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Amazon BSR (Best Sellers Rank) in 2020

If you have ever looked carefully at your Amazon product listings, you may have noticed that your product has an Amazon BSR or Best Sellers Rank. This can be found in the product description section.

What’s more, although it states ‘Best Sellers Rank’, your product doesn’t really need to be a ‘best seller’ in the sense of the word to gain that ranking! In fact, your product only needs to have made one, yes, one single sale, to be awarded a best seller ranking.3

Sellers

Now before you get all excited over the fact that you are the proud owner of a best selling product on Amazon, being awarded this ranking doesn’t necessarily mean that you actually have a best selling product! Weird, right?

But understanding what the Amazon Best Sellers Rank (BSR) is, what it means for your Amazon business and how important it is, will help you understand just how beneficial it can be to you.

In this post we will cover:

  • What is Amazon Best Sellers Rank?
  • How is the Amazon Best Sellers Rank Calculated?
  • What is a Good Amazon BSR?
  • What’s the Difference Between Amazon Best Sellers Rank and Organic Rank
  • 3 Ways Sellers Can Use Amazon Best Sellers Rank Information
  • How Can I Improve My Amazon Best Sellers Rank?

What is Amazon Best Sellers Rank?

Let’s start at the beginning. Amazon Best Sellers Rank (also known as Amazon Sales Rank) is simply a number that is awarded to a product once one sale has been completed. As you might expect, the BSR is a fantastic indicator of how well a product is selling on Amazon.

Products with low sales have high BSR’s, products with high sales have low BSR’s, so the lower the BSR, the more sales will have been made.

For example, a product ranked at number seven has achieved higher sales than a product ranked at number 207. However, it’s essential to understand that just because the Amazon Best Sellers Rank of a product is low, this doesn’t indicate how well that item is selling in relation to other similar products, only it’s overall rank.

For example, two similar products could be ranked at numbers 10 and 50, both low BSR’s in Amazon terms, and so both products are likely to be best sellers even though they are 40 rankings apart. To really dig deep and discover whether a product really is a best seller or not, you must utilise the sub-category best seller lists rather than the top tier best seller lists.

A product can also have multiple Amazon best seller rankings. This happens if a product is listed in more than one category. A product listed on Amazon can have a BSR of 2500 in Home & Garden, while the same product can have an Amazon Best Sellers Rank of 15,000 when sold in Pet Supplies. Similarly, a product that has a BSR of 1999 on Amazon.co.uk may have a sales rank of 100 on Amazon.com.

Oh, and there’s more! Amazon BSR’s fluctuate hourly too. This means that a product which has just made a sale will be ranked higher than a product with a sale made 59 minutes ago, so it’s not the most optimal way to predict sales.

Confused? That’s understandable but don’t be, because despite Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank not being as simple as it appears, it is still a highly valuable metric for Amazon sellers purely because it’s an excellent way to estimate the demand for a particular product. This makes it a handy research tool when you are looking for products to sell on Amazon – more on this later.

How is the Amazon Best Sellers Rank Calculated?

Surprise! Amazon holds this as a closely guarded secret as you might expect. What is known though is that several factors influence and contribute to the Amazon Best Sellers Rank of your product. These factors are based only around sales rather than taking into account product reviews, pricing and so on.

So, the theory is that your BSR is calculated on:

  • Sales, both current and historic
  • Price changes, including sales and promotions
  • Similar competitive products

Every hour, Amazon updates the BSR values based on current and historical sales. So, if your product sold 10 units in one hour and your competitor sold five units, your BSR would be lower than your competitors (remember, lower is better!)

However, if in the following hour you sold only one unit and your competitor sold five, you would still have a lower BSR because the historical sales are also taken into account, so you won’t automatically lose (or gain) a ranking that quickly. The BSR algorithm looks at your product sales overall and then allocates the numbers, so there are really never any drastic fluctuations.

If you were to gain a vast influx or drop in sales suddenly, you might not see an immediate change in your ranking.

What is a Good Amazon BSR?

What's a Good Amazon Best Seller Rank?

This is a tricky one because Amazon BSR’s differ throughout each category. While an Amazon BSR of 1000 might be deemed a good ranking in the Pet Supplies category, that same ranking of 1000 in the DIY category could be terrible, simply because DIY might have slower selling products, so it’s impossible to give a definitive answer.

If you consider the millions of products listed on Amazon though, as a rule, products with a sales rank of less than 2,000 are likely to be in-demand, and so this can be considered a good benchmark.

What’s the Difference Between Amazon Best Sellers Rank and Organic Rank?

When it comes to a best seller ranking and a high organic ranking, it’s essential to appreciate that a low Amazon Best Sellers Rank doesn’t technically mean that your product is ranking well when it comes to your specific search terms.

Keywords dictate your organic ranking. In other words, they determine where your product appears in the search results on Amazon for a particular keyword. Your BSR doesn’t influence your organic ranking at all, just like your keywords don’t directly impact your best sellers rank. So, keywords and BSR both have totally different functions.

Let’s look at it another way. Relevant keywords used in your Amazon product title, bullet points and main listing are critical in achieving a high organic ranking on Amazon. Sales are a factor in achieving a decent BSR.

So, although keywords and BSR’s have different functions, these two factors are somewhat linked, after all, you need to ensure visibility in the search results through relevant keywords to make sales, and those sales will ultimately impact your BSR.

It’s actually quite possible to have a top-selling product organically yet not have a number one BSR because Amazon places more importance to keyword-relevant products over best seller rankings.

This is why it’s super important that you always research your keywords carefully and add only the highly relevant ones to your listings. Organic rankings are ultimately more important than your Amazon Best Sellers Rank, and you will achieve more product views this way.

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3 Ways Sellers Can Use Amazon Best Sellers Rank Information

1. Easy Product Research for Newbies

This is a useful method to uncover successful products. When researching products to sell on Amazon, they must be in-demand, and the best sellers rank can provide this information. Remember, the lower the rank, the more sales are being made so you can create a short-list of products that are potentially viable by checking the BSR’s. Generally, you should look for products that have a sales rank of 2000 or less.

2. Competitor Research for Experienced Sellers

Every Amazon seller should have one eye on the competition! Amazon Best Sellers Rank can help with this by facilitating competitor monitoring. Look at similar products to yours and compare the BSR’s. If your competitors’ products have better BSR’s than your product, then you should consider tweaking your keywords and product listing to help invigorate sales and ultimately improve your BSR.

You can see all the best selling products and their Amazon best seller rankings by viewing the ‘Best Seller Lists’ on Amazon.

Bear in mind that when you view these best seller lists, you’ll also see some seasonal products depending on the time of year – for example, paddling pools, Christmas decorations and so on which can skew the results.

3. Estimate Sales Using Amazon Best Sellers Rank

This is a potent function of the BSR and by far the most useful way to use the data.

Imagine if you could predict how often a product sells on Amazon? Well, now you can!

Let’s say your own product has an Amazon Best Sellers Ranking of 1500. By totting up your own sales, you’ll already know that a BSR of 1500 equates to, for example, approximately 700 transactions per month. Then take a look at your BSR history (this is why it’s essential to keep abreast of it). Your BSR from one month previously was, for example, 2500 because your sales were not as good. Let’s say you made only 500 sales. Historically though your BSR at the same time the previous year was 500 when you made 1600 sales.

Using this data, you can work out that if your rank was:

  • #1500 with 700 sales
  • #2500 with 500 sales
  • #500 with 1600 sales

Then other products with an Amazon Best Sellers Rank similar to these figures are most likely making sales of a similar proportion.

