Product launch is an emotional roller coaster. You’re happy, you’re scared, you’re nervous, you’re excited. It takes knowledge, determination and lots and lots of patience to achieve success.
If you’re gearing up to launch a new product or looking to expand your existing product line, Amazon has introduced the “Perfect Launch” playbook.
Launching a product involves a series of steps. From choosing the right product to optimizing product listing, there are several pressing factors to consider when planning a launch. Amazon, in its Perfect Launch playbook, has summarized the most important steps for a smooth product launch.
What is Perfect Launch?
According to Amazon, the first 90 days of product launch are crucial for establishing pricing, fulfillment, marketing and other practices that’ll help you boost sales post-launch. Perfect Launch is what Amazon data scientists call the use of five selling programs – Brand Registry, A+ Content, Fulfillment by Amazon, Automated Pricing, and Advertising – within the first 90 days of product launch. Sellers who use these five programs within that critical time period can have a seamless launch.
Step 1: Enroll your brand in Brand Registry
Amazon brand registry unlocks a suite of tools designed to protect and differentiate your brand and newly launched product. The importance of brand registry can be gauged from the fact that every new feature, tool, or program launched recently by Amazon is exclusively for brand registered sellers.
Enrolling in the brand registry will offer sellers with more security while creating a better, more professional branded experience for shoppers.
The benefits of a brand registry include:
- Complete control over product listings
- Protection against fraudulent sellers and hijackers
- Ability to list the products without UPCs or EANs
- Exclusive access to a dedicated support team for dealing with hijackers
- Access to various tools such as A+ Content, Storefront, Brand Analytics, Posts, Amazon Live, Amazon Vine, Manage Your Customer Engagement, Manage Your Experiments, Brand Analytics and so much more
The process to register brand on Amazon is highly complex and time consuming. If you would like to expedite the process or free yourself from the hassles of getting your brand registered, consider hiring our Amazon brand registry service.
Step 2: Enhance your product detail pages with A+ Content
Developing the product and having it FBA ready is going to take a couple of months, if not more. This time gap is perfect for your product listing. Most sellers hustle to get the product listing up and running as quickly as possible, optimize it later and then wonder why their PPC campaigns are not profitable.
You want your detail page to be perfect from the day the product is listed. Even if sellers optimize Amazon listing copy and images, they miss out on one thing: A+ Content.
A+ Content is no longer an exciting new feature. It’s a must-have for every brand selling on Amazon. According to Amazon, “adding A+ content to detail pages can help increase sales by an average of 5.6%”.
Using enticing images and compelling copy, A+ Content communicates the value proposition of our product in a visually appealing and easy-to-digest way.
Cross-selling comparison chart are also a valuable tool in A+ Content. You have the ability to link existing best-selling products, allowing shoppers to easily browse through your portfolio, leading to cross-selling and up-selling.
Product detail pages without enhanced content look incomplete because every other seller on Amazon has A+ Content on their listing. If you would like to leave a lasting impression on shoppers that visit our detail page, consider hiring Amazon-specific designers for Amazon A Page Design. When experts are at work, not only will your A+ Content look professional, but it will also increase the chances of getting your content approved by Amazon.
Step 3: Get set up with Fulfillment by Amazon
You do not want to make the mistake of being out of stock during (or after) your product launch. It can harm your reputation, stop your PPC campaigns and cause disinterest among buyers.
A fail-proof way to ensure flawless fulfillment is by choosing FBA as your fulfillment channel. FBA allows sellers to automate their order fulfillment and shipping services. With FBA, seller ships, Amazon fulfills.
Benefits of FBA:
- Amazon does all the work for you. You are just in charge of sending goods to the FBA center.
- Using FBA is still cheaper than managing shipping and fulfillment in-house.
- Products enrolled in FBA get the Prime badge and are eligible for Prime free shipping. Sellers are not supposed to pay premium charges because it’s all included in the service.
- Amazon handles all the hassles of returns and refunds.
Step 4: Automate pricing on your offers
Amazon suggests using their Automated Pricing tool to ensure your product always wins the buy box. In addition to specific account health and performance metrics, reviews and detail page copy, competitive pricing is a key factor that influences buy box.
