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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Why Not to Use Search Volume to Determine Giveaway Units (Follow the Data Ep. 27)

Why Not Use Search Volume to Determine Giveaway Units (Follow the Data Ep. 27)

When you’re running a launch, you need to match the daily sales of your top competitors. But how do you determine how many units to give away? Some sellers look at search volume. But this episode, we’re going to let you in on a secret: using search volume to estimate the number of giveaway units needed to drive keyword ranking is an extremely flawed method.

 

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Follow the Data Show Notes

Podcast Transcript

CAMERON YODER:
Keywords are extremely important when it comes to building a successful Amazon business.

CASEY GAUSS:
This week we’re going to dispel a new but ever-growing myth that you can use search volume to determine the correct number of units to use when running promotions to drive keyword ranking or estimating the number of units customers are selling through a particular keyword. I’m Casey Gauss.

CAMERON YODER:
And I’m Cameron Yoder, your hosts for Follow the Data: Your Journey to Amazon FBA Success. In this show we leverage the data that we’ve accumulated at Viral Launch from over 30,000 product launches and our experience working with 8,000 brands to help you understand the big picture when it comes to Amazon and, more importantly, the best practices for success as an Amazon seller. This episode is an in-depth look at one really important aspect of product promotions, number of units for a giveaway. We’ll make the case for why using search volume specifically is mathematically flawed and talk you through current best practices based on what has worked for our clients specifically.

CASEY GAUSS:
A significant number of sellers are running promotions and giving far too many units in their promotions. When asked, many cite their keyword tool as a source of the suggestion and, as a result, they’re wasting hundreds to thousands of dollars in extra inventory.

CAMERON YODER:
Let’s jump in. So we’re back from Vegas. It’s been – it was a good trip.

CASEY GAUSS:
It was a good trip, and we are not in between some bunk beds recording on a mobile mic, and hopefully, I can guarantee this, but much better analogies will be coming your way than the half a piece of bread.

CAMERON YODER:
Listen, if you haven’t yet, go back to the previous episode right now, go to about six minutes and 15 seconds. I remember it specifically. It was hilarious. Just go listen to Casey’s analogy of bread, and you’ll be blown away.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, analogies can be very powerful, but sometimes a little tricky. And if you don’t get them right, then it’s just, it’s embarrassing.

CAMERON YODER:
Casey, what did you think of Vegas, just really briefly? I just want to get your opinion. What do you think of Vegas, the trip and the conferences?

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, overall I mean conferences like – one reason we love going to conferences and bringing additional people, you know, we usually try to bring five people including Cam and I, is it’s really great for other people on the team just to hear the feedback that we get. You know, so many people come up to us excited about what Viral Launch has done, you know, for them and for their business. And so I love seeing that feedback in person. It’s so much different getting it in person than, you know, over email. And then you also just get a lot of really good candid feedback. You know, unfortunately I was thinking back. I feel like we didn’t get enough candid feedback on Keyword Research. So if you guys have that, we would love to hear it. But anyways, yeah, went really well, very exhausting. If you’ve ever been to a conference in general there’s very little sleep involved, especially if you have obligations back home or, you know, in the office or whatever. But yeah, what about you, Cam?

CAMERON YODER:
Yeah, no, I think you hit it on the head. Really it’s just so good to go, and we said this last week, but to go and to meet everyone, just put a face to a name, really I would encourage you if you ever see us in public or at a conference, just say hey. It’s always good to talk to everyone here, and again, to put a face to a name and to hear what you guys are going through and what advice you want or need and just say hey. So yeah, if you see us at a conference or just in general, feel absolutely free to say hey.

All right. So anyway, getting back to the podcast episode, we’re touching on search volume and why not to use search volume to determine the amount of units that you need to give away for something like a launch or a promotion. Casey, what do you think?

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, and honestly, so taking it a step further back, I mean a lot of people, the real question – so to be honest the real question is not what is search volume for this keyword; it’s what is sales volume for this keyword? You know, again, like the main driver of rank, which is where a ton of organic sales traffic is coming from, is coming from keywords. And so the question – and how well you rank for those keywords. And so the question is not how many people ran a search for this, or how many times was this keyword searched, but how many sales actually came to this keyword? If there were a trillion searches for omega-3 but there were 10 sales that came through that keyword, then that would not be a good keyword. It would look good because there’s high search volume, but what you really need to understand is what is the sales volume? This will inform your strategy around what keywords are most important to rank for because you want to be where the sales are, not necessarily where the searches are, and then further so if I want to drive ranking for this keyword, then how many units do I need to give away? Again, it does not matter how many people are searching for your product. It is not number of sessions that is driving your ranking. It’s the number of sales that are driving your ranking.

And so, again, you should really – the real question is sales volume. We don’t have sales volume, so as a proxy for that we’re using search volume. But because now you kind of understand it is not – it’s sales volume that you do want, you can’t use search volume in a number of ways. And so the main thing that we’re talking about here, primarily because we help with product promotions and driving keyword ranking is that we see so many people using search volume as a way to estimate number of units to give in a product promotion or, you know, drive external traffic, whatever, to drive keyword ranking. And we see a lot of people wasting, you know, thousands of dollars by doing this. We just really want to kind of dispel the myth, right? Like we are a company that has a ton of data, and we love using that data to help you make better decisions. And so that’s – I mean Follow the Data. That’s the name of the podcast, and that’s why we’re here.

CAMERON YODER:
That’s what we even see – so just to iterate that again, it’s really important for listeners to understand that it’s not search volume. Again, you need to base these numbers that’s something like a giveaway number, off of sales, sales that are attributing to keyword ranking. And even in some cases people are using different tools that are even just using search estimations, right, estimation volume, not even sales estimation but search estimation. In that case, again, what we’re seeing is a lot of people giving away more units than they should or way more units than they need to to actually gain rank. And so we want to help. We want to help the people that are listening and people that are planning for promotions in the future. We just basically want to help people with their business to make sure that they’re not losing on money that they don’t need to lose on.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, so this is not directed towards a particular tool. We see people using this. There are tools that are suggesting number of units to give specifically based off of sales volume. We see that, but then we also see people using maybe even Keyword Research to look at search volume to then estimate number of units to give. And so we just want to dispel this whole concept as a whole. So we’ll jump into it if that’s okay, Cam.

CAMERON YODER:
Yep. So there are two major flaws. Major flaw number one is conversion rate. Casey, talk about conversion rate.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, so I think a real insight here is we’ve had some, you know, special Amazon data that we’ve gotten. So we’re – like this is just, you know, one report, let’s say, and we’re not building anything off of this one report, but it’s definitely helped us make better decisions. And so basically what we’ve seen is, you know, we get this report that shows us what the search volume is for a particular keyword, what the click – number of clicks into a listing, number of add to carts through that keyword, and number of purchases, again, through that keyword.

So let’s take omega-3, again, as an example. We would see the number of searches, then from there the number of clicks into a listing, then from there the number of add to carts and then the number of purchases. So we are able to see what is the conversion rate from search to add to cart? What is the conversion rate from search to purchase? So looking through, you know, this list of words we were trying to figure out, okay, what is the average – what is the average conversion rate from search to purchase? Because again, we care about purchases, not searches. And the problem is that there wasn’t a good average. The range is [immense 0:08:28.8]. And so the range was literally anywhere from 50% – so that means if there was 10,000 searches there were 5,000 sales, let’s say, and all the way to .01%. So if there’s 10,000 searches –

CAMERON YODER:
And that’s conversion.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, yeah, sorry.

CAMERON YODER:
50%, to .01% conversion.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, conversion. So that would mean if there’s 10,000 searches there’s literally 10 sales. I mean that’s insane, right? So there’s 10,000 searches for a keyword. There’s anywhere from 5,000 actual sales to 10 sales. And so you know, no tool, nothing like that on the market is able to estimate what the conversion rate is for these particular keywords. And so, again, if you tried to take an average, let’s say you’re like okay, well I’ll just shoot for the middle, and let’s call the middle 25%. Well, so if you give away 2500 units that’s, you know, 2490 more units than you would need to give in order to match the .01% conversion, right? But if you give away 2500 units that’s only half the units you would need to give to hit the $5,000 mark or the 5,000 sales mark, the 50% conversion mark. And so it’s so hard. It’s really just a shot in the dark if you’re guessing at any particular conversion rate. So again, I could care less if there’s a trillion searches for omega-3 or, you know, any keyword if the sales volume is only, you know, 10 sales, or 100 sales, or 1000 sales. So flaw number one, conversion rate.

CAMERON YODER:
I think a simple way that – something simple that people can use to remember or to just like get this flaw into perspective is just because someone is searching for something does not mean that they’re buying it, and that goes back to keyword, keyword ranking being attributed through sales. Just because someone is searching for something does not mean they’re buying it, and that’s shown specifically with the data that we have between that 50% and .01% conversion.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, and I mean just think of all the people that are doing keyword research to sell on Amazon, or like you’re just looking at prices, or you’re trying to do research and you think Amazon is a place to do it, probably not, but anyways, so what we’re seeing is, again, just a ton of searches that are not converting to purchases. So flaw number two, sales distribution. So this one is a little bit harder to conceptualize or to explain without visuals.

CAMERON YODER:
If you have a piece of paper and a pen that would help, but it’s not necessary.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, nor am I going to be good enough at walking you through this for you to, you know, really draw it out. So we do have a blog post on this where we did try to provide some visuals to really help you understand. I’m going to try to do my best. Cam is always better at summarizing and really helping you to understand.