You should also be a little wary because as mentioned, rankings can fluctuate between categories, and so these are only estimates. Even as estimates, this is valuable data that you can use when you are researching new products or tracking your competitors.

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How Can I Improve My Amazon Best Sellers Rank?

It’s natural to want to see your products achieve a decent BSR.  While this won’t affect your organic ranking, if you can reach a low enough ranking with your BSR (ideally between 1 and 100) your product will appear in the Best Seller Lists. This, if nothing else, does give you some kudos.

To put it bluntly, you will need to generate more Amazon sales! Not only that, but you should also keep an eye on your own sales and those of your competitors because to improve your Amazon Best Seller Rank you must outsell your competitors. If you simply level with them on sales, your BSR won’t improve.

So, to really effectively improve your Amazon Best Sellers Rank you should look at the bigger picture.

1. Optimise Your Amazon Product Title

Your product title must include only relevant keywords, including exactly what your product is, the colour and size (if applicable) and the brand name if it’s a well-known name.

2. Be Competitive on Price

Price is a significant factor when it comes to winning the buy box, so you must set your prices correctly. Consider using repricing software to remain competitive.

3. Supercharge Your Bullet Points

Add the key features and benefits of your product to the bullet points in your main description. Keep them informative and concise to hook your reader immediately.

4. Differentiate Using Your Product Images

Impress your potential buyers and make your product stand out with high-quality images that set you apart from your competitors. Choose images that are super HD and differ from the product images in other descriptions.

Taking pictures of your product from different angles will help paint a picture of how your product will look or can be used in real life and sets you apart from your competitors.

5. Utilise Amazon FBA and Prime

Amazon favours sellers who use their fulfilment service, and of course, you’ll then have the opportunity to offer Prime on your listings.

Buyers love speedy delivery and the trust and reliability that comes with FBA and Prime, so this brings you a huge opportunity to increase your sales – and ultimately your Amazon Best Seller Rank.

Final Thoughts

While the Amazon Best Sellers Rank can appear complicated at first glance, it’s worth taking notice of. The benefits to you as an Amazon seller are huge, not only for your own Amazon business, helping you make improvements, but also for gaining valuable insights into your competitors’ sales and activities.

Some sellers may dismiss the Amazon Best Sellers Rank as a vanity metric, but there is more to this data than a competition to achieve the number one best selling product.

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Managing Your Amazon Business When on Holiday

It’s official, it’s summer! The holiday season is here and this is what you need to consider if you fancy a break too! Depending on what type of products you sell online, the summer months can see periods of peaks and troughs much more than other seasons, and this is simply to do with the fact that many people take off on their annual holiday, take days out because the children are off school and the weather is better (allegedly). So in general, a normal routine can be completely disrupted as life becomes a bit of a juggling act.

Holiday

Firstly, I want to reassure you that as a seller, you should not worry if you do see your sales dipping at this time of year – they will come back – and you can use this time to research new products, add some seasonal products to your inventory or if you can’t beat them, join them…take a well earned holiday yourself. Everyone needs a break from routine occasionally!

But how should you be managing your Amazon business when on holiday?

It’s a fabulous feeling jetting off on a two-week break, but if you don’t consider what to do with your product listings before you go, you could end up spending time worrying about what’s happening back at home or even stressing out trying to find an internet connection to send emails to buyers explaining why you haven’t posted their items yet, and this will not result in a very relaxing holiday for you.

Part of the reason why an online seller’s lifestyle is so great is that it does grant you the freedom and flexibility to go on holiday or take a day off whenever you choose to. But to take full advantage of this you need to be aware of the different options that are available to you regarding your listings when you are away. The last thing that you want is to receive a bunch of negative feedback because of orders not dispatched whilst you were lying in the sun or sightseeing.

So, to give you a helping hand if you are planning a getaway in the near future, and to ensure you are prepared I want to give you some information regarding the options available to you to keep your online business ticking over. You’ll be pleased to know that there are a few choices available.

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1. Close up…Completely!

Whoa! That sounds a little bit crazy, doesn’t it? And I’m sorry to put this as first on the list, but that’s not because it’s the option that is necessarily the best, it is just by far the safest one when it comes to avoiding sales of items that you will be potentially unable to dispatch whilst you are away.

By completely ending all your eBay and Amazon listings you can be sure that no one will accidentally stumble across your products, as they simply won’t appear in any searches at all. If you also have an eBay shop you can also leave a message there to explain that you currently have no products available but will be re-stocking very soon.

Now, although this option will most definitely prevent buyers making purchases, unfortunately, it can also lose your business, as anyone (including repeat customers) searching for your products in the meantime will be unable to find them or buy them.

You will also lose any sales history you’ve built up on individual Good Till Cancelled listings and what’s more, once you return you will then have to re-list everything, which is definitely not ideal if you have an inventory of hundreds of products.

Advantages:

  • No eBay shop required
  • No chance of accidental sales
  • You get to completely relax and have a proper break

Disadvantages:

  • Repeat customers may purchase elsewhere
  • Those who are ‘watching’ your products won’t be able to purchase
  • Loss of sales history on Good Till Cancelled listings
  • You will need to relist all products on your return

Best Option For:

Sellers with small inventories and no eBay shop.

2. Hide Your BIN/Fixed Price Listings

eBay offers ‘holiday settings’ for your listings but this is only available if you have an eBay shop. One of these settings allows you to make your fixed price (BIN) listings invisible or ‘hidden’ to potential buyers.

This setting does not affect any of your normal auction-style listings if you have them, so you will need to ensure that these auctions are set to end after the time that you are back from your holiday – for example, you could list on a 10-day auction if you are going on holiday for 7 days. This way you will still have some stock listed and won’t have to shut up shop completely.

The advantage of this option is that you won’t need to relist your Buy It Now listings when you return from your holiday, as they will simply be waiting there for you. All you need to do is turn off your holiday settings to make your listings visible again. You can access your holiday settings by going to ‘My eBay’, ‘Manage My Shop’, ‘Holiday Settings’.

Another advantage is that you will not lose your search ranking and sales history whilst you are away. Generally, if it’s a short period such as 7 days, your listings will remain in roughly the same search position when you make them visible again.

You may wish to consider though that there is the chance that by keeping auction listings running, you may receive questions via eBay messages and you won’t be able to reply to these unless you have regular access to an internet connection. Also, even though your BIN listings will be hidden, they are visible to anyone who has added your item to their ‘watch’ list, so there is the risk that they could decide to make a purchase.

Amazon also offers a holiday settings option. Simply go to your seller account and click on the ‘Store Settings’ link under the ‘Settings’ heading. This will show you the status of your listings. Then you can edit the status. Click on the ‘Start Your Holiday’ button and this will remove all your open listings from sale within 36 hours.

When you arrive back from your holiday, refreshed and ready to go just click the ‘End Your Holiday’ button and your listings will appear for sale again within 36 hours. Simple!

Advantages:

  • No need to end BIN listings – so no re-listing required
  • If you are away for only 7 days your search ranking will remain
  • 10-day auction listings allow some stock to be visible
  • Easy to switch listings on and off on Amazon

Disadvantages:

  • Repeat customers may purchase elsewhere
  • Risk of ‘watched’ BIN items being purchased
  • Risk of questions being asked and not responded to

Best Option For:

Sellers with access to a guaranteed internet connection whilst away

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3. Display a Holiday Message

This is another option that can be found within the holiday settings of your eBay shop. You can add a holiday message on either your listings, within your shop, or both. This message will let visitors know when you will return so that they can still make a purchase, but will know not to expect to receive their order until the specified date. This can be used for BIN’s and Auction style listings.

