5 Ways to Boost Sales and Product Ranking for Specialty Food Brands on Amazon.com

With some vision infused with strategic planning and specific knowledge, you can make a positive branding impact and grow incremental sales on this massive retail platform.

When I launched our line of specialty boxed chocolates on Amazon some years ago while working as a Marketing Director for a well-known regional chocolate manufacturer, I really had high hopes and high expectations.

You see, we had a great 60-year company legacy. We had awesome chocolates – blending the best Belgian and Domestic chocolate in our delicious award-winning proprietary formulation. And we already had very loyal customers. Piece of cake, right?

Well I found out fast that despite our awesome brand and rich company history, none of it mattered because we were starting from scratch. Our sales expectations? Nowhere even close to what we projected.

We weren’t converting like I thought. And all the time spent on getting the products on-boarded with the largest online retailer on the planet. The time…wasted – or so I thought.

So one night driving up the 710 Freeway in Los Angeles going home from work I began thinking that I wasn’t wrong in launching on Amazon. I just wasn’t armed with the right kind of knowledge. I had to justify our company’s investment in time, money, and resources.

So I went to work – learning this tricky game called optimizing my Amazon products and storefront. And what I found out was that I had A LOT to learn. And so learn I did – systematically applying best practices. Within three years we’re doing six figures annually – many of our products of which made it to rank on page one alongside well-known and much larger national brands with way larger budgets and teams than we had.

Rolling forward

OK, so now I’ve worked on several Amazon product optimizations and many underperforming storefronts over the years. And yes, we’ve helped a bunch of clients launch products and actually improve sales. So I believe it’s time to start empowering you – so you can do the same.

Like it or not, if your products are on Amazon you’re going to be faced with challenges and opportunities. But it takes vision. And it takes strategic thinking, working smart, and with specific knowledge.

But oh how worth the effort it is – because there’s no other online platform that can deliver the branding exposure and sales that Amazon can. It simply crushes the competition. And you’re mistaken to neglect your products if they’re on Amazon already and they’re not performing well.

Is your brand worth the effort?

With a market capitalization of over $275 Billion, Amazon ranks as the largest online sales platform in the world. Think about it. Over 2 billion products purchased from Amazon Marketplace Sellers in 2014 (DMR Sales).

With over $60 Billion in first party sales and over 270 million customers Amazon has the potential to reach millions of new and existing customers. As an exposure brand strategy you’ll want to weigh the importance of Amazon both as a viable sales channel as well as a platform for brand awareness and product research.

61vVMSTUyCL._SL1000_-300x218Nichey brands can do well

Got an awesome kale chip with exotic seasoning? How about a dark chocolate truffle infused with lavender?

Or even perhaps a dipping sauce that blends fruit and spice flavor notes like Not Ketchup, works as a marinade for all types of meats?

Despite todays crowded premium marketplace, I’d still say specialty foods can thrive and will continue to do so – especially online.

Amazon is the perfect vehicle to grow your unique brand and tell your product story

When we do Amazon optimizations or new product launches, we’re look for brands that are unique and emerging. We look for high-quality premium products in a niche market with a growing consumer base. Via Amazon, we help advocate for products with a strong core value and company legacy. We want to work with companies with a deep commitment to customer satisfaction. So is that you?

When a client with this description has an Amazon storefront and/or Amazon product listings that lack optimization and strategy we see growth opportunities for:

  • Increased brand equity
  • Enhanced customer engagement
  • Deeper loyalty to your products
  • Increased trial and conversion
  • Stronger overall revenue
  • Lasting connection to your mission 

 

5 ways to boost Amazon sales and product ranking

1. Protect your brand Image and perception

Apply for Amazon Brand Registry. When viewing product pages, customers see what’s called the “Detail Page.” And when many sellers of the same product list it for sale, Amazon pulls all of it into the final listing.

If you apply for Brand Registry, you gain detail page control – preventing other contributions to the listing. It’s a 15 minute application process and well worth the time.

Now you’re in control of your detail page content, images, and offers (we see lots of sellers that aren’t aware of this and the ones that do may be leveraging it incorrectly).

Brand Gating will be an option coming soon that restricts who can sell a company’s products.

 

2. Optimize your product pages

Do this with researched keyword terms, product features with benefits, and stronger descriptions that entice and engage.

Instead of one endless paragraph of product description text, break it up using html. Add bold and italics – even your branded color to improve impact and readability. White space is your friend in telling your story, and make it elegant. Remember the old addage, features tell and benefits sell.

Using variations of a product instead of listing flavors on separate pages allow all of your product reviews to be consolidated. This is called parentage and it’s so important for ranking because more reviews = higher rank = more sales. That simple. Don’t let stray flavor variations sit out there and underperform.

Why would you ever post outdated or fuzzy low-rez images?

High rez product and lifestyle photos are huge to brand engagement and so simple – you’ll want to make sure you get the zoom rate right. If you zoom in too tight when mousing over the picture, you can’t the full glory of your product packaging and you’re in too close.

We know some really good photographers, check out Upgraded Images in Pasadena, CA. They specialize in shooting Amazon style pics and offer quality inexpensive photography with awesome turn around.

 

3. Choose the right Fulfillment plan

Using Seller-Fulfilled or Fulfilled-By-Amazon (FBA Prime)

Seller Fulfilled Prime: Formerly invite-only, Amazon now offers sellers with impeccable shipping history the ability to apply to fulfill for prime. For gourmet foods this is absolutely essential: the ability to reach prime members, while retaining full distribution control and ensuring absolute freshness of your product).

With an estimated 35 million Amazon Prime members, it constitutes some 20% of all Amazon customers and spend an estimated 3-4 times more than non-Prime customers. Reaching prime members is essential for growing brand awareness.

 

4. Know and control who’s
selling your products on Amazon

Distribution enforcement is key to long-term sustained growth and stronger brand equity.

It’s important to maintain a wholesale/retail strategy and stick with it. It doesn’t necessarily apply to every brand, but before getting out of control. It’s a lot easier to request the removal of one or two unauthorized sellers than fifty.

One of the most common issues we see in the specialty food arena is resellers selling old or expired products resulting in negative product feedback. This can be disastrous and can leave a lasting negative impression on your brand.

 

5. Automate your product reviews
to save time and boost sales

Increase your Amazon search rank. From asking for product reviews to seller feedback on Amazon. The entire process is automated. We love Seller Labs Feedback Genius application which ties seamlessly into the Amazon back end.

You can set the time that customers receive e-mails after receipt of product and much more. Best of all, it’s 100% compliant with Amazon’s Terms of Service, it’s fast to setup, and really works.

 

So there you have it

Planning and implementing these steps will help you put your best foot forward in the Amazon marketplace, and move your specialty food brand in the right direction. Set yourself up for increased customer engagement, higher Amazon ranking, and more sales. Your brand is worth it.

 

5 Takeaways for Amazon Brand
Management and Boosting Sales

  1. Know what your distribution focus is – wholesale or direct-to-consumer
  2. Optimize your listings with engaging content and invest in quality photography
  3. Do your keyword research and include it in your product title and search terms
  4. Use Brand Registry to establish consistent and polished page branding
  5. Automate your product reviews and thank you e-mails