WeChat Banned: 6 Alternative Messaging Apps for Amazon Sellers

On Friday morning, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced plans to ban downloads to TikTok and WeChat effective Sunday, September 20th.

Consequently, users who have already downloaded the apps will retain access for the time being. However, they’ll be unable to download updated versions of the app in the future under current restrictions.

“The only real change as of Sunday night will be [TikTok users] won’t have access to improved apps, updated apps, upgraded apps or maintenance,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Friday morning on Fox Business.

For Amazon sellers, the app restrictions may present a roadblock — and not because it complicates their ability to upload their version of the latest TikTok dance craze.

Many Amazon sellers who use manufacturers abroad in countries such as China rely upon WeChat for communication with their suppliers. Any disruptions in communication could be crucial for Amazon sellers, especially as a loaded Q4 awaits.

While those with WeChat already installed maintain the ability to use the platform, US servers carrying data will no longer work. As a result, messages will be sent through servers overseas, which will likely take much longer and complicate communication.

What Can WeChat Users Do?

Affected sellers would be wise to establish another means of communication to exchange messages with manufacturers as soon as possible. Fortunately, there are quite a few WeChat alternatives to choose from: 

WhatsApp
Perhaps the platform most similar to WeChat, WhatsApp allows quick and easy messaging without pesky SMS charges. Furthermore, WhatsApp is a stripped-down version of WeChat that focuses more on chat and less on social media and search.

Slack
As more companies go remote in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Slack has become an integral part of businesses in 2020. Commonly at the top of the list for productivity tools, Slack contains seemingly endless integrations for seamless collaboration.

Line
The Japanese-based messaging app is free and gives users the ability to communicate via chat, voice, or video.
 

Telegram
With an emphasis on end-to-end encryption to keep your messages secure, Telegram can be used via app or desktop. Additionally, Telegram expects to announce end-to-end encrypted group videos before 2021, and its popularity could skyrocket.

Weibo
Usually referred to as the Chinese Twitter, Weibo has over 500 million active users and gives you the option to post publicly or send private messages.

Facebook Messenger
Chances are, you already have a Facebook and utilize the Facebook Messenger app with family, friends, or coworkers. Facebook’s messaging app is free to use with a Facebook account and is American-owned, so there’s less risk from potential U.S. governmental interference.

With an unprecedented Q4 ahead, avoiding potential communication hazards will be increasingly critical to your company’s ultimate success. For instance, the inability to communicate with your manufacturer could be crippling for inventory management.

Because much of the recent news regarding the availability of TikTok and WeChat remains ongoing, the situation remains fluid. Certainly, affected Amazon sellers should check for updates until a final resolution is reached.

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5 Tips To Improve Your Amazon Ranking

Whether you’re just starting or a longtime seller, every seller should be taking advantage of these tips on how to improve your Amazon ranking.

On Tuesday, Amazon kicked off their Amazon Accelerate virtual conference for current and prospective sellers looking to boost their Amazon ranking.

After one particular session, guests participated in a live Q&A with Conner Sigman, an Account Representative at Amazon. As they took questions from the digital audience, one question dominated in popularity:

“How do I get on the first page [of search results]?”

It’s a question that’s raged on since 1999 when third-party sellers were allowed to sell on Amazon’s platform. But rarely do we get answers straight from the source on how to maximize rank. Sigman answered with five helpful tips sellers should be doing to increase their opportunity to land on the coveted page one.

At Viral Launch, we strive to provide helpful solutions for Amazon sellers. Since our inception, we’ve studied what steps sellers can take to improve organic rank. 

Below, we’ll share five recommendations on how to rank higher on Amazon and how our software suite of tools can help you accomplish these tasks.

Step 1: Choose Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA)

“Using FBA immediately will give you the Prime badge and give you options for a couple of different advertising opportunities,” Sigman explained.

FBA comes with not-so-fun fees, but the cost is well worth the benefits of being a part of Amazon’s legendary fulfillment program.

Utilizing FBA guarantees the customer receives the complete Amazon treatment they are accustomed to experiencing. Free two-day shipping, valuable Prime badges, and Amazon-led customer service ensure a sturdy foundation for your product. Customers want to know that they’ll receive items quickly and be taken care of appropriately if any help is necessary.

Amazon takes care of all of that for you, simultaneously making your product more likely to be purchased while also taking cumbersome aspects of e-commerce off your plate. Choosing the FBA route will also help you out with #4 on this list!

Step 2: Optimize your product detail page

Consider your personal buying habits. Customers are drawn to main product images that pop off the page and sales-inducing copy that stands out.

“Product detail page is another really good opportunity to show how important your product is and how it differentiates from the rest,” Sigman said about product listings.

A crucial part of the formula to elevate your rank is increasing sales velocity. Above all, your product detail page must have captivating product images to make a positive first impression and SEO-friendly, sales-inducing copy.

Viral Launch offers a few helpful tools to help your listing stand out for this step.

Listing Analyzer performs a SWOT analysis on key aspects of your listing, including photos and copy, to make sure it’s optimal. Listing Analyzer informs you of what facets of your listing are thriving and what has room for improvement.

Keyword Research and Listing Builder are a powerful duo that provides everything you need for an optimized listing for your listing’s written content. 

