Whether you’re new to the Amazon space or you’re looking to increase your sales on Amazon by starting to advertise–every seller knows, advertising costs money. Nobody wants to waste valuable advertising resources on products that aren’t ready to advertise, so here’s a guide to help you know when your products are in the best position to do so.
Before jumping in and getting your campaign started–you need to ask some important qualifying questions:
These preliminary questions will help shape your advertising strategy from a very high level. Maybe you’ve discovered you can only support increased inventory demands on a few products, or maybe you are winning the buy box 50% of the time. These questions can help you think through spend, goals, and expectations. Once those items are figured out, the shopper journey is where we need to turn to next.
There are a couple exercises you can try to get into the right mindset.
First, find a product you need in your life, maybe it’s a new hose or maybe it’s a sweater. Then, take a look at those products online as if you would be buying one today and observe their detail pages. Is the imagery good? Does it give you an accurate representation of what the product might look like? Do the informational bullet points describe the product and its uses in detail? Would you buy this product right now? If yes, write down the reasons why and compare those reasons to your own detail pages. If no, think about how to avoid the reasons why not.
Get into the head of your average shopper or your target audience and click into one of your own product pages. What are they thinking? What are they looking at? Is it hitting all the points that make your product special? If not, it might need a bit of a refresh!
Below is a perfect example of this. A simple search for “water hose” brings up many listings, but clicking on two different hose offerings can tell us so much.
The one above is packaged up in a box with no indication of what the hose actually looks like. No extra images or bullet points to help a shopper understand what they are purchasing. Below, we have a great example of how powerful imagery and bullet points can educate the shopper.
Are you seeing hundreds or maybe thousands of reviews coming in for your product? If not-not to worry! Most products don’t, but reviews are one of the keystones of the success of Amazon. According to our fellow friend at Pattern, Cassandra Shaffer says "Approximately 95% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase, and a whopping 68% of consumers form an opinion on a product after only reading between 1 and 6 online reviews.”
That being said, of course good reviews highly influence conversion. When spending valuable and even sometimes scarce advertising resources-making sure your products have high reviewer ratings can build automatic trust in your product or brand and increase sales exponentially. Advertising may also have the side effect of getting more review on your product so the two work hand in hand.
On the flip side, see if you have any bad reviews. Pay attention to the feedback in these reviews and see if there is anything you need to fix about your listing or product. Maybe many customers are unhappy with the difference in the color your product appears in your listing images and the color of the actual product when it arrives. You can remedy this going forward by taking new, high-quality images of your products that better display the color.
Take a good look at your detail pages. Do they have strong bullet points? Are they engaging and easy to read? Bullet points make it easy for your target audience to skim and find the information they care about the most, making them one of the best ways to convert a customer over to your product. Short, thought-out bullet points can also help advertising as you can focus on using similar keywords found in the details page to bid on in advertising. This increases relevancy in your ads.
Good imagery is key for success on Amazon. Shoppers don’t have the luxury of feeling and holding the product, so they rely heavily on images to supplement that. A variety of images is best to showcase your product. Show size, features, textures and more. Pattern has taken on this challenge with many products, including products that aren’t supposed to be seen.
All of these components of your product, or ASIN, complete the checklist that shows if your products are, what we call, "Retail Ready." In most cases, if your items check all the boxes for being “Retail Ready” they are also set up to succeed with higher conversion rate, less confusion among shoppers, and higher sales. When a shopper comes to your detail page you want it to look, feel, and sound like your brand. But on top of that, this optimization can actually support and maximize your advertising efforts.
After looking through the points above, you’ll have a better idea if your product is ready to be advertised. Ask yourself if your product truly meets the requirements of each section. This can be a hard question to answer if advertising excites you. However, use your advertising sources wisely and use them in ways that will benefit you the most. Advertising can be wildly successful on Amazon but you want to build a strong foundation with the basics before you pay to bring people to pages that aren’t ready to maximize conversions.
