Amazon FBA Hack: How To Find Products No One Is Selling

Hack: How to Find Products No One is Selling

In today’s episode, Casey Gauss talks us through how to use a super simple strategy to find products and markets that are underserved and waiting to be tapped into. You might just be 3 simple steps away from finding your next golden opportunity! 

Casey also introduces Viral Launch’s New Search Volume Algorithm. Back in December, Amazon pushed a code change upgrading the technology behind some of their internal APIs. One of those APIs had been feeding a few software providers (including Viral Launch) with exact and broad match search volume, as well as product relevancy data. This change removed these metrics (search volume and relevance) from the API, leaving software providers without the ability to grab fresh search volume data directly from Amazon.  Viral Launch has spent the last few months working on a solution and we feel really great about our new search volume algorithm. 

If you haven’t yet, sign up for a free trial on our suite of software tools and start dominating Amazon today! http://bit.ly/FTDpodcast_trial.

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Giveaways Are Not Dead: Sales History, the Honeymoon Period, and More

Giveaways Are NOT Dead: Sales History, The Honeymoon Period, and More

Giveaways are somewhat of a controversial topic in the Amazon seller community; every few months, sellers wonder if they even work anymore.  At VL, we run hundreds of giveaways per day, and the data says that they are absolutely still effective.  You just have to approach them differently in 2019.  Casey discusses creating foundational sales, conducting keyword research, and understanding your market before launching a giveaway – this will help skyrocket your product to success even after the launch is complete.

Check out our Sales and Rank Part 4 webinar on Giveaways: http://bit.ly/2F2XC6l 

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Rebroadcast of Dispelling Myths: 90% Off Promotions (Follow the Data Ep. 24)

Rebroadcast of Dispelling Myths: 90% Off Promotions (Follow the Data Ep. 24)

We’re off this week preparing for the launch of our latest software tool. If you want an exclusive offer and to be among the first to find out what the tool is, join us for the unveiling Tuesday March 6 at 8pm. Reserve your spot at launchevent.viral-launch.com In the meantime here’s a rebroadcast of Dispelling Myths: 90% Off Promotions.

Do launches work? Amazon gives higher keyword ranking to products sold at full price, leaving deeply discounted promotional products in the dust… Or so the myth goes. In the inaugural episode of the “Dispelling Myths” series, Viral Launch CEO Casey Gauss dives into the data to validate, or dispel, this widespread concern among Amazon sellers. Originally aired on October 5, 2017

 

 

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Follow the Data Show Notes

Podcast Transcript

Casey Gauss:
Everyone’s looking for like that next hack. It makes logical sense that 90% off promotions don’t drive as much keyword ranking. You know the problem is that the data just doesn’t show that.

Cameron Yoder:
The buzz about town is that running promotions to get ranking may not work the way it used to. Today we’re diving into the data to see what’s really going on. I’m Cameron Yoder.

Casey Gauss:
And I’m Casey Gauss, your host for Follow the Data: Your Journey to Amazon FBA Success. So in this show we leverage the data we’ve accumulated at Viral Launch from over 20,000 product launches and our experience working with over 5500 brands on Amazon to help you understand the big picture when it comes to Amazon and, most importantly, the best practices for success as an Amazon seller.

Cameron Yoder:
These first four inaugural episodes of Follow the Data are all part of our Dispelling Myths series in which we explore topics that have garnered a lot of conversation among the Amazon seller community recently, but that until now have not been proven or disproven using factual evidence.

Casey Gauss:
We’ll talk about where these Amazon myths come from, why they seem to logically make sense, and what the data is saying, and what is actually happening and how you can apply that moving forward.

Cameron Yoder:
All right, Casey, so this is Episode 1 of Dispelling Myths. We’re talking about promotions here. Can you tell us a little bit about this myth? What exactly is this myth?

