If you’ve not experienced the frustration of a well selected private label product that simply won’t sell yet, you probably will in time. When a product won’t sell but it looks like the market is a pretty good niche to be in, there are usually some fundamental things wrong with the product listing itself. On this episode of The Amazing Seller, Scott Voelker and his friend Chris Schaeffer look over a real life product listing of a product that’s having those exact problems and true to form, the listing itself is much of the problem. You can hear all the details on this episode of the podcast.
How beneficial would it be to have an experienced seller tweak your private label product listing on Amazon?
That’s exactly what you get from these Hot Seat sessions of the Amazing Seller podcast. Scott Voelker and Chris Schaeffer take their time walking through the fundamental and advanced steps to optimizing product listings of private label products that have been submitted for help. They normally find a little bit of both and help struggling Amazon sellers get over the hurdles so they can begin selling their products more consistently. There’s not a regular schedule to these hot seat sessions so you should subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss them, and hear how Scott and Chris advise today’s seller on this episode.
Is the market of your private label product a good market to be in?
How can you know if a potential private label product is one you should take a chance on or one you should leave alone? The best way is to research the broader market that product is in and the current sales of that particular product or things that are similar. By using some simple software tools (many of them free) you can discover exactly what the market for that product is like and whether there is enough room in it for your product to push in and grab some of the sales. Scott and Chris chat about the details of doing that and a whole lot more on this episode of The Amazing Seller.
Quality, clear product images are vital to a good product listing.
The product listing that Scott and Chris are looking at today has one major problem that both of them notice immediately; the images do not possess the quality and clarity of any of the other products in their niche. It’s the main reason Scott and Chris believe this product listing has only gotten one organic sale so far. You can hear what they recommend to upgrade the images and how they’ve seen an improvement of the images change the sales of a product dramatically, on this episode. But that’s not all. There are other suggestions for this seller that Scott and Chris make so be sure you take the time to listen. What they share could be the key to YOUR private label product getting even more sales.
Don’t start your exact match PPC campaigns too soon.
As Scott and Chris look over an actual private label listing on Amazon on today’s episode they notice that the seller is already running an exact match PPC campaign, and both of them feel that he’s probably wasting his money. Why? Because he’s not taken the time needed in order to truly understand what his exact match keywords should be. It takes weeks and sometimes months of broad match campaigns to receive enough data to show exactly what keywords are most used when finding your products, and then it takes some time to discover where the actual clicks and sales are coming from within those keywords. Only when those milestones have been crossed you might be ready for an exact match campaign. Find out more on this episode.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:04] Scott’s introduction to this episode and his friend Chris Schaeffer.
- [4:40] The scenario Scott and Chris are addressing today.
- [5:17] The importance of the data in evaluating sales problems.
- [6:30] A look at the stats on this product.
- [8:35] Sorting by estimated sales to get a different view.
- [12:19] Why the review counts don’t scare Scott or Chris.
- [13:20] The concern of the niche being dominated by one brand.
- [14:40] The importance of quality, clear images for clicks and product sales.
- [22:12] Optimizing the title for better keywords and description.
- [27:58] Optimizing the backend of the listing including keywords.
- [31:13] Pay per click considerations for a poor selling product.
- [40:37] Looking at the numbers of the competition for the sake of giveaway planning.
- [44:09] Considerations for the future of this product to research more sales.
- [46:12] A quick summary of what needs to be fixed on this episode.
- [46:55] How to use the data from CamelCamelCamel to research competition and make sales projections..
- [53:00] Bundle possibilities for this product listing.
- [55:34] Why you need to model what’s working in your market.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 222
TAS 222 : (Hot Seat) My Product Just Won't SELL (WHY?)
[00:00:03] Scott: Well hey, hey, what’s up everyone? Welcome back to another episode of the Amazing Seller podcast, this is episode number 222. Today I am fired up because we’re going to do another hot seat session and for those of you that are brand new to the show and you’re like, “What is hot seat session?” It’s where I…
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…take someone’s business that is having some issues, some problems, maybe some sticking points and then I go in and try to give them some advice. That’s what I’m going to do here.
We had a gentleman submit his questions and I said this might make a really good hot seat so I asked him if it would be okay to share his struggles, his sticking points and he said yeah, no problem. His name is Carl and he’s got a product up and running but his question was, “Scott, I got my product launched and I did everything I thought by the book and well my product just won’t sell. Why?” I said, “Well, let me take a look here.” I’ve got the product itself so I’m not going to reveal that but I’m going to go through and look the data that he had and also some of the data that I would have looked at or some of the things that are currently in the listing that I would change and there’s a lot of different things actually through this that you’re going to find out that he can change.
This isn't going to be something where I’m going to say, “No, you just picked a bad product.” I think that it has some promise, I just think that we need to do a few different things to reset and start again but I can’t do this alone. I got to have a little help. Why, I invited my good buddy Chris Schaffer back on the show, always great hanging out with him. For those of you that don’t know, him and I just recently did an event, a live event with 30 Amazon sellers and it was called TAS Breakthrough Live.
We loved it, it was awesome, it was in Denver. We had 10 hot seats that day, so 10 businesses that were already selling. Then from there had 20 people that were there in attendance as well so we had 30 people in a room all talking about Amazon businesses and helping each other through these different struggles or sticking points wherever they were in the business.
[00:02:08] Scott: If you guys want to see some highlights or some clips of that, you can head over to theamazingseller.com/live. Also if you want to register for when we are going to be announcing, I guess it’s like a pre-notification list I guess we would call that, it’s where I’ll let you know if and when we do another one. We are leaning towards doing another one possibly in October 2016. If you want more info on that and maybe want to attend, definitely go register over there and that is at theamazingseller.com/live. Today’s session is going to be very similar to one of those sessions that we did there. Really excited for you to hear this, I think you’re going to pull a lot of value away from this so depending on where you are in the process or in your business, I think it’s going to be very beneficial.
I’m going to stop talking now so you guys can enjoy this and yeah, enjoy the hot seat.
[HOT SEAT SESSION]
[00:03:04] Scott: All right. Well hey Chris, what is going on man? Glad to have you back on the show to do another hot seat. What’s going on?
