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Sometimes selling on Amazon can feel like Mission: Impossible. No matter what you do, you’re failing to make an impact in a big way.
No more. Our goal is to declassify the Amazon rulebook and set you up for success by making successful selling your new Mission: Possible. By moving forward with a strong strategy, and using tools like SEO, PPC, and Buyer-Seller Messaging, we reveal the secrets to growing a prosperous and compliant Amazon business.
Here Are the Pillars of a Successful Amazon Selling Strategy
That Others Don’t Want You To Know:
Build a Strategy
The Hope Strategy: How to Bust Your Bad Habits and Use Intelligence to Grow
Many business owners have a sales goal that they want to hit, but many lack the foundational strategy behind how they’re planning to get there. Here’s how we approach a smart business strategy and use reporting and your current business health to help you not only define your goals, but build an actionable strategy to help you achieve it.
Data is really trendy — everyone is talking about how to get access to it and optimize it. But at the same time, data doesn’t mean anything unless you have the ability to analyze it and create action from it. When it comes to your Amazon data, these are the questions that you should be asking yourself:
- Are you capturing your data?
- Do you know what to do with your data?
- Can you make decisions with your data that will positively impact your company?
- Are you able to establish a strategy with what you know?
If you’re not able to answer these questions, you’ve got what we like to call a “hope strategy.” It’s got all the right pieces, but none of the action items that you need to move the needle.
So how do you make money moves? By not only capturing your data, but taking advantage of what you learn with a tool designed to take action on your findings and help analyze your next-best move. Let’s dive into a customer example who used strategy, advertising, ranking, and more to grow their business in an impactful way.
Death Wish Coffee
In 2016, Death Wish Coffee was in a Super Bowl ad as part of Intuit’s “Small Business Competition” 30-second spot. The first ten minutes after the ad aired, they saw a 120,000 increase in their site visits. But before that, they became the biggest coffee seller on Amazon after partnering with Seller Labs Pro to build their success strategy. So while many people today see them as who they are — #1 on the world’s biggest marketplace — they started just like you on their journey to dominate Amazon.
Maintain Amazon as a majorsales-generating platform.
For Death Wish Coffee, navigating Amazon’s ever-changing requirements was about maintaining the experience and brand of their in-house coffee shop once their bags of coffee hit the shelves. With Seller Labs Pro, they wanted unique insights to make sure they did both from the word “go.”
Seller Labs Pro for RankingOptimization, Advertising,& Buyer-Seller Messaging
A quadruple package of Seller Labs Pro provides Death Wish Coffee with everything they need: The Advertising Center, the Communication Center, the Keyword Center, and the Performance & Notification Center. With each of these tools, Death Wish moved the needle by analyzing Amazon reviews, building optimized product listings, and ultimately reaching daily, weekly, and monthly goals for their promotions and messaging.
Amazon makes up 40.5% of Death Wish Coffee’s total sales.
Even with high competition from established coffee sellers like Starbucks and Caribou Coffee, Death Wish Coffee was able to carve out a place for their product by consistently providing for their customers and keeping up with the changing Amazon demands. So what did Death Wish Coffee know that you don’t? In addition to working with a tool like Seller Labs Pro, they learned the ins and outs that are defined in our step-by-step guide below, so stay tuned.
Ranking on Amazon:
The Inside Track on How to Get Your Products Seen
Optimizing your listings, understanding the best Amazon algorithm, and learning how to identify and track keywords is the secret to ranking success — but it doesn’t have to be an undercover operation.
So, the Amazon algorithm. It’s the first thing that you need to understand to make the most of your ranking strategy, and here it goes:
Search Terms + Detailed Page Views + Price + Sales + Reviews
The real algorithm is — as always — more complicated than that. Still, the basics that you need to focus on fall into those five categories, and the best way to make a serious dent in your goal list is to focus on optimizing as many of those categories as possible. With the right keywords, you can build high-performing product pages, which jumpstart the whole process.
There are many “gurus” out there who claim they know how to crack the algorithm. You don’t need to worry about them: The key is to focus on the parts you control. For example, if a guru talks about inventory and location of your inventory for local search, but as a seller, all you can do is ship inventory into Amazon, spending time on this is out of your control. Our advice? Focus on the parts you can control, and place your efforts in the activities that will make you money.
So what’s your first step to taking advantage of ranking optimization?
Understanding what it’s for.
…and finding the solutions, information, resources, products, and more, that best match the search terms they’ve entered. When it comes to A9, Amazon’s search engine algorithm, product matching is both an art and science because you, the seller, have to put together information to satisfy both the algorithm and the buyer.
If that sounds tough, don’t worry. Let us decode it and make it easier for you.
