Don’t listen to people when they say “undercutting your competitors will help you win the Buy Box or gain visibility.”
As an Amazon seller, if you want to succeed long-term, you don’t want to be the lowest priced product. Amazon’s also doesn’t look at the lowest price itself and this is the most incorrect and widespread myths of Amazon FBA private label selling.
Pricing is just the piece of the optimization puzzle; it also takes into account keywords, Best Seller Rank (BSR), reviews, and more.
In this post, we will discuss how you can make incremental product improvements and outsell your competitors on Amazon.
#1 Price High
This is where most of the Amazon FBA sellers fail when it comes to outsell their competitors. Don’t price lower than your competitors if you are selling a premium product. Pricing higher is one of the most effective ways to improve your brand. To begin with, premium products offer strong margins. The bigger your margins, the more capital you have on hand to continue to cultivate your business. In addition, most buyers don’t actually buy the cheapest item.
There is a psychological phenomenon that we terminate cheaper items because we associate them with a lack of value. We are more willing to pay a few extra bucks for a brand and product that we can trust. Thus, as an Amazon FBA seller, you would want to position yourself as a premium seller/brand to avoid ‘cheap’ mindset. This will also help you draw non-discount shoppers who will pay the full price for your item.
This is especially true for private labels. As you are not competing for a Buy Box that deals with price more. Rather you are competing against similar products in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). In Amazon’s search algorithm, the cost isn’t weighted as heavily as rank and reviews.
#2 Price Intelligently
As said, pricing has the largest effect on your outcome. An erroneous pricing structure could mean failure. Just like you don’t want your product to be priced too low, you also don’t want your product to be priced too high. The objective is to re-price the product in a way that balances your industry, your brand, your targeted customer demands, industry standards, and your competitors.
There are several automatic re-pricing tools provided by Amazon, or you can make use of a third-party re-pricing service. Simply look at the variety of aspects to ensure your pricing puts your product in the market suitably.
How do you accurately price an item?
Pricing your product first starts with confirming you have decent margins with progressive cash flow. Simply put, your pricing needs to cover the cost of goods sold and your overhead (cost of business).
How much does each product cost to produce, promote, and sell? What amount will cover all your expenses and still be left with some spare per product? From there, you are required to consider other external factors in Amazon to determine how your pricing looks in the eyes of your competitors and customers.
What pricing structure should I use?
There are several different types of pricing structures used by the FBA sellers to quickly find a suitable price for their products.
- The most commonly used pricing structure is the “cost plus” pricing. This adds together the cost of labor, materials, overhead, and the desired profit. This is a quick way to come up with a positive cash flow price, however, it doesn’t fittingly reflect the need of your marketplace.
- The “markup” structure multiplies the cost per item (overhead and Cost of Goods Sold) by 1.5 to get the price. Again, this guarantees each product promotes positive cash flow price but doesn’t appropriately warrant that you will sell any product within your Amazon.
- The “demand” pricing structure is solely based on the requirements of the market.
- The “competitive” pricing structure is totally based on challenging the competitors’ prices.
Although these pricing structures could give your listings a positive position within the market, they do not take into the account the brand or needs of the business itself.
Therefore, you should come up with your “own” pricing structure using the above-given factors. This will take into account external costs as well as internal influences to come up with ultimate pricing.
#3 Add Other Types of Inventory- add variation to an Amazon listing
Are all of your competitors selling green and blue Tupperware? Sell pink, green, and blue.
Are all your competitors selling the 2017 or older versions of the filter? Sell the latest version (2018).
Why create variations?
Suppose you sell a t-shirt that is the same in every way, except it comes in five sizes and eight colors. It results in 40 different products. This is confusing and tedious for you, as well as the buyer. Making variations lets you assemble different varieties of the same t-shirt on a single product page. This can be accomplished by creating a parent/child correlation between products.
The ‘parent’ product is the base item without the variation information. Each variation is called a ‘child.’ Please note that the parent is not the physical product for sale. The parent is more like a template for its variants (children). Once the buyer chooses the color and size, the variants can be purchased based on the selection mode.
NOTE: Not every product category supports parent/child relationship. But most shoe and clothing products require variations and if an applicable theme exists for your items, you must include it in a parent/child relationship.
This minor variation in the product warrants that you are the first product seen, particularly when competing for the Buy Box. As big the Amazon Marketplace is, it likes offering options to their customers. So you will be rewarded if you provide a greater variety.
#4 Bundle/Kit Your Products
Creating a kit or bundle ensures you have a unique Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) that distinguishes you from your competition. One great way to create a separate listing for your product is to sell complementary items as a single ‘unit.’ Bundles or Kits have their own unique ASINs that mean it is difficult for the competitors to duplicate.
