ER 018: Super URLs, Stealth Review Strategy, State of Amazon Marketplace
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This is The Ecommerce Roundup, Podcast 18, today is October 27, 2017, I’m your host Bryan, and here’s the ecommerce news roundup for this week –
We are now thick in the fourth quarter and this is an exciting time of the year. Expect your ads to be more expensive, and expect your conversion rates to go up. My advice to you is to ride out the wave and spend more money on ads now while the traffic exists.
That being said, let’s get into the podcast this week.
- Thoughts on the Amazon marketplace as a whole right now
- Super URLs
- Stealth strategy for getting product reviews
- Wall Street Segment
Thoughts on the Amazon marketplace as a whole right now
I know I haven’t posted a podcast in a month so I just want to give you a high level overview of where I’m seeing things now.
This is a bit of a state of the marketplace speech right here.
People have been coming to me asking for help with their Amazon operations and they’re approaching the situation as though it’s 2015 still.
The marketplace is maturing, and the players who have been selling in the space have mature listings, with lots of reviews, and a ton of seller history.
It’s no longer good enough to just put up a product, even with great images and listing copy, then turn on PPC and expect to start taking sales.
Sure, maybe this is possible in small niches, but soon those gaps will be closed too. The secret is out and everyone knows that selling on Amazon is incredibly lucrative. Entrepreneur magazine now regularly posts articles on how to get started selling on Amazon. Selling on Amazon is now mainstream.
If you’re struggling with sales, and you have good images, good listing copy, good keywords, and reviews, then you’re problem is probably not doing more keyword research and using the hot new software tool that’ll boost your rank.
Your problem is either your product isn’t demand, or you’re not doing enough to nurture the sales to reviews flywheel that feeds the Amazon algorithm that increases your organic rank.
If you aren’t continually running promotions for old products and launching new products, I have news for you, your competitors are.
The players who have been selling for 2 or more years are now making so much money that they are dominating the ads because they can bid the highest. They also have a lot of reviews and are only getting more. It’s getting harder and harder to be seen on Amazon for a new or underperforming product.
The products that have a thousand reviews now will have two thousand reviews next year. And unless Amazon makes some sort of change there will be further consolidation and the rich products will continue to win and it will
Alright, so what do you do? Where’s the good news in this? What’s the plan of action?
Continuous promotions should be a part of your regular marketing plan. I’m seeing the same companies do promotions on Zon Blast and Viral Launch continuously. They can afford to pay for it! And this is squeezing out the small guys. Ironically, I heard the founder of Viral Launch on a podcast say that he thinks the blasts that they sell are becoming less effective, and I agree with him, but that’s for another time. For now they still work.
If you don’t want to do these types of promotions I understand because I don’t like doing them either. Instead, run Facebook ads to a giveaway to build your email list. Then, after people sign up for your giveaway, get a Mailchimp account and send them an email follow up with a promo code to get your product at a big discount like 50-70% off. Some people will buy. Most won’t. But you’ll then be able to email these people in the future.
The truth is that everyone selling on Amazon needs to mature and become more sophisticated marketers or else they risk getting left behind. Unfortunately, it’s no longer 2015, and we’ll have to take a more holistic approach to marketing now beyond running Amazon ads.
Those who can build a brand and an audience will be the winners who will survive. If you don’t want to do this, which I understand because it takes work, then I suggest you look to sell your Amazon business and get out while you’re on top.
I know this was kinda a downer message but I think it’s important that people on Amazon come to grips with what’s happening.
Super URLs are still a thing and people are still using them a lot. To be honest, I’m shocked that Amazon hasn’t either banned them or prevented them from working. But I’m seeing people use them all the time so the must still be working. I’m speaking about this now because I’m just surprised to see them being used so much this past month.
I think Super URLs are a gray area. You can use them, but do so at your own risk. If you don’t know what a Super URL is, it’s a link to your product on Amazon that contains keywords so it mimics someone looking for your product on Amazon organically. The idea is that since it mimics an organic search, if someone clicks on that URL and then buys your product is as though they purchased your product from an organic search, which then gives you credit in Amazon’s algorithm for those keywords in the URL, thus boosting your organic rank for those keywords.