CAMERON YODER:
I’ll see what I can do.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, let’s see what Cam can do. So anyways, flaw number two is sales distribution. So what sales distribution is referring to is what percentage of shoppers that are searching or purchasing. Let’s say you search omega-3. What percentage of the shoppers are buying the first product, what percentage are buying the second product, you know, the fifth product? What percentage are going to page 2 and then buying the top ranking product there? Like sales distribution is referring to, again, who is buying what product where and, you know, what percentage. And so if you, let’s say that 100% – this is very unlikely I would imagine – but let’s say 100%. Let’s take Instant Pot, right? So I would imagine sales distribution for Instant Pot searches are pretty high towards the top. If you see the Instant Pot then you are going to be buying, right? Same with let’s say AA batteries. If you search AA batteries you don’t need to scroll through, you know, pages of results. You probably don’t need to scroll past, you know, number three, or you know, number five, before you find out what you want because there’s not that much variation there. So you’re probably buying the first, second or third product, let’s say, that shows up in the results. But a more stylized product or a broader search, let’s say, you know, gifts for men or Valentine’s Day gifts, or Father’s Day gifts, I mean the results are much more broad. You probably don’t even have in mind exactly what you want, and so you’re probably scrolling through the results. You may hit page 2. You may scroll through to try to figure out what you want, and you may end up buying, you know, that whiskey decanter or something like that that’s, you know, number 15. Or you may end up buying this tie that’s ranking number 25. And so sales distribution for a word that has a bit more style or kind of different bundles or whatever, I would imagine sales distribution is much higher.

And so again, we are trying to figure out how many units is the sell – let’s say we want to rank in the top five for omega-3. So what we’re trying to figure out is what is the sales volume to the products ranking number one, number two, number three, number four and number five, and then we need to match that in per day sales to rank alongside them. So we’ll try to go with an example. Let’s say we want to rank in the top five. There’s 2,000 sales through this keyword, and sales distribution is 100% to the top five listings, right? So the top five listings are seeing all 2,000 of the sales coming through this keyword. And let’s say it’s evenly distributed, meaning so it’s 2,000 divided by 5, which is 400. And so each listing is seeing 400 sales. So number one, number two, number three, number four, number five, all 400 sales. And you want to be able to match them in per day sales. So basically, again, you have to hit that $400 – or sorry, 400 sales mark. But let’s say that sales are evenly distributed among the top 20 results. So position number one sees as many sales as position, you know, number 20. And so then sales are 100 per day. And so giving away – basically the giveaways will be – could be significantly different depending on what the sales distribution is, and these are very simple examples. I imagine it’s something, you know, for one keyword sales distribution for Instant Pot is 80% to position number one and then, you know, evenly distributed through – or like the next 10% is through positions two through four. So I think it becomes very, very confusing or is very complex, and every single keyword is so different. So if you’re wanting to rank position number five it’s going to require a totally different percentage of the sales from the conversion percentage from the search. So you can see the math really starts to add up, right? And so, and it’s so different depending on each keyword. Basically if you wanted to use search volume to estimate number of units to give you would have to know the conversion rate or approximate the conversion rate from search to purchase. And then depending on where you wanted to rank you would need to understand what the sales distribution from this word to position – let’s say you want to rank position between positions five and 10. You would need to know the sales distribution from that sales would be between those positions so that you can match in per day sales those competitors.

And so there’s so many approximations that really what existing tools are doing, or what most people are doing is just saying like, you know, let’s just take a percentage of search volume and say that’s how many units you need to give away per day in order to rank for this particular keyword. And what we see on the flipside is so many people are coming to use Viral Launch to run these promotions or whatever, and they’re trying to give away sometimes, you know, five times as many units as we would expect. And if, you know, we were suggesting 100 and you’re saying you think you need to give away 500, I mean that is a significant amount of inventory that you’re giving away. And so I do think that continuing to build the best sales history is great. I think that like overkill is not the worst thing, but I do want to make sure that people are well aware of this because if you have a limited budget and you’re spending that limited budget on excess inventory and these promotions where in reality you could be targeting additional keywords, or you could be using it to ramp up your sponsored ad costs, or your AMS campaigns, or whatever, I just want to make sure that you’re spending – you are knowledgeably spending your money as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

CAMERON YODER:
Let’s see if I can – let me see if I can summarize sales distribution a little bit. All right, so it’s really important to go back to what we said at the beginning where keyword ranking is attributed through a sale, right, not a search, but a specific sale. A launch or a promotion for something like a keyword is – it’s not rocket science, right? The entire goal of a promotion like this, or of a launch, is to get you to somewhere on page 1 where you want for that search term. In this case let’s say it’s omega-3. I want to get to page 1 for omega-3. So I need to look at the sales, the sales numbers that are going on on page 1 in order to match those per day with something like a launch or a promotion. So to do that I need to see those sales numbers, those sales estimates, instead of seeing the search volume. Number one, those sales estimates aren’t really even available on certain tools like other tools, right? The search volume is. That’s not what we want. What we want are sales estimations and accurate sales estimations, right?
So let’s say I type in omega-3 into Amazon, and I see the spread, right, and on the top five are a ridiculous amount of sales. Now in order to reach that top five – again, also maybe taking into account something like your sales history, but at this time let’s just use the sales velocity or something like a launch or a promotion as a factor for getting to page 1. So you typed in omega-3, and your goal is to be in top five. So you look at the sales and you see that the average is around like – you’re going to need around 2,000 units, or maybe not 2,000 units, something like 500 units to give away. And you’re like, yikes, that’s a lot of units. I’m not a big business man in omega-3 yet, so I can’t get there. So you go down. Let’s say you look at the top 10. And so you look at the sales distribution, again, just the sales numbers spread out across the top 10. It’s going to take less, typically – it depends on the market. Again, it’s going to take – it might take less for you to get to the top 10 than it will for you to get to the top five. But again, the entire goal of a launch or a promotion is to simply match the number of sales that are going on in whichever range you’re going for. That is the idea of sales distribution being applied to something like keyword ranking. And that’s why it doesn’t work for search volume because search volume, again, it’s not – it does not involve the sales volume. And search volume cannot show you the spread of where sales are going. That’s my summary. That’s my simple summary.

CASEY GAUSS:
Well done, cam. There’s an example in the blog post where we go over, so let’s say a keyword gets – this is kind of in a little bit of an exaggerated example, but I think sometimes these, you know, exaggerated examples really help to help you understand what we’re – the point that we’re trying to get across. So let’s say a keyword gets 100,000 searches per month. The conversion rate from search to purchase is 2.5%, meaning 2,500 sales across this keyword per month. And then let’s say sales distribution, 80% go to the top five listings. That means the top five listings see 2,000 of those 2,500 sales per month, and after top five 500 sales. Let’s say you want to rank between positions six through 15, and that’s where the rest of the sales are happening, so 20% of that 2,500 is 500 sales. And so 500 sales evenly distributed among those 10 products, let’s say, means each product is really only seeing 50 units per month in sales through this keyword. So if you need to rank in position six through 10 then you only need to give away two units per day. So 100,000 searches down to two units per day, and these estimates that we’ve used are completely arbitrary but are not out of the realm of possibility. And so that just goes to quickly show you, you know, that’s 100,000 searches. We could easily show you the math where 10,000 searches you need to be giving away, you know, much, much more.

CAMERON YODER:
Your goal, pick a target, pick a target for a keyword, look at the sales numbers for that target and match it with a launch or a promotion.

CASEY GAUSS:
Yeah, so real quick we’re just going to go over how we’re estimating number of units to give. You know, in an ideal scenario we’re able to do some data science or whatever to really give some good estimates in terms of sales volume, leveraging both search volume and Market Intelligence data. But right now we’re not able to do that. We’re not aware of anybody that can realistically do that, even if maybe someone can say they do. I don’t know of anybody, but I’ve heard – recently I’ve heard some people that are like, you know, we do data science. And it’s like they have insanely terrible answers. And so I think it’s one thing to be aware of. You know, I think you should always be questioning the authenticity of something. You should always be using, you know, your best judgment, logic. You should always be testing everything because too often do we see people – and this is one reason we wanted to start this podcast – but too often we see people in a place of power, people that may have, you know, an audience for one reason or another mislead people, not necessarily out of intention, but maybe just out of, you know, ignorance, or I don’t know. And we see people, you know, we do data science so you should trust what we’re doing. And it’s like, you know, you could have the most technically amazing whatever, but if you’re getting, you know, bad results, then data science is worthless.

CAMERON YODER:
Yikes.

CASEY GAUSS:
Anyways, how are we estimating number of units to give at Viral Launch? So like we said at the top, you know, we’ve – again, this is not a plug to use Viral Launch or anything. We just, again, want you to make good decisions around running your promotions for ranking, estimating number of units that are being sold through a keyword. Again, we just want to dispel this myth.

CAMERON YODER:
This is simply what we’ve seen work directly.

CASEY GAUSS:
So 30,000 product launches later this is what we’re doing. So first obviously you have to know your main keywords. The best proxy for this is using something like Keyword Research or using some tool that has good search volume estimates so that you can see, okay, what are the most popular keywords? It’s very important to know. So many times we have someone come to us and they think, you know, I don’t have a funny example – high heels for dogs is a good keyword for high heels because their keyword tool told them that. And in reality obviously it’s not. That is a real result in a keyword tool. Anyways, so people will think, you know, this keyword blue 32-ounce insulated water bottle is a good keyword for their insulated water bottle, and in reality it’s not, and we see people so focused on ranking for it, and they’re wasting their money. So know your main keywords.

Next up, know your budget. So again, if you’re going for a high-volume keyword, again, you can use search volume as a proxy here, but if you’re going for these high-volume keywords then make sure that you have the budget to give the units away necessary to drive the sales necessary, and then just to have the inventory needed so that when you are ranking for this keyword and you’re increasing your sales you won’t run out of stock immediately after. And so if you have a smaller budget, again, everything is relative here, smaller, bigger. If you have a smaller budget compared to your market you have to go after these keywords that are appearing to get lower volume sales, and we’ll show you how to estimate that.

