Viral Launch Adds 2 New Space-Age Tools to Software Suite
As an Amazon seller, data is your secret weapon. Arming yourself with the right data and knowing what to do with it can make all the difference between success and failure. But between choosing and tracking keywords, monitoring the health of your listing, running ads and more, you’ve got a lot to keep track of.
That’s why we’ve spent the last nine months growing our team and working in the lab to build innovative space-age tools that’ll revolutionize the way you make sense of all that data. Because from Day 1, our goal has always been to help you make the right decisions for your Amazon business.
The launch of Listing Analyzer and Keyword Manager also signifies the start of a new era for Viral Launch as we have plans to release more groundbreaking tools, made just for Amazon sellers like you, in the upcoming months.
Ready to learn more about how you can use Listing Analyzer and Keyword Manager to optimize your listing and monitor your success? Here’s the rundown on Viral Launch’s newest tools.
Listing Analyzer: Discover Innovative and Impactful Improvements
Your listing is comprised of several main components. You’ve got your title, bullet points, product description, backend search terms and photos all working in tandem to turn browsers into buyers. The keywords you use and the amount of reviews you’ve gathered can make all the difference between a successful product and a dud.
But with all of these moving parts, how do you identify what’s working and what’s not? That’s where Listing Analyzer comes in.
By using information directly from your listing, you’re able to analyze in real time how your listing fares in all critical aspects compared to top competitors in your product market. As you can see in the image below, Listing Analyzer provides you with a Competition Analysis, Review Evaluation, Photo Analysis, Listing Text Analysis, and a list of the top keywords. And for those of you who miss school and getting graded for your work, you’ll also receive an overall Analysis Score on a 1-100 scale so you can see how your listing is doing as a whole.
Speaking of keywords, one of Listing Analyzer’s most impressive features is its use of our groundbreaking ARCS technology, which stands for ASIN Relevance and Conformity Semantics.
By using ARCS, Listing Analyzer is able to programmatically — with no human interaction — look at an ASIN and determine what its main keywords are. So that means you can forget about Reverse ASIN Lookups and complicated keyword spreadsheets. Listing Analyzer is the only tool in the galaxy that allows you to input an ASIN and get back all of that specific product’s most important keywords. You’re not only seeing what the product is indexed for, but you’re seeing exactly what your product should be indexing and ranking for, all without lifting a finger. Learn more about our revolutionary ARCS technology here.
By using the data from Listing Analyzer, you’ll learn the immediate, actionable steps you can take to make your listing as powerful as possible. And with seamless integration to Keyword Manager and Listing Builder, you can use your product’s main keywords, identified by ARCS, to both track your keywords and easily integrate them into your listing’s copy.
Keyword Manager: Your Most Important Keyword Analytics All in One Place
Depending on what type of product you sell, you’ve likely got hundreds of keywords to keep track of. Are you indexed correctly? Where are you ranking for the top keywords? In what position are your sponsored ads showing up? And if you sell multiple products, the number of keywords you’re tracking becomes exponentially greater.
Keyword Manager, our second new tool, is here to help. This tool will help you understand your most important keyword analytics all in one simple-to-use dashboard. As you can see below, you can check in real time where you have Amazon’s Choice badges, whether you’re indexed or not, your keyword rank position (with trend graphs), where your sponsored ads are ranking, and much more.
You can then easily curate your product’s keyword bank to include keywords you’d like to monitor. Add, remove, edit and track thousands of keywords to ensure you’ve got all your bases covered.
Keyword Manager Key Features
Advanced Keyword Insights
Organic and Ad Rank Tracker
Real Suggested Ad Bids
Intuitive Keyword Management
Track Thousands of Keywords
Integration with Other Tools
BONUS: Listing Builder Gets Some Love
Are two brand new tools not enough for you? Yeah, us neither. In addition to adding Listing Analyzer and Keyword Manger into the Viral Launch platform, we’ve also made some updates to Listing Builder that we’re sure you’re going to love.
If you’re not up to speed on the aptly named Listing Builder, this tool helps you write a listing in a more streamlined and effortless manner. Import your full list of keywords and sort them by volume, priority or opportunity. Keywords are automatically crossed off your list as you use them, allowing you to easily see and keep track of what you’ve used and what you still need to include. Listing Builder tracks your used and total search volume and gives you an Optimization Score based on the quality of your listing’s SEO.
Already have a live listing? You can also enter your product’s ASIN to import your existing listing directly into Listing Builder and immediately see your Optimization Score.
Listing Builder now has a couple of news ways to get started writing a listing. As you can see below, you can enter a keyword, select recent or pinned keyword searches, and search through your bank of products all from a blank Listing Builder template.
NOTE: Choosing the “enter a keyword” option pulls up all related keywords so you can hop right in and start writing. You can still manually filter out any keywords you want by choosing the “trash can” icon within the keyword list.
Listing Builder is also seamlessly integrated within our two newest tools. Let’s say you’ve uploaded your current listing into Listing Analyzer and you realize you need to make some changes. All you have to do is choose “Edit in Listing Builder” and all of your data will be taken to Listing Builder so you can continue to make changes.
And in similar fashion, if you’re tracking your keywords within Keyword Manager, you’re able to immediately export that list into Listing Builder.
Try Out the Tools for Yourself
If you love data as much as we do, then these two new tools (well… two and a half new tools) are perfect for you. Ready to take them for a spin and dominate on Amazon? Head on over to the Viral Launch dashboard to check them out for free.
Listing Analyzer and Keyword Manager are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s coming next from Viral Launch. These are the first of several new game-changing tools set to be released in the near future. All of our new tools will help usher in the next phase of Viral Launch and give you great insights for selling on Amazon in general. You don’t want to miss what we’ve got planned!
Here at Viral Launch, our mission is to help you meet your goals as an Amazon seller, big or small (although we always advocate for dreaming big!).
While we don’t spend too much time resting on our laurels or patting ourselves on the back, we just reached an important milestone. This milestone in particular has had a direct impact on the lives and dreams of our clients as well as our company. And we think taking the time, however briefly, to recognize where we’ve been and what we’ve done is a great way to help keep our feet pointed due north as we push ahead to the future.
So all philosophical waxing aside, here’s the big news: earlier this month, Viral Launch officially hit 40,000(!) Launches. That’s 40,000 of our clients’ products that we’ve Launched, helping them take one more step toward success.
How We Got Here
Let’s take a moment to consider how far we’ve come. You may already know some of this, especially if you’ve been a follower of Viral Launch for a while, but let’s quickly recap.
In addition to our Launch milestone, Viral Launch also recently celebrated a birthday. Our company turned 4 years old in early October and then a few days later, we surpassed the 40,000 Launches mark (happy birthday to us!). Pretty cool for a company not even a half a decade old.
We also had a pretty epic birthday celebration:
Having worked in leadership roles at other companies, Viral Launch President/COO Mitch Black said it’s important, especially for a young company, to take a step back once in a while to celebrate success.
“It’s important we take note of milestones like this for all of our constituents including customers, employees, the community and our affiliates,” Mitch said. “It’s a milestone in just a few years in business that not only measures our short-term success, but is indicative of our long-term success.”
Viral Launch President/COO Mitch Black
We’ve come a long way since our humble beginnings. Our CEO and Co-Founder, Casey Gauss, along with Co-Founder Jordan Dekker conceptualized Viral Launch in the fall of 2014 while the two were in college, and the company was founded shortly thereafter.
But they never expected their dorm room dream would one day turn into a full-fledged company.
“When we created Viral Launch, we initially set out to create a small service as a side project,” Casey said. “I never would have dreamed that we would run thousands of Launches, let alone tens of thousands!”
A few months after the inception of Viral Launch, Casey had taken most of the control of the company and had set his sights on making Viral Launch a success in the long-term as well.
The months and years following consisted of hard work and dedication, as well as a little bit of luck, that contributed to our success. This includes Casey programming the original Viral Launch platform with socks on his hands because he couldn’t afford heat in his apartment. What doesn’t kill you, right?
Viral Launch Co-Founder/CEO Casey Gauss
“Looking back, I am both blown away at the incredible number of Launches we’ve been able to run and honored that we’ve had the chance to help so many brands and entrepreneurs over the last four years,” Casey said.
Things have also come full circle as Jordan has recently re-joined the team as our own in-house ecommerce expert.
You can also check out this video from Casey’s personal Vlog, with awesome footage captured over the years.
What this Means for Viral Launch
While hitting 40,000 Launches is a cool milestone for us as a company, we’re more concerned about how that has affected the amazing entrepreneurs we’ve worked with.
“Hitting this milestone is a key indicator based on volume that says we care about our customers,” Mitch said. “It is a testament to all the Viral Launch employees that we continue to provide a high level of customer service that has enabled over 40,000 Product Launches.”
These days, we’re running hundreds of Product Launches a day, which helps to generate valuable keyword ranking and additional revenue for our clients.
Running Launches also helps us gather data to provide better, more informed services and tech to our clients.
