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How to Successfully Launch a Product on Amazon


August 23, 2022


July 3, 2023

Right Side Up recently hosted a webinar on how to launch a product and find success on Amazon, led by Matt Altman, head of Amazon at Right Side Up. Matt shared his top strategies and tactics for making data driven decisions on this giant ecommerce platform. Watch the full webinar for all of Matt’s insights.

There’s a never-ending stream of new products being launched on Amazon each day, and there’s a good chance that your business could see massive growth selling on the platform—but with so much competition out there, how can you get your piece of the pie? We’ll walk you through what you need to know about launching a new product on Amazon and how to maximize your success on the platform.

Pre-launch Steps for Selling a New Product on Amazon

The key to a successful product launch on Amazon actually starts before you launch. This make-or-break phase is where you create the foundation for driving customers to your product—if you get this part wrong, there’s a good chance you won’t get the results you want. 

But don’t worry, there are three main things you need to focus on to get things started on the right path:

  • Keyword selection
  • Keyword relevance
  • Competition mirroring

Selecting the right keywords for your Amazon product launch

Using the right keywords will help customers find your products faster (and before they find your competitors). You want keywords that are relevant, sales-driven, and offer a good market fit.

There are three types of reports we recommend for building your keyword strategy. DataDive is a tool that can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend on keyword research. It allows you to compare keywords across competitors, build keyword lists, and set up your keyword strategy for launch. 

DataDive keyword research tool for Amazon products

Ecom Analytics aggregates information directly from Amazon to give you information about sales volume and brand analytics data. And the last report, Search Query Performance, is available to registered brands on Amazon and offers helpful insights about conversion metrics for your keywords, search volume, and rank planning.

Keyword relevance and sales-driving factors for Amazon products

Once you’ve narrowed your list of keywords, it’s important to check them for relevance and their ability to drive sales. For a quick gut check on relevancy, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is your product the relevant purchase after searching the term?
  2. Do competitors in your category rank for this keyword?

You’ll want to look for keywords that have 1% CTR or greater, 10% CVR or greater, and at least five ranking competitors.

Even if you have a list of properly researched keywords and you feel good about their relevance, there are a few sales-driving factors to consider, like search intent, sales volume, and conversion rate. 

Understanding the search intent behind your keywords will help you decide if that term will result in the action you want. For example, some terms that rank highly don’t actually convert well because they’re mostly used as a discovery tool by consumers, and other high-rankers are specific to the actual brand and not just the product. You want to find the keywords with a search intent that leads to purchasing.

Another indicator of a keyword’s sales-driving ability is sales volume. We typically want to see weekly sales data for at least 90 sales, which indicates profitability. And you should also analyze the sales volume to rank ratio, and profitability after ranking to determine if your keywords will deliver at the level you’re expecting. 

And a word of caution: pay attention to your keyword conversion rate. If there’s already a strong competitor ranking highly and seeing big conversion success, it could be a losing battle for you to try to muscle your way into that same approach.

How to learn from your competitors

We’ve already established that Amazon is huge and there are likely dozens of companies out there doing something similar to your company—so use that to your advantage and learn from them instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Identify the best opportunities for your products. If you don’t have product/market fit, it will always be costly to rank any product.
  2. Figure out what’s driving sales for your competitors and think about how you can improve on what’s working for them. 
  3. Focus on competitors’ negative reviews and address how yours is a solution for those pain points.

Be sure to pay attention to their listings to see how well they’re optimized, where their traffic is coming from, and where you can find quick wins vs. long-term success, and to honestly assess whether you’re truly the better product for your target keywords.

Successfully Launching a Product on Amazon

In the launch phase, you should have a target for how many sales you want to do per day and how you’re going to get there—essentially a launch pathway.

The pathway to launch a product on Amazon includes setting up a ranking planner, traffic generation and reviews, algorithm fluffing, and maintenance

Setting up a ranking planner

You’ll first want to set up your ranking planner using DataDive and the Search Query Performance report. This should capture your target keywords and most important metrics, including:

  • Total search volume for each keyword
  • Number of competitors using the term
  • Number of add to carts and sales you need to rank
Amazon keyword research tool and associated metrics

One thing that’s commonly overlooked, but very relevant, is finding keywords that aren’t already being used in a competitor’s title, since Amazon’s algorithm highly values keywords in titles.