And yeah, so then step three is determine estimated sales volume for this select for your selected keywords or the keywords that you’re considering. So the way that we do that is we run Market Intelligence on these keywords. And so Market Intelligence is showing you the estimated sales volume for the products for every keyword that they’re ranking for, sponsored ads and so forth. So looking at sales volume for the products that are showing up for a particular keyword does not mean that the majority of the sales volume is coming through that keyword. And so one thing that we do is we like to go look at what is, you know, how many high-volume keywords are showing up for this particular product. So let’s take fish oil. Let’s say the only – let’s say there’s three high-volume keywords. Fish oil, omega-3, fish oil supplement. So what we would do is we would go, and assuming these keywords are relatively similar in volume, we would go and to be on the safe side we would look at the sales per month that we’re seeing in Market Intelligence and we would divide it by three. So if you’re seeing 1000 sales a month, then we’re guessing that you’re seeing around 33, 34 sales per day through this particular keyword. So now I know that if I want to run a promotion for seven days, then I would need to give away that 33 or 34 times 7.

And so if it’s a lower volume keyword then it’s a little bit more difficult. It’s, again, going to be your best guess, and I would rather err on the side of caution. I would rather give too many but not, you know, five times too many. So again, I would go and try to get a good feel of the landscape in terms of keywords. You should’ve done this already when you optimized your listing and when you were preparing to even sell this product because I think it’s important to understand how you’re going to drive sales before you even source a product. But again, I’m going to go get a feel for okay, there’s about 10 words that are the same volume as this. Again, the product is seeing a thousand sales a month. And so divide it by 10, and then you would just give away at that volume. So let’s say I’m going for this keyword. There’s 100 sales. We’re estimating 100 sales through this particular keyword. Divide that by 30, and so that’s basically, you know, three, four sales per day. And so I’m going to give away at the three to four sales per day to go after this particular keyword, or maybe not give away, run through external traffic, you know, however you’re running your launches, however you’re ranking products. I would go and target that number.

CAMERON YODER:
That’s good, Casey. I honestly, I just want to add, or I just want to iterate the importance of budget. Not everyone has the ability to automatically target the keyword with the highest search volume and sales volume, right? And in this case what I’ve seen work for individuals is actually to go for secondary or tertiary keywords where the targeting keywords that on average don’t have as many sales volume – as much sales volume – excuse me – or they automatically, right off the bat, they – I’ve seen people try to target – they want position one, right? I want – I’m targeting fish oil, and I want to get to position one on page 1. So let’s do it. And then they don’t have enough units to do it, and by the time they’re done with their promotions they just end up failing because they didn’t have the resources to get there in the first place. So it’s really important to recognize what you’re capable of doing. In this case I’ve seen people do really well once they recognize how many resources they have, or how much money, or how many units they have to give away for a promotion. They accept that fact, and then they go for something like, let’s use the fish oil example. Let’s say they wanted to get to page 1, or position one page 1 initially. They recognized they did not have the number of units available. So instead of going for position one they look at something like – let’s say they looked at position one, but even position one through eight, or one through – let’s just say one through six are out of their means. So then instead they look at positions seven through something like 15, and they say actually after position six the sales drop off decently, and while I want to gain as many sales as possible, I’m not capable of launching into positions one through six right now. So I’m actually just going to target – I’m going to bite the bullet for them. Maybe it’s their pride or something. I’m going to bite the bullet. I’m going to go for positions seven through 12 or something like that. So then they look at positions seven through 12. They look at the sales for – the sales estimates – again for those products in those positions, and they match those over a promotion time, something like seven days, right? And in that they get to page 1. They don’t – they did not give away more than they were able to give, and they got to page 1. And after that, if they stay there organically, if they’re able to continuously maintain rank, then I’ve seen people specifically do this, they get to position something like seven to 12 and they maintain that position and just organically, as they stay there, they move up the ranks because they’ve optimize their product well enough.

Bottom line, know your main keywords. Pick the right ones to target. Number two, determine your budget. Determine what you’re capable of doing, and determine what you want to do and if your budget and what you want to do align. And if not, then you might have to take it a step down. And number three, determine the monthly sales volume for that selected keyword and match it over something like a seven- to 12-day period of time.

The takeaway for today is base your projection for giveaway units on sales volume, not search volume. You can apply some of these techniques to your own promotions. No matter what traffic source you’re using, something like discounted promotions, or Amazon sponsored ads or Facebook promotions, in order to reach page 1 for your targeted keyword you’re going to need to match or exceed the average number of sales for that specific keyword that you want to target. Basing your estimates on something like search volume could honestly cost you a lot of money. I’ve personally seen it happen. Our team sees it happen, and we don’t want that to happen to you guys. Sales volume, not search volume.

Well hey, everybody, that is all for this week. Thank you again so much for joining us here on Follow the Data. For more insights and reliable information on how to succeed on Amazon, subscribe to the podcast and check us out on YouTube. I have a new walk-through up for Keyword Research on our channel. So if you want to check it out just search Viral Launch on YouTube. Go to our page, look for my face and the video titled, “How to use Keyword Research.” We’ll also link to the video in our show notes. Again, we’re just coming off of a couple conferences. We’re actually gearing up to go to a couple more over the next couple weeks, and we had such a good time meeting some of you, some of you listeners. So thank you. Thank you all so much. Feedback is really important to us, so if you’re listening on Apple Podcasts feel absolutely free to leave us a review and/or a rating. If you know of a fellow seller who is using suggestions from their keyword tool to determine how many units to give in their launches, please send them our way. Send them to this podcast. We want to be a resource for sellers and the information source in this space, trusted information source. So please tell your friends, spread the word and share the show.
So thank you again so much for listening, and as always, if you want to be featured on the show, have an Amazon-related question or an idea for an episode, feel free to leave us a voicemail. Our number is 317-721-6590. Don’t feel intimidated at all to call in. Really, we want to hear your voice. It will be a voicemail that pops up so you won’t have to talk to anybody directly. You’ll be able to just leave your opinion or leave a question. I feel like after talking to people at these conferences I recognize that maybe they were – or people listening are intimidated by calling in. So please call in. Feel free. Don’t be intimidated. We’d love to hear from you. Again, it’s 317-721-6590. So until next time, remember, the data is out there.

Why Not to Base Number of Giveaway Units on Keyword Search Volume

Using search volume to determine the number of giveaway units needed to drive keyword ranking is an extremely flawed method.

A significant number of sellers are running promotions and giving away far too many units in promotions. When asked how they are determining the number of units they are giving away, many sellers site their keyword tool. As a result of these bloated suggestions, countless sellers are wasting thousands of dollars in extra inventory and advertising spend.

In this post, I’ll show you what’s wrong with using search volume. And then I’ll walk you through the current best strategies for determining the right number of units for a giveaway. After running over 30,000 product launches, we’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to drive ranking, including how to best estimate number of giveaway units.

Two Major Flaws In Using Keyword Volume To Estimate Giveaway Units

Flaw #1: Conversion Rate

Remember that sales volume, not search volume, is the important metric for keyword ranking. If there are a hundred-zillion searches per month for a product but only 10 sales, you only need to drive enough sales to compete with those 10 purchases.  

Conversion rate from search to purchase can be drastic. We have access to some insider, Amazon data, and what it shows is that for some keywords, the percentage of searches that result in a sale can be as high as 50% and as low as 0.01%.

Talk about a drastic difference! That means if a keyword gets 10,000 searches per month, there could be anywhere from 5,000 sales to 10 sales.

There’s no way around this huge variation in conversion rate. What if you took an average? Let’s call the middle a 25% conversion rate. That would mean 25% of 10,000 searches are sales. So monthly sales would be 2,500. But 2,500 giveaway units isn’t going to do much if the keyword is actually converting at 50%. That would mean sales were actually 5,000.

On the other hand, it would be extremely excessive to give 2,500 units if the conversion rate was only 0.01%. In that case, you would have only needed 10 sales. But instead you threw away inventory.

As you can see, without an understanding of conversion rate, estimating giveaway units using search volume is very misleading.

Flaw #2: Sales Distribution

The second major flaw in determining number of giveaway units from search volume is the distribution of sales across search results. Sales distribution can be summed up with this simple question: what percentage of shoppers who run a search, purchase the #1 ranking product? What about the #5 ranking product? The #15?

If 100% of shoppers who search a keyword end up purchasing the #1 ranking product, sales distribution would be low. Actually, in the case of 100%, the distribution would be 0.

If 10% of customers purchased the #1 ranking product, another 10% purchased the #2 ranking product, and so on, the distribution would be higher and would look like this.

So what is the likelihood that sales distribution is consistent for most keyword searches on Amazon?

If you search, “AA batteries,” you don’t have to scroll very far before you find what you’re looking for. The products are all generally the same with minimal difference other than price and quantity.

Conversely, when shopping for, “father’s day gift” or “baby bandana bib,” style and preference are important considerations for shoppers. Prospective customers are much more likely to browse the results, ultimately purchasing the style, bundle, or color they like most.

Now that you understand what sales distribution is and how it can vary wildly, you can begin to see the second flaw in using search volume to estimate number of giveaway units. Keyword tools do not consider sales distribution. In fact, they don’t have any information about sales distribution at all.

And that’s a problem for you as you determine the optimal number of giveaway units for your launch. Sales distribution plays a critical role in the number of sales your product needs to outrank the competition.

