What’s the future of e-commerce? It’s a question most retailers ask when looking at an expansive and sometimes overwhelming e-commerce landscape. E-commerce sales have grown 50% over the past couple years. While that number has tapered off more recently, e-commerce is a mainstay.
Amazon is a big player in the e-commerce field, as an increasing number of retailers are venturing onto the platform. However, you can’t just sell a knockoff white-label product — a viable product is still the primary key to success. Then, once you have a great product, the next step to drive sales and boost brand awareness is to create a clear digital marketing strategy. Here’s where to start:
1. Optimize listings for relevancy and reach.
Seventy percent of Amazon customers never browse past the first page, so products can easily get lost in the vast e-commerce landscape if their listings aren’t optimized. Listing optimization is just as it sounds: the practice of building the front and back end of a listing to rank well. There are several components to focus on.
All titles should be compelling and contain relevant keywords. Stick to one or two keywords, as stuffing titles full can reduce credibility and damage click-through rates. A good CTR is anything above 0.5%.
The explanation of your product should be just as compelling. This section is broken up into two chunks. The first is the product features. Make these bullet points skimmable, keep them solutions-oriented, and incorporate keywords. The second piece is the product description. This paragraph is where you can explain your product in more depth, but try not to reiterate the bullet points. Share the features, the benefits, and maybe a little brand history — and naturally work in more keywords. Remember, however, to avoid being redundant with keywords. (And keep in mind that if you are brand-registered, you will have access to A+ content, which replaces this product description.)
While the title and bullet points are important for ranking in Amazon search results, images are the true converter. High-resolution images are more than an e-commerce merchandising trend — they’re a necessity to garner clicks. For the main image, the background should be white. But for the secondary images, it’s best to include infographics, lifestyle images, and various angles to illustrate the benefits of your product and show shoppers how they might use it in their own lives. The size of photos should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels by 1,000 pixels, allowing customers to zoom in.
The final piece to consider is back-end keywords, which are unseen by consumers but allow you to include additional keywords without cluttering up the listing.
2. Design personalized campaigns that meet your specific goals.
While it might be tempting to opt for automated campaigns in the beginning stages of your marketing strategy, this could ultimately do more harm than good. Auto campaigns can mine keywords and product targets, but they often deliver low advertising cost of sales (ACOS) results without a prior manual advertising campaign in place.
Furthermore, ad campaigns should be designed to meet your business’s specific goals. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for launching ads.
If you have the budget, utilizing Amazon’s video ad format is a great place to start, as video is one of the most engaging formats and can be targeted to specific audiences. You can utilize Amazon’s video format to deliver a holistic ad strategy. Video ads catch customers’ eye, help with brand-building, and reduce buyer anxiety by showcasing your product more effectively than with static images alone.
Research has also shown that it costs less to advertise on Amazon than both Google (68% less) and Facebook (44% less). Even with recent price increases, it still pays to explore this option to drive traffic to your listings.
3. Explore targeted advertising.
One e-commerce marketing trend that still delivers clicks is targeted ads. Amazon is no different. Most people utilize three types of keywords: branded, generic, and competitor. Some also include “negative” keywords, which prevent ads from displaying for certain phrases. If you’ve launched automatic campaigns, you’ve got the data to target warm audiences with manual campaigns.
There’s a huge opportunity in the e-commerce landscape, especially with Amazon. Build a great listing, optimize it, and start targeting your ideal customers today.
Jason Streiff is the founder and president of Streiff Marketing, an Amazon rep agency specializing in retail. Jason has spent more than a decade working in sales and marketing. When he’s not taking brands from $0 to $100,000 per month, he’s spending time outdoors hunting, golfing, playing with his kids, skiing, and mountain biking.