organic good reviews over time. These products are going to be on Amazon for maybe 5 to 10 years, a really, really long duration. And they’re just going to sit there just making money and organically growing slowly without too much work.
So that’s strategy number one.
And these products were really good. When we were picking them and getting them created, there’s just no way that anyone will review them and give them less than five stars – because from the inception of the product idea, it was like – “We’re going to make something and we’re going to target these kind of people – not anyone else.” And they’re going to love it.
It’s possible to create products exactly like that.
Matt: One company actually has their slogan – “The best or nothing.” But at the same time, it’s tough.
Matt: You can’t necessarily do that for every product. A lot of people getting into this don’t have 30k to drop.
Rus: Exactly. And that’s where my second strategy comes in – which is “Get Paid.” Basically, it’s the name of the strategy. And I’m okay with buying several thousand units of a product which will just make me money quickly.
You can get it into Amazon and get it selling really soon and then boost it up into the top spot and just turn it into a ton of money, basically. Invest into it and get a return quickly that you can then use to invest into other things.
And products like that – some of them, you can look out with and you’ll get really awesome reviews because it will be a quality product. But quite often, at least with my experience are the ones that have really taken off.
There tends to be something dodgy in the market segment. So either you’re getting the product out there quickly and it’s being bought a lot because it’s not very good.
Matt: It’s like snuggie’s. They’re a fad. They sell crazy. And then people realize – “Wow! This is pretty freaking lame.” It last a season.
Rus: Yeah, exactly that! Also, camera stands. Cheap Chinese camera stands are quite popular at the moment, but the materials are made out of a cheap plastic and weak aluminum. So people are quite happy to buy more than one and replace them when they break.
So there’s a huge market because people are buying one every two or three months. But they’re going to leave you bad reviews because they are breaking. But they’re all going to be like that.
Matt: I like it when you say aluminum. It’s a great way to inject some Britishness into this podcast to make it more fun.
Rus: Other things – If you’re in the weight loss pill niche, your primary demographic is going to be really overweight people that haven’t been able to maintain a quality lifestyle, eating Dorito’s and Cheetos’s whilst watching.
Those guys are just going to take your pill and expect to carry on – sitting on their ass in front of a TV and not doing any exercise, eating junk food and just magically look like a Victoria Secret model within three weeks.
Matt: That’s a perfect example. You drop the water weight and all of a sudden, it all comes back.
Matt: That’s what happens when you put up those crappy Amazon products. The reviews come back. They come back to bite you.
Rus: So even though something like that will work – per say a performance athlete or someone who’s actually training, they’ll release a bit more weight.
And green tea for instance. I think they’ve scientifically proven that you lose weight by drinking green tea every day, but you will lose one pound over the space of a year. So that’s with green tea’s and everything.
But if you’re creating a product that demonstrably will work but you’re giving it to a market that aren’t going to use it correctly or incorporate it into that lifestyle correctly, negative reviews will happen.
Matt: Address those negative reviews though. Look at some of the problems. Always follow up on them. And if you shoot them personalized messages – a lot of times, you can get the reviews change. You can still build a fan for life.
Matt: I think we’ve killed reviews. Let’s look at sales volume now and how sales generate sales. It’s a fly wheel.
Amazon wants to make money. And that means – the more sales, the more revenue they make, the more customers they have. So you’ve got to get yourself to the top.
What do you do, Rus? What’s your strategy for selling fast on a product launch? I think I’ve screwed up that. I screwed that up terribly with the accent when the question was supposed to come into play. But what do you do, Rus?
Rus: That’s cool. The trick there is that sales and revenue go hand in hand. I’ve tried several things over the last year or so – basically, creating artificial sale spikes.
If you can sell 50 to 100 units for a couple of dollars using a coupon, that’s normally enough to blow you straight up into the number one spot for whatever keyword you’re trying to rank for.
Matt: So you’re a blast guy, then?
Rus: Yeah. That’s how I’ve been. This is starting to get into grey hat, black hat area of Amazon ranking now.
But my favorite technique is to give people coupons. You can create coupons to offer your products at a discount and throw like 50 to 100 of those maybe and just get people to buy your product in a huge burst.
If you’re really going for it and you really believe in your products and you’re a huge baller, don’t give people coupons. Pay them to buy your product – because the price of the products and the amount of money Amazon are making goes hand in hand with the sales volume itself.
If you’re selling 100 units a day for $1 and the guy next to you is selling 50 units a day at $10, Amazon are going to prefer him.
Matt: So a rule of thumb: Make sure Amazon wins, guys because that’s how you win.
Matt: Some other things that I like to do when looking at boosting the sales – It’s not necessarily running those high cutoff promotions.
A couple of things that have worked well for me: Actually, about a week ago, I dropped my price 10%. I came up with a random summer sale. And just doing that for the weekend spiked sales.
