Your product is finally ready to be sold online! Launching a brand and product on Amazon can be a very exciting step in getting your first online sales. You likely have been waiting for this moment for a long time and can’t wait to get the product live and available to your impatient customers. Although, it is important to stay patient just a little longer and include a product launch strategy to ensure success. Everything in your strategy needs to be planned specifically for your product(s) in the launching process. By knowing what the minimum requirements are for an Amazon listing, determining how to get your listing’s “Retail Ready”, and by creating the right types of PPC advertising campaigns to start off with, you can set your brand up for success and are on your way to having a well-developed product launch strategy.
The first topic that needs to be understood is what is known as the Amazon flywheel. Similar to the concept of the snowball effect, this is the concept that your Amazon business takes a lot of effort to start in the beginning and then continuously begins to build off of itself overtime once you get it spinning. This concept doesn’t have an end like the snowball effect does so the return in the long run pays off. If one section of the flywheel is focused on, it affects the rest of the flywheel. All of the following topics are part of this flywheel process which is why it is important to understand when launching a product.
Amazon Listing Creation Minimum Requirements
What are the requirements to create a listing on Amazon? (Remember, these are the minimum requirements and we recommend filling out the product information as detailed as possible.)
- Identify the correct category to list your product
- Have the title, manufacturer, product ID (UPC, GTIN, ASIN, etc.), brand, price, condition, and whether it will be Fulfilled by Amazon or Fulfilled by Merchant ready to go
- The main product image with a completely white background
- Miscellaneous information depending on the category you are selling in
One of the most crucial aspects to launching a product – and arguably most challenging – is getting those first few reviews. While a lot of this component can be out of your control, there are a few tips and tricks we recommend to help gain those initial reviews – all within Amazon’s TOS.
- Vine (need Brand Registry): Enroll your products in Vine to generate reviews from Amazon’s best reviewers. This program allows you to give away up to 30 units of a single product for Amazon “voices” to receive in return for a review. These “voices” are vetted customers by Amazon and tend to be blunt and honest in their reviews. Don’t expect to get all 5-star reviews.
- Early Reviewer Program – Standalone listing vs variations: The Early Reviewer Program helps you get up to 5 reviews with Amazon offering customers who purchased your enrolled items a small reward ($3.00 Gift Card) in exchange for providing feedback on your product. The program is only available to either a standalone ASIN or an entire variation grouping. To take advantage of this program, use the Early Reviewer Program on individual ASINs before you put your products into variations. Once you have gotten your five reviews per ASIN, go ahead and consolidate them. For example, if you have 2 products in your variation, implementing this trick allows your product variation to get 10 consolidated reviews instead of only 5.
- Friends and family – Friends and family are always willing to buy your product and leave a review on Amazon. Utilize these valuable connections by having friends and family purchase the product and leave a review. The key to correctly implementing this strategy is to make the entire customer journey purchase as organic as possible. Amazon will flag reviews if they think anything is fishy about the review.
- Request a Review – Once an order has been placed and delivered to a customer, you will find this tool in the order details. Amazon will then send the customer an email requesting product and seller reviews for that order.
- Current Brand Customers – Send out an email to pre-existing customers informing them about your product launch on Amazon. This mainly helps drive sales for the launch, but in tandem with the other tools and strategies you have set in place, this can be a review generation strategy.
The difference between Amazon and any retail store is the way the customer can examine the product they are about to purchase. In retail, they can touch and feel the product, smell the product, see the product and sometimes even taste the product before they buy it. On Amazon, they are only able to use their eyes, making your digital content even that much more important to show what your product is, how it is different from competitors, and why they should purchase your brand versus another maybe even more well-known brand. Take advantage of high-quality images/infographics to help inform your customer and portray your product.
Pitted Labs Pro-tip: If getting a high-quality, professional white background image is too difficult or expensive, consider using a digital rendering.
Product Launch Advertising
You have a new product, now how in the world do you get eyes to your products? Advertising is your answer. Remember the flywheel in the beginning of the blog? It’s important to call out the importance of going all out as soon as you start advertising and not trying to “test the waters” with advertising. Increase your advertising spend from the very beginning and your flywheel will thank you later down the road.
Advertising can be one of the trickiest processes when launching a new product, but there are a few ways you can set yourself up from the beginning to ensure you are taking advantage of as much advertising real estate as possible on search term queries and product detail pages as well as targeting the correct keywords and products. Keep in mind, your campaign options are limited if you don’t have Brand Registry. The types of advertising you are able to create are;
- Sponsored Product campaigns
- Sponsored Brands campaigns (need Brand Registry)
- Sponsored Display campaigns (need Brand Registry)
Here is Pitted Lab’s 4 – 8 week product launch advertising strategy;
- Create auto campaigns
- Create manual keyword targeting and manual product targeting campaigns
- Use a keyword research tool to identify keywords to initially target in your manual campaigns
- As needed, pull search term reports to identify which keywords customers are actually searching for and which keywords and ASIN’s are converting and move them to your manual targeting campaigns. Once you move the keywords/ASIN’s to the manual campaigns, don’t forget to put them as negative targets in your auto campaigns.
- Adjust bids daily and according to your advertising goals. E.g. depending if you are focusing on sales, driving impressions, etc.
The following image shows what the campaign structures can look like for each product:
Overlooking your product launch strategy is a sure way to prevent your product from reaching its potential and scaling it quickly. Always remember your Amazon flywheel when making a decision. Through having the basic information needed to create a listing, then getting your listings ‘Retail Ready’ and having a plan of attack for PPC advertising, you are creating a proper product launch strategy. Be sure to check out all of our blogs on our website and linked in this blog to get an even better understanding on some of the topics mentioned. Better yet, contact us and have us help you create your unique product launch strategy!