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Make ‘long tail’ keywords work for you

Keywords have a demand curve, like any other good. If you imagine it starting right at the top left side of the chart, there is a huge number of searches for a single overall keyword. As you get more and more specific, the number of searches falls off – but so does the amount of competition for that specific keyword (or, if you’re advertising, the amount you’ll pay for it).

Let’s take an example: “dress”. There will be millions of searches for “dress”. What’s the chance you’ll be at the top? Zero. You can’t afford it.

“Black dress”. Not quite so many searches, but still a lot. And this is a keyword where big sellers are going to dominate, and the keyword’s really expensive if you want to advertise.

“Little black dress”. Fewer searches, more specific.

“Little black dress Azzedine Alaia.” Then “Little black dress Azzedine Alaia size 12.” Now you’ve got a very specific keyword. Anyone who wants Chanel, Givenchy, Saint Laurent… you’ve excluded them. And you’ve excluded the customers who want another size.


Refine your keywords to increase your sales

If you think of Amazon as a kind of store, or a big depot, you’re wrong. What is its business model, really? It’s the same as Google – a massive search engine.

Unlike Google, it’s a search engine that results in a transaction rather than just a click-through. But it’s a search engine, and once you understand that, you understand that it works on keywords as well as on other algorithms.

Keywords need to be relevant. And you need to get that relevant data into the customer’s head ASAP.

Yes, you can have a great long title on Amazon that includes all kinds of information about your product. But you need to put the most important information up there first. For instance, brand. If I’m looking for a Samsung phone, I need to see the brand up front. If I’m looking for a cat carrier and the word ‘cat’ doesn’t appear right at the beginning, I’m not going to read on.


Help! I’ve been hijacked!

Amazon hijackers can be very sneaky. You might not even realize you’ve been hijacked, if your sales aren’t much affected. But someone has copied your product, and they’re selling it with your brand on it, and taking away your business.

Now there are sometimes viable reasons for a second seller. You may have an authorized reseller, or someone may have bought your product with a coupon and is reselling it. But other times, you’ve been hijacked – someone noticed you were doing well, and they’ve decided to skim the cream off your success.

You might only notice when suddenly you start getting one-star reviews. What’s going on? People who think they’re your customers are getting low-quality product from the hijacker, and blaming it on you.

So let’s see how you can reduce the risk of being hijacked, and stop it continuing if it’s already happened.

#1 Being in the Amazon Brand Registry program should help; it will give you more control over your listings. While it won’t stop hijackers, the program will put dedicated protection at your service. (But you do need to have a trademark first, which can take 18 months, so this isn’t a short term solution.)


Amazon Product Listing Text

A really, really important key to planning your product page on Amazon is to think about what you’d want to see there if you were considering buying it.

#1 Benefits, not features

What potential customers want to see is a list of benefits. But probably, what you have is a list of product features.

One copywriter has a way of extracting proper benefit information from clients. The client will say “my spatula is lime green.” The copywriter asks: “Which means that…?”

The client looks puzzled, and says “Well, it means it’s green.”

The copywriter nods, and the client gives the next feature. “It has a cool-touch handle.”

“Which means that…?”

And then the client gets it, and says, “Which means that if you use it, you’re not going to burn your fingers.”

I’d suggest you do the same. And keep asking till you get something that will really make people want to buy. “This coffee press has double walls.”

Which means that… “The coffee will keep hot for longer.”

Which means that… “I can make two cups of coffee at the same time.”


TikTok For Amazon

TikTok is immensely powerful once videos go viral. A single TikTok post had one Amazon seller working overtime with over 10,000 sales in a single day.

Yet so far, brands aren’t well represented on TikTok. Probably it will take the big brands some time to get on to this platform, so right now, it’s less competitive than Facebook or Twitter.

•    Start by building a presence. Tailor your content for the platform – short, snappy, amusing. And when we say short, we mean short – 15 seconds, that’s it! (On the other hand your video quality doesn’t need to be top-notch – a decent smartphone will produce all you need.)

•    Make sure your content is all relevant to your niche. Keep everything on-brand; content, hashtags, the influencers you collaborate with, your bio, even the emoji  you use.


Negotiate Like A Pro

Every $1 you save is $1 extra profit. In the short term, this does not seem like a lot. But what if you sell 30,000 units a year?

The cheaper your product is – the higher your profit margin will be and the less you need to invest in inventory. Your cash flow improves too.

We will cover some of our top strategies for reducing your costs.