Keyword Research provides valuable data in the form of an exhaustive keyword list and search volume estimates to inform you of your most potent traffic drivers.

Listing Builder allows sellers to experiment with their listing’s copy and strategically place keywords in areas with the most indexing weight.

To be eligible to rank for a specific keyword or phrase, it must be included somewhere in your listing. The title and bullet points possess the most indexing weight, so you’ll want to prioritize your more prized keywords accordingly.

Consider #1 and #2 to be the base level foundation for a successful, high-ranking listing. While these two alone do not guarantee a high ranking, it’s nearly impossible for a third-party seller to climb their way to the top without them in place.

Once you master these tips, the rest becomes much easier to execute tactfully.

Step 3: Drive traffic through advertising and promotions

You’ve set your listing to convert, but how will people find your listing?

The two popular avenues to boosting discoverability for your Amazon listing are advertising or running promotions that drive external traffic.

To boost ranking through either of these options, your product listing would need to receive credit for purchase as if it came via a keyword either through advertising or search. When driving external traffic to your product listing to improve rank, make sure you use a two-step URL that includes the targeted keyword to achieve the intended results.

Two-step URLs require the customer to arrive at a search results page where your product is featured exclusively to complete the purchase.

Running a Launch, or a discounted promotional giveaway to a buyer group with substantial size can be an excellent way to drive exposure and sales to your listing without relying on customers to stumble upon your product listing organically.

The ManyChat Approach

Another great option to boost external traffic to climb the Amazon ranks is ManyChat. ManyChat requires a bit of technical skill, but the results make it a no-brainer to learn. As we detailed in a prior post focusing on driving external traffic, we sum up the ManyChat process as such:

“To recap the basic steps for a ManyChat campaign:

Create ads and posts to provide an offer to your audience and direct them to messenger for engagement with ManyChat.

Develop a ManyChat script, first implementing some sort of simple engagement step.

If someone engages with the chat, provide them with the coupon code, steps to claim the code, and a link to purchase using a targeted URL.”

Advertising your product is a great way to get your product in front of potential customers. Amazon offers Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising that allows you to choose exact keywords or opposing product pages to advertise on to capture some sales.

“The first thing I would say is to start a pay-per-click campaign; even if you want to budget $5 a day, it will help a lot.”

Kinetic and Keyword Manager are two tools within the Viral Launch fleet of seller tools that help you run, monitor, and automate your PPC campaigns.

Keyword Manager showcases your high-priority keywords and notifies you of its organic and sponsored rank for each keyword. You can even sign up for rank change notifications to stay up-to-date on how ads or promotions impact your ranking in real-time.

Kinetic is our all-encompassing PPC automation tool that simplifies creating and optimizing your PPC campaigns from start to finish.

Step 4: Earn reviews

You searched for a product. Attractive product images caught your eye. The compelling copy explains why you need this and answers any questions you might have. But before you Add to Cart, you want to see what customers have to say about this product.

Sigman highlighted Amazon’s stance on customer reviews, “The product detail page and customer reviews are also something we really cherish here at Amazon.”

By placing average review rating and review count directly below the product title, customers can quickly see past consumer feedback. Bad reviews or no reviews at all risk losing consumer trust, and that can spell doom for your product.

Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program helps sellers garner their first five reviews to compete with more mature products. We strongly recommend paying the program’s fee to get your listing off the ground, but the program ends after your fifth review.

After the fifth review, there are very few options with Amazon’s terms of service for sellers to generate reviews. You’ll find competitor tools and Facebook groups to help boost reviews. But, Amazon can and will erase those reviews and provide a warning or ban to sellers who utilize black-hat methods.

Enter Viral Launch’s Request Automation tool. 

Within the Market Intelligence Chrome extension, sellers can send review requests in bulk. It’s a time-saving hack that is entirely within Amazon’s Terms of Service!

Step 5: Be Price-Competitive

It’s no secret that Amazon can be a dog-eat-dog marketplace, and that’s a hallmark of its success. A competitive marketplace means sellers have to box out competitors, resulting in a lower price for customers. Sellers need to remain price-competitive to keep a steady flow of sales coming in. 

As previously mentioned, sales velocity is critical towards boosting and maintaining your Amazon ranking. If your product isn’t price-competitive with others in your market, picking up optimal sales velocity is an uphill battle.

With Viral Launch’s Market Intelligence and Listing Analyzer tools, you can quickly inspect and examine your competition. As displayed in the image for #2 on this list, Listing Analyzer will show you the average market price.

Market Intelligence takes a more granular approach to keeping tabs on rival sellers. Search a keyword to find your product, and you’ll see a full list of significant metrics of each top-selling competitor.

Clicking on any of the data points in orange and you’ll also be able to see this data historically. As a result, you catch sight of when your competition raised or lowered their price and how it impacted sales.

One Last Note On Sales Velocity

The importance of sales velocity can’t be understated regarding boosting or maintaining rank. Sales rank is updated hourly on Amazon, so the Amazon ranking algorithm continuously checks for sales trends.

To rank with the top-sellers in your market, you need to sell like them. Market research tools like Market Intelligence provide all you need to know about how competition performs on page one. Depending on the market, it may only take a day or two of high sales velocity to see results.

Utilizing PPC or a Launch are two tried-and-true strategies for boosting visibility.