“Looking toward the future, the data we’ve been able to gather through these 40,000 Product Launches has been instrumental to shaping our product roadmap and laying the foundation for some game changing new technologies we have in the works,” Casey said.
Where We’re Going
Reaching a milestone like this is all the more reason to keep pushing the envelope to provide the best software and services to our clients. Because at the end of the day, that’s why we’re here! Accolades like this along the way are nice, but to us this just means we’ve created something that can truly help people and people are noticing.
So to anyone and everyone who has used our software or services, we want to extend a huge THANK YOU for letting us be a part of your journey.
Looking ahead, this milestone means we’ve got a lot to look forward to and a lot more work to be done.
“I see the future as bright for us,” Black said. “We exist to help build the most dominant brands in ecommerce through innovative and data-driven automation. This measure is validation we are on the right path. Viral Launch will continue to empower brands through technology and data to become leading forces on Amazon – the world’s largest ecommerce marketplace.”
With that being said, keep your eyes open for what’s to come from Viral Launch. We’ve got a lot of really cool stuff planned for the future, some of which is coming your way very soon!
And once again, thank you for helping make Viral Launch what it is today!
As an Amazon seller, your main goal is to get your product in front of as many buyers as possible. But with competition high, where do you even start? Thankfully, there are several Amazon advertising tools designed to help sellers promote their products.
From sponsored ads and video ads to storefronts and more, sellers have plenty of options for how to advertise their Amazon products and brands. In this guide, we’ll cover what each of these advertising options are and how you can use them for your business. But first, let’s discuss a big change Amazon recently made to its advertising platform.
What’s in a Name? Amazon Advertising Rebrand
Come with me on a journey through time and space to August 2018. It was a different, more confusing time in the Amazon ecosystem. Back then, Amazon sellers looking to advertise their products had to wade through three different marketing channels and decide which one was best for their business. Amazon offered AMG (Amazon Media Group), AMS (Amazon Marketing Services) and AAP (Amazon Advertising Platform) as their three marketing pillars.
However, the disjointed nature of having multiple advertising platforms was seen as unnecessarily confusing to a lot of sellers. Many people found it hard to decipher where you needed to go to run the types of ads you wanted with so many different acronyms and platforms.
In September 2018, Amazon began phasing out the three-headed monster of AMG, AMS and AAP, opting rather to combine them all into one advertising platform. Now anything that has to do with advertising on Amazon falls under the umbrella of Amazon Advertising.
Head over to Amazon Advertising if you’re looking for any of these services or features:
To make sure you understand all the options at your fingertips, let’s dive into each one.
Sponsored Product Ads
In short, Sponsored Ads are pay-per-click advertisements that allow brands to promote their products with keyword-targeted ads. As you’ve shopped on Amazon before, you’ve likely seen these ads. These appear with a small “Sponsored” tag after you’ve typed in a related keyword. Sponsored Product ads can show up at the top or within search results and on product detail pages. They will also appear on mobile and tablet browsers, as well as apps. As an example, when searching “garlic press,” I was given these Sponsored Ads:
How Much do Sponsored Product Ads Cost?
As previously mentioned, these types of ads use a cost-per-click, auction-based pricing model. This means you are bidding against other sellers to get that spot within search results. You set the maximum amount you are willing to pay when a shopper clicks on your ad. The more competitive your bid is, the better chance it has to be displayed.
As you can see in the image below, this is what the Sponsored Ads user interface looks like. In the first column, you can enter your bid for the ad. To help sellers choose the right bid, Amazon will provide you with a suggested price range. As you’re getting started, bid within or just slightly over the suggested amount. You can always adjust from there if you are not getting desired results from your campaign.
Once you’ve got campaigns ready to go, you can also set your budget: the maximum daily amount you’re willing to spend over a calendar month.
Ready to Start Building Your First Campaign?
Check out this webinar from Amazon:
Now that you have a basic understanding of what Sponsored Products are, let’s move onto the next advertising option.
Formerly known as Headline Search Ads, Sponsored Brands are keyword-targeted ads that allow brands to have a custom headline and logo within their ad. Brands use these advertisements to drive shoppers to a custom landing page or their Amazon Store. These ads show up on the left side of search results and at the top and bottom of the page. They can also appear on both desktop and mobile browsers, as well as the Amazon app.
Who is Eligible for Sponsored Brands?
Only third party products that are enrolled in Brand Registry are eligible to utilize Sponsored Brands. The products must also be new and fall into one of the categories below.
Note: Adult products, used products, and refurbished products are not eligible for the Sponsored Brands program.
How Much Do Sponsored Brands Cost?
Similar to Sponsored Product Ads, Sponsored Brands use a cost-per-click, auction-based pricing model. You set the maximum amount you’re willing to pay when a shopper clicks your ad. The more competitive your bid is, the more likely it is that your ad will be displayed.
While there are a lot of similarities with Sponsored Product Ads, the daily budget works a little bit different for Sponsored Brands. You set the maximum daily amount you’re willing to spend on ads, but it does not roll over to the next day. This is unlike Sponsored Product Ads, which uses an average for the month.
Like sponsored ads, Display Ads also use a pay-per-click model. However, there are some differences. While sponsored ads are keyword targeted, Display Ads allow you to target your ad based on shopper interest or a specific product. Display Ads can appear in a number of places for both desktop and mobile users, including:
Below search results
Customer review pages
Top of the offer listing page
This image shows a Display Ad appearing directly under the checkout options on the right side of the page.
In addition to the areas listed above, these ads may also appear in Amazon merchandising emails.
Want some more information about Display Ads?
Check out this video from Amazon:
Video Ads are a great way for advertisers to really tell their brand story and engage customers in a unique way. These ads show up in brand-safe environments via trusted channels like Amazon, IMDb or on exclusive Amazon devices like Fire TV or Fire tablet, as well as across many third-party sites and apps. As you can see below, videos are showing up on the bottom of a webpage as well as on a smartphone.
One major point to remember about video ads is they require a budget of $35,000 or more in the United States. These are typically going to be utilized by sellers or brands that have bigger advertising budgets.
Stores allow sellers to create their own website within Amazon with its own branded URL. This is a great way to showcase your brand story and product portfolio in a curated customer destination while providing a place to drive advertisements to. They don’t require any coding skills to set up and, as you can see below, provide a multi-page shopping experience.
Known formerly as Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP), Amazon DSP is a demand-side platform. This allows sellers to programmatically reach audiences on Amazon sites as well as through publishing partners and third-party exchanges. Unlike other advertising options where the main goal is to have a direct impact on sales, the main goal of DSP campaigns are to build brand and product awareness. This is more for companies that understand the nature of brand advertising and are already running display ads on other platforms.
The Measurement tools of Amazon Advertising allow sellers to see how their campaigns are performing. Here are some of the most important terms to understand:
Impression: An impression is generated every time your ad is displayed.
Click: A click is generated when a user clicks or taps your ad.
Click-through rate: Click-through rate is the number of clicks your ad generates divided by the number of times your ad is displayed (impressions).
Detail page view: A detail page view, or DPV, occurs when a customer visits one of your brand’s product detail pages after clicking your ad.
Total sales: Sum of sales attributed to your campaign. A sale is attributed to your campaign each time a customer clicks your ad and purchases your products within 14 days. It takes 3 days after your first click for this data to begin showing in your report.
ACOS: The average advertising cost of sales (ACOS) is the amount you’ve spent on a campaign divided by the total sales attributed to your ad.
In this section of Amazon Advertising, sellers are able to run many different reports to check how their campaigns are performing.
Advertising on Amazon: Find What Works for You
While standing out on Amazon can be difficult, these days sellers have plenty of tools to advertise their products. However, running Sponsored or Display Ads or utilizing any of the other marketing strategies won’t automatically ensure success.
A lot of the Amazon game (advertising included), comes down to good old fashioned research along with trial and error.
If you’re going to jump into running Sponsored Ad campaigns for your product, you need to be fully aware of what you’re willing to spend on your advertising campaign as a whole so you can properly set bids and your budget. It also might behoove you to start with a wider net of keywords, let the campaign run, and then pick out a few of the keywords that perform the best.
The point here is, you need to figure out what strategy and advertising options work for you and your goals. If something isn’t working, take note and adjust accordingly before moving forward.
Here at Viral Launch, we want to provide you with all the information you need to become a successful Amazon seller. For more on Amazon selling strategies, we encourage you to subscribe to our blog, check out our Youtube channel, and listen to our Follow the Data podcast.
If you’re looking to become an Amazon seller, you’ll quickly learn that research plays a huge part in your success. From product viability to profit margins and keyword research, you’ve got a lot to do. One aspect a lot of first time sellers don’t think (or know) to research is Amazon gated categories.
Millions of products spread out over hundreds of categories are available to buy and sell right now on Amazon. From electronics to baby products and supplements to snacks, the possibilities are endless.
But not all categories and products are created equal. Some fall under gated or restricted categories. And before you source your Amazon FBA product, you need to be aware of what these categories are because they require special approval to sell.