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, so essentially this myth is basically stating that Amazon gives higher ranking power or effect to sales at full price versus, you know, the promotions at 90% off. The theory is that if you are running a promotion, if you’re giving a product away at a discount or selling it at a discount, especially 90% off, you’re not going to get nearly as much ranking power as a full-price sale.

Cameron Yoder:
So someone selling on Amazon, let’s say they give away items at 50% off. People are saying that those are not as effective or efficient as – or that the 90% off promotions are not as effective or efficient as the 50% off coupons. Is that right?

Casey Gauss:
Yep, correct.

Cameron Yoder:
Okay, okay. So where – or when, when did this idea start? Like where did it come from?

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, you know, we’ve seen this idea ever since 2014 when we got started. To be honest, I think that it’s definitely had a resurgence. We’ve seen people say you know back in the day oh Amazon will only let a review stick, or you can only get review power if it is at zero dollars, or if it’s over five dollars. You know there’s always these kind of arbitrary metrics that people throw out, and so now there’s just this resurgence. You know I’ve probably seen it a lot more over the last three months maybe, maybe around May, maybe around June, somewhere around there.

Cameron Yoder:
So why do you think it’s researching? Like why is this coming back?

Casey Gauss:
The – so yeah, so I mean with any myth I think a lot of it boils down or finds its root in everyone’s looking for like that next hack. It makes logical sense that 90% off promotions don’t drive as much keyword ranking. You know the problem is that the data just doesn’t show that.

Cameron Yoder:
Another point I guess that’s important, right, is that I mean it would be really, really great if it wasn’t true, right, that oh, that means if 90% off promotions aren’t as effective or efficient, then we don’t have to give products away at 90% off. Like that is a very appealing notion, right? So then that means that sellers don’t have to give products away for extreme discounts.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, okay, yeah, very true. I would definitely like to point that out as – so it’s called consistency bias, right?

Cameron Yoder:
Yeah, right.

Casey Gauss:
And so you don’t want to spend the money associated with selling product at 90% off, and so you would like to tell yourself that it is great to – or that Amazon prefers full-price sales, and that’s why you want to head that way. Oh yeah, so another instance in which this kind of comes up is, you know, people run one promotion and they don’t get the keyword ranking they expected to see, right? So I’m selling a fish oil. I think I need to give away 50 units a day, let’s just say. And so I do that, and I expected to get to page 1, but I only got to bottom of page 2, right? And so then instantly everybody would jump to oh my gosh, promotions don’t work nearly as well. It must be full-price sales that are the answer. And you know the problem with that is here’s where, you know, the Viral Launch data or perspective really comes into play is that we’re running hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of promotions every day. So we have tons of data where you know, we’re tracking keyword ranking –

Cameron Yoder:
Right.

Casey Gauss:
– for keywords, the targeted keyword, as well as keywords that we find in the title, in the bullet points, in the rest of the listings. So we really, really understand how sales interact with the content of a listing, or tracking the price point of sale, or tracking are coupons present when we have MWS access. And so yeah, we’re able to really get this really broad perspective of the market versus you run one promotion, maybe your keyword, main keyword, wasn’t in the title. Maybe it wasn’t in your listing at all. Maybe, you know, you weren’t even indexed for it, or you know there’s a number of different factors that – and sometimes you know there’s things like cursed products where we just cannot get those things to rank in –

Cameron Yoder:
Cursed products.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, that’s what we call it. So yeah, there’s so many different variables coming into play that running one test and then not getting the results that you had expected or intended is not enough of a sample size to really draw a strong correlation or a strong conclusion.

Cameron Yoder:
Right. And we, in terms of data – like you were talking about data – we really have that sample size. Again, like we run – we run promotions every single day, and they’re all built off of – or not every single one, but almost all of them are built off of 90% off promotions.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah.

Cameron Yoder:
If that didn’t work and it wasn’t effective, it wouldn’t work for us.

Casey Gauss:
Right.