For example, let’s say 80% of the sales for a keyword search are split between the top 5 products. If your goal is just to land in the top 15, then you don’t actually need to compete with those top 5 products. You only need to match the other 20% of the sales for that keyword.

If you did want to land in the top 5 for that keyword, you would need to match the sales of those top 5 competitors. That would mean giving away enough product per day to match 80% of the sales for that search term.

Now let’s look at conversion rate and sales distribution together. Say conversion rate is 2.5% for that keyword with 100,000 searches. That’s 2,500 monthly sales. And if 80% of sales are distributed among the top 5 listings, that means 2,000 monthly sales are going to those top 5 sellers.

So if you want to land in position 6 – 15, you only need to compete with the remaining 500 monthly sales. If we assume that sales distribution between products 6 – 15 is even, we can estimate that each product has about 50 sales per month. Divide that by 30 days in a month, and you’ve got about 2 sales per day, or 2 units a day that you need to give away in your launch. 

As you can see, estimating the number of giveaway units needed to be sold per day to match competitors is highly dependant on the conversion rate AND the sales distribution across the results. Both of these numbers are currently unknown to existing tools and can vary significantly across searches. These factors are what make keyword tool calculations a shot in the dark at best when it comes to giveaway unit recommendations.

How to Estimate the Number of Giveaway Units

First, let’s talk about how a launch works. The idea of a launch is to match or exceed the number of sales for listings on page one for your targeted keyword in a short amount of time. We recommend 7 days, as Amazon recognizes sales history in 7-day buckets.

In order to sell a large number of units in only a few days, you’ll likely need to use a giveaway platform. But how do you determine the number of giveaway units you need to match or exceed the monthly sales of your competition?

Unfortunately, there is no simple or straightforward answer for you just yet. We will, however, share the processes we have used here at Viral Launch to estimate the number of units to give for tens of thousands of launches over the last few years. We guarantee that this approach is far better than using search volume to estimate the number of giveaway units you need for a successful launch.

Step 1: Know Your Keywords

First and foremost, knowing your main keyword is critical to a successful Amazon business. Using an Amazon keyword tool such as Keyword Research, allows you to identify your product’s most relevant words. A good tool will help you prioritize by showing you search volume and relevancy for each keyword. We call that our Priority Score.

Step 2: Determine Your Budget

Your budget for your promotional campaign is an important factor in determining which keyword you should target. The higher the sales volume, the more units you will need to rank alongside the page one performers. If your budget is big, go for a keyword that gets a lot of sales. If your budget is smaller, go for a keyword with fewer sales.

Step 3: Determine Monthly Sales Volume for Your Keyword

Once you have selected the keyword you’re going to target based on your budget, search volume, and relevance to your listing, you need to determine the number of giveaway units to get ranking on page one.

Use a sales volume estimation tool like Market Intelligence to determine the number of sales your page one competitors are doing each month. This will allow you to see the sales volume you need to match or exceed over at least a seven day period.

A simple way to do the math is to take an average of sales for listings on page one you are looking to rank alongside. Let’s say you are looking to rank in the top 5 positions for your keyword and the average sellers are selling 3,000 units per month (100 units per day).

From your keyword research in Step #1, you should have a good feel for your market’s most popular keywords. Let’s say there are 2 high volume keywords, each highly relevant to your product market.

We would suggest giving away at 50% of the average sales volume. So 1,500 units per month or (1,500 / 30 days = 50 units per day) 50 units per day.

Multiply that by a minimum of 7 days of promotions to equal a suggested giveaway of 350 units. 

We understand that the math is not perfect. There are potentially hundreds of words these top performing products are generating sales through, including PPC, outside traffic, etc. We are working hard to develop a solution for better determining the number of sales per keyword as well. However, until we have this more granular data, we are relying on this tried and true method of determining the number of units to sell from a solid metric, sales volume.

The Takeaway

Now that you understand the technique behind creating a giveaway strategy based on sales volume, NOT search volume, you can apply some of these techniques to your promotions. No matter what traffic source you’re using (i.e. discounted promotions, Amazon Sponsored Ads, or Facebook promotions) to reach page one, you need to match or exceed the average number of sales for your targeted keyword.

Basing these giveaway estimates on search volume alone could cost you tens of thousands of extra dollars and cut into the bottom line of your business. Take advantage of the advice and knowledge of the true Amazon experts at Viral Launch and make sure your next promotion sets you up for success.

LAUNCH YOUR PRODUCT

3 Tips for Launching Your Next Product from Viral Launches Launch Director, Andrew Field (Follow the Data Ep. 20)

3 Tips for Launching Your Next Product from Viral Launches Launch Director, Andrew Field (Follow the Data Ep. 20)

Viral Launch has long been known as a successful launch platform, pushing products up to Page One in just a number of days. But to get your product to the top and make it stick, there are a few things you need to have in place. Join host Cameron Yoder for a conversation with Viral Launch Launch Director and employee #1, Andrew Field where he reveals 3 tips for ensuring a successful launch. 

 

Listen on iTunes   Listen on Stitcher

 

Follow the Data Show Notes

Podcast Transcript

CAMERON YODER:
Page 1, the coveted seat of Amazon’s top-selling products, the only place where shoppers are really looking or purchasing. If you want to sell well, you’ve got to get your product to Page 1. Viral Launch has long been known as a successful launch platform, pushing products up to Page 1 in just a number of days. But to get your product to the top and make it stick there are a few things that you need to have in place.

I’m Cameron Yoder, your host for Follow the Data: Your Journey to Amazon FBA Success. In this show we leverage the data we’ve accumulated at Viral Launch from over 30,000 product launches and our experience working with 6500 brands to help you understand the big picture when it comes to Amazon and, more importantly, the best practices for success as an Amazon seller.
In today’s episode we sit down with our Launch Director, Andrew Field, to talk about the best practices when it comes to launching a product and the strategy behind it all. So launching is an incredibly effective method when it comes to keyword ranking on Amazon. And today we’re going to dive into Andrew’s perspective on the dos and the don’ts when it comes to launching. Let’s jump in.

All right, so Andrew, how are you doing today?

ANDREW FIELD:
I’m doing great, man. Thanks for asking.

CAMERON YODER:
Doing great. Awesome. That’s good to hear. So just to introduce Andrew a little bit, I want to introduce him just because, just to validate his perspective, basically. So Andrew, believe it or not – well, believe it because it’s true – Andrew was employee number one at Viral Launch. Andrew, what do you have to say about that?

ANDREW FIELD:
I mean it’s been crazy watching the company grow over the last almost three years, going from a team of just Casey and I to now 40+ people. It’s awesome.

CAMERON YODER:
Dang. Employee number one is not something that a lot of people can say, honestly. Like some people jump on early with a tech company or just a startup in general, but Andrew was literally the first employee, official employee of Viral Launch.

ANDREW FIELD:
Yes sir.

CAMERON YODER:
Which is insane. So he is our – he’s Viral Launch’s Launch Director. Also to just kind of say where Andrew started, Andrew started – well, Andrew, talk about where you started.

ANDREW FIELD:
So basically I started in kind of a customer service role. I was always scheduling launches, so any launch that comes in, someone submits a launch for X number of units over X number of days, I’ll review it, make sure everything works, make sure the URL is directing to the right product, just kind of oversee everything that goes into that launch.

CAMERON YODER:
Yeah, and you’ve overseen a lot.

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, just over 31,000 now.

CAMERON YODER:
You’ve overseen over 31,000 launches. You’ve approved, personally approved –

ANDREW FIELD:
Roughly 25,000 of those, probably.

CAMERON YODER:
So personally approved roughly 20 – you said 20,000?

ANDREW FIELD:
25.

CAMERON YODER:
25,000 launches. So he’s worked with a lot of sellers, personally and through just Viral Launch’s system, to help get them to Page 1. So he’s seen a lot of what works and a lot of what doesn’t work when it comes to launching and ranking on Amazon. So he oversees our launch platform, and he’s just seen a large number of people pass through the system. And that is what we’re working with today. Andrew’s perspective is very valuable, and is something that I think a lot of listeners here can benefit from. So Andrew, just to kick it off, I’m sure many people are familiar with this, but could you just outline what a launch is?

ANDREW FIELD:
So basically the idea of a launch is to get your product to match or exceed the number of sales for listings on Page 1 for your targeted keyword. So for example, like if a product – you want to get your product raking on Page 1 for a keyword where the average number of sales is right around 1000, we’d recommend probably around 200 to 250 units over like 7 to 10 days. And the idea is to drive all of those discounted sales through the targeted keyword to get your product to match the sales history and sales volume for the listings that are ranking on Page 1 currently.

CAMERON YODER:
Okay, so just to like put it into a good perspective, the definition that we’re using today of a launch and/or promotion is basically looking at the sales on Page 1 for a keyword and matching those sales through something like a launch to get you to Page 1 –

ANDREW FIELD:
Exactly.

CAMERON YODER:
– for that keyword. Okay. So can you break down – again, we’re going to get into more strategy as we move on, but can you break down just how a launch works from start to finish? You already talked about it a little bit, but just kind of break it down for everyone.

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, so it depends on if a seller works with a coach or not. Generally if a seller works with a coach their launch is successful. So we have the knowledge to look at a market and say okay, you need to give away this many units to get ranking for this keyword. Maybe we would notice that this keyword might not convert well for you, so you probably shouldn’t target that keyword. So it depends on the keyword you’re going after. So we would look at the market to see what kind of sales they are doing and then base a recommendation off of that.

CAMERON YODER:
Okay, that’s good. So let’s talk about – let’s outline – I want to outline three strategy tips that you have for people. Just what would your three top tips for people be when it comes to running promotions or product launches?