Finding a Supplier

If you only ask 3 factories for a quote – it is unlikely you will get the best item for the best price. It is super important to make sure that you have contacted every available supplier for the item. Go through Thomas Net, Alibaba, Global Sources and any other platforms that may have suppliers making your type of item.

Request quotes from all the suppliers that can make your product. This way, you can be sure to have the best initial pricing. You will also get the best quality product this way too!

Even if you have an existing product already selling on Amazon – you can reduce the price by negotiating with your existing supplier or changing suppliers.

Target Price

Give your top 10 suppliers a competitive target price to hit. E.g. If all the suppliers quote you $4 to $8 for your item – ask them all if they can do it for $3.20 and see what they say. If they say – no – and come back at $3.50 you still just saved over 10%!

If your target product sells for around $30 on Amazon, you want to buy it for under $6 to maximize margins. Start with giving suppliers a target price lower than your optimal buy price.

Suppliers usually have a very large margin built into the product. They expect to negotiate and might have 10 to 30% added into the product just to give away as a discount. By giving them a low target price, a few of the suppliers will come back with much better pricing.


Boost Your Amazon Profits

What are some ways you could increase your profits without spending a lot extra on your Amazon business?

In this article we outline some strategies to help you increase your net profit.

Improve Your Listing

The better your main image looks, the more people that will click onto your product and buy it. The same for your other listing page images.

If your images were taken in a dark room with your iPhone, it is gonna be really hard to justify a higher price & people will not trust the item is good quality.

If you invest in high end professional photos, great copywriting and excellent images for your product – then customers are going to perceive the same item as higher value.

The same item will look more valuable with better photos.

The same item will seem better if the copyrighting helps users see the benefits of your products.

Without changing anything but levelling up your amazon listing you can potentially increase the value of your product in customers minds.


Reviews: Why Customers Leave Feedback

What is the reason why a customer will leave a review? Is it because they had a good experience with the product? A bad experience?

In this guide we deep dive into some of the main reasons customers leave reviews.

Great Product!

A large percentage of customers will leave a review simply because they think that the product is good and they want to share their positive experience with the product.

These are the type of reviews we want to get the most of. By not overpromising on the listing, showing accurate photos and description of the product & working to make the item good quality – we can gather more good reviews in the long term.

Help Other Buyers!

A major reason for customers leaving feedback is not for the seller! They want to help other buyers to understand the product better. They may even have suggestions on how to improve the product too.

Reviewers know that other people like them might be considering the product. They point out the good and bad points of the product so other potential buyers can have a better understanding of the product.

As a seller, you should read all these reviews and incorporate the feedback into improving your product over time. By acting on the suggestions – you will turn more future buyers into happy customers that leave positive reviews!


Follow the Trend

Instead of trying to catch up with what is popular now, look into the future and see what will be popular. There are some huge trends and shifts happening – making some niches sell a lot more in the long term.

Even before Covid-19 there was a huge shifting of people working more remotely and more from home. The Coronavirus just accelerated an existing trend.

More and more companies were letting people work at home, work remotely or spend part of the week at a home office.

What other big trends and shifts are taking place that you could benefit from?

Working From Home

The trend of working at home is not going to disappear. Yes, many people will go back to working in an office. But, workers of all types are requesting at least 1 to 5 days a week to work from home.

If this trend continues, which products do you think will be popular?

Everything from desks, to computer accessories have had their sales explode upwards. Instead of going after the main work at home trend, try to think of complementary products you could sell.


Improve Your IPI Score On Amazon

Amazon has recently changed the way it calculates inventory storage limits. Now the IPI score, Inventory Performance Index, is the main factor in determining your allowed storage levels.

The IPI score also shows you how your business is performing on Amazon.

Why is this important?

Excess Inventory

This measures how much extra stock you have. It serves as a warning light if your product is not selling enough relative to the stock level.

In the short term, FBA storage fees are not too expensive. But if a product stays in Amazon over 12 months it gets hit with Long Term Storage fees which are many times more costly.

This section of the Inventory Dashboard highlights which SKUs have too much stock and Amazon even calculates how much it will cost you in storage fees.

It is usually cheaper to store the product in an FBA prep warehouse than Amazon itself – so pay attention to this and reduce stock levels so you don’t get hit with big fees!


Promoting Products on Amazon

Why are promotions important? How can they help you scale your sales & profits? In this article we will cover the top tips for running promotions on Amazon.

