How eCommerce Stores Can Successfully Compete on Amazon

Let’s face it. Amazon is a hot topic for online retailers right now. The eCommerce giant is currently the go-to search engine for product searches, and many eCommerce merchants are wondering how they can successfully sell on Amazon to expand their online store’s reach.

But, with more third-party sellers joining Amazon marketplace each day, the competition is growing stiff. This doesn’t mean that your eCommerce store can’t thrive on Amazon. It just means that you will need to develop a strong strategy to help increase your brand’s product visibility.

It doesn’t matter whether you have been on Amazon for years or are just now getting started.  You can use these strategies right now to beat the competition and begin selling more products on Amazon.

Make Your Amazon Listings Stand Out

It’s just a simple fact that if you sell a niche product, you’re going to have a much easier time winning the Buy Box than you would selling in a competitive category. There are over two million third-party sellers on Amazon, and this number is growing by the day.

To beat your competitors, you will need to optimize your product listings and make them stand apart from other sellers. Here are just a few tactics you can use to make your products rise above the rest.

Use High-Quality Product Images

Most eCommerce merchants know that product photography has a huge impact on their store’s credibility and conversion rates. The same importance should be placed on your Amazon product listings as well.

Keep in mind that your images must not only sell the product, but they also need to meet Amazon’s image requirements. Using high-quality images which show the product from all angles will provide consumers with the information they need to make a purchase.

Identify Customer Pain Points in Your Copy

It may seem obvious, but customers want products that solve their most pressing problems.  Does your product solve a common frustration among your audience? By simply addressing their biggest pain points in the copy of your product listing, you can potentially increase your conversions and outsell your competitors.

To identify some of your target audience’s pain points, look at your competition’s product listings and read the customer reviews and questions. These often reveal what issues customers have with a product, which provides you with the opportunity to address them your product listing’s copy.

Master Amazon SEO

Increasing your product’s search ranking on Amazon is another way to outsell your competitors.  While many eCommerce merchants know how to optimize their store’s products for Google, few know how to navigate Amazon SEO.

You can easily get a leg up on other sellers by simply learning which ranking factors Amazon takes into consideration and optimizing your product listings with these ranking factors in mind.  Develop a winning SEO strategy for Amazon, and you will stand a better chance at outranking your competition.

Optimize Keywords

Speaking of Amazon ranking factors, keywords play an enormous role in your product’s ranking.  It’s also something that many eCommerce merchants get wrong in their Amazon product listings.

The good news is that there is probably some overlap in your keyword research strategies for Google and Amazon. However, you also need to understand how search queries differ on Amazon if you want to create an effective keyword strategy that outperforms your competitors.

Let’s talk about how search queries on Amazon are different than search queries on Google.

Understanding Amazon Search Queries

Most consumers are ready to make a purchase when they perform a search on Amazon. They are past the information stage and are now making what is known as a transactional query.

For example, rather than asking “which laptop is best for college,” they are more likely to search for “Dell Inspiron Laptop.”  They are no longer gathering information—they are ready to buy.

As you perform keyword research for Amazon, you will want to keep this difference in mind.  Add product-specific keywords to your list and exclude keyword phrases that are more suitable for informational queries.

Optimizing Keywords for Amazon

Once you understand the difference between Amazon and Google searches, it’s time to become more strategic with your keywords in your product listings. That way, more buyers will find your products when they are ready to make a purchase.

Again, you will need to leave behind many of the ingrained keyword rules you applied to Google’s search engine. You’re in Amazon’s wheelhouse now. Take a look at their keyword best practices so that you can maximize your product’s visibility.

Those who are new to selling on Amazon often make simple mistakes, such as using duplicate keywords or separating keywords with commas. If you want to gain a competitive edge on Amazon, you need to learn their rules.

Set Competitive Pricing

Statistics show that more than half of product searches begin on Amazon. Amazon has spent many years building its reputation for being the place to shop for the lowest prices and best deals.

This is great for the consumer, but eCommerce merchants often worry that selling on Amazon is one big race to the bottom when it comes to pricing. With an effective strategy and the right tools, you can set competitive prices without entering a full-out price war.

Calculate Your Minimum and Maximum Price Range

Knowledge is power when it comes to creating an effective pricing strategy. You need to know both the lowest price you can set for your product while still making a profit and the highest possible price you can set for that product.

To calculate the lowest price, you can possibly set and still make a profit, you will need to carefully evaluate your product acquisition costs, like shipping, customer returns, FBA fees, etc.

To calculate the highest price, you can set, you can simply look at page one of related search terms for your product and see how your competitors are pricing their products. This will give you an idea of your upper threshold.

Create a Pricing Strategy

Once you know your minimum and maximum price range for your product, you can use this knowledge to inform your pricing decisions. Using an automated tool, you can compare your prices to that of the lowest priced product currently winning the Buy Box.

