The 5 mistakes you’re making on Amazon right now
If you’ve ever sold anything on Amazon, then you’ll know how easy it can be to fall foul of Amazon’s ever-changing rules and regulations. What you might not know is how easy it could have been to avoid.
When you spend 5-6 hours a day looking through Amazon accounts, there’s a number of issues which you see cropping up time and time again.
Most sellers use Amazon to do exactly that… sell products. They’re too busy managing every other element of their business to keep up to date with the latest changes to the Amazon platform, changes which may or may not directly affect them.
Unfortunately for these sellers, failing to keep up to date with the latest developments can have a serious impact on their accounts. What started out as a simple mistake ends up diluting sales, incurring additional costs and harming brand perception.
Here are 5 of the most common mistakes I see sellers making on Amazon, and the 5 easy ways you can avoid making them yourself.
1 – Not looking after your account health metrics
Just like most modern video games, looking after your health on Amazon should be a top priority. Thankfully, the platform is there to give you a helping hand, offering an almost endless list of account metrics and insights for sellers to analyse with ease.
The problem is, a lot of sellers neglect this opportunity. Some never even look at their account health metrics and, when they eventually do, they try to game the system altogether by bending the rules and regulations which Amazon has put in place.
But it’s a slippery slope, and if you’re not taking the health of your account seriously then this oversight will catch up with you sooner or later. Best case scenario? You’ll lose some business. Worst case? Your account could be suspended.
Solution: Small and frequent checks are the most effective way to avoid an account suspension. We monitor these metrics for our clients on a weekly basis – although I tend to find myself looking at them every couple of days just to be safe!
2 – Getting titles, images, and keywords wrong
Amazon regularly changes its rules around what you can and can’t use for titles, images and keywords, so going wrong here is fairly common. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences. Amazon has the power to suppress listings even for something as simple as using an image without a plain white background, meaning no sales for you until you rectify the issue.
This can wreak extra amounts of havoc if you’ve got quite a historic account, so make sure you’re up to date with the latest Amazon rules and how many of your listings might be affected.
Failing to do so can result in more than just a few lost sales. For instance, if Amazon is your only selling platform and you’re not clearing your stock, you might find long-term storage fees looming on the horizon.
Solution: Again, small and frequent checks go a long way here.
3 – Charging too much for shipping
Time for a little experiment. Which of the following two products looks more expensive?
- Item A = £32 + £5 shipping
- Item B = £37 + free shipping
Even though they work out at exactly the same price, Item A seems more expensive simply for the reason that nobody likes a shipping cost.
I can openly say that I never pay for shipping, and most online shoppers have developed a similar mindset ever since Amazon introduced free Prime delivery back in 2007. 14 years later, and shipping costs are perhaps the biggest point of friction for the modern day consumer. Avoid them at all costs.
Solution: Instead of charging £5 for shipping costs, just add that £5 onto the original sales price. It makes life easier for you, it returns the same profits and it doesn’t instantly scare off those customers who are constantly searching for free shipping costs.
4 – Having duplicate listings
Duplicate listings occur when you have multiple listings that point to the same ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). Although they may sound harmless, letting these duplicates go unchecked can actually do a lot of damage.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. You’ve just searched for the latest range of hawaiin shirts and two identical listings for the same product have appeared. Three questions immediately spring to mind:
1 – Which listing is the right one?
2 – Can I trust the quality of this product?
3 – Are hawaiin shirts even in fashion? Have they ever been?
In some extreme cases, I’ve seen clients with up to six duplicate listings of the same product. All this does is confuse users, split reviews between listings and ultimately dilute sales. Worse still, if a user ends up purchasing a low quality version of your product from a third party seller’s listing, the reputation of your brand could take a huge hit.
Solution: To combat this, you can perform a ‘duplicate merge’ to pull all those duplicates into one listing, streamlining sales and ensuring the end user gets the best experience possible. If a duplicate merge is unsuccessful, you can utilise the tools via Brand Registry to address the issue.
5 – Not taking advantage of PPC
Whether it’s a case of lacking experience or worrying about costs, there are a number of reasons why sellers avoid using PPC (pay-per-click). Trust me when I say this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
When it comes to PPC, you pay a manageable cost to feature your product in front of more users. That means more visibility, more opportunities to sell and more sales. This will only increase your organic ranking in the long run, making it easier for customers to find your products.
That being said, don’t make the mistake of over relying on automatic campaigns. It may be tempting to leave these campaigns to run in the background and reap the rewards, but is this really going to maximise your potential ROI?
Solution: To make the most out of your PPC campaigns, you need to drill down into the data. Luckily enough, that’s one of the many things we specialise in at Shift Marketplace.
How many of the above mistakes have you been guilty of?
If you’d like some extra support with your Amazon account, then the team at Shift Marketplace is here to help. Not only can we spot the areas for improvement faster, we also know the necessary processes required to put those improvements in place.