Amazon’s fast growth has been supercharged in the last 12 months due to the covid pandemic, with Feedvisor reporting that 42% more brands are selling on the marketplace than before March 2020. With over half (51%) saying that they gain a 7x return on their amazon advertising spend, this is nothing short of a monumental shift in retail.
Because of this, it’s becoming more and more difficult to compete as brands take control of their product listing pages and the pool of buying opportunities becomes more diverse and these sellers are pulling out all the stops to acquire your business.
Today, and as my first article for Modern Retail, I am going to explain some clear points of how to look at these successful products and to give yourself the best leverage when launching or improving your own product ranges. Whilst “best practise” articles are abundant whilst trawling through the internet to create the perfect product pages, I want to refocus your attention and look at the process from a completely different angle…that of your competitor.
Use tools to look at the big picture
There are some great tools out there to analyse products on Amazon and really understand the landscape, our favourite is Helium 10’s “Xray”.This allows you to see all products with any search you make on Amazon, you can install a plugin that will create a list of all the products on that page and show you key metrics
This tool will give you key points such as:
- Sales performance
- Fulfilment method (Either sold directly by Amazon, FBA or Merchant-fulfilled)
- Crucial sales revenue for the past 30 days.
These 4 metrics alone should help you work out whether or not it’s worth going head to head with your competition.
This sales chart will show you average moving trends over time (as long as the product is over 90 days old).You can see on this example that this competitor’s picture frame sold a peak of 125 units a day in the weeks leading up to Christmas with a sharp dip on December 20th – possibly due to longer handling times – could your business beat this seller?
Review and analyse key points on the top 3 products in your niche
There is a wealth of information you can use when analysing the top 3 performing “organic” products. Do your best to ignore any “sponsored” products.
First of all, make sure you are looking at the best keywords. There are plenty of good keyword tools, but for this exercise, let’s look at good relevant keywords in your competitors’ titles – this will give us an idea of the sort of tried-and-tested results that shine at the top of the search results.
As you can see from this image above some of the keywords include “photo frame” “picture” which can also be used in the keyword structure “picture frame” as well as “solid wood”, the remaining keywords can also compliment each other – for example if you searched for “white glass picture frame”
In a nutshell there are several key points to look at when looking at your competitors:
- Images – Most amazon categories allow you to have 7 images and it’s imperative that you utilize this space to capture the quality of your item, if its price point is higher than your competitors you will need to show WHY it commands a much higher price point
- Keyword driven titles and bullet points – Make sure your product titles are descriptive and feature key information such as sizing, colour etc but also are highly keyword driven. Your bullet points should really sell your product and maximise the details
- Brand Push – if you have a trademark you can utilise Amazon’s “brand registry” tools. You can create beautiful pages on your product descriptions, have a mini-store with the Amazon brand stores tool and even add a video next to your product images! This drives trust and improved conversion rates to your products.
- Acquiring customer reviews – there is a common misconception that the more reviews the better, this is not true. Amazon has restricted in recent years the acquisition of reviews and you can no longer incentivise customers to leave a review. You will need to look at the Amazon vine program if you are a registered brand and sending items into their fulfilment centres. You can also leave a little piece of paper or cardboard in the product box requesting a review, however, you must not incentivise or request a positive feedback. Though it’s worth keeping track of this as Amazon regularly update their rules on how you can acquire feedback. Also, by default, Amazon will send emails to customers requesting them to leave a review. A recent survey done by Feedback Express showed that the very top selling products on Amazon only were able to acquire about 8% of customers to leave a review.
In short, don’t worry if your competitor has 100’s more reviews than you do.
Make sure you can compete with competitors’ “customer experience”
- Variations – if your products are in the same “family” but have different sizes, colours or similar attributes you should put your products into variations. This gives customers more choice and Amazon combines all your review scores – giving you better-looking product reviews on your product ranges.
- Delivery options – Amazon wants customers to have an exceptional customer experience. Where possible, it makes sense to shift your products using Amazon’s fulfilment program “FBA” or through its Seller Fulfilled Prime program “SFP” this will give your products the prime badge and offer customers next day delivery. Your leading competitors will be using these delivery methods and Amazon rewards the sellers that do.
- Dealing with customers – we always say “upsetting your first Amazon customers will cost you much more than a refund”. You must provide exceptional service as Amazon measures your performance on how fast and timely you deliver as well as dealing with customers returns and product complaints. Bad performance does reduce your rankings.
Amazon Competitor Analysis – Summary
Amazon’s algorithm all boils down to what products convert or what are “more likely” to convert. If a product has a better chance of selling, it’s in Amazon’s best interests to push that product. But to give it the best chance of performing, even if you decide to push advertising to it, you must make sure it’s as good as, if not better than, what your competitors are offering.
Chris is the MD of Ecommerce Intelligence, a full service amazon agency and consultancy. He has 15 years experience in ecommerce and marketplace selling. The Ecommerce Intelligence team look after the needs of brands including Myprotein, Organix and Crosshatch, selling on both Amazon’s vendor and seller platforms which generate over £5million per month in sales.