Marketplaces

6 min

How to Succeed on Amazon: Retail Readiness Checklist

By Tiffany Luk on April 20, 2022

To gain as much exposure as possible on the digital shelf and stand out, especially on Amazon’s competitive eCommerce marketplace, it’s crucial to ensure your product is retail-ready.

When a potential customer comes across an organic or advertised product listing in the search results or on the Amazon Product Detail Page (PDP), all relevant product information should be available. The Product Detail Page includes various elements that impact a potential customer’s purchase decision. To ensure your product is retail-ready, we’ve put together a checklist of 8 best practices and considerations:

  • Product title

  • Product description & bullet points

  • Images

  • Customer reviews 

  • Star rating

  • Inventory

  • Buy box

  • Enhanced Brand Content

Product Title

The product title is the first thing a customer sees and probably the single most convincing factor when a customer is browsing. Product titles are visible in ads, the search results page, and the Product Detail Page. When creating your product title, it’s important to include the brand name, any applicable product variants, quantities, and the use of relevant keywords to your product. Additionally, ensure all relevant and attractive information is at the front of your title as you only have a maximum of 200 characters in the first three lines of your product listing on the search results page to convey the key value props of your product and influence a shopper to click into your listing.

In the example below, you can see how two different brands (Crocs and Neutrogena) approach their product titles. Crocs’ product titles focus on product variants and highlighting “retired colors”, while Neutrogena’s product title includes key information like quantity. It’s important to note that shorter product titles can also be more user friendly for users on mobile or other devices.

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Product Description & Bullet Points

The Product Detail Page is a great place to dive into more detailed information to help influence a shopper to purchase your product. The product description should contain an average of five bullet points each with no more than 120 characters to ensure that your content is easily digestible while providing all relevant details. Depending on which Amazon categories your product falls into, your bullet points should include information such as size, weight, dimensions, quantity, materials, and ingredients. This is also a great place to address your intended target audience with your product’s unique selling points and benefits.

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Images 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a retail-ready image on Amazon might just be worth a thousand sales! Every product listing requires at least one main image, with the recommended quantity being seven and the maximum being nine. The main image is what you should use to display exactly what your product will look like when taken out of the box. Amazon requires this image to be against a white background to ensure your product is clearly visible. After the main image, you can mix it up with infographics that visually point out features and benefits or lifestyle photos that show happy customers engaging with your product. We recommend investing in professionally captured images to ensure they are of the highest quality.

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Customer Reviews & Star Ratings

Customer reviews and star ratings can be a make-or-break factor in a potential customer’s purchase decision. That’s why your product’s description, available quantity, pricing, and shipping convenience (the last two are not part of Amazon’s retail readiness checklist, but influential to your product’s success), should be accurate as well as competitive to encourage positive customer reviews with the aim of obtaining a 3.5 or higher average star rating. We recommend aiming for a minimum average of 4 stars for optimal success. 

While reviews may not necessarily impact where your products appear in Amazon rankings, the quantity of positive reviews which also include relevant keywords to your brand and/or product can significantly help your product perform better against your competitors’ within search results and greatly influence conversions. Additionally, Amazon has implemented several new restrictions to prevent fake and sponsored reviews including only allowing verified buyers to comment.

Once you have a minimum of 15 reviews with at least an average star rating of 3.5, you’re ready to start launching Amazon Ads. If you don’t have any advertising history, or are launching a new product, you can check out our video on how to promote a new brand on Amazon here

Inventory 

The last thing you want is your Amazon-listed product’s inventory running low, or worse, out of stock, both which risk your product being delisted. Inventory control is the most important factor to plan for before starting promotions. A product that is almost out of stock, or frequently runs out of inventory (as seen in the example below), may show alternative or similar products to yours at the top of the Product Detail Page, and could potentially lead to losing the sale to a competitor. Products that are out of stock aren’t eligible to run any Amazon Sponsored Ads, and could negatively impact organic rank.

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Buy Box 

Eligible sellers are in it to win it, so does your product check all the boxes of retail readiness to win the most highly coveted spot of them all, the buy box? Competitors who sell the exact same products (ASINs) as you will often share your Product Detail Page – and could potentially steal the buy box from you. How you convert a customer to purchase your product, then, is by winning the buy box that includes the purchase option of “add to cart” and “buy now.” This is because customers are unlikely to select alternative sellers who appear outside of the buy box when yours is already the first and most eye-catching option within the box. Performance metrics including fulfillment method, price, shipping time, customer response time, out of stock rate, and customer response time, and more, impact your chances of winning the buy box. While a standalone factor such as a lower price, for example, does not help the corresponding seller win the buy box, Amazon's customer-centric system is likely to award it to that seller, if all product-related factors and retail readiness items among multiple sellers are equal. This is why winning the buy box is a holistic picture. To ensure a fair and competitive online marketplace, Amazon changes the buy box winning seller from one to another anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour. These metrics determine the likelihood of securing the buy box and so sellers should best fulfill the requirements of the retail-ready checklist they can control to optimally influence the ones they can’t and get their products fully retail-ready.

Enhanced Brand Content 

The product listings above show basic content while the below exemplifies Enhanced Brand Content (EBC), known as A+ content. To see how to leverage EBC to complete your retail readiness checklist, take a look at Perpetua’s 5 Best practices for your Amazon Product Detail Page. All sellers and vendors in the Amazon Brand Registry can leverage A+ Content that appears in a section under “frequently bought together” and above customer reviews to include additional relevant product information. Bullet points not already in the product description, multimedia content, numerous lifestyle images, and comparison charts of a brand’s related products which are linked to their respective product pages for the perfect upselling or cross selling opportunities, can all be added.

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Why is all of this important? If your product listings don’t meet one or more of the items in the retail readiness checklist, they risk being removed from search by Amazon, meaning there would be zero exposure for potential sales, or that your chances of winning the buy box are significantly reduced, meaning your fantastic products are much less likely to convert into sales, or worse, both. Are your brands and products Amazon retail-ready? 

To learn more about how Perpetua can help your products increase their competitiveness on Amazon, email us at hello@perpetua.io.