At Viral Launch, we possess a tool for each step of your Amazon journey to help you achieve out-of-this-world results. Start your free trial today!

Introducing Amazon Accelerate: A Free Virtual Conference for Sellers

Attention all Amazon sellers and those interested in starting their own online business! 

Amazon is hosting Amazon Accelerate, a free-to-attend virtual summit taking place from September 1–3. Amazon boasts the conference as the “biggest-ever U.S. event dedicated to seller success.”

Accordingly, sellers can expect to discover insights, strategies, and techniques from experts to help their business thrive. 

What is Amazon Accelerate?

The biggest name in e-commerce has set two unique agendas; one for current sellers, another for those just starting or interested in selling on Amazon. More than 60 sessions hosted by Amazon pros covering all aspects of the platform are currently scheduled throughout the three-day event.

Among scheduled events, conversations with successful sellers and educational walkthroughs stick out as great resources. Especially for FBA beginners, the summit provides a tremendous learning experience.

“Amazon is deeply invested in empowering small businesses, and this is an important time for us to come together and learn from each other as we navigate new economic realities,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO worldwide consumer at Amazon.

Third-party sellers make up 50% of all sales on Amazon, and it appears the company realizes the health of its small businesses is a catalyst for their success.

 “It’s our good fortune at Amazon to partner with a large, vibrant community of sellers,” Wilke said. “Accelerate will help small businesses find new ways to grow and expand while also creating new connections.”

Are there any presenters?

Namely, Wilke is one of four featured Amazon Accelerate speakers and will kick off the event with a fireside chat. In addition to Wilke, fellow speakers include Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide customer trust and partner support, Devesh Mishra, VP of Worldwide Supply Chain, and Amazon fashion group leader Christine Beauchamp.

As a result, sellers can expect content centered around the latest in online selling tools, programs, and services. Also, prospective sellers anticipate timely information about how to adapt and prepare for a successful holiday season, along with a Build Your Business Toolkit.

Don’t miss out on the Amazon Accelerate summit! Sign up and confirm your virtual seat here to be a part of the seller spectacle. You can create your schedule ahead of time with their Agenda Builder once signed up.

If you’re unable to join the action live, don’t fret! All keynotes and breakout sessions will be available on-demand for registered attendees the day after they air through September 30th. At that point, the materials can be found within Seller University.

For additional resources on how to get your Amazon business off the ground or take your existing one to the stratosphere, subscribe to our YouTube channel, where we have content for every step of your Amazon journey!

We’ll cover the event and provide updates on important takeaways. Come back next week as we’ll be summarizing and breaking down all the big happenings from the seller summit!

How To Optimize Your Amazon Product Listing Using Keyword Research

In the pursuit of maximum visibility, too many sellers neglect keyword optimizing their product listing.

You’ve performed product research and found the perfect product to sell. You found the right manufacturer. You’ve created your Seller Central account and are ready to start your FBA career.

Now what?

It’s time to get down to business on your Amazon marketing strategy! That begins with making sure your product listing is set up for maximum visibility and able to convert shoppers to buyers.

We consider your product images and copy to be the foundation of a successful Amazon marketing plan. Every aspect of your selling experience will benefit from high-quality images and sales-inducing copy optimized for search.

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Although many don’t think of Amazon as a search engine, that’s precisely what it is.

Amazon is responsible for roughly half of all e-commerce sales, and nearly 90% of Amazon’s product views come from searches.

Is your listing optimized to take advantage of this humongous audience?

Sellers who don’t optimize their listing to reach all the customers for their product are not only leaving sales on the table; they’re encouraging customers to buy from competitors, resulting in ranking changes that further minimize your visibility. Whether creating a new listing or enhancing your existing listing, Viral Launch’s Keyword Research tools are all you need to maximize visibility, increase exposure, and most importantly — boost sales.

STEP 1: Find your seed keyword

First, we’ll need to determine our seed keyword. In the Amazon world, this would be the most relevant keyword that has the highest search volume. In other words, the most popular term that customers are using to find your product on Amazon.

Think about the product you want to sell. If you were a customer, what would I search for my product to show up as a result?

For some products, this is as simple as it sounds. But for others, it can be trickier than you’d think.

Consider soft drinks. Is it soda, pop, or are you like me and use “Coke” as a catch-all for every fizzy beverage? Without a doubt, this likely depends on where you’re from or where you currently live.

From this example, you can see how colloquial language can change depending on geography and how the same product may have a few different primary keywords.

Finding the right seed keyword is one of many reasons why Viral Launch’s Keyword Research tool is a must-have for writing your listing. Filled with years of search volume data, Keyword Research makes the process of finding a seed keyword and knowing your primary keywords a simple one.

For the remainder of our SEO exercise, Keyword Research plays a huge role not only regarding what keywords we use but where we place them. The proprietary keyword metrics such as Priority Score, Relevancy Score, and Opportunity Score provide valuable insights for us to draw from and prioritize our keywords.

Dig around with keyword research before deciding upon your seed keyword. You may be surprised at what keywords fetch the most searches for your product.

Step 2: Find Relevant High-Volume Keywords

Filter out keywords that aren’t relevant to your product. Use the filters to customize your keyword list, removing competitor brand names and any keywords that don’t apply to your product.

