We’re back for Part 2 of our interview with Amazon expert Jeff Cohen! In Part 1 he educated Amazon sellers on selecting the right products at a trade show — this time he breaks down how to leverage headlines, keywords, Amazon Enhanced Brand Content, and product reviews to supercharge your product listings.
Just before the most recent ASD merchandise trade show in Las Vegas, we published the first part of our wildly popular interview with Amazon expert and chief marketing officer of Seller Labs, Jeff Cohen, who broke down exactly how Amazon sellers can work a trade show for maximum profit in easy-to-read detail.
Now he’s giving us even more knowledge in Part 2: Creating a Killer Amazon Product Listing for Better Conversions.
Let’s get started.
ASD Insider: So I’ve purchased my products from my trade show vendors and now I want to make sure it sells through. How do I build an effective Amazon product listing that will maximize my sales?
Jeff Cohen: The great thing about the tactics we’re about to discuss is that they hold true whether you own the product you’re about to list on Amazon, or you have existing products that may be lagging a bit in your shop. First of all, your title is the most important part. Ask yourself, “does my title clearly describe what the product is and does — and use the same terms a buyer himself would (and will) use to describe the product when searching for it?” You need to appeal to both the Amazon search algorithm and how human shoppers discover products.
AI: After your title, what is the most important element of a great listing?
JC: Photos and pictures sell. People are visual – they look first, and read second. Your first photo, which is your featured/main image, has to have a white background, which is one of Amazon’s rules. As with all Amazon rules, if you don’t follow one your listing won’t go live until you do – which will cost you precious time and could allow competitors an edge. Inside pics and photos don’t have to have a white background but they should show the products — especially how they’re being used. These are typically referred to as lifestyle photos and can have a big impact on a shopper. People want to see your products in action before they’ll buy.
AI: The topic of keywords can be overwhelming to even the most seasoned sellers. What are some keyword tips and tricks you recommend?
JC: This is definitely an area a lot of sellers struggle with. First, find the keywords your competitors are ranking for and look at other top-ranked listings. What words are they using? Then start working those into your titles, bullet points, and descriptions. For example, if you’re selling an apple slicer find the best selling Apple Slicer — and then look at the keywords they use. What language would you personally use in order to describe this to real people? Is it a “fruit corer or “fruit wedger” or is it more like a combination of more specific terms, such as “apple slicer” or “apple cutter”?
One of the best keyword hacks is to read product reviews and see what words real people use to describe the product. Product reviews tell you the language your customers actually use to talk about your product and give you incredible keyword insights. Take these words and add them to your headline. And be authentic! Don’t piggyback on false traffic by calling your product something like, “banana slicer.” You’ll lose a customer for life and Amazon will never rank you for a product that is not relevant to your listing.
AI: What are some keyword research tools you can recommend?
JC: For in-depth keyword research you can try a tool like Seller Labs’ Scope. Scope has both free and paid versions that provide you great data on keywords that your product ranks for. Another free tool is Amazon search suggestions. To use this simply type the keyword into Amazon and see what suggestions they give. Google’s Keyword Planner is also a free tool which will show you an estimated search volume for any word or phrase, and help you find other related phrases.
“Product reviews, as connected to sales velocity, is a key metric for Amazon — and are some of the greatest assets you have.” Jeff Cohen, CMO Seller Labs
AI: How do keywords and product reviews impact your listings?
JC: Taken together they are crucially important. Amazon connects keywords to a sales transaction and to customer reviews in order to close the circle. If a user searches for a term, selects a product and buys it, Amazon knows the keyword is relevant to the product. When the product also gets a 5-star product review it’s a social signal to Amazon that the buyer was satisfied.
Sales is what truly makes a product valuable to Amazon. And sales are improved by people leaving positive reviews. More sales lead to more reviews, and more positive reviews lead to more sales. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle, which makes product reviews immensely important.
AI: What is Amazon Enhanced Brand Content and how will it help me with my listing?
JC: This Amazon feature basically allows sellers to better describe their products and make listings more compelling. Enhanced Brand Content pages have more images, more storytelling, and more product marketing. EBC is about more than just better-looking, better-performing product descriptions, it’s an opportunity to really educate consumers on your larger brand. That said, it’s only available to sellers who have their products in Amazon’s Brand Registry.
To Learn more about the pros and cons of Amazon Enhanced Brand Content, read Seller Labs’s Guide to EBC here.
AI: Let’s bring it all together. Can you share some examples of your favorite (read: most effective) product listings?
JC: Sure. These before-and-after images of Aiwa speaker product listings illustrate everything we’ve been talking about up to this point.
Aiwa After – Live Listing
See the difference? The revised “after” listing talks about the product the same way their customers do. For example, they write, “amazing stereo sound whether you’re working alone in the garage or grilling with friends in the backyard,” in one of the bullet points. They also guarantee the product so it’s risk-free for me to take a chance on it.
AI: Do you have another example of product reviews coming in handy to optimize a listing?
JC: Absolutely. Our team at Seller Labs created the Enhanced Brand Content for a product called Never Too Hungover. This one really exemplifies using listing language based on reviews – and therefore speaks directly to real buyers and potential buyers. We read reviews, understood what mattered to shoppers, and we used language to amplify the listing – especially in bullet point #2 (see photo).
“The winning product on Amazon is not always the cheapest product. It’s the better product at a better value — consumers on Amazon will pay more if they get more.”
AI: After a purchase, what else can you do to enhance customer experience and keep them coming back?
JC: Follow-up is key. It doesn’t end when the product ships. Email your customers information about the product and how to use it — no marketing fluff here! This means that a seller should always enhance the buying experience with post-purchase content. Help the buyer use (and love) your product in a way that naturally makes that buyer want to give you a glowing review. For example, deliver them helpful content or how-tos. With, “Never Too Hungover” the post-purchase emails took the form of friendly reminders, like, “remember to drink before your evening starts, it’s not a magic pill,” etc. As for product reviews, you can ask for these afterward — these should be unbiased — just give them enough time to use and get to know the product first. This information is extremely valuable, and you should take what your buyers say and use that to tweak your listings.
AI: Your best piece of parting advice?
JC: Remember to keep your eyes on your main goal when it comes to optimizing your product listings, which is to always rank better and increase sales velocity. Your sales conversion data will always tell you how a listing should be optimized or changed. Lastly, the winning product on Amazon is not always the cheapest product. It’s the better product at a better value — consumers on Amazon will pay more if they get more.
Jeff Cohen is a top Amazon selling expert and the Chief Marketing Officer for Seller Labs which provides best-in-class software to help Amazon sellers streamline their businesses. He is also a regular speaker (to packed rooms) at ASD Market Week. Contact Jeff directly here to learn more.