Here’s a list of areas of responsibility to oversee as an Amazon Channel Specialist, Sales Director, or Manager for a brand.
- Do you understand the important Niches the company competes in?
- Do you understand the important keywords associated with those Niches?
- Do you understand the important competitors in those Niches?
- How do they present their offers?
- How do they rank for key terms?
- Who is getting the most click share in the Niche?
- Do you understand the seasonality of the Niches?
- Is the Niche growing or shrinking?
- Google trends is useful for this as well as Amazon’s Product Opportunity Explorer Data
- Do you understand what job the product does for customers?
- Do you understand what customers like and dislike about the product?
- Do you understand the primary benefits of the products and the features of the product?
- Do you know what the most important products in the companies catalog are via an 80/20 analysis both on revenue and profitability?
- Do you understand the unique selling proposition of the products vs alternatives in the marketplace?
This knowledge is usually found from the Product Manager, however as the Amazon Sales Channel owner you should understand the pulse of the market and get clarity with the Product Manager/Owner to understand clearly what problems products solve and the benefits they provide to customers. Any product issues that you noticed should be brought to the attention of the product owner.
- Looking at the product catalog using the category listings report is every field correctly filled in?
- If unsure you can check what your competition listings on their listing for important fields.
- Are sections missing data?
- Is your product in the correct category?
- Are child variations properly organized with the right variation under parent ASINs?
A catalog check is a foundational check that can uncover potential issues, for example if your product is in the wrong category then your PPC auto campaigns will be targeting ASINs and keywords that are not relevant for your product. If your child variations aren’t organized correctly under your Parent ASIN then you can be missing out on sales via a difficultly in discovering your variations on a listing for shoppers. Fixing these issues should be done first.
- Have you identified the correct terms for your product?
- You can use Helium10’s Cerebro + excel macros or a python script to organize the list to the set of most important terms
- You can use Amazon’s Product Opportunity Explorer to identify what the most important keywords are for you Niche and also who the main competitors are with it as well.
- Are you indexing correctly for relevant terms?
- You can used Helium10’s index checker tool to ensure you are indexing organically for a term - note that it’s unlikely to index organically for a competitors keyword and it is not recommended to input your competitors trademarked terms into the text fields of your listing to try to rank organically for them. You can however index for them via sponsored ads.
- How do your products rank compared with competitors?
- You can compare your product vs competitors based off the BSR (assuming they’re in the same category as your product)
- You can also compare how you are performing by analyzing how your organic rank compares with primary competitors for your most important terms.
- This type of analysis can summarize the “keyword coverage” which is similar to your “shelf space” presence for a specific keyword vs your competitor. Seeing how much shelf space your closest competitors have vs your products helps to identify big gaps of opportunity for improvement.
- Have you integrated the most important keywords in your title, bullet points, and search terms sections?
- If you have a list of the most important keywords you can use the category listings report in Amazon to check with a Python script that a list of words have been used in the text fields for a list of relevant ASINs. If not then those ASINs should be flagged with the missing words that need to be added into the text fields. This then creates direction on what to focus on.
Ensuring that you know the most important terms for your category/niche, are indexing for them, and have good presence for them (i.e. ranking above an organic position rank of 15) and obtaining a good click share % overall - these are all important factors to make sure you have optimized your potential for your listing.
- How does your listing’s main image compare vs competitors?
- You can do a pickfu.com poll for this to get unbiased feedback
- Have you maxed out the space your product can take?
- There should be no white space around the product image - remember that close to 50% of sales come from mobile shoppers
- Track the CTR on specific highly relevant terms to determine whether the change had an impact on your CTR you can also set up an Amazon A/B experiment but it will take longer to get results back for it
- Are your listings converting well for your most important keywords?
- Are you presenting the product well as compared to your competition?
- Does your listing have a video that communicates the main benefits of your product well?
- How well are your listings converting off of your competitors?
- A CVR of 10%+ off of a competitor listing is EXCELLENT
- This is a good strategy to confirm you convert well off of a competitor before investing spend in ranking for their important keywords
- Do you have the right bid optimization/management software in place?
- Is this software being utilized effectively?
- For example are you ensuring campaigns aren’t filled up with targets that are similar with then split up the customer search term data making it harder for bid optimization software to bid effectively?
- Does your software take into consideration the time of day changes in CVRs?
- Does your bid software do a good job on the weekdays and also the weekends?
- Are you setting the right min and max bids for products?
- Are you setting up campaigns correctly?
- It’s best practice to have a single SKU within a campaign so that you can connect the performance on a specific query to a specific ASIN.
- Do you have the right types of campaigns set up?
- Note - a more complicated campaign structure is great for top products but can be overkill for new products. Following the 80/20 principle it is best to focus on Sponsored Products first and then grow to Sponsored Brand campaigns.
- TOS placement campaigns - Ranking Campaigns
- These campaigns focus on the top placements, usually 4 on the search results page and can be a very effective way to increase your organic rank on a specific term assuming that your product converts well for it vs competing alternatives.
- Efficiency campaigns
- These are campaigns structure with Exact, Phrase, and Broad ad groups within and are structured to isolate the traffic
- Within specific advertising types knowing how well your branded terms are performing vs generic terms vs ASINs (branded vs generic) is helpful to segment out
- Also segmenting your performance by match type is helpful as well doing this can help pinpoint issues within an account
Business Metrics Monitoring Ownership
- Are all ASINs tagged to a product category?
- I like to monitor the conversion rates of our listings off of our competitors ASINs to track over time and see how we are performing, also tracking competitor price changes over time to better understand how price sensitive sales are to competitors discounting
- I also like to estimate what the break even pricing of competitors is which helps to understand whether price changes will be temporary or more permanent.
- Are you monitoring the BSRs of your products in that category vs the BSRs of competitors?
- Are you monitoring the profitability, sessions, units sold, ACOS, TACOS, CPC, CVR within your category?
- Do you know what % of revenue is attributed to advertising and organic?
- Are you monitoring the return rates of the categories and products?
- Amazon provides category benchmarks for return rates so that you can compare how you are performing vs the market.
- Certain categories will have a higher return rate vs others - what is most important is how you perform within others in the category.
- Do you know how TOS vs Product Pages and Other Placements perform?
- Is there an opportunity to increase your TOS placement modifier?
- Do you know the split of spend by ad type? Here’s recent chart showing breakdown by type from Ad Advance
- Identifying a piece that is under the bench mark can signal opportunity
If you don’t have the proper analytics in place then it will be very hard to know what to focus on and identify issues. Having the right metrics monitored is like an EKG in the hospital, especially when you have smart alerts setup. Your business and sales channels are like living/breathing organism/machines that can be monitored to get a sense of the overall health of the channel. Setting up the right monitoring system and smart alerts makes managing a large catalog of SKUs much easier and manageable.
For example in meetings with senior management can you clearly answer these questions with data?
- Why did sales go down?
- Why did sales go up?
- Did the initiatives we implemented have a positive or negative effect?
- How are we doing vs our competition?
- How much potential upside do we have for our existing products?
- How much potential upside do we have for new products?
As an example if the categories sales declined BUT product BSRs vs competitor BSRs all moved in the same direction then you can attribute this decline in sales to the market vs something specific that you have control over.
Have questions about your own account?
Feel free to reach out to me here