Last year was another good year for Amazon private label sellers. A large number of our clients saw a major increase in sales and profit. We also helped a lot of sellers increase their impressions, sessions and conversions by optimizing their listings.
Increasing Competition on Amazon & How to Approach It
Despite this success, we have seen a large increase in competition amongst private label sellers both in the US and now in China. This increase in competition along with recent changes to Amazon TOS regarding reviews has made it harder for new sellers to enter the game. It has also made it a bit harder for seasoned sellers to increase profit. Therefore, testing and optimizing listings more important now than ever.
Looking forward to the rest of the year, we anticipate steady growth for private label sellers. However, we also anticipate an increase in competition as well. Therefore, in order to see this anticipated growth, you need optimize your listing as best as possible.
Split Testing Schedule for 2017
Below, we created a schedule of tests you should start running in January, or as soon as possible, to ensure your listing is fully optimized through the year.
We will assume that each test takes about 2 weeks. However, these tests will likely not need a full 2 weeks to see results.
You can follow this schedule, as we started with the most impactful tests first. However, if you have already conducted some of these tests, you can start at any point. Feel free to use this schedule and tweak it to suit your own needs…
Starting in January: Pricing
Pricing is one of the most powerful tests you can run to increase impressions, sessions and conversions. We have consistently seen price testing increase the above mentioned metrics along with overall profit. Therefore, it should be the first thing you test in the new year.
We recommend that you try testing your price point several times. We always recommend start with around a 10% increase or decrease in price.
For example, this user decreased her price by 10% from $29.95 to $27. Her daily sales average increased by 150%, while her daily profit average increased by 87%. Even though daily sessions decreased, this was a significant test that vastly increased profits.
January 14 – 31: Price Test 2
Once you have found the winner of the previous test, try testing another price within 10% of that winner. So for the above example, she may want to test a price 10% below or above $27.
Therefore, she may want to test the price of $25.30 or $29.70 against $27.
February 1 –14: Price Test 3
Take the winner of the price test done on January 14th, and test a price again 10% below or above that price.
Let’s say for example that the above client found that $25.30 to increase conversions compared to $27. She may then consider testing the price at $22.80.
If that sales price would eat too much into her profit, she could consider testing a price in between $25.30 and $27.
February 15 – 28: Featured Image Test
Price is one of the most powerful tests you can conduct. So now that you have extensively tested that, what’s next? I recommend going for the featured image, as this is consistently the next most powerful test we see across the board.
Your featured image is your product’s first impression to all your potential customers. A good product image conveys quality and will be a defining factor in driving traffic to your listings.
For example, one of our users changes his featured image to make his product look fuller and bigger. He also featured his well designed lid along with more colorful display of his product and this new image.
Due to this change, his daily sales average increased by 35%, and his conversion rate went up over 58%. Most impressive, his daily profit average went up over 81%.
March 1 – 14: Titles
Another powerful test that will help drive traffic to your website is your title. Whether it’s a stand-out title that attracts a customer from the Amazon search results, or the most important piece of copy that a customer will read to understand the product once on your listing. Therefore, You should test your title to try and increase impressions.
Titles are extremely important for the Amazon A9 algorithm. Your most relevant, high search volume keywords should always be in your title.
Test putting more keywords and more benefits of your product in your title.
One of our clients changes his title to include more relevant keywords.
His daily sales, daily conversions and daily profit increased by 79%. His conversion rate increased by 47%.
March 15 – 31: Product Pictures
Now that you worked on getting more impressions by optimizing your featured image and title, you can work on other features of your listing that will have a huge impact on conversions.
Product pictures are very important in converting sessions into conversions. Try changing the order of your pictures to display the clearest shots of your product first. Also try putting your lifestyle pictures and infographics right after your featured image.
One of our users changed the order of her images and was able to increase conversion rate by 53%.
April 1 – 14: Add Infographics & Lifestyle Photography
Infographics, badges and lifestyle pictures are very valuable in increasing conversions.
If you have not used infographics, lifestyle pictures, or badges, try adding them into your listings and and testing them. If you have already used these, try using different ones and see which ones convert better.
Here’s some examples of infographics and lifestyle images from a listing selling a garlic press:
One Splitly users placed some bullet points that highlighted positive features of the product in one picture. This increased conversion rate by 52% in this instance.
April 15 – 31: Product Features
Product features are extremely important in describing your product and helping promote the unique selling points of your product. Ignore this part of your list at your own peril.
Make sure you have powerful content that promotes your unique selling points. Also try using HTML symbols to differentiate your listings from others.
For example, one of our users used a star symbol instead of bullet points and was able to increase his conversion rate by 62%.
May 1 – 14: Product Description
Product description is another opportunity to sell your product. Make sure you have strong copy to convey your unique selling points. Your copy needs to speak to your audience.
- Tell a story to describe your product, it’s uses and why people need it
- Strike on an emotional level if possible, for example, does it provide fun for the family? What does it feel like? How would the customer feel when using/owning the product?
- Talk about the benefits first and the features second – always lead with benefits
- Put yourself in the customers shoes, what are they getting out of the purchase? Tell them!
You can also put special messages or instructions.For example, one of our users warned against buying from imitators due to low quality products which increased his conversion rate by 23%.
May and Beyond: Repeat
Just testing your listing features once is not sufficient. You should be testing several versions of prices, featured images, images, product features and descriptions.
Testing is an ongoing process. It’s very rare that a listing is fully optimized after one test. There is always room for improvement. Plus, due to the changing nature of life in ecommerce, something that you thought was optimized in 2016 may not be in 2017. Don’t forget several factors can come in to play, such as consumer trends, seasonality and competitor behaviours. A lot can change in a few months.
Therefore, we recommend to continue testing on regular intervals to keep up with these changes.
As I mentioned, pricing is the most impactful split test you can run. This is why we have also launched Profit Peak, which enables all Splitly users to harness the power of automated pricing optimization. This is specifically for Private Label sellers, and a huge advantage for these sellers too.
Profit Peak works by automatically testing and recalculating the best known price and adjusting the listing price accordingly. This is beneficial for keeping ahead of the competitor and also handling stock quantities, as it can help to prevent the risk of running out of stock. Not only that, it’s a one time set-up, so you can set it and let the software do the rest. Find out more about Profit Peak here.
This is something which you can leave running all year round and ensure your product pricing is fully optimized and being reactive to the market.
With a new year comes new Amazon private label challenges. In order to stay ahead of the ever increasing competition, you should have a game plan to split test your listings and run automated pricing adjustments.
I hope this guide helps you to plan out you strategies for the year ahead – let us know of any questions or success stories you have in the comments below!