After you’ve found the right seed keyword, you’ll have a comprehensive list of related keywords along with helpful data points such as Viral Launch’s exclusive Priority Score and Relevancy Score. We recommend sorting by search volume estimates, as these are going to be where much of the traffic via search.

Sort this list by search volume estimates to get an idea of what keywords or phrases people are using to find your product. Since search volume estimates are an incredibly powerful indicator of consumer demand on Amazon, we can quickly see which keywords are being used to find your product and the depth of the market.

Ensuring that your product is indexed for the majority or all of your keywords are the first step in making sure your listing shows up for customers. Without indexing for these keywords, achieving sustainable sales is an uphill battle, to say the least.

As you filter through your list, you’ll find keywords that don’t apply to your product, such as competitor brand names. Unless you’re selling one of these brand names, it’s best to remove them entirely from your keyword list. 

How to Filter

We recommend using the “Keyword Excludes” filter to take irrelevant or inapplicable keywords for maximum efficiency. Due to Amazon’s robust size, it’s impossible for a machine to automatically pull a keyword list ONLY related to your product. But the “Keyword Excludes” filter allows you to take out keywords that do not apply to your product. Once completed, you’ll have a keyword list made exclusively for your product.

In the image listed for this step, you’ll see I’m filtering out “La Croix” since that is a competing brand. Further down the list, this brand name is mentioned multiple times. Filtering it out just once will get rid of all mentions of “La Croix” with that exact spelling.

For the same reasons we remove results with competitor names, you’ll want to eliminate other results that aren’t relevant to your product, such as size, color, dosage, or product specifications that don’t apply to your product.

Once you’ve finished filtering, put these keywords into action by adding them into your listing’s copy. You can do this yourself OR use a tool like Listing Builder to make the process much more streamlined.

STEP 3: Piece It All Together

The beauty of Listing Builder is that it allows for experimentation with your listing’s copy and enables real-time feedback for you to see how each change affects your listing.

Creating a listing can feel a lot like putting a puzzle together, and Listing Builder empowers you to move the pieces around to see what works.

You’ll see your filtered-down list of keywords, sortable by search volume estimate, priority score, and opportunity score. On the right, you’ll see the fields for an Amazon listing that you can use without affecting your actual listing.

As you type each keyword in, you’ll notice that each keyword will be crossed off your list. This feature assists you to be as space-efficient as possible with your listing. Likewise, Amazon doesn’t place extra weight on keywords for repeated use, so once you’ve used it once, there’s no need to add it again for SEO.

Know your (character) limits

Your product listing has a character limit for title and bullet points, typically between 50 and 200 characters for each. Your limit depends on what category Amazon recognizes your product as, and this can play an enormous impact on how you execute your strategy.

If you include your brand name in your title to align with Amazon’s style guide, 50 characters become even less. Product listings with 50 character titles will have to be more “meat and potatoes” while extended character limits allow more room for sales-inducing, descriptive language.

Across all listings (except for listings with EBC), you will have up to 2000 characters to use at your discretion.

HOOK CUSTOMERS IN WITH YOUR TITLE

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and your title is the first impression on the shopper. A thoughtfully crafted title and a professional main product image are a recipe for you to get customers to choose your product over the other search results.

Amazon recommends starting your title with your brand name. We always recommend meeting their style guidelines to ensure you don’t get your listing suppressed.

Staying within their guidelines can be a pain and stand in the way of the keyword or phrase you’re just dying to fit within your limits. But we must remember this is only part of doing business since not following the guidelines can defeat the purpose of optimizing the copy in the first place.

DON’T BE A BOT

A common mistake that sellers make is keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing describes including as many keywords as possible without regard for readability or sense. Not only is keyword stuffing against Amazon-style guidelines, but it’s also not shopper-friendly.

Nobody wants to read your keyword list, so don’t make it your product listing! All too often, sellers use various keyword stuffing methods and see great optimization scores, but wonder why their product isn’t selling.

Writing a keyword-optimized listing is both an art and a science. It requires the science of search data with the art of integrating these keywords into your listing in sales-inducing language.

Ideally, your listing is indexed for each and every keyword on your list. Depending on character limits and how many keywords are relevant for your product, this might not be possible. But don’t panic! This underlines the importance of being strategic with which keywords get left on the cutting room floor.

Our end goal is to increase rank, which occurs when you achieve sales through searches for keywords that you’re indexing for. Don’t get too caught up writing to the algorithm! Remember the goal is to inform and market to the reader you’re trying to convert to a customer!

MAKE SURE YOUR BULLET POINTS HAVE BITE

Once your title has been expertly crafted, the bullet points should be next up on your order of operations. This is where customers get to know your product. What’s unique about it? What sets it apart from the competition?

The bullet points are an excellent place to boast selling points and add keywords that couldn’t be squeezed into the title. Most listings will include five bullets, so think about 5–7 selling points of your product. Prioritize them, and place them in a way that makes the most sense.

Sticking with our fictional soda example, let’s highlight a few of the selling points to start it off.

  • TASTE THE TROPICS: Quench your thirst with a can of our refreshingly sweet, all-natural orange soda

Within 100 characters, we caught the shopper’s attention with a catchy slogan, informed the customer it comes in a can, and highlighted two major selling points for our fictional orange soda: it’s refreshing and completely natural.