Generating the Traffic you Need to Rank

To get the add to carts and sales you need to rank for a search term, you need to drive the right amount of traffic to your listing. This is crucial for getting indexed by Amazon’s algorithm and for organic boosts. Here are some of the best ways to drive traffic:

  • Social coupons
  • Price discounts
  • Influencers
  • Vine stacking
Methods for increasing your products ranking on Amazon include social coupons, price discounts, influencers, and Vine stacking

Social promos and discount codes

Whenever you’re launching a product on Amazon, it’s a good idea to use social promo discount codes. These links automatically add discounts to the product when a customer clicks the link, streamlining ease of use for increased conversion. When you set up your social promo, you’ll get a code that you can share with influencers and Amazon associates. Note that for Vendor Central you’ll have to use clippable coupons instead.

Another great option is to use price discounts to increase your click through from search, because when you’re launching, the initial goal for the first few weeks is to get as much traffic as possible to your listing. Anything you can do to increase this helps and we usually see a 12–14% lift in clicks when using price discounts.

Influencer outreach

With influencers, the top goal isn’t necessarily to get sales from them, it’s sourcing user generated content (UGC). You should aim for 10–15 UGC videos that you can add to your listings, reviews, and on sponsored ads on competitors’ pages. But to get the most out of your influencer outreach, be sure that each of your target demos is a good fit and provide clear guidance on what points you want the influencers to hit.

Example of user generated influencer content

How to use Vine stacking

Amazon’s Vine feature lets you get reviews from top trusted reviewers and you can use this system to launch your product with reviews across multiple backup Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) in case of review drops. Here’s how it works:

  • Apply for a GTIN Exemption for your brand, which allows you to have multiple listings for the same product.
  • Create multiple (five or more) listings for the same product (we usually do pack size).
  • Label the product with FNSKU and send 30 units to Amazon.
  • Keep listings un-variated and enroll them all in Vine.
  • When you're ready to launch, combine two of these ASINs into a variation with your main ASIN.
  • Hide the Vine ASINs by changing the release date on the backend.
  • Add in the remaining Vine ASINs as needed if your review rating starts to drop during launch.

Playing by Amazon’s Algorithm Rules

Understanding a platform’s algorithm is always important, but it’s especially important when launching on Amazon—you have to give the algorithm what it wants:

  • Page interactions
  • Add to cart/Wishlist
  • Product comparison
  • Purchases
Key algorithm inputs for Amazon include page interactions, add to cart/wishlist, product comparison, and buys

For page interactions, Amazon’s algorithm wants you to generate a natural user flow. We can check this box by getting customers to scroll down the page, engage with images and videos, highlight text on a page, and click into reviews. Most of this is done by making smart content choices, like using images to tell users to read reviews, check out videos, etc.

A key part of increasing your relevance/ranking for specific keywords is to have a decent number of add to carts. Amazon recognizes different types of add to carts, so aim to have a good variety of traffic sources, including social media ads, competitors’ pages, Amazon search, ManyChat social flows, and email marketing lists. Just be careful to maintain an attractive ratio for add to carts vs. buys.

And finally, the algorithm loves to see your product get purchased over others that are currently ranking for your target search term. You want to get orders as well as add to carts from customers who have viewed top performing items in your category, which will both associate your product with them as well as increase the initial relevancy. This can often be done through ManyChat flows and sponsored product ads.

Post-launch Steps to Maintain Momentum

Your work isn’t over once your product starts to rank for your target keywords. Now is the time to aggregate your keyword purchases across Google links, PPC, and direct traffic.

Google traffic

One of the best ways to keep your ranking momentum going is to focus on Google traffic and an easy way to achieve this is to run Facebook ads that point to Google ad links with branded keywords. Instead of providing the direct link, we instruct them to click our ad after clicking a link like https://www.google.com/search?q=Brand+Target+Keyword.

Before sending people to a direct Google link traffic, you should also check Semrush or Ahrefs to see if an Amazon listing appears organically/in ads and how much traffic/clicks it's getting. You want to make sure you’re targeting the correct terms since search terms will vary between the platforms.

PPC ads

Paid ads can help ensure that once you start ranking you stay ranking. Determining what your PPC campaign should look like is simply a matter of understanding the daily buys you need (as it relates to search volume) to continue ranking for that keyword.

Through our testing we’ve seen that the following numbers seem to work the best when it comes to ranking keywords. Beyond these, you’ll need to make sure your CVR, add to carts, and pageviews match the current best sellers. This used to be a guess at best, but with the new search query performance reports you can figure out exactly what you need with this spreadsheet.

