There’s no question that having giant signs with “SALE” in large red lettering increases foot traffic (and sales). If you go to any shopping mall today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a location without a SALE sign of some sort.
In this case, what’s true for brick and mortar retailers is true for online retailers. Customers are drawn to sales, believing that they’re getting a deal when that may not even be the case. Now you can use the same marketing strategies to your advantage by running Amazon Promotions.
Use Amazon’s advertising to convert those views into sales! Customers love sales and low prices, so they’re more likely to buy when they believe that the promotion is limited.
You’ll want to make sure to optimize and clean up your product page first. Make sure you have the basics covered by reading our article on increasing your best seller’s rank or make sure that your main product image is great so that you won’t lose sales.
Amazon Advertising Tools
There are 5 different Promotions available. We’ll give you an overview of the benefits of each promotion and how you might use each to increase sales.
Unlike traditional coupons or promotions that can be fairly strict, Amazon promotions are very flexible. You can set them up with any item, category, or blocks of items, though you should plan the discounts out.
Fees depend on the type of promotion but expect to pay fees for running ads and promotions.
Social Media Promo Code
This promotion allows you to create a code for social media. You’ll get a URL or link that brings customers to a landing page with all the products qualifying for the discount. Customers can then add the items directly to their shopping cart and the discount will automatically apply. Even though it’s a social media promo code, you can share the link through email if you’re maintaining a customer list.
If you have your own ecommerce site like Shopify or WordPress with WooCommerce, you should maintain an email list to make future marketing efforts easier.
Another way sellers can broaden their audience with this code is through social media influencers. Target the promotion through specific Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter influencers or groups so that customers are more likely to purchase the products. For example, target cooking pages for your kitchen utensils instead of automotive groups.
Create different promo codes that reflect specific categories of products so that you can better target your audience. For instance, you may target gaming hardware to gaming Facebook groups. Including kitchen utensils may not be as effective for this kind of promotion and audience. Having a custom landing page with discounted items is far more efficient than just putting the whole store of random products on sale. Your conversion rate will increase, and as a result, sales rankings for those products will increase.
You should also consider sharing promotional codes through your own YouTube channel, as some products may be better demonstrated through videos rather than pictures. If that’s the case, spend some time creating some quality YouTube videos demonstrating the product.
Free shipping promotions used to be very effective in the past. But customers today almost expect free shipping thanks to Amazon’s growth and free shipping with purchase of $25 or more. Many Amazon customers have Prime, and their annual membership gives them free shipping on most of their Amazon orders.
But offering free shipping will increase sales over sellers who don’t offer free shipping. Many customers will purposefully seek out products that qualify for free shipping. Having free shipping will also increase sales over sellers who charge shipping separately even if the total price is lower.
There are several reasons for this, and one of the main ones is that percentage off discounts don’t generally apply to shipping expenses. So an item that is $100 with free shipping and 10% off for a total of $90 is still cheaper than an item that is $90 with $10 shipping for a total of $91. Asking customers to do the math may not necessarily be a good idea either. So simplify your pricing whenever possible. Transparency online only helps to increase consumer trust.
Sellers may want to use this promotion to offer a limited special on certain products. These free shipping promotions are especially useful for sellers who have bulky or heavy products like furniture.
Increasing the price a bit to offset shipping expenses may increase sales. No one likes to see a $50 shipping charge on a $200 item. But a $230 item with free shipping is more appealing.
The last thing you want to do is to drop the product price to an absurdly low amount and increase shipping. Don’t mislead customers by charging $1 for the product and then $50 for shipping. You’re just asking for a return and negative feedback. There’s also the possibility of a suspension due to high return rates and customer complaints.
Use this promotion to offer tiered discounts or one-time percentage discounts. If you’re offering higher percentages off, be sure to consider limiting the claims to single use. Otherwise, you may end up with a situation where one customer (or even a competitor) buys out your entire stock at a steep discount.
Having one person buy your stock out may sound great, but it doesn’t do much if you’re trying to increase brand awareness. And if this person is a reseller, you’re putting your brand and product reputation into his hands. Another issue to consider is warranty—if you’re a manufacturer, then you may have to honor warranty claims made by customers who purchased your products from unauthorized third-party sellers. These can be sellers who purchased your products at steep discounts during promotions, product launches, liquidations, or Amazon warehouse. To avoid this, have a strong warranty clause on your website and product inserts or packaging.
