Amazon product listing variations are the ultimate way to boost your product visibility and conversion rate on Amazon marketplace. By simplifying the customer shopping experience for buyers who don’t necessarily have the same preferences or taste when looking for particular product attributes.
Your variation listing is making life way easier for them, as it gives them what they’re looking for from various product options, all in one place.
What is a listing variation?
Amazon defines variations, or parent-child relationships, as different product options listed within the same listing. The products are related to one another but have different attributes such as color, size, flavor, and other characteristics, allowing customers to compare and purchase from the multiple available options on a single product detail page.
For instance, instead of having 8 separate product listings for water bottles that come in 8 different colors and 3 sizes, you can group them together on the same detail page. The multiple ASIN variations are displayed as color choices.
According to Amazon, pieces of clothing that come in different sizes (large, medium, small) and various colors (black, blue, red) are examples of good variation families.
Components of a listing variation
A listing variation relationship contains three main elements:
1. Parent listing
The parent listing or parent ASIN is a non-buyable entity that serves as the holding place for the child products. Amazon catalog adopts parent listings to create links between the child products. For instance, if two handbags have the same parent, then they are related and regarded as child products.
2. Child ASINs
Child products or ASINs are variants of the parent product that you can buy. You can have various child products all related to one parent listing. Each child variant is different in some way, for instance, a large, grey, long coat.
3. Variation theme
The variation theme is the type of relationship between the parent product and the child. It defines to what extent these products are different from each other. Your variation theme also varies depending on the chosen category to list your products. For instance, child listings in the Baby category can vary in portion, flavor, color, etc. In the Beauty and Personal Care category, child products can differ from each other by color and size.
You can also use two variation themes in specific product categories. For instance, if you want to list dresses in various sizes and colors, you can use the “SizeName-ColorName” variation theme. This enables customers to choose their size and color preference without having to look for single listings.
What are the advantages of listing variations on Amazon?
Creating new variations or adding a variation listing to your existing Amazon product listings can be a crucial part of your overall Amazon SEO strategy, as variations come with particular benefits that include:
- Increasing sales:
Displaying different options on your Amazon product listings simplifies the shopping process for your customers. They no longer have to go through the burden of looking separately for the right size, flavor, or color they want, as all these options are available immediately.
Variations also enable customers to discover new products they never knew existed.
For instance, let’s say you are a brand selling pink and grey bed covers. The pink bed cover is ranking well on Amazon search results, driving a compelling amount of traffic, and converting a significant number of purchasers while it’s not the case for the grey bed cover. Chances that those buyers are not even aware of the availability of the grey bed cover are high. When you leverage these variations, Amazon instantly positions the grey cover as an additional choice for customers already keen on the pink bed covers, which aids you generate more sales and boost demand.
- Increasing visibility for each child listing:
When you match a low performing or brand new product with a high performing one, you automatically save it from being invisible in the search results. This variation helps it become more discoverable to potential customers on Amazon. For example, let’s suppose you want to sell a new spray scent. Instead of building a new amazon product listing without reviews, you can simply add your new product as a variation to an already existing Spray listing.
- Combining reviews for each child listing:
As stated previously, when you add a new variation listing to an already existing Amazon listing with reviews, it enormously helps you with your ranking and visibility on the marketplace. The reviews of the variation listings will build up and increase, and all list under the same parent listing, no matter the kind of variation your customers end up buying.
- Combining sales history to increase organic search ranking:
Your Best Seller Rank and your organic search ranking will increase thanks to your variation listing’ overall sales history, since each sale made on your parent child listing, no matter the variation, goes to your sales history and solidifies it.
How to create Listing Variations on Amazon?
Before creating your listing variation on Amazon, make sure to check the product category first and whether it allows you to create your variation there.
The main categories that include variations are:
-Toys & Games
-Sports & Outdoors
- Health & Beauty
-Accessories & Shoes.
Once you do so, you will soon know that creating listing variations on Amazon is a simple and straightforward process for registered Amazon sellers.
There are two ways of creating variations on Amazon. You can either do it manually through Amazon Seller Central or complete and download an inventory file.
In this article, we chose to break down a brief overview of how to create parent-child variations using the Amazon inventory file template, and everything you should include when adding your variation. As it is the most suggested process by Amazon sellers, since you can easily modify, update, add, or delete variations to it when necessary.
You can first begin by downloading the inventory file template for the correct product category by:
1- Logging into your Amazon Seller Central Account
2- Visiting the inventory tab
3- Clicking on Add Products via Upload
4- Uploading the right inventory file for your chosen products.
