Originally published on Forbes.

At the end of 2020, Amazon boasted a $1.6 trillion valuation and employed more than 1.1 million people. In a blog post by Jeff WilkeAmazon’s former CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, Amazon reported that they delivered over 1.5 billion products worldwide during their biggest holiday season ever. According to Marketplace Pulse, nearly 200,000 new third-party sellers hopped onto the Amazon bandwagon in 2020. In 2020, investors sunk over $1 billion into companies focused on acquiring Amazon-centric brandssuch as Thrasio, Heyday, and Perch 

With Amazon’s scale and the shift toward consolidation within the marketplacebrands not yet on Amazon may be wondering if they’ve missed the boat. Is 2021 too late to enter the Amazon game?  

No. But, the boat is very crowdedGone are the days when you could build the plane on the way down.” In 2021, you have to enter Amazon ready to hit the ground running.  

My company has served over 4,000 brands and helped launch thousands of products on Amazon. Drawing on that experience, here are 5 critical steps that I would suggest your brand take before you’re ready to start selling on Amazon in 2021. 

#1 Select Your Catalog 

The first step is deciding what you want to sell on Amazon. How you decide may differ depending on whether you are expanding an established brand to Amazon or launching an Amazon-exclusive line.  

If starting with an established brand, you could take your top sellers and evergreen products to Amazon. Alternatively, you could differentiate your Amazon offerings from your other sales channels, listing different colors or sizes than what’s available elsewhere, online-exclusive bundles, or new products. You could even use Amazon for liquidation, selling end-of-season products and excess stock.  

If you’re launching an Amazon-exclusive product line, then you can take the traditional route of researching consumer interest, competition, and costs to identify which products and features offer the greatest potential.  

#2 File Paperwork 

Perhaps the least glamorous step, filing the appropriate paperwork is nevertheless critical for success. As soon as you’re able, you should file for a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as it takearound 6 months to complete. While you’re at it, also file for a patent, if applicable. Having a trademark will enable you to enroll in Amazon’s Brand Registry program, which provides access to additional marketing services and brand protection tools. 

You should also obtain universal product codes (UPCs or colloquially, bar codes) for every product in your catalog through GS1.  

Last but not least, you must conduct safety and product testing. Amazon’s compliance requirements are often stricter than federal requirementsIn my company’s experiencethe most restricted Amazon categories are Baby, Beauty, Health & Personal Care, and Grocery. You should have your product tested in a reputable labsuch as Intertek, UL, CTT, or Bureau Veritas. Such labs often provide a regulatory analysis that can help you determine all relevant compliance requirements for your product. 

#3 Determine Inventory Logistics 

Next, it’s time to map your supply chain. Connect with your manufacturers to discuss lead times and material accessibility so you can account for it in your demand planning.  

From the manufacturer, the product’s next stop is a warehouse, which means you need to secure a warehouse solution that can store inventory and take returns. The obvious choice here is Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), but as 2020 showed us, it’s dangerous to keep all your eggs in one basket. You’d be wise to create secondary solutions that can supplement FBA in the event of Amazon-imposed shipment restrictions to FBA warehouses. This may involve creating a dropship solution or using a third-party fulfillment provider 

#4 Create an Amazon Account 

You’ve selected high opportunity products, filed the necessary paperwork, and planned your supply chain. Now, you’re ideally positioned to create an Amazon Seller account. Though they are infamously easy to ignore, you should take the time to read Amazon’s Terms of Service so you understand your rights as a seller.  

Once your account is created, you can start creating product listings on Amazon. Create these listings in advance, but don’t publish them until your first round of inventory is in stock. 

#5 Prepare a Marketing Strategy 

As you near the finish line, it’s time to focus on your marketing strategy, which is essential to your success on this crowded marketplace. Start with the basics: Research 5-15 competitors on Amazon, then perform a SWOT analysis to identify opportunities. What features do they highlight in images and copy? How many reviews do they have and what do they say? What are their prices? Are they running ads? 