If you don’t do your due diligence and source a product in a gated category you could be stuck with a ton of inventory and no way to move it.
To make sure you avoid this mistake, let’s dive into gated categories.
What Are the Amazon Restricted Categories?
The Amazon ecosystem is constantly in flux, but right now there are around 20 Amazon restricted categories and subcategories. The list of categories/subcategories that have some sort of restriction or approval/ungating process includes:
Automotive and Powersports
Clothing, Accessories, Shoes and Luggage
Collectibles (Books and Coins)
Grocery and Gourmet Foods
Toys and Games (during the holidays)
Video Media (DVDs, Blu-ray)
Have you committed those to memory? There will be quiz later. Just kidding, but it would be a good idea to keep this list in mind when you’re perusing potential product ideas.
The next question we should probably answer is:
Why Does Amazon Put Restrictions on Certain Categories?
It’s pretty simple really. Amazon’s main goals, as is the case with any business (or it should be at least), is customer satisfaction and brand perception. Now with almost half of all sales on Amazon coming from third party sellers, the company has to have a way to protect its reputation. That’s why Amazon adds restrictions to categories which are susceptible to issues with safety, quality or counterfeiting.
While these restrictions are great for Amazon and in turn the shopper, it can make life difficult for sellers. That’s why you have to make sure you’ve done your research to figure out if that goldmine product you’re about to source would fall in a restricted category.
If it does and you’re fine with a few extra steps, these next parts may be for you.
How Do you Start the Approval Process?
Ok, so let’s say you’ve decided to sell in a category that requires an approval process. How do you get started down the path to getting approved to sell? Fortunately, this part is pretty straightforward. Typically, to get the ball rolling on the approval process you will follow these steps:
Head to Seller Central, then click the inventory link and select “Add a Product.”
Perform a search and look for any product you know that is listed in the specific category.
Once you’re in the search results, click the link that says “Listing Limitations Apply.”
Choose “Request Approval” and begin the application.
While some sellers get approved automatically or within a few hours, don’t worry if it take a little extra time for you. For some, getting approval can take up to a week. To check the status of your application all you have to do is go back to the Add a Product section of Seller Central and look for the “Selling Application Status” on the page.
What Does the Approval Process Entail?
Like a lot of things on Amazon, the answer is – it depends. While the approval and “ungating” process can vary from category to category, there are still a few blanket things you want to do to make sure you stay in Amazon’s good graces and increase the chances of getting approved. Some actions that can influence the approval process include:
Pro Selling Account: For nearly all restricted categories you must have a Professional Selling plan or agree to upgrade to a Professional Selling plan within a certain amount of time, typically 30 days after your application is approved.
Good Standing: In addition to having a Professional Selling account, Amazon also wants to see that your account is in good health. So keep your late shipment rates, defect rates and pre fulfillment cancel rates and returns as low as possible to increase your chances of getting approved. Unless there are quality issues with your other product(s), this aspect mainly applies to FBM, because if you’re selling FBA you should be hitting these metrics easily.
Invoices: In some categories, like Grocery and Gourmet food, Amazon requires that you provide them with acceptable documentation like product invoices and any other information they request about your products.
Images: For the Automotive and Powersports category, Amazon requires sellers to have compliant product images that can either be reviewed on an independent website or image hosting site.
Questionnaire: Some categories, like Sexual Wellness and Jewelry also require you to fill out a questionnaire in addition to providing images.
FDA Review: Some products are subject to FDA approval and may have additional requirements, like listing guidelines that you must adhere to.
Want Some More Information about FDA Regulated Products?
Check out our recent podcast on the topic:
As you move through the approval process Amazon will indicate what of the above aspects it needs from you as the seller. Because this is done online with areas to upload or enter information, having all pertinent documents and info ready to go will help speed up this process.
Keep in mind, all categories will be different when it comes to what it takes to get approval to sell. For instance, sellers wanting to break into the Grocery and Gourmet Foods category have to follow specific guidelines.
Here are some of the guidelines straight from Amazon for the Grocery and Gourmet Foods category. As you can see from the image below, there are requirements for a number of aspects including packaging, labelling, shipment dates and much more.
Then, as you might imagine for food products, Amazon also requires sellers to maintain proper temperature control, as you can see below.
Final Thoughts: Should I Avoid Selling in Restricted Categories?
Hopefully after reading this blog post, you have a little better idea of why restricted categories exist and what the process for getting “ungated” entails. Now, if you think the process for getting approval to sell in one of the gated categories is too complex and time-consuming, (especially if you’re a new seller) that’s perfectly fine. However, if you’re willing to go the extra mile, this could be a good strategy for you.
Think about it this way: There is a ton of competition across all categories on Amazon, right? But wouldn’t it make some sense to think that categories that require these extra steps and work, might be a little less crowded for the reasons I mentioned above?
What I’m saying isn’t necessarily profound, nor is it sure to make you instantly rich. That said, you don’t have to avoid restricted categories like the plague just because you can’t open an account and immediately start selling.
These are the types of decisions that you’ll have to make throughout your selling journey. To set yourself up for success, you’ll need to make sure you’ve done plenty of research and have gathered the right data.
Here at Viral Launch, we want to provide you with all the information you’ll need to become a successful Amazon seller. For more on Amazon selling strategies, we encourage you to subscribe to our blog, check out our Youtube channel, and listen to our Follow the Data podcast.
When it comes to selling on Amazon, there’s always an abundance of items on the to-do list. As many brands are made up of just one person or a small team, there’s a lot to keep track of from picking a product and managing inventory to creating a listing and advertising… and everything in between. So how do you keep track of everything? Luckily, there’s an Amazon web app or tool for nearly every step of the selling process.
Here’s a list – in no particular order – of some of the best paid and free Amazon seller web apps designed to help you take your e-commerce business to the next level.
Take your Business On-the-Go with the Amazon Seller App
Before we get started, we should first mention one smartphone app every seller should have.
This might be pretty obvious for more seasoned sellers, but it’s definitely an important one. This is essentially Amazon giving sellers a free tool to help make their selling experience a whole lot easier and organized even when you’re on the go. You’d be crazy not to take advantage of it, right?
What it does: In short – a lot. This is essentially Seller Central in your pocket. With this app, you can analyze sales, quickly make pricing changes, view fees, create listings, upload photos, manage orders, respond to messages and much, much more.
Why we love it: For starters, we love it because it’s free. It’s also great because it has many of the major features and functionality of Seller Central available to you at any time. With this app, you’ll be able to manage your business from just about anywhere.
How to get it: This app is available for free in the Apple or Android app stores.
Ok, now that we’ve covered the Amazon Seller app, lets get back to the best third-party web-based apps and tools for sellers!
1. Take the ‘Ew’ Out of Reviews with Feedback Genius
Amazon reviews are a touchy subject to say the least. That’s why finding any tool that helps sellers manage and gather reviews within Amazon’s terms of service is like coming across an oasis in the middle of the Sahara. One of the most popular review apps is Feedback Genius from Seller Labs.
What it does: Reviews serve as social proof on Amazon, and they’ve got a major impact on clicks and conversions. Therefore, reviews are extremely important, and sellers must have a solid review-gathering gameplan. Feedback Genius is a powerful Amazon seller tool to help sellers gather and manage reviews as well as communicate with buyers through automation and helpful notifications.
Why we love it: Feedback Genius is great because it takes a lot of the legwork out of review aggregation and management. This app allows sellers to automate the bulk of their messaging to buyers and set up notifications so you never miss a review or feedback.
How to get it: Visit the Seller Labs website and create an account. New users can also try out a 30-day free trial!
2. Track Inventory and Run Ad Campaigns with Teikametrics
Making sure you’re on top of your inventory and successfully managing your advertising campaigns are extremely important aspects of selling on Amazon. Knowing how much product you have left and when to restock helps you to maximize profits and maintain ranking. And getting in front of shoppers through sponsored ads expands your sales potential. Luckily, there’s an FBA-focused tool out there that can help you keep track of inventory and advertise your products called Teikametrics.
What it does: This tool helps Amazon sellers create and follow smart inventory systems and sponsored ad campaigns. Manage your investments, track replenishment, and find your true profitability with Teikametrics’ FBA platform. You can also automate your sponsored ad campaigns to increase profitability. It’s all in one place.
Why we love it: Teikametrics is great because it’s designed with the FBA seller in mind. You get help managing inventory to reduce stock-outs while also learning valuable strategies to improve sales velocity and ranking. And when it comes to PPC, Teikametrics’ automated bidding allows you to get the best placement for max profitability without lifting a finger.
3. Utilize Viral Launch’s Suite of Tools to Launch your Business into the Stratosphere
Here at Viral Launch, our mission is to provide sellers with the best information and tools out there for their selling journey – whether it’s from us or not. So with that being said, please forgive us for this shameless plug. Our Viral Launchpad (see what we did there) is based around 4 main tools:
Product Discovery: Our product finding tool allows you to find individual products that meet your criteria, review initial keywords, discover successful brands, and search subcategories for up-and-coming products. It also has advanced filters allowing you to customize your research process to get personalized results.
