Amazon Retail Readiness: How to Prepare and Optimize Your Listings
As customers on Amazon, we’ve all come across detailed pages that are just terrible shopping experiences. Often, there’s a lack of information, misleading or confusing images, or out-of-stock items that you’re unable to add to your cart. It’s surprising that with the amount of seasoned, professional brands and sellers on Amazon, there’s still a huge opportunity to improve the detail page experience. This concept is known as retail readiness, and it’s necessary for any seller or brand on Amazon to launch product and advertising campaigns successfully.
Why Is Retail Readiness Important To My Business?
There are many components to the detail page that are often overlooked but are so essential to help the customer purchase the product. Retail readiness is a sales, advertising, and conversion strategy to ensure that your product’s detail page is presented in a best-in-class manner, to help the customer convert to a sale. Advertising campaigns may drive brand awareness and traffic, but the detail page bears the weight of being the final voice and descriptor for the product before purchase. If the customer finds all the information accurate and relevant for completing a purchase, the detail page is deemed retail-ready.
What Goes Into Retail Readiness?
Product Detail Page Copy: The text on a detail page has a massive job to accomplish as a salesperson, educator, and customer service as well as drive Amazon’s A9 algorithm, all at the same time. Creating strong, descriptive copy with high-indexing keywords helps increase overall search ranking and advertising efficiency and drives end conversion for the page.
- Product Titles:
Create consistent formulas across collections or product categories: brand name, collection name, product type, additional high-indexing keywords, color/scent/flavor, size, pack size
Amazon allows 200 characters, however, keeping titles at a minimum of 80 characters allows for mobile optimization
- Bullet Points
Use all five bullet points, with a consistent message of showcasing features and benefits.
Capitalize beginning keywords and features to capture the customer’s eye.
Keep bullet points between 150-200 characters maximum, even though the character limit is 500. If your bullets have too many characters, Amazon will contract the bullets to display only 2 bullets and include a “More” button. You’ll want your PDP to display all 5 bullets for the customer’s benefit.
- Product Description:
The description is one of the least viewed components of the PDP (and often hardest to find), however, it’s important to input data to drive search
Do not include overly romantic language to enhance bullet points; use similar clear and concise language with a target of 500-700 characters (Amazon allows 1900 characters)
Include an “About” statement for the brand within the PD. do not include a branded statement in the bullet points as it takes away messaging about the physical product itself.
- Product Images:
A great detail page will showcase a variety of images to display the product. Aside from following Amazon’s requirements (with main images being shot on a white background, with a minimum size of 1000 pixels for height and width), it’s important to showcase the actual product, and not use images for testimonials. Alternate images should include all exterior shots of the product (and packaging if applicable i.e. jewelry), as well as close-up shots of ingredients and lifestyle use. Utilize about 7-9 alternate images and remember that the product video is a great win for further showcasing the product.
- A+ Content:
Another great branding tool, formerly known as Enhanced Brand Content for Seller Central users. A+ Content is now available for both Vendor and Seller Central and allows a manufacturer or brand to display a full branded story with lifestyle images and text placements across multiple modules available. This feature is only available to Professional sellers or Vendor Central manufacturers who are enrolled in Brand Registry. Additionally, A+ content has a product comparison module available, which is a huge benefit to brands who want to display a collection of complimentary items.
- Customer Reviews and Star Ratings
Retail readiness includes customer feedback as well, which makes sense as Amazon is a customer-obsessed company! To be retail-ready, a PDP must have at least 15 customer reviews with a 3.5+ star rating on the detail page which can prove difficult for new launch items or sellers that have little brand recognition. Amazon recently made available Amazon Vine (where sellers send in products to Amazon for customers to review) to both Vendor and Seller Central. Additionally, Seller Central still has the Early Reviewer program available, where Amazon incentivizes shoppers to leave a review after a purchase usually in exchange for a small digital credit.
For a customer to buy a product, there must be inventory available to purchase. Inventory management across Vendor and Seller Central is equally important, though easier to control on the Seller side. To consistently win the buy box, and maintain search relevancy, a 95% in-stock rate is ideal for inventory management. A brand must create an efficient demand planning strategy, especially during peak times, to maintain strong inventory positions and reduce out-of-stocks.
- Buy Box
The buy box is where a customer will add a product to the shopping cart, essentially one of the last stages to complete the purchase cycle. To win the buy box, a few components must be considered: inventory status (please see above), Prime eligibility, and a competitively low price. For a brand on Vendor Central, winning the buy box appears as “Ships and Sold from Amazon.com”; for Seller Central, it appears as “Ships and Sold from “Your Company’s Name” and Fulfilled by Amazon (if you are using FBA).
Winning the buy box ensures you are receiving the credit for the sale, which increases the ASIN’s sales velocity, feeding back into Amazon’s algorithm. Advertising is also impacted from the buy box; Sponsored Product campaigns will pause if an ASIN is bought box ineligible, however, Sponsored Brands campaigns run regardless which leads to ineffective use of advertising dollars.
There’s a lot of work to create a retail-ready product on Amazon, but the work is worth the reward if your brand is successfully growing. Creating descriptive and informative detail pages not only improves the customer experience and drives sales but also reduces returns or unfavorable reviews on the ASIN’s detail page. Implementing retail readiness practices will prove valuable for any seller who is currently on or considering an Amazon business.