Creating the Perfect Amazon Product Launch Strategy
A successful product launch is everything to a new seller on Amazon. But given the massive competition on the world’s largest eCommerce platform, it can feel tough to get off the ground. If you are one of the many Amazon sellers struggling to increase conversion rates with a new product, you are not alone. This blog is for the sellers who need a working guide on having your best product launch.
- What Kind of New Products Should You Launch on Amazon?
- How to Create a Successful New Product Listing on Amazon
- Create an Offer Built Around What Your Customers Want
- Creating Your Digital Assets
- Acquire Amazon Reviews Using These Proven Methods
- Use Amazon Vine’s System Before Release
- Advertise Aggressively
- Measure Your Results and Adjust (as Needed)
What Kind of New Products Should You Launch on Amazon?
How to Create a Successful New Product Listing on Amazon
Understand What the Customer Is Looking For
- By situation
- By demographics
Demographics refer to your target audience’s age, gender, ethnicity, and income bracket. Targetting demographics is simpler because people often give that information to Amazon, Facebook, and other data-gathering entities.
Using data from demographics is simpler because it is easier to gather. That data is applied onto larger scales to understand what other people in the same situation will do. In the case of our software, the usage of historical data is a good predictor. However, it is only quantitative data. You will need qualitative data to create engaging copy.
Leverage Situation-Based Qualitative Customer Data
Understanding the customer’s situation enables you to improve your product listing based on what the customer is looking for. This data (supplemented with demographics) is the best way to write product details that work. To understand qualitative data, you should look for customer reviews. For example, let’s assume you want to create a carrot peeler.
Using this data, you can infer that the carrot peeler is adequate but somewhat dangerous. By examining the design, you might use this information to advertise how safe your carrot peeler is by comparison. Customer reviews on similar products are a way you can perform research. If you don’t have many results on Amazon, you can search on other websites.
Create an Effective Buyer Persona
To make a buyer persona seem approachable – here is what you should include:
- A fake name to humanize your target audience
- Education level
- Simple lifestyle details (if they are active, professional, etc.)
- What technology do they use? (Smartphone, desktop, voice controls)
- What are their goals or motivations? (related to your product?)
- Where do they have social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- What personality traits do they have?
- What challenges do they want to overcome using your product?
- Draw quotes from something they said (like on a review or your social media)
The creation of buyer personas is a bit easier if you already have a similar product. Those who are existing sellers will want to take quotes from a current target audience member. If you are an entirely new seller, you will need to draw this data from similar companies. You can also choose to interview prospective customers.
Interviewing for Buyer Personas
You will want to frame questions around whatever product you are selling, but ask more general questions to create a complete picture of your buyer persona. You will want to make prolific use of the “why,” as you need to dig deep into their motivations.
You’ll also want to interview multiple people, as a single interview won’t give you a good idea of overall results. The more you can interview, the better off you can be.
How Do Buyer Personas Increase Your Amazon Sales Rank?
The image above shows an alternative design for a y-shaped carrot peeler. If this were you, you could argue that the development of this peeler resulted from the safety concerns of your prior peeler. In the “about this item” section and image section, you address those concerns by mentioning those concerns. The design provides an addition to your product copy you could not include before.
You can also make other arguments for why this carrot peeler is useful, addressing additional concerns found through your buyer persona. Finding out that most of the people who buy your products are busy parents might allow you to include how much time your product saves.
This isn’t related to keyword research at all, but you can apply this knowledge to our keyword research tools to find out how you can create engaging copy that targets keywords. Knowing your customer allows you to understand how your customer might search for something. However, millions of other similar products exist, and the concept of a y-shaped carrot peeler isn’t enough to make your product unique? This is why it is vital to ensure your product can stand out.
Choose a Unique Product
Sticking with the carrot peeler theme, they have two simple elements: blade and handle. There are usually two formations (y-shaped and l-shaped), and they typically come in your standard black flavor. What could be different about your chosen product?
Your product does not need a bottle opener added to it to become unique. Instead, you should focus on value-added reasons your product is outstanding.
