Whether you are a new Amazon seller or someone who's been around a while, it's easy to look over your store obsessively. But, as competition becomes fierce on Amazon, you can't afford to overlook anything. So herein lays the importance of Amazon Alerting Systems.
As Amazon's A10 Algorithm releases, we expect competition to become much more challenging. Instead of working harder towards those goals, tools like Amazon price alerts make you work smarter.
To address this issue, we're going to delve into five reasons why you need an alerting system for your Amazon store.
1. Amazon Alerts Can Inform You When Someone Has Taken the Buy Box
An Amazon Featured Offer, otherwise known as the buy box, is one of the most critical focus areas for Amazon sellers. When you win the buy box, you will see a marked increase in sales. The buy box is where the money is.
The cornerstone of an excellent alerting system informs you of the buy box. You'll want to keep a close eye on your buy box for all of your inventory. An alerting system simplifies this, allowing you to focus on the data behind monitoring (opposed to the monitoring).
An Example of How Tracking the Buy Box Can Be Important
Leveraging DataHawk's Amazon Alerts, we tracked the "Bobbie Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner No. 1 Black Ink." Because it's a well-known eyeliner in the beauty category, it's incredibly competitive.
Our amazon alert tracking allows you to tick a simple box. Shortly after, we found that PGX LLC overtook the buy box. Previously, the buy box was under Astoria.
If you are PGX LLC, this is a cause for celebration. It tells you to potentially ramp up production as your store is competitive enough to win top billing. It's a good affirmation that your strategy is working.
If you are in Astoria, this allows you to learn the potential mistakes you made. If it works in conjunction with other alerts (Amazon Price Change Alerts), you might be able to adjust your price to be more competitive.
Why A Buy Box Alert Need To Be With Additional Alerts
While having a buy box alert is a good start, it is virtually worthless by itself. Why? Because extra data might reveal why you lost the buy box.
For example, let's say that you and another brand are incredibly close when it comes to shipping quality:
- 99% customer satisfaction rating
- Low order defect rate
- Low shipment rate
The combination of these three makes for a good seller. Therein lies the importance of competitive pricing.
Looking at almost any Amazon listing will reveal mostly similar pricing. Unfortunately, the pricing is so similar that it sometimes varies by pennies.
An Amazon shopper might not care about that. However, Amazon's algorithm seeks to provide the best customer experience. Because customers like paying less for things, an Amazon price change alert is paramount to making your buy box tracker effective.
Another example comes from a change in product data. If details, A+ content, or bullets change, a new merchant might have entered the fray. If their description and bullets are more engaging than yours, they might take the box.
How Do You Win the Amazon Buy Box?
Winning the Amazon Buy Box involves a series of things. These things are areas you should focus on if you receive an alert from our system.
Below is a quick run-through of areas of focus:
- Competitive pricing - Check out the pricing dashboard on Seller Central to provide details on how you compare to your competition. The Selling Coach Pricing Report will provide you with further recommendations.
- Faster (and Free) shipping - Check your shipping settings to see if you offer competitive shipping practices. Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) shippers who ship their stuff to a fulfillment center are more likely to win with Amazon Prime offerings.
- Customer service - Focusing on product quality is crucial for a good customer service experience. Keep an eye on your Account Health page to be sure of where you stand here.
- A robust inventory - Keeping your stock available is an essential part of being in the buy box. Stockouts can prevent your product listing from ever recovering back to the top of the list.
Check out DataHawk's page on their Amazon Buy Box tracker for details.
2. An Amazon Price Change Alert Tells You When Competition is Ramping Up
Knowing that competitive price is an aspect of your buy box ranking, tracking price changes is crucial to determining your rank. When you receive an Amazon price alert, it's likely to undermine your sales rank. This is because this form of competitive pricing co-mingles with sale prices to appear more enticing than your offer.
A price drop can come from the overall cost of the sale price. Regardless, there is an Amazon price alert tracker for that purpose. A price change is typically strategic, awaiting similar responses from your business.
An Active Case of the Usefulness of an Amazon Price Change Alert Tracker
You can find a case example of how you can leverage Amazon price change alert here, where a Vitamin C Face Serum recently dropped by two cents. Depending on the algorithm's reaction, this might change who appears in the buy box.
It is also a sign that they might be gunning for the buy box. Price drops (especially sale prices) entice customers to make purchases. More purchases result in a higher sales rank which can also impact the number of customer reviews.
The name of the game is to gain as many positive customer responses as possible. Once you do that, you may see this followed by a price increase alert where the owner retains their rank.
This high-level price competition is a reality to Amazon wholesalers, but what about members of the Amazon Brand Registry?
What If I Have An Amazon Brand?