Amazon’s automatic pricing tool quickly and automatically adjusts the price to increase your chance of becoming the Featured Offer. Just choose the listing you would like to enroll in, set a price limit and you can focus on other important aspects of the product launch.
Step 5: Leverage Sponsored Ads
Once your product is listed, use Sponsored Ads and promotions to get an instant boost in sales. Be sure to take advantage of all ad types because each one of them has a different set of advantages.
Sponsored Product ads are widely used for product launch. These ads appear on SERPs camouflaged within organic results. When used correctly, Sponsored Products can bring your product on page #1 in no time.
When used continually, Sponsored Product ads will ultimately push your organic rankings up in the search result pages. According to Amazon, “sellers saw an average weekly lift of +40% in units ordered and +54% in glance views within the first year after launching a Sponsored Products campaign.”
Sponsored Brand ads help increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your brand store, where you can create a dedicated page to promote newly launched products.
Sponsored Display ads target shoppers in the lower funnel. Advertisers can promote their products right under competitors’ listings. These ads are generally on the Amazon home page, search results pages, product detail pages, as well as third-party websites and apps.
Tips to successfully manage PPC campaigns
- Bid aggressively: Your goal for the first few weeks should not be to earn profits but to get your product out there.
- Strategically set budget: Amazon recommends a minimum of $10. There’s nothing wrong with setting a low budget; just make sure it is enough to last throughout the day, so your ads don’t stop showing up in the middle of the day. You can start small and then increase your daily budget as your campaign starts to scale.
- Use automatic targeting initially: To generate an initial list of customer search terms and a basic understanding of campaigns, trust Amazon’s instincts. Leveraging the data from automatic campaigns, you can create manual targeting campaigns.
- Optimize your landing page before running PPC campaigns: Given that Sponsored Ad traffic will be redirected to your product detail page or storefront, be sure to optimize them to ensure better ad conversion rates. If your landing page does a poor job of convincing the shoppers, you are likely to see a big drop in conversion rates.
- Don’t skimp on negative keywords: Adding negative keywords ensure that your ads do not show up for irrelevant/non-related search terms. Utilizing negative keywords is one of the most effective ways to decrease advertising costs & ACOS without affecting the visibility of your campaign.
- Make the most of Amazon advertising reports: Although it might be daunting to look at the PPC reports, they help you determine search terms that are performing well and search terms that are wasting your advertising money. Go through advertising reports every other day to get an insight into your campaigns.
- Optimize daily: It might sound like too much work, but you (or your Amazon ads agency) should optimize your ad campaigns daily. Metrics that determine campaign performance are: clicks, ad spend, sales, and ACoS (advertising cost of sale). If these metrics look good, your ad campaigns are working well.
Easy way is not always the right way
We understand starting from scratch is hard. While you might be tempted to take a shortcut to accelerate success, let us tell you one thing: it’s way too risky. Lately, Amazon has been cracking down on a number of sellers using Super URLs and black hat tactics to get fake reviews. Trying to trick Amazon will lead to suspension of selling rights temporarily or permanently.
Amazon will help you get started with New Seller Incentives
To motivate new sellers to commence their product launch journey with a little less risk, Amazon has launched New Seller Incentives, including:
- 5% back on first $1,000,000 in branded sales
- $100 off inbound FBA shipping using the Amazon Partnered Carrier program
- $200 off fulfillment fees for out-of-country sellers using Amazon Global Logistics
- 90 days free storage for 50 units plus 180 days free liquidation with FBA
- $200 credit for Sponsored Products CPC ads
- Up to 2000 free Transparency codes ($100 value)
- Free enrollment in Vine program, where sellers can get up to 30 trusted reviews ($200 value)
Get, set, launch!
Steering your product from launch to a flourishing moneymaker is a long, intense, tiring process. Successful product launch greatly depends on the groundwork you lay right before the launch and the steps you take immediately after the launch. The first few weeks are critical to ramp up sales and outpace the competitors.
With detailed recommendations included in Amazon’s playbook, you’ll know how to prepare for and succeed at product launch.
If you find the new responsibilities of product launch too overwhelming or need help branching out your next product on Amazon, hire our Amazon product launch services.