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All you need to know about Amazon Acronyms

Amazon FBA is a great business, and like most businesses it has a number of abbreviations you’ll need to learn if you want to succeed. It can all be a bit difficult, so this week we decided we’d devote to the most commonly used abbreviations. Now you have them all in one place and you can refresh your understanding, or perhaps actually find out what some of them mean in the first place.

SKUs are Stock Keeping Units. All kinds of businesses have their own SKUs; IKEA has SKUs, each separate car part and spare has its own SKU, Walmart has SKUs (and you can look up to check availability). An SKU lets a business see where products are – in stock, out of stock, sold, whatever.

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Dealing with negative Amazon reviews

Social proof – other buyers’ experiences as shown through their reviews – has a huge impact on Amazon users. That’s one reason getting your first dozen or so reviews is really important when you launch a product.

But if you get a bad review, it’s a strike against you. It doesn’t matter that the buyer used the product upside down, didn’t realize it had to have batteries inserted, or just wanted a different color – the damage is done.

Or is it?

If you’re a brand registered seller (and you should be), then the answer is “not necessarily”. Although Amazon won’t let you comment on the review, as it used to, it allows you to contact the buyer for any review that gives you fewer than four stars.

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SELLING ON AMAZON: HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED?

Starting an Amazon business is relatively easy. But there are a number of things that can go wrong, and it’s easy to get discouraged. Being able to get past those discouraging moments is the difference between failure and success. So how can you do it?

First of all, you need to get started with the right expectations. Some people think FBA selling is a get-rich-quick scheme. They’re going to be disappointed. It may make you rich, but it takes time and effort to get there. For instance, building your brand, your reputation, and your seller metrics, is going to take time. Getting into restricted categories may take time. Getting good reviews will take effort and maybe some investment.

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Grow Your Business With Amazon Posts

Amazon Posts offers you a way to improve your online content and contact with potential buyers, through Amazon’s own social media platform. If you think of a captive Instagram within Amazon mobile, that’s pretty much what Posts delivers.

It’s particularly potent as we estimate over a fifth of buyers start their purchase journeys on social media, whether that’s Facebook, Youtube or Instagram. If Amazon Posts delivers an equivalent performance, you could increase your sales significantly.

One of the best things about Amazon Posts it that can help you to promote your overall brand, not just individual products. You’ll need product links, but this is a great place to use lifestyle images, to talk about your brand story, and to build your brand profile. It’s a sellable feed which consumers can use to click through to your product, but it’s not as tightly focused as your product pages.

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Launch new products at lower risk with the New Selection Program

Launching new products is always tricky. Amazon’s search engine rewards existing best sellers, since its algorithm takes existing sales volumes into account. You’re taking on products which are already established, and you need to get yours into the market and selling fast.

It’s also a risk. Even if you’ve done your product selection, design and sourcing properly, someone else could launch a similar product at the same time – worse, you could see several new products come to market at the same time. In that case you’ll either have to be number one, or you’ll want to sell off your stock fast and move on to a new idea.

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How to avoid getting your Amazon account suspended

Amazon knows its reputation depends on consumers’ trust. Buyers need to know that they can confidently buy from Amazon without being cheated. So Amazon comes down hard on sellers who break the rules.

That could mean having your account suspended without notice. That’s disastrous for your business. You can’t sell your products, and since you’ll lose your access to Seller Central, it’s going to be very difficult to appeal a decision.

So let’s look at some of the reasons Amazon might decide to suspend your account.

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Get ready for Amazon Prime Day 2022!

Amazon has announced that Prime Day 2022 will be in July. They haven’t, as yet, given a firm date, but it’s time to get moving if you want to be ready to make the most of it.

Prime Day moves around – it was in June last year, and October in 2020. This year, it’s likely to be a bit more complicated for sellers, as supply chain issues mean it’s going to be difficult to get stock resupplied quickly in time for the promotion. If you need resupply, get it fast or it will be too late. Make sure, if you hold buffer stock, that you’ve got as much inventory as possible in the Amazon warehouse before Prime Day. You don’t want a #PrimeDayFail hashtag if you get a stock-out!

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Facebook Marketplace vs Amazon

I bought my wardrobe on Facebook Marketplace. I bought my camera and my laptop on Amazon.

Why? The wardrobe was second hand, and I could go take a look at it first, and it was only five miles’ drive away. And I know how to look at a bit of furniture and work out if it’s good quality or falling to bits. And it was a bit of an impulse buy.

But when I wanted to buy electronics, I wanted a guarantee, and a seller with a good track record, and I went to search for exactly the right product at the right price.

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How To Use Infographics To Increase Your Amazon Sales

Most people are very visual in the way they learn things. That’s why we have Powerpoint – if you want to see which of your products makes the most money it’s much easier to assess the slices of a pie chart than to just read text and figures, for instance.

And this is a very visual age. The internet might have started as a text-only resource but it’s now led by pictures – just look at the success of Pinterest and Instagram.

So using infographics to sell your product is a no-brainer. All the more so now that Amazon has made all your product images viewable from the search page.

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Making your products more sustainable

Searches for eco-friendly and sustainable products are increasing rapidly – more than doubling in a year. According to UK based organization Business In The Community, searches for “how to live a sustainable lifestyle” rose 4550 percent in the first couple of months of Covid lockdowns!

Amazon is also doing its bit, aiming to reduce carbon emissions with its Climate Pledge. It rewards sustainable products sold on the site with a Climate Pledge badge, and it’s well worth having, as some customers will actively search for Climate Pledge badged products.  You may qualify if you hit targets for energy efficiency, compact design, carbon neutral products, animal welfare (eg cosmetics that haven’t been tested on animals), or responsibly manufactured products.