Amazon is pushing sellers to pursue becoming a brand to improve seller ownership and customer experience. As a result, people are more likely to purchase from a brand owner as they have access to enhanced algorithm tracking tools, a storefront, and better advertising features.
Amazon brands also have access to a Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) agreement. A MAP agreement dictates the lowest available price that competitors can set. This policy ensures that manufacturers and brands can create a sense of quality for their items.
As long as other quality concerns are met, it is rare for brands to be outsold by competitors trying to sell the same brand.
Why is Sale Price More Effective Than an Overall Drop In Price?
Have you ever walked by a store that said, "up to 70% off," and said this is a great deal? Perhaps it wasn't that strong, but sales pricing has a more significant effect than a generic drop in price. This difference is related to two reasons:
- Sales typically create a natural sense of urgency in buying items because it might be a limited-time deal.
- Sales create an anchoring effect that convinces people to buy based on contrasting higher prices.
Amazon discourages you from using high-pressure sales tactics. That's because they understand how effective it can be, so they use them.
Looking through listings will reveal several strikeouts to provide that framing effect. These tactics are especially prevalent on Prime Day, where $129.99 turns into $79.99 with regularity. Since it only lasts for two days, people are encouraged to buy things up quickly.
Good trackers will send you an Amazon price change alert in both sale and general price drop situations.
3. Amazon Alerts Tell You When New Sellers Enter
Both brands and wholesalers must face the potential of competition. New sellers have access to your product description and can potentially outsell you with the right strategy. Yes, even Amazon brands must face the reality of being outsold in their product realms.
Sound Amazon alerts will provide you the option of tracking when new merchants enter the market. This new seller is a sign that the competition in your area is about to increase. When one new seller enters the market, other sellers are likely to follow.
A Case Example of How Useful it Can Be To Track Incoming Merchants
There are two situations where this can come in handy:
- To find out who is distributing products under your brand
- Finding out who is selling products that you also sell
Situation number two is more likely to happen to wholesalers who sell popular brands. For example, Quaker Oats is a huge worldwide brand. While going with established brands means that you don't have to worry about raising it, you have to compete with many other sellers in the same market.
You can find both examples here. Brands will want to pay particular attention to some poor sellers entering their domain. Purchasing products from those poor sellers can lead to the listing dropping in rank.
Pricing You Out of the Market
New entrants could be an attempt to get you to lose capital. Bombing your brand listing is one example of this, but larger retailers have other methods to create a new standard in market control.
Some retailers utilize loss leaders temporarily to outlast others and attract further product reviews. Loss leaders are priced below production costs, which requires new sellers to be willing to sacrifice capital to win.
Because most new sellers don't start with much, this might require them to delay expansion plans. This situation is more likely to occur in the most competitive markets. However, Amazon Brands have ample protection against some of the most negative of these situations.
Combining Amazon tracking of new merchants with an Amazon price alert can allow you to keep your eyes open for this strategy.
Don't Forget to Track Sales Rank
Sales rank delves heavily into the amount of competition for the areas you sell. Again, sellers new to the wholesale market have to deal with this often. However, brands have the same potential when running into other potential sellers of their products.
Sales rank is something that you can use to see who is in what rank over time. To track your specific product listing, you can use DataHawk as a tool to see both your and your competitor's change in sales rank.
You may be willing to write off a newcomer, but if they already have positive customer service in their back pocket and have enough sales to start being a threat, they can swoop the buy box from you with relative quickness.
A combination of Amazon product alerts can help you be ready for stiff competition.
4. Amazon Alerts Make You More Aware of Positive or Negative Reviews
Another effective form of Amazon product alert goes back to a boon to new sellers: reviews. Both positive and negative reviews are essential to attract attention, recognize product faults, and improve your overall brand.
We all know that one of the most significant parts of your Amazon seller account comes back to gathering an audience. So tracking when people review your products is incredibly important. Reviews are a form of word-of-mouth advertising that works to establish an immediate state of customer trust.
Establishing the Importance of Being Responsive to Customer Reviews
Not all customer reviews are made equal. For example, some customers take the Amazon product insert you have, use it to find out more about your off-site presence, and demand a refund in place of review bombing. On the other hand, some customers are upset you charged them a restocking fee, giving you a bad review because of the annoyance.
Instead, the reviews you want to focus on delve into honest feedback. Those reviews mention product defects and design flaws. Having specific Amazon product alerts allows you to catch those before they become a problem.
You can solve some of these problems by addressing the "how to use it" instructions. Otherwise, you may consider going back to your manufacturer and request a different design. Unfortunately, identifying trends will be the case here, meaning you might have to suffer through a few negative reviews before catching the problem.
