How to optimize your Amazon listing

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If you want to sell more on Amazon, you’ll need to optimize your product listings to maximize their potential in terms of visibility and conversions. 

But how do you optimize a listing on an online marketplace with a catalog system enabling multiple sellers to sell from the same page? 

We spoke with Prabhat Shah, founder of Online Seller UK and organizer of the annual AmafestUK sellers conference, to learn more about how online retailers can pack more of a punch in their Amazon listings.

Insights from a full-service Amazon agency

Online Seller UK is a full-service Amazon agency and training company built around a team of marketplace specialists who help brands, manufacturers, and retailers optimize their selling experience on Amazon. “We do a lot of work with listing optimization,” says Shah. “We also create new listings and help launch new products on Amazon.”

A big part of this process now involves Amazon’s advertising platform. “This is a huge part of the Amazon business and is proliferating,” says Shah. “We also help businesses with their branding on the platform, helping them with A+ design and store design.”

Optimizing a pre-existing Amazon listing

When a product already exists in the Amazon catalog, several retailers may be actively selling from that listing. “From Amazon’s point of view, there’s not an individual overseeing that listing,” says Shah. “It’s an algorithm making all the decisions about listing quality and visibility. It’s always a good idea to see if there is any information that we can add to help that algorithm out.”

That information could be a better title, bullet points, or description.“There is a risk that Amazon won’t approve your suggested changes,” says Shah. “But when they do, and the listing is improved, it can have a real impact on sales.”

With multiple sellers competing for the buy-box, that benefit might take time to materialize.

“People may say, okay, I’ve made the changes, I’ve worked hard for that, but somebody else has jumped in that listing, and they won the buy box,” says Shah. “That happens. We cannot stop it. But if we look at the greater good, it’s always worth considering how you can optimize a listing.”

Creating variations

Another strategy would be to create variations of the listing. “You could take a single product and list it as a pack of three,” says Shah. “By doing that, you can take advantage of all the reviews that have been posted on the original listing.”

Offering discounts on bulk purchases can have advantages. “While you are discounting the unit price, you will see a higher basket value,” says Shah. “Many sellers take advantage of this strategy, and it’s definitely an approach worth testing.”

Creating a new listing: The importance of images and video

There are several rules sellers should consider when creating a new listing. “You’ve got to focus on the listing quality,” says Shah. “That includes creating a good title and preparing seven high-quality images.” 

Here are some tips: 

  1. Your main image should have a white background: “The rest of the images can be ‘lifestyle’ shots or even infographics,” says Shah. “People will swipe through your images, potentially looking for inspiration about how they can use your product.”
  2. Video is increasingly viewed as an essential conversion tool: “Consumers are very much excited by videos,” says Shah. “We can see that in the popularity of social channels like TikTok.” 
  3. Video doesn’t have to be expensively produced: “A lot of emerging brands think it costs a lot of money to make a video,” says Shah. “But social media has changed the way people view video content. You can make an engaging and authentic video on your mobile phone that will really enhance your listings.”
  4. There’s still room for creativity: While Amazon listings are pretty generic, taking a more creative approach is possible.”A+ design, which is ‘below-the-fold’, enables brands to further optimize their listings with enhanced images,” says Shah.

Amazon pricing strategy

It’s always good to have a clear pricing strategy on Amazon. “Sellers need to ask if their pricing is right before they launch on Amazon,” says Shah. “Once products start moving, they can adjust the pricing. However, they should do this gradually. It’s not a good idea to suddenly jump to a higher price. Jump too high, too quickly, and you risk losing sales and the algorithm pushing your listing further down.”      

Can brands protect their listings?

There’s not a simple answer to this question. “Technically, a brand will have their say on listing for their products because they are the brand owner,” says Shah. “Generally, if there are some changes they need to make, they’ll go through the brand registry portal.”

But this isn’t always the case. “Amazon says you own that listing,” says Shah. “But experience tells us something different. We’ve seen people jumping into listings, and suddenly, without the brand’s knowledge or permission, the image suddenly changes.”

Despite this, it is always a good idea for brands to be proactive on Amazon. Brands are realizing now that even if you are not interested in selling on Amazon, it’s good to have a presence there and have authority over your product listings,” says Shah. “We recently worked with a brand that was surprised to see their product listed on Amazon. A third-party seller created the listing, and it wasn’t great. We had to prove that we owned the brand before Amazon would help us to optimize the listing.”

Creating Amazon listings brands can be proud of

Many brands create highly optimized Amazon listings with no intention of trading directly on the marketplace. “They create perfect listings with A+ design and then hand them over to third-party sellers,” says Shah. “It’s about protecting and enhancing your brand and supporting your community of distributors and sellers. There’s incredible value in that.”

Private label products 

Many online sellers will take ownership of their listings by creating private-label products. “A private label product is often a generic item manufactured by a third party and sold under the retailer’s brand,” says Shah. “A private label has a huge advantage because nobody else can jump on your listing.”