Where can you use super URLs? You can use them in Facebook ads, emails, giveaways, discounts, whenever you’re sending someone to Amazon.
Here’s an easy way for you to make one. Go to your seller storefront by clicking on your seller name. Then click on your storefront. You’ll know you’re there because your seller name will be to the left of the search bar.
Now enter in keywords related to your product. Now the URL that’s in your browser is your Super URL for the keywords you entered in. Copy this URL and use it wherever you want.
There are other Super URLs too but this is the easiest to make and is popular right now.
People have been saying for years that Super URLs will go away. They haven’t yet. I think it’s more likely that Amazon will figure out a way to make them ineffective rather than banning them. So give it a shot if you want.
Stealth strategy for getting product reviews
I came across a genius strategy for getting product reviews, and I’m going to tell you what it is right now.
But in order to get the whole strategy, you have to go to my website and sign up for my email list, and watch my 1 hour long webinar, so I can sell you a $1000 course on it at the end of it.
Ready? Here it is.
You need an email list. I’ll assume you have one because I don’t want to get into email list building right now.
You email your list with a special offer.
This is the special offer, if they buy one of your products today, or however long you want this offer to last, you’re going to send them a second product absolutely free. All they have to do is order the product on Amazon, and then email you back the order number. Then within 2 weeks they’ll have a second product totally free.
So, when they email you back their order number, you’ll verify that they purchased the product at full price, and you have their address from the order so you’ll then create a fulfillment order and send them a second product for free.
Then, the kicker here is that you email them back to tell them that their second free product shipped. And you include a link to review your product.
This is great because it’s within Terms of Service. Your customer bought your product at full price. So it’ll be a verified review. And you know they like your product otherwise they probably wouldn’t want two of them. And you still make money because your margin covers the cost of all of this.
So there you have it. Try this strategy out. If you have a big email list of repeat buyers this could get you tons of real verified 5 star product reviews.
Wall Street Segment
There was a short report that came out a few weeks ago written by a company called Citron Research and the Shopify stock plummeted from the 120s to the 90s. I think that short report is nonsense, and that when Shopify was in the 90s the stock was on sale. Now it’s back in the 100s. Their earnings come out on October 31 so I’m excited to see what happens. I’m a buyer right now although a cautious one. With Shopify Capital and the dongle card reader they still have, they’re in a position to be more valuable than Square, which currently has a bigger market cap than Shopify, and is also a stock I like.
Amazon stock is up huge today after a great earnings report. I’m not surprised. Amazon is taking over the world. The stock is still a long term buy.
Amazon’s second headquarters idea is causing cities and states to give out gifts to Amazon like never heard of before for a corporation to relocate. New Jersey is offering $7 billion in tax credits if Amazon goes to Newark. That’s insane. Amazon already pays no taxes. But obviously the positive externalities that will result from an Amazon HQ in your city will pay dividends to the population for decades to come. So it’s a good idea for governments to go all out to win this award. I think Newark is a terrible idea, which is probably why Newark is offering so much. Moody’s thinks Austin Texas is going to get it, and I wouldn’t be surprised. Austin is in my top 5 guesses. But my number one guess is still Atlanta.
Amazon wine is shutting down. Amazon wine started in 2012. The issue at hand has to do with the existing laws surrounding alcohol sales, which Amazon has unsuccessfully tried to change by working with regulators. The existing laws make it difficult for Amazon to sell alcohol as a retailer and operate a marketplace. All in all though you got to admire Amazon for trying things even when they don’t work out. As a company they have a ton of guts and you have to respect that.
Amazon has this new idea called Amazon Key where they can open your front door to leave packages. I’m on the fence about this. Do people really have a problem with stolen packages? I think the better value would be if you order groceries, then the delivery guy puts them straight into your refrigerator!
So that’s it for today. Thanks for listing.
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Until next time, keep selling and keep growing.