Once you understand the landscape, create content that highlights your differentiating factors. Amazon is only growing more saturated, so you need highquality images, videos, and search engine optimized copy to stand outA+ Content and Amazon Stores are also helpful assets. To help generate brand awareness quicker, you should create an active social media account for audience engagement. 

You should also allocate a sizable marketing budget for Amazon advertising. Sponsored Product Ads are the highest converting ad types on Amazon, but Sponsored Brand Ads and Sponsored Display Ads are also useful for increasing brand name recognition. Using a mix provides the best results for new brands, in my experience. 

Success Takes Time 

Launching on Amazon is exhilarating, and you’re likely eager to see some immediate resultsBut still, be patient; building relevancy for SEO and advertising takes time. Amazon is a flourishing platform that has enabled tremendous growth for many brands. Starting with these five steps is a great way to become another one. 

How to Start Selling on Amazon

As a First-to-Market (FTM) brand, you carry the exciting burden of readying your products for a successful expansion onto the marketplace. Being the captain of your fate can be equal parts exciting and overwhelming, especially when breaking ground in a foreign market.  

If we’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s that anything can happen. It’s important to understand that there’s no ‘silver bullet’ for launching a new product or brand, but there are proven tactics recounted here to help you successfully navigate the ecommerce seas.   

Why Amazon? 

Amazon is turning into a marketplace that is well positioned for brands, as having made strides to keep brands safe on the channel through programs like Brand Registry. Amazon seems to understand and hold stock in the fact that brands invest in research and development, advertise through other media outlets, engage with customers, and create a shopping experience that excites folks so they come back for more.   

The Two Types of FTM Products 

An FTM launch will look different for each brand, but we can divide the launch types into two very broad buckets: emerging products and established products.  

Often, an Amazon launch consists of a manufacturer creating a product or products with specific intent to sell them on the Amazon channel only. We would call this an emerging product. 

Established products, on the other hand, are products that have been selling for years in small brick and mortar stores, large box stores, Etsy, direct websites, and even farmer’s markets, and the brand now wants to transition their catalog to online marketplaces.  

Brand genesis is an important factor that will play into a brand’s overall FTM strategy, so it’s an important distinction. 

farmer's market

Established Products 

For those brands who do have some form of exposure already, be it online or in a physical store, step one will be determining which products from your catalog will be added to Amazon.  

With the pandemic forcing many brands to look to online platforms to maintain profitability, there’s been a rapid and unique shift in the ecommerce landscape, so again, remember that the FTM strategy will look different for all brands.  

Emerging Products 

For manufacturers that are looking to create a product line exclusively for Amazon or ecommerce marketplaces, there are fewer ‘keeping everyone happy’ hoops and more ‘what products can I rely on to sell’ hoops, which is just as tricky of a situation.  

With roughly 12 million items on Amazon.com, you need to know who and what is out there before you drop your anchor. There is a range of free and paid options to help research product opportunities, which are highly recommended for existing brands and new products alike. 

Company owners often turn to index & rank checkers and search volume tools to ascertain what products currently sell well on the channel, then further research whether the items are viable for production, and then finally, launch.  

Getting That Paper. (Not the Green Kind. Yet). 

We’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t the sexiest section of this guide, but it could be the most important. Having your general business in order is key to avoiding frustrating lag times during set up.  

The enclosed checklist is a fantastic aid for maneuvering through this section, since the majority of the tasks discussed below will require you to work with government agencies and third parties to compile the necessary paperwork. We’ve included helpful links that will take you exactly where you need to go. 

  • Secure your trademark with USPTO. In totality, this process can take 6 months, so the earlier you begin, the better. You will need to have a trademark in order to file for the Brand Registry program on Amazon.  
  • Secure UPC codes (synonymous with barcodes and international EAN) for every unique product in your catalog. This includes product variations, like size or color.  
  • Certain products require testing and material information in order to be approved for resale on Amazon.  
  • Set up processes for tracking, storing, and filing sales and use tax. Once you are a registered business within that state, you will need to file a report annually with the Secretary of State and track the expiration date of your license so you can renew, as needed.  
  • Pull together all contact information, identification, and accounting paperwork necessary for opening an Amazon Seller Central account.  
  • Determine your fulfillment strategy, as the route you take will determine whether you get the highly sought-after Prime delivery badge. 

