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October 24, 2020

Episode 8: Six Amazon Q4 Tips You Haven’t Heard

Sell Rank Win Episode 8: Q4 2020 Expert FBA Tips

In This Episode

This year could be the biggest online holiday selling season ever. Are you ready? We reached out to some of the best in the Amazon FBA community to get their unique tips and advice for maximizing sales in the fourth quarter. Take advantage of these actionable insights now!

TRANSCRIPT

Tommy Beringer:

What's up you data-hungry Amazon sellers. This is your host, Tommy Beringer of the Sell Rank Win Podcast from MerchantWords. And in this podcast, we give you the answers to your most burning questions, actionable insights that you can take away and implement into your business today. So let's go ahead and dive right into today's episode. What do you say? Let's go.

Hey everybody. In this podcast, we're going to go ahead and give you guys some Q4 tips. Yes, Q4 is here, and we have some of the best in the business on with us. And I'm going to go ahead and let them jump in and give you guys some tips to prepare for the fourth quarter and holiday selling season here on Amazon.

First up is our friend, Paul Walsh.

Paul Walsh:

Hi, I'm Paul Walsh. I am from the North of Ireland, and I manage a few million in Amazon sales in Europe, North America, for a range of specialist, private label companies.

My top tip for the holiday rush on Amazon is to start to closely analyze your listings on Amazon on a daily basis. I sometimes go a few weeks without looking at some of my listings.

But you're in Q4, that isn't an option.

After spending all year getting ready for the key time of the year, simply checking the price, sales, feedback, and stock of your product can really pay off as it helps you quickly identify problems and opportunities.

Spend a lot more of your time prioritizing the small things to ensure you don't miss a dollar this season due to listing suppression, item out of stock, FBA issue, or any of those simple things and simple problems that can happen very easily when you're shifting tens or hundreds of units a day.

When sales slow in Q1 and Q2, you will have all the time in the world to focus on the long-term. So for this holiday season, I would highly recommend just focusing on watching your products and watching your bread and butter. And you've plenty of time in the future to think about the long-term.

Tommy Beringer:

Thanks so much, Paul, for those tips. Awesome stuff.

Next up, here, we have Robyn Johnson from Marketplace Blueprint.

Robyn Johnson:

This is Robyn Johnson with Marketplace Blueprint with a couple of quick tips for Q4.

The first is to make sure that you're checking your stock levels and supply chains. Before you deeply discount products, make sure that you're not going to run out of products. If you anticipate that you might run out of stock already, it might be better for you to wait, sell your products at full price rather than have large, deep discounts.

Additionally, you want to make sure that you really are thinking about making sure that you have a merchant fulfilled offer to back up your FBA offers. Logistics for this Q4 are going to make or break so many sellers. It's important that you have redundancy in your logistics. This means making sure that you are able to do quick restocks of your FBA in addition to making sure that you have those merchant fulfilled offers if the warehouses get backed up. And we are anticipating that they will get backed up.

Make sure that you are also using coupons. Clickable coupons are a great way to not only increase your ad's effectiveness but also can increase the conversion rate on your listing as a whole. Clickable coupons are really a great way to not only kind of help your listing rank organically, but also to lower your ACoS for your ad spends.

And speaking of ads, you want to make sure that you're looking at your ad strategy and your budgets. That means that you might want to adjust. Sometimes that even means pulling back your ad spend on days where you expect a lot of competition and saving that that ad spend for days when you're more likely to win those bids.

Make sure you've looked at not only your ad strategy through the peak season but also that you adjusted your bids and your campaigns to account for that slow week at the end of December.

Those are the biggest things that we have that we're telling our clients right now, and we hope that you have a prosperous and successful Q4 this 2020.

Tommy Beringer:

All right. Thanks so much for the tips, Robyn, much appreciated. And next up we have MerchantWords' own, JP.

Now JP has his fingers on the actual pulse on Amazon. He's the one collecting the data, or one of the ones collecting the data here at MerchantWords, and he is going to give you guys some insights on some trends he is seeing. So I suggest you guys listen up here.

Go ahead JP, take it away.

JP:

Hi, I'm JP. I'm part of the MerchantWords team that collects and analyzes the raw data we gather.