With a kit, you offer multiple products at a small discount, which ultimately increases the value of your products. You give the buyers an easy, one-click solution to getting a variety of products in which they are already interested.
A kit allows you to provide a discount without demeaning your competitors, while also providing convenience and added value to your audience.
How do you create a product bundle/kit?
- Follow Amazon’s bundling requirements, here you have to be a professional seller because individual sellers don’t have the ability to create new listings and product kits require a separate product listing. So be sure to follow the bundling guidelines.
- Choose the products to bundle that are naturally complementary like a blender, blender cap, blender blade, would be a great bundle. These products will allow someone to start blending. Or you can check out your competitors’ bundles and try to create one that outdoes the competition. Moreover, you can get ideas from Amazon’s “frequently bought together” section.
- Get a new UPC (Universal Product Code) for your bundle in order to gain the benefits of reduced competition and increased visibility.
- Create a new product listing
- Use Bundle-worthy images that show off each product in the bundle along with its benefits
- Package your bundle for fulfillment
Read more about Bundling Products:
#5 Make the Product Better
Outshine your competition by outshining their product. Go to your competitors’ pages and look at the negative reviews. What do the buyers complain about the most? What are the greatest flaws in their products?
Use this as a starting point for improvements to your own product. Even a minor positive variation can significantly boost your sales and reviews over your competitor.
The Amazon marketplace offers buyers a wide range of options. Being different is the only way to survive this competitive market. Your products must stand out among many options customers have in your product niche.
The product you are offering must be unique giving you the competitive edge. So start looking for the market gaps to fill, identify the recurring frustrations and complaints of the customers and design your product accordingly.
Product SPY Amazon sentiment tracker is one of the most interesting tools that can perform sentiment analysis and tracks the sentiment and lists negative and positive feedback and helps to improve the your existing products and competitors products.
How do I select my product?
When you create your own brand, you control 100% of the Buy Box, which means you don’t have to compete with any other sellers. One thing that you should keep in mind while selecting or creating a product to sell on Amazon is to pick something expensive. You would potentially be gaining even more money in profit by selling your product.
#6 Protect your Product (If Necessary)
Many Amazon FBA sellers get confused whether or not they should ‘patent’ their products. Well, there is no right answer to this. Consider the fact that the US Patents and Trademarks Office (USPTO) is full of patents biting the dust because those products are never launched. Moreover, if you look at store shelves, most of the products aren’t patented.
With most private label products, there is no patent. This is because you are private labeling an existing product, instead of inventing something.
If you tend to invent a product, you could file for either a utility patent or a design patent. It would give you protection from other people stealing your creation.
Consider the following for your situation
- Do you have the funds to defend it?
- Is it possible to patent your product design, feature, or manufacturing process?
- Is it market proven?
Products that usually seek patent protection
- Relate to a discovery in an unexplored field
- Are a chemical compound or a new drug or a manufacturing process
- Seek outside licensing or investment
#7 Improve your Packaging
Packaging is the buyer’s first impression of your brand; hence, it becomes a part of the customer experience with your brand. If you want an incremental product improvement and differentiate your brand from other Amazon sellers, you need reliable branding from purchase through delivery.
A 2015 eCommerce packaging study revealed that 60% of the online shoppers believe that premium packaging can make an item seem more valuable and upscale. Moreover, the “unboxing” experience encourages reviews that are more positive, repeat purchases, and recommendations. Even a branded sticker on the packaging has a positive response from the buyers.
Thus, it is essential that you keep your packaging neat and brand worthy. For example, if you promote eco-friendliness and sell products that are environment-friendly, you don’t want to take in a lot of plastic or paper in your packaging. You would want a natural, minimalistic packaging to attract to your target audience.
#8 Validate with Customers
At some point in your Amazon FBA private label business, you must show your potential customers where you are going in order to ensure the product you are selling is still on track to solve their problem.
We suggest you should speak to people in your market using your concept prototype. If you have created a brand around your products, you may now have a list to reach out to.
It is always important to ask open-ended questions like,
- What hasn’t worked for them before?
- How would they use it?
- What would the ideal solution be?
Pay close attention to answers that will give you suggestions around the size, materials, color, etc. Other than getting a concrete response from the people, your ultimate goal should be to get your audience to sign up or pre-order to follow the progress of your product. Get people invested. It is not difficult to get a feedback about the product – it simply ends in a ‘yes’ or a ‘no.’
In order to succeed on Amazon selling private label products, you need to outrun and outsell your competition. This can be achieved by improving the product. But it doesn’t mean that you have to undercut the quality or price. Instead, you should focus on raising the value of your products and the value that you offer to your audience.
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