Hijacked! What to Do When Amazon is Selling on Your Page

hijacked_computer_moneyIt’s a top 5 issue for Amazon merchants.

You’re happily and profitably selling a wholesale product on Amazon.

Then, one day it happens…

Amazon comes in on your page and starts selling your product at a lower price.

Even worse, they won’t share the Buy Box.

Your sales come to a grinding halt. And you still have 150 units of product sitting in FBA.

Without a plan in place this scenario can turn into a brutal and financially devastating experience.   read more…

Amazon Products Not Selling? Put Them Through This Test

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You’ve listed your product on Amazon and it’s not selling.

Or it’s not selling enough to make it a profitable venture.

This 5 question test will help you isolate exactly where the problem is, and show you how to fix it.

5 Point Product Slump Test

greencheckmarkIs Your Product Ranked on Page 1 of Amazon Search for At Least 3-5 Top Searched Keyword Phrases?

 

In order for your product to sell, it must be ranked on page 1 of Amazon search for at least 3-5 top searched keywords or keyword phrases.

When buyers search for products on Amazon, if they don’t see the product they want on page, one…

  • There’s only a 20% chance they’ll continue their search to page 2.
  • A 13% chance they’ll continue to page 3
  • And only 2% will ever see a product ranked on Page 10 of Amazon search

Test Point #1: Have someone who normally doesn’t search for your products on Amazon, do a search for the top keyword phrases you want your product to be found for.

Does your product come up on the first page?

If not, it’s time to run Amazon Sponsored Product Ads to buy a page 1 rank. 

It’s also time to improve your page SEO so that it ranks organically on Page 1.

NOTE: Why can’t you do the rank search? Well you can, at least initially. But after searching for your product multiple times and clicking on your product page, Amazon will start to elevate your product’s rank position in your search results, giving you a false high rank.

greencheckmarkIs Your Product Page Optimized for Buyer Conversion?

 

Your product page must be optimized for both search (SEO) and buyer conversion.

If the product page you’re listing on has any of these issues:

  1. A title that doesn’t doesn’t get buyers to click on it
  2. Only one image
  3. Bad images
  4. Skimpy bullets without features and benefits
  5. No compelling value communicated
  6. No product reviews 
  7. Untested or wrong pricing

Buyers will visit your page but likely won’t purchase..

greencheckmarkAre You Running Amazon Sponsored Product Ads?

 

If your product isn’t selling, (or to get a new product selling) you need to run Amazon Sponsored Product Ads.

In Q4, Amazon 3rd Party Merchants who used Amazon Sponsored Product Ads, saw a 100%+ increase in sales.

My own clients and students of my AMP Coaching Program, saw a 1200%+ increase in sales.

Amazon Sponsored Ads are hands down the most effective way to get visibility and sales for your products on Amazon.

(In February 2016 Amazon made some changes that caused a momentary hiccup with ASPAs, which have since been reverted).

Now, here’s an insider tip we’ve found from testing hundreds of ads.

Even if you have a page 1 organic rank for your product, running Amazon Sponsored Ads and getting a page 1 ad rank for your product will increase your sales.

The more of a “footprint” your product has on the first page of Amazon’s search results, the more you will sell.

greencheckmarkIs this a Seasonal Sales Slump?

 

It’s important to be aware of the seasonality of your products. If your product is out of season, it’s time to replace that income with some fresh inventory.

Each year, one of my AMP students had great sales from January – April. In  June their sales dropped like a box of rocks. 

After putting their product line through our full “Identifying the Cause of a Sales Dip” assessment (found exclusively in AMP) she realized that the product line she’d thought was evergreen (and would sell all year long) wasn’t.

Once she identified the problem, she immediately knew that she needed to expand her product line with products to fill in her gap time from June-August.

greencheckmarkYour Product is Saturated

The law of supply and demand is alive and well on Amazon.

Holding on to inventory that doesn’t have enough demand, or is over saturated with competitors   – is an all too common practice.

If there are too many sellers on your product page or too many sellers of the same/similar products in your  category, you need to take action now.

While in some cases you may be able to wait things out and let the other sellers sell out first, this is rarely the case. (In fact, most sellers make this mistake and tie up valuable cash in unsold inventory.)

If you have price flexibility in your product, test a different pricepoint and to jumpstart sales and find the product price sweet spot.

(If it’s a situation of the product being in a downward spiral in the race to the bottom, don’t enter that race! You won’t win.)

The next step is to decide whether or not your product is a candidate for product bundling – but be forewarned! You can’t just put a non-selling product together with any product and expect it to sell! Your product bundle must offer compelling value to the buyer.

