How To Know if Your Products Are Advertising Ready — A Checklist

April 29, 2020 | Posted By Sarah Whedon
How To Know if Your Products Are Advertising Ready — A Checklist

Prefer to learn by watching a webinar? Check out the replay of the Grow Your Amazon Business webinar to hear me explain what you need to consider to be sure your products are advertising-ready.

You know you need to advertise in order to succeed on Amazon, but do you know how to determine if your products are ready for advertising? You definitely don’t want to waste time and ad spend spinning your wheels trying to advertise a product that’s not yet ready. 

So, what do you need to do in order to know your products are advertising ready? Make sure you have an inventory management plan, understand when you’re winning the buy box, have plenty of good reviews, and polish your listings until they shine. 

Inventory — You want to have a handle on inventory management before you put a significant amount of money behind advertising. If you are about to stock out and then you set up efficient advertising, you’ll probably sell through faster. If you stock out you risk losing organic ranking on Amazon and that’s really difficult to recover from. So it’s important to have an inventory management plan. Your plan should also include paying attention to overstock and potential high long-term storage fees from Amazon. Don’t forget to factor returns into your inventory management.

Buy Box — The next thing to pay attention to in preparing to launch advertising is the buy box. The buy box is that part of the screen that says “Add to cart” or “Buy now.” It’s very trusted by shoppers on Amazon, so people are most likely going to make a purchase from whoever is winning the buy box. This buy box is really important not just because of that trust in it but also because if you’re not winning the buy box, Amazon won’t serve your ad. 

Reviews — If your inventory is in stock, you’re winning the buy box, and your ads are driving customers to your listing, but then they see no or only negative reviews, they may choose a different product.

Which of these two products would you buy? 

Which of these two products would you buy?

The product that you’re most likely to want to purchase is the one that has 4.4 stars and not just 1 star.

What about these two products? 

Which of these two products would you buy?

Even though the ratings are very close, a shopper is more likely to choose the one with 167 ratings. People don’t want to be guinea pigs. They don’t want to buy a product that’s been reviewed by only a few people. They’d rather buy the product that has positive reviews from many purchasers. 

Incentivized reviews are not permitted on Amazon. However, there are Amazon-authorized ways to ask for reviews. Make sure that you read the fine print from Amazon and that you are in compliance if you’re gathering reviews. 

Negative reviews are going to happen. If you’re running a large volume of sales eventually someone’s going to have a reason to complain. The best practice is to treat this as a customer service situation and reply generously and gracefully to the negative review in order to let other shoppers know that you are responsive.

Listings– A good product isn’t enough to get found or purchased on Amazon. Just because the product is great doesn’t mean it’s going to be discovered on Amazon and it doesn’t mean once it gets discovered it’s going to be purchased. Optimized listings will help products get found and purchased.

All elements of the listing need to be optimized. That includes the title, the bullet points, the photos, and the backend keywords. Check out the next blog post for a deeper dive into how to optimize listings. 

The Feedback Loop

None of this is really a linear process where you follow the steps in order and never come back to them once they’re checked off.  There’s a feedback loop here. Great reviews will help your ads convert to sales. Successful ads will give you data to go back and improve listings. You need reviews to run efficient ads and you can improve your reviews by making sure your listing information is complete and accurate. So you’ll want to periodically check in on every part of this checklist and make updates.

When everything is working in tandem, all of this positive momentum with advertising will feed back into your organic sales, resulting in an overall lift for your business.