Cameron Yoder:
And we see it every single day.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, so I mean getting into the data of it, simply we’re running hundreds and hundreds of launches, and the amount— our ability to drive keyword ranking is just insane. And so at the end of the day Amazon is paying attention to did a sale happen? They’re not paying attention to the number of units that occurred or the price at which it is actually purchased. I think Amazon cares or is paying more attention to the price that the product is listed at.

Cameron Yoder: Let’s transition to a break. We’ll be back right after this message.

Rebecca Longenecker:
Hey, I’m Rebecca Longenecker, the producer for Follow the Data, and I wanted to let you know about a really cool resource the Viral Launch team just published. With this holiday season promising to be the biggest yet for Amazon, we’re offering an e-book that walks you through every aspect of Q4 preparation, from inventory planning, to optimizing your listing for mobile, to making sure your product is showing up in search. We’ve got you covered. There are also fun facts, helpful notes and handy little checklists you can use to evaluate how prepared you are. Don’t miss out on this year’s holiday sales. Go to viral-launch.com/Q4 to download the e-book now. That’s viral-launch.com/Q4. Thanks!

Cameron Yoder:
And we’re back again talking about the myth of giveaways and promotions. So Casey, let’s talk a little bit more about the data that’s backing this dispelling up. Can you touch on everything just a little bit more?

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, you know I think the really simple analogy or the simple logic here to kind of give everyone an example is as simple as this. So let’s take fish oil as an example, and someone wants to run a promotion to get ranking for the keyword, “fish oil.” Well, what we do is we go and we look, okay, here’s page 1 for fish oil. You know these guys are selling, let’s say it’s 50 units a day average page 1 or bottom half of page 1. And we want to get ranking there. So what we will do is we will give away 50 units per day targeting this keyword, “fish oil,” and after three days, five days, maybe seven days we’ll be ranking bottom of page 1 for fish oil, and we did – we ran 90% off promotion. So 90% of the sale price, these guys are selling 50 units a day at the organic price, and we sold at 90% off, and we’re still able to drive the same amount of keyword ranking. And so again, if Amazon did not – or reduced the amount of keyword ranking power as some kind of function of the purchase price we would not be ranking alongside these people that are selling just as many units except at the organic price. So that alone kind of just busts that myth, completely dispels that.

You know, another area this myth came from is there are these, you know, quote unquote experts or service providers in the space that are saying oh, you have to do these full-price deals with us, and the reason they’re doing that and they’re promising these crazy affects, right? So if you come and use our service we will guarantee you hit page 1 or number one most of the time, and we guarantee you will stay there for 30 days. The reason our method is so effective is because we’re using these gift cards to run full-price sales, and in reality what people didn’t realize was this person was running a bot or this artificial ranking method to your listing, and that’s what was getting you the results. That’s what was helping to maintain those results. It wasn’t the fact that you used these gift cards. And so that’s really frustrating to me because one, you know this person is operating on your business without your consent in a black hat manner, and two, they’re just, you know, completely lying about what is driving the results, which then goes and leads people down these dark paths. You know, it is against terms of service to compensate someone or reimburse someone for buying your product. It is absolutely stated explicitly in the terms of service that you cannot do this. It’s black hat. You know, will you get caught for it? I personally don’t know anybody that has. But you know, I think it’s one little slip up and now you’re in trouble for, you know, manipulating Amazon’s system or compensating buyers for purchasing your product.

Cameron Yoder:
Right. Let’s touch a little bit on just like the mentality of why, like why 90%? So why not? Why not? Why can’t – people are asking, why can’t I just launch my product at 50% off? It’s still a heavy discount, right, so why is 90% necessary? Touch on that.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, so the discounted price or percentage is not a function of effectiveness.

Cameron Yoder:
Right.

Casey Gauss:
It is really, you know, we’re running generally around 450 or so launches a day right now, and so yes, we have a buyer list of 350,000 in the US, but you know these guys have – some of these people have been on our list for, you know, years and years and years.

