The product launch phase is one of the most important parts of selling on Amazon.
This is where you start generating the momentum you need to rank with Amazon SEO, and thus benefit from the millions of shoppers coming to Amazon every day.
Your launch can make or break your product’s chances for success. Do it right, and you’re 90% of the way to having a successful, profitable product. Do it wrong, and you’ll struggle to get past page three.
Read on for all you need to know about launching on Amazon today.
What is a Product Launch?
A product launch is the period in which your listing first goes live on Amazon. At this time you have zero sales, zero reviews, and you won’t show up anywhere near the first page of the search results.
That means you need a strategy to start getting sales for your product, and convince Amazon’s search and ranking algorithm to push your product onto the first page, where it can start getting natural sales from Amazon shoppers.
The problem for new sellers and new products is that Amazon’s search engine doesn’t show a product on the first page unless it’s got a history of selling well. So, for a new product with zero sales, your job is to show Amazon that your product is worthy of the first page.
You’re going to do that by putting a strategy in place to get your first few customers, and proving to Amazon that your product can be a best-seller.
Amazon Product Launch: First Steps
Before you start sending potential customers to your product listing, there are a few basic steps you need to do first.
Skipping over this part can mean a lot of wasted time, and more importantly, money.
First of all, you should have done extensive product research before deciding the product you’re about to launch is worth the expense.
You need to be sure that there’s a market for what you’re trying to sell, and that there is enough room in that market for your product.
Big mistakes here include:
- Launching a product no one is searching for on Amazon
- Launching a product against a large number of established competitors, without a unique selling point
As part of the product research process, you should also be researching keywords. These are the terms that people are typing into the search bar on Amazon to find things to buy.
You want to find as many keywords as possible that could realistically lead to someone buying your product. Software tools can give you an estimate of how many people are searching for various keywords, so you know which have the highest potential for sales.
Setting up your listing
It goes without saying that you need an active product listing before you can start your launch. Otherwise no one can even buy your product.
However, just having an active listing is not enough. It’s important you’ve put the work into creating a high-quality listing before you think about how you’re going to get customers.
There are two aspects to this.
First, conversion rate optimization. Make sure your listing is designed to turn visitors into buyers. You’ll do this with convincing copywriting, showcasing the benefits of your product (not just the features), and having high-quality images made up.
Second, keyword optimization. Remember the keywords you found for your product earlier? Make sure all these keywords are mentioned somewhere in the text on your product listing. This is how Amazon knows what your product is, and which search terms you should be ranking for.
How to Get Your First Sales
Once your listing is set up, optimized for the search engine and optimized to convert, you’re ready to get sales.
When you first start out, you can’t rely on the search engine for sales. You need a proactive strategy to get people to buy your product.
Here are some ways to have the best Amazon Product Launch strategy.
Amazon Sponsored Products ads, or Amazon PPC is a reliable way to send additional traffic to your products. This is Amazon’s native ad platform, where you can run ads for your products in the search results, or on other listings.
This is an effective way to jump to the top of the search page, and generate sales when you’re not yet ranking on the first page.
The one problem is that you need a few reviews first, before you can have success with PPC ads. Products with no reviews won’t generate many, if any clicks. So, while it’s a good idea to start up PPC midway through your launch, you’ll need another channel to get a few sales and reviews first.
Paid ads on Facebook are probably the best way to get your very first sales. There are a few reasons for this:
- Audience size: just about everyone is on Facebook, meaning the pool of potential customers for you to reach is huge.
- Facebook ads are a form of outbound marketing, which means you don’t have to wait for people to come looking for you; you’ll go directly to them.
- The visual of nature lets you highlight your product’s unique value points, and sell it to the customer before they go through to Amazon.
The combination of the above means Facebook ads have the highest potential to drive a lot of sales for your product, fast – which is the point of your product launch.
Facebook ads being outside of the Amazon ecosystem also lets you reach back out to those customers who bought your product and ask for a review, which is the other big thing (alongside sales) you should be aiming for with your launch.
Email works great for a product launch too. If you’ve got an email list, you can launch your product with an exclusive discount to that list, which is a reliable way to get your first sales.