We’re answering customer questions while addressing a few primary benefits of this particular soda. We’ve used a few crucial keywords as well, all without appearing to stuff them unnaturally.

CLOSE THE DEAL WITH A KILLER PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The customer found your product and liked what they saw with your title and header image. They saw your bullet points, and they haven’t left looking for competitor products. You’ve got this customer on the hook.

Now close the deal.

Psychologically, the customer is looking for a final reason to buy or not buy your product. Answer any potential questions they may have. Show and tell the customer why your product is superior to others on the market.

Your product description likely has a 2000 character limit and offers minimal indexing weight. But do not make the mistake of ignoring this section because it won’t increase your visibility.

The longer character limit and lack of indexing weight make this area ideal for describing your product’s selling points.

Take on the mentality of a customer. What’s in this product? How is it made? What sets it apart from Competitor X? How does this product make my life better?

Answering these questions could be the difference between a customer adding to cart or starting their search over again.

DON’T SKIP THE BACK-END SEARCH TERMS

Sellers frequently make the mistake of leaving their back-end search term areas blank! Just because customers can’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t have value.

The backend search term fields are a terrific way to grab “low-hanging fruit” in the form of relevant search terms containing common misspellings or search queries made in foreign languages. Toss those lower relevance keywords that you weren’t able to squeeze into the title or bullet points here.

The backend search-term field is a lifesaver for including keywords that wouldn’t make sense to include in a product listing such as common misspellings and Spanish phrases.

Importantly, leaving this area blank willingly misses out on thousands of searches each month and the sales that come with them.

Also, you’ll see optional areas to fill out, such as Intended Use, Target Audience, Other Attributes, and Subject Matter as backend fields. While we have found no significant correlation between these fields, Amazon occasionally tweaks its algorithm.

Despite the lack of tangible benefits, we recommend filling these fields in case these fields come into play later.

In Conclusion

An expertly crafted, keyword-optimized product listing makes you more likely to land you on the coveted Page One of results. Of course, this comes after sales trickle through via the keywords you’re indexing for. Then, you’ll see your rank improve so you can start receiving

Both inexperienced and veterans sellers should optimize their product listings for maximum performance. Optimizing your product listing by keyword is a tactic that rookie and experienced sellers alike should be doing. Trends change, so it’s worth monitoring your keyword performance and optimization score every few months. Monitoring keywords keeps you on top of your game and give your product detail page an edge over the competition.

With Keyword Research and Listing Builder, it’s never been easier for sellers to create their keyword-optimized product listing. If you have any questions about Amazon’s guidelines, their product page style guide comes in handy.

Additionally, our customer support team is always willing to help provide clarity. Sign up today and select a plan that includes our listing optimization software bundle to maximize your listing today

Ecommerce Is Thriving in 2020 — and Only Growing Stronger

There’s no better time than now to jump into e-commerce.

For those considering leaping into e-commerce by starting their own Amazon business, recent trends and forecasts for the industry indicate the e-commerce gold rush is far from over.

Online retail has continued to roar in 2020. Business Insider reports e-commerce sales for consumer packaged goods grew 83% during the April to early-July period compared to 2019. 

Industry projections suggest the shift in consumer spending is more of a flash point than a temporary flash-in-the-pan.

With so many encouraging signs and a promising trajectory, it’s no wonder starting your own online business continually ranks among the top ways for aspiring entrepreneurs to start their empire and design their own path to financial freedom.

Don’t get left sitting on the sidelines! Get on the field and create your Viral Launch account today to start conducting market research to find WINNING products.

The outlook for e-commerce is already bullish, but don’t be surprised if 2020 outpaces projections as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ongoing pandemic has wreaked havoc on many industries, and traditional retail has been one of the sectors hit the hardest.

Retailers and department stores reliant on brick-and-mortar retail such as Neiman Marcus and JCPenney have filed for bankruptcy, while many others in the sector also find themselves on the ropes. For in-person retail, it’s just the latest blow for an industry running out of margin for error.

Does this mean people have stopped spending? Not at all. The pandemic hasn’t shifted if people will spend their money, but how they will spend it. Instead of heading out to stores and malls, consumers are staying inside and buying online.

How do we know this to be true? Look no further than Amazon, the leader in e-commerce who recently released their Q2 2020 earnings report

Amazon is responsible for 50 percent of all e-commerce trade, a strong indicator of industry health and momentum.

On July 30th, Amazon reported $88.9 billion in revenue, up from $63.4 billion in Q2 2019. The e-commerce behemoth is only growing more powerful as e-commerce continues to pick up momentum making FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) selling an extremely profitable business opportunity with the right resources and strategy.

But This Is Just The Beginning

As traditional retailers flock to Amazon, e-commerce will only grow stronger and continue to take a larger piece of the pie. But will the arrival of major first-party sellers take a chunk away from third-party sellers?

So far, the answer has been an overwhelming no, as sales from 3P sellers continue to grow year-after-year.


Graph via MarketplacePulse.com

“Third-party sales again grew faster this quarter than Amazon’s first-party sales,” confirmed Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. Amazon’s first-party sales were up 49%.