Want to learn more about prepping your products and listings for advertising? Contact us today.
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Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.
If you’re interested in expanding your brand internationally, you’re probably familiar with Tmall. Tmall is Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) largest marketplace, and indisputably the biggest ecommerce powerhouse in the world. It represents a huge opportunity for many brands, but entering the space is also a big challenge to take on.
At Pattern, we recommend brands looking to enter international markets should first focus on dialing in their domestic presence. Once you’re satisfied that your brand is well-represented and optimized locally, you’re ready to think about tackling new regions, like APAC, and launching on marketplaces like Tmall. Our top advice for entering Tmall is to understand and strategize around its three most important metrics: service, delivery, and content.
Service, delivery, and content ratings are the three elements that make up Tmall’s Detailed Seller Rating (DSR) score. Each component is scored on a scale of 1-5 that is displayed publicly on your brand’s Tmall flagship store page. This is meant to help consumers decide whether or not to purchase your products.
DSR scores are important because they’re highly influential in driving conversions—customers see DSRs as a way to quickly understand if a brand is trustworthy and worth buying from. They also matter quite a bit to Tmall itself—they monitor these scores and will take action to close flagship stores with low scores.
Let’s go over each element of the DSR score and some steps you’ll need to take to achieve high ratings.
Service is a huge ecommerce component in APAC marketplaces. In most other regions, product listings are static, and consumers use content and reviews to make a decision about what to purchase. On Tmall, consumers want to interact with your brand and test its validity before buying—each transaction takes at least one human interaction to convert.
So, to get a great service rating, you’ll need to have a large, established customer service team dedicated to Tmall sales that can offer real, human touchpoints and very fast response times. To get an idea of the speed your agents should be capable of producing, in our Tmall benchmarking exercise, 92.5% of brands’ customer service agents replied to queries via live chat within 30 seconds, 5% replied within one minute and the remaining 2.5% of brands took longer than a minute. So, look for a Trade Partner (TP) that has enough resources to compete with those numbers, support your sales, and maintain a good DSR score.
Another thing you’ll really want to focus on is a high-quality delivery experience for consumers. As in other regions around the world, Tmall consumers have high expectations for their delivery experience. In our Chinese consumer polling report that targeted consumers buying from Tmall Global, we found that 6% expected same-day delivery, 15% expected next-day delivery, and 46% expected 2-5 day delivery.They want to receive their products fast and they want the products to be undamaged and pristine upon arrival.
So, to achieve a high score for your delivery capabilities, we highly recommend partnering with a TP or ecommerce accelerator like Pattern (which serves as a TP) who has the ability to facilitate your distribution. Make sure your TP has the right infrastructure in place to support high-quality logistics experiences for all of your consumers—they should have an established, well-oiled delivery process in place and the capability to fluidly add you to their current fulfillment system.
As in every digital marketplace, content is a huge component of the decision-making process for consumers on Tmall—they can’t touch your product with their hands or see it in person before buying, so it’s important they’re empowered to make a good decision on whether or not to purchase based on the videos, images, and copy.
The goal is to make all of the content and relevant information on your flagship site easily-accessible—consumers should be able to visit your page and make a decision about whether or not to buy without navigating to a new site/page and taking their conversions with them. Images with text and extensive product details are a great way to do this, as well as making sure your service team can speak to all aspects of your product with any consumers (via text or chat).
As the world’s foremost brand partner for ecommerce acceleration, Pattern truly understands the significance of international expansion. With regional offices around the world, Pattern knows how to successfully launch and grow brands on Tmall and other marketplaces, with the data, insights, and marketplace intelligence to build the metrics that matter.
It’s important to have a fantastic brand presence, a knowledgeable guide, and a clear go-forward strategy for your best chance at success. With our in-country resources, expert teams, and extensive experience in growing brands around the globe, Pattern can help you get there.
Set up a call to get your international expansion strategy in motion.