Tip 1 Why Promote

Amazon ranks products firstly by their relevance using keywords, then it compares the overall sales performance of similar products.

If you’re on page 2 and don’t get much traffic and it’s hard for you to sell a lot of products, you’re always going to be ranked on page 2. The reason for doing a promotion is to get more traffic for 7 or 10 days and increase your organic sales.

By doing this, your product sales will increase such that Amazon will put you on page 1. Using a tool like cash cow pro you can see the exact number of units you need to give away to be able to rank in the top 10.

Tip 2 Preparing for Promotion

The first thing you need to do before launching a promotion is to make sure your listing is fully optimized.

There’s no point driving lots of extra traffic to a product if the images are not high resolution and the copywriting is not optimal. Once you’re confident you’ve done everything you can to make a listing as good as possible, the next thing to do is to drop your price just before starting a promotion.

The reason for this is you want to maximize sales while the boost from a promotion is helping you to rank. The more sales you can get the more likely it is you will stick to the new higher position.

Just boosting BSR is not the goal: you want long-term organic sales.


Amazon FBA: Getting Help

Sometimes you just get stuck with your Amazon business. If you are having a problem or issue – or you are not sure what to do next, we put together this guide on resources you can use.

In this article we cover the top tips for getting help with your Amazon business.

Tip 1 Seller Central

If you have an issue with your listing or account, the fastest way to resolve it is to contact Amazon through the help section in Seller Central.

During normal business hours they are very responsive and can usually fix most issues within a couple of hours. You can also email an Amazon representative and they usually provide a detailed response to your problem within a day or so.

For critical issues, always call the Amazon help desk for sellers.

Tip 2 Amazon Forum

If you have a seller central account you can also ask questions in the Amazon forum.

You may want to bounce ideas around for strategies and determine what is and isn’t acceptable on Amazon by asking your peers in this group. Amazon also monitors the discussion and responds to questions and issues.

This is a good place to get general tips, such as how to find a good supplier.


Amazon FBA: Setting Up a Promotion

AMZ Tracker is the best tool for launching new promotions on Amazon.

Every so often, Amazon updates the types of promotions available. In this article we cover the top things you need to know about the different promotions available on Amazon.

Tip 1 Types

If you head over to Advertising > Promotions on the main menu in Seller Central you will be able to see the types of promotion available. The main ones are:

Social Media Code:
Create a custom promo code and receive a unique marketing page to share with customers through social media, emails, or influencer marketing.

This is great for sharing with influencers.

Percentage Off
Here you can set up promotions with a certain percentage off or set discount.

Buy One Get One
This lets you create special offers allowing customers to get a second unit FREE.

Tip 2 Keep it Simple

You can get quite creative with all the different types of promotion available on Amazon.

I recommend keeping it simple to begin with, learning about how promotion works and then increasing your range of offers once you are more experienced and have a larger Amazon catalog of products.

Start with just offering a 5% discount on 1 product. This can show on the Amazon search results with a tag – which will help your product stand out among the competition.


Getting Reviews On Amazon

Products with a high review rating sell more, rank higher and have better conversion rates.

Getting reviews on Amazon can be difficult. In this article we cover the top methods for getting reviews for your products on Amazon.

Tip 1 Feedback Emails

What are feedback emails? These are automatic emails that go out to every customer that orders a product from you. This is one of the best ways to get more positive reviews and prevent negative reviews.

Set up an automatic email feedback collection system that sends an email to your customers as soon as their product has been shipped or delivered.

Not every customer will receive your emails, because they are allowed to opt out from receiving seller emails. Usually around 40% of orders will get your email.

Tip 2 Seller Feedback

Push customers to leave seller feedback first. The reason for this is you can remove negative seller feedback that is about the product.

For customers that leave a negative seller review, contact them and resolve their issue. For customers that leave a 5-star seller review, drop them an email thanking them and requesting that they leave you a product review. You can do this automatically by clicking the request review next to the specific order.


Visiting Your Amazon Supplier

Did you know, by just negotiating face to face with a supplier you could save 10% to 30% or more off your product.

One of the biggest competitive advantages you can get on Amazon is insider knowledge by visiting your supplier.

In this article we talk about the top benefits of visiting your suppliers before ordering.

Benefit 1 See How the Product’s Made

By going to the factory and seeing how the product is actually made, you’ll be able to design a lower cost and better all-round product because you know more about the production process.

You could also spot potential issues by watching how the factory makes those kinds of items.