[00:03:11] Chris: Glad to be back my friend. Not a whole lot man, it is bright and sunny day outside, the birds are chirping, I’m hanging out with Scotty V, bright and early in the morning so there’s absolutely nothing to complain about. I’ll tell you what, I’m fired up because I absolutely love doing these hot seats.
[00:03:25] Scott: Yeah, I think doing them in Denver in the past when we did that one, our recent TAS Breakthrough Live, that was awesome, a full day of this type of stuff, yeah that was cool. We are excited to do this so anyone listening right now, if you guys want to check out more about hot seats and all that stuff, we are going to link up on this episode, the show notes to some of the past hot seats that we’ve done and also we’ll give you guys the link to head over and check out the next upcoming live event, which we are contemplating or thinking possibly October 2016 but we’re not 100% sure yet. The link to that would be theamazingseller.com/live and you can check that stuff out and probably see some of the highlights over there right now.
Chris, here’s what we’re going to do. I’ve got an email here from Carl and Carl had launched a product. After researching for a product, he found a product which he thought was going to be good and he thought that the numbers looked pretty good. He’s asking like, “I feel like I’ve done everything that you’ve said to do and others have said to do and I’ve even went ahead and launched the product. I did my giveaways, I got some reviews coming, I turned on pay-per-click but I have no sales, not at all. Only one sale since my product went live in January.”
That’s pretty bad, right Chris? What do you think? What do you think that we can do for this guy?
[00:04:59] Chris: Let’s dive in and take a look. I want to know a little bit more about specifically what he’s struggling with but I think we can find a couple of things that he can maybe tweak and change. If there is demand in that market I am sure we’ll be able to get them to at least a couple sales a day or a couple sales a week, which is better than one in six months, so let’s see what we can do from there.
[00:05:18] Scott: I was kind of leading in there. I kind of already know what we’re going to say, we’ve already did a little bit of homework. But to let others know, when you get to this point you don’t know, unless you know some of the data. Chris and I wanted to prepare a little bit so we didn’t have to waste any time on here but there are some pretty obvious things. I also should say that there is volume in this market, there is sales but there could be one little issue of why you may not be able to get a lot of that without a lot of work.
There are products right now selling currently right now on the high end, and high end I’m saying like volume wise, like there’s a lot of sales being generated but there’s a brand that’s taking up a lot of those. To kind of see the depth, there are still some players there that I think that you can go in and tap into that. You and I are going to be looking at this, obviously everyone listening know they can’t look at it, but you can follow along with what we’re seeing here we’ll kind of describe what we’re seeing.
Let me go ahead, I’m going to pull it up through Jungle Scout. We’re not going to give away the product obviously but what we’re going to do here is kind of look at the numbers and give you guys a clear picture of what this would look like. If we’re looking at typing in his main keyword, the main keyword that he is going after, if it was garlic press it would be garlic press. Here are the numbers right now and Chris, then I’m going to have you tell me what your thoughts are about this and maybe we can talk about how we can kind of reverse this back.
The very first listing is getting 1,717 monthly sales with 875 reviews and they are charging $21.95. Now, if we move into the second listing that comes up in ranking, they’re getting 209 sales, it’s a pretty big drop. Then we go to number three spot, 88 sales. We’ve got number four spot, 128 sales, we’ve got the five spot of 876 sales then we have the sixth spot at 537 sales and then we’ve got the seventh spot with 513 sales, then we’ve got the eighth spot with 66 and ninth with 29, the 10th with 535, the 11th with 249 and then 12th with 565. Let’s just stop right there.
Chris, what’s your thoughts on that?
[00:07:45] Chris: There’s a couple of things. First, seeing that kind of order where you go from like 17 down to 200 to 88 and then back up to 876 and 500, this tells me that this might not be the main keyword that’s driving sales, first of all. The second thing that I noticed and looking at these guys, you probably can’t see this, but the guy selling 1,700 and 581 and 733, all the same guy. Then there was another listing, it was number six and number seven, 537 and 513, again, the same guy. It looks like there’s two kinds of brands that are really dominating most of the volume in this space, which would concern me a little bit upfront. There is some depth of market there, if you can squeeze your way in you should still be able to get some sales from those.
[00:08:35] Scott: Let’s do this and this was like your recommendation even when we were looking at this before we got on here. It’s like let’s sort them by estimated sales. If you’re in Jungle Scout and you’re typing in your main keyword and you’re looking at the top and you’re like one through 16 listings and you want to see like who’s number one, who’s selling number four, who’s selling number seven, then you want to see where those numbers are because we always talk about we want to come somewhere in the top ten as long as we got like 3,000 sales or more per month, this is what you had said to do Chris, which I agree with.
It’s if you sort it by sales, estimated sales, then we can see that the one spot is the main player, 17,017 sales with 875 reviews. Now, the number five spot comes up as the next most sales and they are just a regular brand, they’re not like a major brand so they did squeeze their way in there at number five and they’re getting 876 sales with only 136 reviews.
[00:09:39] Chris: And they’re higher priced.
[00:09:40] Scott: And they’re higher priced, they’re $25.97. Then the 16th spot all the way to the bottom, and the reason why I’m doing it in that order because that’s the next order of sales, so 733 sales and they’re in the 16th position, that’s because it’s the same company as the number one listing. Then the number 12th spot, again, the same brand as the number one listing so they’re definitely getting some cross sales. The other thing that we should probably mention here is this product is really a stylized product, is that even a word Chris?
[00:10:15] Chris: Stylized is in fact a word.
[00:10:18] Scott: Well, it just kind of rolled or my tongue so I wanted to make sure that it was and if isn't it’s a word now. You see what I’m saying, it’s like this product, there could be many, many different styles and depending on the style that you like, could drive sales, rather than it just being like a standard stainless steel garlic press. There’s different versions.
[00:10:39] Chris: This market cares if it’s round, square, rectangular, triangular- triangular, that’s a good one – octagonal, let’s just throw out all the search terms.
[00:10:49] Scott: That was good, I like that.
[00:10:51] Chris: That’s kind of a key in this market as well, is the customer does actually care not just about the function but also about the form and what it looks like.