“Our 3P sellers, largely comprised of small and medium-sized businesses, also stepped up to make more selection available for customers. And as a result, these small and medium-sized businesses have seen significant growth in their sales. Our third-party seller services revenue grew faster than online stores revenue in Q2, with strong growth in both fulfillment by Amazon and merchant fulfilled or MFN seller sales. Third-party units continue to represent more than half of overall unit volume, helped by improved quarter-over-quarter growth in active sellers.”

— Brian Olsavsky, CFO of Amazon

Amazon Is Still Growing

The demand from customers on Amazon has never been higher, with over 150 million Amazon Prime subscribers. For years, the biggest barrier for an e-commerce breakthrough was product availability and customer convenience. 

Amazon has grown to an international powerhouse thanks to its platform designed to make the process of buying and selling online easy for those on both sides. For sellers, Amazon has opened the doors for aspiring entrepreneurs with their massive warehouses for storage and their two-day Prime shipping program.

These assets are advantages that have simplified or entirely erased areas of concern for those with entrepreneurial ambitions.

While the light to jump into the e-commerce game is as green as ever, it won’t stay green forever.

Every minute of experience you have on Amazon is valuable for growing your brand and maximizing your profits. Because each minute is more experience over others who will be entering the marketplace as the industry continues to grow.

Fortune favors the bold and the informed

At Viral Launch, we understand starting your online business can be an exciting, but intimidating leap. At Viral Launch, we’ve made it our goal to provide everything you need to have the data and strategy to succeed. If you haven’t already, sign up for a Viral Launch account today and gain access to your free trial to see all the powerful insights you can glean from our vast amount of Amazon data. With Viral Launch’s Product Discovery and Market Intelligence tools, you can scout the market to find winning products that align with your resources and goals.

Follow our step-by-step guide to Amazon product research to help you find the perfect product for you! Be sure to join our Facebook community of sellers from all walks of experience. Don’t be shy to join in the conversation.

There’s likely to be no better time than now to get your online business off the ground and be your own boss! Amazon’s seller-friendly platform, Viral Launch’s powerful data, and an emerging market are the perfect storm for your entrepreneurial success!

Amazon Officially Delays Prime Day 2020

As speculated, Amazon has shelved its signature summertime shopping holiday for a later date than usual this year. 

The annual e-commerce mega-event typically kicks off in mid-July, so the cornoravirus complications causing the postponement comes as no surprise. Amazon did not provide a replacement date for Prime Day, only giving away that “This year we’ll be holding Prime Day later than usual.” via an Amazon spokesperson. Despite an officially announced date, rumors persist that Prime Day will occur sometime in September of this year.

Prime Day started in 2015 with heavily discounted products available exclusively to Amazon Prime subscribers to celebrate Amazon’s 20th birthday. Since the inception of Prime Day, it has rivaled Black Friday and Cyber Monday for the calendar’s most massive commerce days.

In 2019, Prime Day extended to 48 hours, with 18 participating countries. The sales extravaganza spurred over 175 million items purchased, surpassing totals from Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 combined.

Prime Day Over The Years

Prime Day sales per year, from Statista

With this immense influx of sales from the over 150 million Amazon Prime subscribers, Prime Day has been an incredible opportunity for sellers to extend their reach and boost their sales. Like the holiday season, it requires unique planning for sellers as they gear up to optimize their chance to make the most of the sales spectacular.

All sellers should circle the eventual date of Prime Day once Amazon announces the new date. In the meantime, we recommend penciling in September for the expected Prime Day 2020.

Prime Day always presents a humongous opportunity for sellers to take advantage of the sales promotion and deep discounts.

For sellers, Prime Day prep begins well before the event kicks off. Be sure to optimize marketing and inventory planning to get peak value as a result of the additional exposure.

Be sure to stay posted to our blog! We’ll keep you updated and informed on the latest happenings surrounding Prime Day and other aspects of selling on Amazon.

Product and market research is absolutely critical to ensuring you’ve got the edge on your competition all of the time. But, the importance of that edge amplifies during times of increased sales.

Make sure you’re the most informed seller in your market by utilizing tools like Market Intelligence and Competitor Intelligence to have the upper hand and dominate your market!

Amazon News and Updates: Business Name and Address To Be Publicly Displayed

In this round of Amazon news and updates, the hot topic of seller privacy comes into play.

Recently, Amazon announced that business name and address will be displayed on the public-facing seller profile page beginning September 1, 2020.

Amazon states the change has been made to “help customers learn more about the businesses of a seller and the products that they are selling. We are making this change to ensure there is a consistent baseline of seller information to help customers make informed shopping decisions.”

The change is the latest in a series of Amazon news and updates to increase accountability and deter the sales of counterfeit or unsafe goods on their platform.

Chiefly, this is significant for third-party sellers as many don’t operate from a traditional office location. Seller Central requires an address when registering for an account, and it’s common for third-party sellers to post their home address.

All sellers, but especially third-party sellers, should take a few minutes to make sure their account is set up to their liking for this impending change.

How will my information appear?

While this change is new for the US Amazon marketplace, it’s consistent with practices for international markets such as Europe, Japan, and Mexico.

An example of how the Business Name and Address appear to customers within a Seller Profile.

The address will be displayed to all shoppers, but customers have to do some digging to find it. As a result, your business name and address will only be displayed on your Seller Profile page. By and large, this page generates sparse traffic.