We all know 2020 has gotten a rep as a tough year. But the latest Prime Day sales show that 2020 has brought, with it, a lot of opportunity for Amazon sellers. We saw shifts in what people were buying compared to last year, and your hunch is right, a lot of interest in things to protect ourselves, weather the storm, and make our home office more functional and homey.

We've also noticed some consistent behaviors amid new trends heading into Q4 compared to last year. I'd like to share one with you.

One of the things we capture in the cases where Amazon performs a spelling correction, that is, any change in the spelling for the suggestions compared to what the buyer actually entered into the search box. Maybe it was a slip of the thumb on a mobile search, or maybe someone keyed in or pasted an actual misspelling for the term or product they're searching for. Looking at this year-over-year, from 2019, the rate of these typos or misspellings remains fairly consistent over time. It hovers around 20%.

Now here's where it gets interesting. In 2020, we've seen a big jump in the number of terms that Amazon recognizes and a corresponding jump in the number of unique keywords even though the spell correction rate has remained about the same. This indicates a few things. One is that, as shoppers, we're not getting any better at typing with our thumbs. But also, then Amazon has significantly expanded its dictionary of terms and the keywords it suggests. More than ever, you need to explore and investigate the related keywords and phrases that lead buyers to your product.

When you're using MerchantWords, make the most of your subscription by trying and exploring the tools that take you deeper than just that quick product search by volume. Keep an eye out for keywords and alternate names that shoppers may use to find your product or to find your competitor's products. Another thing to explore, particularly in English, is the order in which adjectives and other modifiers appear when perusing search volumes. You may want to pay attention to and compare the results of the shortest keystrokes or tap that leads to your products, the order of the words, and the keys on the pad that surround those letters. You might discover other words and modifiers that you didn't know would lead buyers to your products. That's my tip. Good luck.

Tommy Beringer:

All right. Thanks so much, JP. Doesn't JP have that type of voice that makes you just want to cozy up next to a campfire? Thanks so much, JP. I think I see a future podcast with you on it. You have a lot of knowledge to give. Thank you so much there.

Next up, we have our friend Jeff Cohen from Seller Labs, ready to drop some knowledge bombs for you for the fourth quarter. Jeff, take it away.

Jeff Cohen:

Hey everybody, this is Jeff Cohen with Seller Labs. Thanks, Tommy for having us on your podcast. We're excited to share some holiday tips with all of the Amazon sellers.

Our tip for the holiday is to think ahead and prepare all of your holiday promotions. Our managed services group, working with hundreds of Amazon sellers to prepare their Amazon advertising, works weeks in advance to understand the coupons, promotions, and how you're going to use external traffic to drive your brand.

If you simply believe that your sales will increase just because your product's available for sale, you're destined to fail. And if you don't have a goal to understand how to measure your success, then how do you truly understand whether your campaign was done correctly or not?

By setting a goal and outlining the steps to make your campaign successful, you can begin to understand how sponsored product ads, sponsored brand ads, sponsored display, video, external traffic, pricing, coupons, all come together to make a perfect holiday promotion.

Let me give you an example. One of our clients that we work with, called Five Strands, began working on their Prime Day promotion, way before Prime Day ever was even planned. They worked on a Prime Day deal, a lightning deal, increased ads through sponsored products, videos, and they also sprinkled in the use of external traffic from Facebook and Instagram. Working with their Seller Labs managed services team, they were able to increase their ad spend, be more aggressive with their ad bids, and ensure a complete success of the day. But the success of the day was only one part of their overall plan. Because by launching this aggressive plan for Prime Day, they were able to put more of their products into the market and generate more conversation about their products leading into Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the Cyber Five.

So think today about what you can be doing to build your product, and build your brand, and build your brand conversation because that's what ultimately drives your brand in the long run.

Hopefully, this tip will help you and drive in a very successful Q4. Thanks for having me on, Tommy.

Tommy Beringer:

Thanks so much, Jeff, for sending those tips over to us. Much appreciated, and I know our listeners are going to appreciate that. And next up, we have MerchantWords CEO, George Lawrence.

George Lawrence:

Hey everyone, George Lawrence here. I know as Amazon sellers, we're super busy right in the thick of Q4, and we've got a million things to worry about to optimize our Amazon business. But now's a great time to just let me remind everyone that you need to remember to think about optimizing your listings to make sure they have the best keywords possible. If it's been a while since you've optimized or updated your listing with fresh keywords, you probably had to think about it because it's important to stay on top of the changing consumer trends and the different ways people search for things throughout the year.

