''When you're getting ready to launch into space, you're sitting on a big explosion waiting to happen.'' - Sally Ride, American engineer, physicist and astronaut.
It’s time to sit back and watch the money roll in. And then….<sound of chirping crickets>....nothing.
The big explosion of profits you were expecting has instead become a “crash and burn” of your time, investment and effort.
Why? Because although you technically launched a product, you didn’t correctly do an Amazon product launch.
Or maybe you did attempt it the proper way, but you made some typical mistakes for a first-time seller. Whatever you do, don’t panic!
Doing a product launch is one of the biggest keys to success when selling on Amazon. It’s all about putting your product in a position to succeed in front of the shoppers who want to buy it the most.
Position yourself to get lucky, right?
We’re going to simply break down what an Amazon product launch is, why you need to do it, and the 10 most common Amazon product launch mistakes you are making - and how you can fix them to ride the rocket of Amazon seller success.
What is an Amazon Product Launch?
Also known as Amazon product (promotional) giveaways, an Amazon product launch is an easy and fast method to boost your product’s ranking, reviews, and sales.
The ultimate goal is to get your product on the first page of search, increasing the product’s visibility to shoppers while boosting organic sales.
This is accomplished by offering a discounted product via coupon (the giveaway) for a limited time to the target audience. After they start purchasing it, the Amazon algorithm starts picking up on it and ranks your product higher.
This drives more organic sales and, in combination with sound marketing strategy, keeps your product on page one.
It’s important to note that this works for both new and existing products, and that it’s always a good idea to map out a thorough strategy for your launch beforehand.
Let’s take a look behind the curtain for to see how to launch on Amazon.
How a Product Launch/Giveaway Works
Here’s how a successful Amazon product launch generally works:
- The seller offers a designated number of units from their inventory at a sharp discount. This is often in the range of 80-90% off.
- A duration for the launch promotion is chosen, up to 8 days max.
- The discount is offered via one-time-use coupon codes, which are targeted for the highest potential keyword, chosen based on research and keyword-finding tools.
- The coupon is distributed through a promotional campaign including landing pages; ads on Amazon, Facebook, or Google; and other promotions specific to the product niche or to your own audience base.
- FBA sellers can alternatively set up Giveaway sweepstakes using the chosen products as prizes.
- Once everything is set up, the product launch begins at a designated time and date set by the seller.
- As sales happen, the algorithm links them with the keyword, and the listing rises up the category pages. This usually begins to happen from days 3 to 7 of the launch.
- Following the completion of the promotion, the new ranking is maintained by having a focus on all other business essentials (as you already have visibility): an optimized product listing, ratings & reviews, and ongoing marketing. Therefore, preparing your listing at the beginning for a top position is crucial.
Now that we know what an Amazon product launch is and how it works, let’s talk about why you need to do it.
Benefits of a Product Launch/Giveaway
An Amazon Product Launch/Giveaway benefits two groups: The Buyer and the Seller.
For the Buyer, the benefit is simple: discounted prices on a wanted product.
A secondary benefit happens after a successful launch. When the desired item is at the top of page one, it’s easy for them to find - and buy again.
For the Seller, there are key benefits that make this strategy a no-brainer:
- The higher your ranking, the more visible your product, which means increased organic traffic and conversions.
- A successful launch will boost your keyword ranking.
- You’ll achieve greater sales velocity and grow your sales history.
- Your product will continue to grow authority on Amazon.com.
- The competitive edge of this cycle of benefits will put more money in your pocket.
Sounds like a win-win for everyone, right? Well, a successfully executed product launch truly is a winning situation for buyer and seller.
However, there are times when it just doesn’t seem to go as planned. More than likely, you’re making a typical product launch mistake.
The 10 Most Commonly Made Amazon Product Launch Mistakes
There are many moving parts in creating a successful launch, and it’s often an individual error or easily fixed oversight that can set back your grand plans of Amazon domination.
Here are 10 common Amazon product launch mistakes that can keep you from achieving success with your launch.
1. Not Consulting an Amazon Selling Coach
This is huge for first-time sellers. Until you’ve become a grizzled veteran of Amazon, there’s always something you can learn - and even then, a coach will help you with how to sell on Amazon, and navigate the marketplace.
An Amazon selling coach will offer personalized recommendations to help you increase your success on Amazon.
Having a mentor/accountability partner is a sure-fire way to level up your launch plan and ensure success.
You also may consider an Amazon product launch service such as our own- Judolaunch to handle everything for you.
Either way, make sure that a service you go for gives you feedback on your discount, duration and targeted keywords before you start the promotion.
In the words of the best-selling author and marketing consultant Roy H. Williams: ''A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.
2. Wrong Launch Duration
They say time flows like a river, but if your launch is too short, it’s going to be more like a puddle.