Search volume and corresponding daily buys needed for Amazon product launch

Direct traffic

Ensuring steady direct traffic is a strong indicator to the algorithm that your product is relevant to your target keyword. You should aim to direct social traffic straight to the canonical URL for your product listing. This shows Amazon that you’re promoting it across multiple channels, as well as having no keywords attached to the sale, which is key with the recent data Amazon has released. You’ll want to mix up your social traffic sources to get the best results, and while social links can be bought on many sites, we recommend SEOClerks.

Another useful source of direct traffic is blogs. For this type we still use the canonical URL and pull the top blogs that feature and link to our product. We put a comment on the blog posts and have users from our ManyChat campaigns click through to make the purchase or add to cart on Amazon from the blog links. Many times these blogs will rank you at the top if you pay them on their listicle. This lets Amazon know that our product is seeing traffic that other similar products have been getting. That, combined with backlinks and additional traffic from other sources headed to our listing, should cause our product to get ranked higher.

Campaign structure

For the first 20–30 days after you launch, you’ll want to have a carefully structured campaign that’s focused on solidifying your success. At this point, you want to get as many clicks as possible so Amazon will start to rank your product for your target keywords. 

Here’s what we recommend for an efficient post-launch campaign mix:

  • An exact match campaign that targets the top 15–25 keywords, with a bid 15% above the suggested bid, and a 150% top of search modifier
  • Product attribute targeting (PAT), or sponsored product, campaigns that target the top 30 competitors and all top three ASINs for each target keyword, with a 150% page modifier bid
  • Sponsored brand video (SBV) campaigns, which don’t actually help increase ranking, but do help increase awareness that can make it easier for you to take up space from your competitors

Optimizing your ads and maintaining ranking

The number one thing we see most people do wrong during a launch is start to optimize too quickly because they’re losing money. If you can’t afford the cost to rank, you’re not ready to launch. We suggest optimizing only on conversion rate for the first 1–3 months, as long as organic ranks are holding. After that, you can shift to a blend of optimizing for:

  • CVR
  • Target based on Brand Analytics
  • Impression share
  • Organic ranking

Once you’re ranking for keywords, it’s time to begin to test how spend is affecting overall ranking. We usually start this after maintaining a top five ranking for more than 10 days. You should look at your Brand Analytics conversion data (Are you still hitting targets? Are you beating competitors?), increase or decrease in page traffic, organic ranking change, and of course, CVR.

Then you can break your keywords out into two segments:

  • Always On—For high volume terms such as ‘Keto Snacks’ that lose conversion share when pausing or turning down PPC. Be sure to always check the overall profitability of this, but most of the time it will level out or be profitable from the organic lift.
  • Only When Ranking Decreases—The goal is a profitable ACoS 99% of the time, but if rankings start to slip, you should increase bids/budget until they’re stable again. When increasing bids, go back to launch metrics of only tracking CVR.

Read next: How to Get Higher Organic Rankings with Amazon Ads

Pulling it All Together

There’s no shortage of growth strategies—or competitors—on Amazon. Although it can be daunting to try to stand out in a sea of endless products and sellers, you can find success on this lucrative platform by setting a solid foundation pre-launch, taking a data driven approach to your actual launch, and they holding steady while carefully test after you launch and your product is out in the wild.

Do you want to harness the power of Amazon to grow your business but don’t know where to start? Right Side Up can help. Drop us a note at growth@rightsideup.co to chat with our seasoned Amazon experts about the right strategy for your goals.

Matt Altman leads the ecommerce marketplace division at Right Side Up, which helps both emerging and mature brands maximize sales through 3rd party marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart.com, Boxed, Thrive and others. His team focuses on end-to-end optimization, from innovation to fulfillment to content optimization to advertising and analytics. As an eCommerce entrepreneur with over $35m in sales himself, he brings an “owner mentality” to every client engagement in a way that separates Right Side Up from traditional agencies.

Jes Parker is a writer and content marketer with experience creating B2B and consumer-facing assets that build brands and make complex concepts more human. She has worked with companies and nonprofits like Highstead Foundation, Trust for Public Land, Harvard University, the Museum of the City of New York, and Times Square Alliance to craft accessible and engaging content strategies.

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Let's talk growth

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Let's talk growth

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