How can I grow my Amazon store?
We've been selling our monthly clubs and gift baskets on Amazon for a while now and it's a nice but unexciting part of our business. Bottom line is that beyond some obvious things, we haven't been able to find anything that helps increase our products' exposure on Amazon. Do you have any tricks, or know where to look for some, on how to get your products more exposure on Amazon? Are there consultants in this area?
I have limited experience as an Amazon seller other than through my publishers or with their online auction system, but fortunately my friend Cathy Stucker, The Idea Lady, has this to share based on her extensive experience with Amazon:
No guarantees, but a few ideas that might help your reader, Dave:
Most importantly, get some customer reviews. I do not recommend putting them up yourself. It's tacky and easily detected besides. Ask customers and friends who like your products to help you out by posting reviews at Amazon. Make it easy: Give them links to a product page or two, and suggest things they might say in the review. You can do this by giving them some language, or simply prompting. (What did you like best about it? What did your family say when you served it? Are you looking forward to next month's sauce? Why?) Bribe them to post reviews if you are so inclined. Offer a free product or something.
Use Amazon's features to drive traffic from other Amazon pages. For example, you can tag the BBQ products with the BBQ tag. Tags may be entered in the box near the middle of the page, right after Product Details. Find relevant tags that are being used by other Amazon shoppers. For example, the BBQ tag is being used for cookbooks, grills, tools, etc.
Along the same lines, do your products show up for keyword searches on Amazon? Amazon has a strange search algorithm, but you can get better results for your products if you have good keywords associated with them. I'm not sure how you do this for Marketplace/zShops and such. For books, I had to email them and let them know what keywords applied to my book. I saw an immediate increase in sales after doing that.
Listmania and So You'd Like to . . . Guides can also get people to your page. What other products would people be looking at and buying if they would also be interested in the Viva Italia Gourmet Combo? Perhaps Italian cookbooks, guidebooks to Italy, cookware, etc. Make a Listmania list of those products. Choose popular products. The list will show up on some or all of the pages for the products you include in the list.
So You'd Like to . . . Guides are a little more involved, but there are fewer of them competing for attention. You write a description of how to do something (e.g., Cook an authentic Italian dinner) and include links to recommended products in the text. Of course, you would include your products as well as others. Supposedly, you can not list your own products in the top two spots (in lists or guides). That rule gets broken all the time, but they can enforce it if they feel like it.
Click on the tab that says (Your Name's) Store, then Your Profile to get to the spot where you can create these guides, then you can set up a profile (including information about you and a link to your Web site) and create reviews, Listmania, Guides, etc.
Amazon has something called Crosslinks for zShops listings. I'm not sure how you list your products, but you might be able to use this. It allows you to make a recommendation of your product on another product page. The info is in the customer service area on the Amazon site.
Oh, and another thing you can do is write reviews of other products. This works well for books, where you can identify yourself as "the author of . . ." You can plug your book while reviewing another book or related product. Not sure how well that would work with Marketplace/zShops, however, as you can't have links in the reviews.
I don't know of anyone who does "Amazon Optimization," although I have advised a few people on it. (I gotta do an ebook. Maybe in my spare time. Yeah, right.) Explore the site and you can learn a lot about what other people are doing.
I do not have an Amazon store, but I sell some books on Amazon. The big seller is The Mystery Shopper's Manual. I started selling it as a comb-bound workbook back in April, 2000. I've sold a ton of books there over the years, and it has brought me a lot of visibility, too. I was featured in Woman's Day magazine because the writer found my book on Amazon. Last year, I got quoted in an AP story about Amazon and small presses in honor of Amazon's 10th anniversary. I pitched my story for a promo Amazon is doing about the Advantage program, and I hope to be included in that. I am a huge fan of Amazon.com.
You might give some of these a try and see if they produce results, and good luck to you!
Thanks, Cathy. That's a wealth of ideas for anyone who is working with the Amazon.com site as a merchant, whether in the zShops or with products within the main Amazon site itself.
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