Market Intelligence: Once you’ve used Product Discovery to find a few products you’re interested in, it’s time to use Market Intelligence to verify your choices. This tool lets you verify demand for products by showing you estimated sales numbers, keyword search volume, trends, market conditions and much more.
Keyword Research: Like we mentioned earlier, finding the right keywords to include in your listing is huge. Our tool allows you to search a general keyword associated with your product and then presents you with a list of other possible keywords. Along with the keyword list, you’ll also get data like Search Volumes, Priority Score, Relevancy Score, Opportunity Score, Trends and more.
Launches: Also known as giveaways, launches are a great way to help move your product up in keyword ranking. At Viral Launch, our clients work with one of our Amazon Seller Coaches to target a major keyword for their product with a lot of search volume. Then, we determine what number of units to give away at a discounted price and for how long. Amazon recognizes these sales which in turn moves the product up in rankings for the major keywords, getting it in front of the eyes of more shoppers.
4. Own Your Taxes with Avalara
Is there anything more fun than doing your taxes? Oh, wait, there is? That’s right, unless you’re a CPA or an Excel whiz, taxes are tedious at best and massively confusing at worse. As an FBA seller, taxes can get even more confusing as changing legislation makes things increasingly difficult. Not to fear, Avalara is here with tax tools designed specifically for the needs of Amazon sellers.
What it does: Among other tax solutions, Avalara software automates sales tax compliance. Amazon sellers can easily understand how much they owe in each state that they have nexus. Avalara can even prepare and file your returns according to a filing calendar. It’s like having your very own accountant on your payroll!
Why we love it: Avalara provides real-time rate calculation and automatic return filing. No more manually entering data and other tax information… with Avalara’s sales tax engine, the right rates and rules will be applied every time!
How to get it: It’s simple, visit the Avalara website, sign up and get started!
5. Make Accounting Easy with Quickbooks
Whether you’re a solo Amazon seller or part of a small team, there’s a lot to keep track of. From expenses to taxes and everything else, that’s a lot of work to put on the shoulders of one, or in some cases, a few people. But with Quickbooks Online, you can keep track of all the important aspects of your business all in one place.
What it does: It might be better ask what Quickbooks Online doesn’t do. Sellers love this tool because of the wide range of services it offers. With Quickbooks Online, you can keep organized books with everything in one place. Automatically import and categorize your transactions, and you can even share your books with your accountant for seamless collaboration. This way, when tax time rolls around, you’re set up for a painless experience.
Why we love it: To be successful in any business, you need to know how much cash you’ve got on hand and how much cash you’re spending. Quickbooks Online allows you to see in real time how much money you’re making and spending… all in one place.
How to get it: Visit the Quickbooks website and sign up for the plan that best fits you and your business! There’s also an option for a free 30-day trial. If you’re having trouble setting up Quickbooks for your Amazon FBA business, get help from the pros. Find a bookkeeper like CapForge BookkeepingPros, who specializes in FBA, and they can help you set up your books correctly. After a free consultation, you’ll understand how CapForge can simplify your Quickbooks for peace of mind.
Bonus Round: International Sellers
6. Take Your Business Worldwide with WorldFirst
One of the main reasons Amazon provides sellers such a massive opportunity is because of the sheer size of their user base. Millions of shoppers from around the world are browsing Amazon every single day. But with different rules and regulations in each overseas economy, selling worldwide can be tricky. With the help of WorldFirst, you can build your business overseas and easily bring your money back home.
What it does: Amazon requires you to open a bank account in any country where you sell products, which can cause logistical headaches and great confusion. WorldFirst allows you to set up Amazon receiving bank accounts in overseas marketplaces like USD, JPY, CNY, GBP, EUR and CAD.
Why we love it: One of the best things about WorldFirst is that it’s extremely cost effective. For starters, it’s free to open an account which makes it easy to get started. There are also no fees for receiving money and no monthly charges.
How to get it: All you have to do is visit the WorldFirst website and sign up for an account.
Combine Amazon Web Apps and Tools with Hard Work and Dedication
While the tools and apps listed in this guide are great resources, they aren’t the end-all-be-all for whether or not you’ll be successful on Amazon. By that, we mean that merely signing up or using these tools won’t ensure success. It’s also completely possible these or other popular tools just aren’t right for you and your business – and that’s fine!
The best way to maximize your chances of successfully selling on Amazon is to combine tools like these with hard work and plenty of research. It’s also important to make sure you stay up to date on any changes that may be taking place within the Amazon marketplace.
The great thing is a lot of this information can be easily found online, it just takes some effort on your part to find them. Like we mentioned above, Viral Launch hopes to be your source for information about all things Amazon. We encourage you to subscribe to our blog, check out ourYoutube channel or listen to our podcastFollow the Data.
When starting your FBA business, Amazon sales estimates are among the most important elements of your Amazon research. This type of data will inform your decisions at nearly every step of the process. From what products to source to how much inventory you’ll need and when to reorder, sales estimates will help keep you on the path to success.
As with most things in life, there’s no surefire way to assure you’ll be successful selling on Amazon. But with hard work, dedication and proper research, you can increase your likelihood of success. And luckily for sellers, there are a lot of options and tools out there that provide sales estimates, including the Viral Launch Amazon sales estimator Market Intelligence.
In this guide, we’ll go over Amazon sales estimates and why they are so important for the future of your online business.
Why Amazon Sales Estimates are So Important
Sales estimates are one piece of the puzzle when it comes to maximizing your potential for success on Amazon. But what makes sales estimates so important?
Amazon does not disclose the number of sales that products on the platform are making each day or each month. And without knowing which products are selling well, it’s almost impossible for an Amazon seller to feel confident choosing a profitable product. But with sales estimates, sellers can eliminate the guesswork and ensure the highest probability of success.
With accurate sales numbers, sellers no longer have to randomly pick a product and hope for the sales to roll in. Instead, sellers can understand how the top products in a market are performing. With an idea of how many daily sales to project for their own products, sellers have invaluable insight into crucial questions, such as:
How much money do I need to invest in this product?
How many units of inventory do I need to order from my manufacturer?
How many products will I sell each month?
How much money will I make on this product?
Answering these questions and aligning them with your goals is the first step in your journey to success on Amazon.
Amazon sales estimates are the cornerstone to choosing a great product to sell on Amazon. Here at Viral Launch, we understand your need for the most accurate data possible. We know that your business depends on it.
That’s why our team has invested loads of time, money, and energy into crafting a comprehensive estimation algorithm. We’ve run over 30,000 product launches, and we lead the industry when it comes to interpreting how Amazon’s algorithms work. And because of this, we are confident in our ability to provide you with the most dependable data in the industry.
When you access these sales estimates, you can be confident in your product selection and in your competitive research.
Sales estimates can also help you predict when you’ll need to order inventory, so you can always stay one step ahead.
It can also be useful when determining potential profit for a product. Couple sales estimates with your Amazon FBA fees by using an FBA Calculator and you’ll be able to get a better idea of how much money in total a product will potentially bring in.
Want to see Market Intelligence in action? Check out this tutorial:
How We Calculate Our Sales Estimates at Viral Launch
In order to produce the most accurate sales estimates as possible, we must be as thorough as possible in our estimation algorithms.
Our sales estimates, powered by Market Intelligence, are based upon historical data, which is a crucial component to the level of desired accuracy. By utilizing the billions of data points at our disposal, we’ve formulated a precise method of estimating sales. In our journey of crafting the most accurate sales estimation algorithm, we brainstormed all possible indicators of sales on Amazon’s platform.
After much testing and trial-and-error, Viral Launch landed on estimating sales based on BSR, or Best Seller Ranking. Each product’s BSR fluctuates on an hourly basis. While many sales estimators on the market will use current BSR, we know that because BSR changes frequently and sometimes drastically, this does not provide an accurate representation of sales.
For example, we watched a product’s Best Seller Rank jump from 98,000 to 38,000 in one hour due to one sale. Then in the next hour it fell back down to 76,000. This drastic fluctuation is happening across the marketplace all the time. So, if you look at a product’s BSR in the morning, it may be very different than the same product’s BSR in the afternoon or evening. Looking at the current BSR to estimate the number of sales over the last month is like trying to predict the plot of a movie based on a single still frame. Without context, it is extremely difficult to guess correctly.
In order to build an accurate sales estimation algorithm, we built our system to take into account the vast fluctuations in BSR that occur all month. Rather than simply taking the current BSR into account, Viral Launch uses historical data through complex algorithms to produce comprehensive numbers. These sales estimates give a much more holistic view into a product’s sales than a dangerous snapshot of data does.
We update our BSR-to-sales mapping algorithm each night to further ensure the highest level of accuracy. This way, our calculation remains consistent with the natural trends of the market, where other sales estimators lack.
