Launching a product on Amazon can feel like an exhilarating ride. There’s something new to learn every day and the sky’s the limit.
But as sellers face real life problems like unreliable suppliers, underwhelming ad campaign performances, and dreaded negative reviews, the excitement starts to die down.
At this point, some begin to lose motivation, others consider migrating to different side hustles, and a few never log back into their seller central account. However, we’re not in it to be ‘those’ sellers; we’re in it to dominate product niches and create highly successful Amazon businesses to achieve our financial dreams.
Keeping this lofty goal in mind, this blog does away with outdated ‘amazon launching checklist’ tips and focuses on the most effective launching and ranking strategies that produce measurable results.
So gear up, and let’s dive straight in!
Thousands of amazon sellers launch and sell products each day. But rookie mistakes like generic branding elements, low-quality product listings, and a poor marketing strategy slow down sales velocity and prevent most from breaking into page one of search results without them ever realizing.
Sales velocity is also a weighty SEO factor, but to get steady sales figures you need to rank high in search results, a difficult feat when you’re a new fish in a sea of established sellers.
So, what’s the strategy for climbing out of the trenches and creating a sustainable Amazon business? Well, there are two things you have to get right:
Follow these pre and post-launch practices to drastically increase your chances of generating sizable revenues from your online Amazon store.
First, go through the following pre-product launch strategy. Then, after completing all the steps, move on to the post-product launch strategy.
The rule here is simple: sell a product that’s in demand year-round but not hyper-competitive at the same time. Popular or in-demand products represent consistent sales, whereas low competition makes it easier to rank for relevant keywords.
Start searching for long-tail keywords, i.e., search terms related to your main keyword that competitors often fail to target. For example, if you’re selling a ‘yoga mat’ then a ‘yoga mat for carpeted floors’ could be a long-tail keyword.
Then, use these words or phrases and add them to the front and back-end of your product listing. You can also target them in your advertising campaigns.
If you don’t have a product in hand, use a product research tool to find one. We recommend selling something you’re passionate about—it makes online selling much more enjoyable!
Keywords on Fire Lite is a free tool you can use to uncover keywords. It lets users discover competitors’ keywords that bring in the most traffic!
The lazy copy/paste approach to Amazon private label is no longer viable.
To illustrate this point, let’s assume you’re selling a coffee cup holder. If you go to Amazon and type in the keyword, more than 9000 other sellers are offering the same thing. The question then becomes: why should buyers purchase your product?
The obvious answer would be to offer a high-quality product. However, you should also consider how to stand out from the competition; what can your product offer that the competition doesn’t?
Let’s take the classic ‘garlic press’ example. When you search for ‘garlic press’ or a ‘stainless steel garlic press’ on Amazon, you can roughly divide all search results into two categories:
Sellers whose garlic press comes with extra features occupy the top spots for the keyword and generally boast more positive reviews and higher sales volumes than stand-alone garlic presses. Using the garlic press example, think about how you can add value to your product and attract buyers within your niche.
Your product improvement efforts should come with a solid brand-building strategy. Create a unique brand logo, design, color theme, and consider how you can package your products better than your competitors.
Understand your target audience by looking at their demographics, habits, purchasing behaviors, and try to craft a brand story accordingly.
Note: If brand building seems too complicated, try hiring freelancers or agencies to help build a solid brand image. With a bit of research, you can find affordable service providers. If not, look to the top sellers within your niche for inspiration.
Before we move onto stage 2 of launching a product on Amazon, let’s answer a few commonly asked questions.
The cost of launching products on Amazon varies according to factors like inventory costs, referral costs based on product category, trademark and branding costs, monthly ad budget, your monthly professional plan subscriptions fees, and the Amazon selling model of choice. The figure ranges from US$500 to $4,000, on average.
It takes three months, on average, to launch a product on Amazon FBA. This includes the time it takes to create an Amazon seller central account, research keywords/products, contact suppliers, order and manufacture your first batch of inventory, have it shipped to a fulfillment center, and run ad campaigns to bring in your first sales.
There is no ‘best day’ to launch a product on Amazon unless you’re selling a seasonal product (not recommended) and the season of interest is just around the corner. If you’re about to launch your first product, avoid doing so during Q4 (i.e., the last quarter of the year) due to shipping constraints.
The Amazon Launchpad program is designed for sellers who wish to sell “unique and innovative” products to Amazon customers. Sellers must fill out an application and meet the Launchpad criteria to qualify. Launchpad members also receive direct support from Amazon and program-specific marketing benefits.
With a well-developed brand and a solid product in hand, it’s time to enter stage 2 of our product launch process. In this stage, the goal is to optimize our product listing (or product detail page) and the effectiveness of our ad campaigns. Doing so successfully will result in increased monthly sales and positive buyer reviews.