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, so first thing you want to make sure you have a well-optimized listing. So if your copy is bad or your photos are bad, that listing is not going to convert well once it’s ranking on Page 1. You want to make sure you have a competitive price point. So if your listing is 35% higher than every listing on Page 1, you’re probably not going to convert that well.

CAMERON YODER:
Right.

ANDREW FIELD:
And you also want to make sure that you’re targeting the best keywords. So kind of the best way to figure out what the best keyword is, is to do a lot of research. So you want to look at many different keywords that you would consider relevant and then see which products on Page 1 are most comparable to the listing that you have. So if you see a bunch of products on Page 1 that aren’t necessarily similar to your listing it’s likely that you won’t convert well for that keyword. And if you see a bunch of products on Page 1 that are very similar to your listing, those listings are obviously converting well for that keyword, so it’s likely that yours would as well.

CAMERON YODER:
Right. So let’s, so just to go over those three tips that you mentioned, that’s number one, you said optimize your listing. Number two, you said competitive – have a competitive price point, really. And number three was targeting the most effective keywords, right?

ANDREW FIELD:
Yep.

CAMERON YODER:
So let’s break down – let’s break down each of these. So number one, you talked about – and you went over it a little bit, but specifically when giving advice to people about optimizing their listing, like again, out of everyone that you’ve seen, what works well from the perspective of the seller that should be optimizing his or her listing?

ANDREW FIELD:
So first and foremost you want to make sure you have a great title. Keyword rich, still reads well, but is going to help you rank for as many relevant keywords as possible. Some of the data that we’ve seen – so somebody runs a launch that should work based on the number of units that we recommend. We do a reassessment and see that the targeted keyword was not in their title. That can cause them not to be able to rank for that keyword. They may be indexing, but they’re not getting the same ranking power as they would be if they had that keyword in their title.

CAMERON YODER:
Now what about – can you break down the importance of a title in a product’s copy compared to something like the bullets or the description?

ANDREW FIELD:
So the title is going to be your most important. That’s where you’re going to get the biggest bang for your buck. Your most important keywords you want to put towards the beginning of the title. The less important keywords you move towards the back. But your most relevant keywords are going to be all focused on in your title. That’s where you’re going to get the most ranking effect when running launches.

CAMERON YODER:
And in your perspective, again, just from what you’ve seen with data and with launches, is there any – should people just cram a bunch of primary keywords together in the title or string them together like masterfully to create a title that makes sense, or like where’s the fine line between that?

ANDREW FIELD:
So there’s a perfect balance that you want to find. You want to find a balance between sales-inducing copy and copy that will also help you rank. So having a professionally-written listing is key, someone that knows the science behind writing a listing.

CAMERON YODER:
What about photos? What advice on photos do you have?

ANDREW FIELD:
So you want to have a photo that will catch the eye, just based on the thumbnail. So you’re main photo is going to be the one that drives the most clicks to your listing. So yeah, you want to make sure that your listing stands out from the competition with excellent photos. Once you get into the listing you’ll notice a lot of competition on Amazon likely doesn’t have lifestyle photos. That’s something that you can really give a competitive advantage to your listing if you have really nice lifestyle images showing the product in use. It helps develop an emotional attachment between the potential buyer and the product itself.

CAMERON YODER:
That’s good. I think with this first point talking about optimizing your listing, I think a lot of people get, just get lost from the fact that a product launch can get you to Page 1, right? But if those creatives are not in place, like if your copy is not optimized, if your photos are not great, then yeah, you’re going to lunch on to Page 1, but you’re not going to be able to convert once you’re there.

ANDREW FIELD:
Right.

CAMERON YODER:
And the whole goal of a launch, at least for us, our perspective is our goal for you is to reach Page 1 for that, or those primary keywords that you’re targeting and then to stick there. And your best chance of doing that, like you were just talking about Andrew, is to really optimize your title, your copy, the rest of your copy, and your photos.

ANDREW FIELD:
And definitely price point.

CAMERON YODER:
And definitely price point, right, which is your second point actually. That’s a really good lead-in. So your second point was to make sure your price point is in line with competition. Can you break that down just what you generally recommend?

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, so I mean that kind of starts even before sourcing a product. So if you can only source this product and you have to sell it at a substantially higher amount than other listings on Page 1, you probably won’t be able to convert. You probably won’t be able to compete in that market moving forward. Amazon is a space where you have to have the best priced product. You need to present your product in a great way, but you also have to offer a good value to the customer. Since most products on Amazon are private label nobody really knows and has an attachment to a specific name brand, so price point is going to be a huge converting factor for you.

CAMERON YODER:
And that’s what – and we talk about on the show all the time and in our videos and everything, the importance of really setting your goals before you even start the whole process of really sourcing anything because if you set your goals on what you want to make, then that will kind of determine the manufacturers that you choose or the products that you go after and the margins that you’re looking for.

ANDREW FIELD:
Exactly.

CAMERON YODER:
Because like you said, I mean if you can’t handle the margins or the price war, then – or if you get into a market that is an average of $20, right, and you’re trying to source a product that’s like $40 because it’s better –

ANDREW FIELD:
Right, it’s going to be very difficult to compete in that market.

CAMERON YODER:
Right. Okay.

ANDREW FIELD:
Even if you have a well-optimized listing, good copy, good photos, if your price point is twice as high as everyone else, best of luck to you.

CAMERON YODER:
Right. Let’s talk – let’s touch on the third point, your third point that you made, or the third tip, general tip. So you said make sure that you target the right keyword. I want you to – can you break down for us what you would really recommend when people are trying to find the best keywords to pick to rank for? What’s your advice when it comes to that?

ANDREW FIELD:
So yeah, I get that question all the time. Basically you want to look and see what other listings like yours are converting for. Even another way, just run like an automatic sponsored ads campaign. Let it run for 10 days. See what kind of conversion you get for these keywords. See how many impressions you get for this keyword. And find the one that performs the best. That’s typically going to be the best keyword for you to target with the launch.

CAMERON YODER:
Okay. Other than that, like what about – and we have Market Intelligence, right, which gives us access to like sales estimate data. Would you use that in that case?

ANDREW FIELD:
Right. Yeah, I mean to an extent. It’s almost difficult when you’re just looking at sales estimation data because you’re not sure which keywords those sales are being attributed from. Mostly it’s common sense. You can tell which keywords are going to be most relevant to your product. You can use tools like MerchantWords to find – I mean other sales estim- or search estimation data. But that’s not always all that accurate.

CAMERON YODER:
I really think people overthink the primary keywords where, again, there are always exceptions to this rule, but really chances are if you’re able to put yourself in the mind of a buyer or of someone who is buying your product, you’ll probably be able to narrow down maybe the top three primary keywords that you should at least look into with something like split testing.

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, and as far as finding the primary keyword, I don’t think that’s really all that difficult. If you look at your competition you’ll generally see that the primary keyword for that market is going to be at the very beginning of most all of your competitors’ titles. So that’s an easy way to identify the primary keyword.

CAMERON YODER:
Right, to look at your competition and see what they’re driving. And again, that doesn’t always mean they’re picking the right one, but typically –

ANDREW FIELD:
Right. If you see most sellers in a market doing that, that’s generally meaning that that’s the primary keyword for the product, yeah.

CAMERON YODER:
Right, right, that’s good. Okay, so those were the kind of three general strategy tips, but let’s break down just launch strategy in general even more. So Andrew, what would you say – what are some of the most important things that people should keep in mind before they do something like a launch?

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, so I mean we’ve already kind of touched on it, but make sure that your listing is well-optimized. You have to have great listing copy. You have to have great photos. You have to have a competitive price point. The question that people always ask is once I get to Page 1 will I stick? I think people are asking the wrong question, and the question should be, will I sell? Because what good is it if you stick on Page 1 if you don’t sell? You need to be asking the right questions. So if your listing is going to convert, if it’s going to be competitive with the other listings in the space, that’s the question you should be asking.

CAMERON YODER:
What would you say about reviews?

ANDREW FIELD:
I mean reviews are important. I think we’ve kind of talked about this on the podcast before. Reviews are the currency of Amazon. That’s another thing that kind of goes into the optimization conversation. If your listing has far fewer reviews than other listings on Page 1 for that keyword, you’re going to find it more difficult to convert. Sometimes what we suggest right after running a launch is to drop your price a little bit, sometimes almost even to breakeven, just to generate sales, develop a strong sales history, keep that product on Page 1, and then you can gradually bring your price back up to like increase your margins.

CAMERON YODER:
Would you say there is like a flat number of reviews that someone should have before they run a launch, or is it kind of just dependent on the market that you’re going into?

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, it’s completely dependent on the market. I mean you’ll find brand-new markets out there where the average review count is 10 reviews. You can run a launch on that product with zero reviews. You’d have no problem. But if you’re going into a market where the average review count is 500 reviews, you’re going to find it a lot more difficult to convert with zero reviews. So I mean if you’re looking for a flat number – so for example, like for a market with 500 reviews as the average review count for listings on Page 1, I would suggest launching with no less than 100. That’s kind of my suggestion, so maybe 20% of the average of listings on Page 1.

CAMERON YODER:
Yeah, I think that’s a good baseline to build off of at least. Okay, that’s good. So next question, what do you see people doing wrong when it comes to promotions or launches? So what shouldn’t people do?

ANDREW FIELD:
So I think sometimes people have unrealistic expectations for how their product is going to perform after a launch. So getting a product ranking on Page 1 generally isn’t a problem. It’s typically pretty easy. But people think that all of a sudden their sales are going to skyrocket, which may not necessarily be the case. If your listing isn’t competitive you’re not going to see those sales. I know we keep going back to the having an optimized listing, but that’s how important it really is.

CAMERON YODER:
It’s important. It’s really important.