The settings for your holiday message can be found by clicking through from the ‘Holiday Settings’ link as before and scrolling down to ‘Shop Holiday Settings’. Here you can turn on or off your holiday message and create a personal message to display in your shop.

If you decide to do this you can create some custom information for your clients for your shop front, however, in your actual listings, you will be restricted to eBay’s default message filled in with the date that you return.

I realise that this might sound like the best option so far to you. Prospective buyers can still see your listings and even make purchases knowing that they will receive their order upon your return. However, I must point out that not every buyer reads listing descriptions carefully. Bearing in mind that the message that eBay displays is quite small and situated at the very top of the page it could be easily missed.

To counteract this though, if you have only a few listings, you can always add a larger message within the body of your item description just to reiterate that you are unable to post until a certain date.

Just a very quick note on security here. Since eBay have insisted on your address details being displayed on your listings I know that you may be concerned that if you work from home and you state you are on holiday it could potentially make your address vulnerable to opportunist burglars.

This way you are informing buyers that there will be a delay but you are not saying that you are away – much safer all round!

Advantages:

  • No need to end your listings
  • Works for BIN and Auction style listings
  • Purchases can still be made by buyers
  • All listings remain active – make sales even when on holiday!

Disadvantages:

  • ‘Holiday Message’ appears very small – can be easily missed
  • Fewer sales due to potential delay in dispatch
  • You must be prepared to answer questions from potential buyers

Best Option For:

Sellers with an eBay shop, larger inventories and access to a guaranteed internet connection.

4. Leave Your Listings Exactly as They Are

The fourth and final option is simply to leave your listings running exactly as they are. This could be a reasonable solution if you are only away for a few days, but remember that your buyers may get frustrated if they pay for an item only to be forced to wait for two weeks before receiving it and with no prior contact, warning or explanation.

The alternative is to keep dispatching whilst you are away! Now I know this is not the best option – especially if you are holidaying abroad, but what you could do is draft in the help of a friend or relative to post your orders for you. In other words, leave your business in the hands of someone else that you can trust.

This is a sensible option if you have someone who is willing to help you – and quite honestly, if you are reluctant to turn your eBay and PayPal passwords over to anyone else, if you have an internet connection whilst you are away, you can always log in a couple of times a week and then email the orders over to your helper who can then print the address labels off and dispatch them.

Advantages:

  • No need to end your listings
  • No need to use ‘holiday settings’
  • All listings remain active – make sales even when on holiday!
  • No disruption to your business

Disadvantages:

  • The ‘trust’ element
  • You may need to answer questions if your helper doesn’t have the knowledge
  • You may need to grant access to your accounts to someone else

Best Option For:

Sellers with an eBay shop, larger inventories, access to a guaranteed internet connection and a trustworthy friend or member of staff.

So Which Option Should You Choose?

There isn’t any single option that will suit everyone, and I wish I could give you a definite answer as to which will be the best option for you, but as I’ve explained there are advantages and disadvantages for each possible solution.

You know your own online business better than anyone else, so have a think about the best option for you and your own customers, taking into account the length of time you will be away and so on.

The most important thing for you to remember is that you really shouldn’t be constantly worrying about your business when you should be having a nice relaxing holiday. I know this is easier said than done – and I am as guilty as anyone of thinking about work whilst I’m supposed to be chilling out!

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7 Best eBay Listing Software Tools for Sellers in 2020

If you’re just starting out with selling on eBay, it’s relatively simple and straightforward to create all the listings yourself. But as your business grows and you add more listings to your inventory, the work multiplies until you eventually reach a point where there just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep on top of creating and maintaining listings.

eBay

To help prepare you for that stage, RepricerExpress sourced the best eBay listing software tools you can use right now to be competitive and get ahead.

1. Inkfrog

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and Inkfrog gives you multiple options of template listings to choose from. They call themselves the most-used listing service for eBay, with hundreds of thousands of sellers and tens of millions of listings.

Neat features of theirs include auto-deactivating listings when you’re out of inventory with auto relist rules and schedules, cloud storage, and the ability to keep formatting in place when transferring listings from Amazon to eBay.

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2. Sellbrite

Another attractive option if you sell on multiple marketplaces, Sellbrite lets you list inventory in one central catalog then transfer it to various marketplaces so it meets the specs and guidelines of each. You can also manage and fulfill orders from your Sellbrite account, too, allowing you to save time and energy by not having to jump around from page to page to page.

3. eBay Seller Hub

eBay has its own template software service in place, with Seller Hub helping you accomplish exactly what you need to in accordance with eBay’s rules and specs. The base service is free, with the only charges coming when you decide to sign up for pro-level subscriptions like Selling Manager Pro or Stores.

Along with setting up listings or transferring over existing ones if you’re already selling, Seller Hub gives you data on things like listing sights and visits, daily selling costs and frequency of listings links placed in front of buyers. The biggest downside is this software is only available to U.S. sellers right now, but keep an eye out from when they expand internationally.

4. Kyozou

Anyone can make a site and call themselves an eBay listing software service, but to be an accredited third-party listing tool approved by eBay themselves means the standard and quality are much higher. That’s where Kyozou comes into play, having made the shortlist as one of the authorities in keeping you up-to-date on eBay updates.

With this software selection, you can manage all your listings from a single module, greatly streamlining and organizing the process. And when you need to auto-list and relist listings, you can do it individually or in bulk, as well as create Kits and Bundles, have a listing scheduler take some work off your hands, and automate as many of the processes as possible.

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5. GoDataFeed

GoDataFeed is another listing software on eBay’s official list of third-party listing tools, as well as offering one of the best all-around values in terms of pricing and offered features. Even their base subscription package offers a ton of options, like unlimited data modifications, bulk changes, use of their API, dynamic optimization, product variations and filters, feed scheduling and automated updates.

6. Solid Commerce

If you sell on multiple channels, Solid Commerce offers the kind of flexibility you need by providing listing software that complies with the biggest marketplaces. With regards to eBay specifically, you’ll be able to create and edit new listings (as well as creating kit listings) without having to exit out of your Solid Commerce account. And if you sell auto parts, you’ll be able to directly integrate with eBay Motors to offer fitments to buyers.

7. Channel Advisor

Unless you’ve been living and selling from under a rock, there’s no doubt you’ve at least heard of ChannelAdvisor. It’s one of the biggest names out there, offering sellers the ability to choose between preloaded templates, creating templates or selecting one posting template for all categories with the eBay Automatic Matching feature.

They also have safeguards in place to help you cut down on duplicate or incorrect listings. If you’re stuck on which catalog listing is correct, the software uses unique identifiers in the product to map it onto the correct catalog.

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How to Sell Private Label Products on Amazon

Fancy increasing your online profits and growing your business? Then you should consider selling private label products on Amazon in 2020. It is one of the most lucrative and popular ways to sell on Amazon.

We see brand names everywhere we look. From Dyson to Apple, Adidas to Gucci, Pepsi to Cadburys. Brands are in stores, on billboards, on our televisions and radios, at sporting events. Even our children ‘brand name drop’ every other word.

products

So, it’s easy to assume that only multi-national companies could ever establish their own brand. After all, how can the average Amazon seller establish a production line of uniquely branded products?

Well, it’s easier than you might imagine because branded products are simply well-marketed private label products that have gained a reputation and a following.

What are Amazon Private Label Products?

Private label products are simply products created by one company which are then branded, marketed and sold by another company – and why shouldn’t that be you?

What’s more, one of the most lucrative ways to do this is to sell your private label products using Amazon FBA. From electronics to cosmetics, clothing to food, you could benefit from creating and selling your own private label products right now.

You won’t need to convert your garage into a production line. You won’t need to hire an inventor to create something new.