To find this page, a customer would have to click on the seller name in the Buy Box or under the Additional Sellers if an item has more than one seller available.

Customers can view Seller Profiles by selecting the company name in the Buy Box.

Can I keep my information private?

If you sell from home but don’t want your home address listed, options exist. For example, registering for a PO Box. Additionally, setting up an alternative such as a UPS Mailbox to maintain personal privacy.

Customers remain advised to use Buyer-Seller Messaging to communicate electronically, so an influx of mail to your business address is unlikely. Still, it would only make sense for sellers to establish a line of separation in public and private information.

Lastly, Amazon recommends taking the following steps to ensure your information is current and what you want publicly displayed:

1. First, login to your Amazon seller account.

2. In the Settings menu at the top right corner of Seller Central, click Account Info to view the Seller Account Information page.

3. In the Business Information section, click the links for the information that you want to view.

4. To change your business name, click Display Name and to change the address, click Business Address. Enter the new information or edit the current information.

5. Once completed, click Submit to save.

Be sure to stay posted on the latest Amazon news and updates!

How Amazon Search Volume Data Can Help You Find Winning Product Ideas

Product research is everything for Amazon FBA success. But many competitors, gurus, and “experts” neglect using Amazon search volume data despite its incredible impact. Why?

No matter where you’re at in your FBA journey, conducting intensive product and market research is critical to your success. 

With each stage of the Amazon selling process, the key performance indicators (KPIs) you rely upon will change, as each phase presents unique challenges. Knowing which data points to observe and consider during any decision-making process plays a significant role in your ultimate success or failure, especially for FBA beginners.

For most sellers, search volume data doesn’t enter the equation for product research until you’re building an SEO-friendly listing or exploring pay-per-click (PPC) advertising opportunities.

But waiting until after you’ve found a product to start paying attention to search volume data may be a major mistake!

How does search volume play such an important role in the decision-making process? Easy. It’s a significant indicator of one of the most fundamental aspects of any business.

Search volume represents demand.

Outside of Amazon, businesses invest an abundance of time and money into research for demand validation.

What are people looking for? Where are they going for these items? How much inventory should we have in stock? What are interested customers willing to pay? Can I expect steady sales all year long?

With the right research tools, sellers can not only answer all of those questions but can actually reverse engineer product ideas based on years of exhaustive market data. Every metric tells a unique story, and search volume estimates tell the story of demand.

We can safely say this due to the nature of Amazon being a search engine solely for commercial purposes. Others may recommend utilizing Google search volume data for research, but there’s a huge part of the equation you’d be missing out on by not using search volume from Amazon.

Searches on Amazon are made with the intent to buy

Check out your recent search history on Google. How many of those searches were made with the intent of buying something? Chances are, not many. On the other end, it wouldn’t make much sense to search for something on Amazon without some level of interest in buying something.

So why make a business decision based on searches made with no intent to buy?

Outside of Amazon, Google Keyword Planner and AdWords are incredible tools for seeing what’s generating buzz. From that, you can increase your visibility through PPC advertising outside of Amazon. But Amazon and Google serve two entirely different purposes as search engines. 

Google organizes information and makes it universally accessible. Amazon is much more focused on commerce and making transactions as frictionless as possible for sellers and buyers.

Utilizing search volume data for Amazon instead of Google eliminates the guesswork of buyer intent. As a result, you can focus on the level of interest in your market directly from your audience.

Where can I find Amazon search volume?

Viral Launch’s search volume estimates (available with any plan with access to Keyword Research) display search volume history ranging back years to keep an eye on product seasonality.

Every product is bound to have peaks and valleys in sales. But not paying attention to seasonality is an all-too-common rookie mistake.

For example, let’s take a look at the above chart for the search volume history of “kettlebell.” If you were to have looked at search volume estimates in April or May of 2020, you might believe you’ve hit a grand slam product idea.

From this graph displaying years of search volume data, we can reasonably conclude traffic for kettlebells skyrocketed as gyms closed. As a result of COVID-19, gym rats worked out more at home.

As more people receive their home workout gear and gyms re-open, searches have seen a downtick in the previous two months and will likely continue regressing to the norm. While “kettlebell” receives a significant chunk of searches, it’s a far cry from the peak outlier demand in the months after gyms started closing due to COVID-19.

Current search volume provides a zoomed-in snapshot of the moment, and historical search volume data delivers a more complete picture. Using historical search volume data allows us to increase the sample size we’re drawing from for more accurate data.

Use search volume estimates to find and validate your niche.

As more and more household brands flock to Amazon and top-selling third-party sellers continue to mature, competing with dominant products is increasingly difficult due to saturation.

By no means does this mean that highly profitable products aren’t out there, it just means the strategy for finding them has been updated to fit the current landscape of Amazon as it continues to mature as an e-commerce giant. And for aspiring sellers, it only intensifies the need for astute strategies and well-informed research.

Because of that, we recommend avoiding the oversaturated, uber-competitive markets that are difficult to compete within. While not impossible to succeed in a saturated market, more barriers to entry represent additional risk.

You can find our comprehensive deep dive into our recommended strategies for finding niches and performing product research in today’s FBA climate here.

In a nutshell, finding niches is beneficial to sellers because they have an increased likelihood of success and an opportunity to own a segment of the market as both Amazon and your brand grow.