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, so I mean that’s why I think people need to discuss their strategy with a coach or a seller coach or someone that knows what they’re talking about before running a launch. Ask questions like will this listing sell in this market? Am I targeting the right keyword? How many units should I give to target this keyword? All those kinds of things.

CAMERON YODER:
Yeah, and this is not a – it’s not a plug for what we do. It’s just simply a really simple and easy thing that you guys can do and have free, really free access to.

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, exactly. Like no matter what strategy you’re using to get your product ranking on Page 1, these are the questions you need to be asking.

CAMERON YODER:
Right.

ANDREW FIELD:
Talking to people with experience is just a great resource for you.

CAMERON YODER:
Right, and that’s what our coaching team – our coaching team is meant to really give strategy to people.

ANDREW FIELD:
Exactly.

CAMERON YODER:
So they’re accessible to you. Okay, so let’s see. We see a lot of people, and we actually have – Casey and I have talked about this on the show before, too, but it’s always important to bring up because it comes up frequently, and it’s funny how often or how periodic this question comes up from people that are performing launches or thinking about performing a launch. But we see a lot of people talking, again, about how steep discounts don’t attribute ranking anymore. So what have you seen when it comes to that?

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, so I mean, like we said at the very beginning, I was employee number one. I’ve been giving launch suggestions for three years now. This has come up periodically forever. I mean I don’t think it will ever really go away. People are always looking for a reason not to give their product away at 90% off, which would totally understand. Nobody wants to give their product away at 90% off. But the data does not show that it doesn’t work. It still does work. Just for a specific example, just in the last like 14 days we ran three launches for a turmeric product, or three separate turmeric products. We got each one of those listings ranking on Page 1 for turmeric, turmeric curcumin and curcumin. Those are incredibly competitive markets where sales are 10,000+ a month. If 90% off promotions didn’t work there is no way that we would have been able to get those products ranking there.

CAMERON YODER:
Right.

ANDREW FIELD:
So we just kind of let the data speak for itself. There is always going to be those rumors out there, but as long as the data is there to combat it, I mean I don’t see it being an issue.

CAMERON YODER:
And that’s if – and that’s not to say that that could not change in the future, right?

ANDREW FIELD:
Right.

CAMERON YODER:
Because Amazon could pull a lever or something and all of a sudden maybe somehow, whether it’s accidental or intentional, make promotions not attribute ranking through stuff like that.

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, absolutely. That’s been a topic of discussion forever. But as of right now that’s not happening.

CAMERON YODER:
Exactly. And it’s not like we will hide that information from you. Like –

ANDREW FIELD:
Right. I mean there’s no point in us running launches if they don’t work.

CAMERON YODER:
Exactly.

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, I mean if launches don’t work we’re going to be straight up and say okay yeah, this strategy probably won’t work. Maybe there’s something else that we can try.

CAMERON YODER:
Right, and that’s why it’s important for us to keep you guys updated, at least from what we’re seeing with our launches since we run so many every single day and since Andrew has seen so many. It’s really important to help you guys know where we’re at and what we’re seeing. And what we’re seeing is that steep discounts still do work when it comes to product launches. Okay, so let’s see. When people are performing a launch, when they’re in the middle of the launch – dang it. Hang on. I lost my place. Oh yeah, yeah, okay. So let’s talk about when people are in the middle of a launch or a promotion. Will people, or should people expect to see results right away, or when should they expect to see something happen when it comes to keyword ranking?

ANDREW FIELD:
So my – like my typical launch suggestion lasts for 10 days, usually 10 days, seven to 10 days. Usually people will start to see ranking improve around day five. So during a launch you can expect to see a lot of different things. You can expect to see a big fluctuation in BSR, both up and down, big fluctuation in ranking, both up and down. But right around day five it typically starts to stabilize. So at day five you’ll start to see ranking like steadily increase. So like let’s say if you start on Page 3 for your targeted keyword. You might jump down to Page 6 during the first two days. Day three comes around and you’re back up to Page 3. Day five comes around, you’re creeping up Page 2. Day six, day seven, day eight, you’re moving up Page 1. That’s the typical – that’s typically what it looks like.

CAMERON YODER:
People tend to freak out when they’re on like day two of a launch, right? Yeah, explain that. Like they’re on day two of a launch and they see the product went down in ranking. They’re like what in the world? What just happened?

ANDREW FIELD:
Right, yeah. So I mean that’s just part of Amazon’s algorithm. That’s where people – I think that might even be where some of these rumors are stemming from where people run launches for like quote unquote tests, and after two days they’ve dropped to page 20 and they freak out, right? Let that launch run its course, and it will work. If you end prematurely you’re hurting your sales history, and it’s just going to cause problems down the road. Let that launch run, and you’ll see ranking improvement as long as you’re running with the appropriate strategy, of course.

CAMERON YODER:
And some of these – so some of these questions or this data is like dependent on the market, too. This specific question. Let’s say someone reaches Page 1 for their primary keyword before they expected to, like maybe before their expected launch day or the end of the launch.

ANDREW FIELD:
Sure.

CAMERON YODER:
Would you recommend that people stop their launch early, or just like kind of let it ride for a little bit?

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, that’s a good question. So if a listing reaches Page 1 and organic sales pick up to match the listing, the other listings on Page 1, then yeah, I mean go ahead and end that launch. There’s no reason to give products away at that point. If you get to Page 1 and sales pick up just a little bit you may want to let that launch continue so you can build a stronger sales history and maintain that Page 1 ranking, and then you can see organic sales coming in in the future.

CAMERON YODER:
Now what would you advise when considering launch numbers specifically? So like when somebody wants to find out the number of units that they should give away or the number of units they should put a heavy or steep discount on, what would you say to that?

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, so I mean this is going to sound like a plug for Viral Launch, obviously, but Market Intelligence, a great place to start. Analyze the market. Analyze that keyword. See what listings on Page 1 are doing in terms of sales volume. And you want to match that with your promotion. So generally, to develop a strong sales history you want to have your launch last for at least seven days, sometimes more. So seven days is kind of like the window where you need to run a launch for at least seven days to develop a strong enough sales history to maintain Page 1, or to even get ranking on Page 1. The additional three days that I usually recommend on the end of that are to help develop an even stronger sales history. So once the steady flow of promotional sales stops you’re able to stay there longer and generate organic sales recurring.

CAMERON YODER:
What would you say, what would you talk about post launch strategy? What’s the best strategy people can implement after an initial promotion if they run one for a keyword?

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, so after your initial launch you’re likely ranking on Page 1 for your primary keyword. If your listing is competitive you’ll probably start seeing an increase in organic sales right away. But let’s talk about a scenario where maybe your product isn’t just as competitive as all the other listings on Page 1. I kind of alluded to it earlier, but like some of the recommendations we have are to drop your price a little bit. Develop a stronger sales history for that keyword. Other things you can do – I’ve got to think about this for a second.

CAMERON YODER:
Yeah, yeah. No, you’re good.

ANDREW FIELD:
I had a bunch of stuff for this, too. Yeah, so like another thing you can do is run another promotion for another keyword. The best way to see the most organic sales is to be ranking on Page 1 for as many relevant keywords as possible. So if you see that you have – you’re in a market where you have 10 relevant keywords that are all going to attribute to your aggregate sales you want to be ranking on Page 1 for all 10 of those keywords. You don’t want to just be ranking on Page 1 for one of those keywords, and then you’re only seeing 10% of the sales that you would be seeing if you were ranking on Page 1 for all of your relevant keywords. So generally I would say to target multiple keywords with multiple promotions.

CAMERON YODER:
Let’s say you have two primary keywords for a product. If you run a launch for one specific one, and let’s say they’re similar. Let’s say maybe they’re similar, but they’re different enough to where you would need to run two separate promotions to rank for both of them. If you run – let’s say you run a pretty like intense launch for one of the primary keywords and you get to Page 1 for that keyword. Have you seen ranking attributed to the other primary keyword in some cases?

ANDREW FIELD:
Oh yeah, absolutely. So that kind of goes back to having a good, or a well-optimized listing. If you have those keywords in your title, if you have the correct keyword sequences in your title – so for example, like if you have like a fish oil, fish oil is your main keyword. Another keyword would be fish oil supplements. If you have fish oil supplements in your title and you’re targeting fish oil with your promotion you’re going to see a good, a sizable increase in ranking for fish oil supplements. You may even reach Page 1 for that keyword with the launch targeting another keyword. So yeah, I mean this goes back to making sure that you have a well-optimized listing.

CAMERON YODER:
Yeah, I think it’s good to, if people are trying to decide whether they should run a promotion for two separate keywords or run one targeting both or what have you, I think it’s always good to maybe even run one really targeted one for the primary, like the main keyword in that case, fish oil, and then see where you end up for fish oil supplements. And then if you want to just run another promotion for that right off the bat, you know where your baseline is going to be after the ranking has been attributed from the primary.

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, no, that’s a really good analysis, yeah.

CAMERON YODER:
So Andrew, what else – do you have anything else that you want to tell people when it comes to launches, or launch strategy or launch data?

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, so get advice. Don’t try to go it alone if you don’t have any experience. There’s always someone out there with experience that has looked into hundreds of thousands or however many markets and has the experience to tell you okay, this is the keyword you should target, this is the kind of strategy that will get you there, this is what an idea listing looks like in this market. You should try to emulate that. These are what your competitors are doing. This is your primary keyword. There are so many intricacies that go into a launch that you really need – there’s no substitute for experience and going into all the data.

CAMERON YODER:
Well, Andrew, thank you so much for being on the show today. It really is good to have a perspective like yours since, I mean you’ve been around the block. You’ve seen it all. You’ve seen brands built from 0 to 100, literally, and you’ve seen a lot of product launches go through. So thank you for taking time to be here and giving advice to everybody.

