There are many old Amazon private label assumptions that are now held up as facts. For example, the following are often assumptions made:
- Customers Don’t Read Product Descriptions
- Increasing Your Price Will Lead to a Decrease in Sales
- Your Bullet Points Should Always Be Long Form and Keyword Stuffed
- You Always Have to Use a Sales Price to Convey Value and Increase Sales
- Titles Must Be Long Form, Must Use Every Character Amazon Allows, and Must Be Keyword Stuffed
However, many of our split tests show that these assumptions can sometimes be wrong, and can actually hurt your listings.
So how should you go about optimizing your Amazon product listings?
Well, instead of relying on assumptions, you can actually test all areas of your listings and make sure all parts are fully optimized.
Challenging Common Assumptions
Ever since Amazon private label opened to third party sellers, we have been hearing the same basic guidelines on how to launch and sell products. Everyone who has sold on Amazon has heard these common guidelines including:
- Find a product niche with products that have less than 100 reviews
- Find a niche with high sales volume for at least the first top 10 sellers
- After your research find a similar product with good margins on Alibaba
- Take good pictures of the product
- Put features and words like “best” in the title
- Make your bullet points content rich and note all positive features
- Keyword stuff your description
- Use a sales price
All of these have been held up as Amazon private label gospel – and all your competitors will have heard the same story.
As I mentioned, at Splitly are seeing that not all of these long held beliefs are true. At least not all of the time.
So to know what is right for your listing, you can scientifically test all assumptions, and let the market decide which assumptions are true. That’s right, the customers will tell you what they like. Makes sense to me!
Top 5 assumptions smashed by Split Tests
Let’s take a look at the top 5 assumptions that have in some cases been proved wrong with some of the split tests that have been carried out so far.
1. Customers don’t read product descriptions
A common misconception held by many Amazon private label sellers is that customers don’t read their product descriptions. Many sellers believe that most customers don’t even scroll all the way down to the descriptions, and that by the time they have seen the product title, pictures, price and features, the customer has made up their mind.
However, this is not always the case. Descriptions can have a big impact on sales.
For example, one of our users tested his description. His new description:
- Used powerful taglines
- Had different and more powerful descriptions
- Utilized capitalizations to highlight main product features
- Noted more unique features
Due to this new description, this user’s average sales went up over 59%. His daily conversion average also went up 59%. Moreover, his daily profit went up 59% from $93.63 per day to $148.56 per day. Finally, his conversion rate went up 51%.
- Don’t assume your customers skip your description. This test proves that customers do read descriptions. Therefore, all areas of your listings should be tested for optimization including areas previously thought unimportant.
- A good descriptions utilizes capitalization to highlight main points. It also highlights unique features and strengthens your product narrative.
- You should continually test different tag lines and different features. Continue to test this until you are positive that your description is fully optimized.
2. Increasing your price will lead to a decrease in sales
Don’t always assume that when you increase your price you will decrease your sales.
In fact, sometimes increasing your price may lead to an increase in sales. And if your increase in price leads to an increase in sales, you will be benefiting not only from increased sales, but also from an increase in profit per sale.
For example, one user changed her price from $13.50 to $14.50, and was able to raise her conversion rate from 22.58% to 27.59%, an increase of 22%.
With this increase in sales price and increase in conversion rate, this user was able to raise her daily profit from $13.37 a day to $22.54 a day, an increase of 69%.
- You shouldn’t assume that by lowering your price you will decrease your sales.
- Some items may rely on a high prices to increase perceived value. For example, if you were a watch aficionado, you would likely be hesitant to buy the cheaper watch, as a cheaper price to a watch aficionado conveys poor quality.
- Now granted, this does not work for every type of product. Therefore, you should be testing not only an increase in your sales price, but also a decrease in your sales price.
How to test your price effectively
In order to test an increase in price effectively, we recommend using Weber’s law. Weber’s law states, “the just noticeable difference between two stimuli is directly proportional to the magnitude of the stimuli.” Meaning, a small change is not noticed by many people.
Therefore, start with around a 10% increase and decrease of your price. What is great about increasing your price by 10% is that Weber’s law dictates that this difference will not typically be noticed by customers and should not lead to a drastic drop in sales.
Once you test this 10% increase and decrease, choose a winner. Which one increased your overall profit the most?