Here are the top four things you need to remember to give your Amazon store the SEO treatment.
Some categories may allow you to write more, but we recommend you stick with the best practices: Bullet points should be within 150 and 200 characters.
Advertising on Amazon:
Driving More Sales with Secret Maneuvers
Every day Amazon advertising becomes more complex, but the reality is, without a strong foundation in advertising mechanics, you’ll never be able to understand the newest and latest ad trends.
You’re probably aware of the following three advertising tools: Amazon Sponsored Ads, Sponsored Brand Ads, and Sponsored Displayed Ads, but do you know how to utilize these tools to help you achieve your goals with a concrete Amazon advertising strategy?
Whether your ad goal this year is to lower ACoS, increase velocity, or boost your organic ratings, your ads will never be successful if you don’t know what you’re trying to do, or how you will measure effectiveness. While it’s good to have an overall goal, great sellers set advertising goals at an ASIN or Family level.
What else do you need?
These three Amazon advertising essentials to blow the cover on how to run successful, cost-effective campaigns.
Own your branded keywords (or your competitors will).
Branded keywords are the keywords that contain your brand’s name. Shoppers who search using branded keywords are more likely to be familiar with your brand and they’re seeking out your products instead of a competitor’s based upon their past experiences or your brand’s reputation.
The good news: Branded keywords are up to four times more likely to convert than their generic counterparts.
The bad news: Amazon Brand Registry can help you protect your trademark, but it can’t stop other owners from bidding on your brand name.
Is this fair?
No, but that’s how Amazon advertising works.
To avoid this scenario, Amazon gives brand owners an undisclosed discount on their own branded keywords so you can deter competitors from making sales off of your branded keywords by charging your competition more per click.
- COVERT MANEUVER: If your competitors are not protecting their brand, you can develop a campaign to conquer their space!
Stretch your daily budget towork harder and longer.
One of the variables that you set in your Amazon ad campaigns is daily spend. If you run out of ad spend early in the day, you’re losing potential sales. Avoid this by examining your daily spend so that you can see which keywords are bringing clicks and which keywords are actually converting.
When you’re working on your Amazon ad strategy, always keep in mind that:
- Impressions are free, but they’re just the first step of the buying process.
- Clicks cost you money (what you’ve successfully bid to win the keyword) and you take a loss when they don’t convert.
- Conversions bring you revenue, boost ranking, and lower your CPC (cost per click), and ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sales). Focus here.
With that (and your goals) in mind, check the Search Term Report to see where clicks are coming from. Once you’ve identified where and how your budget was spent and which keywords give you the most leads, you can make adjustments.
A bit of counterintelligence to keep in mind: You want to attribute your ad spend to total sales if you aren’t already. When you go in and start scaling — we’re talking true volume growth — it can take up to 90 days to see movement.
So when you’re optimizing your campaigns, work in quarters. Have a Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 goal. Just don’t try to optimize for less than a 90-day window.
Use negative keywords.
Think of negative keywords as anti-keywords.
If a keyword is a term that will get your product discovered because shoppers are searching using that term, then a negative keyword is a term that will block your ad from appearing as a keyword match. Setting a negative keyword is your way of saying to Amazon: Do not show my ad when a shopper inputs [x] as a search term. This will reduce the number of impressions and clicks that do not lead to conversions.
As for knowing which keywords to make negative, rely on your data collection and look for keywords that get lots of impressions and/or clicks but few or no conversions. This will help lower your ACoS.
Becoming an expert advertiser takes time, patience, and testing. If you’re interested in putting the power of Amazon advertising in your hands, SIGN UP FOR A FREE 30-DAY TRIAL OF SELLER LABS PRO, and get started building your unique strategy today.
We can help you identify and suggest keywords to take searching for negative keywords off your hands. Learn more about it here.
How to Get More Reviews & Feedback Without Going Off the Grid with Amazon
Any time Amazon updates their messaging guidelines, sellers get confused. With the most recent policy change, there are a lot of updates needed, and they go into effect on November 3, 2020.
Here’s what you need to know to be compliant.
You can also use tools like Amazon-compliant Seller Labs Pro to ensure your messaging is within the guidelines. But that’s not all. Even with a tool like Seller Labs Pro, you are still responsible for ensuring the messages that you send are compliant. We’ll set you up for success with the A/B testing, notifications, and more, but you still need to be smart about what you put in writing.
Here’s a basic run-down of what’s allowed and not allowed when it comes to messaging your clients on Amazon.
Basic Rules for Requesting
Amazon Seller Feedback & Product Reviews
Next up, it’s time to make sure you understand the key differences between Buyer-Seller Messaging and Request a Review.