Tiered discounts are great for consumables that customers would normally buy anyhow. Think about paper products and other consumables like soap.
Another option is to offer tiered discounts across branded products so that customers can buy 5 different kitchen utensils to get the discount rather than 5 quantity of garlic presses.
Promotions can be organized by any method you see fit, so be creative!
Make informed decisions with tiered discounts. Giving customers a 5% discount on the purchase of 3 rolls of paper towels is great. However, giving a 5% discount on the purchase of three Instapots isn’t such a good idea since most customers are looking for just one. In this instance, issuing a coupon may be the better option.
Buy One Get One
Many shoppers are now aware enough of retailer abuses of buy-one-get-one (BOGO) free promotions. A quick search on Amazon will already show customers how much they can expect to pay for a certain product.
Many retailers abuse this promotion by raising the product price to (sometimes higher than) MSRP, giving customers the illusion that they’re getting a great deal. But almost everyone has a smartphone today, so these tactics no longer work very well. Savvy shoppers will already know the price of a product. And even if they didn’t, a simple search on Amazon will give them a good idea of how much they should expect to pay. So when they see that you’re just trying to manipulate them, they’ll avoid you in the future.
Shoppers can now easily find the lowest price for any given product online. Using manipulative BOGO promotions can actually hurt your brand and reputation. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t raise prices a bit for the promotion.
Take advantage of this type of promotion to increase your brand awareness. Sellers in certain categories like toys can use BOGO to increase brand exposure since many people will just give the second toy away. Or use BOGO across a catalog of products or brand.
Use your sales data to determine which products you can offer a BOGO promotion on. You may find that customers return to buy multiple quantities, and having a limited time BOGO coupon or email blast may increase sales. This is especially useful if you’re trying to get rid of older inventory to make room for newer models or revisions.
Use accounting software like QuickBooks Online and SellerZen to automate data import. Then run reports to see which products people buy in multiples so that you can better target your BOGO promotions.
Many sellers use this promotion to create brand awareness and generate buzz about the brand or company. It’s a great way to increase awareness and to get views on your business, product launch, or videos.
If you want to run this promotion, you’ll purchase the products you want to give away and pay for the shipping and any applicable sales tax. Amazon will handle the shipping so that customers know the promotion is legitimate.
Sellers can also use giveaways to gain new social media users and followers. This will make new product launches in the future an easier task, and it’s a great way to reward loyal social media followers and customers.
One aspect sellers can enforce are entry requirements like requiring participants to watch a small video. Be careful not to overdo the video and keep it short, as many customers will leave if they realize they have to sit through a 10-minute video. This can do more to hurt your brand than help.
Last, but not least, sellers can use Amazon Coupons to increase their product sales. Coupons tend to be a more popular option because they’re more visible, and for consumers, a coupon has more positive connotations than a discount.
Coupons show up in different places, like the Coupons home page, search results, product detail pages, and on the offer listings page. A good feature of Coupons is that it’s very targetable, so you can maximize the effectiveness of redemption by targeting specific audiences.
You can also use a dollar off or percentage off coupon. Which one you use depends on the percentage and the value of the item. If you’re selling a product for $10 and you have a $5 off coupon, it doesn’t seem as impressive. However, a 50% off coupon seems much more appealing to customers even though the actual dollar amount is the same.
Other popular advertisements include:
- Sponsored Ads
- Enhanced Brand Content
- Early Reviewer Program
- Amazon Vine (for Vendors)
- Amazon Subscribe and Save
Amazon advertising is a necessary expense for many businesses. It’s even more true for sellers who have their own private label. Small businesses that operate a traditional brick and mortar retail store can get away with minimal advertising if they’re located in an area with a lot of foot traffic. Their physical presence and high foot traffic mean that they’ll naturally get customers.
The same isn’t true for online merchants. With no advertising, even the best of products will never take off. Ecommerce is a competitive field, and those clicks and promotions can be very, very valuable. Use Amazon advertising tools and promotions to increase your sales and spread brand awareness today!
Start with a small discount, coupon, or budget to learn the mechanics of the promotions. Then start advertising in earnest and watch your sales go up!