Nothing in life is free, and especially not on Amazon.com. Like most serious commerce platforms, brands need to invest in Amazon, and particularly in advertising, if they want to succeed. That said, advertising alone isn’t sufficient to maximize revenue — and if you merely rely on that, you’ll miss a huge set of opportunities that cost little to nothing.
While no one would suggest that you can avoid paying to play, here are a few places you can apply elbow grease rather than a monetary investment to improve your chances at Amazon sales:
1. Optimize your product listing.
If you’re serious about selling on Amazon, you need to take charge of your product listing. Make sure you filled out every possible bullet point and ensure that all of your important SEO keywords are front and center. Most sellers also fail to make maximum use of product images; you can tell a great story about your product through pictures alone. Finally, take advantage of product comparisons and other tools that can set your brand apart from its competition and drive more informed buying decisions.
2. Emphasize the right things on Amazon.
Remember that Amazon is merely part of a larger commerce strategy. While it has plenty of opportunities for branding and cross-selling, for most consumers, it’s still mainly a point of sale. Be sure to deliver practical information that can facilitate in-the-moment decision making. Consumers need to know what your product does, why it's different, and why they should care. You can then use other assets, such as your website, to broaden the narrative and tell a more brand-focused story.
3. Create (and stock) a brand store.
If you sell multiple products on Amazon, you should definitely create your own branded store, which allows you to increase the depth of the information you provide, while creating natural cross-selling and upselling opportunities. If possible, promote adjacent products that provide a better customer experience together than either could on its own.
4. Make and update videos.
Too often, we see product pages with only a single video or two, and even those are often out of date. It’s important to create a full complement of videos that can give customers the full story of the benefits of your products. But remember, a stale video won’t sell. Take the time to update your videos as your products or assortment shifts. And one final point: remember that most people don't watch videos on Amazon with the sound turned on, so captions are a must.
5. Take advantage of Amazon posts.
Amazon posts are social messages that appear on your product feeds and the subpages of your brand store. They can include product information and lifestyle imagery that links directly to your product pages. While they may not generate a huge amount of traffic, they're a great way to keep content fresh on your pages. Don’t panic, these posts aren't going to add another task to your weekly list. You can schedule them out months in advance, making it easy to create a content schedule and then letting it run on its own.
6. Drive traffic off Amazon.
It’s well known that driving traffic from off the platform can boost your product rankings on Amazon. Therefore, whether you're sending people from blog posts, your website, or even outside advertising, it can really help your visibility on the platform.
7. Build your brand.
The cheapest advertisement is the one you never have to buy. When people know your brand and search directly for it on Amazon, your cost of sales plummets. Create strong taglines, images and other content, and then use them consistently on brand and product pages. That way, you’ll create a unified experience for customers as they move along the purchase path.
With Amazon, unfortunately, there's no such thing as a free lunch. No matter how much work you put in, you still have to advertise if you want success on the platform. By doing your due diligence and maximizing your presence on and off-platform, you’ll be able to get the most out of any media investments you eventually make.
Jocelyn is head of marketing at Netrush. She also supports freelancers and business professionals around the world through her online consultancy "Call Me Joce" which focuses on social-selling strategies and the celebration of "self." During the height of the pandemic, Joce launched her first boutique CPG company by the name of 4PERSCENT (pronounced 4%), a naturally-based soy candle line.
Jocelyn is Head of Marketing at Netrush. She also supports freelancers and business professionals around the world through her online consultancy "Call Me Joce" which focuses on social-selling strategies and the celebration of "self." During the height of the pandemic, Joce launched her first boutique CPG company by the name of 4PERSCENT (pronounced 4%), a naturally-based soy candle line. The line aims to remind people to save just 4% of their day to any self-care activities (less than 1 hour).