An Amazon product listing (or product detail page) contains all the necessary information customers need to make purchasing decisions. Optimizing your listing is important because:
You can optimize your product listings by creating appropriate content for each core aspect, in line with Amazon’s guidelines. The Amazon keyword research efforts you did during the pre-product launch phase will help you tremendously during this stage. That’s because to create SEO-friendly Amazon detail pages, sellers need to:
Here are some best practices to help you create awesome product listings:
If this is your first product launch, download and use the Amazon Seller App to take high-res images for your products. Once you’re done creating a product listing, go through Amazon’s Product Listing Page Rules to ensure compliance.
Although PPC ads remain the most potent advertising weapon in sellers’ arsenal, influencer marketing is becoming increasingly effective in bringing relevant traffic to product listings.
By reaching out to popular influencers like YouTube content creators, sellers experience increased traffic to their Amazon listings, a boost in monthly sales figures, and an influx of positive reviews – all of which significantly increase product rankings.
And the stats seem to support these claims. According to research, 66% of consumers prefer to watch a video about a brand or product as part of their research in 2022.
Also, when influencers use or promote your products, it enhances your brand image and makes it easier to establish an eCommerce presence outside of Amazon.
Note: Influencer marketing isn’t the cheapest way of advertising products, but it is worth considering if you can afford it.
Building social proof is necessary to get the ball rolling, especially during the initial stages of an Amazon product launch. Thankfully, a program called Amazon vine helps new sellers do just that – but it’s not open to everyone!
The Amazon Vine program is only available to Brand registered sellers, i.e., those who have obtained Amazon Brand Registry for their products. If you’re serious about selling Amazon FBA products, we recommend you apply for brand registry due to the benefits it provides e.g. protection against bad actors who could potentially ruin your reputation.
Once in, sellers must send free products to Amazon, which then get reviewed by certified reviewers. The program used to be free, but now you’ll need to pay $200 for each parent ASIN. Here’s the eligibility for the Amazon Vine program:
Image Caption: An example of a Vine review.
Note: There used to be a cheaper option for bringing in your first buyer reviews via the Amazon Early Reviewer Program, but Amazon retired that service completely back in April 25, 2021.
As you enter the final stages of your Amazon product launch, it’s time to market products to the right audience. And the most effective way to do that is via Amazon PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising campaigns.
As the name suggests, Amazon charges sellers every time someone clicks on their ad, i.e., a pay per click. But Amazon PPC can be a bit technical, so the first step is understanding how it works.
There are three different PPC advertising campaigns to choose from:
Sellers launching a new product should stick to sponsored product advertising (Sponsored Brands and Display are accessible only to brand registered users anyway). Your advertising strategy should include running multiple sponsored product ads coupled with an aggressive pricing strategy.
Your goal should be to generate sales even at the cost of profitability. Some refer to this stage as ‘bleeding’ because we’re more interested in creating a buzz about our products and encouraging the Amazon algorithm to push us higher up the rankings. If you’re interested in going into further detail, check out this beginner-friendly Amazon PPC training guide.
For now, implement these steps to get the most out of your advertising campaigns:
The aim is to inform potential buyers about your products, so don’t worry about profitability too much. Once organic sales start coming in, you can consider lowering your bids.
Amazon Vine is one way of obtaining reviews for a brand new listing, but it’s not the only option. Getting customers to leave feedback post-purchase can be tricky as Amazon imposes strict rules on how sellers can and cannot solicit customer feedback.
An easy way of reminding buyers to submit feedback is via Amazon Terms of Service-compliant tools like ZonGuru’s Review Automator. It leverages Amazon’s buyer-seller communication channels to remind customers to submit a review a few days after receiving the product.
Before proceeding to the next step, we strongly advise you to avoid ‘purchasing’ positive reviews. Ethical implications aside, it puts your Seller Central account at risk of suspension.
Everyone knows the importance of maintaining healthy inventory levels, but some underestimate the logistical challenges of Q4. What’s more, Amazon imposes ASIN-level stock limits making it harder to manage inventory, especially for new FBA sellers.
Failing to properly manage your inventory results in a depleting IPI (Inventory Performance Index) score, which further affects your ability to ship and store products inside Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
Going out of stock also harms your reputation with buyers, so monitor your stock levels. If you end up in such a sticky situation, try increasing your product price to reduce sales velocity while you wait for the next batch of inventory shipments to arrive.
Additional steps worth implementing during a product launch campaign include writing blogs and articles to get early traction, targeting relevant groups on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and tempting potential buyers with heavy discounts and giveaways (in limited quantities).
And that’s a wrap!
By making it this far, you should have a firm grasp on the basics of launching a new product on Amazon. Just stick to the steps highlighted in this blog and you’re good to go!
But before you leave, a word of advice.
Any seller that makes it to the top of their product niche does so relying on two things: a roadmap and seller tools.
This blog serves as a roadmap for FBA sellers serious about earning money on Amazon. As for seller tools, here’s a free 7-day trial to a reputed seller toolkit consisting of 16 advanced features that help sellers build successful Amazon stores from scratch.
Discover opportunities. Maximize your sales. Grow your Amazon business!