The inventory file template will mostly look like this
You will use this inventory file template to create your Parent and Child SKUs.
- For your Parent items, you need to first complete all the required fields, by making sure you leave your Parent SKU field blank, then insert the word parent right under the parentage field. Add a correct Variation Theme, leave the Relationship Type blank as well, and then finally keep all the other non-required fields empty.
- For your Child items, you also need to fill out all the required fields, then enter the parent’s SKU value below the Parent SKU field. The value that you insert must be the same for all the other child products that are associated. The following step is to enter the word child under the Parentage field, and variation under Relationship Type. You should insert the same value that you added for the parent under Variation Theme. Again, this will be the same value for all your child items. In the attribute field, insert desired values that are related to your variation theme. For instance, if you have a variation theme of SizeName, you will separately insert values in the right fields, which in your case would be Size and Name.
Filling out the inventory file can get a little challenging for you, but Amazon provides you with all the necessary information to ensure you complete the template accurately. Make sure to follow these steps adequately, and take all your time so that no inaccuracy pops up when you download your file.
If you view the various tabs displayed at the bottom of the Excel spreadsheet that we showed you previously, you will notice the “Example” tab, make sure to click on it and go through it to see how you can fill out variation information.
For instance, under the second example in the inventory file, Amazon states that the parent is not a product that you can purchase for the parent-child relationships. It is only a description of a set of other products.
And it later provides you with valuable tips on what to enter and not for your parent and child items. For instance:
- Ensure only inserting an image URL for the product item, not the color, type, count, size, quantity, relationship type, and parent SKU.
- For the parent product, avoid entering data such as weight, time-to-ship, price, and so on, as the child product data control these.
- For your child products field, make sure to enter the size, price, weight, etc., since it will be different for each. (Amazon Seller Central)
For further details on how to create Parent-child variations for your Amazon product listings, go through Amazon Seller Central’s step by step process.
Or watch this helpful instruction video provided by Amazon:
What to avoid when creating variation listings
1- It is advisable that you avoid using too many variation themes on your Amazon product listings not to overwhelm your potential customers with disorganized themes, and instead provide them with positive customer experience.
2- When you create a parent-child relationship between two unrelated products and use it to generate profit on Amazon, you end up inflating the search rank through variation manipulation.
For instance, when you launch a new product on Amazon, you pair it with a former parent listing that performed well but is no longer active, to take advantage of its reviews. These reviews would then manipulate your Amazon product listing and make your new product look as if it is well-reviewed, and eventually help it rank higher on the search results.
Some sellers on Amazon still use this strategy to optimize their Amazon listings; however, it is considered unethical and goes against Amazon policies.
3- Increasing your product performance by combining reviews:
Another tactic Amazon sellers apply to the marketplace is merging highly reviewed variations with poorly rated ones to enhance their product performance. Amazon used to tolerate this kind of action. Still, after many customer complaints, who were not happy with their purchases, the online retail giant decided to make reviews display for each variation instead of combining reviews for all variations. This now enables customers to have a full picture of each variation and hence a better purchasing experience.
Tips to have more benefits from variation listing
1- Make the most popular variation of your product your focal point, that your customers would most likely search for, and purchase.
2- Make sure to list your products in a category that authorizes Amazon variation listings
3- Add as many images as you can to classify
4- You must monitor and manage your inventory after you list it at regular time intervals. In case you notice that you’re not doing well in sales, you can switch your listing from variation to traditional.
An excellent way for you to keep track of your Amazon listing quality, and see if your variations are doing a good job by ranking higher and bringing more sales, is by using DataHawk’s in-house Listing Quality Score Dashboard. And in case you are interested in learning more about this Amazon Analytics tool, read this article right here.
5- Amazon service providers or Amazon support are always available to guide you, so make sure to ask them for the best-fit products in the listing and the most accurate ones.
Amazon variation listings are of great advantage to both Amazon sellers and customers. They simplify the search process and shopping experience for potential buyers by providing them with various product options all in one product detail page. Variation enables sellers to generate more sales, thus the ROI, and rank higher on Amazon search results. As they can merge new related products to already existing Amazon listings, or add their low performing products to popular ones, and hence help them rank better on Amazon.
Make sure to follow all the steps listed above to create your error-free product variations. You will eventually notice the results and see how beneficial they are to your Amazon SEO optimization strategy.