[00:11:01] Scott: Absolutely. They’re definitely… I think they’re definitely driven by style, by a long shot. Now, let’s go back now. If we’re looking at the sales volume, if all we did was look at the sales volume from one to the most that are selling, let’s say all the way down to almost like the ninth or 10th position, if you tallied them up you’re definitely at over 3,000 sales. Like we said that one company is taking up a good majority of those sales but does that mean that you can’t still swoop in there and grab…? There’s one seller right now, they’re selling 128 a month at $28.97 and they have 597 reviews but they’re selling 128.
You can still get some sales, it just might not be at that level unless you really want to push it. If you push it and it’s a stylized business or product and you are not the one that people are liking because of that certain style or color or whatever, that’s going to be a problem. No matter how well you rank on that page, it’s not going to matter. That’s like one big thing. That’s kind of talking about taking these numbers and reversing them back.
Now, I will say the reviews didn’t really scare me here Chris. There’re some that are, like the top player there’s like 875, what’s he got there, like 500. Another one, I think he has 393, 387 but there’s the one that’s selling 876 and they’re selling for $25.97, they’ve only got 136.
[00:12:43] Chris: You average out to right around 300 so the reviews wouldn’t be a concern to me. Obviously the guy that’s selling 1,700 a month is going to have more reviews than anybody else just by sheer randomness. They’re just selling more so they’re going to get more reviews even without doing something like a follow up sequence. That guy wouldn’t bother me, you average out to right around 300 reviews so that number doesn’t scare me either. The price point at least is somewhat correct. There’s one guy that kind of drags down the average but most people are selling between $19 and $30 so that’s okay to me.
The only concern that I would have looking at this up front is just that it is dominated mostly by two brands but you should still be able to siphon away some sales from that.
[00:13:29] Scott: Yeah. I’m looking here again, I went back to sorting it by just sales. I’m looking at, right here we’ve got two brands that each of them are getting about 530 sales a month and they’re right around 170 to 190 reviews. One person, I think is doing better because their price is $16.95 but the other one is at $26.97. I clearly don’t think that a price is a problem here, I think… What is Carl’s price? Do we have handy currently? Let me see here.
[00:14:07] Chris: $18.99.
[00:14:08] Scott: $18.99, so clearly that price to me isn't the problem. Now let’s start talking about what that problem may be. Number one, not showing up on page one or even close to it. We went in digging like 10, 12 pages deep couldn’t even find the listing at all. Let’s first of all talk about even if we were on page one or for running sponsored ads because that’s kind of what we can do, here’s the reason why I believe, one of the main reasons why you, Carl, don’t have the sales that you want. Number one, I think the images.
Chris, let’s talk a little bit about the images.
[00:14:47] Chris: Yeah, they’re not great. When you pull up the listing, that’s the first thing that I was drawn to even before some of the other things that we’re going to talk about. One, they look like they were taken either by the manufacturer or like with a cell phone. Cell phones can create really nice pictures if they’re lit correctly, all of those kinds of things, but they’re kind of blah. First of all, the main image is not on a white background which it needs to be.
[00:15:13] Scott: I think it was on a white background but the problem with that is the lighting is off so because the lighting is off you’re not getting that true they call the high key background so it’s looking like it’s a grey, grey-ish, like a light grey and that’s a common thing that happens when you don’t have good lighting. This looks like it was just shot with a cell phone so it’s kind of on a grey almost like look and technically you’re not supposed to have that but it also makes it look a little dingy, a little… It just makes it look a little drab, it doesn’t look like really vibrant.
It doesn’t show the product well at all and the picture we also… Chris and I pulled the picture and we ran the pixel size on it. It’s actually fifteen hundred pixels by a thousand pixels so it doesn’t even engage the rollover feature, which I think is another issue. There’s some different things that we could do here. What do you think right off the bat that he could do with this image? Just to let people know too, there’s four different products that come in this so it’s like a bundle. Chris, what would you do here to test an image?
[00:16:19] Chris: The first thing that I would do is I would go look at my competitors. The first thing that you’ll notice, Carl, is that their images are on, especially their main images, are all very, very, very high quality photos. It lets you see some of the detail even without engaging the rollover feature you can see what they are, you can see what’s going on. They also have this bundle arranged in a certain way and most of the competitors that are selling are using that pattern. Scott, you’ve heard me use this term funnel hacking, we’re trying to figure out what other people are doing, we’re not stealing their image but we’re going with what we think works based on what we can see.
My first suggestion would be to have new images taken and use the layout that they’re using as the basis of your new photos. You can test a different layout later but go with what they’re doing, look at the pattern and the way that they’re laying things out in their photos and start with that. To me that’s the only place you can start because they’re the ones who are selling and it looks like everybody who’s selling is doing something in a very similar way.
The second thing that I would do is I would look at their supporting photos. From your pictures, I have no idea if I get the entire bundle, if I just get one of the things in the bundle, it’s not very clear and in theirs they do kind of make it clear. The third thing they do is they’ve added a bunch of lifestyle photos and in this market the lifestyle photos are probably what’s actually going to sell the product. What are your thoughts on that Scott?
[00:17:52] Scott: Coming from a photographer myself in my past, yeah. This product definitely lends itself very well to a lifestyle photos so I would be using them. Even though you’re showing the product, you’re not really filling up the image with the product as much as you could, you’re not showing it actually being used. I think any time that we can show a product being used, it allows you to see, number one, the size of it, it allows you to see like how it works, how it’s being used, what it’s being used for, all of those things help the buyer imagine themselves using it or using it on whatever they’re going to use it on.
Lifestyle images, I think are huge. I think right now, one of your biggest, biggest problems is the pictures. If this was me, the very first thing that I’d be doing is getting the new pictures done and I’d have them professionally shot, I would spend the money, I wouldn’t care at this stage if it cost me $500 to get these really great pictures with models because to me that’s what’s going to sell the product. If you’re going to start running pay-per-click, which I would do, then I would want my images to be on point because we all know that when you’re scrolling through, whether you’re on a sponsored ad or if you’re on organic ad, when you’re looking at the thumbnail, that’s what ‘s going to drive you to want to click.
With your thumbnail, it’s really even hard to tell what it is and if we’re talking about like it being styled a certain style, you want to be able to show a close up of that style rather than me having to squint to see it in a thumbnail. You can see just because of the… Chris, are you looking at… You and I are sharing a screen here but can you see how this image is… That’s why everything is 1,500 by 1,500 pixels, it’s a square image.