Private labelling simply involves researching and sourcing a product that is in-demand and already being manufactured in its unbranded state – which is how all products start life – and then you brand it (private label it) as your own.

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The Advantages of Selling Private Label Products on Amazon

Those who decide to make a living by selling on Amazon often assume that it’s the products belonging to existing brands that are the best products to sell to make money on Amazon.

While it’s true that some Amazon sellers make a significant amount of money selling existing branded goods, particularly when using the dropship model, many times those sellers are the exception to the rule.

Competition can be fierce, and in some categories there are so many Amazon sellers of popular branded products all competing for the same business that profits can diminish until there is no profit at all. By sourcing white label products and then private labelling them, you will avoid this competitive arena altogether.

As well as the reduced competition, you can also benefit from other specific private label related advantages:

  • Increased profits. Generic, unbranded products tend to sell at lower prices within any niche, whereas branded products automatically command a higher spend from a consumer. So, by creating your own private label product, you will have the freedom and flexibility to accurately position yourself in the market. Be that at the top-end to attract a more exclusive audience, or somewhere in the middle to suit those buyers shopping for a deal, but with the reassurance that comes from a reliable brand.
  • Increased credibility. It’s amazing how you can raise your credibility with the simplest of steps. By altering your Amazon or website name to match the branding on your products can convince a buyer to make a purchase. Tying your private label, branding and marketing together in as many different ways as possible subconsciously makes a buyer trust you and feel more comfortable spending with you.
  • Increased exposure. As well as increasing the comfort level of a prospective buyer, private labelling your products can lead to significantly increased exposure. When your product, packaging and your Amazon store all come complete with the same name, logo and colour scheme, an existing buyer will feel much more inclined to track you down to make a similar purchase in the future. Plus, they will have no trouble remembering who you are!

So, by purchasing a domain name and setting up a website that will tie into your branding, even if it merely points people to your Amazon presence will help you expand your business further.

How to Sell Private Label Products on Amazon in 2020 (6 Steps)

1. Research Potential Products Suitable for Amazon Private Labelling

There is an array of products with the potential to private label, but you mustn’t choose what you ‘think’ will sell well, but what is ‘proven to sell well’.

This is a common mistake that Amazon sellers make when private labelling products, so make sure you don’t fall at this hurdle and select products that are in-demand rather than ones that you like!

Consider and research potential private label products to sell on Amazon with the following attributes:

  • Small and lightweight, weighing no more than 1kg. This will help you save on shipping from the manufacturer and on Amazon fulfilment costs to your customers.
  • Non-seasonal. Avoid seasonal products (Christmas lights, Easter goodies, Valentine’s Day gifts and seasonal clothing) as you need a product that will sell consistently. There’s no harm in adding seasonal products to your core products once you have established your private label, but to start with, stick with year-round sellers.
  • Easy to sell. Some products such as toys, groceries and products with batteries can be tricky to sell, so it’s best to avoid those that require certifications, legal compliance or reams of paperwork. Likewise, research products that do not have the potential to become faulty – electronics, for example.
  • Uncomplicated. While selling electronics items can be lucrative, they can also cause customer service issues if they are challenging to set up or use. This also applies to clothing products as you will be required to stock multiple sizes and colours and may have a higher instance of returns and exchanges to deal with.

The best place to research potential products that fit your private labelling criteria is Amazon itself. Utilise their Bestseller, Hot New Releases and Movers and Shakers lists. These are invaluable in allowing you to research the types of products that are currently popular, trending and becoming more in-demand on the exact platform that you want to list your products on.

2. Source Your Amazon Private Label Products

Dealing directly with a manufacturer is the direct route to securing a private label product. It’s a daunting prospect for some Amazon sellers, but an essential part of the process. Alibaba is your ideal source for multiple manufacturer options, as is Global Sources, and these should be your starting points.

A slightly less daunting route for beginners is Alibaba’s sister site, AliExpress, where you can order one-offs of thousands of product choices without directly corresponding with the manufacturer, apart from adding the product to your basket and paying online!

You won’t get the best deals this way, however, it’s an efficient way of procuring samples before you dive in with a full order.

Typically, when dealing directly with manufacturers, you should reach out to between three and five suppliers to allow comparisons, options and of course the opportunity to negotiate between suppliers.

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3. Sample Products and Negotiate on Price

This is a very significant part of the process. Obtaining samples from your chosen suppliers is critical because ultimately, your reputation as an Amazon seller is at stake. By requesting samples, you have the opportunity to see and use the product you are considering as a private label product in real life, and you’ll get to know the standard of quality.

Samples are not free – this is something you should be aware of. It’s standard practice for suppliers to charge you – sometimes the full price of the product plus shipping, often shipping only – until they are dealing with you regularly. Many will knock the sample costs off your first order if you decide to work together.

Once you have received your product samples and are satisfied with the quality, you can complete your due diligence, check the supplier credentials and then start negotiations. Again, this can be a daunting prospect but remember that manufacturers do expect you to negotiate.

Negotiating ensures you keep your costs down and profits up, but you should be aware that the lowest price is not always the option you should go with unless of course quality, fulfilment and communication are top-notch too.

Instead, choose the supplier that excels in all areas and use the lower quotes you’ve received to negotiate a better deal with your selected supplier. Ultimately, you must be prepared to compromise – or even walk away.

At this stage, you should also speak with your supplier about your desire to private label your products. While it can be as simple as having a print shop produce some labels for you that you add to your product packaging (yes, that’s still classed as private label), the ultimate strategy is to have your branding professionally added to your product at the manufacturing stage.

Both of these methods come with associated costs, and you must research this aspect during the product sourcing process.

4. Create and Design Your Private Label: Logo and Packaging

Some might argue that this should be the first step in the private labelling process. However, it actually slots in better once you have an idea of the product that you wish to private label. Branding experts will tell you that a brand is far more than just a logo, and this is true, but your logo and colour scheme are integral parts of your private label brand and should run through all elements of your business. Once you know what type of product you will sell, you will have a far better idea of your brand identity.

We aren’t all gifted artistically, so you may wish to invest in a graphic designer to help you out. Designers are available on the freelancing site Upwork to help you affordably source an expert with whom you can discuss your brief. Think about the market area you will be operating in and the demographic you will target so that you get your private labelling right from the outset.

5. Create a Listing to Sell Private Label Products on Amazon

Once you have completed negotiations with your supplier, commissioned your branding designs and the manufacturing of your private label product is underway, this is the ideal time for you to create your Amazon listing and prepare to market your product to a ready-made audience of more than 197 million potential customers!

Research keywords for your product title, make sure you have high-quality images and write your bullet points ready for your description.

It’s worth taking your time when writing your title and bullet points as these are crucial for your products to be found in the Amazon search results. Your title is one of the most critical elements to your Amazon private label product listing, and your keywords must be relevant to your product.

Place your keywords in order of relevance – so your primary keywords come first. These are likely to be the keywords that specifically relate to and describe your product, for example, if you are selling brown leather dog leads, then ‘Brown Leather Dog Lead’ would be your primary keywords. These will be followed by any secondary keywords that you wish to rank for.

Your bullet points should also reflect your keywords, be concise and include your products’ strongest features and benefits. Images should be relevant, sharp and show your product from as many angles as possible. All of these things will help your customers in their decision to purchase your product.

6. Fulfil Your Amazon Private Label Product Orders using Amazon FBA

Finally, once your product starts selling, you’ll need to arrange fulfilment of those orders. While you can do this yourself, as you are listing your private label products on Amazon, using its fulfilment service is the most straightforward and efficient way to fulfil your orders.