If the supply of your product on Amazon exceeds demand, Sometimes, no matter how much you work to improve your product visibility and conversion, a product just won’t sell.

It’s at this point, it’s better for your business to cut your losses, get your cash out of the product and move on.

Do you need help increasing your sales?

If you’re struggling to hit your sales goals and grow your Amazon business, my Amazon acceleration program, AMP is now open for enrollment.

We have a limited number of spots for motivated Amazon merchants who are committed to reaching their sales goals this year.

And through March 6th you can save 32% on your AMP enrollment.

 

 

Amazon Mucks Up Sponsored Product Ads (and 5 tips to improve ad performance)

muddy_bootOn the heels of announcing that Amazon Sponsored Ads were responsible for a 100% increase in sales for 3rd party merchants during Q4, Amazon just threw sellers a curveball.

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On both February 2 and 11, 2016,  Amazon made changes to Sponsored Ad Phrase Match & Exact Match relevancy that significantly reduced ad performance and sales.

This change caused ad impressions to all but disappear for many sellers running campaigns set up with phrase and exact match types.

These effects seemed to roll out in stages however, as not all out students and clients (many whom have seen a 2000+ % increase in sales with Amazon Sponsored Product Ads in the past year) immediately experienced a drop in impressions or sales.

However, the effect of this change has been widespread.

To make matters worse, Amazon didn’t notify 3rd party merchants of these changes. The first “notification” sellers received was a drastic drop in ad impresesions and sales.

And while Ad changes are without notification are nothing new, one has to wonder why Amazon would take a wildly successful program that’s generated millions of dollars in sales and revenue for both Amazon and their 3rd party merchants, and muck it up?

While only Amazon knows the answer to that question…

As 3rd party merchants we need to turn our focus to how to handle these changes.

After the changes were made,  On Feb 11, Amazon responded with this email to their advertisers:

Dear Advertiser,

On February 2nd, Sponsored Products made changes to exact and phrase match type functionality. As a result of this change, advertisers using phrase and exact match may have seen a decline in traffic starting on February 2nd.

Because some advertisers experienced a larger than expected change in traffic, we are actively evaluating the results of this change and taking the necessary steps to remedy the situation.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to address this issue.

The Sponsored Products Team”

Amazon Seller Support Released then following statement:

” We acknowledge the fact that the change in Match Type has impacted our sellers campaigns (both auto and manual).

Because some advertisers experienced a larger than expected change in traffic, we are actively evaluating the results of this change and taking the necessary steps to remedy the situation. There is no action required to be taken from your end for this issue.

The impact has been more than what was expected and as a result the change is being rolled back.

Once complete, exact and phrase match will operate as they did before and we expect traffic to increase again for our advertisers using phrase and exact. The process of rolling back is going to take few days, but we will inform you all when the change has been been rolled back through an official mail to all the sellers.

We endeavor to provide the best service and aim to contribute in the best way to fulfill all the needs of our valued sellers.  If there is anything else we can do to make things easier for you and to salvage what has up to now been a valued relationship, please let us know.”

The upshot of this is that it appears that Amazon is going to revert the changes and all will be back to normal.

But will it? 

Until the dust settles and the changes are reverted, you won’t know for sure if everything is back to “normal

That’s why now is not the time to overhaul your Sponsored Ads strategy.

However, there are some best practices that you should be using with your Sponsored Product Ads both now and moving forward.

Here are 5 Best Practices to Maintain Your Ad Performance (and sales) During This Transition (and Moving Forward)

1. Make this simple tweak to boost impressions while Amazon transitions back to Phrase Match and Exact Match relevance.

If you aren’t using Broad Match in your Ad campaigns, assigning Broad Match to your keyword phrases will help to give your products more visibility right now.

But keep in mind that Broad Match is more likely to show your ads to buyers who are not interested in your specific product (as it casts a much wider net), so while your impressions will likely go up, your clicks and sales may not be high.

You’ll know whether or not assigning Broad Match Keywords to your campaign is working by reviewing your ad reports…

2. Review your Amazon Sponsored Product Ads reports. Sponsored Ads are not a “set it and forget it” ad program (no ad program is). You have to pay very close attention to your ad reports on a weekly basis!

This is the most dangerous mistake that I see sellers make when running Sponsored Ads. They set up a campaign and let it roll open ended without ever looking at the ad performance reports!

That’s a great way to waste hundreds or thousands of dollars on ads that bring you no results!

Schedule time for you (or your team) to review your ad performance weekly and make adjustments based on those results.

