Are you struggling and not getting sales on Amazon? You aren’t alone.
While all the success stories can make it seem like the money is just there for the taking, not a single cent is ever guaranteed.
Selling on Amazon can be immensely profitable, but it often requires a lot of hard work, patience, and guidance to see a significant return on your investment. Very few people are raking in the big bucks right away.
If you’re not getting sales on Amazon, we do have some good news – with a little bit of troubleshooting, you should be able to turn things around.
Keep reading to learn five of the most common reasons why your Amazon products aren’t becoming profitable and what you can do about it.
1) Your Products Aren’t Ranking for the Right Keywords
Keywords are the cornerstone of a successful Amazon listing.
When customers visit Amazon, unless they have a direct link to the product, they’re most likely locating an item through the search bar. They may enter generic search terms (short-tail keywords) or more complex phrases (long-tail keywords) to find what they want.
The majority of sales will come from the products displayed on the first few pages of Amazon’s search results. Ensuring that your products are ranking well for relevant keywords with a high search volume can drastically improve your profitability.
There are a variety of ways to perform keyword research. You can:
1) Use Amazon’s autocomplete feature. Go to the search bar and start typing descriptive words about your product. Look at the drop-down for keyword suggestions and similar products sold on Amazon.
2) Check out your competitors’ products. Do some research and see which keywords your competitors are targeting for their items.
3) Try keyword research software. There are several free and paid solutions available that provide you with a wealth of keywords and key metrics like search volume, estimated orders, cost per click, and more.
As you go through this process, use the keywords to analyze your product’s demand. Is there enough search volume to warrant selling the item? Are similar products becoming best-sellers? While you should always do this before launching, it’s a good idea to repeat this step regularly. Things can change very quickly!
Amazon has become such a prolific search engine that 61% of US consumers now begin their product searches here. If you want a chance at all that cash, you need to make it easy for people to find you. Keywords can help make that happen.
2) Your Amazon Listings Aren’t Optimized
While Amazon’s ranking algorithm hasn’t been made public, we do know that there are several factors at play. Everything from your product titles to your product descriptions and images can impact how Amazon ranks and displays your products. It rewards products with higher conversion rates, so you need your listings to be ready to turn browsers into buyers.
Optimizing, or enhancing, your product listings for Amazon SEO (search engine optimization) is a highly recommended way to help your listings rank higher.
Here are some tips to get started:
Keywords: Focus on the keywords most likely to help you rank in the top three positions. Remember to include relevant backend keywords, which are additional keywords that Amazon “hides” on the backend of your listing to help customers find your product. Generic words, synonyms, abbreviations, and alternative names for your item are all great options.
Product title: Your product title is one of the first things a shopper sees when searching for your product on Amazon. Titles should be short, no more than 80 characters max, and only contain relevant information needed to identify the item.
Product features: Most categories allow you to use up to five bullet points to highlight your most important product features. Make sure your content reads naturally but is packed with relevant keywords that will help you get indexed.
Product description: This section has a higher character limit (up to 2,000 is allowed) so you can really dig into your item’s best qualities. Differentiate your product from competitors while providing enough information for buyers to make an informed buying decision.
Product images and video: Every Amazon listing is required to have at least one product image but you can sometimes add up to nine. Amazon recommends having six images and one product video. Pay close attention to your first –or main– image as this is what customers will see alongside your title in search.
Amazon has specific rules for each part of a product listing, so be sure to read its listing guidelines very carefully.
To really make your product listing stand out and become more profitable, consider enrolling in the Amazon Brand Registry. Along with its robust brand protection, the program also affords you access to powerful listing features like A+ Content and Amazon’s Manage Your Experiments tool, which is said to help drive $15K in yearly sales on average.
3) You Have Prolific Product or Listing Mismanagement
Once your Amazon listing is optimized, you must continue to pay attention. As you already may know, a lot can still go wrong.
Here’s what you want to watch out for:
1) Out-of-stock situations. Stocking out is incredibly costly. Amazon doesn’t want unreliable sellers, so you’ll likely experience a significant drop in your product ranking in addition to all of those missed sales opportunities.
2) Suppressed listings. When a listing is suppressed, it means Amazon has identified a problem with it and is now preventing the page from being discoverable in search. Some common reasons include missing images or product information, invalid product details, and listing policy violations.
3) Listings marked inactive. Inactive listings do not have the “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” buttons, which makes them inactive, or unpurchasable. It could be the result of pricing disparities (i.e. you’re selling the same item on another site for a lower price), you don’t have approval to sell the product, Amazon has received numerous complaints about it, or your listings have been duplicated.