The other thing I wanted to remind you is it's good to keep in mind you actually have two audiences, remember, that you're optimizing for. One audience is of course the Amazon SERP algorithm. That's the one that ranks you on the different SERPs. And you want to make sure to send the Amazon algorithm the right signal that your product belongs to specific SERPs. And you do that by, of course, having the right keywords in the backend keywords area of your listing.

But then your other audience you need to pay attention to, of course, is the actual customers, the people buying your products. Now they're going to see your listing on the SERPs. They're going to click on it hopefully and see your detail page. They're going to click on that hopefully and then add it to the cart. And so you want to make sure your title is optimized as it can be to read very easily, to make sure it makes sense, and so they know exactly what they're buying. And then on the detail page, make sure your bullet points in the description read very easily and they're not full of all kinds of fluff that makes it difficult to read. And then with those two things in mind, hopefully your product will be ranked really well. And when people see it in the SERPs, they'll love your title, and your content, and your bullet points, and click on it and add it to the cart, and you'll see your sales grow.

Okay, so more than anything else, don't let your listings languish. It's important to research the best keywords and make sure to keep them updated in your listing. Here's to your success, and let's all have a great rest of Q4. Thanks, everyone. Bye now.

Tommy Beringer:

Thank you so much, George. Yes, you cannot get complacent with your listings. You must be up-to-date and fully optimize there. Thank you for that tip. And I want to thank everyone, all of our guests who sent in a tip for this podcast. Thank you so much, everybody. We appreciate you. Much appreciated.

And for the last tip, it's going to be from yours truly. And for this tip, I wanted to focus on the algorithm change that Amazon had a little bit earlier in the year, and it weights some things a bit differently. They're calling it the A. Some people are calling it the A10. I don't know if that's exactly what Amazon's calling it, but it's basically an iteration to their A9 algorithm. And if you guys are not familiar with this algorithm, this is the algorithm that basically looks at your listing and places you on the top of search if they see that it is the most relevant to a buyer search. There's a little bit more that goes into it, but that's basically the gist of what it does.

And one big change that... I actually was on the phone with Amazon, talking to someone about this, and so I can definitely confirm it, is that they're giving a lot more "ranking juice" for you sending offsite sales, outside traffic to your Amazon listing from whether it be a Facebook page, Instagram, any of your socials, or from an e-mail list. So if they see that there's some traffic that you're sending to your listing from basically your buyers, your own brand buyers, but you're sending them over to Amazon, they're going to reward you and drive you up the page. So you can send a coupon or just tell people to go over to Amazon to buy the product, and Amazon will reward you and push you up the ranks there organically. That is one of the biggest changes.

And I've even seen some companies advertising on TV, bigger companies, sending them to Amazon, saying basically at the end of the commercial, this is available for sale on Amazon. So that company is doing a huge push for external traffic, and it's going to go that way more, and more, and more, not to say that the PPC is not into play, but you definitely want to use your Amazon sponsored ads in conjunction with sending outside traffic. And when I say outside traffic, it's basically as simple as sending an e-mail to your e-mail list saying, hey, purchase our product on Amazon. You can send them a coupon, whatever you'd like. And then also, make sure that promotion is in line with your socials, and Amazon will see that you are sending your buyers to Amazon, and they will reward you for that.

So that is one of the main things I wanted to focus on that some of my guests alluded to earlier, but that's just one of the things I wanted to focus on. And of course, make sure that you increase your budget, guys, increase your bids. We are going to see a record fourth-quarter here from all of the data that we are seeing in MerchantWords. It looks like it is trending up that way, so be ready. You guys can see a 4x in your sales and in your revenue, so be prepared. Be prepared.

And yeah, that is my tip for the fourth-quarter selling season, and the fourth quarter is here. But be ready. November is when you're going to start seeing a big, big uptick in sales. But yeah, and again, guys, thank you all for listening. And until next time, stay awesome and be awesome, guys. Thanks so much. All right.

Thank you guys so much for listening. And if you got any value out of this podcast at all, please let us know at the place that you listened to it at, whether it be iTunes, Stitcher, whatever it is. Give us some love, give us an awesome review, and let us know maybe some things you want us to talk about on the next podcast. Until next time, guys, stay awesome and be awesome.

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