Have a Lower Price
Amazon already requires you to have the lowest possible price to remain competitive. Regardless, dominant sellers like to use their position to create higher-than-average pricing. While you won’t be able to outprice bigger competitors, you can do so in some niches. Walmart provides you with an excellent method for how being a price leader can work.
Having a lower price usually requires a more considerable potential upfront investment. Buying things locally and negotiating takes time and effort, but you won’t have to pay shipping costs. Otherwise, the more you buy, the more you can drive down the cost of purchased items. Regardless of how low your price is, keeping your profit margins in mind is vital. While you might make more sales than others with the lowest price, it does not help you if you are not profitable.
Offer Fast Delivery (Become an Amazon FBA Seller)
Amazon FBA sellers can be groups of one or a few people who specialize in marketing. Those sellers include people who cannot afford warehousing and shipping. It also provides an automatic advantage to sellers, as Amazon prefers people who use these platforms.
Faster delivery is a competitive advantage everywhere. But on Amazon, everyone does have access to this method of differentiation, so you will ideally want to include it with one (or more) of the other options on this list.
Offer Unique Product Features
When it comes to new product releases, one quick way you can draw attention is by mentioning features. Ideally, those features are something unique that makes your product stand out among the competition.
With Amazon sellers, this can be somewhat tricky, as entry-level sales can make it hard to innovate. This is especially true if you participate in dropshipping, wholesale work, or any form of online or retail arbitrage. Those forms rely on pre-existing products already sold by others.
You have better luck with private label selling, where you slap your brand on a manufacturer’s product. This enables you the potential for long-term growth but makes it challenging to get your product the attention it needs for consistent growth.
Private label selling means that you are the sole provider of a unique product. However, this will not stop the manufacturer from selling numerous similar effects to other sellers.
If you have a truly unique idea, you’ll want to seek out a PLR manufacturer who can help you with prototyping. You’ll find the cost higher, but if you know how to advertise it for your customer’s benefit, you can potentially draw a lot of attention.
Offer Better Customer Support
Amazon does much customer support for you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you cannot offer it. You will do much of this support outside of Amazon, but Amazon will not discourage shoppers from contacting you directly.
However, Amazon does have specific rules against you discouraging people from leaving negative feedback. Amazon is big on allowing customers to share real experiences. As a learning opportunity, you should seek out those honest responses.
Good customer support never takes this negative customer feedback as a personal attack. While it may hurt to hear a negative review of a product you spent a lot of time on, don’t allow yourself to fall into that trap. Take any negative feedback as a learning opportunity.
You can’t expect every negative review to lead to something positive. Some people are negative purely to be negative. However, if you notice trends in your feedback, you might have to re-evaluate the product and rerelease it under the next version.
In that case, having a new ASIN will enable you to refresh from negative reviews. This note is essential if you get enough of a negative customer experience to have to start over.
Much of this customer support is expressed through positive reviews. Try not to fret over saying how positive your customer service is. Instead, your exemplary customer service is best proven by examples, not by saying how good you are.
Become a Trusted Source of Expertise
To increase organic sales, a common form of doing this like an expert is answering all your niche questi+ons. So, if you are a company that sells electric grills, having a list of blogs devoted to recipes for your electric grill can be a great idea.
Another bonus to that is if those recipes specifically cite instructions involving your grill. In this case, not only will you be providing help for people who generally look for it, but you also will provide instructions on how to use your grill with particular food items specifically. This “How-To” article combines knowledge of grilling with details about the grill.
Not every article is going to be sales-oriented, however. It is essential to be aware of the different stages of the buyer’s journey. Many people who seek out informative SEO articles aren’t there because they want your product. Instead, they simply want answers.
Direct email marketing is another method for those who seek out your expertise. In this case, it will most likely be from people already aware of your product. Remember, if you plug, make sure that it does come with something that people can use.
Tug at Their Heartstrings (Establish an Emotional Connection)
Apple, one of the more significant examples, uses Steve Jobs. Supposedly, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in a garage. Microsoft and Bill Gates are no strangers to this story. Still, the importance of brand storytelling is an essential strategy on Amazon.
