Hacking Your Way Through Seller Central

image1.jpg

Seller Central may be a scary place for new sellers, faced with competition and new, complicated procedures. For new and old sellers alike, leveraging your Amazon business on Seller Central through all the opportunity at your fingertips remains the utmost priority.

What are the certain hacks you can use to navigate Seller Central? What can you do to measure your performance? How do you take advantage of endless advertising opportunities on Amazon? How do you make shoppers into loyal customers?

We at MarketplaceOps hope to make your Seller Central account running as smoothly as possible. If you have a question on Seller Central, MarketplaceOps can help. We are a team of online marketplaces and e-Commerce experts who have been in the industry for many years.

We’ve compiled a Playbook for you, and we have Webinars to guide you every step of the way. If you have more questions about our articles or if you simply need help in starting or handling your Amazon business, just reach out to us by sending an email or contacting us.

In this blog post, we’ll show how to keep track of the right metrics and KPI, enhance product listings and advertisements, and build brand trust and customer engagement. These are proven methods to gain traction for your Amazon brand.

  1. Keep track of the right metrics and KPI

image6.jpg

Your product listing is up. Your ads are ready. Your social media posts are running. Then you realize you’re competing in a world dominated by the best Amazon sellers, as you may recall on our blog post about how competitive the Amazon marketplace is. A few competitor analysis tools we recommend in that blog post are Jungle Scout, Sonar Sellics Keyword Research Tools, SEMRush, SpyFu, AMZ Insights and CamelCamelCamel. See more about some of these tools here.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and metrics are some key hacks with which to navigate Seller Central. How do you know your Amazon site is performing? Who are your consumers? And are you turning shoppers into buyers?

In order to gain leverage over the competition, you will need to track the right metrics and KPIs, as well as ask yourself a few questions:

  •   Who is selling in your category?

    • By finding out who is selling in your category, you can better gauge the niche market you’re targeting.

  •   What prices are they charging and are they too low to compete or make a profit?

    • This data will help to see if your prices are comparable to those around you. If your prices are too low to compete with or make a profit for, find out what is costing your company in the product development stages and see if you can cut costs there.

  • How many items are you and your competitors selling per day?

    • By finding out this date, you’ll be able to see how your sales compete. This will help you find out whether your shipping, product listings, ads, and social media are apt in comparison.

  • How are your product reviews and seller ratings?

    • Are you on track of your own and your competitors' product reviews and seller ratings? The reviews and ratings are not only the key to finding out how well the competition is doing but also what they’re giving to customers that you aren’t. Detailed reviews will show you the best and worst qualities of your competitors.

  •  Does Amazon retail already sell your item?

    • If so, you’ll be competing with Amazon themselves. Are you charging as much or as little as they are.

Now that you’ve asked yourself some of these questions, let’s turn to metrics for sellers that you should be keeping in mind:

  • Product Ranking - The Amazon Best Sellers rank shows how well a product has sold, and how it’s doing compared to the competition. Amazon updates this every hour. Amazon’s A9 ranking algorithm works, but how it does is a trade secret.

  • Performance Metrics - order defect rate (a low order defect rate means less customer negative order feedback), shipment rate (how fast or slow shipping to the customer takes), and pre-fulfillment cancel rate (a low cancel rate means you hardly have a customer cancel their order). Make sure your shipments are always in stock and ready to ship. If you’re out of stock, read about what to do in the case of a stockout.  

And lastly, here are three KPIs to keep track of:

  1. Sales - eCommerce businesses can track total sales by hour, day, month, quarter and year. This is pretty straightforward--you’ll need to track sales in order to see the raw numbers for your business.

  2. Conversion rate - This is the rate at which your consumers are buying (or converting) to your site. A high conversion rate could lead to higher sales. Some conversion rates you’ll need are search term conversions and product page conversions. You can also see how optimized your product listings are if customers are being converted to buy from the product page conversion.

  3. Site traffic - This is the total number of visits to your site. Some other related kpis for this are unique visitors (new users), bounce rate (how long visitors stay on your site before exiting), time on site (how much engagement visitors have had with your brand), and traffic source (where and how visitors went to your site).  

  4. Search term impressions - These are keywords that drive impressions, clicks, and conversions. The higher your search term impressions, the more the business is booming. The easier the search terms at the backend, the better your search term impressions. You may also be able to tell if the keywords are optimized through this KPI.

    2. Enhance product listings and advertisements

image2.jpg

Enhanced Brand Content, which was previously only available to vendors, is now available for all sellers. EBC showcases the unique value proposition of a certain product. EBC allows sellers to enhance their products with high-quality images, copy, and even charts.