Amazon will inform you of any wrongdoings and the suggested next steps on the Listing Quality Dashboard and/or the Fix Your Products page.
Following Amazon’s listing policies and staying in stock will help prevent a lot of profitability problems. To avoid stockouts, you must replenish your inventory effectively. Advanced inventory software like RestockPro by eComEngine makes FBA inventory management much easier by telling you what to restock and when based on your selling activity. It even calculates estimated margins so you can continue to focus on your most profitable products.
4) You Aren’t Advertising Enough
On Amazon, advertising has a direct impact not only on your sales but the organic (non-sponsored) ranking you receive as a result of them. These increased conversions can help you move up in the rankings for important keywords that connect other potential customers to your brand and its products.
But which ad campaigns are the most successful? Let’s take a look.
1) Sponsored Products. These pay-per-click ads promote individual product listings on Amazon. You’ve likely seen them all over Amazon’s search results and product pages. Monitoring your clicks, spend, sales, and advertising cost of sales (ACoS) will help you measure their performance.
2) Sponsored Brands. This type of ad is perfect for helping potential customers discover who you are and what you sell. You can reach and engage new audiences with custom headlines, videos, and images. Amazon claims that advertisers who used Sponsored Brands video saw a 108.1% increase in click-through rate compared to those only using the product collection ad format.
3) Sponsored Display. Amazon’s self-service display ads help you grow your brand by engaging shoppers across the purchase journey, both on Amazon and off. You can measure their success through metrics such as return on ad spend (ROAS), new-to-brand-orders, and click-through rates.
All successful Amazon sellers use a wide variety of advertising, including Posts, Brand Stores, and affiliate marketing, to improve sales and product visibility. Complementary paid and organic strategies are proven to pay off, but make sure you have a thorough understanding of your campaigns and budget before you invest too much.
5) You Have Too Many Negative Reviews (Or None at All)
Another big reason why your products may not be getting sales on Amazon is because of their reviews.
Amazon has said that 90% of its buyers read product reviews before purchasing. Due to their high visibility (Amazon reviews also appear in Google search results) and demonstration of social proof, they impact everything from click-through rates to conversion and even a product’s organic search ranking.
You must read and understand Amazon’s review policies. In 2016, an unprecedented rise in fake product ratings caused Amazon to prohibit incentivized reviews and closely monitor sellers’ review methods.
Asking for reviews continues to be the best way to get them, but how can you make sure to stay out of trouble?
Today, the recommended ways to receive honest and authentic product reviews are:
1) Amazon’s Request a Review button. Clicking this button (found on the customer’s Order Details page in Seller Central) sends out a combined seller feedback and product review request. Many sellers prefer it for its guaranteed compliance with Amazon policies.
2) The Amazon Vine program. Enrollment in this Amazon review program gives you access to a group of Amazon’s most trusted and insightful reviewers. Participation fees and criteria apply, but this can be a great way to kickstart review generation for new products.
3) Third-party feedback and review tools. You can find tools that connect with the Amazon API (like FeedbackFive by eComEngine) to automate the sending of seller feedback and product review requests in the Selling Partner Appstore.
Amazon reviews provide valuable insights about your products. Positive reviews tell you what customers love about the item and what features and benefits are the most meaningful to them. You can use this information to better market your products and earn more buyers.
Negative reviews can help you identify product defects, missing features, and other points of frustration, like misleading product images or confusing assembly instructions. Correcting these shortcomings typically leads to a sizable increase in positive reviews (and profits!)
Along with the type of rating that you receive, Amazon’s ranking algorithm also factors in the recency and relevancy of the review. This helps to flag instances of review manipulation and ensure that you’re continually creating a positive customer experience.
Regularly sending review requests to customers who have purchased your products is a smart way to continually generate new and relevant reviews.
FeedbackFive is designed to do just that and more. You can automate Amazon Request a Review messages in multiple Amazon marketplaces and monitor the responses to quickly make product improvements as needed. It also gives you the ability to create custom messages for your ASINs and adjust the timing of your emails to be perfect for your product. And, new for 2023, the software even includes listing suppression alerts so you know immediately when your products aren’t showing up in search!
Start Boosting Your Profitability Today
If you’re not getting sales on Amazon, it’s time to take a hard look at what you’re selling and how you’re doing it. Are your products in stock and easy to find? Are your Amazon listings set up for success with plenty of positive reviews? If not, it’s going to be reflected in your revenue.
For more seller advice or to give eComEngine’s tools a try, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always here to help!