You will simply send your inventory to one of Amazon’s warehouses, and they will store, pick and pack your orders for you then ship them to your customers. Amazon will also handle all your returns, refunds and customer service enquiries for you, so it’s a time-efficient way of selling your private label products.

Selling Private Label on Amazon: Summary

  • Research products thoroughly
  • Deal directly with the manufacturer
  • Negotiate hard
  • Check supplier’s credentials
  • Sample the products
  • Discuss branding with the manufacturer
  • Invest in quality design and branding
  • Create a compelling Amazon listing
  • Use Amazon FBA

Final Thoughts

You don’t need any specialised training to sell private label on Amazon in 2020, merely some good research and negotiating skills alongside the determination to succeed. You could soon be building your Amazon private label business and compelling customers to come back over and over as they stay loyal to your very own brand.

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Get Approval in Amazon Restricted

Selling on Amazon is a popular way to start an online business but does require plentiful research which takes considerable time and effort. So, after hours of hard work researching viable products, imagine your disappointment if you were to discover that your in-demand, low competition and highly profitable product happens to fall into one of Amazon’s restricted categories.

Amazon

You may think it’s a better plan, in that case, to leave restricted categories well alone and avoid the hassle, however, if you are an Amazon seller prepared to go the extra mile, the sales opportunities are enormous!

Remember that other sellers may be put off by the thought of the extra work involved in getting approval for an Amazon restricted category.

The reason for this is that you will need to jump through some pretty large hoops if you want to sell in an Amazon restricted category, and this will deter many would be sellers – but actually, this is the key. You can grab an opportunity for success here, where many others simply won’t bother!

What are Amazon Restricted Categories?

Amazon restricted categories are exactly that. Entire categories that have Amazon ‘gatekeepers’.

Often referred to as ‘gated categories’ restricted categories are decided upon by Amazon for reasons that differ between each category, and as you might guess, only Amazon itself is privy to those determining factors.

The good news is that Amazon no longer restricts entire categories which was its previous practice, and instead applies restrictions only in some sub-categories and sub-niches. This is why, if you look at the list of restrictions, you’ll see what appears to be a relatively small list of restricted categories, yet a long list of restricted products.

It’s important not to confuse the restricted categories with restricted products. You might potentially wish to source a product which appears to fall into a restricted category, but if the product itself is not actually restricted, you may be able to list your product in an alternative category with a little imagination and creativity!

If you think about it, often products can fit within more than one category. For example, a hula hoop could drop into toys and games which is a seasonally restricted category, but it could also be sold via the sports and outdoors category, which is not restricted! So, that’s the first consideration you should make as you may not need to get approval for a category when an alternative will work just as well for your product.

The bad news is that if there are no potential alternative categories that will work for your product, and you need to sell within a restricted category, until you apply for and receive approval directly from the powers that be at Amazon you can’t get in!

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Which Categories Are Restricted on Amazon?

To give you a heads up and an idea of what you might be up against before you start your product research and sourcing, these are Amazon’s currently gated categories, as listed by Amazon.com:

  • Collectible Coins
  • Personal Safety and Household ProductsEntertainment Collectibles
  • Fine Art
  • Toys and Games (Holiday Selling Requirements Apply)
  • Jewellery
  • Join Amazon Handmade
  • Join Amazon Subscription Boxes
  • Made in Italy
  • Music & DVD
  • Automotive & Powersports
  • Services
  • Sports Collectibles
  • Streaming Media Players
  • Video, DVD & Blu-ray
  • Watches

If you want to see which categories you have been approved to sell within, simply log in to your Seller Central account and do the following:

  • Click ‘Inventory’
  • Select ‘Add a Product’
  • Click ‘Selling Application Status’

This will show you all the categories in which you are approved to sell.

Why Do Amazon Have Restricted or Gated Categories?

You’ll notice that all the restricted categories listed above are all niches with high potential profitability. This is precisely why Amazon wants to ensure that sellers are pre-qualified before products are listed.

As the number of Amazon sellers increases, the danger of illegitimate sellers and shoddy products rises too. So, by placing category restrictions, Amazon can monitor standards and ensure that genuine products are being sold by trustworthy and reliable sellers.

This protects customers so that they can buy with confidence, and Amazon avoids risk to its reputation through the sale of counterfeit or inferior quality products.

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How to Get Approval for Amazon Restricted Categories

Amazon category approval requests aren’t usually too complicated but can take a little time to process. In some instances, when you send an approval request, you may be automatically approved. This can happen if you have been selling on Amazon for a while and have a good reputation rather than being a complete newbie.

So, your first step is to go to your Amazon Seller Central account, check for product restrictions and then request approval:

  • Go to your Seller Central account and click on inventory
  • Select ‘Add a Product’
  • Search for the product you want to sell
  • If it returns as restricted, click ‘Listing Limitations Apply’
  • Click the ‘Request Approval’ button

If you receive an immediate response stating that your request has been approved then it’s happy days for you, and yes this could actually happen!

If not, you will be asked to supply further information which can be a little more convoluted. You will likely be required to submit detailed wholesale invoices and information about your business and your products.

Amazon uses the invoices you supply along with additional criteria to make an informed decision as to whether they will allow you access to the restricted category.

Additional criteria can include:

  • An order defect rate of below 1%
  • Pro-seller plan
  • An account in good standing
  • At least 3 months of sales history
  • A return address in the country you are selling in OR provision for free delivery
  • Local language customer service support

If you are asked to provide invoices, this is purely to allow Amazon to see that you are a legitimate seller and so for this, you will need to acquire wholesale invoices for a product that fits the restricted category.

If you are currently selling a product that fits the restricted category elsewhere, you will already have this information to hand. But if you are going to be sourcing a new product and are concerned that you’ll have to purchase stock before knowing if you have been allowed into the gated category or not, don’t worry because there’s a simple way around this.

Top Tip: Your invoice does not necessarily need to be for the product you eventually wish to sell, simply obtain a wholesale invoice for any product that falls into the restricted category.

Here’s what to do in three easy steps:

Step 1: Create an Account with a Wholesaler

You’ll need to ensure the address you register with your wholesaler matches the details in your Amazon account.

Step 2: Place a Wholesale Order and Get a Commercial Invoice

From the restricted Amazon category you wish to sell in, choose three different products that are already being sold within that category. Place an order for 10 of each with your wholesaler. When you purchase those products, you will receive an invoice. You may not even end up selling those products on Amazon at all, this is simply an exercise in being able to provide a qualifying invoice.

Top Tip: Your commercial invoice should contain the following information:

Supplier information including name, phone number, address and website.

Your business information to match your Amazon seller account information.

Step 3: Scan and Copy the Invoice

You now have proof of your wholesale purchase and product legitimacy and can supply the official original invoice details to Amazon. The easiest way to do this is to take a photograph and submit it through the form they will provide. Don’t make any additions to the invoice. For additional credibility, take some pictures of the products when they arrive to show Amazon that you have the stock ready to sell.

Next, it’s merely a waiting game for Amazon’s response which can take a few hours to a few days.

It should be noted that it’s not unusual for Amazon to refuse access to a restricted category with little or no explanation. If this happens to you, don’t get down-hearted, but do keep trying. You may need to persevere and continue experimenting with different wholesalers or try and increase your seller metrics until you get approval.

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Inside the Latest Features of Amazon Stores

Amazon Stores were first introduced in 2017, granting sellers and brands the opportunity to create a unique brand destination on amazon.com that provides consumers with a curated shopping experience. For brand owners, making an Amazon Store is free and fully self-service.

