Starting an Amazon business is freckin HARD!
Post updated 28th January 2018.
There are multiple moving parts and unlike starting a normal Ecom or physical premise business, you are doing all of this inside another person’s business. This means if there are any issues it might not be your fault. We’ve had orders lost, refunds taken from fraudulent accounts and who knows what else gone wrong by what is meant to be one of the most efficient companies in the world. It’s strange to think about Amazon making your business more difficult but the truth is unless you get very lucky they are going to mess your account up in some way or another.
The good news is that when it goes right, it’s a hugely streamlined business model. Marketing and launching a product ONCE to profit for months and years to come, with the only aspect you have to worry about is your stock. This is of course assuming you have a great product and don’t forget to re-supply Amazon’s warehouse or have any issues inside of that.
In this post I’m going to talk about what you should do when you aren’t quite to the above level.
You are still ranking on page 2-5 for your products, you have some sales, you have some reviews but you just can’t push that sales rank up and hence you feel stuck with the products you have. This along with a variation of other techniques is what we implement but today I’m going to talk about the biggest edge you can give your business.
Amazon’s Sales Rank
Products inside of Amazon are ranked (organically in their search engine) on how many sales (and the $ figure of those sales) you make. So if you sell a lot of products on a daily basis (more than the competition) generally speaking you will out-rank them. This makes sense when you take a step back and think about the algorthym from Amazon’s point of view. They are going to rank products higher that make THEM (AMAZON) more money. And they make money from the fee structure inside FBA. Hence, more sales = higher rankings. And if you didn’t already know higher rankings = More sales! The problem is this also works in reverse as we mentioned in our monster starter guide for Amazon businesses.
How to overcome this?
The strategy to overcome this is actually very simple – You simply generate more sales than the competition above you. If you are on page 2 making 2 sales per day. Then get to 3 sales per day and you should rank on page 1. Get to 5 sales a day and you should rank on the top half of page 1 and 10 sales a day should per you in the top 5. Obviously this is simply an example but you get my point. The more sales you make, the more money you make Amazon, the higher you rank.
Obviously simply saying “generate more sales” isn’t a sufficient solution to the majority of businesses. Everyone wants to make more sales but its more about “how” can we do this. So below are some ideas that we personally use. The most effective way hands down is to use your personal powerbase. These are people that already like and trust you. If they can see you are passionate about a project then they will hands down follow you or buy what you are offering!
- Family & Friends – Strictly speaking this is against Amazon’s T&Cs but I have no idea why. Officially speaking you are not meant to ask your family and friends to review your product for you. This is crazy and if done correctly isn’t traceable. So if you have calculated how many daily sales you need to reach to get to page 1 (let’s say 10 for this example) and you currently generate 2 per day, this means you have to find 8 from somewhere – Family and friends can give you those 8 daily. Of course it depends on how many contacts you have and whether they are willing to do this but generally people like helping others, and if they get a “free” product out of it then they are also more likely to go ahead. NOTE: No discounts should be applied to the retail price of the product. This used to be a common practice to generate more reviews, but since Amazon has banned this practice (and we’ve tested this and it isn’t even effective anyway.) Plus you don’t want to get sued by Amazon!
- Influencer Outreach – This is one I seriously like nowadays. If you don’t know already influencer outreach involves looking for individuals who already have a relevant following in your niche or industry. For example let’s say we sell fitness products, we should be looking for fitness bloggers, youtubers, writers and anyone who has a large and most importantly active following. We then simply reach out to them and ask them if they would like to review/paid review our product. Prices can vary from $50 to half a million based on how many followers the individual has. But you want to find someone who is not only loyal but also doesn’t promote much (or make it obvious) For Amazon this works better for very small influencers with around 1,000-10,000 subs. The cost will be lower to you and these individuals are usually less corporate about it as well.
- Amazon PPC – You should be doing this anyway but if you aren’t for some reason then make sure you put your budget up to $500 a day and sort your Acos out. There is no reason why you can’t be making money from an Amazon sponsored products campaign and at the same time? Your improving your sales rank and hence organic rankings!
- List Building / Buying – Purchasing someone/another company’s list that you can email and generate sales as a result. This is more of an advanced technique but can work even better if you have your own list/facebook profile/twitter or generally already have an audience that will respond when you launch a new product.
- Social Media Ads – Finally a relatively obvious idea. Simply place your Amazon link inside Facebook Ads platform and start targeting individuals who are likely to purchase. This is a lot more difficult than Amazon’s PPC editor but it should generate some sales and hence allow you to get to the 10 sales a day you need.
Remember: Once you get to page 1 you will be generating natural sales through Amazon, this means you can begin to reduce the amount you spend (especially if it is at a loss) on other marketing channels. This gives you a PASSIVE business model. The main reason why 90% of people start an Amazon business!
Note: Also Amazon doesn’t like people trying to “get reviews” as such. This is why in 2018 we are seeing a lot of things related to Amazon removing reviews they think are suspicious. This has resulted in some Amazon sellers actually losing 30% of their verified purchase reviews. Although I do not believe this is a huge issue for sellers who generate reviews in a natural way or ones who can actually get reviews “without Amazon knowing” (sneaky). If you are still using massive product discounting techniques in 2018 then you might be in trouble.
Also – The boring stuff – Any review technique you implement, you do so at your own risk. These are only ideas, we are not responsible for any account issues.
Remember if you want to learn the technique we use to scale organic rankings as well as a bunch of other tips then sign up to the list below!
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