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As Amazon sellers, a lot of us tend to think in very linear terms. More sales means more business growth, right?
Well, as it turns out, things aren’t always that simple.
Marketing on its own is not going to be enough for you to scale, and a badly planned marketing campaign can actually hurt your business.
Let’s dive into why that is and the two things you can do to improve Amazon marketing campaigns and market smarter than your competition.
Why Marketing Alone Doesn’t Scale
When we talk about the expense of marketing, we mostly consider the dollar values of ad campaigns and marketing materials. However, that is not the only cost you incur.
For each sale you make, your inventory reduces by the number of units sold. You may have adopted a new Amazon marketing campaign that doubled your sales, but that also means you’re going to run out of stock twice as fast.
If you haven’t planned for this, the inevitable stock out will end up disrupting your business and preventing you from scaling.
Just think. You spent additional money on a marketing campaign, thus reducing the profit margins on the product, and ended up with no inventory left over. Not only does this interrupt your sales, the more you stock out, it also hurts your Inventory Performance Index (IPI) on Amazon.
If you were going to sell the same number of units anyway, you might as well have just decreased marketing to increase the profit margins on those products. This way, you wouldn’t have stocked out and your business would continue functioning steadily.
But the goal of your Amazon business is to scale up. Not to function steadily by narrowly avoiding stock outs. There’s a smarter way to market.
Factor Inventory Into Your Marketing
Inventory management and marketing must always happen in tandem. Amazon sellers who are good at one but not the other will never be able to reach the full potential of their business.
Whenever you’re making a change to your marketing strategy—for example, redoing a listing or working with a new sponsored ad campaign manager—always vet your inventory first.
Does your inventory have the capacity to support the potential influx of sales? If not, it makes sense to rethink your strategy.
Let’s be honest, inventory management isn’t exactly the most exciting part of managing a business. Nevertheless, it is incredibly important. Thus, a very useful method to manage your inventory and improve Amazon marketing campaigns is to keep inventory synced up with your marketing campaigns using an inventory timeline.
SoStocked.com is an Amazon inventory forecasting software that features an integrated inventory timeline that also allows you to compute how your inventory will be affected by marketing events, seasonality and sales growth. With an inventory timeline, you can view your daily predicted sales velocity, complete with planned marketing events and seasonality, as it is expected to change on a day-by-day basis.
By having a timeline in front of you, you’ll be able to see if there’s going to be a stock-out, and thus, you’ll be able to place a replenishment order well in advance.
If you have the capacity to support your new and improved Amazon marketing campaign, go for it! If not, it may make sense to slow down sales to increase profitability, whether that’s by increasing your product price or by decreasing ad spend.
Focus On Converting Your Marketing
Increasing Amazon conversions can be a huge challenge. Not to worry, though. There is a very simple skill you can apply that can double or triple your conversion rate. Copywriting.
Copywriting is a very misunderstood and overlooked skill when it comes to the world of sales. Most people hire copywriters who don’t know what they’re doing. Consequently, they’ll think that copywriting isn’t making a difference, and thus, assume that it doesn’t matter. Not true.
Understand one thing – in most cases, buyers come to Amazon with a product in mind that they already intend on purchasing. The buyer types in a keyword and all the matching listings come up.
The question for the buyer isn’t “Should I buy this product?”, the question is “Should I buy your product?”.
Most buyers already know for certain that they want the product. Your job is to convince them why to buy the product you’re selling and not the ones your competitors are.
Here’s a very simple exercise for you.
Bullet points in Amazon listings are very important. The very first word of your first bullet should be one that sets up a comparison.
For example, if it’s a chair you’re selling, and you know that a frequent complaint people have about the competition is that the product breaks very easily, your very first bullet point can be “Unlike other chairs that bend or break soon after they arrive to you, our chair is strong and durable due to its unique composite design that alleviates problems of warping and breakage.”
Incorporate this into your product photos too, if possible. You should always try to do copywriting first, product photography and infographics second. Your copywriting research and development should help to inform you on the content of your images.
Copywriting reveals the top problems consumers have with the product. By having the list of complaints ready, you’ll know how you can take pictures that address those problems. If possible, get your hands on a product made by a competitor, blur out the logo, and, if you can find noticeable differences in your favor, do a side-by-side comparison of the two, pitching your product as better than the others.
You can use this process and experiment with it to create an amazing listing that could dramatically increase your conversion. But, as stressed before, always make sure your inventory is ready to sustain the increased amount of sales. Always have an inventory timeline and marketing calendar and whenever you’re considering a Amazon marketing campaign, take a look at the next 3-6 months and plan ahead.
What’s Your Next Move?
Will you sync up marketing with inventory using an Amazon inventory forecasting software? Or will you focus on converting more of your marketing dollars with better copywriting?
Whatever path you choose, if you expect to increase sales, plan your supply shipments accordingly. There’s no point in selling products quicker with lower profit margins only to stock out. If you know that your supply shipments take up to three months to check in, plan half a year in advance.
Also, while planning your calendar, make sure to account for holidays, festivals, and any special occasions where there might be an increase in sales, and plan for how those will impact your inventory.
A seller who can become proficient at both inventory management and listing optimization can maximize their marketing. A seller who can’t do that will eventually stagnate and their growth will plateau.
Remember, focus on the big picture. Your goal is not just to sell, but to scale.