Download our free First-to-Market Checklist to see if your brand is ready to launch new products on Amazon.

Planning Logistics

Next up, it’s time to plan how you’re going to get inventory from point A to point B in the most effective and secure way possible. This became quite a bit trickier in 2020, which strained supply chains at every juncture. As such, approaching these steps with care is even more important.

Plan Early with Your Manufacturer 

Start planning with your manufacturer early to confirm availability of raw materials and start calculating cost of goods. Confirm lead-times with your manufacturer to assess timing for your initial shipments into Amazon, as well as align your future inventory planning ability for stock replenishment and gauging timing for any new product development. 

Apply Amazon-Compliant Packaging during Production 

For sake of efficiency, having your product packaging modified for Amazon compliance during production is highly recommended. Be sure to include expiration dates, shelf-life, age restrictions and UPC/barcode on the product packaging for Amazon. 

  • If you plan to launch on Amazon Global marketplaces in the future, include multi-language packaging and product directions 
  • If you sell temperature sensitive products, note that Amazon removes any meltable product from warehouses April-October

The actual product packaging (the box the product comes in), it doesn’t have to be pretty! Feel free to shave off some costs and use a plain brown box that has a scannable barcode on the outside. Or, if you choose to polybag the product, then you’ll need to make sure your warehouse can apply all product prep to be acceptable at FBA.   

Amazon FBA shipping requirements

Secure Your Distribution Contracts 

For brands that are established in the market already but looking to expand into the Amazon marketplace, you should notify your distributors and develop parameters to ensure other resellers do not become instant competition. Having iron clad online distribution policies and strict MSRP will be extraordinarily useful as your brand gains momentum on the channel and outside parties become interested in claiming a piece of the pie.  

There are legal resources and consulting partners that specialize in strategy development to keep online channels clean, such as Amazon Sellers Lawyer, that can help you understand your legal options and reduce the chances of channel conflict or price degradation post-launch.  

Create a Warehousing Plan 

Begin building relationships with a warehouse solutions partner quickly. Many brands will use an independent warehouse solution to hold stock that has been manufactured domestically or imported to reduce monthly storage fees to Amazon. Most often, independent warehouse partners will have a competitive fee structure compared to Amazon FBA.  

Product that sits at FBA longer than 12 months will be subject to increased fees under their Long-Term Storage policy. Other brands may lean on established supply chain partners like Deliverr to facilitate storage and shipping which guarantee Amazon compliance. 

Send a Small Initial Shipment 

Your initial shipment into Amazon should be small to help troubleshoot any unforeseen issues and reduce fees as you ramp up sales velocity. Roughly 20-50 units should suffice, with a secondary shipment sent 1-2 weeks after. Once product has been selling on Amazon for 30 days, subsequent shipments should include roughly 4-6 weeks of coverage, increasing upwards of 8-12 weeks during relevant seasonality.   

Time Your Launch Strategically 

Having time is a luxury. But timing is a necessity. Do not rush a launch for sake of excitementExamine your product and pick your launch timing with intent. Will your catalog align with the back to school season, Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.? Kick off the main event when the opportunity is greatest 

Keep the Learning Going with our Free eBook

The above only tips only scratch the surface. Deep dive into everything your brand should do before launching on Amazon in our free eBook, “How to Launch New Products on Amazon.”



Amazon Agency vs Amazon Retail

Expansion into Ecommerce has Accelerated 

Before 2020, ecommerce had been steadily growing its share of all retail. But when the coronavirus hit and countries around the world issues stay-at-home orders, it forced consumers and businesses to turn to online sales channels in numbers never seen before. As a result, we’ve seen an acceleration in brand and consumer adoption of ecommerce.

