Amazon has 310 million global users, and is predicted to have accounted for a third of all online UK spend in 2017. 

Unsurprisingly, statistics like this present a tempting opportunity for ecommerce retailers, with many choosing to operate across third-party marketplaces like Amazon as well as brand sites, and in some cases, even forgoing their own.

But while its dominance is undeniable, selling on Amazon does not always guarantee big success. From fees to loss of control – there are certainly negatives that come with getting involved.

Econsultancy’s Best Practice Guide, Third-Party Marketplaces for Retailers, delves into this topic in much more depth, but in the meantime, here are some key tips for maximising sales on Amazon.

Win the Buy Box

Unless manufacturers are selling so-called Private Label Goods, Amazon typically sources the data and photography that is used to describe products. This means that, more often than not, the only thing that sets sellers apart is basic details like price, stock, and delivery options. 

As a result of this, winning the Buy Box can be the key to success. This is the area of the Amazon product listings page where people click to add to their basket or use one-click ordering. Sellers that are listed below this are less likely to generate as many sales.

In order to win this coveted place, prices should be as competitive as possible, and listed including delivery costs. The Pricing Dashboard within Amazon Seller Central allows sellers to monitor real-time price comparison data. 

Alongside this, sellers who offer free and fast delivery are more likely to win the space, as are those with decent stock levels (it’s impossible to win it without available stock). Seller rating plays a big part, which is most affected by timeliness and accuracy of delivery.

amazon buy box

Encourage customer reviews

Customer reviews can be a key differentiator for retailers selling on third-party marketplaces. This is especially the case for Amazon, which tends to be used as a starting point for product research. Moreover, since Amazon banned incentivised reviews (where retailers offer discounted or free products in exchange for a review) – the site is also more of a level playing field in this context.

Reviews help to instil trust and confidence in customers, and naturally prompt purchases. 

There are also wider benefits. Amazon lists its average review score on the search engine results page, meaning it is another opportunity to earn click-throughs from search. What’s more, rating and reviews can also affect seller rankings, which can in turn affect how high products appear in search results. 

Transparency is key when asking for customer reviews, which you can do in follow-up emails, social media or even with a note (also saying thank you) included in packages. 

customer ratings and reviews

Create A+ content

Below the standard descriptions for products, Amazon gives sellers the opportunity to add more detail, including longer descriptions and large images. This is what’s known as ‘A+ content’, and it can be a key differentiator for retailers – a chance to create more of a connection to shoppers. 

According to Amazon, using A+ content can boost sales by between three to 10%.

The most effective examples of this tend to involve short and concise text (avoid large blocks of copy) which details the product's unique benefits. Comparison charts are also worth including, as they help users to discover similar products without leaving the page.

amazon product comparison

Consider ads

If you’re serious about your Amazon sales strategy, it could also be worthwhile investing in ads (search ads, sponsored product ads and product details ads). These ads reach people as they search on the site or view a product, i.e. when shoppers are in the right mind-set to make a purchase.

Another big benefit of paid ads is the data that comes along with it. Amazon reports offer insight into what search terms and keywords work best, allowing advertisers to refine and optimise future ads accordingly. 

Amazon is also launching a retargeting ad product, to recapture visitors off site.

 Subscribers can download Econsultancy's 'Third-Party Marketplaces for Retailers' Best Practice Guide

Nikki Gilliland

Published 25 July, 2018 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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