Amazon Stores is not to be confused with Amazon Storefronts, which launched in 2018 as an option for small and medium-sized businesses to highlight a curated selection of products they are selling on the platform. Rather, with Amazon Stores, brands owners can choose from several design templates with different store layouts and customizable features that will most accurately illustrate their brand story and value proposition.

Amazon Stores

Brands can then decide which products to feature and can leverage optional multimedia content to inform shoppers’ purchase decisions. Lastly, they can utilize built-in social features such as social sharing buttons or integrate Sponsored Brands to promote brand awareness and drive high-quality traffic to their product listings.

One common complaint from Store owners was that it was difficult for shoppers to find their Stores, unless the brand owners actively drove them to their Store through Amazon paid ads or from external search queries. Some of these new features help address these concerns.

Since its inception, there have been continuous improvements made to Amazon Stores. Now, the Stores Insight dashboard allows owners to monitor daily visits, pages, views, page views per visitor, sales, and sale units attached to the Store. Initially, brands were limited to 30 source tags, but now they can view and export the top 100 source tags. Also, companies can add a 20-second video that will automatically play on repeat as soon as a visitor lands on the Store’s main page.

Over the last year, Amazon released several more Store features to help brand owners engage shoppers with rich content experiences, as well as updates to help improve the user experience for brands which we have summarized below.

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1. Shoppable Images

Shoppable images allow you to display your products with appealing lifestyle images that feature your products in various settings or in collections with other complementary products from your portfolio. When you choose to make any of the products featured in the image to be “shoppable,” this enables customers to click on the featured products and view basic information, such as the product’s name, price, customer ratings, and Prime availability. Shoppers can also add the product to their shopping cart or easily navigate to the product detail page to access more information that will inform their purchase decision.

2. Images With Text

With this new capability, you have the option to add descriptive text to your images and customize its location, size, alignment, and color. This feature allows you to provide visual descriptions of your products’ benefits, uses, and differentiating factors from the competition. According to Amazon, this text can also help optimize your Store’s SEO by increasing traffic from third-party search engines. Therefore, be sure to incorporate your product’s top keywords when taking advantage of this new feature.

3. Enhanced Product Management

There are now several features that make it easier to manage the products displayed in your Store and also enable you to more quickly make updates to your Store when needed. Rather than uploading products individually, you can now upload products in bulk to your product grids and featured-deals tiles. If any products are out of stock, you can choose to have them automatically hidden.

4. New Ways for Customers to Discover Stores

Amazon shoppers can now discover your Store by clicking on your brand logo, which has been added to the bottom of the landing page of your Sponsored Brands ads. Therefore, it is essential that you upload your brand logo in your Store builder and be sure to keep it updated.

Amazon is also experimenting with additional ways that shoppers can discover your brand Store. This includes a beta test in which Stores appear with a customer’s search results. Your Store, including brand name and image, would appear within a carousel of other brand Stores, with direct links to each, according to Digiday.

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5. More Stores Performance Insights

In 2018, Amazon released the Stores Insights dashboard to help Store owners monitor their Store’s effectiveness and performance metrics. Within the dashboard, these stakeholders can gain visibility into the daily visits, page views, page views per visitor, sales, and sales units attached to their Store.

Store owners can also see which traffic sources drive the most Store page views and sales, such as organic Amazon traffic, Sponsored Brands, or off-Amazon traffic such as from social media platforms. They can create a source tag for their unique Store URL to then use to measure traffic from specific external sources.

6. Custom Source Tag Optimizations

The Insights dashboard has allowed brands to capitalize on custom source tags to figure out how shoppers get to their Store, allowing them to keep a pulse on their various traffic sources. Originally, brands were limited to 30 source tags and can now see the top 100 source tags, and are able to export all of them.

7. Integrating Background Videos

Brands can now add a two to 20-second video that will automatically play and repeat on loop when your Amazon Store page loads for the customer to see. Brands can pick videos in full-width, large, or medium tiles, allowing for an additional way to demonstrate their brand’s features and benefits.

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Digital Evolution of Retail Is Now a Revolution

Industry transformation is typically an evolutionary process. That is not the case for the U.S. retail industry in 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic transformed U.S. retail practically overnight, as non-essential businesses were forced to shutter their doors and consumers flocked to online shopping channels at unprecedented rates. Online growth that was predicted to take years occurred in just a matter of weeks, with Amazon and Walmart being among the biggest beneficiaries.

retail

According to Feedvisor customer data, predominantly across the U.S. Amazon and Walmart marketplaces, sales of essential and nonessential product categories combined were up 30% in March compared to February*, and have shown a sustained increase of 9% through May. Even with panic-buying now subsided, e-commerce continues to grow, as consumer shopping behavior adjusts to new, digital-first habits.

How did such unprecedented change happen — virtually in real time? With physical store shelves low on stock, and consumers avoiding in-person interactions, COVID-19 expedited consumers’ adoption of and comfortability with online shopping, particularly on e-marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart, where consumers flocked for essential items including hand sanitizer, food, and electronics in preparation of social distancing and working from home.

While unprecedented demand during the early days of the COVID-19 crisis put considerable strain on e-commerce supply chains, it also opened the door for many consumers to a new, convenient and personalized way of shopping. As a result, U.S. e-commerce sales may grow as high as $6.5 trillion by 2023, according to eMarketer.

This rare and unpredictable “black swan” event has now put into motion a disruptive series of events that no one saw coming, and no one can stop. Consumers quickly adapted to a low-touch, digital-first economy, and now there is no looking back. The pandemic will clearly disrupt retail and e-commerce for years to come. However, it is what happens in the next six to 12 months that will set the stage for what will become our “new normal.”

New Foundational Realities

We have been thrown headfirst into the next evolutionary stage of retail — but are consumers, brands, and retailers ready? Will consumer behavior continue its rapid shift to online? Are brands and retailers prepared to react and adapt? Many questions remain to be answered, but several foundational realities have come into focus:

  • E-commerce will move to center stage for many more products and categories
  • Brick-and-mortar retail will undergo a painful reinvention
  • The biggest beneficiaries will be the leading e-marketplaces, Amazon and Walmart, which will become even more dominant than they already are today
  • One key result will be a new online growth curve by category — a new waterline — far higher than pre-pandemic levels, that will reset expectations and forecasts for what can be achieved online

These realities have become the bedrock of the new normal in U.S. retail for 2020 and beyond. They were once forecasted to occur over years, but are now realities to be dealt with in the present.

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Are You Ready for the ‘New Normal’?

To explain the “new normal,” a perhaps unexpected but telling example is the meteoric rise of online food retail.

Before the pandemic, the grocery category was one of the slowest-moving categories to shift online, with e-commerce sales accounting for just 2% of the overall category. After years of innovation and attempts to appeal to consumer behavior, online grocery was showing growth, though on a very small base, and was basically running in place.

That is no longer the case.

Post-COVID-19, sales of essential categories Grocery and Gourmet and Beauty and Personal Care — the latter of which includes health and wellness— were up 91% and 59%, respectively, over the month of March compared to February. Despite panic-buying subsiding, sales of these categories continue to grow, up 36% and 14% in Grocery and Gourmet and Beauty and Personal Care, respectively, in May compared with February — indicating an extended effect on consumer shopping behavior.

This is the new normal, where shoppers have a newfound appreciation and reliance on e-commerce — and not just for essential products but across many categories, from groceries to home goods to electronics and office supplies.

This new normal is built on the presumption that consumers will continue to expand their usage of e-commerce while approaching in-store shopping with skepticism and caution. Recent studies back this up. An analysis by Morning Consult found that nearly a quarter (24%) of consumers said they would not feel comfortable shopping in a mall for more than six months and, according to Technomic, 52% of consumers are avoiding crowds, while 32% are leaving their house less often because of COVID-19. This trend may or may not continue in perpetuity, but the increased reliance on online channels is here to stay.