Road Bumps Along the Way 

But, 2020 also saw brands face many hurdles on online marketplaces. Amazon struggled to keep pace with the surge in purchases, and they had to restrict which types of products they would accept into their fulfillment centers for a time. Amazon’s first-party (1P) division, Amazon Retail, and third-party sellers (3Ps) alike struggled to remain in stock as supply lines locked down, manufacturing was interrupted, and consumer demand skyrocketed for products well outside of their typical peak season.  

Charting a New Course 

After the turbulence of 2020, many brands are reconsidering their approach to ecommerce. To help brands make an informed decision, we’ve put together a list of the key factors that brands should consider when deciding if they should work with an Amazon retailer (1P or a 3P) or transition to working with an Amazon agency.

Should You Work with an Amazon Retailer? 

Now that we’ve covered the primary options, let’s dig into key factors for making a decision about working with an Amazon retailer, an Amazon agency, or transitioning from one to another. 

What is an Amazon Retailer? 

Starting from the top, when a brand partners with a retailer, the retailer buys product from the brand at wholesale prices, then sells it for retail prices on Amazon.  

The brand’s profits are payment for their product, minus the cost of manufacturing. The retailer’s profit is the consumer’s payment for the product, minus the wholesale expenses and channel management costs, which includes things like shipping, storage, fulfillment, commission, and marketing fees. 

When it comes to Amazon, brands that sell through a retailer can partner with Amazon directly (first-party or 1P) or with a third-party seller (3P). Learn about their key differences in our blog post, Amazon 1P vs 3P. 

Many brands choose to sell through a retailer because it provides cash up front, and the brand doesn’t have to get involved in the hassle of actively managing an Amazon channel. 

Pros of an Amazon Retailer 

Let’s start with the pros for partnering with an Amazon retailer (1P or 3P): 

  • Paid upfront via a retailer’s purchase order, which can be useful for funding manufacturing costs 
  • Not responsible for managing consumer-facing sales channel (fewer infrastructure costs) 
  • They handle online sales tax 
  • They are already registered for international value-added taxes (VAT), making international expansion much faster 
  • They provide the expertise and resources  
  • Perhaps the simplest way to start selling on Amazon 

Cons of an Amazon Retailer 

Now for the potential cons of working with an Amazon retailer (1P or 3P): 

  • Limited control over your brand’s representation online 
  • Limited control over product pricing 
  • Limited visibility into channel performance 

It’s worth noting that some of the cons of working with a retailer can be mitigated by partnering with a trustworthy partner. If you’re interested in this business model but concerned about the cons, seek out a retailer that’s committed to building a healthy relationship with your brand. 

Costs of an Amazon Retailer 

As mentioned, in a retail model, the retailer pays the brand for their product. However, retailers may ask for various discounts from the brand so they can pay the numerous Amazon fees (commission, shipping fees, tiered storage fees, and fulfillment fees) while still having some margin left over to generate revenue for themselves.   

Making a Decision 

Work with an Amazon retailer if: 

  • You want to focus on the manufacturing and brick and mortar side of your business, while they handle taking your products to market 
  • You don’t want to be responsible for paying shipping, storage, fulfillment, and commission fees 
  • Your business’s cashflow model relies on large purchase order payments 
  • You want to expand sooner rather than later into foreign markets 

Should You Work with an Amazon Agency? 

If you’re not interested in starting with a retailer or you’re working with a retailer and want to take more ownership of your Amazon channel, you may consider working with an Amazon agency. 

What Value does an Amazon Agency Add? 

Now, let’s say a brand doesn’t want someone else representing them on Amazon; they want to sell their products themselves. That’s an increasingly popular decision, and one that we’ve seen more and more brands transition to in recent years.  

