Updated: Nov 20, 2021
You might think that optimising a listing on Amazon is easy? Afterall, all you have to do is upload a few photos and a bit of copy, right? Wrong...trust me there is so much that goes into creating a successfull Amazon listing that sells, you basically have to be a modern day wizard to know the tricks and tips that make a listing sell! So let me tell you more about my team of magical wizards from Sell Beyond.
The team at Sell Beyond are passionate about protecting client brands and margins on Amazon UK, Europe and USA. They are a management consultancy which helps companies develop their Amazon expertise through optimizing UK and international marketing, finance, logistics, lines of responsibility and strategy. Sell Beyond’s holistic, strategic approach delivers superior support with higher long-term ROI than competing Amazon marketing agencies or translation agencies.
The company was founded in 2015 by Heloise Finch. I’ve photographed Heloise speaking at seminars sharing her knowledge on managing Amazon Listings. As an Amazon product photographer, the first time I heard her speak, I couldn’t believe how much went into creating and optimizing (the writing and technical parts of these) listings. I was absolutely fascinated!
Obviously, I have always done the product shots but had nothing to do with the compete Amazon set-up and that’s when I realized how complex working with Amazon is. For the last few years, I’ve been lucky enough to work with Sell Beyond on creating listings for their clients.
What have I learnt about selling on Amazon?
Being an Amazon expert is basically like being a modern-day wizard! I interviewed Keeley Middleton, Amazon Branding Expert at Sell Beyond. I regularly work with Keeley, and her attention to detail, Amazon knowledge and desire to ensure everything is perfect for her clients is second to none! I asked her some of the questions I know you would love to get answered!
What would you say to a company that thinks it is cheaper and quicker to set up a listing on Amazon themselves?
Companies have to decide: do they want something done quickly that they will have to re-do, or would it be more efficient to set themselves up on Amazon properly from the get-go? Unlike google, which allows you to slowly build organic ranking with your website, Amazon does not want your product listings to evolve bit-by-bit. Amazon wants you to give a great customer experience every time and the platform is totally unforgiving about incomplete listings – they will not get on the first page, and consumers will not see them.
Making an impact on Amazon with your products means researching your market thoroughly, understanding how you stand out against your competitors and being able to explain this in the limited space Amazon gives you. This means knowing how to explain your products online and then create the right story with the Amazon features: photos, infographics, marketing copy, keywords, branded A+ content, your brand store and your PPC ad campaigns.
The skill is to do this well, and consistently, across multiple listings. Knowing how to do all of this efficiently can be difficult for a business which may also be selling on a website, on eBay or through wholesale channels.
Just like google, Amazon can change its rules daily. Unlike Google, you do not get any notifications of the changes! For many businesses, they need a full time employee to keep up with the changes and manage the products on Amazon at scale, every day.
Dealing with Amazon can be especially daunting if an employee is trying to handle the platform on top of the rest of their day job. Amazon is such a big universe to learn - even for a multi-million-pound business - and there is no Amazon handbook. It’s hard to get the right training to build structure and operational efficiency in the Amazon side of any business.
How easy it is for someone to set up an Amazon listing on their own with basic to no knowledge?
Creating one listing is not too hard. Optimisation at scale – making changes for dozens or hundreds of listings - is complicated especially when dealing with multiple listings or many size or feature variations. Amazon reviews your updated content and often may refuse to let you update your own products unless you raise a support ticket! Keeping track of Amazon support tickets, change requests and error messages needs careful project management.
It’s a delicate ecosystem. The advantage is that if you do optimise one element of a listing, it could positively impact another part of Amazon. For example, when you optimise the keywords and images of a product listing, your PPC ads may become more effective.
How long does it take for a good listing to start becoming visible and generating sales?
Creating a good listing is the first step. I would recommend you begin by thinking through who you are trying to sell to – who exactly is your target market on Amazon? Then I would create the brief for the photography and infographics, start to proof the A+ content, while researching keywords and creating the copy for the entire listing.
Until the copy, all the photos, infographics and even video is completed, we wouldn’t consider the listing ready for PPC advertising. If the listing is not complete, sellers risk throwing money at ads which do not convert.
After 30 days, the team at Sell Beyond evaluate whether an optimisation has been successful. By 3 months you should be able to see clearly whether a listing is performing well. We measure this by a percentage increase on initial traffic and conversion levels.
What do you think is the most important image on the listing & the most important part of the listing overall?
The most important photo for your listing is the “hero” image. This is the main, or default, product image that appears at the top of your Amazon listing. It is the photograph that is used on the Amazon search results page when your product is listed
Image: Amazon Listing by Sell Beyond, Product Photography by Santos Photography
This “hero” image, along with the title, price and number of reviews strongly influence whether people click on your product – and we know how easy to press ‘add to basket’ is once you’re on that product page!
From a conversion perspective, perhaps the most overlooked type of photo is the “lifestyle” image on Amazon. Beyond the main product photographs, Amazon gives brands the opportunity to highlight how their product can benefit the consumer and, crucially, who your consumer is, through the Enhanced Brand Content or A+ feature which offers the option to add lifestyle images.
At Sell Beyond, we find that the expression “lifestyle” may make people switch off. For some businesses, it sounds like marketing jargon. Lifestyle may appear to be additional or unimportant, in comparison with the obviously important product photography.
However, when lifestyle imagery works, it helps consumers identify their lives with what you sell.
Consumers need to know:
How they will benefit from a product
How they should use the product
What problem the product solves
How they could enjoy the product
In short, lifestyle imagery is a key sales asset! In seconds, a single image can show potential customers that your product is for them.
Perhaps you have been thinking of launching a product on Amazon?
Maybe you already have a series of Amazon listings and are looking for assistance to optimize these?
It might be that you’re already successfully selling your products in supermarkets but have no clue how to transfer this success over to the digital world and Amazon scares you?
If any of this resonates with you, I suggest you set up an informal Amazon coffee and chat on Zoom. Call 01206 899020 or email email@example.com to arrange a convenient time.
PICTURE YOUR AMAZON GROWTH - FREE WEBINAR ON 24th November 2021
Are you struggling to work our how you can sell more on Amazon?
It’s not the price, the free shipping or the detail that gets that all-important consumer attention. Your IMAGES bring products to life and change ‘I want’ to ‘I need.’
Your product imagery needs to be more relatable and lifestyle imagery can help take your listing to the next level.
During this FREE webinar you will learn:
Why Photography is a key investment in market positioning on Amazon.
How Amazon photography differs from how you present your brand on Instagram, Facebook, websites, or eBay.
How you can attract your target market with lifestyle imagery
Stand out from your competitors
Take advantage of Amazon Features
Together Keeley, Heloise and I will take you through some listings, focusing on the lifestyle imagery element of branding to show you how lifestyle imagery can help push your Amazon traffic and conversion above your competitors.