Sales velocity effectively combines key metrics from both marketing and sales. By keeping an eye on your Amazon sales velocity, you can gauge the effectiveness of your overall selling process.
Amazon defines sales velocity as the number and dollar amount of Seller account transactions during any given month. A high sales velocity is a key performance indicator for an Amazon account, so its A9 ranking algorithm analyzes sales results and increases the sales rank for products that sell well.
Sales on Amazon are impacted by a combination of factors: what you supply (products and content) and how you sell it (promotions, Amazon product reviews and advertising). The ideal Amazon sales velocity represents a perfect balance between these factors — increasing sales by creating a virtuous circle or flywheel effect.
1. Coupons/lightning deals/promotions
Probably the easiest thing you can do to increase your Amazon sales velocity is to simply have a sale. Amazon might be ‘online’. But that doesn’t change the fundamentals of retail. The good ‘old-fashioned’ strategy of putting things on sale to increase purchases will work just fine.
Amazon’s PPC options, ‘Sponsored Display’, ‘Sponsored Brand’ and ‘Sponsored Products’ provide great avenues for advertising your Amazon sale. By experimenting with different promotional and Amazon advertising strategies, you will be able to increase your sales velocity for short-term returns. With that said, if you want long-term compounding results, you are going to need to think a little more creatively about this problem.
2. Exploit the virtuous circle
Amazon has its own virtuous circle, which powers its business. If you match your approach to how Amazon looks at things, you will improve your position, listings and sales velocity. Here are some of the factors you should be focused on:
- Lower prices lead to more customer visits
- More customers increase the volume of sales
- Positive reviews attract more customers
- Optimizing advertising and listings increases revenue and reduces costs
- Greater efficiency enables you to lower prices or increase ad spend
Feed any part of this circle and it should accelerate the loop. You don’t have to tackle this in any particular order. Although pricing is an important factor, you can do a lot to increase product review rates (offering incentives, for example) that don’t have anything to do with pricing, and will help kick-start a virtuous cycle.
3. Think seriously about FBA
Nearly two-thirds of US households have Amazon Prime. Overall, around 110 million consumers in the US are using this premier service. That ‘Prime Badge’ (and two-day, free shipping), is a great way to differentiate your listings. Large and reliable brands can get a Prime Badge on their items shipping directly from their warehouse using Seller Fulfilled Prime. But for other Sellers, the easiest route to ‘prime approved’ status is FBA — Fulfilment by Amazon.
You can match FBA standards yourself (or even exceed them), but FBA will allow you to do this without increasing the logistical burden on your internal teams. FBA isn’t for everyone. It’s probably most suitable for Sellers of large/heavy items that one would only have to pay Amazon storage fees to fulfill end-to-end. You must take into account factors such as the margins, size and volume of your products, and your own fulfillment capabilities.
If you are interested, Amazon provides a handy calculator to help you work out the pros and cons of FBA. However, when thinking about the results, there are two additional factors to keep in mind:
The Buy Box
Amazon denies that they favor listings and Sellers that use FBA, claiming that any correlations to Buy Box wins is a factor of service quality. But that really just reinforces the point — FBA is a great way to guarantee quality of service, low costs and delivery timeframes, all of which are things that will help your sales velocity on Amazon.
Assuming you don’t do your own shipping. Amazon gives Prime-eligible FBA products access to the Prime Badge, thus making them among the first that millions of loyal customers will see. On Prime Day, you can promote your Amazon sales by exploiting FBA products with Sponsored Products to help you stand out — and that can help increase your success on one of the biggest selling days of the year.
4. Optimize your listing
For a product to appear in the Amazon search, the product listing must contain the searched keyword. You can use the Search Term Report from Amazon Brand Analytics to discover trends in your niche. Then, use Seller Central to ensure all the relevant keywords are on your product page.
Content optimization can increase the click-through rate (CTR) in the search result and the conversion rate (CR) on the product page. Both, in turn, contribute to an increase in sales and thus a higher ranking.
