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New Digital Shelf Report

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March 18, 2020

What 1 Million Products Tell Us About What it Takes to be Amazon’s Choice

amazon-choice.png

An “Amazon’s Choice” badge is coveted by third-party sellers, as this label from Amazon “recommends highly rated, well-priced products available to ship immediately.”

So, what does it mean to be “highly rated” and “well-priced”? Are there other factors that aren’t listed that influence which products get the Amazon’s Choice badge?

The MerchantWords team looked at US Amazon keyword and search results page data for one million Amazon products to find out.

METHODOLOGY

At MerchantWords we collect every page one search engine results page (SERP) for every keyword phrase typed into the Amazon search bar every month. This data provides us with a vast amount of information about which factors characterize an Amazon’s Choice product (or ASIN). The four factors that we were most interested in were:

  • Price

  • Number of reviews

  • Stars

  • Organic position

To review these factors, we took a sample of one million US Amazon’s Choice product (AC ASIN) appearances from November 2019.

An ASIN can have an Amazon’s Choice designation on one search results page but not on another, so we reviewed how the AC ASIN compared to the other ASINs on the SERP when the ASIN was Amazon’s Choice.

For the price, the number of reviews, and star rating, we compared the AC ASIN appearance to all of the other ASIN appearances on the SERP. For example, if the AC ASIN was the least expensive ASIN on the page then it received a rank “1” for price. If there were two other ASINs on the page that had more reviews than the AC ASIN, then that AC ASIN was rank “3” for the number of reviews.

HERE'S WHAT WE DISCOVERED

If a product is below rank 16 for position, stars, price, or number of reviews then it is less likely to receive Amazon’s Choice status

  • An ASIN’s organic position on the SERP appears to be the most important factor in receiving an Amazon’s Choice designation.

  • If a product is below rank 16 for position, stars, price, or number of reviews then it is less likely to receive Amazon’s Choice status.

  • The number of reviews a product receives carries more weight than the number of stars, given that the difference between ranks 1-16 and 17+ is relatively small.

  • Amazon states that Amazon’s Choice products are “well priced.” From our findings, it appears that “well priced” doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest ASIN on the SERP. While the difference between ranks 1-16 and 17+ is relatively small, it doesn’t hurt to be one of the cheaper ASINs.

POSITION 1 DEEP DIVE

Since being in the first position on a search results page is the biggest factor in conversion and sales, we did a deeper dive into the relationship between position 1 and Amazon’s Choice.

First, we took a closer look at the distribution of the number of Amazon’s Choice ASINs over positions 1-16.

number-amazon-choice-by-asin.png

Just eyeballing this graph, it is clear that being in position 1 is an important factor for receiving Amazon’s Choice status. In fact, 35% of AC ASINs organically rank in position 1.

To break this down further, we looked at the breakdown of how position 1 is related to Amazon’s Choice by category.

POSITION 1 ASINS SEGMENTED BY CATEGORY

Category

Total Amazon’s Choice ASINs

% Amazon's Choice ASINs in Position 1

Kitchen & Dining

108,155

31

Tools & Home Improvement

69,559

37

Toys & Games

68,470

35

Health, Household & Baby Care

64,359

39

Beauty & Personal Care

63,920

34

Automotive

51,407

36

Electronics

51,034

39

Home & Kitchen

44,433

34

Office Products

41,280

38

Women's Fashion

40,331

27

In some categories (e.g., Health, Household, & Baby Care and Electronics) it is more critical to be in position 1 to receive an Amazon’s Choice badge than other categories (e.g., Women’s Fashion and Kitchen & Dining).

A distinguishing factor between the position 1 ASINs that are Amazon’s Choice and position 1 ASINs that are not Amazon’s Choice is the number of reviews for the ASIN. The median number of reviews for a position 1 Amazon's Choice ASIN (based on a sample of 100,000) is 100 while a position 1 non-Amazon's Choice ASIN (based on a sample of 100,000) is 50.

pos1-amazon-choice-reviews.png

We looked at another sample of 1 million randomly selected ASIN appearances (Amazon’s Choice and not) to get a general sense of how important it is to be position 1 on the SERP to receive an Amazon’s Choice badge.

The probability of getting the Amazon’s Choice badge as a page-1 ASIN (12,202 out of 1,000,000) is 0.01. This is likely higher for ASINs in the Electronics and Cell Phones & Accessories categories because they have fewer ASINs on each page.

The probability of getting the Amazon’s Choice badge given that the ASIN is in position 1 is (4,260 / 29,387) about 0.14. Therefore, if a product is in position 1, then the likelihood of it receiving the Amazon’s Choice badge is increased by 14x.

AMAZON’S CHOICE ASINS ARE “HIGHLY RATED”

Amazon says that Amazon’s Choice products are “highly-rated”. What kind of star ratings do these ASINs have? We reviewed the entire batch of one million November 2019 ASINs to look at the distribution of stars given to Amazon’s Choice ASINs.

amazon-choice-star-rating.png

From our findings, an ASIN needs to have a star rating of 3.5 or greater to be eligible to receive the Amazon’s Choice badge. Fifty percent of Amazon’s Choice ASINs have a star rating of 4.3 or above.

AMAZON BRANDS FOR AMAZON’S CHOICE

Only about 1% of Amazon’s Choice appearances were Amazon Brands (from a sample of 1,000,000 appearances in Nov 2019 looking at 110 of Amazon’s brands). Their total search volume for November was 44 million. The rest of Amazon’s Choice ASINs represents 1.4 billion in search volume, so the percentage of search volume for these Amazon Brand Amazon’s Choice ASINs represents about 3% of total searches. They’re getting good reach from the Amazon’s Choice badges they have.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Our study revealed there are other factors that influence which products get the Amazon’s Choice badge:

  • A product that is in position 1 increases the likelihood of getting the Amazon’s Choice badge by 14x. (Check out our free Digital Shelf analysis tool to see how your ASIN can beat the competition!)

  • To be eligible for the Amazon’s Choice badge, a product needs at least 3.5 stars, but more than 4.3+ stars are the average for most ASINs that receive this designation.

  • If a product falls below rank 16 for its position, star rating, price, or the number of reviews then it is less likely to receive Amazon’s Choice label.

amazons-choice-by-the-numbers-merchantwords.png


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