July 30, 2016 Tracy Freese

Are Your Amazon.com Listings Ready for Q4?

Q4 is the most important time of the year for Amazon sellers, and it’s never too early to start getting ready. There’s a lot of competition, with multiple sellers selling the same or similar items. You want to make the best return on your investment. So how can you get an edge over the competition and make customers more likely to click on YOUR listing?

One oft-overlooked aspect of prepping for Q4 is simply making sure your listings look great. There are many ways to improve your listings and, in turn, increase sales!

To improve your listing, put yourself in the shoes of a shopper. Walk through the process of searching for and selecting an item, and write down the areas that need improvement in your own listings. For example, if your listing doesn’t show up on the first few pages of search results, what can you do to make it rank higher? Do your photos look good, or do your competitors’ photos look much better? Have you provided enough information about the product? Looking at your listings through the eyes of a customer is a great way to see what might need improvement. Here are a few areas that you might want to think about:

SEO/Keywords. Depending on how common the item is and how specific the search terms are, a shopper is faced with anywhere from a dozen to several thousand results. If your products have a lot of competition, do everything you can to make sure you appear in the top few results! Sure, you can buy a top spot– then your listing will appear at the top with the disclaimer that it is “Sponsored.” However, these spots are limited, so you probably want to focus on improving your organic ranking.

Spend time carefully crafting the title, bullet points, and product description, explaining clearly what your product is and what it does. Amazon draws from all of these parts of the listing when deciding how to rank your listing, so pay attention to what you’re writing and include as much description as you can. Here are some things to think about: What features and benefits make your item better than, or different from, the competition? More importantly, what specific features of your product will be the most important and compelling to potential buyers? Can you highlight specific features or benefits that may not be highlighted in competitors’ listings, leading to a wider audience and more conversions?

Photos. The quality of product images can make or break a sale. When looking through their search results, shoppers are much more likely to click on a listing with a good photo.  In addition, Amazon may actually pull your listing if your images don’t meet their standards. If your listing gets removed, you will lose sales while you’re working to revise the listing and waiting to get your listing reinstated. Avoid all this by using high-quality, professional images in the first place.

The photos should clearly show all the details of the product from several different angles: texture, colors, patterns, functional details. They should be a large file size so shoppers can use the zoom feature, which Amazon claims increases sales. The main photo must have a pure white background and must be free of any kind of text overlay. All the images should be uncluttered and well-lit.

It is helpful to have both studio shots and “lifestyle shots,” which often use a model and show the product in use. For example, if you’re selling gardening tools, some of the photos should be shot in a garden setting being used as they’re intended. This helps shoppers to envision themselves using the product, making them more likely to buy. Many of your competitors likely only have studio shots, so this is a great way to get an edge over the competition!

Reviews. Ratings and reviews often factor heavily in a shopper’s decision to buy a product. Shoppers are likely to trust products with lots of good reviews– the more, the better. Good, informative reviews can fill in any gaps left by the photos and product description, and often answer questions that other shoppers might have. There are a few ways to get better reviews

Description Box. Amazon offers several places within the listing where you can provide information about your product: the title, the bulleted list, and the product description and product details. Most of these areas are pretty self-explanatory, but many sellers struggle with making the product description box effective. You want to include sufficient information about the product, but it’s also possible to write too much– shoppers won’t want to read huge blocks of text, so they’re more likely to read about your product if you offer smaller pieces of information. Some products don’t need much description: for example, people know exactly what to expect from a simple item like a spatula or an iPhone case. Conversely, if your product is more innovative or unusual, you’ll need to provide more explanation in the description.

Amazon doesn’t provide a lot of freedom in the formatting of the Product Description box. However, there are a few ways to make your product description more readable:

  • Change it to a Q&A format
  • Highlight important points in bold
  • Organize the product’s features in a numbered list, or use hyphens as bullets (actual bullet points are not allowed)
  • For long descriptions, separate into sections with bold headings

Hopefully, you’ve identified a few ways that you can improve your listings. Whether they need a few small tweaks or an entire overhaul, better listings make for better sales. Get ready for your most successful Q4 yet!

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