How to Get Your First Reviews Without Breaking the Amazon TOS
Honest reviews are difficult to muster. Back when the Amazon Early Review program was a thing, it was a bit easier for you to get the first few reviews. However, because that was paying for reviews, new sellers had to find alternative ways to find their first reviews.
Below are some quick tips you can take to encourage buyers to review your products:
- If you've made a few sales, request a review in the product insert. Be sure not to include that review request with any discount codes or other incentives.
- Use the Request a Review Button to ask people directly for reviews. Be sure that Amazon has not already sent a review before using this feature.
- Run a PPC campaign to encourage people to make sales. Ad campaigns will increase your exposure. This exposure increases your potential sales, which typically leads to more reviews.
- Make a high-quality product that works for your customer. People are more likely to share a good experience if the product works in all of the right ways.
After receiving your first reviews, your portion of the product listing will become more competitive. Those reviews give you more significant potential to compete with the Amazon buy box.
5. Amazon Alerts Make You More Competitive
From everything we've seen, you can see that Amazon product alerts make you more competitive. From receiving Amazon price change alerts to knowing who is winning the buy box, this combination of information is crucial in creating opportunities.
This section will delve into how you can use less popular product alerts to remain more competitive.
Tracking Changes in Listing Details
Tracking changes in listing details is vital because it indicates the potential of product changes or merchant changes. For example, if there is an update to the product's firmware, it may list a new or improved feature.
If you are a wholesaler or a member that sells someone else's private label product, this data might require you to tweak your form of the description. There will almost always be a "from the manufacturer" section. However, each person has a way to improve upon that with dynamic sales copy.
Having these changes on hand will allow you to react faster than others. In some cases, a fast reaction time might let you put down a new description to help you win at Amazon SEO.
Tracking Changes Based on Specific Operators
Operators in programming languages refer to variables related to specific situations. For example, if you want to track when another merchant has matched your price, you are looking for their price to "equal true."
The operators in DataHawk's trackers include the following:
- Any change
- Is known
- Is unknown
- Matches value
- Does not match value
Check out DataHawk's Amazon Seller Software for a closer look at how those variables work.
The point being that powerful tracking software includes what logically makes sense for the owner. Because not all owners think alike, they each create different variables.
There are some obvious ones (buy box changes, sales rank, etc.), but some unique situations call for specific tracking measures.
For example, if you want to see if another ASIN you are tracking intends to target a keyword you work towards, you could use the "matches value" function to explore that.
It will tell you whether your competitors are trying to outrank you through specific text.
Tracking Via Numerical Operators
Numerical operators follow changes in numbers. As you might expect, the most popular number to track in this category is related to price. Check out our use case on the product alerting tool for a complete list. In this case, we are going to focus on its application.
Two of the most popular tracking methods by numerical operators are "overvalue" and "undervalue." You insert a value of importance to you (number of sellers, competitor price, etc.), and you receive an alert when something meets its condition.
For example, you might find that your target niche becomes a bit crowded after reaching ten merchants in a category. Your response to getting that level of merchants is to discuss what you want to do. Is the niche worth staying in? Do you need to increase your PPC?
While there is rarely a one-size-fits-all response to these things, alerts are a reminder that you need to do something. Dropping the current price to be more competitive is a popular answer.
The More Basic Reports
Sometimes it's easy to overlook items that are under a big picture scope. Having an Amazon price change alert for specific products is excellent, but without an overall breakdown of the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS), that data is less helpful.
There are a few examples:
- Product sales report
- Bestseller rank
- Sales history
- Advertising history
It's important to note that data is crucial for your business to remain competitive. However, there's also a tendency to overcomplicate or overspeculate on specific subjects.
The best Amazon sellers understand this, so they practice much of the basics by writing engaging copy and offering the best deals. You can't work without understanding where you are financially or what has worked in the past.
A video ad campaign you ran successfully during the previous year might still work. You might tweak it a bit to meet modern needs, but you don't have to start from scratch.
An Amazon price alert can help you understand when someone is trying to drop your product's value. However, if the price doesn't change, you might not need to worry about it because of superiority in other areas.
Using what works and understanding basic finance is a big part of success in small businesses.
6. Wrap Up
Creating an Amazon product alert provides you with your first piece of awareness. However, you won't find them very useful if they don't work in conjunction. The combination of buy box alerts, pricing alerts, reviews, and description changes work together in such a way to make your Amazon store a competitive powerhouse.
For any more information on this tracking information, check out our demo software and reach out today. Thanks for reading!
Learn how to use DataHawk's powerful Amazon Product Alert and make a d...
Amazon Project Zero is a self-service brand protection program for Ama...