When launching a new product on Amazon or launching products in a new marketplace, there are a lot of fundamental aspects to consider. First and foremost, when you are working to get your product(s) on the marketplace, you will have to add your items to vendor or seller central. Keep in mind that if you already have the launch date, the process of actually getting an ASIN and getting your product up and running can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. To ensure you are ready by the launch date, it is best to get everything together very early on, to ensure you can get everything ready in time.
When you are preparing to launch, you will receive a NIS template from Amazon in which you can add all of your product information. Here, you will include all of your product details as well as your product title, highlights and product description, if these are already optimized.
Hint: The more detailed your product information, the easier it will be to get your products listed
When launching a new product, something to consider is whether or not you would like it to be a part of a product twister. A product twister is a collection of similar products with slight variations (i.e. color or size) that have separate ASINs but are listed together on Amazon. These products, therefore, share reviews, which means a few things: 1) the products must be similar enough that the reviews can apply to or make sense for all of them 2) the new product’s visibility will automatically increase by virtue of being a part of a twister.
Twisters provide the benefit of positive reviews and increased visibility; however, there are also some downsides. If a product has negative reviews, these reviews also apply to all other products in that twister. The twister can also negatively affect the performance of the new product if it is not a good fit, or if the other products in the twister are not performing well. Therefore, it is very important to do thorough research and ensure that if you decide to add a new product to a twister, you choose the right one.
Product Detail Page Content
A major fundamental to take into account when launching a new product is the information on the product detail page. The use of this information is two-fold: it tells the shopper what they want and need to know about the product and, when keywords are integrated throughout the content, it also optimizes the performance of the product by increasing overall visibility.
The product title is the first aspect to consider. This is the shopper’s first impression of your product and should include the most important product information as well as keywords and be written in an attention-grabbing manner.
The bullet points, or product highlights, also contain the most important product details as well as unique sales propositions (USPs). The purpose of these points is to encourage the shoppers to purchase the product by informing them about the product through appealing to their wants and needs. If this content is ready before the launch, the title and bullet points can be uploaded directly in the ASIN setup (in the NIS template), so they are ready as soon as the product launches.
Hint: When determining what exactly your shoppers want and need to know, a good reference are the questions & answers for your products and similar competitor products
When deciding to sell on multiple marketplaces, you must also develop a strategy to help your products perform in individual countries. This does not mean just translating content and keywords, it requires quite a bit more effort and consideration of many different factors.
Firstly, the keyword set for each individual market must be unique to its respective country. Different countries use different vocabulary and different phrasing, so the search terms may be drastically different from one country to the next. Therefore, the content (title and bullet points) cannot just be translated, but must be completely re-created, integrating the specific keywords for the new marketplace.
The colloquialisms and local expressions may also differ depending on the country. For example, American customers may search for a vacuum cleaner while British customers would search for a hoover. These terms may be a major keyword in one marketplace, but not in another. Not even translations from English (US) to English (UK) would prove successful, so imagine the differences between two entirely different languages.
Catering to Local Customers
It is also important to consider the wants and needs of customers in different countries when creating content across different marketplaces. Customers in Poland may prioritize certain product characteristics differently than customers in Germany, for example. To determine exactly what these differences are, it is important to look at the customer reviews and questions in each specific marketplace and apply them when creating the content for each market, individually.
Tip: Common spelling mistakes are also important to take into account when doing keyword research, and these can most certainly not be translated
Structure and Style Guides
When developing a cross-market strategy, it is also important to maintain a consistent brand image. Ensuring that all of your product detail pages have similar structures is a good way to keep a consistent thread across every marketplace so customers can immediately recognize your brand, no matter the country.
Each country also has its own “style guidelines” that must be followed when creating content. This includes words and phrases that cannot be used (i.e. high-quality, the best on the market, etc.) in the content per Amazon guidelines. These vary by marketplace and thus, must be considered during the content creation process for each country.
While many images would work on different marketplaces, it is also good to localize product images where necessary. For example, when an image contains copy in a specific language, keeping the copy consistent with the product description text while ensuring the images remain in the same order as in other marketplaces is a best practice.
The A+ content has become a standard for all Amazon products, meaning a PDP without A+ content seems almost incomplete. Most customers now shop via mobile phone and, therefore, A+ is the first thing they see, so it is important to create the A+ with the mindset that it could be the shoppers’ first impression of the product and the brand.
A+ can also function to link new products to existing products. If you are launching a product that is a new version of an existing product, you can link the successor to the original product with information about the benefits of purchasing each version.
Cross-selling charts are a very valuable tool available in A+ content that allows you to compare similar products. You have the ability to list product details and how they differ from one product to the next within your product range. You can also link the ASINs of these products to the chart, allowing shoppers to browse easily through your product portfolio, leading to both cross- and up-selling. Using a comparison chart to show a wider range of products can also help you appeal to a much broader audience.
Born to Run Program
Born to Run is a program offered to vendors by Amazon that is especially useful for those that are launching a new product. The format is quite simple: when you are launching a new product, you can request orders for that product by telling Amazon how many units you expect to sell in a 10 week period.