[00:19:54] Scott: You can see because your background isn't purely white, you can see that yours 1,500 wide but it’s only 1,000 high. You’re not filling up the extra 250 on the top and 250 on the bottom that you could be because it’s just not laid out properly.
You can see it on your vertical pictures, you can see it on the horizontal pictures. You really want to utilize that space properly and have it the right size because then Amazon is also going to give you a little bit more love with the rollover feature and all of that. Chris, you and I, we weren't sure if it had the roll over feature. Let me go over to the competitor and see what happens there on theirs. It might not, it might just have the zoom. It looks like it just has the zoom feature, which is still important.
If it doesn’t have the rollover feature but it has the zoom feature where you see that little magnifying glass that you can click the plus sign and then it zooms in on it, that’s still good. If we’re just scrolling on the main image for the thumb nail on page one, all of the ones on page one are pretty well done, pretty well done. I would model that that would be the very first thing that I would do. Anything else on the images before we move on to the next thing?
[00:21:09] Chris: No. I just want to reiterate and Scott, this is something you and I talked about and man, what episode was it? I think it was 174, is that Katie K? This is again a very similar product to that where the images are the only thing that’s going to sell this product from those people. They already know what they want coming in and so it is kind of style, color, pattern driven like we talked about but they need to know exactly what it is and what it’s going to look like when they’re using it. That’s where those things like the lifestyle photos really come in handy because it lets them put themselves in that image and say, “Okay, I know that in my experience this is what it’s going to look like,” as opposed to just lay the product on a flat background and kind of an uninspiring photo, just the products by itself, doesn’t show anybody anything.
They already know what it looks like when it’s laid out flat, they want to see what it looks like when it’s actually being used.
[00:22:09] Scott: Yeah, I agree, that would be my very first thing. Let’s move on to something really simple. Let’s just talk about the title real quick. I think the title is okay and I’m not quite sure here Chris. You could probably even add a little bit more to that title, it seems very short which is okay if it’s got your main keywords in there but I think you can go probably a little bit more with it. The other thing that I’m noticing is that your very first word, let’s just say garlic, the G would be capitalized but then the press part would be not capitalized. I want to see all of the words capitalized. It just looks more like a headline, like a subject line and if you look at all of the competitors and stuff everyone has it, it looks cleaner, it’s easier to read. I don’t know if it has any more weight, it probably doesn’t have any more weight with search, don’t know that for sure but if it’s anything like bolding on a blog post or something it could. I don’t know but I would say just for the look of it, I would want that capitalized. What’s your thoughts on the title?
[00:23:18] Chris: There’s a couple of things here, first you always want your title to be title case which is what you were talking about there Scott, the first letter of every word should be capitalized. There’s two reasons for that. One, that’s the correct way to do it and two, it looks like you actually put in time and effort into creating the listing. If somebody’s scrolling through and they see these photos and kind a lower case title on the listing, to me that indicates that it’s probably a lower quality product because everybody else that you’re competing against has a title case, they’ve taken really nice photos and so it makes them stand out when compared to you specifically.
The other thing and there’s two more, one it’s just not filled out the entire way. Take advantage of as many characters as you have in your title as long as you’re not just stuffing it with words to make it make sense. Your competitors especially in this case are filling out their title spaces with really well written titles, specifically the guys that are selling a lot, they are telling people exactly what they’re getting. Scott, if you can go back to that listing for just a second. It does say in the title that it’s a set so like a package but it doesn’t tell me how many come in this.
[00:24:32] Scott: I was just going to say that. Everyone else on page one has how many comes within in that pack.
[00:24:37] Chris: Right and that lets me understand as I’m scrolling through these exactly how many I’m going to get. Then the last thing and it’s not necessarily something you have to do but I would probably drop it is I don’t necessarily think you need your brand name in the title there. It looks like the number one guy is doing it but they are a fairly well-known brand in the space and so that I think is fine because they wanted to make sure they come up for search. No one is really going to search for our private label brands unless we’ve been selling for a while and they’re coming back to buy again so I would use those characters for something that’s actually going to drive sales for you.
Rewrite that title and I think you’ll get a lot more benefit out of it. Because in this case we’re dealing with a variation listing, we have two different variations, we get to rewrite two titles for the variations and then you can rewrite the title for the parent. If you do all three of those things, you may see a jump in where you rank for search just from that because you’re going to be much more relevant.
[00:25:36] Scott: Now, I want to kind of go back to this because I think this is pretty important. I’m looking at the number one, two, three, the fourth position one and they’re selling for $25.97. They have 136 reviews and they have exactly what we’re talking about. They have the picture, which is really nice and clear and you can see exactly what it is. I don’t see the brand name in there but it says clearly what it is and it also says that it’s a pack and it says the number like let’s say it’s a six pack. Then it gives a few more of the things that it’s there for, also gives people the idea that this could potentially be a gift.
If your item can be a gift, put it in there, perfect for whatever. I know there’s some out there’s terms of service, well you’re only supposed to say specifically what it is. Well to me that is what it is, it could be for that, if you’re selling something to the wedding market well, it could make a great wedding gift. I’m okay with that until Amazon would tell me otherwise but I just think that it’s still you’re adding the value.
[00:26:47] Chris: In this case, I don’t think it’s problem because this is probably why it would be bought. We’re not saying it’s a prime day gift, we’re not saying it’s a Christmas gift and it’s clearly…
[00:26:58] Scott: Black Friday.
[00:26:58] Chris: American flag underwear or something like that. We’re just changing that and adding that to boost sales. No, in this case it actually does make sense because I probably wouldn’t buy this for myself. I may use it, Scott’s going to laugh in the background because he’s seen what the product is, but I would definitely buy this for other people and in that case it’s a gift.
[00:27:23] Scott: I just wanted to point that out, but I’m clearly looking again at the top 16 on page one and these guys here at $25.97, let’s see if we can go back here, which one was that, it was this one right here, they’re selling 876 a month. Now, what I’m going to do Chris, while maybe you dig into something else, I’m going to go do a little Camel Camel Camel and see how long they have been selling, just for kicks. That’ll be kind of fun to do.
