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Are you ready to expand your current line of products?
Do you have the next big thing on Amazon?
Is that item you’ve been holding off on selling, really worth stocking up on?
Whether you’re a seasoned Amazon seller or brand spankin new to the marketplace, conducting competitive research can be vital to your long term success.
So, instead of talking about what to do once you’re ready to launch… let’s back it up a bit and discuss those initial steps of getting there, shall we?
Don’t worry – I will not be giving an in-depth analysis on data points, financial gains, or competitive research tools. Heck, I don’t even know what a couple of those things are. Okay, I do. But I have no interest in writing a dissertation regarding any of those subjects. Each of which has been covered ad nauseam by the “experts.” And just like the Amazon marketplace, we don’t really need to keep adding stuff that’s excessively accessible… do we?
My goal is to take a practical, yet informative approach to conducting your initial groundwork. This is not a guide on how to do Amazon research. Instead, I will simply pose a few questions that could very well save you both, time and money.
Whether good or bad, there’s really no better place to start...
tip #1 - Does Amazon sell the product?
If you see a product with the Amazon “sold and shipped by” tag, you may want to take a more in-depth look at the product niche.
Sure, we all know Amazon as the marvelous marketplace that allows a bevy of sellers/ vendors to introduce their products and goods to the world. However, make no mistake about it, Amazon is in the business of business. They are here to make a profit… and that sometimes involves outselling their sellers.
Yes, you can bet your tiny pocket calculator that if Amazon has taken the steps to brand a product as their own, there’s a really good chance that the item was
A.) Trending in the right direction.
B.) Easily duplicated (at least with their billions of dollars) with a flexible price point.
C.) Listed in an overly-crowded product niche.
And, call me crazy, but you may find it a tad bit difficult competing with Amazon on it’s home turf.
If you are planning on bringing a popular item to the Amazon marketplace, make sure there’s something truly unique (and marketable) with your version. Going up against Amazon on Amazon isn’t the smartest business plan one could imagine.
tip #2 - Can you afford to compete?
Again, my intent is not to do a long, drawn out explanation of the various ways you can perform a cost analysis. Maybe we can get into that another time.
However, if you’ve been following some of the more successful Amazon seller stories, many of them include offering giveaways or conducting discounted product launches. Traditional thinking may lead you to believe that these methods will devalue your products. But Amazon isn’t your traditional market.
Assuming your listing is optimized, by offering your product at a discounted price for a predetermined amount of time during product launch, you
A.) Increase your visibility,
B.) Give customers of other brands a reason to try your product.
tip #3 - Have you analyzed your competitors' Amazon Reviews?
You probably already know the importance of checking out your competition’s reviews to help give you a gauge of the things that are important to like-minded customers.
But, this isn’t the reason that I recommend taking an assessment of competitor product reviews.
Before you decide on a potential product, I recommend taking a look at the number of reviews for your top 5 competitors. You want to know if the top sellers of that product have over 250 – 300 reviews. If so, the road to the top of that mountain will be paved with difficulty.
As mentioned earlier, online shoppers are more likely to hit the “add to cart” button with product listings that have their fair share of reviews. This is true for both established, and not-so-established brands.
More importantly, if the top five sellers are well established (visibility wise) and positioned as niche leaders with low price points, you’ll have to make a judgment call if that’s a hill you’ll want to climb. Many new sellers have found themselves in a similar position, in the end, having to price cut their merchandise just to make it out the red and break even.
In addition to the more dominant sellers, we haven’t even mentioned your other competitors looking to gain a foothold in the product niche as well.
Assuming you’ve already analyzed how in-demand your product is, don’t forget to do your homework here, as this step alone can add a ton of valuable insight to your product listing goals.
That’s just the start.
There are other things that you can look for when evaluating additions to your product line-up.
• Do you see a lack of keywords being used in titles and bullet points?
• Are you seeing duplicate (copy and paste) product descriptions from various sellers?
• Could you provide better quality images to your listing that is sure to get attention?
• Does your product have a unique feature that the others are missing?
I am in no way saying that you can’t go on to a successful and fruitful product listing under these particular set of circumstances. But ideally, you would like to enter a minimal competition – maximum demand scenario. After all, the goal here (and always) is to work smarter, not harder. Oh! And to turn a profit while doing so.
Good luck and happy selling!