This piece was contributed by Jeff Lieber and Jenna Lieber at Turnkey Product Management, which oversees Amazon stores and new brands. After a particularly successful case study in which a small company grew from $10,000 per month to over $300,000 per month sold on Amazon in 180 days, we asked them to reveal which strategies made the difference. Below is the full case study.
Launching on Amazon
A glimpse into how we cultivated listing and sales strategies for VitaCup that increased product sales 38 fold over 180 days!
Are you bringing products onto Amazon? Or are you already selling on Amazon, but hitting a wall with all of the recent changes??
Whether you are brand new to Amazon or have been selling for a while, you will quickly learn that Amazon is an ever-changing world. Without dedicated attention, it can be a place where you have to keep up with new strategies and the rules to stay in the game.
“Once you get into Amazon you realize that even if you have a really good understanding of e-commerce, understanding Amazon is a completely different world.”- Laura Beatty VP of Marketing at VitaCup
Recently, we started working with VitaCup being sold on Amazon in May of 2017 and we knew we had a great opportunity to put our strategies to work.
VitaCup sells vitamin infused single-serve K Pods: A reputable product in a strong niche with the opportunity to create repeat buyers…The perfect blend!
What took VitaCup from earning less than $10,000 a month on Amazon to earning over $300,000 a month in 180 days? old on Amazon? Now, let’s get down to business.
See The Short Video Case Study Here: https://www.turnkeyproductmanagement.com/testimonials/
The puzzle pieces.
Don’t miss the opportunity to fully optimize your listing by having lackluster pieces.
Each piece of the puzzle does something different for your listing, but they all work together to increase conversion rates.
A strategically keyworded title increases your SEO while telling your customer exactly what your product is and how to use it.
A strong image block catches your customers attention and gives social proof that you are providing a quality product. Strong image blocks include a main image with a white background, lifestyle images, infographics, and graphics. Here are images from VitaCup’s image block:
Set yourself apart from competitors with clever and informational bullet points. Remember, it is about more than just the features of your product. Don't forget to provide insights on how your product is going to benefit your audience and always remember the 'why'.
The product description is an awesome place to get an extra sale by providing additional information about your product including what it is, how it is made, or even where it is made.
Enhanced brand content is the place to actively showcase your unique product features to drive traffic to your entire catalog and increase detail page conversion rates! Use bright and colorful pictures, sell your why, and make customers feel like they can’t find a better version of your product elsewhere.
Next, let’s talk sales strategies
What are variations and how can they help you?
Variations are sets of products that are related to one another. On Amazon, they are displays of a single product according to a defined theme. In our situation, different flavors of coffee K Pods.
VitaCup sells six different flavors of coffee . If a new customer were to click on one of their flavors, the other five are listed on the side in two different package sizes. This opens customers eyes to every option instead of leaving them in the dark about flavors they didn’t know existed. Also, providing two different package sizes gives the customer more options to purchase VitaCup K pods.
On Amazon variations play a huge role in satisfying each unique shopper, allowing them to see all of the buying options for a single product on a single page. Variations make it easy to find exactly what a customer wants and it gives them the opportunity to find and compare numerous versions of one product. Variations also help you increase your reviews! More products on a listing means an increase of reviews.
Here is what VitaCup’s product listing with variations looks like:
An Amazon lightning deal is a limited time promotion that allows your item to be featured on the Amazon Deals page for a short time. This is usually anywhere from 4-6 hours. The deal typically provides shoppers with a steep discount that draws shoppers’ attention and boosts traffic to the promoted product page.
On the Amazon Deals page there is a timer feature along with an optional status bar right underneath the product. The status bar displays the percentage of the total inventory sold. The two combined create a sense of urgency and implies the popularity of the product. In turn, they create higher sales in a short amount of time and in the long run they raise product and brand awareness.
Subscribe and Save
Subscribe and save on Amazon allows you to quickly set up scheduled deliveries on a monthly basis up to every six months. If you subscribe and save to multiple items they can all be scheduled at different times.
There is no commitment to signing up to subscribe! You can cancel or skip your deliveries at any time. When you subscribe to five items you can unlock discounts exclusively for you.
Now what does this do for a seller?
With subscribe and save retail promotions on the storefront, you can easily get your item noticed during the busy holiday season. Customers enjoy the exclusive discounts and convenience of subscribe and save which means you have created a loyal customer! So what’s better than one sale? REPEAT SALES! When shoppers sign up to receive subscribe and save products, you have a list of repeat buyers and they are more likely to buy other products that you have sold on Amazon.
Bundling is an effective way to move product and stay competitive in a tough niche. If you are constantly losing the buy box or need to get rid of product, bundling, could be a great option for your listing.
Bundling means to have a variety of related products in one package. Add value for your customer by offering a discount on your bundle.
The four valuable ways bundling can help your listing is by increasing the profit margin on low-cost items, adding value to an item, getting rid of slow moving inventory, and giving you more keywords to rank for.
Increase the profit margin on low-cost items
For every item you sell on Amazon you have pay-per item selling fees. A bundle is considered as one single unit, so you only pay one fee for the bundle you sell compared to multiple fees for multiple items.
Adding value to an item
Competing in a strong niche can be tough. What is helping you stick out from the crowd? Bundles are unique and allow you to have a different listing, photos, and more convenient offers for customers.
