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Listing Optimization

Does the content of your Amazon listing have a measurable impact on visibility and conversion?

What is an Amazon listing?

A listing is the product page for each item you sell on Amazon. It consists of a title, detailed information (usually) in the form of 5 bullet points, images/videos and a description of the product. If your brand is registered with Amazon it can include Enhance Brand Content (EBC) which enables you to create a much more visually rich and detailed product description, giving you the space to tell your story. All of this is considered the “front-end” – the publicly visible information we provide potential customers with in order for them to make an informed buying decision. We will look in detail at the “back-end” in a future post.

Why is it important to have your listing optimized?

Amazon is huge, so we can assume that whatever business decisions they’ve been making up to this point have been correct. The big one is the philosophy they have in place –

‘Only care about those who spend money and encourage them to spend as much of it as possible’

Amazon knows that when people are on their platform, they’re usually pretty close to making a buying decision. In order to take full advantage of this and add to their ever-growing mountain of cash, Amazon will make near-constant changes to test what gets the best conversion from the greatest number of customers. And not just some things, they change everything. In order to get ahead of the curve, we, as sellers, also have to make changes and test what works to exploit Amazon’s fickleness to beat the competition. Having the correct optimization strategies will elevate your products’ visibility, conversion and relevance.

How does the listing effect conversion and visibility?

Customers have to be able to find your products to buy them and they’re usually going to use Amazon’s search tool to do this. The A9 algorithm will match the search terms they use against the information in your listing – your title, bullet points, and description, as well as the back-end keywords you’ve entered. The more accurate and relevant the information is, the more visible your product will be and the more sales it’s likely to make.

Once the potential customer has found your product, you only have a few moments to convince them that your product is the right one for them before they move on to the next listing. In this post, we are going to be looking specifically at conversion rather than visibility, based on a study we conducted with one of our accounts that sells supplements over a one-month period.

With so many options available at the click of a button, getting the sale when you have someone land on your page is more important than ever. There are generally 3 types of Amazon buyers: visual buyers, skimmers and trawlers. Though there will be some who fit into more than one category based on the product being viewed, let’s take a look at what they mean:

–          Visual buyers will generally make a decision based on your images or videos. Especially prevalent among younger buyers who are often more engaged by visuals. When you consider that 53% of Amazon users are 19-44 years old you begin to see the importance of high-quality visuals. In our study, we swapped our professional pictures for much lower resolution ones and took out images of use-cases. Within two weeks, conversion dropped by 11%. Optimized images would include: professionally taken, high-resolution images of your product on a white background, images of your product in use and if possible a professionally shot video. Anecdotal evidence suggests the optimal number of images is between 6 and 8.

–          Skimmers are those buyers who know what they want when they start the buying process and will try to make a decision as quickly as possible. These buyers will want to get as much information as possible from your title and your images, so they don’t have to spend too much time reading about your product. If you make it hard for them to get what they need quickly, they will look elsewhere. Skimmers are made up of people who are lazy, busy or perceive themselves to be busier than they are – consequently, they make up the bulk of Amazon’s user-base. We changed our title to a very basic description of the product. In one month, conversion dropped by an average of 12%. It’s safe to say if we had combined the poor title with the poor-quality images this would have been multiplied by orders of magnitude. An optimized title will usually:

  • Be between 150 and 200 characters
  • Follow a logical order ie. brand name, model/line, key features, colour/material, size/quantity
  • Have important keywords placed first
  • Not overdone to the point where it looks strange or reads badly
  • Trawlers will dig deep and go through your listing with a fine-tooth comb. Images and titles are less important, apart from to initially attract them to your listing. Trawlers will spend time reading your bullet points and your product description/EBC to ensure your product is exactly what they’re looking for. Typically, older generations will employ this buying style, but with 33% of users and rising in the 44-65 age bracket it’s important to get it right. These are going to be the most text-heavy areas of your listing, so they’re also going to have a big impact on your visibility when filled with relevant keywords. Over the course of our month-long study, bullets and EBC were shown to affect conversion by 9%. While this is lower than the images and the title in terms of conversion, it had a much bigger impact on visibility which we will look at in a future post. Your product description is your chance to tell your story – it has a larger character limit than any other section and it should be taken advantage of. Well written bullets should:
  • Include keywords you’ve researched
  • You have space for at least 5 – use them all
  • Have a short headline
  • Be regularly tested to see which orders and copies work best

A final word.

This study has hopefully illuminated some of the things you’re doing well and some of which you could be doing better. As mentioned, this only looks at conversions and doesn’t include the impact these criteria have on your product’s ranking and visibility. I hope this highlights the importance of getting this right and how hitting the mark has real potential to take you on the next step from where you are now to where you want to be.

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