ANDREW FIELD:
Yeah, thanks for having me, for sure.

CAMERON YODER:
I’ll do and outro, but for now –

Well hey, that is all for this week. Thank you so much for joining us here on Follow the Data. For more insights and reliable information on how to succeed on Amazon, subscribe to the podcast and check us out on YouTube. I’ve been working on a series of product discovery walk-throughs that will really help you understand how to leverage the tool. So just search Viral Launch on YouTube, and go to our page, and look for my face on one of the videos. And if you’re listening on iTunes it would seriously help us out so much if you would leave a review to let us know what you think of the show. And if you know another seller who’s feeling lost in the Amazon information war that’s out there, send them our way. We really want to be a resource for all sellers, and honestly, the information source in this space. So please tell your friends. Spread the word, and share the show with other Amazon sellers.

Thanks again for listening, and as always, if you want to be featured on the show, have an Amazon-related question or an idea for an episode, feel absolutely free to leave us a voicemail. Our number is 317-721-6590. Until next time, remember, the data is out there.

Your Amazon Seller Questions: Q&A with Cameron Yoder and Becca Longenecker (Follow the Data Ep. 18)

Your Amazon Seller Questions: Q&A with Cameron Yoder and Becca Longenecker (Follow the Data Ep. 18)

In this episode, we field a few questions from our listeners. Being your own boss and running your own business is an incredible part of being an Amazon seller. But navigating the Amazon space all alone can be hard, and reliable information can be difficult to find. How does Amazon really work? What are the best strategies? Join host Cameron Yoder and producer Becca Longenecker to find out.

Listen on iTunes   Listen on Stitcher

 

Follow the Data Show Notes

  • Want to be on the show like today’s listeners? Have your own story of entrepreneurial success? We’re working on an episode that features our listeners! Leave us a voicemail at (317) 721-6590 with stories or questions about your Amazon business.
  • Initial reviews are so important. Wondering how to get that social proof for your product? Check out our blog post from this summer about Amazon’s Early Reviewer Program.
  • Talk about barrier to entry: language is a huge one for going international. Read our recent blog post about the importance of getting a native speaking copywriter to create your listing. 
  • Check out the Viral Launch YouTube channel and look for Cameron’s Fireside Chats where you walks through how to get the most out of Product Discovery. 

 

Podcast Transcript

CAMERON:
Being your own boss and running your own business is an incredible part of being an Amazon seller. But navigating the Amazon space all alone can be hard, and reliable information can be difficult to find. How does Amazon really work? What are the best strategies? Today we field a few questions from our listeners to help you make sense of it all.

I’m Cameron Yoder, your host for Follow the Data: Your Journey to Amazon FBA Success. In this show, we leverage the data we’ve accumulated at Viral Launch from over 28,000 product launches and our experience working with 6500 brands to help you understand the big picture when it comes to Amazon and, more importantly, the best practices for success as an Amazon seller.