Let’s move into the search terms because I think we looked at the search terms in the backend. He shared the backend of his listing. Let’s talk a little bit about the backend of the listing.
[00:28:04] Chris: Guys, for those of you who don’t know or maybe are new to the podcast, there’s two areas that really drive your organic rank in terms of relevance. It’s the title and the search terms portion of your listing. The search terms are in the keywords section of the backend of your listing and filling both of those sections out to the best of your ability is critical to making sure that you rank on Amazon.
Now obviously driving through sales is what’s going to keep you ranking and drive you up further but having those words there to begin with is what Amazon looks at to make you relevant. If you’re not completely filling out both the title and the search terms fields, make sure that you’re doing that and in this case it’s kind of like the title. The search terms fields do have some terms in them but they are not filled out the whole way. that would be the first thing that I would go do, go for a lot of the search terms and then get with a professional photographer, get some new photos taken, maybe rewrite that title and go from there.
It looked like you filled out kind of one line and then there’s one or two other additional terms filled out in the search terms, make sure you’re filling that out until you get the ‘you can’t type anything else in here’ message from Amazon. That’s your indication that you’ve done a good job and that you have nothing else to do there.
[00:29:23] Scott: You want to do that for a couple of different reasons too. We’re not necessarily just putting them back there to rank necessarily. We are but the other benefit is now you’re also making your listing relevant by putting them in there because Amazon is now going to be able to look at that data and say okay so now when we’re doing pay-per-click we’re going to be able to allow you to be seen for these keywords because it’s in your listing. You want to put those in there for ranking reasons, for search reasons and for relevancy so that’s why I think it’s really important to fill that out.
Literally, I think, let me go back, I’m going to do this on the fly here Chris but we’re looking at that screenshot that he shared with us, if I can find it on the fly here. There’s only like one or two words on a few of those lines, right?
[00:30:16] Chris: Yeah, and it looked like the first line was filled out pretty well and then kind of beyond that it was just one or two words on each line. Take advantage of the space and that’s something, Scott that you and I see quite often when people say, “Hey, can you take a look at this?” or when we’re in Miami or in Denver and we’re at people’s stuff we say, “Man, here’s part of your problem.” Let’s make sure we fill that out entirely. It looks like that first line is fairly well filled out and then line two just has one word, line three, line four, line five, all only have one word.
[00:30:50] Scott: Yeah, that’s big right there. There’s another big take away for you Carl or anyone else out there. Go into your search terms, make sure that you’re filling in all of those, they give you all of these characters to put in there, fill it out. It’s not going to hurt anything, if anything, it’s going to give you better chances of being found. I want to go into the pay-per-click now too. For being able to run pay-per-click and then not getting any sales, that’s a pretty good indication that there’s probably a problem with the conversion of that listing.
We talked about the images, that’s a big one, that’s a big one. If you’re running pay-per-click and your images are terrible… I’m not saying these images are necessarily terrible, terrible, they’re just not good. It would be a nicer way of saying it but they’re not terrible, they could be improved a lot.
[00:31:47] Chris: Especially given the competition in this market.
[00:31:49] Scott: Yes.
[00:31:49] Chris: It’s not that they’re necessarily inherently bad photos. They’re not great photos for the market.
[00:31:56] Scott: Exactly.
[00:31:56] Chris: One, the buyers are very photo driven in this market and two, your competition is kicking butt with their photos. They have great photos. To even be on the same level as them in the mind of the consumer, you have to have a similar quality of photos.
[00:32:11] Scott: Yeah. Let’s talk about the pay-per-click now because Carl said, “I’ve been running pay-per-click too and nothing just seems to be working.” Well, one thing we notices right out of the gate was you have a couple of exact match campaigns set up already. You have two keywords that you’re targeting for exact match. To me, you’re not even close to wanting to run an exact. I don’t even run an exact until I know that that has been proven to convert time and time and time again. There’s only going to be a small handful even if you get to that point, you may never get to an exact. You may just always go to phrase but the phrase isn't going to happen until you get out of the broad match discovery phase. Chris, what episode, if you could be so kind to remind everyone that you and I did that breakdown of exactly how to setup that quick start strategy to start getting the data?
[00:33:08] Chris: The one that you and I did together?
[00:33:10] Scott: Yeah, that was one ninety wasn’t it?
[00:33:15] Chris: theamazingseller.com/119 I believe.
[00:33:16]Scott: I was just seeing if you were paying attention.
[00:33:18]Chris: I got you, I just wanted to make sure it was that one because there’s a couple of good episodes on PPC now. That’s the thing guys and I see this time and time again, a lot of people jump right in and they do phrase and exact because you say I know what keywords or in this case search terms, let’s clarify phrases, what search terms my customers will type in to buy my product. No you don’t. You may think you do and in some cases you may be correct but you would be surprised at some of the things that are your top performing search terms. Always, always, always, in my opinion, start at the top, start with broad and let the data tell you what works and what doesn’t.
The problem with doing something like this where you jump right into exact or even right into phrase match is, you eliminate the ability to go find other things. I don’t necessarily want to bid on the top term for the most generic word. I don’t necessarily want to bid for garlic press, what I want to bid for is long handled stainless steel garlic press because even though that’s only searched five times a month, I know that every time somebody clicks on it, they’re going to buy it. That’s the level we have to be at before we can get to exact.
[00:34:35] Scott: Yeah. I think the problem here with this exact campaign that he’s running is it’s like one word, exact.
[00:34:44] Chris: It’s a one word phrase.
[00:34:50] Scott: Yeah, it’s like again, garlic press or it could just be garlic. I wouldn’t want to go after just people that are looking for garlic even though I know that they’re going to need a press for that. I wouldn’t necessarily want to limit myself to that. Would I do that in a broad? Yes, because then it’s going to give me all of these random words that are being brought up from that main keyword. It’s going to get me maybe the long handled stainless steel garlic press or maybe it’s going to get me the black plastic garlic press so that’s what you want to do there but I would never be at this stage and put in an exact match keyword.
Now, let’s just say this, he did get a lot of impressions running these different campaigns on the exact and he got some clicks but that would clearly then tell me then there’s a conversion problem. We’re talking 22,230 impressions with 57 clicks and only one sale.