Establishing the New Waterline for Online Retail

They say, “a rising tide lifts all boats,” and the tide is clearly rising for U.S. e-commerce, as consumers continue to flock online post-pandemic. When we look at recent Feedvisor customer data, we see that total sales across e-marketplaces were up 9% when comparing post-pandemic (May) to pre-pandemic behavior (February). When we look more closely by category, we see how, for example, Clothing, Shoes, and Jewelry sales rebounded, after an initial downward shock, to be up 9% in May versus February. Similarly, sales of Electronics were up 19% over the same period after seeing 0% growth in early April, the last weeks of Amazon’s FBA inventory restriction on nonessential products.

Sales growth in these categories were driven by multiple simultaneous events: easing pressure on the overburdened supply chain; a shift in the consumer mindset, as panic-buying and hoarding abated; unemployment benefits and stimulus checks being distributed; and shoppers pivoting toward nonessential items, like clothing and entertainment.

This 16-week period may not represent a clear trend just yet, but we believe it is setting up a new baseline for what can be achieved online in various, high-demand categories.

If we project the above curves forward for full-year 2020, we predict what is likely to occur, as new baselines are established by category on e-marketplaces. Specifically, we anticipate overall growth of e-marketplace sales in 2020 to increase about 15% in Q3 and between 32%–35% in Q4 compared to the same period in 2019.

  • Without COVID-19, 2020 year-over-year e-marketplace growth was projected to be 17%, based on our historical data and 2020 January and February sales trends — the original waterline
  • With COVID-19, we project year-over-year growth will be between 21%–29%, based on the lasting growth trends we are seeing as a result of the pandemic.

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Welcome to the New Normal: Final Thoughts

There is no longer a debate over whether or not a brand or retailer should sell online. There is no longer a debate over whether or not a brand or retailer should sell via the major e-marketplaces. Rather, the debate lies on which specific strategies and tactics to deploy, how much budget to allocate, which products to offer, how to price competitively, and how to operationalize for success.

Welcome to the new normal: a world where shoppers have a newfound appreciation and reliance on e-commerce; a world where consumer behavior is rapidly adjusting to new, digital-first habits; a world where a new waterline is being established for each category on what can and will be achievable online.

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Increase Amazon Sales on Slow-Moving Inventory

We all want our FBA inventory to sell as soon as it hits the warehouse shelves, and in an ideal sales world, we would never have to deal with monthly storage fees or long-term storage fees for any of our inventory. But the reality for all of us as Amazon sellers is that at times we inevitably end up with inventory that becomes stagnant.

sales

As much as we try to make smart sourcing decisions, from time to time we end up with inventory that just won’t sell. It ends up sitting in the warehouse, collecting dust, longer than we would like. That inventory isn’t making you any money – in fact, it is costing you money at this point!

Let’s talk about five easy ways you can increase Amazon sales and shift your slow-moving FBA inventory.

1. Adjust Your Price

Now, you might think I automatically mean to lower your price. But there are two ways you can adjust your price – up or down. In some cases, you do need to lower your price to get that inventory to sell.

Maybe when you sent the item into FBA the competitive price was higher than it is now, and all you need to do to get the next sale is to lower your price. As always, check Keepa and CamelCamelCamel to make sure lowering your price is the best course of action.

But in some situations, you will want to adjust your price higher, not lower. I don’t know how this works, but I’m not the only seller who says they’ve seen this happen – somehow, adjusting your price even one penny lower or higher triggers a sale. I have no idea how this works, but it does.

Adjusting your price, even if it goes up a little, somehow causes the Amazon A9 algorithm to put your inventory item in the Buy Box and higher in search, so that a customer buys it soon after you reprice. It’s a mystery, and it’s no guarantee, but somehow it works.

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2. Check for Improvements on the Product Page

Sometimes the reason your inventory isn’t selling has everything to do with a lousy product page. No one wants to buy something online that has a crummy photo or a pathetic description. On some of your inventory, you might want to check if there are ways to improve the images, title, keywords, etc.

For example, one time I had a Super Mario Bros puzzle in my inventory, and the title on the Amazon product page was Mario Puzzle. Seriously? That’s the best title they could come up with? No information about it being Super Mario Bros, the number of pieces, anything like that.

This puzzle needed a much better title in order to come up in a customer’s search. So I went in and suggested a new title, my title was accepted, and boom – the puzzle sold.

If you want to learn more about how to improve product listings, I highly recommend Karon Thackston’s book Amazon Advantage. Her book gives you all the tips and tricks you need to make sure your title, keywords, descriptions, and bullet points are written perfectly so that more customers see your items in Amazon searches.

3. Set Up Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Another great way to get more eyes on your products is to set up Amazon PPC ads. This method of moving inventory is also a great way to get the ball rolling if you have added new items to the Amazon catalogue and you need to generate sales to improve the sales rank.

Spending a few cents per click could go a long way towards moving your inventory faster and generating more sales.

I’ve used this method in the past to sell some high-priced board games that just weren’t selling as fast as I wanted. I was able to spend $1 or $2 on ads and turn a hundred dollars in profit because the game sold. That ad money and the amount of time it took to set up the ad were worth it to me in that instance.

4. Feed the Beast

I have to say, this is my all-time favourite way to get more sales and move slow-moving inventory. Feed the beast. Send in more inventory! Perhaps you’ve heard the rumour that if you stop sending in inventory to Amazon, your sales will tend to slow down.

Again, I don’t know how this works, but many experienced sellers report that feeding the beast (sending in new inventory on a continual basis) somehow affects your overall time in the buy box and your overall sales.

I’m not saying to send in more of the slow-moving inventory. I’m saying that sending in a new shipment of any type of inventory somehow triggers sales on older items. Who knows why this is the case, but it seems to work.

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5. Check for Duplicate Product Pages

Sometimes the solution to the problem of slow-moving inventory is simply to find a better product page. Amazon is continually trying to eliminate duplicate product pages from their catalogue, but they still happen from time to time. You might have a slow-moving item and come to find out there are identical product pages for the same item that are priced lower with a lower sales rank.

If you find there’s a product page for your item with a better sales rank, you will need to ship the item back to yourself and send it back into the FBA warehouse with a new SKU for the better product page. The price might be lower than you had originally hoped but selling for a lower price is better than not selling at all. At least this way you will get your capital back to reinvest in better inventory.

Those are my five easy ways to help spur sales in your slow-moving inventory. Hopefully, you can take a look through your inventory today, put some of these tips into practice, and see more sales.

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How to Create Amazon A+ Content

Amazon A+ Content is like turbocharging your existing Amazon page by adding modules that go beyond what a normal page has. It’s a way of enhancing content to make it both more engaging for users and to reflect your brand in a deeper way, both of which can lead to higher sales.

Amazon A+

If you’re wondering how to create Amazon A+ content, then you’ve come to the right place.

What Exactly Amazon A+ Content Consists Of

There are a few different ways of creating an Amazon page: ordinary, and enhanced content. And in the latter category, you can find A+ content, which is what vendors will use (brand-registered sellers can use Enhanced Brand Content pages).

A+ content pages consist of Amazon members in their invite-only Vendor Central program and it gives them the ability to create pages with extra multimedia modules like comparison charts, testimonials, videos, formatted text, and more.

With Basic A+ content, Amazon lets you use five standard modules for free, while Premium A+ content gets access to seven modules and a bunch of other cool features.

