Blog Product Launches

10 Deadly Product Launch Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

If you think you’ve done everything you can to prepare your Amazon product listing to become live, there are still many product launch mistakes that can prevent your item from attaining higher ranking.

Even if you have launched products on Amazon before, ensuring that you have completely optimized everything about your product launch BEFORE you initiate can mean the difference between success and failure.

Here is a comprehensive list of the top 10 product launch mistakes that we have seen new and existing Amazon sellers make that can really hurt your listing:

1) Irrelevant Keyword Targeting

When you performed your keyword research, you should have created a strong list of keywords to target based on their relevance to your product, competition among similar products, and the exact search volume. These factors are typically good indicators of what keywords you should actively target and which should be ignored.

An imperative part of successful keyword research is finding keywords that have high search volume and low competition, which often reveals long tail keywords and related keywords. Unfortunately, many sellers fall into the trap of straying too far away from their seed keywords to find others with these ideal conditions without considering how relevant they are to the product.

If you target keywords that have great search volume and low competition, but are only remotely relevant to your product, a few things can happen:

  • Amazon will not index your product correctly
  • When your product shows up in a search for irrelevant keywords, it is likely to be ignored by customers because they will not consider your product what they wanted
  • Your budget for marketing and the product launch itself will be wasted on ads for keywords that people will likely not click on

SOLUTION: Be very picky about which keywords you target to avoid product launch mistakes like these. Your keywords are the cornerstone of whether or not your product launch will be successful. Ask yourself, “If I were searching for my product, would I think to type in this keyword into the search box?”

2) Misplacing Keywords in Your Listing

If you have the ultimate keyword list from diligent research into your product niche, it won’t do you much good if your keywords are not where they will be seen by customers (or Amazon). Strategically placing your top 5-10 keywords in prominent areas of your listing is crucial to:

  1. Getting your product indexed by Amazon as relevant for your targeted keywords, and
  2. Showing customers as they look over their search results how relevant your product is to their search query.

As we stated in our “How to Perfectly Optimize Your Amazon Product Listing” article, the top spots in your listing to place your most crucial keywords are:

  1. Title
  2. Bullet Points
  3. Description
  4. Backend Keywords

Another small error (but related to these product launch mistakes none the less) that sellers make with their keyword placement is overloading their key areas with too many keywords in such a way that the text becomes unreadable.

Be sure to include your keywords in such a way that the text flows naturally and is not difficult to understand. Even if you have ranked highly on the search results for your keyword, people may find strange or nonsensical wording (especially through the product description) off putting.

SOLUTION: Write out each part of your listing without thinking about your keywords to ensure it reads well and makes sense. Then go back through each section and add in your top keywords wherever possible, still ensuring that you text will make sense when read by a customer unfamiliar with your product. Scribbles can help you input your keywords easily so you don’t miss any.

3) Poorly Optimized Product Listings

We cannot understate the importance of fully optimizing every square inch of your Amazon product listing. Besides mishandling your keywords, an unoptimized listing is one of the most costly product launch mistakes sellers can commit.

If your listing isn’t fully optimized, your product launch will likely be wasted effort. All the work you put in during the launch will be undone once you stop your giveaway period. With an unoptimized listing, you listing will likely fall in the ranking fast as competing products with optimized listings surpass your own.

Additionally, your listing may also have a hard time converting customers and produce poor sales during your launch.

SOLUTION: Here’s a short checklist of the things to optimize on your Amazon listing besides your keywords:

  • Descriptive title that mentions all important information regarding product
  • High definition product photography that adheres to Amazon TOS and uses every available slot
  • Bullet points that highlight your product’s most prominent or critical features
  • Description text is written in a way that adequately describes the who, what, where, why, and how of your product while also illustrating how the product will address certain problems or emotional needs target customers have
  • Extra keywords that are hard to fit into the front-facing listing text is added to the backend keywords

4) Not Selling Enough Discounted Products Per Day

As most sellers who have used a giveaway product launch strategy know, you must sell a certain amount of discounted products per day to get the sales volume necessary for higher product ranking on Amazon.

In order to sell enough products effectively, you must also give customers ample opportunity to see, obtain, and use your coupon codes. Depending on the method you use for distributing your coupons and the type of product you are selling, you will need to release a significant amount of coupons each day. Compensating for the fact that not every coupon will get used, you need just enough uses to get the sales numbers necessary each day of your launch to rank on page 1.

If you fall short in the number of necessary sales per day, the rest of your discounted sales will chalk up to a loss and a failed product launch.

SOLUTION: While there is no magic formula to tell you how many coupons per day you must give away, there are factors to consider that can help you make your best educated guess:

  • How popular your product is
  • What is the demand for your product?
  • What discount percentage are you giving?
  • What distribution method are you using (Facebook, chatbot, email, etc.)?
  • What is the level of interest of the audience you are distributing coupons to?

If you have a fairly popular product type with significant demand, you may be able to offer your product at less of a discount and get better conversions than you would with a less popular product with lower demand and a higher discount. Use your research data to make your decision about how many coupons to distribute a day to still get the necessary amount of sales to rank highly. 