In today’s episode, we’re hearing from you and answering your seller questions. There’s an awesome variety of topics and some great content here for those of you who are just getting a product into FBA or who are looking to refine your selling process to make your business more profitable. Let’s jump in.
[fade out intro music]
BECCA:
Hey, I’m Becca Longenecker, the producer for Follow the Data, and I’ll be joining Cameron in today’s episode. Before we get started, I just want to give a huge shoutout to everyone who has called in and left us a voicemail, everyone who has subscribed, everyone who has left us a review, and everyone who has listened so far. There are a lot of podcasts out there, and we feel really honored to be one of the ones that you choose to listen to.
CAM:
Yeah, Becca’s our producer, and she gets to listen to every episode all the time, even the stuff, the content, that we don’t get to put into the episodes. And so I’m psyched to have her on the show, welcome Becca.
BECCA:
Thank you Cam. So at the end of every Follow the Data episode, we encourage you all to call into our voicemail box and leave us a message with your Amazon questions or responses to the show. And we’ve really enjoyed hearing from you, so today we’re going to play a few of those voicemails for you and answer a few of the questions that you all are asking.
CAM:
So let’s play the first voicemail response.
BECCA:
Alright
CAM:
And then we’ll go from there.
LISTENER #1 JOHN:
Hey, my name is John Farrell. I’m actually I’m new to selling on Amazon. I just listed my first private label product, and I think this is a question for myself, but I think that it could serve well for a lot of people who listen to your podcast and may be new. So basically to get my product ranking—and you’re saying that sales history is so important—so what I’m doing is I just listed my product last Monday, so it’s been exactly a week since I listed it, and I did 3 sales a day for the first week, and now I’m upping it to 5 sales a day for the second week, and then 7 and then I’m going to do a blast on Viral Launch.
But I’m having difficulty in … I’m getting a lot of different answers regarding … because my product isn’t … it’s still too new, it isn’t showing up on any pages of search results for any natural keyword terms. So what I’m doing is I’m having people. I’m I’m sending them to I’m sending them links to the product to buy from the link and hoping that you know one of these days, it’s just going to pop up on one of the pages, and then I can have them buy naturally by sending them the keyword and they can search through pages search for my product and buy it.
I’m not even sure if that’s the best way to do it. That’s what some people are telling me. I want to get your feedback on that as well as I wanted to know when I should expect to start having results as far as all when I should start showing up naturally on the pages for keywords, and if it … taking this long is you know not normal, so that’s that’s the question. I have for you guys. Thanks. Thanks a lot.
CAM:
Yeah, so that’s a good collection of questions and situations from John. And there’s a lot of … there’s a lot there, honestly, to go over. And so starting out, if you haven’t seen the podcast episode where we talk about sales history, I recommend going back and checking that out after this podcast.
So John, one of the first things that he talked about, and maybe one of the first things we should go over is the fact that his listing wasn’t necessarily active right off the bat. And we don’t necessarily have data to show that this happens for every single person that opens a product on Amazon. But from what we can see, that is a normal occurance for you to … let’s say you create a listing on Amazon, right? So you buy the product from like Alibaba, and then you create a listing on Amazon, and you create a listing on Amazon, and then you ship the products into FBA. And once those products get into FBA, a lot of people will think ‘Oh, well I can just start selling immediately and start ranking immediately, but in some cases the … when you search for your product, just through the normal search function on Amazon, it doesn’t pop up. And so there seems to be this period of time where maybe it’s going through Amazon’s system, or whatever, where it takes a little bit of time for it to load into Amazon and for you to really be able to … not even to … you don’t necessarily have to wait for that to gain sales because you can send people a direct link to your product, like John talked about. But when it comes to something like keyword ranking, and you can’t even find your product when you search a keyword, that’s probably not the best time to do something like a launch.
BECCA:
Yeah, um next Cam do you want to talk about the part of his question where he is talking about how he is giving away 3 units and then 5 units and then 7 units, and he’s kind of doing this … like building up sales velocity—a term that we’ve heard people talk about a lot—and in that Sales History / Sales Velocity episode that we did, you guys kind of try to explain that. Maybe you can go over that again?
CAM:
Yeah, so really when it comes to a brand new seller. This is less important. But when we talked about the comparison of sales velocity to sales history it’s sales history that matters more, right? So if you have been a seller for a long time, and you’ve built up a pattern of a bad sales history, you’re going to have a harder time launching, or ranking on a page for a specific keyword and sticking there. On the other hand, if you have a positive sales history, so if you’ve been selling for a decent amount of time, and your sales have been pretty good, then the … let’s say you launch on to page 1, you’re going to have a little bit easier of a time sticking on there because of your positive sales history. In John’s specific case, he’s talking about a very early strategy of kind of messing around with low numbers of sales velocity and increasing them, like within a week’s period of time. For John’s case, that’s not super important. Like that, honestly it probably wouldn’t make a difference, if you were to space it out like that. What matters more, what matters more in this case, than incrementally spacing out sales from specific people, what matters more in John’s case is keyword ranking, right? Which he might not be able to do yet because his product is not available to see yet to everybody. And more than that are getting reviews, getting his initial reviews. Like if I were to talk, if I were to sit down with John and talk about what to do first, I would say when you’re product goes live on Amazon, you need to get reviews in place.
BECCA:
Well, even before it goes live, right?
CAM:
Yeah, yeah! Even before. Like in John’s case, he should get reviews.
BECCA:
Even when it’s not showing up in search.
CAM:
Right, even when it’s not showing up in search. Even when he can’t do something like a launch to increase keyword ranking because he can’t show up in results. Getting those reviews in place is really going to solidify his social proof so that when he does go live, then he can perform something like a launch and get to the front page and have that social proof there and ready to go instead of just having no reviews in place.
BECCA:
Going back to that incremental change. I just wanna make sure this is clear. So I think a lot of people think that the incremental change is what Amazon wants to see—they want to see that you’re sales number, your sales volume is growing. But actually Amazon’s just more concerned with how high your sales volume is. So it doesn’t have to be incrementally changing over time, if you right off the bat can get that sales volume up and you can match the sales volume of your page 1 competitors, you can climb in the rankings.
CAM:
We’ve actually seen this and we’ve talked about this. Casey and I talked about this a little bit before. But there’s this small period of time, this grace period it seems like, when your product goes live for the first time. Or actually newer products, if you funnel a certain amount of traffic through it, at the very beginning, Amazon seems to take preference to that. It’s kind of like, Oh, you’re a new product, and you’re preforming really well at the beginning, so we’ll reward you. And in some cases, people can achieve ranking quicker and or stick on page 1 longer if they perform a launch right off the bat. Again, with that social proof in hand though. So with that … that’s a combination of good photos, good reviews, good price, all those things. But all those things combined together, really if you’re an early product it might be good to perform a launch if you have all those things in place right away.
BECCA:
That’s pretty cool.
CAM:
So I just want to summarize again because there are a lot of points in there that are important. But so when you’re thinking about sales history, it really is not that important if you’re a new seller. It matters if you’ve been selling for a little while and you have bad sales history. That’s gonna negatively affect your ability to rank and stick on ranking. If you have a good sales history, that’s good. If you’re new, you don’t really have a sales history yet. You just need to make sure that you’re not building a bad sales history, a bad reputation.
BECCA:
Alright, let’s move on to the next message.
LISTENER #2 DANIEL:
Hey, my name is Daniel Metz and I’m recent listeners to the show. I just listened to the episode about the Amazon reviews, and what I think is going to probably happen is that the reviews that you see will be weighted. Based on 30 days or 60 days or 90 days something like that, but they will still have access to like lifetime reviews just giving a greater weight to the more recent ones and that the actual star rating in order to be more accurate will reflect a more recent time frame as opposed to all of the reviews over the entire life of the product offering. I’m a recent user. I’m just now doing my first Viral Launch, and I really appreciate the company, just the the way the company is run. In comparison with all the other companies, and so just wanted to call and let you guys know. Thanks. Bye.
BECCA:
Thank you Daniel for that affirmation. We have really tried to differentiate ourselves in the space and to be a legitimate resource for sellers in a market where there are a lot of proclaimed solutions that don’t actually deliver on results. We have been and continue to be super customer-centric, results driven, and innovative, and it’s really encouraging when people recognize that. So thanks.
BECCA:
Daniel’s call was about the episode that we did on the future of Amazon reviews. So if you haven’t listened to that episode, I would definitely encourage you to go back into our feed and give that one a listen. Cam and Casey talk about the way that Amazon reviews are now and how that could potentially be bad for sellers in the future, and what they think Amazon will do to change that.
CAM:
So the concept is, if you’re new to selling, and you’re trying to sell this awesome new face cream, and everyone else has like 12,000 reviews, it’s going to be almost impossible for you to compete. So we discuss that and what we think Amazon is going to do.
BECCA:
Yeah, so that sounds like a definite possibility, Daniel. Casey and Cam throw out the idea of a weighted system in that episode as well, and it seems like a great way to go for Amazon. I also think you’re right that they’ll probably have to allow sellers to keep the lifetime reviews for their product. I think they would probably get a lot of backlash if they tried to take down legitimate reviews. Although, they have taken down reviews in the past. But yeah, I think you’re probably not far off with your prediction.
CAM:
Let’s go on to the next question.
LISTENER #3:
Hey guys appreciate you guys doing this. I’m a new seller. My question for you guys is really about launching, so I have a new shipment coming in. It should be within like the next 30 days month or so, and I’ve been reading through Facebook group try to figure out the best strategy to get things started get a launch going. So I know you guys do launches, but I’m also seeing a lot about running sponsored ads doing those at the same time, a little bit confused as to really what I should do, so if you guys could give your best advice on sponsored ads, running at launch, how those compare. Yeah, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.
CAM:
That’s a question that we see actually a lot. So the question is, basically, how does PPC compare to a launch, or to running a targeted giveaway.
BECCA:
So PPC, or for those … or sponsored ads … payed per click advertising, PPC, is when you see those sponsored ads at the top of a product search, those top couple of products, they’ll says sponsored, and those are a way to get your product in front of people for a specific keyword and drive sales through that keyword. So it’s basically functioning the same way as a Viral Launch. With a viral launch you pick a keyword to target, and then you put that product in front of a buyer group at a heavily discounted price. And the sales that you get from that discounted product promotion are going through a targeted keyword. So with sponsored ads and with a product launch, you are getting those sales attributed to a keyword, and that’s the really important aspect of a launch and for sponsored ads as well.
CAM:
So they’re both trying to accomplish the same goal. However the main difference for something like an effective launch or PPC is, honestly it’s time.
BECCA:
Yeah, so the reason that we do a launch the way we do, where you’re discounting your product so heavily and putting it up on this buyer site is that we have … you know the buyer site has over 100,000 people subscribed who are checking in daily for deals, and with a heavily discounted product, you can move a lot more product. So you can have, you know, 10 sales a day or something like that whereas with PPC you might see 1 sale per day, 2 sales per day come through a specific keyword. And so the purpose of a launch really is just to get that volume because you can move up through the ranking so much quicker.
CAM:
A launch is simple. A launch is an attempt to match the sales of top sellers for a specific keyword, right? And with our launch platform and with other giveaway platforms, if you can funnel all those sales through a 7 day or 10 day period of time, that’s gonna be more effective than just throwing money in the air and hoping. PPC just takes so much more time.
BECCA:
And with PPC you’re usually targeting a handful of keywords all at once, and with a launch it’s just really really specific, and you’re just going all after that one keyword.
CAM:
So it does depend on the market that you’re in and the keywords that you’re kind of trying to rank for. A lot of people also ask if they should do PPC while they’re doing something like a launch, and honestly the answer is … well it doesn’t really hurt. At the same time, I know people who very effectively only run launches. So they take all the money that they would be spending on something like sponsored ads, which can be expensive, and they put it towards a launch, and if they drop in ranking, then they just run another launch. Monetarily for them, just looking at the numbers, it makes more sense with the keywords that they’re trying to target. Some people will do a launch and PPC, but basically a launch is going to be more effective. It’s going to be your base line.
BECCA:
The other thing I guess to say about PPC is, one way that it can be really helpful is to target a whole bunch of keywords or do those auto campaigns through Amazon and then you can figure out which keyword your product sells the best for or converts the best for. And that can be a good way to find a keyword to target on your product launch.
CAM:
Yeah, that is a good method that a lot of people use. It takes some time to get, but if you’re not sure about what keywords to target, it can be a really good option.
BECCA:
Alright, moving on to our next voicemail.
LISTENER #4:
Hey Casey and Cam, so I’m a fairly new seller in the Amazon game, and I had a question for you guys about selling internationally. I heard that it’s pretty easy to go over and sell internationally because the markets aren’t as strong and developed in the US, but I’m kind of wondering is it really worth it for me to go and sell international because I’m so new and so fresh in the game should I just spoke with my efforts on US or is it worth it to try international right out of the gate? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks guys.
BECCA:
So that’s a tough one. Cam, what do you think about going international right away?
CAM:
Being completely honest, honestly there are 2 arguments here. I know sellers in both. I know sellers who have succeeded in both. First off, nothing is as easy as it sounds, so people often say, Well yeah, I’ll just start one of those Amazon businesses and launch it and it’ll be just super easy. I’ll make tons of money. But if you as an Amazon seller think back to the first time, whether you were using a course or not, I’m sure somewhere along the line of you starting your first Amazon business, or your first product, selling your first product, you thought: Hey, this is much harder, or some degree harder than I thought it would be originally. But international is a different game than selling on Amazon or is just different than if you were to try to sell outside of the United States. So my first response to this listener is that you need to establish what your goals are. What kind of numbers are you shooting for? How much effort or time or energy do you want to put into this? Because that could determine if you want to stick with your home country, where you’re most comfortable, or not. You also want to do more research on international markets and the US market. So for us, we use Market Intelligence and with that we’re able to look at sales numbers in Europe, sales numbers in the United States and market trends as well, and almost across the board, the numbers in the United States completely beat out the numbers in other countries. Now, you have to keep in mind the barriers too. So one of the biggest barriers in the United States is going to be competition. So just because there are a lot of sellers here. There’s a lot of traffic. So obviously if there’s more traffic, there’s going to be more competition. That’s the biggest barrier. And if you’re going international, then some of the biggest barriers are going to be something like language barriers—the copy for your listing—culture barriers—understanding how people are buying, different selling licenses and laws, transferring money back to your home country.
BECCA: On that topic: we have a podcast episode with World First from a couple weeks back that you should go check out. We talk to Lucy Marshall, and she kind of explains who they help Amazon sellers at World First transferring their funds back home.
CAM
If you haven’t listened to that and you’re an international seller, give that a listen. All that being said, there are some barriers to entry to consider, to really consider. And it all depends on what your goals are. Overall, start small, and once you feel confident in your ability to sell, then maybe maybe consider going international. But all that being said there’s still a ton of opportunity here in the United States.
CAM:
Well hey guys that is all for this week. Thank you so much for joining us here this week. Again, I just want to iterate, we really do love hearing from you guys and all of these were questions that we’ve received from you and that we’ve been hearing in the space, and so it’s honestly just really good to hear feedback, but it’s also good to hear questions that you have at the same time. So I’m gonna give our number here. It’s (317) 721-6590. We absolutely would love to have you call in and give any questions or feedback. We would love love love to feature you on the show.
For more insights and reliable information that will help take your business to the next level, subscribe to the podcast and check out the Viral Launch blog at viral-launch.com. And also check out our YouTube channel. We’re really … we’re shooting for a lot of content in 2018. I’ve said this before, but check out our YouTube channel, we’re doing a weekly walkthrough of Product Discovery right now. It’s kind of like a course. And you’ll see those videos. They’re called Fireside Chats. You’ll see those videos under the playlists that we’ve created. And you will also see my face in those.
BECCA:
Don’t forget to rate the show and leave us a review on iTunes. That helps me out with my job. Your feedback helps all of us here at Viral Launch cater our content for you as the listeners and it helps other people find the show as well. We also want to say that we really appreciate everybody who has left a review and has given us feedback so far, and a special thanks to everyone who we featured on the show today who called in with a question.
CAM:
Again, thank you guys so much for listening. We are looking so forward to putting out more content for you. Feel free again to reach out in any way. Until next time remember, the data is out there.