The potential number of sales you can get through email is not as high as with Facebook ads, as this number is limited to the size of your list. However, it’s much, much cheaper, as you don’t have to pay for ads.
If you’re already selling other products in the same niche, you may have built an email list in the process, in which case using this list to launch your new product is a no-brainer.
Influencers are another powerful channel for Amazon sellers. The idea of this is to partner with someone in your niche with a large following (this could be on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Podcasts, or any other channel), to promote or mention your product.
This can be great at driving sales, as the recommendation comes from someone trustworthy and liked in your particular niche. The key is finding someone with not just a large audience, but an engaged audience. When you’re looking for influencers, don’t just look at who has the most followers/views. Look at those influencers whose followers regularly interact with them, via likes, comments and shares.
As for how to structure the partnership, there are many ways you could do this. You could pay a flat fee to the influencer to shout out your product, or give them a unique landing page or coupon code for their audience, and pay them based on the number of sales they help drive.
Other paid ads/social media
Amazon PPC, Facebook ads, email and influencers are the most effective ways to launch. But that doesn’t mean they’re the only channels you can use.
Organic (non-paid) content on social media platforms, such as TikTok, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit, can all work if done right. So can paid ads on most of these channels, as well as ads on Google.
While a few of these channels traditionally perform better than the others, feel free to experiment and find the platform that works best for you.
How Long Should Your Launch Run?
How do you know when to stop putting money into Facebook ads, and start to lean on organic product sales and PPC?
There’s no set formula for this, unfortunately. Some say 7 days, others say 21. It can depend on a number of factors, such as the competitiveness of your category, and the size and quality of the traffic you send to your product.
For a general rule of thumb, plan to spread your launch over 21 days. However, be ready to extend that if your product isn’t ranking by that time, or shorten this time if you’re on a limited budget and in a not-so-competitive market.
My Launch Didn’t Go As Planned – What Now?
Don’t panic if you run your Amazon product launch for 21 days, and your product is still withering on page 4 of the search results.
This is not a “make or break” period. Failing to break through during the initial launch period doesn’t mean you’ll never do it. It’s common to “re-launch” products, for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s because the initial launch didn’t go well, or because a quality control issue with the manufacturer leads to a lot of negative reviews.
If your first launch doesn’t work, look at what you did, the results you got, and try to diagnose why. Was it because you didn’t get enough sales? Not enough reviews? Sales too uneven (10 sales one day, zero the next)? Figure this out, make a plan to fix it, and run your launch again.
Of course, there is the chance that the product is simply not good enough, or there is too much competition. Consider this when you’re reviewing your launch, and if so, think about how you can make changes to the product to achieve a different outcome.
Be aware, your job is not done after 21 days (or however long you run your launch).
Your rankings won’t hold forever. If you send a lot of traffic during your launch – from Facebook ads for example – then shut that off once you start to rank, there’s a chance your sales will drop off. If this happens, your rankings are likely to fall as well, and you could find yourself back on page 2 or 3 in a short space of time.
Have a plan to continue driving traffic to your product after your launch, to complement the sales you get from organic search. A great thing for this is Google search ads. Run ads to target similar keywords as you do with Amazon PPC, to generate a slow but steady boost in traffic.
It will cost less than a big marketing campaign on Facebook or TikTok, but should be enough to maintain your rankings and help you slowly grow over time.
It’s important to put some thought into your product launch process. This is an important stage in your product’s life cycle, and a good product launch should pay you back in full once your product starts generating organic traffic.
There is a cost involved in launching on Amazon. Unless you have a large email list, or you’re launching into an as yet untapped market, you’re probably going to need to spend a bit of money on ads and marketing.
But this cost is worth it if you get your product to the first page for your main keywords. Minimize the cost of each launch you run by coming up with a simple process that you can repeat for every new product, or every new marketplace you launch on.
Andrew Buck is the Head of Marketing at LandingCube, the #1 landing page tool for Amazon sellers. His mission, and LandingCube’s, is to help Amazon sellers launch profitably and build a brand that lasts.
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