Amazon FBA Case Study: Eliminate Risk With Listing Tests
In the last episode, we showed you an awesome way to leverage tools and OFF-Amazon websites to being the process of validating product ideas.
In this episode, we show you how to find actual information (from Amazon) on keyword search volume, as well as vital competitor data.
We’ll go over validation tests. Specifically in this episode, we walk you through how to set up a test listing (and in the next episode we’ll go over test PPC campaigns).
These tests will tell us how many people are searching for specific keywords as well as how competitive they are by giving us cost-per-click information.
Why Are Tests Important?
Testing a potential product with a test listing and test PPC will lower (or even eliminate) your risk. Armed with the information you’ll gain, you spare yourself the potential of investing thousands in a product that turns out to be a failure.
It is necessary to conduct the RIGHT tests and measure the RIGHT metrics.
In our tests, we don’t care about conversion rate. We aren’t trying to sell any product yet. Our methods are simply for gathering data.
And we’ll be gathering accurate data directly from Amazon (and teaching you how to interpret it).
One thing you’ll often hear is that you shouldn’t run tests at all. That the name of the game in private label selling is to jump in as quickly as possible. This creates a scenario where everyone is “racing to launch.”
The reason is because everyone is using the same method to conduct product research, landing on the same opportunities, and competing with one another to get in front of Amazon shoppers first.
Our method finds products far ahead of Amazon trends, and then tests them to ensure there is an opportunity for stable revenue.
We’ll be using the wooden egg trays as an example, but any product you are considering should be tested in the same way. This step in the validation process is simple, as we’ll be doing minimal research and expending minimal effort to populate the listing.
The other aspect of this test involves sending in test inventory. This may require a small investment, but the items do not have to be exact. They simply need to match the keywords.
First, we create a listing. We’ll do this by going into sellercentral.amazon.com and adding a product.
We have to make sure we place it in the right category. We can find out which category is the right one by using Helium10’s on-page widget display (from the Chrome extension).
Don’t forget, you must assign a GS1 certified UPC to the product…
Then we order test samples. These don’t have to be the exact, actual product we plan to sell, since they are just a test. So for this test, we’ll order about ten units (that match the keywords) from Etsy.com.
What’s great about buying this on Etsy is it further validates this product because we see someone else already selling it (presumably this means the seller saw demand, somewhere).
And remember, this is a test listing, so sales, reviews, etc doesn’t actually matter. This listing is NOT the one we’ll use to sell our actual products. This is just to collect data.
We created a test listing for a wooden egg tray, using one from Etsy we’ve sent in as a sample. We set the brand name as Gui’s Chicken Coop and filled out all other required listing information.
We set the price at $60 because, again, we don’t want to get sales from this listing. This is to gather data, so we hope no one will purchase. The best way to dissuade people from buying these would be to list them at an extremely high price compared to others on Amazon.
After creating the listing, we need to perform a little more keyword research. This identifies keywords we’ll want to use to build out our REAL listing, and also what we will want to run test PPC ads on.
For this, we will want to analyze potential keywords for both high ranking egg trays on Amazon (currently plastic) and for wooden egg trays that may not be ranking for mainstream keywords.
First, we’ll run Cerebro on the top-selling ASIN for the main keyword “egg tray.”
Now we want to narrow down the keywords most likely to be generating sales. These would be keywords with some search volume that are ranking on page one. The logic being that if there is healthy search volume, chances are good sales are being made, with the bulk of those sales going to page one results.
Now we need to be creative. This is where we must think about how a typical customer might describe the item. We need to further narrow down, until we identify five to eight of the best keywords, by choosing a combination of exact, narrow definition keywords and popular keywords.
From here we build out our best relevant keywords. Here’s what we come up with:
- “Wood egg holder”
- “Wooden egg holder”
- “Rustic egg holder”
- “Wood egg storage”
- “Wooden egg storage”
- “Rustic egg storage”
- “Wood egg tray”
- “Wooden egg tray”
- “Rustic egg tray”
- “Egg holder”
- “Egg storage”
- “Egg tray”
The reason for getting so specific with the keywords is because we want the listing to index for these terms. If a listing is indexed for a keyword, that means Amazon has associated the listing with that term. This is required if we want to run PPC ads (which we will) for the listing.
Now it’s time to edit the listing and input more information.
First, we’ll build out some listing text using Helium 10’s Scribbles.
Then we input the text into our listing.
These are the only inputs we are concerned with at this point, since this is just a test listing. The only other thing we will need is at least one main image (the listing cannot go live, and therefore cannot have PPC ads, without a main image).
For the test listing, a lot of money should not be spent. You can easily take photos with your phone, and if you have the skill, remove the background yourself, or hire someone on Fiverr to do it cheaply.
This is how you set up a test listing (in the next episode we’ll show you how the images turned out).
We’ll also be going over how to set up those test PPC ads.
In the meantime:
What is the most unique way you’ve sourced products?
What was the most interesting thing we went over today?