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Pricing your products – strategy and tactics

Pricing is not easy, whatever some people say. It’s one of the most important decisions you will make in your FBA business, but it’s also a really difficult one.

It’s particularly difficult because you have to strike a balance. Most goods are what economists call price elastic, so that if you reduce the price, you will sell more units, and if you put the price up, you will sell fewer units. Customers want to pay as little as they can.

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Create your Amazon storefront

A big problem if you sell on Amazon is that it’s so easy for customers to see competing products. It’s like selling cans of beans in a supermarket – customers can see all the beans on the shelf. What stops them buying the other ones, and keeps them loyal to yours?

If you build an Amazon storefront, though, you can promote your brand and your products within your own mini-site. It’s a way to grab your customers, and it’s also a way to keep them away from the competition! But that’s only going to work if you know how to engage your customers fully; otherwise, they’ll go elsewhere.

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Refreshing your product listing pages

If your product listing pages are looking a bit tired, there could be a number of reasons why. Maybe they’re the first pages you put together, and you were still learning your way. Maybe new features have been introduced since you created them, which you can now add. Or maybe fashions have just changed.

The first thing to do is to pin down exactly why those pages feel dated. Is it the photos, the format, the lack of variety or spacing in the text? Comparing directly with a product page that you feel is right up to date and makes a good example to follow will make it easier to pinpoint the issues.

It could be as simple as the photos. Your photos may be poor resolution, and not well lit. There are few really bad photos on Amazon, compared to eBay, but there’s adequate, and there’s good – and you want your photos to be good. If your current photos are good, then all you need to do is take new photos; if not, consider finding a professional photographer who can help.

Or you may have good product photos, but no supporting lifestyle photos of the product being used, or no infographics setting out the features and benefits of the product, or no close-ups. Remember that though the main product photo is tightly defined by Amazon, you can use the rest of the gallery to give some depth to your product. Make full use of that freedom.

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Help, How Do I Get My Amazon Business To The Next Stage?

path to a target’s growth vector illustration banner. achievement business concept. flat cartoon character design for web. People standing at the top graph.

If your business has reached a good level of sales, but it’s not growing, then unless you’re happy with what you’ve achieved and want to stay there – for instance, you have enough income to support your lifestyle and you really don’t want to work much harder – you’ll want to do something to get it back on the growth track.

The first and most obvious way to put some oomph into your sales is to launch more products – but not just any products. Leveraging your existing strengths is a sensible way to move forwards.

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Resources for finding hot new Amazon trends

The internet is full of great resources, and when you’re trying to find hot new trends, that’s the first place you should look. Even if you’ve got a great idea for a new product, it’s worth looking at searches for the product (eg natural swimming pool) or for the issues that it deals with (water shortage, ecoliving, sustainability).

One great source of ideas is Pinterest Predicts, a yearly grab-bag of on-trend ideas based on what’s been ‘pinned’ this year (https://business.pinterest.com/en-gb/pinterest-predicts/). What grabbed me in the latest one?

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Moving beyond private label to make a real brand

You may well have got started in FBA by looking for a product type, finding a Chinese supplier who could make it at the right price, and having it shipped to Amazon. Whether it was chopsticks, tee shirts, school stationery or LED lamps, the only thing that was really different from the competition was the label – and the price.

It’s still a business model that works if you get the right product niches. But to make a long term brand, rather than just sticking a portfolio of different products together, you need to do a bit more work.

First of all, you need a target customer and you need to know their pain points, or their precise wants. Here are a few examples:

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How to turbocharge your sales

Sometimes it seems your business is doing well, but it’s not really performing quite the way you want it too. Sales are coming through,but not really growing, or you feel you could be doing a bit better but you’re not sure how to get there.

So if you want to improve your FBA sales, we’ve done some looking around for ways to turbocharge your sales and get your business on to a whole new level.

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How to optimize your product listings for voice search

Voice search is one of the fastest growing categories of search – whether people are using their mobiles, or whether they’re using smart speakers. 20% of all mobile searches, now, are voice search, and that figure is going up all the time.

But voice search has a few differences from the regular internet search. For instance, people are more likely to ask a question (“Alexa, where can I get root beer flavor ice cream?”) than to just type in a keyword or set of keywords (“root beer ice cream”).

That means you may want to use longer tail keywords. For instance, voice queries are more likely to be about “how to optimize my website” than “SEO”. A lot of the questions that people will be asking begin with the following words;

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How to improve the photos for your listing

Sometimes, after your listing has been live for a while, you see that you didn’t do as good a job as you thought you did. That can be particularly the case with photos. First time round, you got photos that met Amazon’s requirements, and you thought you’d done okay.

But we live and learn. And it’s distinctly possible that you can improve your photos. In fact, they may even be letting your listing down – getting better photos could really improve your conversion rate.

First of all, look at your customer feedback. Do you have reviews saying things like “Looks better than it does in the photos,” or “I was pleasantly surprised by its looks”? That’s a sure sign that you want to take a new set of photos that does a better job of showing your product in a good light (pun intended).

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Boosting your average price – a great strategy

Selling relatively low-priced products on Amazon is a great way to get started. But if you want to grow, if you keep selling low-priced products, you are going to have to shift huge volumes. And your profitability will probably stay roughly the same.

On the other hand, if you raise the average price you’re selling at for instance by introducing one new higher-priced product, you can increase your profits on a lower volume. Your fees per product will not rise nearly as much as your price, and you’ll have less prepping and shipping to worry about.

First of all, you need to know your ASP – average selling price. It’s there on Seller Central, you don’t have to work it out. It depends on both the price of each product and the mix of products you sell.

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