A recent survey found that over half of all US, UK, German and French shoppers use Amazon as a starting point for all purchases[1]. 22% of customers said they don’t bother looking elsewhere if they find a suitable product on Amazon. These are stats that put Amazon’s market dominance into sharp focus.

Sellers flock to Amazon’s marketplace in their droves and the typical UK Amazon seller will now find themselves competing with sellers from across the globe. With so many businesses vying for their piece of the Amazon pie, how do you make it work for your business? Our resident expert Craig Agutter offers his top optimising tips for Amazon sellers looking to sell more in 2018.

Tip 1: Invest in SEO

Amazon is a search engine just as much as it is a marketplace so underestimate the importance of SEO at your own peril.

Spend time and resource understanding Amazon’s ranking factors so your product gets in front of as many customers as possible. Make sure you find out the right keywords and descriptors for your product and make use of the additional keywords that Amazon allows you to add to include similar listings.

Advanced PPC tools such as Amazon Marketing Services are also a good way to reach customers that are considering a purchase of similar products from competitors. These tools are now open to all Amazon sellers, not just ‘Vendors’ who supply Amazon directly.  Whilst advertising against the ‘buy box’ of your own listing might seem counter-intuitive, or even a waste of money, you’ll potentially be able to upsell customers to more profitable SKUs or complementary products.  Plus you will keep the competition off your listing

Tip 2: Content is king

Unless you’re selling a very niche and unique product, it is likely that you’ll be competing with many other Amazon sellers for that invaluable ‘Add to Cart’ from buyers. The easiest way to differentiate yourself is through your listing. Ask yourself what else you can include to sell your product; are your descriptors accurate and informative? Do they answer everything a customer might want to know about the product? Are you using the right images? Is there enough of them? If you are also signed up for Amazon Vendor Central or Vendor Express, are you taking advantage of the A+ enhanced marketing content you can include for your products? This is your one opportunity to own your buyer’s attention so spend a lot of time getting this right.

Tip 3: Incentivise reviews

Customer reviews can be a powerful marketing tool, on top of being an important seller performance metric. Try to encourage reviews from customers especially reviews including media, product pictures or descriptions of usage. Positive reviews can build trust with prospective customers and are a stamp of credibility when you are still building your profile. Likewise, don’t be disheartened by negative feedback and instead, use it as a way to improve your business. Addressing negative feedback proactively via the marketplace platform will make you look more engaged with customers and more committed to the customer experience.

Tip 4: FBA – friend or foe?

Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) is probably the one service that gets Amazon sellers most animated. Many are divided on whether the benefits outweigh the costs. However, the one thing it does allow you is access to Amazon Prime customers who tend to buy only from sellers with FBA. Also, as you’re competing for that infamous buy box which Amazon rewards to those who it deems as elite sellers. Getting the Buy Box is the one sure fire way to shoot your conversion rate upwards.

Tip 5: Pricing

Whilst most sales will come down to price and with so much competition, it is bad business to base your whole business on being the cheapest. On marketplaces like Amazon, it quickly descends into a race to the bottom and the increase in sales may not make up for decrease in profit margins. Instead, it’s important to be flexible whilst remaining competitively priced. Understand the seasonality of your pricing with special offers during periods of less demand and including add on items when possible.

If you’re a UK seller listing on Amazon’s international websites, pay close attention to how the exchange rate affects your returns. The default marketplace payment’s system could also be costing you money in poor exchange rates or unnecessary currency conversion. Switch to an international payment platform like World Account to get the most out of your sales.

[1] Kenshoo report- Amazon: The Big E-Commerce Marketing Opportunity for Brands September 2017

For more advice on selling on Amazon, download our FREE Amazon guide.