Whether you like it or not, if you’re a manufacturer selling a product in 2021, that product is going to end up on Amazon.
Online B2B sales platforms have seen explosive growth over the past few years, and sellers looking for opportunity are paying close attention, including your own VARs. VARs are flocking to Amazon to create product listings and sell products, but far too many of them have no idea what they’re doing.
While this might seem harmless, VARs who are thoughtless about their listings and ill-equipped to navigate Amazon can indirectly harm the reputation and growth of the brands they’re representing. Even the best B2B brands in the world are negatively impacted by VARs misrepresenting their products online.
So what’s the secret to avoiding that? It starts with knowing the difference between a good listing and a bad one.
A brand with a good Amazon presence incorporates best practices into their listings. These are just a few of the best practices that can elevate a listing.
Brands with good listings leverage their product title by including long-tail keywords that can put their product at the top of organic search rankings and reach customers who might not otherwise be able to find them on Amazon.
Many brands lose their buyers’ attention by having too much information cluttering their product descriptions. Great product descriptions incorporate bullet points, which are far more concise than big paragraphs and allow buyers to quickly scan listings for the most important information about a product.
Research shows that 84% of shoppers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. That means that in order to stand out, you need to have product reviews and you need a customer experience so stellar that customers are more likely to leave good reviews. Good reviews can also be showcased on your listing to give other buyers the social proof that your product is worth buying.
Less is most definitely not more when it comes to listing imagery. A good rule of thumb is to have around seven images in your stack that allow consumers to get a complete view of the product. A good listing also has high quality images.
Good listings give consumers a full view and understanding of the product, and a great way to do that is to include 3D renderings. 3D renderings make listings more eye-catching, and they also allow consumers to engage with products in the digital equivalent way to touching and feeling them in-store.
Like 3D renderings, video is a fantastic way to engage customers and give them a full understanding of what your product will look like and how it will function once they have it in-hand. Think of it as one extra layer of trust and education.
When a price on a product is too low, customers distrust it, and when it’s too high, customers won’t buy it. A good product listing has a reasonable price, and that price doesn’t change dramatically often, and doesn’t change drastically if buyers shop around between sites and physical retail locations.
Now that you have an idea of what it looks like when a brand is doing listings right, here’s what it looks like when a brand is doing listings wrong.
Sonicwall is a six-time award winner in the Network Product Guide’s 2020 IT World Awards, but looking at this particular lack-lustre listing for their Network Security Appliance, you wouldn’t know it. For starters, this listing lacks the long-tailed keywords we mentioned previously that brands need to rank on page one of the Amazon search results. That means that potential new customers who don’t know about Sonicwall likely aren’t finding their product on Amazon. This listing also only has one product image instead of the seven which is considered best practice, and it lacks the necessary bullet points and descriptions needed to educate Sonicwall customers.
Bad listings aren’t a problem reserved for small and little-known brands. Some of the best B2B tech brands in the world struggle with their listings. This particular example comes from a B2B brand well known for their product excellence: Cisco.
In the listing above we can see that there’s a bit more information about the product than in Sonicwall’s listing, but not much. While they have three images in their stack, all of those images appear to be the exact same image, giving customers a limited understanding of the product.
But the biggest issue with this particular product listing is the price. Historically, pricing on this listing has been all over the place and in no way consistent with MAP. Inconsistent pricing is a very common issue on Amazon, because the lowest price tends to be the one that “wins the buy box” or gets the sale on Amazon, but this is a misrepresentation of the brand and their image.
The issues with this listing from Axis are pretty obvious. Although they have a great product rating, the page gives very little information in the way of educating their consumers. The imagery only shows the packaging and, like the Cisco example above, all of the images are duplicates. There is a lot to be desired in the way of customer experience.
Fortinet shares similar problems with the last three brands. On this product listing, they only have one image, and they’ve committed the cardinal listing image sin: it’s blurry. There is not much in the way of product description or bullet points, the pricing is less than MAP, and the product doesn’t have any reviews, leaving consumers with very little information on why they should choose Fortinet over competitors.
HP is another well-known brand that has an underwhelming Amazon listing. Even though this Print Server is high ranking in search results—you can see from the URL that its search rank is row one, slot three—the listing itself has some issues that render that ranking almost useless for the brand. They need to get more reviews, the majority of the few reviews they have are poor, they only have one image in their stack, and they also have no product description. Shoppers might be able to find this product on Amazon, but they won’t know anything about it and won’t be convinced to buy.
These examples, all from fantastic B2B tech brands, really depict the issue we see in the B2B ecommerce market. All of these brands have put time, effort, and money behind protecting their brand and its image, but because their products are listed on Amazon, and most likely not managed by a VAR with marketplace experience, the brand is cheapened and looks second-rate instead of the first class prestige these brands are known for.
Working with a VAR who understands Amazon well and knows how to leverage listings is key to doing well on the platform, and Pattern can be that VAR for your brand. At Pattern, we’re Amazon experts who work with brands to provide an exceptional customer experience across online channels. We consolidate every support tool and consultation you need into one package that includes marketing, SEO, shipping, customer experience, and marketplace expertise, saving you money and helping you grow your business.
To learn how Pattern can help your B2B tech brand create dazzling listings and grow online, get a custom demo for more information.
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If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.