However, there’s a challenge in representing yourself. Managing an Amazon channel requires three things that can be hard to come by: 

  1. Personnel: You need bodies dedicated to managing your Amazon channel. If you’re using existing personnel, what projects are you pulling them off of? If hiring new personnel, you need the budget for salaries and benefits. 
  2. Expertise: At over 25 years old now, Amazon is a mature marketplace that requires complete attention. With millions of sellers on the platform, you must enter the platform with a strong understanding of the landscape and strategies if you want to succeed. 
  3. Time: If you manage your brick-and-mortar relationships, do you have time to also manage your ecommerce relationships (and critically, keep the two in balance so that one relationship doesn’t sour the other)? 

 

If you lack in any of the above, then you may need outside help to fill in the gaps. That’s where Amazon agencies come in.  

What is an Amazon Agency? 

Amazon agencies can typically offer services in two ways: complete Amazon management or selected services. The former means that they provide everything needed to run every aspect of your Amazon channel. The latter means they provide only a handful of services that you specifically need help with, such as managing your Amazon advertising campaigns, while you handle the rest. 

Pros of an Amazon Agency 

Pros for partnering with an Amazon agency: 

  • More control over your brand’s representation online 
  • More control over product pricing 
  • Increased visibility into channel performance 
  • Your profit margin may exceed that of a retail model 
  • They provide the expertise and resources 

Cons of an Amazon Agency 

Cons for partnering with an Amazon agency: 

  • You’re paying the agency instead of having a retailer pay you 
  • You may be responsible for inventory and supply chain management (some agencies offer this service, but not all) 
  • Since you are selling through your own Seller Account, you are responsible for collecting and remitting online sales taxes 
  • You’re also responsible for VAT in international markets, slowing your ability to expand internationally 

When determining if you’re willing to pay for an agency’s help, think of it as an investment. If you pick the right investment, it may set you back at the start, but soon, it will pay for itself and then some. 

 

Costs of an Amazon Agency 

In an agency model, the brand pays for all the Amazon fees themselves (commission, shipping, storage, fulfillment, marketing), but you have more margin to work with. Because the brand holds the inventory risk in an agency partnership, the agency fee can be significantly lower than the retailer’s margin. The agency then collects either a monthly retainer or a commission. 

Making a Decision 

Either start by working with an Amazon agency or transition to one if: 

  • You want more control of your brand’s representation online 
  • You want a greater share of product margin 
  • You need additional personnel, expertise, time, or resources to effectively manage your Amazon channel 
  • Your budget allows for you to pay a retainer or commission  
  • Your business’s cashflow model can adapt to using revenue from end-consumer sales 

Should You Sell Yourself (Direct to Consumer)? 

If you want to represent your brand yourself on Amazon and you have the personnel, expertise, time, and resources to do so, then you don’t need to partner with a retailer or an agency.  

This route is the end goal for many brands, but it has by far the most and greatest requirements. As such, we often see brands start in retail or agency partnerships, then transition toward selling themselves.  

In this post, we’re focused on comparing working with a retailer to working with an agency, but you can learn more about a Direct-to-Consumer model in this blog post. 

 

Amazon Retailer vs Amazon Agency: Which is Better? 

The annoying but honest answer is that it depends.   

Retail is generally the better choice for brands that need immediate cash flow to fund their manufacturing. Working with a retailer also simplifies domestic and international taxes, as brands do not need to deal with VAT or sales tax when selling online through a retailer; the retailer handles it for them. This also enables brands to expand into foreign markets quicker, since the legal infrastructure is already in place. 

Agency is generally the better choice for manufacturers with tight margins, want larger margins, and/or want more ownership over their brand’s presence in online marketplaces. 

Service That Grows with You 

Kaspien holds a unique position in brand services for online marketplaces, as we’re able to serve brands in both capacities: We can be a brand’s Amazon retailer, Amazon agency, or help them migrate from one to the other. Through our platform, brands can continue building upon the same foundation of data, products, services, and solutions, no matter how their ecommerce needs evolve. 