You will understand how to make the product better quality too. You can instantly see many material options in the supplier’s warehouse.

Benefit 2 See your Competition’s Products

I’ve been to many factories and seen some of my competitors’ top-secret products being made.

Also the factory might be selling to over 100 countries around the world. Each customer will have different packaging, maybe including bundles, and you can use everything you see to improve your own product.

Imagine being able to see 500 different variations of your potential product all in 1 room. You can take the best ideas used by buyers from other markets and apply it to your design.


Go To An Industry Trade Show or Online Event

WIth Corona, many events and trade shows have moved online. Do you sell home products? Electronics? There is definitely an international trade show of suppliers for your niche.

You can learn a huge amount simply from checking out top suppliers and brands in your market. In this article we’re covering the top reasons why you should go to trade shows or events – even if they are online .

5000 Factories

A typical trade show in Hong Kong or China has between 2000 and 5000 suppliers or more. Each supplier may have 10 to 1000+ products on display or in their catalogue.

You get to see 500,000 products in a single day. Online events let you browse top manufacturer products. Often products shown at events are the best or newly developed.


Amazon FBA: Communicating With Suppliers

Maybe you found the perfect niche product to sell – but how can you be sure you can actually get it into Amazon successfully?

How do you know you have the right supplier for your new product?

In this article we are going to cover the top questions you need to ask new suppliers when selling on Amazon.

Question 1 Price

First of all, ask them the price for different quantities of the product you are considering.

You need to know the price for the MOQ, which is the minimum order quantity a factory would accept. Some factories expect you to order 3000 units first time, while others may request that you spend $2000 on your first order.

It varies from factory to factory so you need to check the minimum order requirements. At the same time, ask the price for 5000+ units, so you can see what savings you can make by ordering larger volumes.

By knowing the prices for small and large orders upfront you can more accurately estimate your profit margin as your business scales.

Question 2 Lead Time

Both for the minimum order quantity and 5000 pieces, ask the factory for the normal production lead time.

Usually this is between 2 to 6 weeks for most products. During busy times of the year the production lead time may double, so always check with the factory before you place an order.

When planning your launch, always allow some extra time for manufacturing. The best is to have at least 30 days buffer built in because sometimes things go wrong – like the recent blockage of the Suez Canal!

Question 3 Background

Ask all suppliers to send you their profile, including the size of the factory, how many workers they have, the machinery they have, their main products, markets and customers they sell to.

Most factories will willingly give you this information. You need this to evaluate if they are a reputable supplier.

Go through their sales brochure, website, product catalogue and get an understanding of what other products they could potentially produce for you. If all their products are very different – e.g. wood products and plastic products – they might be a trading company and not a factory.

Question 4 Location

Ask for the detailed factory address in English and Chinese and Google this. Also ask for their showroom address.

If the showroom address is different from the factory address you could be dealing with an agent and not the factory direct. Ask for photos of both the factory and the showroom to see their production lines and products.

Check the location yourself and try to find links or references about the factory online. Maybe another seller has used them before and had issues and posted about it online. It takes 5 mins to check but could save you thousands by avoiding the wrong suppliers.

Question 5 Other Similar Products

When you contact suppliers, ask them to send you their catalog.

Ask about similar products to the one you are looking for and check which materials they can make it in. You might get some new ideas for products no-one else is selling on Amazon.

Question 6 Branding and Packaging

A factory may have made the same product for 100 customers around the world.

Each one has their own unique way to brand the product and package it. So ask the factory for pictures to show how you can add the logo and to discover the standard packaging they use for it.

This will save you a lot of work. You can also ask to see other customers packaging, although some factories may refuse this.

Question 7 Sample Arrangement

In your initial email to suppliers, find out the cost of a sample and how long it will take to arrange the sample.

I usually request for the sample cost to be refunded against the main order. This way you get that money and cost back. Most factories are willing to do this.

These top 7 points cover most of the questions you need to ask when reaching out to new suppliers.

Amazon FBA: Paying Suppliers

One of the riskiest steps in launching a product business is paying suppliers. What if they make a mistake with the order? What if they are not a real factory?

Follow our top tips to reduce your risk!

Tip 1 Start Small

When you’re first starting out dealing with overseas suppliers, it may be difficult to spot which ones are great and which ones are unreliable.

Over time you’ll know almost instantly if a factory is worth dealing with. When it comes to payments, especially to international suppliers, there are many scam artists because there’s so much money involved.