But this doesn’t guarantee instant success. “I’m often asked, if I launch a product today, when will I start seeing some return?” says Shah. “It can take some time. Sometimes, the product just doesn’t work. But if the product is right and the price is right, give it three to four months, and you should start seeing a return on your investment.”

Amazon services

Amazon offers retailers a range of services that can further enhance good-quality product listings — and help retailers to shift greater volume. They include: 

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

The opportunities presented by FBA are difficult to ignore. “If you compare FBA-listed products with non-FBA products, FBA will help you win that Buy Box,” says Shah. “FBA is very attractive to buyers because they see that little Prime badge, which builds trust.”

To the consumer, a product delivered via FBA is just like buying directly from Amazon. “They know that if something wrong goes with the product, they can always return it,” says Shah. “It’s very easy to build immediate relationships with FBA and Prime.”

FBA doesn’t work in isolation. “If you have a good product with good reviews, FBA will help you rank because it simply converts more,” says Shah.

Amazon Ads

If you want your products to appear in those prominent positions in the search results, Amazon Ads are increasingly important. Love them or hate them, Amazon Ads are not going away anytime soon. “Having your product listed near the top of the Amazon search results is important,” says Shah. “Do people go to page two or three of the search results when looking for a product? Do they even go to the bottom of the first page? Some do, but the majority don’t.”

Love them or hate them, Amazon Ads are not going away anytime soon. 

The question is, do they work? “I don’t think we need to discuss that,” says Shah. “It works because the whole growth of Amazon Ads, generating billions of dollars of revenue, wouldn’t have happened on the back of a bad product.”

Amazon Ads is divided into three different ad categories. These are sponsored product ads, brand ads, and display ads.  “The challenge is to find the right keywords and ad categories for the right products,” says Shah. 

Like any other aspect of online marketing, mastering Amazon Ads takes a lot of testing. “It’s interesting; you can target the same keyword through the sponsored product and brand ads, but the placement will be different,” says Shah. Testing can be very time-consuming, but it is essential. “It’s good to start with a small budget and learn from your experience before committing to larger campaigns,” says Shah. “Even with a budget of just £5 or £10 per day, you’ll start to see an impact. And as your confidence grows in your ad campaigns, you can gradually increase your budget.”  

Create a checklist

There is very rarely such a thing as an overnight success on Amazon. “Sellers need to take their time and allow their listings to work alongside Amazon’s algorithms,” says Shah. “It can be a long process, but when everything is aligned, the rewards can be significant.”

Creating an optimization checklist is a great idea. “A checklist enables you to ensure all of your listings go through the optimization process correctly,” says Shah. “You don’t want to miss out on any opportunity to maximize the potential of your listings.” 

10-point checklist to optimize your Amazon listings 

  1. Clear and descriptive product titles: A good Amazon product listing starts with a title that succinctly describes the product, including its key features and benefits.
  2. High-quality images: Utilize high-resolution images that showcase the product from multiple angles, allowing customers to inspect details and make informed decisions.
  3. Compelling product descriptions: Craft a compelling and informative product description that highlights the unique selling points, features, and benefits of the product in a concise manner.
  4. Accurate product information: Ensure all product details, such as dimensions, materials, colors, and specifications, are correct and clearly stated to avoid any confusion or disappointment upon purchase.
  5. Strategic pricing: Implement a competitive pricing strategy that considers factors such as production costs, competitor pricing, perceived value, and customer demand. Regularly monitor and adjust prices to remain competitive while maximizing profitability and maintaining perceived value for the product. 
  6. Keyword optimization: Incorporate relevant keywords naturally throughout the listing to improve visibility in Amazon search results and attract potential customers.
  7. Branding elements: Integrate brand logos, colors, and fonts consistently throughout the A+ content to reinforce brand identity and credibility.
  8. FBA: Consider the benefits of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), such as fast and reliable shipping, hassle-free returns, and access to Amazon Prime benefits, reassuring customers of a seamless purchasing experience and boosting confidence in the product’s fulfillment process.
  9. Amazon ads: Leveraging Amazon ads can effectively complement organic search efforts and enhance overall product discoverability and sales potential.
  10. Customer reviews and ratings: Encourage positive customer reviews and ratings by providing excellent customer service, delivering quality products, and promptly addressing any customer concerns or issues.

Optimize your entire ecommerce business

Optimizing your Amazon product listing is just one step toward building a more efficient and profitable business. You also need to build infrastructure that supports your ecommerce operation.

To learn more about how Linnworks can help you optimize your listing strategy, order management, and warehouse operations, schedule a call or book a demo with one of our ecommerce experts today.  

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John Hayes

John Hayes

Marketing strategist and author who has been helping businesses develop their online marketing strategies for more than 20-years. Working alongside some of the biggest names in ecommerce and online marketing, he has dedicated much of his career to demystifying the web and highlighting opportunities for businesses to grow. He is the author of five books and is widely recognized as an influential thought leader in content, email and social media.