To learn more about BSR and how we use it to estimate sales, read this Amazon BSR guide.
Because we are tracking BSR for hundreds of thousands of products on an hourly basis over days, months, and years, our tool is also the only one on the market that can show you trends across an entire market, allowing you to make the most informed decisions. Whether you’re doing inventory planning for Q4 or simply looking at the trajectory of a trending product, Market Intelligence provides a 1,000ft view of the market for maximum insight and better business decisions.
How to Find Amazon Sales Estimates
Now that you know a little bit about why sales estimates are important and how we get the data, let’s go over how to find them. First, head on over to Market Intelligence and perform a search.
For this example in the image below, we’ve searched for a random product: a first aid kit.
As you can see from the image above, after performing your search, you’ll be presented with loads of helpful information.
One of the first columns sellers look at is Monthly Sales. This metric is a product’s estimated units sold over the last 30 days. To gather this, we use a “comprehensive estimate,” estimating sales based on averaged BSR each day.
By scrolling to the right, you’ll find your sales estimates. You will also find “Next 12 Month Sales.” This number denotes the estimated units that are projected to be sold within the next 365 days. To the right of that is “Next 12 Month Revenue,” which is the product’s current price multiplied by the projected future sales.
Keep in mind, you can filter and arrange your columns to present you with only sales and revenue data. Take a look at the image below, you can see everything from Monthly Sales to Next 12M Revenue in an easy to read format.
Market Intelligence also provides market trends, which averages the sales for the top sellers in the market. Analyzing the Amazon market trends for a potential product gives insight into how the product performs throughout the year on average. If you’re looking at one product’s past sales, you can’t attribute peaks and valleys to seasonal trends with certainty.
Perhaps the product went out of stock or the seller drastically raised the price to cause a drop in sales. But by looking at the market trends as a whole, you can understand the market and what you are getting into by sourcing this product.
This historical data can give you an great idea of where a product has been, where it is currently at, and it can give insight into where the product is headed.
Hopefully you have a better understanding about what Amazon sales estimates are and how Market Intelligence calculates them with precision. Amazon sales estimates are just one piece of the puzzle, albeit a pretty important one.
There’s a lot more to learn about becoming an Amazon seller, but one of the biggest tips we can leave you with is to do your research. Whether it’s for product sales, keywords, manufacturing or anything else, you have to make sure you’ve done your homework before jumping in.
In this post, we’ll go over private label products and how you can use them to build an Amazon business from the point of view of a seller. We’ll cover what a private label product is, where to get them and how to pick the right one.
First, we need to answer the question:
What is Private Label?
The concept of private label as it applies to Amazon and selling is actually pretty simple. Think of all the products that are on Amazon. Everything from phone chargers and first aid kits to kitchen utensils, toys and everything in between. Have you ever stopped to think about where these products come from and who is selling them? More often than not, the “company” behind the product listing you’re looking at isn’t so much a company as a single person or small team selling products.
So where do they get the products? People who sell private label products on Amazon “source” generic products from manufacturers and then market them under their own brands as a “third party seller.” This is actually one of the most popular ways to sell on Amazon because it’s the most scalable. As a third party seller, you buy your product in bulk from a manufacturer at lower per unit prices and then re-sell on Amazon for profit.
Sourcing Private Label Products
So this next step in understanding what private label is learning how sellers find them. One of the most popular ways to source products is through the website Alibaba. In short, Alibaba connects you with overseas manufacturers allowing you to purchase your selected products in bulk for resale. However, there are some things you have to keep in mind. Many of the manufacturers you work with will be from another country, so you’ll have to think about possible communication issues and cultural differences when dealing with them.
Just to give you an idea of what the Alibaba interface looks like, take a look at this example search we performed for a random product, in this case a phone charger.
You can’t see on that screenshot, but there are literally 100 pages of products related to phone chargers that you could source and sell under your own brand. By just browsing through the searches, you can get an idea of what the per unit prices will be for products like these, what the minimum order the manufacturer will accept is, and there’s even a button to “Contact Supplier” directly through Alibaba. And once you choose a specific product listing, there’s even more information available.
All this available information will allow you to do your homework on the manufacturer, to ensure they will be a good partner to work with. Alibaba also has its own quality assurance metrics to help you pick legitimate manufacturers to work with, but a lot of the work will still come from your end during communications with prospective partners.
Picking the Right Product
Now you that you know where to get a product from, let’s talk about how to choose the right product. Like with everything on Amazon, this process takes a good deal of research. You don’t just browse Alibaba, find a product you think is cool and then sell it. First, you need to do your homework.
Choosing the right product to sell private label is crucial to your success. One wrong move can cost you time and money, or worst, ruin your Amazon business before it begins. When thinking about what product to sell there are a lot of factors to consider like price/profit margins, marketplace viability, popularity and much more. By using a product finding tool, like Product Discovery from Viral Launch, you can generate a list of possible products that align with your goals.
After you’ve got a list of items you think could be winners, it’s time to validate. There are a lot of market research tools out there for Amazon sellers, including our own Market Intelligence. This type of software eliminate guesswork so you can steer clear of risky products that might lose you money.
For instance, our tool allows sellers to see demand for a product by looking at estimated sales numbers, keyword search volume, and market trends. You can also take a look at how top competitors have performed and are performing with similar products.
Our tool also allows you to look at potential barriers to entry like reviews, big brands and high initial investment.
Want to learn more about how to find great products? Check out this video:
One of the most important things to keep in mind as you continue on your journey of becoming an FBA seller is to never stop learning. Things can change on Amazon in what seems like the blink of an eye, so it’s important to stay up-to-date. What’s great is that information is out there, you just have to be willing to put in the time and effort to research.
Your friends at Viral Launch would love to be there every step of the way by providing tools and resources for your Amazon journey. If you’re interested in learning more information about all things Amazon, we encourage you to subscribe to our blog, check out ourYoutube channel or listen to our podcastFollow the Data.
For even the most seasoned sellers, mastering the intricacies of Amazon can be difficult to say the least. Like with any online or internet-based venture, things change on Amazon sometimes seemingly overnight. It can also be difficult to get concrete information about some of their elements – especially Amazon sales rank, also known as Best Sellers Rank (BSR).
This metric is quite possibly the most disputed and researched element in Amazon’s arsenal. Sellers truly have a love-hate relationship with BSR. Viral Launch’s own CEO Casey Gauss made it his own mission to learn more about the mysterious metric by reverse engineering Amazon’s algorithm. You can learn more about that in his Definitive Guide to Understanding BSR.
But for now, let’s answer a few questions:
What is Amazon Sales Rank?
Essentially, Amazon Sales Rank is used to determine a product’s popularity within a category. It actually exists for all products, even those that aren’t part of a category. Products can have a sales rank of 1 to over a million. The lower your number is, the more sales your product is getting and vice versa. Basically, it’s calculating the period of time since an item last sold, so if you want a low BSR, ideally you want the period of time between sales to be as small as possible. Just think of your BSR like your golf scorecard – the lower the number, the better you’re doing.
You can find the BSR of any product in the Product Information section of a listing. As an example, I searched for a random product – in this case, a phone charger.
As you can see in the image above, you get quite a bit of info at a quick glance.
This particular phone charger’s BSR is 28 in its main category of Cell Phones & Accessories. You also have the option to look at a list of the Top 100 products in that main category. Once you boil it down to subcategories, it ranks 1 and 28.
Why Does Amazon Sales Rank Matter?
From a seller’s standpoint, BSR matters for a few reasons. For starters, it’s an indication of how well your product is selling compared to competitor products, which gives you an idea of where you’re at in the marketplace. So ideally, you want to have as low of a BSR score as possible.
Just remember, when looking at BSR for the products you’re selling it’s an indication of past sales. Think of it this way, does a report card from a previous semester impact your grades in next semester? No. It’s just an indication of your past performance. So like a report card, BSR has no bearing on your future sales and won’t directly help you drive organic sales. This is actually one of the biggest misconceptions about BSR.
Now that you know a little background about Amazon sales rank, let’s go over some guidelines of how to improve it. The very best way to improve your Amazon sales rank is to make more sales. I know, that seems pretty obvious, but it’s something newer sellers still struggle with. Here are a few ways to improve your chances at more sales:
Optimize your listing: Choosing the right keywords for your product is imperative. It’s also important to make sure you include keywords in your listing, especially in your title and bullets. This will help your listing be seen by more people, increasing the chances of your product being bought. There are a lot of keyword tools out there, including Keyword Research from Viral Launch, that can help you with this.
Create great copy: Along with including keywords in your listing copy, you also have to do a great job selling your product to customers. Make sure to highlight all the important aspects of your listing and tell people why they should buy it.
Use professional photos: In addition to copy, product photography plays a huge role in increasing conversions. Many people think a few smartphone photos and some Photoshop is all you need and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Professional photography can make a huge difference in selling your product to customers.