If they persuade you to send them a deposit and they disappear with the money, just by posting a few listings and a few emails they could make tens of thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s essential you verify the background of whoever you’re making payments to.

Try to start with a small order to test their reliability and quality.

Tips 2 and 3 Background Check

The quickest and fastest way to do a rough background check is using the following 3 tactics of the ABC method.

Step A: Ask for their full address in English and Local Language as well as their company name and incorporation certificate.

Search their company name and later their address on Google and skim through the results. If the factory claims to be a silicon specialist but their website has many different kinds of products from toys to wooden goods, they are probably a trader or someone who has put up a fake website to try to get business, or even a scammer.

Buy from the experts. If you’re buying a wooden item only buy from someone who is a specialist in this area. You’ll know that from their website, their product range and their knowledge when communicating with you via email.

Avoiding traders and doing a quick check of the website on Google is a great way to filter out bad suppliers and potential scammers.

Step B: Ask for references from 3 to 5 customers.

These can be in our countries, such as the UK, Germany or France. Any serious supplier will have customers across the globe and should be able to provide you with 3 references. Call or email them and ask them about their experience with that factory.

Also Google search the brands they give you as references. If they are mid-market to high-end brands the factory should be able to produce products to a good standard.

Step C: Visit the factory address or ask your agent to conduct a surprise visit.

I’ve been given factory addresses and when I showed up it turned out that it was just two guys in an apartment pretending to be a factory. Before you place any purchase order, you or your representative should always visit the factory.

Tip 4 Deposit

Normally factories ask for a 30% deposit when the order is placed and 70% balance payment before shipment.

This is standard across Asia, especially China and Hong Kong. If the supplier asks for more deposit, be very wary. It’s hard to get that deposit back if you later cancel the order or if the factory cannot make the goods to your standard.

They will claim they spent on materials already, so you’ll never see it again. That’s why you have to do as much due diligence before placing any orders as possible.

Tip 5 Escrow

One way to minimize payment risk is to use an escrow service.

The payment from escrow is only released when the quality of goods has been checked and verified. If possible add to your contract that a third party inspection done by SGS or Intertek has to be conducted and passed before the payment is released.

This goes some way to protecting you and ensuring that your product is in good condition before leaving the factory.

Tip 6 Other Payment Types

Larger businesses use letters of credit or TT payments for their orders.

A letter of credit is issued by your bank and tells the supplier’s bank that you have the cash to pay for the order and that your bank has set it aside, much like a certificate of deposit. The funds are released to the supplier only when they meet the conditions of the letter of credit.

Usually this includes passing inspection and presenting your bank with the shipping documents. This service is very expensive and your order needs to be $10,000 or more before it make senses to use this kind of payment.

Most suppliers will refuse a letter of credit for the first couple of orders because they want to use the cash to buy the materials. The alternative payment method is to send the deposit by telegraphic transfer directly to the factory’s bank.

This is the riskiest payment form because you are transferring the cash directly without any terms attached.

Tip 7 Credit

As you build your relationship with suppliers, ask for extended payment terms.

Since manufacturing is so capital intensive, it’s rare for factories to extend lengthy time frames for you to pay. You might be able to push for payment on delivery into your Amazon warehouse.

After two or three orders, ask the factory if you can pay 30 days after delivery. Ask for more than you expect them to agree to,  because if you settle somewhere in the middle the terms will still be in your favor.

Boost Sales With Influencers

Getting to the top of Amazon is hard if you are competing for the search traffic on Amazon. But what if you were getting thousands of visitors a month to your product from outside Amazon?

Sending Influencer Traffic to your listing can boost sales, profits & conversions. Here is our step by step process for finding and working with influencers.

Step 1: Who?

Make a list of potential partners on your chosen platform. For example, if you were going to partner with influencers on Instagram, you would search for people with profiles & accounts that match your niche.

Start by looking for small to medium influencers with around 10,000 to 50,000 followers. These are most likely to work with you and also they might not ask for much in return for promoting your product.


Product Samples For Amazon FBA

The only way to know for sure if a supplier is good or not is to check samples of the product you plan to order.

Sometimes a supplier can look great and have awesome product photos but the same itself is low quality.

In this article we cover the top tips for choosing a product supplier using samples.

Tip 1 Why Do I Need Them

You absolutely must get samples of any products you plan to order and sell on Amazon.

Products can look very different in real life than they do in a photo. Also the photo may hide quality flaws in the product.