Remember that Amazon takes more than just pricing into account when deciding who wins the Buy Box. Although price matching can be a smart strategy in some cases, it isn’t always the best choice. Stable prices can inspire trust in consumers, and it may be better to wait for low-price sellers to run their course.

Learn to Control Your Brand

There are some key benefits to selling your own brand on Amazon. Not only is there typically less of a fight over the coveted Buy Box, but there is also greater flexibility when it comes to changing your product listings.

To take advantage of selling your own brand on Amazon, it’s essential that you learn how to properly control your brand. The first step is to register your brand with the Amazon Brand Registry.

Importance of Registering Your Brand

The Amazon Brand Registry allows those who manufacture or sell their own products to establish themselves as the branded owner of that product on Amazon. This doesn’t prevent others from reselling your products on Amazon, which is a common misconception among sellers, but it does provide you with some benefits that can give you the upper hand.

Some of the benefits of registering your brand on Amazon include greater control over the content of your product listings, being able to register by model rather than a Universal Product Code (UPC), and increased protection from counterfeiters.

Additionally, some Amazon features are only available to brand owners. One of these features includes Enhanced Brand Content (EBC), which enhances your product detail pages to better promote your brand’s products.

Using Enhanced Brand Content

Late last year, Amazon quietly released a new feature called Enhanced Brand Content.  This feature is free to use and allows approved brand sellers to enhance the content of their product listings by making them more visually appealing to consumers.

With EBC, you are offered five templates to choose from which can make your content easier to scan, add extra images within the description, and insert text for greater details about your product.

The potential for a significant boost in conversions with Enhanced Brand Content shouldn’t be ignored. If you are a registered brand owner on Amazon, why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of this free opportunity?

Get Started with Amazon’s Paid Advertising

Another effective way to compete on Amazon is by using their paid advertising opportunities.  Amazon has a dizzying number of advertising programs, but there are some that can potentially elevate your eCommerce brand more than others.

Amazon Sponsored Products

Amazon Sponsored Products is a cost-per-click advertising program that uses targeted ads to boost your product’s visibility on Amazon. It’s often compared to Google AdWords because it allows merchants to bid on keywords to have their products featured in Amazon’s search results.

The good news is that Sponsored Products is much cheaper than Google AdWords, but not everyone can get take advantage of these ads. One of the biggest requirements is that your product listings must be eligible for the Buy Box.

This may seem strange to some sellers who don’t see the point in using Sponsored Ads if they already have this key advantage, but it actually makes perfect sense. Sponsored Ads take consumers to a product details page, rather than a landing page. If you aren’t winning the Buy Box, you could be paying for traffic that is sent to another seller.

Additionally, using Sponsored Ads can help you in other ways on Amazon. The results of your ad campaign can help you find the most successful keywords for your product listing to further enhance your visibility.

Amazon Video Ads

The rise of video marketing hasn’t escaped Amazon’s attention. They recently released Amazon Video Ads (AVA) to advertisers who have accounts with Amazon Media Group.

The new program allows advertisers to capture a consumer’s attention with auto-play videos as they browse on Amazon using their desktop, tablet, or mobile device. With how much video marketing has grown over the past year, it’s safe to say that this is an advertising opportunity worth exploring.

Amazon Dynamic eCommerce Ads

Another recently released product from Amazon is Amazon Dynamic eCommerce Ads. If you have had any experience with dynamic ads in other channels, you will know that these ads allow advertisers to target consumers based on previous interactions with their brand.

Amazon’s Dynamic eCommerce Ads serve ads based on its machine learning algorithm and the type of optimization goal that advertisers set. You can read more about these ads on Amazon’s advertising blog to see if they are a good fit for your business.

Other Advertising Opportunities

In addition to the three advertising programs listed above, there are other options worth looking into as well. Amazon’s Promotions and Lightning Deals are two other programs that may benefit your eCommerce store.

Another exciting possibility on the horizon for Amazon is paid voice search. With the enormous popularity of Amazon’s Alexa-powered devices, such as Dot and Echo, it isn’t surprising that Amazon is looking for ways to monetize these smart home devices. Amazon’s paid voice search could expand upon its current advertising programs, which makes it all the more important for eCommerce merchants to learn about them now.

No matter what advertising programs you use, it’s essential that you optimize your product listings before your ads go live. If you fail to optimize your product listings beforehand, you will waste money on advertisements and hurt your conversions, which can be devastating to your sales.

Final Words

Amazon isn’t going anywhere soon and will remain the top site for product searches for the foreseeable future. Although competition is fierce and constantly growing, there are ways for your eCommerce store to successfully beat out the competition and increase your sales.

The important thing to remember is that there are some key differences between your eCommerce store and other sellers on Amazon that you can use to your advantage. By seizing the opportunities that Amazon provides eCommerce store owners, you can be strategic with your brand and come out on top.

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