Once you have found the winner, try testing another price within 10% of that winner. Keep following this formula until you can’t break the price down anymore. This is your optimal price.
3. Your bullet points should always be long form and keyword stuffed
Many Amazon private label sellers believe you should use all the character space Amazon allows. The general logic behind this assumption is that customers seem to love long form content, and using all the character space allotted allows you to keyword stuff your listings.
However, having long form content in all your bullet points does not always mean an increase in conversions. It can hurt your conversions too!
In all seriousness, we have some examples. One user took one of his bullet points and decreased it from 382 characters to 101 characters. His old bullet point had a URL to his Youtube page. This page featured a video showing how to use his product. It also highlighted several features of his product.
The shorter version no longer had the URL, and concentrated on one main feature of the product.
The new, shorter bullet point raised his conversion rate from 4.32% to 7.31%. This is a 69% increase.
- Long form content is great. However, it does not always mean an increase in conversions. You should test different bullet points, including short and long form versions, to see which converts best.
- Sometimes long form content can look sloppy and unprofessional. For example, in this test, this user’s old bullet point had a URL that Amazon did not link out to, because Amazon does not allow external links. This means the customer would have to copy and paste this URL into their browser, making it seem unprofessional.
- Not only that, but by using a URL in his bullet point and asking his customers to visit his Youtube page, he was diverting customers away from the product page. An unnecessary distraction.
- However, despite our suggestion to test different writing styles, you should still use all the bullet points allotted to you. We have found that listings that utilize all the bullet points Amazon gives them consistently convert better than listings that do not use all bullet points.
4. You always have to use a sales price to convey value and increase sales
Common advice from AMZ gurus is that you must have a standard price which is higher than the sales price. This is so it seems that the item is on sale, and that the customer is getting great value.
However, this does not always increase conversions. In fact, using Amazon’s standard price might hurt your conversions.
For example, one user had a standard price of $34.99 and no sales price, which means he was selling this item at $34.99.
He then increased his standard price to $37.79, and made his sales price $34.99. This means that he was effectively selling his product for the same price, but was now showing a standard price of $37.79.
This new price structure actually decreased his sales metrics. For example, his daily sales average went down 38%, while his daily conversion rate dropped by 20%. Similarly, his daily profit average went down 38%.
- Don’t assume you always have to use a sales price. Just using the listing price might be enough – but you need to test this.
- If you are not sure which will work best with your listing, try testing only having a standard price and no sales price.
- If using a sales price converts better for you, then try testing various standard prices and sales prices to find which combination works best for you.
5. Titles must be long form, Use every character Amazon allows, and keyword stuffed
Ever since the Amazing Selling Machine started teaching third party sellers how to sell on Amazon, people have been promoting long form titles which are keyword stuffed and contain words like “best”.
However, is this really the optimal way to create a title?
Some of our tests indicate that it isn’t. For example, one user had a title which was only his product name. He then tested this title against another title which had his product name along with several features and its dimensions.
This test title increased his impressions by 21%, but it decreased his conversion rate by 50%.
- Don’t assume long form titles are always best for your listings. Sometimes long form titles, which contain features and dimensions, can hurt your overall sales.
- Note, these long form titles may lead to more impressions because they contain more keywords. However, an increase in impressions does not always lead to an increase in conversions.
- Also note, that if your title is increasing impressions but decreasing your conversions, this could lead to a decrease in rank, as Amazon’s A9 focuses heavily on conversion rate.
- You must test your titles to see which writing style works best for your product.
The results of scientific Amazon optimization split tests show that common “best practice” listing assumptions can sometimes be incorrect. That’s not to say they are always going to be incorrect, but in some cases following this best advice can actually hurt your bottom line.
In order to find out what really works for you, the only way to know for sure is to test and test again. Split testing or A/B experiments your listing as an Amazon FBA seller can help you to increase conversions and profits immediately.
In a nutshell, get ahead of the competitor by relying on the market to tell you how to create your listings, and not on long held beliefs.
Latest posts by andrew browne (see all)
- Amazon Product Listing Teardown: How To Sell Products In Kitchen & Dining - March 12, 2018
- Top 5 Listing Tips For Amazon Europe Sellers - December 18, 2017
- Expanding Your Amazon Business Into New Markets - November 1, 2017