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October 14st, 2020
By: Kim Kohatsu
Kim Kohatsu is the chief marketing officer at PickFu, an instant polling service that Amazon sellers use to optimize their product listings.
With over 20 years in advertising and marketing, Kim knows how to appeal to customers. In her role as CMO, she helps sellers quickly test their product photos, description copy, and A+ content with shoppers in the target market.
Selling on Amazon requires mastering skills — from sourcing products to figuring out logistics, from learning marketing to handling customer service.
After all that work, what if the product doesn’t sell like you hoped?
Don’t worry. Amazon listing optimization is a methodical process to help ensure all your work pays off, and we’ll cover it step by step below.
As you develop a product for Amazon, you invest time and resources. Once you’ve gotten customers to look at your listing, your efforts become even more important: what can you do to keep those shoppers engaged?
Amazon listing optimization entails taking a critical look at your listing and running experiments to see how any changes you make help or hinder your sales.
As you run these experiments, keep two audiences in mind:
The search engine — The inclusion of keywords, how you categorize your products, and other back-end changes are intended to help Amazon’s A10 algorithm understand the product.
Human customers — Your creative assets, such as photos, videos, and text, affect how shoppers interact with the listing. As they browse through photos, watch videos, and buy your products, these signals help A10 to determine search rankings.
As you optimize your listing, remember to address the needs of both these audiences. Too many optimization strategies ignore human behavior and only take the algorithm into account. But algorithms don’t buy your product; people do.
You can experiment with your listing in two ways:
When you run a live split test, you rotate variants of an element of your listing over time and compare the results.
For example, you might switch out your main photo or rewrite the product description, then collect data over several days or weeks to figure out which version leads to more clicks and sales. You can use Amazon A/B testing tools to help automate this process or you can manually rotate your variants.
A live test comes with a few drawbacks. First, live testing requires you to have a baseline of sales each day. Without reliable sales, your test will not collect enough data to be useful. For this reason, live split tests will likely not work for new sellers.
Live tests also take weeks to gather data, after which results are often inconclusive. Tread carefully whenever you test your live Amazon listing because if your new variant performs poorly, you lose real sales which can hurt your organic search ranking.
Surveys are a different Amazon listing optimization method in which you ask questions of shoppers outside of the Amazon marketplace. In your survey, you show them all the variants you are testing (such as your main photo or your product description) and let the group weigh the options and provide their thoughts.
The best part about testing outside of Amazon is you don’t make any changes to your live listing until you are confident. You can try different approaches without risking your current sales or ranking. A survey doesn’t have to take weeks to finish, either. In fact, with a tool like PickFu, most surveys complete in less than 30 minutes.
Running a survey on PickFu is easy. All you have to do is ask a question below, or improvise on what’s there based on your product and goals.
Then, choose the people you’d like to answer the survey. For example, let’s say you’re marketing a luxury wrinkle cream. Your survey audience might be women over the age of 45 who make at least $60,000/year.
Another popular audience is Amazon Prime members. PickFu has over 40 traits you can combine to create your ideal target audience.
Whether you’re launching a product, optimizing a flagging product, or performing competitive tests, the eight survey questions listed below will help you optimize your Amazon listing.
Your main image is likely to have the biggest effect on your Amazon listing optimization efforts. Ask this question using the main image on your current listing and a main image of one or two of your competitors. See what people say about each. Emulate what the other guy is doing right, and see what you can do even better.
Ask this question with your current main image and any new images you are considering. Work with a graphic designer to create some new options, especially for secondary images and infographics. Consider new text and layouts to make these images stronger.
Keep in mind the goal is not only to showcase the product but to overcome any objections the shopper might have. What features or attributes are most important to highlight? How can your designs most effectively communicate them?
A title may only be 200 characters, but it counts for so much. Some sellers use the product title as a way to cram keywords in for the Amazon algorithm, but this is a rookie mistake. As you work through different options for your product title, remember that clarity always wins.
With this survey question, take your current product title and titles from competitors and compare them. You might find that certain wording is more appealing to shoppers or that certain features deserve greater emphasis.
Consider what respondents say not only in the context of your title but also in your product description and bullet points.
Accompany this open-ended question with a link to your current Amazon listing. You’ll find it helpful to identify parts of your listing that confuse shoppers or details they want to know more about.
This quick audit will uncover blind spots you may not even know you had.
Your product description should show the customer why your product is worth the money. Take your current product description and rewrite it (or have a professional copywriter rewrite it for you).
Try several approaches and tones of voice. Ask survey respondents to compare the versions. Remember to talk to the customer, not at the customer.
Use this survey to optimize your bullet points. Keep each point concise for better readability. Remember to incorporate keywords that weren’t used in your product title for better SEO.
Test the leading words for each bullet; for example, instead of describing your standing desk as “Durable and water-resistant,” you could try, “Stands up to anything.” You can also ask survey respondents to rank various features to order them in order of importance to shoppers.
Video content is your chance to bring your product to life for customers. Before adding video to your listing, see whether respondents believe it corresponds fairly to the price you have set. Their comments help you understand what hesitations they may have.
Work with your videographer to address any hesitations. Implement shopper suggestions in other parts of your listing as well, including photography, copywriting, and A+ content. Look at other aspects of the video too, especially its hook (or the first few seconds).
Ask this question as you are sourcing a product. Survey the product variations you are considering before you go into production or buy inventory.
This way you know what sells before you sell it. You can also use this question to test your current product variations to help you prioritize them.
A well-optimized Amazon listing separates the leaders from the losers.
When you run surveys like the eight listed above, you quickly understand how shoppers react to your Amazon listing and how to make the listing a better experience for them. Are shoppers seeing what you intended them to see? Or do they bring associations to your marketing content that you hadn’t even thought of?
Perfect each element of your listing using shopper insights to guide you. Surveying customers will help you improve your listings and ultimately, increase your sales.
Getting started only takes a minute, so run your first PickFu survey now!