Amazon is the largest online selling platform in the world, with millions of customers eagerly searching for products just like yours. However, this vast marketplace also means there is plenty of competition for custom – and brands must work hard to stand out for the right reasons.
Digital marketing can assist with drawing custom to product pages, but what happens next requires significant input from the sellers themselves. Product pages must be at their very best before a customer will be willing to make a purchase and must feel they can trust the product (and seller) ahead of the transaction. How does a seller achieve this trusted status? Put simply, they achieve this by working to make themselves more retail ready.
Ensuring you are truly ‘retail ready’ is a major part of securing success on Amazon Advertising. Regardless of individual digital marketing goals, this has become a crucial benchmark by which advertisers and brands can optimise their efforts.
After all, no matter how sophisticated the marketing tactics used by a brand, if the product pages are not retail ready, you are unlikely to achieve a sale. Whether a small brand starting to make gains on the platform or a big brand eager to sustain and develop existing successes, retail readiness is the factor which will determine whether you get there at all.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at the components of a retail ready product, guiding you through the process of assessing and refining your own presence on Amazon.
How do I know if my product is retail ready?
There is a good chance that if you’re asking that question, there is already something going wrong with your existing retail readiness. If so, don’t manic. Being retail ready on Amazon is a complex process which requires careful analysis of your existing product pages.
Common retail ready mistakes
There are a few common mistakes which many people make when attempting to get their pages retail ready. By knowing which mistakes to look out for, you stand a much better chance of avoiding them – and getting the results you truly want.
While we will outline the main areas to assess when organising your retail ready product page, there are other considerations which should also be taken into account.
Above all else, ensure that all content on your page is correct and descriptive enough to appeal to customers. Clarity is also important, as unclear product pages will only cause your buyers to click away and shop elsewhere, no matter how appealing your offer should otherwise be.
Likewise, listings which are not clear enough provide a big challenge for customers. They may not understand what they’re really buying until it arrives, leading to discontent and lots of returns. If you’re eager to maximise your profits (as all buyers are) then an influx of returned sales is likely to be your worst nightmare. When shipping costs are calculated into these returns, it can often represent a double loss and could prove catastrophic for both fledgling businesses and established brands.
Here are the primary areas which need to be examined – and what to do about them.
The length of your product titles is particularly important, with 50-100 characters required to optimise for retail readiness. However, writing your product titles is about much more than simply getting the word count right.
Having already completed a keyword analysis, be sure to use some of the most relevant keywords in your titles. Be careful that they are not simply used to take up space, as this could lead to unclear and confusing titles which your customers struggle to decipher.
Do include relevant details such as the quality, materials, colour, quantity or sizing of the product. Amazon also suggests sellers do not use all caps and avoid making their product titles sound too promotional, which can be off-putting for buyers.
After first refining your product titles, descriptions (and any bullet points used in your descriptions) should next be carefully analysed and refined.
They should include 1,000 characters in total (for descriptions) and an additional 120 characters for the bullet points. However, relevancy is just as important as the length of the descriptions used. Be sure to utilise this space as a way of telling your customers how to use the product, its key features, and any information on warranties which is likely to tempt them to buy.
Descriptions are the place to include all the need-to-know information which could make or break a purchase, yet will be viewable in a glance. You certainly don’t want to inundate your reader with too much superfluous information or waste time on jargon which they will struggle to understand.
As with your product titles, use your keywords wherever possible – but use them smartly. Make sure they fit into your sentence structure and offer information of real value to the end user.
Images & Video
Product images should always use a white background, and products must be clear and unobstructed. This allows your buyers to see exactly what they’ll be getting, free from outside clutter or noise.
Your main product image should show the product in this way, but you will also be able to add additional images to help capture detailed views. We recommend selecting images which add real value to the customer. Focus on the features of the product, or images which show it in use. This will help to demonstrate the true usability and suitability of the item for integration into everyday life.
Amazon sellers will also have the opportunity to add short promotional videos to their product pages. We recommend this, as long as the video is of high quality and serves a practical purpose. As with images, clarity and suitability should be carefully assessed when adding video content.
Customer reviews are another important component which can be utilised to help make your product pages more appealing. For the best results, each ASIN should have at least 15 reviews. It will also go without saying that they should be predominantly positive in nature, ensuring that your prospective buyers have a chance to see prior good experiences with both you as a seller and the product in general.
If your products don’t currently have many reviews, there are ways to encourage customers to engage with this process. Consider sending a follow-up message to simply ask for honest opinions on the item. You may be surprised how many people are happy to share their views after being given the go-ahead.
Your product ratings are also extremely important. We recommend focusing your attentions on promoting products which have already attained a star rating of 3.5 or higher. This will allow you to convert leads (after already instilling trust in the item).
For times of high traffic to Amazon, such as during promotional events and special seasonal events, we recommend promoting products with a higher star rating than this. Consider 4-star rated products and above during these busy periods for the best results.
To fully optimise your product pages, ensure that your items are in-stock. This might sound obvious, but it can easily be overlooked in the quest to organise everything else – particularly during times where there is a big sales push.
However, if your inventory is not prioritised, you could lose custom mid-promotion and ultimately waste both your time and your efforts. Amazon usually requires buyers to have stock in hand at least 30 days before launching a campaign, so this is something to plan for in advance whenever possible.
Brand owners who sell on Amazon are able to add additional features through Enhanced Brand Content – such as images and text – to descriptions. When done properly, this can allow you to highlight the most important aspects of the product for sale, whilst simultaneously providing. In order to sign for Enhanced Brand content, you will need to enroll your brand with Amazon.
There are many reasons why it’s important to make sure your product pages are retail ready, but the main one is simply that it makes sense from a retail perspective. It doesn’t matter how much you invest in your marketing efforts if the product itself is not presented in its best possible light.
Even the greatest products require lots of work behind the scenes to make sure they are at their most attractive and profitable – ensuring a smooth transaction and happy customers.
This should be a consideration no matter whether you are engaged in ongoing marketing efforts or simply want to make your products perform at their best. However we do recommend that you take extra steps in the lead up to a sales push and promotional activity.
Amazon offers ample opportunities to generate healthy profits and loyal customers, but this is only achieved as the result of positive action from the brands and advertisers themselves.