Including a ‘Thank You’ card with all of the products you send (especially your first ones) is another excellent way to connect with people. A thank you means a lot, even for something as small as buying something online.
It is up to you to find a way to make the prospective customer feel special. Whether it comes from making them feel like a part of a legacy or thanking them for the purchase, a little effort goes a long way.
Create an Offer Built Around What Your Customers Want
Building product offers your customers want is a process. You will need to combe your knowledge of what customers want and what makes a good product into creating an offer. The offer is the totality of what your product brings to the table.
It answers the buyer persona’s needs with compelling product descriptions and boosts sales potential by standing out, being convenient, and creating the best possible deal. A good product offer will go through the complete picture:
Does It Make Their Life Easier?
When you ask how a product can make your life easier, you can see that with some things. Electric razors can help with beard trimming; carrot peelers help with peeling carrots, cars help you get from point a to point b faster.
But for some products, it might seem impossible on they can make your life easier. With something as mundane as a shirt or basketball, it is up to you to remind people of ways your product makes their lives easier. The two prominent examples in this come from the level of comfort and its being machine washable.
Even if some levels of convenience seem mundane to you, you must think like the customer. Will your target audience appreciate a machine-washable shirt? Usually, the answer is yes.
What Problems Does Your Product Solve for Them?
Other than a cure for nudity, clothing isn’t known to be problem-solving. However, assuming that there is no answer to this question would be foolish. For example, this shirt has moisture-wicking technology, which appeals to people who sweat. This avoids the problem of the shirt sticking to you or people being able to see through it.
It also has a “covered seam for durability,” meaning it solves the problem of needing to replace shirts every few years. For those who work in t-shirts, that is one problem solved. Much of the answers to this question should come to light in the product development phase. How you write the feature that solves their problem will come from the buyer persona interview.
Turning Features Into Benefits
When it comes to having a t-shirt with moisture-wicking, what does that mean? While those who have looked up t-shirts before might already know, you can never assume that. Instead of focusing on the buzzwords and jargon, you need to work on translation. In this case, moisture-wicking “keeps you cool and dry,” which translates feature into a benefit.
Whether technical or straightforward, many prospective buyers like to know what they are getting into. With profitable products, you’ll find that the best ones explain things thoroughly. Here is another image from Gildan’s product page showing you further examples of this in action:
The next time you create a complete description of your product, ask yourself how the technical aspects help your customer. Asking “how does that help me” is a great way to break down each feature into benefits people will find more relatable.
Creating a Promotional Campaign for Your Product
Another way to meet customer appeal is through discount codes and coupons. Discounts, by default, encourage people to buy sooner. This is especially true if you establish a sense of urgency. You can do this directly on Amazon by applying your new product to lightning deals.
Lightning deals are located under “Today’s Deals.” Because there is a unique landing page for these product deals, it is another potential area of exposure. This enables your product to gain exposure in multiple areas. Otherwise, if you have a social media presence, you can choose to promote a discount code.
Encourage your social media followers by expressing the announcement of your new product. This is something that Amazon doesn’t typically allow, so establishing social media is necessary for sellers to gain growth.
Creating Your Digital Assets
Digital assets refer to images and videos below the product title and are found on Amazon advertising. Below is a list of assets you should consider:
Primary and Secondary Product Images
As the centerpiece of your product description, you have two forms of images: primary and secondary. Primary images are the first image that people see when looking up your product on Amazon. It needs to be high-quality, has a white background, and features the product by itself.
Clothing is a bit more difficult because you have to find a model if the product is not for Children. Child models are not allowed by Amazon. Secondary images are a bit looser, allowing for backgrounds and additional products. However, you do not want to make it seem like those secondary products are for sale.
The product needs to be prominently displayed regardless of the image. There are multiple image types, but we won’t get into them here. Instead, we will remind you of the importance of reviewing competitor images to see what works.