Run a giveaway: Giveaways, or Launches, as they’re called here at Viral Launch, are a way to increase your listing’s ranking for a major keyword. In short, we target a major keyword associated with your product and do product giveaways – usually around 90% off – for a period of 7-10 days. As your product racks up the sales, it is organically moved up in rankings. While the goal of a launch is to improve keyword ranking (which is more crucial to generating organic sales), an improved BSR is frequently a side effect of a promotional campaign.
PPC Campaigns: Pay-Per-Click Campaigns are essentially the “sponsored content” you see when browsing Amazon, Google or other search engines. Basically, you pay a small fee to search engines for a specific keyword. This helps get your product in front of more people who are searching for similar items.
One thing you don’t want to do while chasing a lower BSR is intentionally miscategorizing your product in a less competitive subcategory. Some sellers try this tactic because they think it will be easier to achieve a lower BSR. However, we don’t recommend this because it limits the product’s visibility as many searches filter to a relevant subcategory. This means your product could be filtered out of valuable results.
Here at Viral Launch, part of our mission is making sure sellers have the best possible information about all things Amazon in their arsenal. That’s especially true when it comes to a widely disputed, misunderstood and, frankly, confusing topic like Amazon sales rank. Is it important? Sure. It’s great to know how your product is doing in comparison to others. But you should view BSR as more of a symptom rather than a cure. If your product isn’t performing well compared to its peers, check out competitor listings. Try to see what they’re doing right and you might find ways to improve your listing. Just remember, what your BSR is today has no bearing on what sales you’ll make tomorrow.
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When starting your Amazon FBA business you’re taking a risk. One false move could cost you precious time and money or worse. A mistake when looking for what to sell on Amazon FBA could send your business crashing down before it even begins. The Amazon ecosystem can be confusing to navigate, but by arming yourself with plenty of information, you can maximize your chances for success.
So if you’re a newer Amazon FBA seller, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes to avoid when starting your FBA journey. Most of these are centered on the Private Label selling experience since over half of Amazon FBA sellers have one or more Private Label products.
#1 – Following the wrong resources
It’s extremely easy—maybe a little too easy—to find courses, gurus or service providers that give out or sell lists of the “best products to sell on Amazon.” If you see someone selling or giving out “hot product ideas,” run away.
There’s a huge market for courses, gurus, and consulting services for Amazon sellers. And it’s not hard to see why. Amazon can be confusing, to say the least, and people want to be told how to be successful. The problem is, when everyone takes the same advice, especially when it comes to products, it can lead to oversaturated markets. That means it can be exceptionally hard to generate visibility and drive sales. A market can be great, but if a few hundred sellers all source that same product, the supply can overtake the demand, leaving you with high competition and a bunch of inventory that’s too hard to sell.
#2 – Following trend markets
Just like you ran from the gurus and best product lists, do the same for trendy markets. Chasing trends can be extremely risky, especially as a newer seller. They’re only really profitable for those who are really, really early to the party.
For an example of this, look no further than 2017’s fidget spinner:
In late 2017, the fidget spinner made some early sellers a lot of money. But as more people hopped on the bandwagon, demand crashed, and a lot of money was lost. Think of it this way, if a product is trending on social media or TV, you’re probably too late to the party. Even if a market looks amazing, with tons of sellers moving thousands of units with low review quantities, you probably won’t have enough time to capitalize on it. On the short end, it’s going to take you two months to get your product to the market. And by that time, public hype will have started to die down.
If you do hop into a market that quickly becomes saturated, many sellers find themselves in pricing wars with their competitors, limiting their profit margins. This could lead you to sell below cost and lose money.
The people that profit from a trend market either get extremely lucky with timing or they have a low cost (meaning they are a manufacturer) or a ton of capital to pour into a product to drive and hold ranking. Everyone else will likely end up taking a financial hit.
#3 – Not thoroughly researching restrictions/barriers for your desired market
There are quite a few categories on Amazon that have a required approval process to begin selling. For these categories, you may need to submit formal documentation and invoicing. You may also have to pay an upfront fee to be permitted to sell in the category. This can be disastrous for new sellers hoping to hop into a category quickly and start selling. Make sure you have taken the time to understand categories that require this upfront work by checking out Amazon’s approval process. Additionally, there are also specific products that have different restrictive barriers.
#4 – Sourcing low-quality products
If you are planning on selling a private label product, make sure it’s high quality. Sourcing a low-quality product can doom your Amazon venture from the start. Reviews are extremely hard to generate on Amazon, and a few negative reviews early on can sink a listing in a flash. Take the time to order samples and analyze durability, functionality, and overall quality to address any concerns that could drive complaints from buyers. Also, take the time to read through negative reviews from your competition and see if there are any issues that you can improve on. You may even want to purchase a few of your competitor’s products to compare to your samples as a quality check.
#5 – Sourcing an expensive product (for that market)
Another thing to be aware of is all the hidden costs of starting a private label business. Until you actually get started with the selling process, it can be difficult to understand all the costs associated with an FBA business. Between shipping, sourcing, Amazon fees, PPC, promotions, listing creation and more, there’s a lot of costs to be aware of before you jump in. At Viral Launch, we actually have a tool that can help you with initial cost estimates. Amazon also has some great resources about referral fees by category and shipping tiers you should check out before getting started.
While it’s extremely important to have a high-quality product, if you cannot match or beat the majority of your competition on price, it’s probably not advantageous to enter the market. We recommend being sure you can break even by selling at a lower price than everyone on page one. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it will afford you some flexibility to adjust pricing with fluctuations in the market.
Keep in mind that while quality is important, it is extremely hard to sell a higher priced item based on quality on Amazon. You’re allowed limited space for copy and images and shoppers are typically looking for low prices.
#6 – Selling a product you’re passionate about
This one might surprise people. It might make sense to some to sell a product you’re knowledgeable or passionate about, but it can often do more harm than good. Sourcing a product you’re passionate about can cloud your judgment, lead to mistakes in pricing and make it harder to bail out if a product just isn’t selling. While it’s not wrong to sell something you’re passionate about, it can cause you to react emotionally rather than logically. So just remember to focus on the bottom line.
The 12 Most Common Amazon FBA Mistakes to Avoid – Video Version Check out the video version of this blog below and don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe:
#7 – Not inspecting a product
This is another note for private label sellers and it goes hand in hand with sourcing a low-quality product mistake. It’s important to ensure the product that comes off the manufacturing line and to your customers is in good shape and quality. Many sellers hire an inspection agency that will go in and observe the manufacturing process to check out inventory and monitor any defects or flaws. This step can save you significant time and money in the long run because you’ll catch mistakes before the inventory is sent to the United States or Amazon.
#8 – Sourcing a patented product
When looking for private label products to source from a manufacturer, it’s important to consider patents. In some cases, sellers will have a product manufactured that’s actually under a patent. Most likely, manufacturers you’re buying from won’t know the product is patented and will try it to sell to anyone who will buy it. However, that doesn’t mean it’s legal. Imagine investing a bunch of capital in product inventory only to get a cease and desist or lawsuit from the patent holder.
#9 – Not putting enough effort into building your listing (including photos)
If you’re a private label seller, you own the product listing. That means you have to set it up. You’ve put a lot of effort into finding and sourcing your next great product. It would only make sense to put the same amount of effort into creating your listing, right? Unfortunately, many Amazon sellers don’t subscribe to that notion. Between your photos, title, bullets, and product description you don’t have much space to capture a customer’s attention and explain what your product is and does. That’s why it’s so important to use the limited space you have to its full advantage.
Effective listing copy accomplishes two goals. It provides persuasive sales copy while also helping you to index for valuable keywords. Before launching a listing, make sure to do extensive keyword research. Find the most relevant keywords for your product and make sure they’re in your listing, most importantly in the title and bullets. And, make sure you’re writing engaging and accurate copy for your product. If you’re not comfortable writing your own copy, check out the listing optimization service from Viral Launch.
As for photography, many sellers think a smartphone photo and a few clicks in Photoshop will do the trick, but they’re mistaken. Professional photography can play a huge role in whether or not a product fails on Amazon. Because Amazon is such a crowded marketplace and you have limited space to sell customers on your product, including high-quality photos can truly make a difference in sales.
#10 – Violating Terms of Service (with reviews or by attacking competition)
There are a lot of companies that pitch different “black hat” (against Terms of Service) strategies. Most of these are centered around generating reviews. While these strategies may seem tempting, Amazon heavily polices review generation. If you get caught paying for (or otherwise incentivizing) reviews, you’re putting your selling privileges at risk. Engaging in review manipulation tactics is common on Amazon, and many sellers get away with it initially, but Amazon has been seriously cracking down on review fraud and the impact can be extremely detrimental to your business.
#11 – Not monitoring your listing or data
For private label sellers, your product listing is sort of like a living, breathing organism. There are ups and downs and changes from day-to-day. Far too many private label sellers throw their listing up and think they’re done. It’s important to continue monitoring your listing to collect data and see how it’s working. You should also keep track of how competitor listings are doing and the category as a whole. Make sure to monitor your ranking for important keywords and ad campaign data as well, using those insights to develop a long-term strategy. Getting your listing up is only half the battle. Tweaking and optimizing based on feedback is the other half.