Here’s our breakdown:
Now that you know the fundamentals, it’s time for the tough question: How do I get more product reviews while avoiding restriction?
The answer is simple: Don’t break the rules. There really isn’t a secret formula to get around it. But still, when Amazon sellers get restricted from Buyer-Selling Messaging for 30 days, they are surprised. Why? Because they thought messaging was a “set it and forget it” part of their business and they didn’t do an audit to understand the messages they send and how the updated rules need to be applied.
So here’s our tip: Work with an Amazon-compliant tool like Seller Labs Pro to deliver rich communication with automated emails, event triggers, A/B testing, and more, to increase your feedback and reviews without breaking any of Amazon’s guidelines. And that’s the biggest plus: By working with Seller Labs Pro, you can ensure that every Buyer-Seller Message you send is not only branded for your company, but compliant.
Why You Don’t Need to Fall for Counter-Intelligence Measures
Amazon has a few no-go areas, and we’ve spent years understanding the pitfalls of the biggest contenders. Here’s what we’ve found.
The Amazon Search Algorithm (A9) can’t be “hacked.”
It’s not uncommon to see black-hat scammers on the Amazon Marketplace swear they can “manipulate the Amazon search algorithm” in their favor. The only rub? It’s not possible. Amazon’s exact formula is not only unavailable to the public, but it’s also constantly being adjusted. On top of that, many factors affect how products appear in search results, which is why having a strong business strategy is essential. So even if people have “hacked the system” their success is short-lived: They either get caught or they lose their lead when the formula is updated. If you are looking to build a real business, then you want to lay a foundation that you can feel confident standing on.
By properly optimizing your SEO, advertising, and analytics, you don’t need to fall for black-hat scammers. Instead, you can rely on tools like Seller Labs Pro to easily understand and act on performance metrics, run more efficient campaigns, and maximize your profitability.
Amazon has a very clear (and non-negotiable) counterfeit policy.
All products sold on Amazon must adhere to the Amazon Anti-Counterfeit policy, which states that all products must be “authentic.” But as the marketplace itself has grown, some sellers may not even be aware that they are selling counterfeit products if the counterfeit itself is at the design or manufacturing level.
If retail arbitrage is your Amazon business, be mindful of how you list your goods to ensure you aren’t taking part in ASIN piggybacking, i.e., offering a cheap knock-off or violating intellectual property to sell items cheaply.
Without having to go to all of this backhanded trouble, using a tool like Seller Labs Pro to track your competitors’ keywords is a better solution to dominate the marketplace. With competition tracking and keyword strategy development, we can optimize your product performance smartly and organically.
Taking part in “brushing” is a definite no-go.
Originating in China (where it is now illegal), brushing is when a customer who makes an authentic purchase receives odd, low-cost products — or empty envelopes — instead of their product. The recipient customer didn’t order these items, but a supplier has used customer information fraudulently to boost sales volumes or to create fake user accounts for posting fake reviews. The shipment to the real customer creates a fraudulent purchase indication on Amazon, which boosts the product’s ranking.
Don’t try this tactic. Instead, use a strong Amazon review strategy to build higher conversion rates. With Seller Labs Pro, powered by Feedback Genius, you can create and automate messages that grow your reviews and improve your rankings without creating a fraudulent plan.
Get-rich-quick doesn’t work in life, and it doesn’t work in the marketplace.
One of the common black hat tricks scammers use is not in manipulating products, reviews, or listings themselves, but by positioning themselves as gurus that can help others to achieve huge performance gains.
Our word to the wise: There are legitimate training in the marketplace for Amazon sellers, but don’t just shell out lots of money for sessions that offer “no-fail, win big” seminars, classes, and workshops. In addition to taking your money and not even showing up for the training, your guru might teach you to take part in practices that will get you banned from Amazon. So when something sounds too good to be true — and you’re being asked to pay for it — it definitely is a scam.
Bona Fide Intelligence for Next-Level Ops
This isn’t a front. We’ve still got more secrets to disclose for sellers who want closed-source, advanced intelligence on how to dominate Amazon. With these declassified videos, you’ll gather the edge you need to add new layers to your overall strategy.
The Future of Amazon Selling Domination: You.
If there’s one thing that has guaranteed Amazon’s growth, it’s the ease for customers to buy products. And that’s why, ultimately, you will see the same growth: You’re the reason customers come, and continue to, shop on Amazon.
By following the rules of this covert operation — and working with a tool like Seller Labs — you can win the advantage over your competitors every time through strategic business plan building, strong Amazon ranking skills, smart Amazon advertising tactics, and compliant Buyer-Seller Messaging.
Your final mission, should you choose to accept it, is waiting. All you have to do is contact Seller Labs to get started.
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