Product videos are located at the bottom of your product image list (see above). These are often used to heighten the desire for the product by visiting it in use. You can also use them in PPC advertising:
Video production is a bit more expensive, which is why many new sellers avoid it. However, you can receive an advertising edge.
Regardless of placing them on an advertisement or your product list, you need to have video dimensions of 1920 x 1080 px. The file size also needs to be less than 500 MB.
Videos also have additional requirements, as the product needs to be the first thing the customer sees. Many standard content requirements apply here, so try to avoid being too salesy and focus on the benefits and features.
Display Advertisement and Banner Advertisement
Still, the use of display ads is cheap and important when getting the word out. Display ads must be high-quality and fit one of the following resolution requirements:
- 720×90 px
The size you choose depends entirely on the location of your ads. Typically banner ads are 728×90, but you can submit multiple formats. If you aren’t sure of the type of banner ad you want, there is no harm in creating multiple formats. It is better to be prepared rather than scramble for the correct size.
Acquire Amazon Reviews Using These Proven Methods
When it comes to increasing sales volume, a big part of that comes from product reviews. The volume of traffic amazon puts towards your product depends entirely on your quality. Customer reviews are a straightforward way of getting that.
But when it comes to getting those reviews, Amazon is incredibly picky about how you get them. Requesting positive reviews is enough to get your Seller Central account flagged.
Whenever you ask for reviews, be sure you leave it to asking for “customer feedback.” Don’t use the terms “if you liked the product,” as that is encouraging positive reviews. Below are three proven methods you can use to gain reviews.
The Amazon Request a Review Button
The Amazon Request a Review Button is located under Seller Central on the Order Details page. A button located at the very top enables you to send a review request directly from the customer. The system is simple, follows Amazon’s TOS, and enables users to click on a series of stars in an email to get directed to the review page.
Amazon discourages its sellers from harassing people for reviews. So if Amazon has already done this automatically (which it typically does by default), don’t use this. You are only allowed to send one review reminder to the customer. Anything beyond that might annoy the customer and summon Amazon’s wrath for further review.
Encouraging Reviews Through Product Inserts
That earlier section reminds us of the importance of “thank you,” product inserts are any sheet of paper inside a product. It can provide how-to steps on using the product, a bit of company backstory, and (most importantly) a request to leave an honest review on your product.
Product inserts are also a great way to establish a personal connection between your brand and the customer. However, you will want to avoid placing any one-time-use coupons alongside this review request. Amazon is picky enough about incentivized reviews to count any review request alongside one-use coupons as incentivized. Typically, it is best to keep those two incentives separate to avoid any issues from Amazon.
Driving External Traffic Using Social Media
When it comes to using seller tools, Amazon Seller Central has a plethora. But you should not understate the usefulness of establishing an off-site presence. Social media is convenient when requesting reviews from your audience. You can do so alongside other promotional efforts to encourage positive reviews.
While Amazon does have control over any requests you make concerning your Amazon store, the company has less control off-site. Running promotional giveaways to encourage people to raise hype about your product isn’t out of the question on your social pages.
You can also direct people to your site if you want. This enables you to diversify your eCommerce portfolio, giving you a backup option that does not rely on Amazon’s store. Third-party sellers need to think about owning their traffic. This enables them to be prepared should Amazon become a lot more competitive in their niche.
Use Amazon Vine’s System Before Release
Because Vine Voices are selected entirely by Amazon for no pay, it is an excellent alternative to paid reviews. However, the irony isn’t lost on many of Amazon’s seller bases, so send an email if you would like the early review program to come back.
Regardless, Vine Voices enable you to take advantage of that conversion window by allowing you to have your product get reviews during the early stages. To sign up, you can do so through Amazon Seller Central.
If you expect to contact these voices directly about their experience, you cannot. Amazon restricts this to avoid any dishonest reviews.
To avoid negative reviews, make a high-quality product. It’s best to go through a few testing phases before releasing any product.
Amazon PPC, or Pay Per Click, is the most straightforward form of exposure if done correctly. When researching the best products, part of that comes back to keyword research. A lot of keyword research comes back to what a buyer persona would ideally search for.