You can choose five pre-made templates or pick a custom template and create the style you want. You may add optimized copy as detailed as possible in various sections of the scannable text. You may also add photos where needed. There are options for subheadings, paragraphs, bold, italics, underline and bullet points.

Aside from upping the conversion rate for the product that is being featured, EBC also reassures a lower bounce rate for consumers, so they stay on the site longer. With enhanced images, consumers will be attracted emotionally to your products, and as we know, the more consumers are emotionally engaged to a product, the more likely they will spend.

We’ve already shown you two ways that you can advertise on Amazon: through Sponsored Products Ads and Headline Search Ads. Now, we’ll show you another method for enhancing your ads on Amazon - Amazon DSP.

Amazon DSP (pay for impressions) is the second way to advertise on Amazon, aside from PPC (pay per click). Using Amazon DSP, you can purchase display ads and video ads. Display ads send customers to a product detail page, a store, or a landing page. Video ads take a customer to a product detail page on Amazon or any other site on the internet.

Amazon DSP is a programmatic display advertising platform, which means it manages your advertising and video using technology. DSP can leverage:

  • Desktop and mobile display ads - these ads appear on the desktop and mobile to target the highest reach.

  • Mobile banner ads - these ads can target customers on mobile apps on Android, Fire, and IOS.

  • Mobile interstitial ads - available at full screen and medium rectangle, these ads will expand to match the size of any screen. These ads are automatically overlaid with an Ad Choices icon on the upper left corner.

  • Video ads - these videos ads can be 5+ second in-stream or out-stream in MP4, WebM, or FLV format.

The best perks of Amazon DSP is the data management platforms which help to optimize your ads.  Pixel retargeting help to see who the shoppers who visit your site. Product re-marketing targets shoppers who viewed your product. And most of all, you’ll have at your hands content, traffic, demographic, geographic, time of day info at your disposal.

According to Amazon, Amazon DSP can be used by “both advertisers who sell products on Amazon and those who do not. Amazon DSP is best suited to advertisers who want to programmatically buy display and video ads at scale.”

3. Build brand trust and customer engagement

image3.jpg

The more that customers engage with your Amazon site or your product listing pages, the more likely they will come back again and again. Track the traffic and impressions on the site, and see if they keep coming back. Building brand trust is essential for an Amazon business and will help build loyal customers.

Studies show that 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers, and 43% of customers spend more money at brands they’re loyal to. Pleasing customers go hand-in-hand with retaining customers.

Great customer service relies on transparency. The same is true for building brand trust. The more transparent you are in your product listings, your EBC, and your interactions with customers, the more that customers will be more likely to trust your brand. And, by delivering your brand’s promises, you can retain and gain new consumers.

Good customer service is key, but interacting with customers within all processes of the business, such as in social media, through the Q&A section of the product listing, and in the reviews section, will drive customers back to your Amazon store.

Remember, as we’ve said in a previous blog post, Amazon responds to each and every comment on Facebook. You might think about doing the same as well.

In the Question and Answer section of the product listing, you can keep track of the questions on the button that shows how many answered questions you have. The higher this number, the better. New customers will see how interactive you are, and old customers can gauge how responsive you are to their queries.

image4.png

One feature of the Question and Answer portion is that it is not necessarily only the customer that can send questions--sellers can, too. By asking and answering your own questions for your product, you can show that you are wholly invested in providing the best service to your consumers. Amazon will display the questions that have the most votes, so think of the best questions for your product. Think of it as an FAQ on your Amazon product listing.

Also, you should be keeping track of your Reviews, in order to keep track of how your brand is doing in the public eye. In the “Most Recent Reviews” section, you can respond to reviews with official comments.

image7.png

Most especially if you have a one-star review, you should address all queries and problems immediately. Not only do reviews influence your performance and your ranking, but customers will also appreciate a brand that is proactive in providing any and all solutions. This, in turn, will help them rely on the brand, again and again, confident that if something goes wrong, the seller has everything in control.

THE BOTTOM LINE

These three key steps is a surefire method to hacking your way through seller central. Tracking your business performance with the right KPIs are the first few steps in leveraging your Amazon business. Taking advantage of advertising is next, and building brand trust is last but not least. The first step makes sure you don’t underperform, the second is to gain exposure, and the third turns new followers into loyal consumers.

The important part that you should keep in mind when using these methods to enhance your performance is that Seller Central is primarily about your brand and your potential consumer. Yes, the competition is stiff, but if consumers trust your brand, there’s nothing the competition can do about it.

Remember, at the end of the day, your consumers are your number one priority. They’re the ones that will keep your business alive, while you’re running things smoothly in the backend through thorough metrics. If you take good care of your customers, new ones will surely follow.

If you need more articles like this, revisit the rest of our blog posts here. Make sure to download our playbooks and sign up for our webinars here.