#12 – Putting your product into the wrong category
As a private label seller, one part of setting up a product listing is deciding what category your product will be listed in. During this step, it’s important to place your product in the proper category. Some sellers try to categorize their product in a lower competition market as a way to earn the Best Seller Badge. However, many searches filter to a specific subcategory, so incorrectly categorizing your product could filter you out of crucial search results.
Sellers can look up their product in Seller Central to determine potential categories, just make sure your product is relevant to the one you choose. If my first aid kit, for example, is not for survival or tactical purposes, there are several options below I would want to avoid in terms of category choice. More than likely, I would want to be in generic first aid kits under Health and Personal Care:
Learning from Your Mistakes as an Amazon FBA Seller
This is the part where I wish we could tell you a magical secret that would make you wildly successful with your Amazon FBA business and richer than you could have ever dreamed. But on Amazon—and in life—these magic shortcuts just don’t exist. The only way to maximize your chances for success as an Amazon FBA seller is through hard work, data leveraging, and constant research and education.
It’s also safe to say that you’ll make some mistakes. The hope is, however, that those mistakes are minor and few and far between. But, when you do make mistakes it’s important to learn from them. Hopefully, this blog has helped open your eyes to things you’ll want to keep in mind and help you from making a big mistake that could doom your FBA business.
Whether you want to start a profitable side hustle or you’re ready to become your own boss, selling on Amazon provides a massive and lucrative opportunity. But despite what some online marketers would have you believe, it isn’t just a magical money-making scheme.
To be successful, it takes an adequate budget, hard work, a lot of research, and some dedication. In actuality, a lot of people who start their Amazon journey quit before they ever have a chance to succeed.
But if you work hard and do your research, you can maximize your potential to start and build a successful business. In this guide, we’ll walk through how to become an Amazon seller step-by-step. Let’s hop into it!
1. Find a Product to Sell on Amazon
Now that you’ve decided to become an Amazon seller, your first step is to determine what you want to sell. The research you conduct at this initial stage is one of the most important tasks in this entire process. The data you gather and the product choices you make from that data will determine the success or failure of your entire project. Finding good opportunities depends on a lot more than imitating the success of a popular product or competing against products with mediocre Amazon product pages. You’ll need to thoroughly research the products, competition, keywords, and market trends before making a decision.
Before you start to formulate ideas, you’ll need to be aware of the various selling methods. Which option will be best for you depends on your goals and ambitions:
Retail arbitrage is generally a great starting point for an Amazon newbie. Otherwise known as RA, retail arbitrage is when you visit retail stores such as Walmart or Target, buy discounted products, and then resell them on Amazon at a higher price. What’s great about this technique is you can get your feet wet selling on Amazon without a huge investment up front. Online arbitrage is the same idea, only that sellers buy discounted products online to then resell them on Amazon.
Private label is perhaps the most scalable model for selling on Amazon. With private label, you find a generic product and a manufacturer who can make the product in bulk at a cheap price. Then you tweak the product, adding your logo and business information, and sell it under your own brand.
Wholesale means you buy products directly from a major brand (such as Nike, L’Oréal, or Fisher-Price) at wholesale price and sell them on Amazon. The difference between this and private label is that with wholesale, you’re buying products directly from an already established brand and then selling them under their brand name with their approval.
This guide specifically deals with private label, since it’s the most scalable, while still being a viable option for a newer seller. Your first step to getting started with private label is to start brainstorming product ideas. The possibilities are practically endless, but you can’t just pick a product at random and expect to make money. The best method for finding the best product ideas is to use data. Doing so will help you identify products with existing demand, which results in high sales potential for you. To gather this data, your best option is to use a product-finding software with market analysis capabilities.
Our favorite product finder is Product Discovery. This tool provides you with a list of product ideas that match your budget and sales goals. With a few simple filters, you can easily locate product markets where you can compete as a new seller.
If this is your first product, your market criteria should look something like this:
Decent revenue: We suggest a range of $10,000-$25,000
Low reviews: We suggest a maximum of 250 reviews
Search volume: We suggest a minimum of 5,000 searches
Sales to review ratio: We suggest a minimum of 3 (This means the average monthly sales are at least 3x the number of average reviews. Reviews are the toughest barrier to entry in a market, so you want to make sure you have plenty of sales opportunities to gather reviews and compete with existing sellers.)
These criteria are just a starting point, and you should customize them to your own goals. The more personalized your inputs, the better your results will be!
After gathering a list of products you’re interested in, you’ll then need to validate your ideas. Again, you must use accurate data to ensure you’re choosing a product that sets you up for success. Market Intelligence integrates with Product Discovery, so that you can dive right into the validation stage. This process helps you avoid oversaturated markets or markets where your sales potential is low. When you plug your ideas into Market Intelligence, you should analyze the following:
Barrier to entry: How easy will it be to enter a market and compete with the existing brands? If there are already a number of established, successful brands with high sales and a lot of customer reviews, then your chance of success will be low. The ideal market for new sellers is one with low competition and high demand.
Revenue and profit potential: How much can you make with this product? The ultimate measure of how well a business is performing is profit, and each business will have different goals. In Market Intelligence, you’ll see how much each existing product is making per month, which will help you determine how much you could expect to make once the product is up and running. Remember to look at market averages, not just a few outliers, so you can accurately predict revenue. And don’t forget: you will encounter costs such as manufacturing, shipping, and Amazon fees. (We added a cost calculator to help with this).
Monthly sales: How many units are sold each month? In order to understand how many products you need to order from the manufacturer (which is typically in China and leads to long shipping times), it’s important to know how much demand for this product currently exists on Amazon. Look at how many units are sold each month for products on the first few pages for the product’s main keywords, keeping in mind that you’ll likely need to order at least 2 month’s worth upfront.
Market trends: How does this product sell throughout the year? Certain markets are seasonal and see spikes in sales during certain times of the year related to holidays or changes in the season. You’ll need to anticipate these trends for inventory reasons, and if this seasonality doesn’t appeal to you, it would be best to avoid products that depend on demand at certain times of the year.
The Amazon marketplace can be overwhelming, especially to newer sellers, but by using software like this to gather data and help find strong product ideas, you increase your chances of success.
*Note: before selecting a product, you’ll want to make sure that you can source it for a price allows for a healthy margin. Use a site like Alibaba.com to get an initial idea for how much you will have to spend per unit, and don’t forget to account for shipping.
If you’re ready to start using data to find the ideal product for your Amazon business, sign up for a free trial. You can find 25 product ideas and validate 5 of them for free! Have questions about getting started on Amazon? Contact our team 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Open an Amazon Account
Once you’ve chosen a product to sell, you’ll want to make yourself official and open a Seller Central account, which will be the hub of your online business. This portal is where you’ll add product listings, manage your inventory, view your reports, and more.
You’ll start by signing up with a valid email address and then be prompted to add the following information. Make sure you have all the info you need on-hand to make the process a little smoother:
Business name and address
Credit card/bank information
Tax information (If you have an LLC, add your EIN. If not, you can use your SSN)
Later when you start making sales, Amazon will deposit payments directly into your bank account every two weeks and will notify you that your payment has been sent.
After clicking Next, you’ll enter your billing information. During the signup, you‘ll also choose which account type to sign up for. You have two options:
Individual: This account type gives you access to 20 product categories and restricts you to a maximum of 40 items sold per month. You’ll be charged a fee of $1 per item sold, although there is no monthly subscription fee.
Professional: With this option, you’ll have access to 30 product categories and are eligible, upon approval from Amazon, to sell in the additional restricted categories. This account costs $39.99 per month.
If you’re just looking to sell off some old books, you’ll probably want an Individual account. If you plan to flip items through Retail Arbitrage, you’ll need to decide how ambitious you want to be. A Professional account will be best if you plan to sell more than 40 products a month. As a brand-new seller, there’s no need to pay $39.99 a month until you’re actually selling your product. Just before your inventory arrives at the warehouse, you can easily switch over to the Professional plan.
3. Choose Your Fulfillment Method
The next step is to choose the method of fulfillment for your products. Fulfillment refers to the responsibilities of storing, picking, packing, and shipping products to customers. The two options are Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM):
FBA: This method can be best defined using Amazon’s terms: “You sell it. We ship it.” Using the FBA model, you send your products to be stored in an Amazon fulfillment center, and Amazon will then pick, pack, and ship your products when a customers order. Amazon also takes care of customer service issues, such as returns. It’s an easy-to-use, hands-off model, but it’s important to know that additional fees are involved.
FBM: Using this method, you list your products on Amazon and then you handle all aspects of storage and order fulfillment. You are also responsible for any late, missing, or damaged packages.
In this step, you’ll log into Seller Central and begin creating your product listing, which is the product page where a shopper will learn about and purchase your product. A product listing is your opportunity to show consumers what your product is, what it does, and why they should buy it. It’s important to be as accurate as possible when describing your product. You will also want to include all the necessary information, including ingredients, materials, dimensions, and anything else a shopper will need to know.