In the first several days of your product release, you’ll want to be at the top of those advertising lists. So when finding relevant keywords, be sure your product meets the needs as much as possible.
Once you find those keywords, be willing to outspend your competitors. The ultimate goal is to be at the top of that “New Release” and “Today’s Deal.” With numerous sales and positive customer reviews, you can do that quite well.
Amazon PPC – Automatic or Manual Campaigns?
An automatic campaign refers to allowing Amazon to bid for the top slot automatically. Unless you are experienced in using Amazon’s bidding system, you’ll want to stick with automated advertising.
Automated PPC campaigns will know when to pull funding when it reaches an unwanted threshold. This enables you to re-evaluate your strategy without overspending on the advertising budget.
Manual campaigns are great if you have specific goals in mind. If you have a keen understanding of Amazon’s advertising, this can help.
Manual campaigns are a bit simpler to cost control as well. After all, the cost isn’t going to change unless you do something, so keep a close eye on your advertising position.
Off-Site Advertising – Is It Worth It?
When it comes to establishing a social media presence and website, those are useful in the long run. But for short-term issues, what about advertising on Facebook, Google, or other platforms?
For new sellers, you should avoid off-site advertising for your first products. It is easy to get overwhelmed using multiple advertisement platforms. Instead, focusing on Amazon and supplementing with our third-party tools are recommended.
Eventually, you can choose to expand using these alternative ad methods. However, it is best to direct that advertising to other goals.
For example, establishing a personal eCommerce site (like on Shopify) is a way you can cut Amazon out of the take. If you can sell directly, it saves you a bit of money.
However, you’ll want to be sure your team can handle multiple inventory sources. Once your business grows, it’s a matter of being sure that your model is scalable.
Amazon SEO – How Much Should I Devote To This?
Amazon SEO is the ultimate goal of those seeking to advertise. Depending on your perspective, you might consider it “free traffic.” However, the traffic is still owned by Amazon’s search engine, so don’t get too excited.
For the best results, you’ll want to be sure to target long-tail keywords. These search terms are three words or more, enabling you to hit prospective buyers narrowly.
The idea is to explain what your product is in narrow terms. For example, “blue running shoes for women” is one detailed example.
Of course, the search volume of these long-tail keywords is smaller. However, long-tail always includes short keywords.
To start, you should check out Amazon’s PPC list to see what they have. It does give you short-term information on competitive keywords based on volume.
For useful historical data, our SEO tools can help you get a real-world aspect of how these keywords can help. While Amazon Seller Central is a great start, it isn’t enough for sellers who want to be competitive.
Measure Your Results and Adjust (as Needed)
Amazon advertising doesn’t always end well, especially for newbies. Your sales potential can be trounced if someone outpaces your product with higher ad bids.
The early part of your Amazon product release strategy must include consistent reviews for a product to be successful.
Below are some of the most common marketing errors:
You Need More Research
The most common failure in marketing research is the lack of research. Early sellers end testing phases and product research too early, often thinking there is a limited time frame to jump on an opportunity.
It is excellent to be opportunistic, but there is such a thing as going too early. Be sure to have a complete product research phase.
Much of this phrase comes from the importance of gathering and comparing historical data. Our search tools at DataHawk can help you with that compilation.
Not Addressing Customer Needs
Many “As Seen On TV” products hit this category hard. The whole “you were so focused on seeing if you could that you didn’t ask if you should” principle works out here.
This situation comes primarily from not addressing the needs of your persona. Be sure to dig deep to find out what your customer needs.
Not Having A Unique Selling Point
It is easy to get lost in having a unique selling point, especially regarding private label selling. If you are a wholesaler or a retail arbitrage specialist, you won’t find yourself hitting this issue as much.
Still, you can offer many other features beyond unique products when selling other people’s brands.
Not Focusing On One Target Audience Segment
You might find that your buyer personas feel a bit all over the place. In that case, you might assume yourself to be most appropriate for one segment when you are better suited for the other.