5) Product Launch Duration Too Short

If the product launch is going well within the first few days, some sellers may be compelled to cut the process short and start selling at full price. This fallacy is one of the most avoidable product launch mistakes because it comes down to willpower. In order for the launch to work, sellers must see the launch through to the end and have patience.

Additionally, Amazon takes a few days to recognize the sales history you are creating with your product launch. Cutting the process short can throw off the whole thing if your sales suddenly drop off the moment you stop.

SOLUTION: Give the product launch time to work and stick to the schedule planned out for you. If you are a Helium 10 member, Cerebro and Magnet calculate the time span of your launch for you. After the time period has passed, evaluate where your product is ranking and decide if the progress you have made is enough for Amazon’s algorithm to begin selling at regular price.

6) Product Launch Discount is Too High or Low

Choosing the right discount for your product during launch can be crucial to whether or not the whole effort is a success or a failure. If the discount is too low, you may not get as many conversions needed each day to make the launch work. However, if the discount is too high, you may just be losing out on money and customers may wonder if there is something wrong with the product.

SOLUTION: Knowing the value of your product along with its popularity and demand should be key factors in deciding on the discount. For example, if your product is a popular one that has a lot of demand, you can get away with a lower discount (i.e. 60% OFF) and is still get plenty of conversions. However, if your product is not as popular and has a relatively low demand, you may consider a higher discount (i.e. 90% OFF) to persuade people to buy it due to the lower price.

7) Put a Cap on the Maximum Order Quantity

While you certainly want to give plenty of coupons out to get the conversions you need each day, you must absolutely set a limit to the number of coupons that can be redeemed each day. Additionally, you should also set a number limit on how many products a single customer can buy with the discount each day.

If you allow for unlimited coupons and unlimited purchases using those coupons, someone will catch on and quite literally clean out your inventory, leaving you with very little in revenue and a burning hole in your wallet.

SOLUTION: Set limits on the number of coupons that can be redeemed each day during your launch as well as limit the number of purchases per customer (one unit per coupon per customer would be ideal). You can easily set these limits using Inventory Protector.

8) Using an Incorrect URL

When you redirect people to purchase your product, simply sending them to your product listing will not help your product rank for your desired keywords. You may get the sale, but not the higher page ranking (which is the whole point of a product launch).

SOLUTION: Use an appropriate 2-Step URL to craft a link that will take your potential customers to your listing, but through a Amazon search using the keyword you want to rank for. That way, the URL that is used over and over again is using the keyword you want, and Amazon’s algorithm establishes relevancy with the more clicks and sales your product gets. You can find a list of URL generators on the Helium 10 Gems page.

9) Limiting Your Coupon Distribution to Only One Method

Even if you find a channel in which to distribute your coupons successfully, limiting yourself to one method can possibly stifle your sales. You may never know if you would have gotten more sales if you spread your coupons over more than one network.

Conversely, relying on one method can be a bad idea if that one channel is not returning many conversions. You are more likely to get more sales by giving people many chances to see and use your coupons.

SOLUTION: You may be able to sell more products is you use multiple avenues to deliver your coupons. Use two or more methods such as social media, email, chatbots, and more to maximize your efforts during a product launch.

10) Not Maintaining Your Listing Post-Launch

One of the gravest product launch mistakes can come when the launch is done. Once your product launch is over and you have achieved top ranking, you must still continue to watch and care for your product listing.  Many sellers make the mistake of thinking that their products will stay on page 1 after the launch is finished. The truth is that you are not the only one trying to get to page 1.

The moment you let your guard down and stop trying to improve your listing, keeping your price competitive, running PPC ads, etc., another diligent seller may swoop in and take your place in the rankings.

SOLUTION: Make sure your listing is fully optimized (including price) long after your product launch has ended. Keep your marketing and PPC campaigns going so you can maintain your much-earned place on page 1.

Here at Helium 10, we use the Cerebro Product Rank (CPR) method when launching new products. This method has been tested by our own Manny Coats, using a version of the “giveaway” strategy that many experienced Amazon sellers may be familiar with. The difference between the CPR method and similar strategies is that the estimated number of giveaways per day and the time frame is calculated with our software for every keyword to avoid costly product launch mistakes. These calculations can be found in both our Cerebro and Magnet tools.

For a more detailed methodology to avoid the sale-quashing product launch mistakes listed above, check out The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Product Launches available for FREE here:

amazon product launch

Do you have your own stories about product launch mistakes that you have made in the past? Share your story with us in the comments below!

Jonathan Dean

Content Coordinator at Helium 10
Jonathan has been writing about the entrepreneurial world for several years, having interviewed many major players at several SoCal companies. He also has extensive experience in crafting product listings and performing product and keyword research.

Cerebro is Jonathan's favorite Helium 10 tool because of its' versatility and value for FBA sellers.
Jonathan Dean
Matthew January 9, 2019

It would have a negative effect on your conversion rate which is a big negative for Amazon in general.

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