Related Content 

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Launch new products on Amazon

Jack-o-lanterns and candy corn already line the shelves of grocery stores, heralding the arrival of fall and the holiday season. But even as the busiest shopping time of the year grows near, some brands are looking further aheadplanning for the launch of new products in the coming year. 

If you’re among that group, you’re well aware that creating and releasing new products is an exciting but complicated process. After spending months researching product opportunity, target audiences, competitive landscape, and developing the product, you hope that all your time and energy will pay off after launch day, but that’s far from a guarantee. 

Markets are increasingly saturated as retailing and direct selling become more accessible, with Amazon occupying the forefront of that trendAmazon is only one marketplace, but it accounts for a significant portion of ecommerce sales, with estimates ranging from a third to half of online sales in the US. Its predominance makes it a key player in any product launch strategy. 

To position your product for a successful launch, you need to enter the game with a holistic strategy for marketing, inventory management, and customer service. 

Launch New Products with Kaspien’s FTM Program

To help with that effort, Kaspien has introduced our First-to-Market (FTM) Program, comprehensive package wherein Kaspien provides marketing, logistic, and account support for a set monthly rate. 

Learn More 

Services include: 

  • Marketplace competitive analysis 
  • Product compliance assessment 
  • Dedicated account manager to consult with on an outcome-oriented strategy 
  • Inventory management support 
  • Brand protection software 
  • Listing creation and optimization 
  • Paid Amazon advertising 
  • Complimentary use of Kaspien’s bid optimization software 
  • Amazon coupons 
  • Amazon giveaways 
  • Customer feedback emails 
  • Access to social media marketing 
  • Access to influencer marketing 
  • And more!  

Over our 11 years on Amazon, Kaspien has helped launch hundreds of new products, establishing and refining best practices. This program draws those insights together into a convenient, comprehensive services package. 

Proven Results 

We’ve deployed our strategies to successfully launch new products on Amazon for leading brands, including 3M and ZippyPaws, rapidly increasing visibility and driving sales for new product lines. 

Alongside established brands, we’ve also seen fantastic results for entirely new brands, including: 

  • 30,000+ brand name searches on Amazon per month within one year of launching 
  • More than 1,000 followers on social media within one year of launching  
  • 43% increase in sponsored ad ROAS and a 37% increase in channel sales thanks to Kaspien’s bid optimization software, AdManager 

Now, we’ve introduced the FTM Program to help your new products succeed too 

What It Costs 

The FTM Program starts at $4,000/month retainer, which pays for labor and up to $1,500 of monthly marketing services. The program transitions to a wholesale retailer partnership when revenue reaches a sustainable rate, typically occurring within six months of product launch. 

Get Started 

Enroll in the Kaspien’s FTM Program by reaching out to your Kaspien account manager and filling out our contact form 

Selling your products on Amazon and other online marketplaces offers immense potential, but it can be a daunting prospect, even for experienced brands. To give your brand the best shot at a successful launch, you need to start with a strong foundation, both in product design and marketing. That involves researching target markets, assessing competitor products, creating keyword-rich listing copy, producing Amazon-compliant photography, preparing Amazon search marketing campaigns, and coordinating influencer marketing and social media marketing to generate early traction. 

Well before you get there, you need to create a game plan, a strategy that will make each decision purposeful rather than spasmodic. We’ve helped launch thousands of profitable brands and products on Amazon, and we’ve learned a thing or two about best practices. 

Whenever we consider a first to market launch, we apply a four-step framework. 

Step 1: Definitions

 From the beginning, you need to know who your audience is, what your goals are, and at least some specific steps for how you’ll get there. By establishing definitions at the start, you’ll create clear direction for preparatory and maintenance work. 

  1. Define your target audience. What are their needs, and how will you fulfill those needs? What platforms do they frequent? What ideals can you appeal to?  
  2. Create realistic and incremental growth plans. Lofty goals are admirable, but a ladder with a rung only at the top is useless. You need incremental, tangible goals that will take you step by step to the finish line.  