[00:35:50] Chris: That’s his only sale to date. While you did get that sale from an exact PPC campaign, it’s probably not the keyword that you want to be going after in that sense, in an exact sense. It’s again, Scott you gave the example of just running garlic. In this case, I think it’s more like running press because it’s kind of related to what he is but there’s so many other things that people might be looking for a bench press or…
[00:36:18] Scott: Drill press.
[00:36:18] Chris: A drill press. In this case, I would immediately pause this campaign and it looks like from the screenshot that he did and I would go back, I would actually probably archive it so let it just goes away, go back and start just running the campaigns the way that you outlined it in theamazingseller.com/ppc and I would start from there. Guys, the lesson that we can learn here twofold. One, we have to let the data make those decisions. We need to know what people are actually searching for versus what we think they’re searching for. Seeing this keyword here, I would never have clicked on his ad looking for what the keywords says, it is that thing but it’s a very general version of what he’s selling.
When you get down to phrasing exact it needs to be those longer tail terms in 90% of cases. The other one is, we have a very low click through rate here and that issue comes back to two things. One, he’s advertising on a very general thing so it’s probably not what 21,000 of those 22,000 people were looking for. Two, he’s going to have a lower click through rate because his title’s not completely optimized and his images don’t really stand out from the page.
Even for those thousand people who are looking for that thing, it’s not necessarily going to appeal to them when his ad show up, does that make sense?
[00:37:45] Scott: Yeah, it makes sense. One thing I want to pull out of this little experiment that he did with the exact is it clearly shows that you don’t necessarily want to show why… It’s not that you don’t want to show, organically it would be fine but you don’t necessarily want to pay to be shown here but it does show me that there is a ton of traffic here and that’s great. It also shows me that even with you not maybe being exactly what they were looking for, you still got some clicks and with those clicks why didn’t they buy? That would be my next question, right?
[00:38:19] Chris: Right.
[00:38:19] Scott: So because of that I’m like, “Why didn’t they buy?” There wasn’t enough reviews, the quality of the other pictures weren't good, it didn’t clearly state what the benefits were all of those things I would start to say, why didn’t it convert? I would say probably images and reviews are probably the reason why those 57 didn’t or even 10% of those 57 didn’t convert, because that’s 57 people that’s seen your listing. It’s a pretty good number and only to get one sale so that to me shows that there’s a problem with the listing itself. I think that we’ve clearly demonstrated and kind of brought the attention to those areas that I think that need to be improved.
Now, the other thing is we didn’t talk about how many you gave away and all that stuff. I don’t think that really matters at this point for your promo, I think what you need to do and this is what I would do and Chris, I don’t know, maybe we can kind of talk about if you and I were going to go in and work with what we have here now, what would be our first steps? I think that might be a good way to start but right off the bat I would say images, I’d fix the title, I’d fix the backend of the listing, I wouldn’t touch pay-per-click right now and then once I got that stuff fixed, with the images and all that stuff, then I would plan to do another give away.
How about you Chris?
[00:39:38] Chris: I would agree with that. I think, again, getting the listing squared away first is the thing that’s extremely important because if you get the search terms filled out you get that title filled out and you get the images fixed, you might actually start picking up a couple of sales, even just by accident because you’ll start to rank for more of those long tail search terms and people will actually see your listing. From there I would do the giveaway, do something to be a little bit more of review competitive and I think the average reviews, I think we said were right around 300, right?
[00:40:13] Scott: Yeah.
[00:40:13] Chris: And you’re at like 38 or 39. It’s not bad, there are a couple of the listings in your market that are selling with similar numbers but you have to be able to show up there to even be competitive with them. I would do a small giveaway. I don’t know Scott, what are you thinking in terms of numbers there?
[00:40:30] Scott: I think we should talk that really quickly. Let’s kind of go back to the, let’s see… If we’re looking again at like all of the sales that are being generated the number one is like 1,700. That would be like… How many is that per day? How many would that equate to? Let’s see, if we can do the math. It’s like a hundred and some, right?
[00:40:57] Chris: 56.
[00:40:57] Scott: Yeah, because a hundred would be 3,000, we’ll split that in half, so we got 50, so that’d be 50 a day, that’s the number one. The next one is 876 so again, that’s probably going to be like 30 a day, then you got 733 again about twenty something a day, then 581… So I’d be saying, “Which one on this page is selling a good number that I would need to match?” I would say, I’m seeing more that are selling between 500 and 700, so I’d probably say let’s start at like 500 is the average per month, let’s divide that by 30 and that would be probably the number that would be a safe bet to start with because I’d want to give away enough to emulate that I’m making that many sales per day. Does that make any sense Chris?
[00:41:46] Chris: Right, so what we’re talking about there would be 15, 16 units a day for five days probably?
[00:41:55] Scott: Yeah. Let’s just say we did 15 and let’s say we did it for five days, that’d be 75 units, if you wanted to get crazy, do a hundred units and that way you can do it for… What’s that? 7 days, if we can do math? That’s 105, yeah, it’s six and a half days. It’s 105 if you do 15 a day for 7 days and that’d be 105. Out of that 105, depending on your review group, number one you’re going to get more reviews but you’re also going to have a steady set of sales very close to number one rankings on the number one page so that’s basically page one, that’s going to be the average sales. That would make you get into the algorithm as you’re generating similar sales as page on results, that‘s kind of how that works.
That’s kind of how I would reverse that back myself so 15 a day for 5 to 7 days, dripping them out, but I wouldn’t do that until I fixed those other things. Right now because you have 30 reviews it’s okay to want to push yourself to page one. If you had zero reviews right now I’d probably saying to do something a little bit different, I’d say giveaway maybe 40 or 50 not to get ranked and not to get on page one, but more or less to just get those reviews coming in but you’re already past that stage. Does that make sense Chris?
[00:43:13] Chris: It does. I think the other thing that we can do is after… I would probably do it during that giveaway phase is turn on PPC again. Just to kind of recap on that, I would pause and probably archive everything that you’re doing because I don’t think that you’re going to get a lot of relevant data out of that.
[00:43:31] Scott: I’d start from scratch at this point, I’d start from scratch.
[00:43:33] Chris: I would start from scratch, start with the broad match campaigns that are outlined on theamazingseller.com/ppc and start from there. You have 30 reviews so if you’ve squared away the title and the photos you should start to see a higher click through rate from those impressions which also should lead to a higher conversion rate, which means more sales, as well.