Consider these important points to improve your content and make your products more discoverable:
- Product Title: Craft a descriptive, yet readable title.
- Backend keywords: Add up to 249 bytes of other important keywords in the “search terms” (also known as “generic keywords”.)
- Bullet Points and Product Description: You can place more keywords here, but only if it doesn’t disrupt the informative clarity of the product texts.
- Other Keyword Types: Some products allow the definition of additional keyword types, such as Target Audience (e.g., men/women). Amazon filters them in the search, so make sure to add them.
- More Details: Assign additional product information, such as material type, to your product. Fill in this information as thoroughly as possible because customers can access it via the filter navigation and specific product finders.
Also remember that additional content options are available for Sellers with Amazon Brand Registry: A+ Enhanced Brand Content (EBC). If you are a registered Brand Owner, you can change the product page to describe your product features in a different way by including a unique brand story, enhanced images and text placements.
The first thing the customer looks at is the images of a product. High resolution images with clear details stimulate a buyers' imagination and inspire them to buy your product. Provide as many different images as possible. Many product categories allow for the inclusion of swatch and alternative images. When done well, images can really increase your CTR and CR.
5. Maximize external traffic
Selling on Amazon is becoming more competitive. Driving traffic to Amazon is an ideal way to increase your sales velocity. It’s a great way to gain advantage over competitors and attract new non-Amazon customers.
By driving external traffic to Amazon, you don’t have to compete with other products on the Amazon Search Engine Results Page — you send traffic straight to your listing. What’s more, Amazon appreciates when Sellers bring more people to their site and it will be reflected in your score.
A well-executed strategy towards driving external traffic to Amazon will increase velocity, boost traffic, drive sales, improve keyword rankings, and potentially get a Best Seller Ranking.
When it comes to external traffic, you need to consider Amazon Attribution. For the first time, you can measure the performance of non-Amazon Advertising media such as search ads, social media ads, display ads, video ads, and email marketing. With on-demand reporting, you can optimize media campaigns in-flight and grow your product sales.
With unique conversion metrics, such as Amazon detail page views, purchase rate, and sales, you get a granular view into how each marketing tactic is contributing to shopping activity.
Don’t forget that there are restrictions involved in getting access to Amazon Attribution, it’s currently only available for Sellers enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry, Vendors, and agencies that advertise to sell products on Amazon.
How it’s done
Attributions on Amazon are collected by either placing a tracking pixel on advertisements or, most recently announced, a click-based solution that allows for in-app measurement. Said more simply, an ‘Attribution Tag’ is essentially a link to your product listing that Amazon can track.
You can generate that tag (or URL) in your Amazon Attribution account. Then you simply place that link in your ad, blog post, email, or whatever, just like you would a regular link to get people to your listing.
Winning more and understanding your customer
Increasing your Amazon sales velocity requires care and the ability to adapt. With a variety of factors impacting performance, you need to be focused on the data and the insights they bring. You need to understanding how the A9 algorithm is influenced by the combination of:
- keyword optimized product text
- availability and price
- content and imagery
- reviews and ratings
With this in mind, you will be able to tailor your strategy to maximize sales, profitability and velocity. However, these are fundamentally quick fixes and tricks you can deploy to see a slight boost in your success on Amazon. Longer-term and more fundamental decisions need to revolve around your customers.
Amazon has historically been a ‘black box’ when it comes to data. However, this has changed. Not only is Amazon making more customer data available directly to Sellers through reports in Seller Central, a wide range of third-party tools that deploy AI and ML algorithms are transforming the kind of analysis that is possible. The ability to predict ‘buying projectors’, accurately calculate customer lifetime value (CLV) and target ads (or even product releases) based on customer profiles can allow you to dramatically increase your relevance to customers and, therefore, Amazon sales velocity.
If you want to learn more about how to understand your Amazon customer data and use it to your advantage, check out our Seller’s guide on the subject.