In order to have your product listed on Amazon, you’ll need to be assigned a specific product number from Amazon, known as a Fulfillment Network Stock Keeping Unit (FNSKU). However, in order to acquire one, you’ll first need to get a universal product code (UPC), which is a bar code. UPCs are created by the standards organization, GS1 US, and you can obtain your product’s UPC from their website. In order to get your FNSKU process started, you’ll need to obtain a UPC, which can take some time. Then once you’ve received it, you can create your product listing on Amazon.
The most crucial element in a listing is the keywords, and the effectiveness of your listing depends on your use of them. You could write some great copy for your listing, but if you haven’t included the keywords people are using to search for your type of product, your listing won’t be found. In a later step, you’ll focus on ensuring that your listing is optimized with the top keywords to earn strong organic search results and draw traffic. For the time being, you’ll get acquainted with how to create a listing and everything that needs to be included.
A product listing consists of the following elements:
Title: The title is the most important element in your listing since it’s what Amazon focuses on the most when it comes to keyword ranking. In addition to your main photo, the title is what shoppers will see first In a search results list. Keep in mind that a title should give an accurate overview of what your product is and does. For some products, this will mean including dimensions or quantity counts. It’s also crucial that you include the most important keywords here.
Bullet points: In Amazon, these bullet points are known as product features. This is where you can elaborate on and highlight important aspects of your product. This is also where you’ll want to include any important keywords you didn’t fit into your title.
Product description: Your product description is where you can write in greater detail about your product and expand on what you covered in the bullet point section. Although brevity and keyword placement is key in the title and bullet points, the product description is where you can establish your brand voice.
Backend keywords: This section doesn’t actually appear on your live listing, so your customers won’t see it. This is where you should input any related keywords you weren’t able to fit in the main parts of your listing. You can include foreign-language keywords here along with misspelled words to gain the most visibility.
Photography: Each listing can have a maximum of nine product photos. The first, and most important, image in your photo set is called the hero image. This is the main image shoppers see when looking at your product in search results or on your listing page. In addition to your hero image, you can add images to show your product in use, known as lifestyle photos.
5. Find a Manufacturer
Let’s say you’ve decided to sell private-label products as an FBA seller. Where do you get your inventory? The goal of this step is to answer that question. It’s time to research the potential manufacturers and decide on the best one for your business.
Among the most popular sourcing options for private-label sellers is Alibaba. This site is a good place to begin your search for an overseas manufacturer who can supply bulk orders of your product.
When making this choice, make sure you do your research and choose a legitimate company to work with. Alibaba provides its own quality assurance metrics such as its Verified Supplier and Gold Supplier memberships. These designations are certified by third-party groups outside of Alibaba and confirm the business’s legitimacy. When looking at a supplier’s product page, you can view information that includes their response rate and the number of transactions they’ve had in the last six months.
We recommend creating a longlist of 10 or more suppliers and contacting each of them. Alibaba offers a messaging system for getting in touch with a manufacturer; just click the Contact Supplier button on the product page.
In assessing each one, you’ll be looking for a number of different characteristics. You’ll want to avoid any language barriers and find someone who will be easy to understand. Pay attention to how quickly a supplier responds to messages and they should be able to provide good answers to your questions, as well as ask good questions of their own regarding sizes, colors, and other specifications. It will also be preferable to find a supplier who has experience working with other Amazon sellers and is familiar with Amazon’s requirements. You’ll also need to know how flexible they’ll be if you need to make changes after an order has been placed.
Pricing is also a vital point since you’ll want to source a quality product that meets your budget. Once you have prices from each supplier, go Viral Launch’s FBA calculator to ensure you will be able to make a profit. To estimate your potential profit, you’ll need to know the cost of goods sold, the shipping costs to Amazon, and the selling price of your product on Amazon.
After communicating with each supplier, narrow down your list to two or three and request product samples from each of them. Also buy some competitor products off Amazon and compare them. After reviewing everything, you can decide on which supplier to work with.
For more in-depth information about finding a manufacturer, listen to this episode from Viral Launch’s podcast, Follow the Data.
6. Order and Ship Your Product
In the last step, you’ve decided on the best supplier for your product, so now you can place your first full order. We recommend that you order enough product for at least a two-month run of inventory (or, at least enough to cover your lead time)
Since you’ll be ordering from an overseas supplier, you’ll have a few different payment options:
Bank wire (or telegraphic transfer): This method is the riskiest since you make a payment directly to the supplier’s bank account before you receive your order. Of the other methods, this requires the least amount of fees. Manufacturers usually prefer these kinds of payments, but we would recommend using a different option, especially when forming a new supplier relationship.
Credit card/PayPal: This is a more reliable and secure payment method, but requires more fees. Because of the security involved and ability to cancel a payment, many Amazon sellers prefer this method. However, due to fees, some manufacturers will not accept these for a large order.
Escrow service: Alibaba provides this payment option, which is essentially a combination of the previous two. Your payment is sent to the supplier, but it’s held by Alibaba until your confirm the receipt of your product. This is a great middle ground; try to find a manufacturer who is willing to accept Alibaba pay or similar, which protects you and them.
Before you make your payment, you’ll need to plan where your goods are going to be shipped depending on your selling plan. You’ll also need to provide the supplier with box labels, pallet labels, and FNSKUs.
If you choose FBA, the destination will be one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers. You’ll need to let Amazon know that your order is on it way through creating an inbound shipment in Seller Central. If you choose FBM, your manufacturer will send your product directly to you or to your desired warehouse. You can work with your manufacturer and a freight forwarder to handle shipping logistics.
At this stage, you’ll want to consider an inspection. You can have a third-party inspection company check over your inventory to make sure it’s up to your standards, either in the country of origin or in the United States. Alibaba has an inspection directory to help you find an affordable provider in the origin country. We’d recommend an inspection on your first order, followed by inspections every few orders after that to ensure the highest quality.
7. Optimize Your Listing
In this step, we return to the product listing we started in step 4 to do some search engine optimization (SEO). The goal here is to ensure the listing will reach the greatest number of consumers seeking your product. As discussed earlier, using the most relevant keywords will be crucial to creating a listing that earns a high search ranking and draws traffic.
You may have already started gathering the important keywords from the earlier product research step, but if you haven’t, entering your product in Keyword Research will give you a list of the top keywords to include. You’ll want to write a title that artfully incorporates the top keywords, and the first five words in your title are the most important to your ranking. The following is an example of a well-optimized title for a first aid kit:
First Aid Kit Emergency Preparedness Medical Supplies for Home, Office, School, Car, and Travel – 150-piece small basic kit with full range of medical supplies for treating common injuries
Our Listing Builder tool provides an efficient and simplified way to create a listing, helping you build each element. Enter your title, product features/bullet points, description, and backend keywords, and you’ll generate an optimization score, telling you how effective your listing is. If it needs some work, the score will tell you and you can keep adding keywords from the displayed list to increase your score.
Your business as an Amazon seller officially begins now. Once you have your product listing completed and your products ready to ship, it’s time to go live.
However, there’s a lot more to it than just throwing up a product listing and expecting sales to start rolling in. To set yourself up for success, you’ll want to increase your visibility. We recommend a couple of different tactics:
Running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.
Offering a product giveaway, or what we call a product launch.
PPC campaigns are essentially the “sponsored content” advertisements you’ve probably seen when browsing products on Amazon. In these campaigns, you bid for your advertisement to appear in a sponsored ads section for a specific keyword related to your product. When a consumer searches for that keyword, your ad appears and you pay a small amount of money to Amazon for each click your ad gets. This helps you generate some initial visibility and gets your product in front of even more people than you would otherwise.
Another way to get your product more visibility is through product launches. These will help kickstart your listing through deeply discounted sales. This helps Amazon’s algorithm understand your product as important for the keywords in your listing, and the goal is to increase your product’s rank in search results. The higher a product ranks on Amazon, the greater your sales opportunity. Most shoppers don’t make it past the first couple pages when browsing, which is why page-one positions for major keywords are so important.
For a launch, you can work with a Viral Launch Amazon seller coach who will look for a major keyword for your product with high search volume that will lead to the most relevant impressions possible. Next, your coach will do research to determine how many units you should give away at a discounted price. Usually, the discounts end up being about 90%. A heavy discount helps ensure all of your giveaway units are purchased within the right time frame. Your coach will determine how many products to give away based on the sales of page-one competitors. Most of our launches are for a period of 7 to 10 days because we’ve found that it’s a long enough period of time for Amazon to recognize the sales but also short enough to limit the number of products being given away.
The end result of a product launch is that your ranking in Amazon’s search results will be on page one, providing you with some strong exposure to consumers and the chance to being driving significant sales. Sales and rank both influence each other. As your sales increase, your organic ranking will increase, which will help your visibility to drive sales and your ranking will continue to rise.