Cameron Yoder:
A long time.

Casey Gauss:
And so if we’re selling an iPhone 7 case or a fish oil, like this demographic that we have only has so much discretionary income, and if you’re selling your product at 50% off, let’s say $10, versus the usual $1, $2, whatever, like that’s $8 less discretionary income they have to go buy our other products. And so in order to make sure the demand is high enough in the group for every launch that we’re running, we want to keep prices as low as possible so they have the money to buy more stuff.

Cameron Yoder:
Right. The 90% off is very much – it’s a means of control. Like you need to move – you need to move, if you’re launching, again, for fish oil, you’re going to have to move an insane amount of units to get to the top. The 90% off really gives control and gives you the ability to launch to page 1 for that. So the 90% off is a means of moving the launch forward and making it effective.

Casey Gauss:
And you know, to be honest, from like a competitive standpoint, you know if I were a larger seller I would actually kind of prefer this because the smaller sellers don’t have the budget –

Cameron Yoder:
Right, right.

Casey Gauss:
– to be really aggressive in these high-volume markets at these low prices. So they have to, you know, work their way up in a much slower process. And as a larger seller, yes, it is more expensive, but you’re essentially pricing or paying your competitors out of the market, which, you know, for large sellers that works. For smaller sellers, you know, this is why we definitely suggest getting into smaller niches where you don’t have to give away 100 units a day for seven days just to get on page 1, let alone maintain that ranking or whatever.

Cameron Yoder:
Oh, but what about fidget spinners?

Casey Gauss:
Yeah. We don’t want to talk about those.

Cameron Yoder:
No, no, no. So that’s actually a good transition into the takeaway. Let’s talk about what is the main takeaway? From my perspective it’s all about the risk, right, the reward of the risk. You have to take a huge risk. You are taking an investment, kind of an investment with giving away this many units. But giving away this many units at a 90% off discount is going to give you the control and get you on to page 1. And from there, then you will be able to make that increase in sales.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah, oh, completely. I would say, especially like – or specifically to this particular myth I think the takeaways are one, really be careful of who you’re trusting and paying attention to. Two, definitely make sure that you are getting a really solid sample size when you are making conclusions. Again, running one promotion that doesn’t get the ranking effects that you expected it to, you know, maybe you underestimated the number of units needed to give because the guys on page 1 are selling more units through that keyword than you had anticipated. Who knows? But anyways, yeah, please pay attention to your sample size when drawing conclusions because the last thing you want is to draw some conclusion and then spend the next three months and $20,000 trying to build a business around this, you know, this wrongly-founded conclusion. Yeah, and then three, really is at the end of the day, like you have to spend money to make money, like Cam is saying.

Cameron Yoder:
Right, right.

Casey Gauss:
And you know, unfortunately that’s the case right now. And yeah, you know, we’re definitely biased in saying that, but the problem is in that bias like we’ve just seen so many people have success. We just posted three Viral Launch case studies where this guy came, and he was doing $400K a month, and he came in, ran promotions across his product line, and after 30 days he’s doing $650K a month organically just because he improved the keyword rank position of his product. So yeah, he spent a bunch of money. I thought it was $250,000 to get that ranking, but now, you know, his sales are just killing it compared to where he was at. So –

Cameron Yoder:
Yeah.

Casey Gauss:
Yeah.

Cameron Yoder:
Take a zoomed out perspective. Ask why with everything that you’re doing. Make sure you’re getting all the data. Make sure you’re getting all the facts.

Casey Gauss:
Awesome. All right. We’ll see you guys later.

Cameron Yoder:
Hey, that is all for this week. Thank you so much for joining us here on Follow the Data. For more reliable information about what’s really happening on Amazon subscribe to the podcast and check out the Viral Launch blog at Viral-Launch.com.