From there, you select between Self Service Modules (Basic, Silver, Gold or Platinum modules, all with their own flat fee), the typical choice for merchants with marketing/branding experience or Amazon Builds For You (also with Basic, Silver, Gold or Platinum, but with a higher price tag because Amazon will handle the design and layout), which is what less experienced merchants should opt for (for a little while, at least).

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Great A+ content can overcome your customer’s purchase barriers, drive brand affinity and highlight the features and benefits of your product resulting in increased sales and traffic.

How to Create Amazon A+ Content

Now that you know the details of it and decided it’s for you, here’s how to actually go about creating A+ content.

  1. Login to your Vendor Central account.
  2. Toggle to the ‘Merchandising’ menu and select ‘A+ Detail Pages’.
  3. Choose either the Self Service module or Amazon Builds For You module. Choosing the Self Service module leads you to a page where you input the ASIN you want to create content for, then options for build layouts and modules. If you choose Amazon Builds For You, then all you have to do is upload images and text and Amazon will take care of the rest.
  4. Enter in a project name, making sure to choose something that’s descriptive enough where you’ll easily remember what it’s about.
  5. Design your layout, upload the content (use a zip file for images), then preview it to make sure it’s just how you want it to appear.
  6. Finish publishing the page.

What to Know About Amazon A+ Content Pages

There are a few things to inform yourself about A+ pages so you go into it with open eyes.

  • For now, you can’t use A+ content pages on the mobile app, or even on mobile devices in general. This may change in the future, but for the time being, A+ pages are viewable on desktop only.
  • Content on A+ pages isn’t indexed, which means your detail page doesn’t get any sort of boost from the multimedia content.
  • If the products you want to create pages for are listed by other vendors (even just one other vendor), you have to pay extra.
  • Once you’ve purchased the products, you have a month’s timeframe in which to submit content for the A+ pages.
  • You’re capped at a max of 5 pages (per vendor), and you can only make changes on those pages in the first two business days once the page has gone live.
  • You absolutely cannot mention competitors or their products on your own pages.
  • The content you submit (i.e. images and text) has to be unique to the product and related to it, but one semi-exception is you can use lifestyle shots if they display the product being used.
  • Amazon reserves the right to take down A+ pages at any time. However, this almost only happens when a vendor closes their account, violates Amazon’s ToS, or doesn’t fulfill orders (as well as other reasons in the agreement).

Related: How To Prepare A Pet Clothing Analyze

How Much Does Amazon A+ Content Cost?

At the moment, Amazon A+ Content is free for sellers and vendors. However, creating the visuals and copy can be time-consuming. Some vendors can pay extra for a premium version which is only available through an invitation from a vendor manager.

Best Practices for A+ Pages

  • Avoid using special characters or symbols like ® or ™
  • Check the module’s requirements for things like image sizing and resolution.
  • Proofread for typos or grammatical errors — these kinds of mistakes can get your application rejected. And if the mistakes slip by, remember that you’ve only got two business days after the page has gone live to make changes.
  • Consider using a banner for a better user experience.
  • Comparison charts are a great way to highlight different features across similar products.
  • Skew more towards visual and a bit away from text.

Final Thoughts

Creating Amazon A+ content pages can be one of the best ways to draw extra (good) attention to yourself and drive sales up. And once you’ve got more eyes on your page.

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Amazon Restricted Products: Need to Know in 2020

It’s a scenario that happens all the time to sellers: they do Amazon product research and come up with a shortlist of viable, profitable items, negotiate good deals with suppliers… and learn what they want to sell falls under Amazon’s list of restricted products.

Amazon

But with help from RepricerExpress, we’ll show you how to both avoid that disappointment and work your way around it.

Amazon Restricted Categories: What to Watch For

Depending on where you’re selling from and what marketplaces you’re selling on, the list of restricted products may vary. For example, Amazon has this list of restricted products if selling in the United States, with a sub-list of categories and products requiring approval to sell.

However, if you sell in the UK, you’ll see your list of category, product and content restrictions is a lot shorter. Always make sure to check the list of what’s restricted in your country/marketplace.

The reasoning for this is Amazon wants to avoid the issues that invariably crop up with selling illegal, unsafe, dangerous or otherwise restricted products. It can be a huge legal and liability issue, and they’ve decided it’s easier to avoid wading in them altogether.

Amazon wants its buyers to “buy with confidence”, so they either restrict certain products entirely or limit the number of new sellers until they’ve built up history and credibility.

As a seller, it’s paramount that you take this very seriously. If you ignore their list of restrictions, you could face consequences like listing cancellation, listing privilege limitations, suspension or even outright removal of your listing privileges. It’s a lot easier to learn the rules and where they can bend instead of trying to get your account un-suspended or un-removed.

If it’s your first violation, Amazon will send you a notification with the required action you’re to take. It can be frustrating if you’ve been able to sell that item in the past but can no longer do so, but the smartest course of action is to not argue and do as they say.

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What Are the Restricted Categories on Amazon?

Amazon is moving away from applying restrictions to broader categories and restricting entry to sub-category niches. Here’s a list of the restricted categories on Amazon currently.

  • Automotive & Powersports
  • Collectible Coins
  • Entertainment Collectibles
  • Fine Art
  • Holiday Selling Requirements in Toys & Games
  • Jewelry
  • Join Amazon Handmade
  • Join Amazon Subscription Boxes
  • Made in Italy
  • Music & DVD
  • Personal Safety and Household products
  • Services
  • Sports Collectibles
  • Streaming Media Players
  • Video, DVD, & Blu-ray
  • Watches

What If You Want to Sell in Restricted Categories?

Selling in an Amazon restricted category requires getting “ungated”, which essentially means obtaining special permission to sell in a category that doesn’t allow sellers to simply sign up for and start selling in. What each category requires in terms of getting ungated differs, but this is the general sequence of steps you should follow.

1. Have a Professional Seller Account

To get ungated in most categories, you’ll need a professional seller account instead of an individual one. There are some exceptions, like Collectible Books (fairly straightforward to get ungated in), Collectible Coins (a lot harder), Fine Jewelry (pretty expensive), Gift Cards (straightforward but with very black and white limitations), Kindle Accessories (simple, but huge fees), Major Appliances (shipping costs could be an issue), and more.

2. Create a Wholesaler Account

When you create your wholesale account, make sure its address matches the one on your regular account. One thing to remember is that if your LLC name and Amazon name differ, include both.

3. Start a Short Order History

You’ll need to purchase about 10 products from three different categories that you want to get ungated in, e.g. 10 collectible books, 10 grocery items and 10 watches. You could keep these items for yourself or sell them on your own listings, but don’t expect to turn a profit. Your goal here is to get through the ungating process.

4. Collect and Scan the Invoices

When you get the invoices, make copies of them and put the originals aside for safekeeping. You can make marks or additions on the copies, but not the originals. And when making copies, make sure you’ve got the following:

  • Your seller name is at the top.
  • Each product on the invoice has its ASIN, UPC and item model number beside it.
  • Images, if you’re trying to get ungated in Shoes, Clothing and Accessories, Luggage and Travel, or Handbags and Sunglasses.
  • The copies are in hi-res.

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Apply to Amazon for Selling Approval

For whichever category you want to get ungated in, Amazon will have a link on it where you can apply for selling privileges. We recommend emailing it in during normal business hours so you can get a faster response, which can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

If you get permission, you can start creating listings and selling items in that particular category. If you don’t, Amazon will give you an explanation why, which should help you modify your application and send it back in to try and get approved next time.

Final Thoughts

Selling in gated, or restricted, categories can be tough because the landscape is comprised of experienced sellers with healthy account metrics. You’ll need to be on top of your game to compete with other sellers who know what they’re doing, and one of the best ways is through competitive pricing.