The benefits of Born to Run are plentiful: you will experience an acceleration in the product launch thanks to Amazon’s support as well as an increase in sales and a decrease in stock issues. The process for Born to Run is pretty straightforward, below is an outline of a successful Born to Run exhibition:
1. Submission– Vendor submits x units of ASIN A to Born to Run
2. Approval– Amazon accepts the submission of all x units of ASIN A
3. Orders– Amazon orders x units of ASIN A within one day
4. Sell-through START– starting at 20 days after the product order submission, the vendor has 10 weeks to sell through x units of ASIN A
5. Flywheel– the flywheel occurs when the buying system recognizes demand uptick and places additional orders for ASIN A
6. Sell-through END– ASIN A sold more than x units during the first 10 week period; sales continue to grow
Amazon Vine is another fundamental consideration in the product launch process. The Vine program enrolls trusted reviewers to receive new and pre-release items, try them out and leave reviews that will help shoppers make informed purchase decisions when the product is released to the public.
The benefits of having reviews, especially trusted Vine reviews, when you launch your product are exponential as a single first review significantly increases chances of a purchase and, on average, 76% of Vine reviews have been labeled as “Helpful.”
Note: Items must fit the Vine dimensions (below 90 kg and less than 240 cm wide). Multi-box items and add-on items do not qualify for Vine reviews
New Item Widget
The New Item Widget allows for a direct link between a product and its designated successor and can be implemented during your new item setup or later on through case management. The New Item Widget allows you to open the new product to more traffic while avoiding losing traffic to its predecessor.
When shoppers land on a product detail page for the designated predecessor to your new product, they can click this add-on, which will direct them to the “new version,” thus bringing traffic directly to your newly launched product.
This is especially useful for more high-end products with a higher risk of purchase. The more expensive a product, the more likely shoppers are to do extensive research before buying. Therefore, if there is a newer or better version of the product they are looking to buy, they may be more willing to invest some hundred euros more for the most recent version.
Brand Store Integration
The final fundamental to consider when launching a new product is using your Brand Store to reach new and existing customers of your brand while generating traffic for your new products. For example, you can choose to set up a new landing page within your store for your new product(s). If your brand store homepage has a lot of traffic, adding a designated new product to your homepage increases direct traffic to that ASIN.
You can also guide shoppers to your Store with on- and off-Amazon campaigns and use your Store as a channel for your product launch campaign.
Push Your Launch with Sponsored Advertising
When launching new products, it is important to consider all options Amazon has to offer to increase visibility and rankings. When thinking about integrating Sponsored Advertising into your product launch, take the following into account:
- Keyword research- check the most relevant keywords for your product category and check the important keywords and longtails that appear in the auto-suggestion as well as for search volumes in Amazon Reporting Analytics (ARA)
- Competitors- think about who your competitors are and who is visible on major keywords? Then, look at their products prices and ratings
- Market- finally, evaluate how your product is positioned in the market in terms of price, content and reviews as well as what is its potential
Campaigns and Targeting
When launching a new product, you will want to enter the market aggressively in terms of Sponsored Ads campaigns and targeting. Start by focusing on generic keyword targeting (with a broad match type) with high bids to cover all relevant search terms.
Hint: Static bids will help you enter the market even more aggressively
Next, implement auto-campaigns to generate new search terms. Be sure also to take advantage of all ad types, for example, Sponsored Product ads will help with organic ranking while Sponsored Brand ads will increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your brand store, where maybe you are promoting your newly launched ASINs. Sponsored Display ads work in the lower funnel, for example, on the product detail pages of old ASINs to bring traffic to your new products.
New campaigns will naturally need some time to gain learnings, which will result in initially low click-through and conversion rates, and higher costs-per-click (CPCs). Over time, however, as more ratings, reviews and sales continue to increase, you will quickly see higher conversion rates and lower CPCs. See this initial phase as an investment for future rankings, since Sponsored Ads will ultimately help push your organic rankings, leading to increased sales on a long-term basis.
Life Cycle of a Product
The life cycle of a product on Amazon will affect the goals and strategy of your Sponsored Ads campaigns. The life cycle is as follows:
- Intro phase: just launched product, the focus here is to gain visibility to get first ratings and reviews. The product detail page should therefore reflect trust and desire.
- Growth phase: this is where advertising campaigns can begin (starting with brand keywords to gain more traffic, reviews, etc. Be prepared here for an aggressive generic strategy
- Maturity phase: this is the main phase- your product has hopefully established itself at this point and the focus turns to profitability optimization and generating more organic sales. Start with strategic campaigns (including cross-selling strategies and increasing market share) and then extend your strategy for Demand Side Platform (DSP) campaigns.
- Decline phase: this is where the life cycle comes to an end after a long and successful run on Amazon. The goal is to try to sell off your product while trying to push new ASINs and begin the life cycle all over again.
Ideally, the long-term performance of your newly launched product will have a very low organic turnover and low advertising sales in the beginning due to few reviews and ratings and low campaign optimization and learning. Over time though, your ad campaigns will improve and generate more advertising sales to push organic ranking and lead to the improvement of organic sales over time.
Your organic sales should ultimately surpass the sales you generated with Sponsored Ads and, in the best case, you should generate more organic sales (pushed with Sponsored Advertising) than with advertising in the maturity phase.