[00:43:57] Scott: I love that strategy. Again, I don’t think that you have a loser here, I think that you just need to go back and re-tool some things. Now, I will say this, this is the last thing that I’ll mention on this is, in the future, what you may want to do because, again, I think that your product is really driven by style, is you may want to get involved into groups or communities in this market of these buyers. Then ask them like, “What kind of styles are they looking for or that they like or that they would want?” The other little tip here is your product, I can almost guarantee that would probably sell on other platforms, whether it’s eBay, whether it’s Etsy, whether it’s…
[00:44:46] Chris: Etsy would be big.
[00:44:47] Scott: Yeah, so any of those other ones, go check out and see what’s selling over on those other platforms and then you can usually take that data and bring it over or maybe even then ask people, “Hey, out of these four styles, what are your favorites?” Then let them help you pick them. This is why it’s really important too that as you build a business, if you can build an email list of customers or even just people that are interested in your market, they can help you build those next products, those styles, those designs, all of that stuff, really, really important to be able to do that.
Again, we may be doing all these work but we may find out the reason why it’s not converting is because people don’t like the styles. I can’t say what’s going to sell and what’s not going to sell as far as style-wise because that’s up to the market to decide. It’s not the same thing as taking a garlic press and saying, “I’m just going to make my garlic press fit my hand better” or “We’re going to have it so it’s just made better and it’s just got better materials and it’s going to hold the garlic differently,” or, “It’s not going to not clog,” or stuff like that. We’re talking about, in this case, styles and could be colors and that type of stuff so you really have to understand that market.
That’s why I’ve always said when you’re going into a business, you really want to understand the market that you’re going to be serving the products to. Chris, is there any last little bits of advice you want to chime in here with?
[00:46:07] Chris: No, I think you just nailed it man.
[00:46:10] Scott: Really?
[00:46:11] Chris: Yeah. Just to quickly recap, Scott, and correct me if you feel any differently on some of these steps. First thing, get the title, the search terms and the images fixed. Secondly, consider doing a smaller giveaway and third, while you’re doing that giveaway, turn on PPC, kind of start from scratch on that and go from there.
[00:46:34] Scott: Yeah, that’s a nice, clean little checklist for you, I like it. This has been fun, I love doing this by the way because, again, we’re seeing real examples here that we can really dive into and make these improvements because sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes it’s not. Before we do go though Chris, I did have a chance to go into Camel Camel Camel and I was looking at that one, the one product that was kind of intriguing me is the one that is selling… Which one was it here now? Now I lost it… Oh, right here. It was selling 876 per month at $25.97 and it only has 136 reviews.
Naturally if you’re ever doing this and that looks really good, you’re like, “Oh that is awesome! I can compete.” Well, then you have to do your background check here to make sure that that product wasn’t just launched and someone else didn’t just run a bunch of promotions. So I went into camelcamelcamel.com and I copy and pasted the URL of that listing and I went in there and now I can see the price history and the sales rank over the course of time since it’s been launched.
This product was launched January of this past year and when they launched it looks like they must have did maybe a little giveaway because they launched and their rank was pretty good, it was like between, I’d say like 5 and probably 700. Like 5,000 and like 1000 let’s say. They got right out of the gate, probably did a giveaway, did pretty good. Then what happened is they dropped way, way off the map there and it went down to like 41,000 BSR. That tells me they probably ran out of stock.
[00:48:21] Scott: Then from there, they got stock back in, they went right back up to where they were and they were doing similar numbers, they were probably doing a little bit better actually, they were probably doing like… Gosh, looks like 1000 to 700, somewhere in that, 700 BSR, so they were cranking. Then again in March it looks like they ran out of inventory and dropped down to thirty something thousand. Then they jumped around a little bit then they went back as soon as they got in stock. Since they’ve been in stock in April they’ve been cranking really, really steadily at about 700 to 600 BSR in this one category.
At that BSR we’re looking at in Jungle Scout, we’re looking at like right now, they’re doing 800 plus a month consistently. What’s your thoughts on that little research I just did there, Chris?
[00:49:15] Chris: I have to say I agree with that especially when you go and look at how fast the drop off is. What that tells me and guys, if you haven't ever looked at Camel Camel Camel, go check out, it’s a really cool tool. They don’t index everything, every listing on Amazon but a lot of times you’ll be able to find I’d say probably 80% of the time you’ll find what you’re looking for. If not just drop down to the next listing and 80% of the time it’ll be there. When you look at it, they give you a sales graph or a sales rank graph and it goes straight down and straight back up, which tells me that they ran out of stock. It’s not like they were playing around with their price point, it didn’t kind of drop gradually, it dropped pretty fast and then went straight back up.
That tells me that since January they have been selling consistently. If they wouldn’t have run out of stock they would have been selling 800 a month. They’d have been selling 800 a month since January. They had two small blips in there where it looks like they ran out of stock but other than that they’ve been fairly consistent.
[00:50:17] Scott: Look at here too, I just switched over to the price history and you can see that when they were running out of stock they started to raise their price.
[00:50:23] Chris: Yep.
[00:50:23] Scott: You see that? Then they raise up to $30 at one point when they ran out in March. If I go over here to March now, let’s see if that was the time that they ran out and look at that, bingo! You can see they raised their price, you guys can’t see it but you guys can hear me visualizing what it is. In March, if you were looking at March, you can see the price went up to $30 and now I switch over to sales rank in Camel Camel Camel and you can see in March that’s where they started to run out of stock so they were trying to slow it down, which I’ve got different feelings about that now, about doing that just because I think that Amazon will also see that your conversion goes down and then when you get back in stock that could hurt you.
But in this case it doesn’t really look like it really hurt them so I don’t know, I’m not sure what I would do in that situation right now depending on how quick I could get back in stock. But it’s pretty cool to see the difference in the graph and then compare it to the price history.
[00:51:15] Chris: It’s showing you that there is consistent demand in this market. These are not the guys who are manipulating the algorithm, they must have been doing it for… They’re giving away 300 units a month for nine months.
[00:51:26] Scott: Yeah right.