Since then, sales have been over 150%. Not really any other change – just a little mini spike. And those little mini spikes seem to be really effective.
Matt: But when you are launching, you definitely want to come out with a bang. Go big or go home.
Matt: If you can find a way to give away products without giving them away. For instance: 50% off coupons. We talked about it before with the product selection. If you’ve got hobbyist like my products work great for people that love this, they get pumped at our 50% off gear.
You can hook them up with a deal, a Facebook group promotion. And that’s a great way to boost your sales as well. That’s something I like because you don’t actually lose money. You make money on your sales.
Rus: Yeah. One of my favorite things – After you’ve got to select your ranking and you’re holding it, produce coupons to give discounts when people buy multiple products from you.
So we’ll give a 5% discount if someone buys two, 10% for three, 15% for four, etcetera and depending on your products and how you’ve picked it.
We’ve noticed people buying five or six at a time to get the biggest discount. And Amazon see that and they just love it. One guy buying six of your products in one go? That will keep you at the top of the rankings.
I was looking back through my sales orders yesterday actually. We’re finding that we’re getting a lot of repeat customers through that. There are a few people that every two or three months, they’ll come along and buy two or three of our products almost religiously – even different products under the same brand which is really nice. So it pays to have loyal fans and give them good offers.
Matt: Yeah. Religion is the best business model. Have you found that that works well, those small promotions? I’ve done a couple of BOGO50’s. So buy one, get one 50% off.
Matt: And even though it don’t seem to be that sexy, but that could just be what I’m selling. In your experience, I guess you have more of a recurring product. So that makes a little bit more sense for people just bulk up today.
Rus: Yeah. On my favorite can opener analogy – You aren’t going to get someone buying a can opener every month. But if you’re doing tights or razors or something, these are things that people buy over and over again because they get damaged and wear out.
So when people are buying something and they know that they’re going to need to buy again and again… I always buy in bulk when I can. When I’m buying weight protein for when I’m working out, I’ll buy the 6kg bucket that has to be carried up the stairs by two people just because I know that I’m going to use it every day. And it’s cheaper to buy three or four months’ worth in one go than it is to just keep buying 2kg every month.
Matt: Have you ever seen where the companies price thing stupidly? Where you could get five separate 2 pounders for cheaper than a 10 pounder? Sometimes you just get thrown off at the store shop.
Matt: But most people – if they’re going to save money, they will automatically go for that bigger volume discount that they just assume is there. So there’s a little bit of psychology behind that, I think.
Rus: Yeah, definitely. Let’s say you’re buying a vitamin supplement – say a multivitamin. So you can go into Amazon and you can talk – “I want to buy five bottles of this multivitamin.” So now I’m going to be taking them for five months or something.
Some people are bundling their products themselves. So they’ll try and dominate the surfs by having one bottle of multivitamins for $20, buy two for $40, maybe given just a tiny focus on discount which doesn’t seem to work so well as an incentive from my point of view as a buyer. And I haven’t seen that work with any of our products either.
But just the 5%, 10%, 15%, 20% discounts if you market them correctly. When you create a discount coupon, they appear underneath your product listing, don’t they?
Matt: They do.
Rus: Amazon’s terms of service is hilarious for what they will and will not let you do a product advert. But you can turn that into a graphic and have a really awesome graphic that explains all the different coupon codes and stuff as well. And people do look at that.
We’ve noticed that products with the graphic will get a better response with than just without the graphic.
Matt: I have not seen any of these graphics. Shoot me a link when we’re done with this, Rus. I’m going to check one of these out.
Rus: Yup, I will do that.
Matt: We’ll add that in the show notes too, guys.
Rus: Also, another way to get people to buy more than one thing from you. If you can again, game the system.
So some of our brands have four or five different products. So what I like to do now is launch maybe two or three products at exactly the same time because it’s a lot easier than doing them separately.
So if you’re doing all these blasts and contacting people to buy your products to write reviews and stuff – if you’re launching three products and they’re buying all three products at the same time, then you will fill that little area up underneath your listing that says – “People also bought these” or “Frequently bought together.” And then you’ll have all three of your products there.
So if people see “Buy three and get 10% off” and then they see three products that are all under your brand in the same niche that would be useful to them, then boom! They’re really quite likely to buy that.
Matt: Killer strategy right there. And you cut down your FBA fees. That’s enough sell.
Matt: So there’s a couple of other things that go into ranking though, Rus. Feedback and conversions.
Matt: So feedback is a little debatable. FBA guys can’t seem to think it matters. They seem to think it matters in how fast you rank, how quickly you rank.
What are your thoughts on this versus feedback and reviews? What’s more important? And what do you guys focus on?
Rus: Do you mean seller feedback?
Matt: Yeah. Seller feedback and product reviews. So I have a sneaking suspicion that seller feedback is actually very valuable and will become more valuable because Amazon’s goal is to make buyers happy. And buyers are happy when the seller is awesome.
