How not to lose money using Amazon hacks and tricks

The trap of running after every new hack, and what to do instead

Have you heard of the concept of ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’? It’s a real thing and can be defined as a constant state of distraction brought on by an ongoing belief that there is something new worth pursuing. Consumers are constantly looking for the next purchase that will fill a void and make them happy—but it ultimately turns into an endless loop of shallow satisfaction followed by the feeling that there is something new worth pursuing. Consumers keep searching for the next ‘high’, seemingly never finding it. Sellers know this, and constantly use a variety of hacks and tricks to turn their product into the next “shiny” one.

This article will explore the background of Amazon sales hacks: what works, what doesn’t, and what we can do to help your Amazon business take off.

Back in the day

As we mentioned above, Amazon sellers are no strangers to the concept of Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS) and in the past, they would use a multitude of different hacks, techniques, and tricks to get their product to be the next big thing, generating a lot of revenue. These hacks used to be extremely popular with sellers because they would promise overnight sales success and that’s all a seller really wants. But with more and more people using the same techniques, they are no longer unique, and therefore, are no longer as powerful.

In addition, Amazon is becoming more aware of ‘dirty’ hacks and tools that try to manipulate the system. If they discover that you are using one of them, you pose the risk of having your seller account shut down.

Useful hacks

There are still useful tips and tricks that sellers can use to optimize their sales that Amazon will not deem as manipulative. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite ones:

1. Narrow your niche
The majority of vendors aim to sell goods with high demand and little competition. To increase your profit margins, build your products in one to two niches and choose the top-selling ones. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Electric wine openers: lots of people enjoy drinking wine, but no one enjoys opening the bottle, so in addition to stocking standard wine bottle openers, you could expand your product list to include something more niche, like electric wine openers. 
  • Bathtub trays: for people who enjoy relaxing in the bath but also want access to their devices and snacks while doing so.

 

2. Create a unique brand identity

People often associate items with feelings. Therefore, you must create a brand that appeals to a customer’s emotions while relieving their pain points. This is what creates the greatest advantage over the competition. The goal of branding is to help customers understand what to expect from your goods or business, not only to create a memorable logo. Here are some of our top examples:

  • Beauty brand Glossier: their pink minimalistic aesthetic stands out from the crowd and is instantly recognizable. The design evokes the feeling of being the “cool girl” and the brand ethos, as well as the minimal packaging, helps the consumer feel like they are doing their part to reduce waste, especially in the beauty industry where products often contain excessive packaging.
  • Peloton: Partly due to being a quarantine hit, and partly due to its’ great marketing, the Peloton exercise bike is immediately recognizable, most notably with its logo that features the letter P with a spin bike.

 

3. Become an expert in Amazon Analytics

Understanding consumer data, competitor data, and their own data are the strengths of big league Amazon sellers. Use your central data to its fullest potential. Keep tabs on your sales, profit margins, top keywords, sales of rivals, and other crucial indicators that affect your overall profitability. This will highlight key metrics and show you where your competitors have an advantage over you and why. Having this information will help you make strategic changes to your product and listing, and will ultimately boost sales.

What “hacks” to avoid, AKA unethical practices

As a seller, your business either lives or dies at the whim of Amazon. If they catch you using manipulative or unethical tactics in order to get sales, your Amazon seller account could be locked. Here are just three examples of what they consider to be deceitful practices:

1. Keyword stuffing
This is simply ineffective. Amazon’s algorithm doesn’t rank sellers based on which keywords they used, and how many of them they managed to fit into the title. Amazon ranks based on previous data from customers who searched for similar keywords, regardless of whether you included them or not.

2. Hijacking listings
Hijacking is when you get a similar or counterfeit of a popular product and sell it on the original products listing. This is extremely unethical. Sellers are well aware of this tactic and will report this. There is even software available that monitors attempted hijackings. Amazon responds quickly to these reports and will shut down accounts that do this.

3. Buying reviews
Buying reviews on Amazon is a contentious issue. They don’t want you to ask for or buy reviews, yet a lot of entrepreneurs do it to improve their listings. According to the guidelines, you must never provide money, free goods, or any other type of discount or incentive in exchange for writing or editing a review.

What now?

A lot of sellers that come to us are struggling and do not know what to do. Their go-to hacks and tools are banned or are too risky to use anymore, but they’re frightened to end up somewhere in the murky depths of Amazon if they don’t do something.

Here’s the comforting part: we’ve been there too, and what we’ve found is that Amazon increasingly values “good old marketing principles.” What that means for you is as follows:

  • Focusing on the quality of your product will always make you stand out from your competitors. The reviews will speak for themselves.
  • Listen to feedback from customers and optimize your product based on their suggestions. For more information on listening to your customers, click here to check out our past blog on this topic.
  • Make sure you have a high-quality listing that properly reflects your product and answers all possible questions around it. For more information about quality listings and how to win sales, click here.

How Intellivy can help

Intellivy will help you implement these principles and strategies into your Amazon business. As Amazon sellers ourselves, we’ve been through the process and know what works and what doesn’t.

After years of experimenting and refining our technique, our strategy, Rapid Microtesting (RTM), is now available to assist you with any difficulties you face as an Amazon seller. RMT is the core of Intellivy’s concept. In short, it’s market research without the expenses, the time commitment, or the demand for significant listing traffic.

RMT is a simulated environment where Amazon’s environment – or another online retail platform – is replicated. Your audience will see your main image alongside those of your top competitors. It will also show the number of stars, reviews, price, and bestseller badge. One of RMT’s key components is its environment, which ensures accurate and reliable outcomes of your projects and Rapid Microtests. Your audience will be completely engaged in the Amazon experience and will go through a similar thought and decision-making process as when making an online purchase. For a closer look at RMT, check out this article.

Interested in a 30-day free trial? Click here.