[00:51:26] Chris: Which seems silly to me but if you go look at some of the other ones, they’ll be in Camel Camel Camel as well and we can see that they’ve been selling consistently over a long period of time. That ensures that we know that there is depth in that market as well.
[00:51:40] Scott: The other little thing that I always do when I’m trying to dig into another brand, this is kind of on the fly too guys, is now I went into that brand, the one that I just looked at in Camel Camel Camel that’s selling 800 units and they only have a hundred and thirty six reviews, I went and I looked at their products. Guess what? They’ve only got one product, this product. I did that because I wanted to see if they maybe were cross promoting, maybe they had other products that were selling well that they were promoting inside of that listing and in this case it doesn’t seem to be the case.
I went directly into the brand so it looks like, and Chris correct if I’m wrong, what do we got here?
[00:52:20] Chris: This is also interesting and guys, I know, we’re going a little longer than we tend to on hot seats but this is actually a really interesting case study here. Scott, scroll back up and look at the frequently bought together. They are buying three sets from three different listings together and that’s the frequently bought together. You guys have heard us talk about that in the past and a lot of times it only takes a couple of sales. It’s interesting to me that people are buying a large volume of these together and in this case we’ve looked at all three of these listings, they’re individual listings. Could you imagine if you had all of those styles on one listing? Or you bundled a bunch of different styles together into a 14 pack because people are buying 14 units with all of the things that they’re buying together you may be able to pick up a good portion of those sales.
[00:53:18] Scott: I think that’s a great point. To be able to see the frequently bought together and then say this brand that I’m looking at that’s their one product but they’re buying two more frequently bought together and guess whose they are? The one that’s selling 1,700 a month, it’s the main brand.
[00:53:36] Chris: The other two top selling listings.
[00:53:39] Scott: Yeah, so they’re getting a lot of their stuff from this particular listing. But again going back to the reason why I wanted to dig in here was because I wanted to look at the brand because it says ‘sold by’, so you look at the ‘sold by’ and then in there you can see all the top selling products from that brand and all there is is that one product. If I was to do that and I seen that they were selling six other styles of the same thing and they were helping to promote this then I’d think a little differently about their 800 sales. This is a true 800 sales per month and they aren’t doing anything differently and they’re not like… It doesn’t appear that they’re doing promotion after promotion after promotion, they’re just doing that one to get on the map again the rest kind of starts to take place. Now, they probably are doing a little bit of pay-per-click, I didn’t have time to dig into that.
I just wanted to dig into that on the fly because I think that’s important and that’s kind of how I work, Chris works, it’s kind of how we reverse back some of the data so we don’t get fooled by some of the numbers. I think that’s important to point out. So, Chris, anything else you want to add here before we wrap up? I know you and I could probably talk for about another hour on this stuff because we just keep randomly…
[00:54:47] Chris: We got all morning, I don’t know.
[00:54:48] Scott: Yeah, we just keep randomly moving around here. I wanted to definitely dig in here because I think it’s going to help Carl but I also think it’s going to help a lot of other people when you get to that point where you’re like, “I did everything I thought I was supposed to and it’s just not working. Why?” It could be things like this right here. Have a look at your listing, make sure that you’re not making any of these mistakes and always be willing to improve upon what you have done. Don’t think that you’ve did everything and you’re done, there’s always room for improvement.
Or, you have to look back and see how you did your research in the beginning and if you maybe made a mistake there and then learn from that mistake and don’t make that mistake again when you’re doing the next product that you want to launch. Chris, anything else you want to add here quick?
[00:55:33] Chris: I think that’s great. I think one of the biggest things to pull away from this guys is model what’s working. Don’t copy it necessarily but in Carl’s case it looks like he did the stuff, technically he did everything but he’s not necessarily modeling what’s working in terms of the images. He’s not necessarily modeling what’s working in terms of the titles in his market and that is one of the most critically important things to do. You can make changes down the road, you can split test the images the way that you wanted to take them, you can do all of those kinds of things but when you’re launching it’s important to model what is already selling. Don’t copy it, just model it.
Take the lessons, look at a couple of different listings and say, “Oh, here’s the common theme, they’re all stacking their images this way, they’re using this kind of a lifestyle photo, they’re writing their titles in this kind of a format.” Start there and then kind of play around with it once you’re up and running.
[00:56:34] Scott: I love that. All right Chris. That is going to wrap this up. If you guys want to download and review the show notes, any links we talked about, you can head over to theamazingseller.com/222, 222 that is, and you can grab all the show notes, the transcripts, all of that good stuff over there on the blog. I also want to remind you that if you want to learn more about how to launch your product, I’ve actually created a free resource for you and you can find that by heading over to freeprivatelabelcourse.com, that’s freeprivatelabelcourse.com, everything there is laid out for you to research your product, to source your product, to launch your product and everything in between is there for you on that.
Then the last thing that I want to remind you is our live events. We’re going to be doing another one coming up here and that’s why we do hot seats like this. So, if you currently have a business, even if you’re just in the beginning stages of your business but you have a product launched, that’s really what we want to help here at our live event, our TAS Breakthrough Live. If you want to learn more about that and maybe get on the early bird list, head over to theamazingseller.com/live and you can do that. We’ve got a bunch of people already on that waiting list and we’re only going to do 30 people at that event.
That’s what we did last time, we had 10 hot seats and we spent all day there, we had dinner, it was just amazing, it was an awesome time. If you want to learn more about that, maybe see some highlights from the last one you can definitely go check that out.
That is going to wrap it. Chris, I want you to say it with me, I’ll prep it here for you so this way here you…
[00:58:11] Chris: You’re going to cue me up?
[00:58:12] Scott: I’m going to cue you up but, let’s just kind of do this for real here. The funny thing was I had a guy come up to me and I mentioned him recently, Jason, who actually came up to me and he goes, “Hey Scott!” and he did it perfectly. Guys, I got remind you guys that I’m here for you, I believe in you, I’m rooting for you but you have to, you have to… Come on, say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, Chris, say it with me, one, two, three, “TAKE ACTION!”
Have an awesome, amazing day guys and I’ll see you right back here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Previous Hot Seat Episodes
- Jungle Scout
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/174 – a previous Hot Seat episode mentioned.
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/119 – www.TheAmazingSeller.com/PPC
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