Rus: That’s true, but I’m going to disagree slightly. I haven’t seen anything to indicate that the seller rating will change your ranking too much.
For starters, Amazon is well aware that later people leaving product reviews leave them unto seller reviews instead of product reviews. Also, if you’ve got a product and you’re selling it by Amazon FBA, then what’s more important? Reviewing the seller or reviewing the products?
Amazon are doing all the logistics. They’re delivering the product. And there’s not that much space to actually review the work the seller has done – because Amazon are doing all the leg work and then you’ve actually got the quality of the product itself and then the review relates to the product.
If that’s a seller, of course, you’re given great customer service and that’s obviously great and people can leave you good reviews. But I don’t know. I think their seller ratings are more there for trust.
If you’ve got really good seller feedback, then that’s going to be a trust indicator which will help people buy more from you. But it’s probably got some weight, but not as much as any of the other stuff. Sales, product reviews are going to carry way more weight than getting seller reviews (I feel) to a product’s rank.
Matt: We’d love to hear opinions on guys that are listening and anyone else that has feedback. And there’s one last thing that I think really weighs into how high a product ranks and that’s conversions.
So Amazon wants to make money. They make money when you make a sale. They make money when you make money. And converting is turning a browser into a buyer.
Matt: So if you can boost your conversion rate, you’re boosting how much money Amazon makes and that’s really what matters in your ranking.
So copywriting, guys. Images, everything that gets that desire going. “I got to have this product!” Those are all going to get your listing ranked higher just because they’re going to trigger more sales.
Matt: What do you think?
Rus: No, definitely a gospel. The best products I’ve ever had, had I think 40% or 45% conversion rate. Anyone that visited the product page pretty much actually bought it.
Matt: Wow! Best product you ever had. Is that still alive?
Rus: No. Not at the moment. It was one of the ones that would make a ton of money and then been out quite quickly. So that’s dead at the moment.
But for any E-Commerce store – if you’re running E-Commerce and if you’ve got your own Shopify site or something up, then 1% is the average conversion rate you’re going to get. And people think 5% is amazing and Godlike.
Because people on Amazon are buyers, you can get up to the 30% to 45% mark quite easily if you tell the customer everything they want to hear and produce amazing copy. And if you’re doing that…
That’s one of the niche selection criteria. Other people out there that you’re going to be competing with – Do they have good copy or not on their pages?
So if you’re running a copy that converts at 30% and their copy and pitches are just terrible and converting at 10%, Amazon is just going to love you. They’re going to eat you up and push you right to the top spot because you’re going to make more sales and more money for Amazon.
Matt: I wonder what the average is. I know mine aren’t that high. But I imagine it has to do also with what you’re in, what category you’re selling in, what type of buyers you have.
Matt: Certain niches are definitely going to be higher. We might have to throw that into Amazooka – see if we can find a way to track conversion rates over the categories to give people some feedback on how awesome or awful their listings are.
Rus: Yeah. That’s going to be very specific to the categories – because if you’re in the top 10 and the other nine guys, their copy is poor and their products are terrible, then by the time they get to you and your product – if your product looks awesome and your copy is great, they’re just going to be like – “Well, I’m not buying the other nine. I’m just going to go straight for this one.”
So you might get a really high conversion rate – not necessarily because your copy is great, but because the other guys are just far worse.
Matt: And the thumbnail too. If you’re browsing and you see all the pictures that are lame and one of them is just like Godliness, why even waste your time on the other ones? Let’s just buy this one, get it over with and get back to ESPN.
Rus: Yeah. There are so many awesome things that you can do. The chances are, the competition aren’t doing to boost your copy and improve your sales images. That’s one of my most favorite places to start.
You can fake sale spikes. You get friends and family or whatever to buy your products. You can run adverts. You can run adverts at your products and pay more than the competition. And you can have the best product in the world. But unless your copy is tight and your sales page is awesome, they’re not going to want to buy from you.
So that in my opinion is one of the first places to start with when you’re putting a product together and you’re trying to optimize something.
Matt: Even Apple didn’t sell itself. Steve Jobs had to be the face. Don’t think you’re better than that.
Matt: I think this is where we wrap up the episode. We just killed it, hopefully.
Rus: Yeah. I would like to just add one more thing.
Matt: Go for it.
Rus: The more products you have under the same brands in the same categories that are similar… So maybe you’re doing two different styles of hairbrushes or something. Don’t forget, you can A, B test. You can try something on one product that you want trying on another and see if it works. And if it does, then you can roll out across the rest of your products.
Matt: And that is actually a great way to wrap up, Rus because that’s pretty freaking huge.
Matt: And you want to be doubling brands, not products if you want to be in this for the long haul.
Matt: That’s all for now, guys. Thanks for tuning in.