With this strategy, you’ll want to avoid overly crowded markets while also making sure you have an audience. With Keyword Research, you can quickly ensure this by utilizing the Estimated Search Volume filter and setting your search parameters.

Utilizing the Estimated Search Volume filter in Product Discovery’s Keyword Search is an excellent way to hunt for niches.

Once you’ve narrowed down your filters to match your goals, just click Show Keywords, and you’ll be provided with a sortable list that includes estimated search volume as well as data including the average price, sales, reviews, and revenue in that keyword market. Those on annual plans will also see a Product Idea Score. This score incorporates multiple metrics into one score on a 1–5 scale for quick and easy validation.

Using your search parameters, you’ll see a full list of keywords on Amazon that meet your criteria. This allows you to evaluate some of the most important elements of product research at once. 

As you sift through the results, be sure to use market research tools such as Market Intelligence to further validate product ideas with data, estimates, and insights.

Use this powerful data to your advantage

Don’t make the mistake of overlooking search volume data in your product hunt! Without tracking current and historical search volume for a product’s seed keyword, you’re vulnerable to critical oversights in your research.

At Viral Launch, we believe the most-informed decision is the best decision. Having reliable and accurate search volume estimates in your arsenal is an essential element of making the most informed decision possible.

Don’t miss out on the valuable insights from Amazon search volume estimates! Add Keyword Research to your research plan for reliable search volume estimates and an edge over the competition!

Amazon’s Special Summer Sale: What You Need To Know

According to multiple reports, Amazon is planning a special “Summer Sale” slated to begin toward the end of the month. Along with this news, it appears that their signature Prime Day sale will be postponed

The spontaneous sales event signals that a return to normal is imminent, and presents an excellent opportunity for sellers to make up for lost sales at the onset of the pandemic.

There has been no formal announcement, so more details are sure to emerge in the coming days. Until then, here‘s what we know about the upcoming sales event:

What is it?

Unlike Prime Day, which features site-wide deals, this special sales event appears to be exclusive to fashion brands. Amazon has requested that sellers submit deals for items with a discount of at least 30% to jumpstart interest and sales.

“The Big Style Sale takes place later this month and will include seasonally-relevant deals from both established and smaller fashion brands,” confirmed an Amazon spokesperson to CNBC. “We are delighted to help brands connect with our vast global customer base for this event.”

Currently, it’s unclear if this sale will be exclusive to Amazon Prime users. But with over 150 million Prime subscribers, massive traffic is inevitable.

When is the Summer Sale?

According to the same CNBC report, the seasonal sale begins Monday, June 22, and lasts 7–10 days.

The extended duration of the sale in comparison to traditional Amazon promotions certainly should be monitored as more information is revealed.

Why is this event happening?

While Amazon positioned itself favorably to handle the pandemic compared to brick-and-mortar retail, they were not without COVID-related complications.

The Summer Sale drives up excitement and sales for a situation where sellers, consumers, and the company all win. This promotion gives sellers an increased opportunity to boost sales and unload seasonal inventory squandered by the pandemic-related postponements.

Which retailers are participating?

This event appears to be invitation-only, with Amazon having sent invites to select sellers. If you’re a seller who didn’t receive an invite, that doesn’t mean you’re entirely left out!

If Prime Day is any indicator, it’s highly likely that the sale will bring an influx of shoppers looking for a deal, so there’s plenty of opportunities for sellers to crash the party by running promotions.

Be sure to stay posted on the details of the event, as more information is sure to come!

Did you receive an invitation to the Summer Sales event? How do you plan on preparing for the sale? Let us know in the comments!

How To Find the Character Count Limits for Your Listing in Seller Central

Not sure how to find your character limits for your title or bullet points? Here’s a step-by-step instructional guide to finding your character count limits inside Seller Central.

To find your character limits, you must have an active Seller Central account and have set up the product(s) you are planning to list. Until you’re at this stage within Seller Central, your character count limits will not be visible.

Once in Seller Central, follow the navigation below:

  1. Under the Inventory tab, select Manage Inventory.

  1. On the far, right-hand side, click Edit for the product that the optimization is for.

  1. In the Vital Info Tab, hover over the “i” icon beside Product Name to see your title character limit.

  1. In the Description tab, hover over the “i” icon beside Key Product Features to see your bullet point character limit.

As shown in the above images, Amazon will provide your character count limits for you to use when crafting your listing copy.

Finding your character count limits is that easy! In just five easy steps, you can find your character count limits and optimize your listing accordingly.

With Amazon providing limited space for you to promote your product, we highly recommend maxing out your character counts without going over. While Amazon may allow you to enter more characters than your limit may say, going beyond your character count is against terms of service and may lead to a lack of indexation and decreased visibility.

Not sure what to write? Put yourself in the customer’s position! What do they want to know about your product and what specifics would you be looking for? Tell them all about the features of your product and the benefits they’ll realize upon purchase.

If you are still having trouble finding your character limits, feel free to email a Seller Coach for support at service@viral-launch.com. Sign up for your free trial to Viral Launch today.

Thanks for reading and best of luck with your Amazon journey!

Ready to take the next step and optimize your Amazon product listing? Follow our guide for an Amazon SEO-friendly listing!

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