Casey Gauss:
And don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you liked or enjoyed the podcast. We really appreciate your feedback as we work to build this podcast for you. Want to be featured on the show? Leave us a voicemail and tell us your thoughts on today’s episode, or ask us any of your Amazon questions. Our number is 317-721-6590. It will be linked in the show notes. Join us next week when we dispel the myth of Amazon sales velocity. Until then, remember, the data is out there.

Do 90% Off Promotions Still Work for Ranking Amazon Products?

Are 90% off promotions still effective? The question is making its rounds in the Facebook groups, and we’ll answer it now by digging into the data.

Are 90% Off Promotions Effective?

A launch is a deeply discounted promotional giveaway used to increase your Amazon sales, and more importantly your keyword ranking, allowing you to capture more impressions, clicks, and sales. Sellers want their product on the coveted page one, so they discount units to 90% off, offer them to Viral Launch’s buyer audience, and match the daily sales of top sellers in their markets.

Here at Viral Launch, we’ve run over 30,000 product launches. We currently run over 300 launches each day. For each launch, we track keyword ranking for multiple keywords, BSR fluctuations, organic sales and promotional sales. This massive amount of data we’ve accumulated gives us incredible insight into what is working and what is not.

When rumors spread and sellers ask if 90% off promotions don’t work anymore, we turn to the data. And the data is clear: 90% off promotions are still effective for ranking products.

 

Case (Study) and Point

If 90% off promotions did become ineffective for ranking products, we would be the first to notice. Since we track multiple keywords for each and every launched product, we would see a major shift in our data. We would also be the first to notify our community, as we never want to promote an ineffective tactic. Viral Launch exists to be the launchpad to success, and we take our clients and their businesses very seriously.

With over 300 promotions running each day, we still see tremendous ranking results for launches that are set up correctly. Here are just a few of the hundreds of recent, successful launches.

*Note: We cannot share the specifics of a launch, such as the actual product or keyword, in the best interests of our clients. 

Tools & Home Improvement Product: This seller gave 35 units per day and achieved end rank on day 6

Start rank: 22 / End rank: 1

Sports & Outdoors Product: This seller gave 50 units per day and achieved end rank on day 6

Start rank: 50+ / End rank: 7

Pets Product: This seller gave 35 units per day and achieved end rank on day 6

Start rank: 50+ / End rank: 8

Clothing Product: This seller gave 30 units per day and achieved end rank on day 8

Start rank: 50+ / End rank: 3

Office Product: This seller gave 15 units per day and achieved end rank on day 8

Start rank: 50+ / End rank: 1

Kitchen & Dining Product: This seller gave 20 units per day and achieved end rank on day 8

Start rank: 50+ / End rank: 8

 

Sample Set of 94 Launches from Early 2018

23% ranked #1 for the target keyword

52% ranked in the top 10 for the target keyword

93% increased rank for the target keyword

 

Reasons for the Myth

This myth is not a new one. Every few months, rumor seems to spread that 90% off promotions are no longer effective for keyword ranking. But why has this rumor resurfaced over the past few months? We see six major reasons for why some 90% off promotions are ineffective for ranking, a major contributor to the spread of this myth.