Getting rid of slow moving inventory
When inventory sits for too long in an Amazon warehouse you’ll eventually have to pay fees for long-time storage. Bundle old items that are not selling with something new or something trending to increase the value and sell through the inventory.
More keywords to rank for
When you bundle your items you can add every item’s keywords into the title to give your listing a chance to show up in the search results for multiple queries. This will also increase your impression rate and your number of sales.
Last, the back end work
Amazon ads are one of the easiest ways to promote products and increase sales.
The ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sale) is a key metric used to measure the performance of your Amazon sponsored product campaigns. It indicates the ratio of ad spend to targeted sales and is calculated by ad spend/sales. Our last week working with VitaCup we had them hit a 39% ACoS which means they spent 39 cents on ads to make one dollar of sales with that ad campaign.
Amazon sponsored ads are PPC (pay per click). The placement of your ads can either be above, alongside, or below search results and on product detail pages. The other types of ads are headline search ads or product display ads.
Headline search ads are targeted by keywords and are visible at the top of the customer search results page whether the customer is shopping from a computer or a mobile device. They stretch across the entire top of the search results page compared to sponsored product ads that look identical to search results listings in size and content.
Headline Search Ads have a brand logo, a custom message with up to 50 characters, and three distinct products. When a customer clicks on any of the three products featured in the ad, they will be sent to the detail page for that specific product. When the customer clicks on the brand logo or headline in the ad they are sent to a search results page with products the seller has chosen to feature.
Here is an example of a headline search ad:
Product Display ads can be found on product detail pages on desktop and mobile search results pages, customer review pages, and the top of the offer listings pages. Product display ads target similar products, relevant categories, or interest groups and can only be created by vendors in AMS.
They generate reports that let you know what people searched for and how many purchased your products. These reports can help decide what keywords to add to your listing and generate organic traffic.
We recommend starting with automatic targeting with a flat default bid to allow Amazon’s powerful algorithm to provide you data on how numerous keywords perform. The amount of time you wait to switch to a manual campaign is up to you, but the longer you wait the better so you have the most data possible.
With a manual campaign you can focus on the keywords that worked the best and adjust the bid by keyword. You should always continue to test keywords until you find something that works well.
When you find keywords that are working well make sure to include them on your detail page.
Increasing Inventory in FBA Warehouses and dealing with Buy Box Hijackers
FBA stands for Fulfilled by Amazon. As the seller, you set up FBA in your Amazon account. Create your product listings, prepare your products, ship your products to Amazon, and let Amazon pick, pack, and ship your items as customers order them.
When you have an FBA listing, your products are automatically eligible for Amazon Prime free two-day shipping and other Prime benefits such as an increased chance of winning the Buy Box.
FBA makes it possible to have time to focus on other important parts of your business by allowing Amazon to handle fulfillment. They will store your inventory in their warehouses so that you’re not stuck with your own inventory.
On Amazon you know you have the buy box if you have sold by [your company name] and the ‘Add to Cart.’
To win the buy box, you have to first make sure that both you and your listed items are eligible to be sold on Amazon.
You must also:
- Price your items competitively: Visit the Manage Pricing page where the Buy Box Price column shows the winning offer, even if it isn’t yours. View your pricing recommendations in the Selling Coach Pricing Report.
- Offer Prime and free shipping: Sellers who offer faster shipping options are more likely to win the Buy Box. You can look up your available options in Shipping Settings.
- Provide great customer service: While certain metrics such as order defect rate, cancellation rate, and late shipment rate may weigh more heavily when considering buy box status, Amazon considers all the available metrics.
- Keep stock available: You can't win the Buy Box if you're out of stock. Keep your inventory updated and plan accordingly for things that sell quickly.
When you lose the buy box or are dealing with hijackers, consider adjusting the components above. Remember, the buy box is never a guarantee!
Here are the results
When we started with VitaCup they had 4 skus and 5 reviews and in one year that grew to over 20 skus and over 1,000 reviews. Below is a chart showing the increase in sales over one year with VitaCup.
“The results were phenomenal. We are the #1 fastest growing pod on Amazon and we are #10 within our category a year into it.”- Laura Beatty VP of Marketing at VitaCup
Below is a chart showing the increase in the number of units sold over one year.
Currently ranking high for terms like coffee pods, here is VitaCup’s testimony to full service consulting:
"We tried setting up our coffee products on Amazon ourselves, and it was very challenging and time-consuming and cumbersome. We had a ton of issues and low sales. That’s when we heard about TurnKey Product Management and we immediately hired them to take over managing our Amazon marketing in May 2017, and four months later, our sales have increased 16 fold. In May we had less than 300 orders ($7,000) and in July we had over 4,600 units ($111,000) on Amazon. In the past 30 days, we’ve sold 6,100 units for $140,000 in sales. The growth has been unbelievable. After four months of having Turnkey Product Management clean up and manage our listings, including running promotions, setting up our inventory with FBA warehouses, assisting with back orders, running lightning deals, Amazon PPC advertising campaigns, and setting up a monthly subscription model, we have surpassed $300,000 in sales. Their expertise and customer service makes us proud partners of TurnKey Product Management."
Do you want to see results like this in your business?
Visit our website www.TurnKeyProductManagement.com for free trainings or to learn how we can best help you.
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