Step 2: Analysis

 Once your goals and action items are defined, assess your current product iteration. You should have gone through product design a number of times before this stage but revisiting it once more will ensure you’re still on track. If you find that you’re not there yet, you still have time to pivot before you invest more time and money in a weak venture.  

  1. Evaluate your brand or product with a SWOT analysis. Are you well positioned, or do you need to address issues before you launch?  
  2. While marketing will attract customers, it’s product design that determines if those shoppers are one-time buyers or return customers. Even if your price is better, a poorly designed product will lose to a slightly more expensive, better designed product. Before you invest your time and money in entering ecommerce marketplaces, confirm that your product is up to par.  
    1. If you’re entering an already competitive niche, reviewing competitor products’ reviews is a great way to get insights into product do’s and don’ts.  

Step 3: Construction

 Now comes the moment of truth. It’s time to build your listing. You’ll notice this is the longest section in this article, but if you’ve been thorough in your previous steps, this stage should be relatively painless. 

  1. People buy what looks good. Invest in professional photography and consider videos if your product is complex or you’re appealing to a niche audience. Amazon requires at least one image for your listing, but we recommend a mixture of studio and lifestyle images for a total of 5-7 photos. If you need creative assets, Kaspien’s in-house Creative & Digital Services team can provide everything you need. Check out some of their work here
    1. Amazon Gallery Image Requirements: 
      Image size: 500px – 10,000px
      Format: JPG, TIFF, or GIF
      Max File Size: 10mb 
    2. Amazon Hero (First Gallery) Image Requirements 
      Shows product only (out of packaging)
      100% pure white background
      Product must fill at least 85% of image area
      Must be in focus, not blurry   

       

  2. Invest time and resources in search engine optimization. Listing optimization matters for a couple reasons:  
    1. Titles, bullet points, and product descriptions are indexed by Amazon’s search algorithm. Seeding these sections and the backend with keywords is one of the few ways you can proactively improve your organic SERP placement. 
    2. If you want to index for shoppers’ searches, you need to use the terms they’re already using. Don’t describe your product from your perspective; describe it from shoppers’ perspective.
      1. Shoppers who bother to skim or read the copy are doing so because they want more information. That means you shouldn’t just vomit insensible strings of keywords to improve discoverability. Your bullet points and product description must be keyword rich, intelligible, and compelling.
    3. Amazon Listing Character/Bytes Limits 
      Title: 250 bytes 
      Bullet points: 1,000 bytes total for all 5 
      Product description: 2,000 bytes  

       

Step 4: Refinement

 Once your product is live, it’s time to collect data so you can refine and expand your efforts. 

  1. Promote your products off-marketplace with influencer marketing and social media campaigns. Partnering with influencers and running paid Facebook and Instagram ads are effective ways to drive off-site traffic to marketplace listings, increasing your total traffic, improving visibility, and driving conversions.  
    1. By directing targeted audiences from social platforms to your listings directly, you bypass marketplace search engines and competitors’ SERP ads.  
  2. Paid marketplace ads like Amazon Sponsored Products will be less effective while you have extremely high ranks, so use SEO and content marketing to drive down your rank. Once your category rank has improved enough, Cost-per-Click (CPC) ads can be a powerful force for amplifying visibility and sales. 
    1. Increasing listing traffic and sales with content marketing boosts your organic product rank, which improves the performance of your CPC ads on marketplaces.   
  3. Conduct regular evaluation and refinement of your marketing and product. Review ad performance, conversion rates, product rank, and customer reviews. 
    1. As mentioned earlier, customer reviews can provide great insight into what you’re doing well and what you could improve upon. Some complaints stem from misunderstandings, which you can correct by updating imagery and copy. Other complaints may be with the product – How can you improve its design to address those issues?  

In our decade of ecommerce experience, we’ve seen this framework lead to profitable and sustainable growth for our partners and their products. As the saying goes, half the battle is preparation. These four steps will position your company for a strong start and steady growth when you take your brand or products to sell on Amazon, Walmart, and beyond for the first time.