  • Inefficient Sales History: The single largest reason this myth has been spreading over the past few month is because of sales history. Products that are currently ranking at the top saw a major sales boost over the holiday season, creating a very strong sales history. These launches that aren’t increasing in rank are typically not giving enough units to overcome the top sellers’ current sales and that strong sales history from the holidays. Listen to our podcast episode about why sales history on Amazon is crucial for ranking.
  • Not Enough Units: Many of the launches that do not achieve the desired ranking are simply caused by not giving a sufficient number of units. To rank for a keyword, you want to match or exceed the top sellers’ daily sales for a period of 7 to 10 days. Learn how to choose the number of units to give away during a launch.
  • Low Coupon Redemption: Some sellers see a disparity in coupons given and coupons redeemed. This is often caused by variation confusion or a falsely inputted promo price. An example of this is giving out 100 coupons with only 60 claimed, and this will result in a less effective launch. If you have variations and want to make sure you’ll see high redemption rates, reach out to our coaching team for assistance.
  • Targeting Too Many Keywords: Sellers can input up to four keywords per launch, but the more keywords that are targeted, the less units will go to each one. For example, if you give 100 units targeting one keyword through the Organic URL, all 100 sales will be attributed to that one keyword. But if you give 100 units targeting two keywords, the units will be split and 50 units will be attributed to each keyword. Essentially, this cuts the ranking power in half for each keyword. For this reason, it is often smarter to target one keyword with more units in order to achieve the desired keyword ranking. Learn how to choose the target keyword for your Viral Launch.
  • Missing Keyword in Title: Keywords in your title are crucial because with each sale, each word in your title is fair game for a boost in ranking. This means your most important keywords should be in your title. For this reason, when running a launch, if your target keyword is not in your title, you likely will not see ranking.
  • Lack of Patience: Keyword ranking during a launch generally takes at least 2-3 days to take effect, but it can often take up to 5 or even 10 days from when a promotion begins. Some sellers write in concerned or end their launch early after only 1 or 2 days. It’s important to have patience and wait for the rank to increase. To ensure your launch is set up for success, reach out to our coaching team.

 

Myth: Busted

This myth is not a new one. It seems to resurface every few months with sellers wondering if this is truly the end for deeply discounted promotions. But time and time again, the data says otherwise for launches that are set up correctly. With countless examples of successful 90% off promotions each and every day, we remain confident that a strategic launch can drive results. We expect this change to come some day, but that day has yet to come. Rest assured, if/when that day does arrive, we will be sure to let you know.

 

Pro Tip: Setting Up Your Promotion for Success

With Viral Launch, you can upload your product to our system and schedule the launch, and then we will distribute your one-time-use coupon codes to our massive buyer audience. With targeted sales driven to your listing, you can increase rank for your chosen keyword with the goal of increasing your organic sales.

In order to achieve your desired ranking, your launch must be set up correctly. Here are some tips to consider as you’re scheduling your launch:

  • Make sure your listing is setup for maximum conversions. Once you achieve ranking, you need sales to “stick.” And to get those sales, you need an optimized listing with a competitive price point (this means not pricing your “premium” product 50% above market average), professional photography that shows off your product, and enticing sales copy.
  • Choose a target keyword with solid demand where you can convert. You want to make sure the keyword that you’ll be ranking for will have lots of people searching, and you want to be sure it is a search term that your product is relevant for.
  • Run your 90% off promotion for a period of 7 to 10 days. This is long enough for Amazon to recognize the change in sales but short enough to limit the total number of units you’ll have to give away at a loss.
  • Match or exceed the daily sales of the top sellers in your market. This will let Amazon’s algorithm know that your product is competitive with those at the top of your target keyword. To see how many units the top sellers are moving each day, use a product research tool like Market Intelligence.
  • To “stick” or maintain rank, you need to continue matching the sales of top sellers in the market. The hope with a launch is for your product to sell competitively organically. Many sellers will run aggressive PPC right after a launch, or they’ll choose to run a maintenance launch. A maintenance launch involves giving away a smaller number of units over the next week or two to help maintain the ranking as organic sales pick up.

Launch Your Product

 

Want to learn step-by step how to successfully run a 90% off promotion? Checkout our launch walkthrough video series. Ready to launch? Create a free Viral Launch account to get started!

Please reach out to our team with any questions about 90% off promotions, how to correctly set up a Viral Launch, or selling on Amazon in general. We would love to help launch your business to the next level. Still have questions? Check out our Amazon seller podcast episode on this very topic, where Casey (CEO) and Cameron (Seller Coach) dive into the data to dispel this widespread concern among Amazon sellers.