3. Remove non-performing keywords from your ads. Amazon Sponsored Ads charges you every time a customer clicks on your ad. You’re not charged for impressions (an impression is each time the ad is shown). So if you have a lot of clicks on your ad but no sales, you’re losing money! 

Each week based on your ad reports, remove the keywords/keyword phrases that are racking up a high click-spend but aren’t getting any sales.

But before you do that, make sure you do Step 4!

4. Optimize your Amazon product page for SALES. If buyers are clicking on your ad, but NOT buying there is likely a problem with your page that is causing them not to buy.

Review your page for these issues:

  • A misleading product title
  • Poor product images
  • Not enough product images
  • Skimpy Feature Bullets that don’t do the job of selling your product
  • The product is priced wrong

If your page is not optimized for sales, you won’t turn those ad clicks into sales!

Learn more about how to optimize your product page here.

5. Know your keywords. Knowing what keywords buyers are searching for to find your products and what ad keywords are converting sales for your product is critical to your selling success on Amazon.

Mastering your keyword skills and knowledge is not a “nice to have” it’s a must have to keep your business ahead of the competitive curve.

While this is time-consuming and does present a a learning curve for most sellers, it’s time well invested.

  • Use Amazon’s suggested search to identify multiple top searched keyword phrases that buyers are using to search for your products.
  • Optimize your product page with the keywords that perform in your ads

And finally, continue to run Amazon Sponsored Product Ads. I expect that Amazon will get these issues fixed.

Hands down, Amazon Sponsored Product Ads is the #1 most effective tool for increasing your sales on Amazon.

You do have to know how to use this powerful tool however. And unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t provide any in-depth, strategic training on how to use the Sponsored Ads program.

That’s why, I recently put together the most in-depth, step-by-step training on the marketplace on how to effectively use Amazon Sponsored Product Ads..aspa

While this recent hiccup to the ads program is not good, pay-for-play advertising is here to stay, and needs to become a mainstay of your Amazon selling strategy.

If you have questions about the Sponsored Ads program or need help with your current campaigns, pop your question in the comments below and let’s get your Sponsored Ads on track!

-Lisa

3 Changes Happening On Amazon & Ecommerce in 2016

When it comes to Amazon and ecommerce, the only thing constant is change!

In this video, you’ll learn about the three big changes you must retool your business for this year!

 1.  The WAY you’ll market your products this year (hint: this one is here to stay!)

2.  What you MUST do if you have a website

3.  The new “sweet spot” of product sourcing (ignore this and it will hurt your sales this year).

 

Amazon Finally Slams the Brakes on These Prohibited Seller Activities

prohbited_by_amazonIt’s been a long time coming, but Amazon has finally updated their Prohibited Seller Activities policy page with specific new terms prohibiting two of the most egregious abuses of selling privileges happening in the Amazon Marketplace:

  • Misuse of product reviews
  • Sales Rank manipulation

Sales manipulation by a percentage of the Amazon  seller community has run rampant over the past 5 years.

Millions in product sales have been made off these black hat strategies and millions more have been made by the programs that teach them.

Not all sellers who use these prohibited strategies realize they are breaking the rules, because the programs and the programs that teach these strategies promote them as OK to use.

But there is a segment of sellers who knowingly break the rules each and every day.

For honest sellers who play by the rules, competing against a seller who is breaking Amazon’s TOS is not only frustrating, it can also cause a huge loss of income unless you know how to compete SUCCESSFULLY against these black hat practices. read more…

Increase Your Amazon Sales with Back-to-School Bundles

Back to SchoolBundles2The back-to-school selling season is here, and if you’re looking for a way to increase your Amazon sales, now is the time to create back-to-school product bundles!

Back-to-school sales represent a $74 Billion dollar market, with more and more busy parents doing their back-to-school shopping on Amazon this year.

And product bundles are in demand!

Busy parents don’t have the time to run all over town (or the web) chasing down individual products…

As one shopping weary mom said an Amazon product review…

You could buy the components for much less money, but, to be honest, I just didn’t feel like going the 30 miles to Wal-Mart to get this stuff, so instead I bought the kit and used my Prime Membership free shipping option.

Creating a well-thought out product bundle that anticipates what shoppers will buy together,  provides Amazon merchants with a wealth of opportunities for increasing summer and fall sales.

 Demand for back-to-school bundles are currently top product searches on Amazon…

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School supply kits for all ages are in demand. 

And there are many more searches for niched school supply kits!

 Theme by age, gender, interest, sports, favorite movie, color, subject and more!

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The college dorm room supplies market is HUGE.

There are opportunities in every category including: Home and Kitchen, Beauty, Office Products, Grocery and more!

 In fact there are so many different opportunities for back-to-school bundles that read more…