Setting up an Amazon store can be overwhelming. From sourcing products to figuring out shipping, from learning PPC to handling customer questions, it’s a lot to handle. And the greatest risk is that after all that work, your product may not sell as well as you thought it would.

Fear not: you can follow this road map to improve your performance. Keep reading for seven survey questions you can ask today to optimize your Amazon listing.

Why is Amazon listing optimization important?

You invest tremendous time and resources into building your store and driving traffic to it. Amazon listing optimization is the next step in the process: Doing everything you can to keep customers engaged once they’ve found your product.

Amazon listing optimization is a process to help you boost sales and performance. It starts by taking a critical look at every aspect of your Amazon offerings. Then, you run experiments to see whether changes you make help or hinder your progress.

When you run these experiments, you have two audiences to keep in mind:

  1. The search engine — Some changes you make are intended to influence Amazon’s A9 algorithm, such as the inclusion of keywords or how you categorize your products.
  2. Human customers — The content you offer in your listing affects how people interact with it (whether they click on your listing in search results, browse through the photos, watch your videos, etc). All of these behaviors influence your Amazon search rankings.

As you optimize your Amazon listing, it is important to keep both these audiences in mind. Too often, optimization strategies only take the A9 algorithm into account, ignoring human behavior.

How should you optimize your Amazon listing?

There are two ways to run experiments with your listing:

  1. With live data pulled right from Amazon
  2. Outside of the Amazon marketplace
How a live split test works

When you experiment using live data, you rotate variants of an element of your listing over time and compare the results. For example, you might switch out your main photo or upload a new product description, then collect data over several days or weeks to figure out which version leads to more clicks or sales. Amazon A/B testing tools exist to help you in this process, or you can manually rotate your variants.

Note that live testing requires you to have at least a few sales each day. Otherwise, your test will not collect enough data to tell you much. If you're just starting out, this optimization method is likely not your best route.

Another downside is that live tests take weeks to gather data, and often results are inconclusive. Most seriously, if your new variant performs poorly, you risk losing sales, which could hurt your Amazon search ranking. Tread carefully when you perform live tests.

How tests outside of Amazon work

When you run tests outside of Amazon, you survey a large group of people. In your survey, you show them all the variants you are considering (such as your main photo or your product description). You let them compare each option and provide their thoughts.

The nice thing about testing outside of Amazon is you don’t touch your current listing until the end. You can try lots of different ideas and improve them incrementally without risking your current sales or ranking. Only once you are confident about which variant is the right one do you update your listing on Amazon.

A survey won’t take weeks to finish, either. In fact, using a tool like PickFu, most tests are complete in less than 30 minutes.

7 surveys to improve your Amazon listing right now

Running a survey on PickFu is easy. All you have to do is ask a question (I’ll suggest the exact wording you can use, or you can riff on what I’ve written below), then choose the people you’d like to answer the survey. Using PickFu, you can define your survey respondents to fit your target market. For example, if you’re selling high-end wrinkle cream, you might choose women over the age of 45 who make at least $60,000/year. Another popular audience is Amazon Prime members. Neat stuff, huh?

Here are 7 survey questions you can ask right now, including helpful tips for each.

  1. “Based on the image, which product would you rather buy?” Ask this question using your current main image and a competitor’s main image. See what people say in favor of and against each. Emulate what your competitor is doing right, and see what you can do even better. You can even test your main image against more than one competitor to see how your imagery ranks against others in the category.
  2. “Which image do you prefer?” Ask this question using your current main image and any new photos you are considering. Another smart use of this question is to improve your infographic content. Consider new text and layouts to make these images stronger.
  3. “Which product title are you more likely to click on?” Take your current product title and a competitor’s product title and compare them. You might find that certain wording is more appealing to shoppers or that certain features deserve more emphasis. Think about the implications of what respondents have to say not only in the context of your title but also in your product description and bullet points.
  4. “After reviewing this listing, what questions do you have about the product?” Ask this as an open-ended question with a link to your current Amazon listing. Survey respondents will identify parts of your listing that confuse them or that they want to know more about. This helps you uncover blind spots and understand what real shoppers think about how your product is presented.
  5. “Which description is more appealing to you?” Take your current description and rewrite it (or have a marketing professional rewrite it for you). Then ask survey respondents to react to the various descriptions. They will point out what is working and what isn’t in each one. Merge the pros and cons that respondents have surfaced into one cohesive and stronger description.
  6. “Based on this video, does the product seem worth [the price]?” Showcase your product video and see whether respondents believe it corresponds fairly to the price you have set. Their comments will help you understand what hesitations they may have. Address these hesitations in other parts of your listing as well, including the photography and description.
  7. “Which product would you rather buy?” Ask this question to test your product variations. Understanding which variations are likely to be popular will help you prioritize how to feature them. Another smart use of this question is to survey the product variations you are considering before you go into production or buy inventory. This way, you know what sells before you sell it.

Optimize your Amazon listing today

When you run surveys like the ones listed above, you understand how shoppers react to your Amazon listing. Are they seeing what you intend them to see? Do they bring associations you didn’t think of? As you test elements of your listing, common themes and reactions begin to emerge. These insights will give you a sense of how to improve your listings and ultimately, your sales.

Getting started only takes a minute, so run your own survey here!

Author Bio

Kim Kohatsu - Twitter @kimkohatsu / @pickfu Facebook - @pickfu Instagram - @pickfupolls

Kim Kohatsu is the chief marketing officer at PickFu, an instant polling service that Amazon sellers use to optimize their product listings. With over 20 years in advertising and marketing, Kim knows how to appeal to customers. In her role as CMO, she helps sellers quickly test their product photos, description copy, and A+ content with shoppers in the target market.

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