You might also generalize yourself too far, not focusing on those seeking particular objects. For example, selling budget products often fall under “cheap,” but people will see the disconnection if your cheap toaster is $60.
It is vital to select a single target audience when selecting keywords and to detail your persona.
Do Not Forget To Re-Target Your Audience
When it comes to auto campaigns for advertising and managing social media, some sellers think they have to re-invent the wheel. However, a big part of establishing a report with your target customer is re-targeting.
Re-targeting is more than just hitting one customer with multiples of the same ad. In this case, it is a marketing strategy that refers to consistently hitting the same target audience.
By encouraging your audience to remain engaged by repeatedly giving them valuable content, you keep them around. It is far easier to hit someone who already knows you offer good products.
Keeping Up The Sales Velocity
When getting regular customers on Amazon, it is easier to stop working after you think you are done. You might dial back the advertising budget a bit to focus on alternatives, but that is a mistake if you still sell new products.
It is vital to regularly check your sales volume to see how your product competes regarding organic vs. paid traffic. Typically, young sellers cannot dial back the advertising on new products because they are still at the same level as other competitors.
Other times, people are enticed by the passive income potential of Amazon. However, Amazon is very much an active income at all times.
Amazon has many automated features, but it isn’t a “set and forget” business. Most businesses forget about the importance of regular checkups.
Don’t ever treat it like something you can drop, whether this refers to new advertising or a long-term strategy.
Don’t Forget About the Power of Coupons and Giveaways
This exposure comes in the form of giveaways, which Amazon does not support anymore. The Amazon Giveaway system was a way for sellers to gain exposure through free stuff.
Instead of relying on Amazon Giveaway, you can transition this and choose a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter giveaway to gain exposure to your social media pages.
This strategy isn’t something that has an immediate impact on your conversion rate, but it does result in more significant potential down the road.
With this in mind, the use of coupon codes has the same general effect. Anytime someone sees a reduced price, they are reasonably likely to believe in its limited time.
Regardless of using coupons, lightning deals, or other forms of price drops, it’s important to remind your social followers that these discounts might not last forever.
Collaborate with Amazon Influencers
Amazon Influencers are site-based people who have a significant social following. Unlike the affiliate program, influencers receive higher commission rates because of their greater potential exposure.
Regardless of what product you sell, putting it to use in front of numerous people is great for exposure. Your prospective buyer’s most significant concern likely rests in how to use the product.
Nothing says you need to rely solely on Amazon Influencers as well. There are numerous micro-influencers in many niches you can contact today to solve your problem.
When selling your new product, it is vital to take all potential avenues.
Don’t Forget the Basics of Being a Good eCommerce Specialist
Inventory management is a big one. Stockouts can destroy your Amazon business if you aren’t careful. Don’t forget to be cautious with your inventory.
You also need to be sure your product goes through quality testing. With new products, this is exceptionally important given the potential of a botched product line.
Selling a good-quality product at a low price that arrives quickly will solve many of your problems on Amazon.
Create Specific and Trackable Goals
When setting your sales goals on Amazon, it is vital to keep them simple, trackable, and reasonable. While selling ten thousand products is admirable, you aren’t likely to do that with a newly released product as a new seller.
Selling 100 products is more reasonable, so be sure that your first product target makes sense. The ten thousand products are more applicable over several years.
You will also want secondary targets to celebrate as well. Having your goals set into bite-size chunks is one way to make them more manageable.
Selling 100 units by month one is a start, but it will eventually build into 400 units by month three. The ultimate goal is never to stop growing.
Use the Amazon TOS
Whenever releasing a new product, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the TOS again. If you release products often, you may want to schedule reviews every year or so.
Amazon sends updates to those who want to remain connected. Be sure you are subscribed to any changes.
Your first product won’t always s be successful, but quick responses and good timing enable you to be responsive to these changes. It is essential to set aside time for regular reviews to ensure your product meets and exceeds customer expectations.
To benchmark your product changes, check out our product tools to ensure you are at the top of your game on Amazon.