The sweet spot is 8 days.
This allows you to build up your ranking, sales history, and reviews in a comfortable manner.
If your launch is too short (1-4 days), it’s likely you won’t be able to make your mark and increase your ranking enough for the launch to have been worth it.
With a longer period of time (10-12 days), you run the risk of hurting profitability by giving too much inventory away on the cheap.
3. Too Few Discounted Product Units
You have to match or exceed the sales of the top movers in your category to rank on page one for a targeted keyword.
If the number of discounted product units in your launch is smaller than that of your competitors, your listing won’t make the first page.
See what the competition is doing and add 5 units to that number. This helps the algorithm recognize that you are now competing with the “big boys”.
4. Imbalance Between # of Keywords Targeted and # of Units Offered in Giveaway
In your enthusiasm for an epic launch, you targeted a whole bunch of keywords - too many keywords, creating an imbalance between the number of units you are selling at a promotional price and the number of keywords. This will dilute your ranking.
Multiple keywords will essentially split the number of products moved per keyword, and thus will make it difficult to move up in the rankings.
The only way around this is to giveaway more units to reflect the greater number of keywords, in an attempt to rank high on more than one keyword.
For most sellers, this isn’t the ideal option. It’s far better to target one keyword or keyword phrase with high search volume and good searchability, then focus your marketing efforts around that keyword.
5. Coupon Malfunction
The promotional code you entered is for an offer that has not yet begun.
These are words no one wants to see onscreen. There’s nothing more frustrating as a buyer, and embarrassing to a seller, than to have your coupons inactive when the product is launched.
When you create a promotion in Seller Central, there’s a 4 hour window before Amazon activates your coupons.
Be sure to input your launch after the 4 hour window in order to eliminate the chance that your coupon codes will be inactive when customers are trying to purchase your product.
Be sure to test one an hour before the launch goes live, just to be safe.
6. Your Giveaway Price is Too High, or Too Low
When is a discount not a discount? When you’ve priced your giveaway too high or too low to have an effective launch.
If you’ve priced your giveaway too high, it will have less impact on your new ranking. You don’t want the product to be free, of course, but 90% off retail is great, and the data backs this up.
Buyers have become accustomed to launched products selling in the $1 to $3 range.
If you’ve priced your giveaway too low, you won’t be able to perform a successful campaign by moving a high number of units.
Buyers are looking for a real deal, and you are looking to sell all your discounted units to get that page one ranking - so don’t be stingy when slashing prices.
It’s a good idea to consult your Amazon seller coach to get a price recommendation based on your specific category and product.
7. You Didn’t Set the Max Order Quantity
This mistake could put you out of business on day one.
Always set the Max Order Quantity to 1 for each SKU your coupon promotion applies to. Otherwise, if you leave it blank, there’s nothing to stop a customer from buying all your inventory at 90-95% off.
Talk about a big explosion waiting to go off. Remember, 1 is the magic number.
8. Not Optimizing Your Product Listing
Your product listing is of Prime importance (a little Amazon humor right there).
It’s what allows your product to continue selling after the launch. Every piece needs to be on point, including the title, description, photos, keywords (both primary and back-end), and the price.
Every part of your listing needs to be on par, or better, than your competitors. It’s worth the time and effort to get this right, because it’s the most important element in sustained sales of your product.
If you need to, ask your coach for help, hire a copywriter and photographer, and study the competition to make your listing the best it can be. Don’t forget the SEO by choosing the right keywords.
9. Misuse of Keywords
After all the time you spend picking that primary targeted keyword, you need to use it right.
This means that keyword needs to appear in the Title, Bullet Points, Description, and Back-end of your listing.
Populate your listing with secondary keywords using Amazon best practices. You need your product to show up high in search in order to optimize visibility and conversions, and using your keywords right will help you win the Amazon SEO game.
10. Your Listing Isn’t Converting After the Launch
Okay, this is technically not a launch mistake, but it’s important. The whole idea is to get your listing ranked and to keep converting after launch.
What if that’s not happening? Make sure your listing is optimized and that your keywords are strong.
Keep up your marketing efforts and consult with your coach. Keep an eye on the competition and simulate what the leaders are doing to keep pace with their daily sales.
Your goal is to organically continue to convert post-launch, so stay on your game and you should continue to have sales success.
Prepare To Launch
Whether you’re a first time seller or a seasoned pro, it’s still possible to make mistakes with your product launch.
Be sure to have a launch plan and address each of these ten points well-before launching, and you should be on your way to becoming one of the kings or queens of the Amazon jungle.
The important thing is to keep taking action and keep moving forward.
As famous hotelier Conrad Hilton once said, Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit.
If you’re still not sure whether you got it right, or have more questions, do yourself a favor and schedule a call with an Amazon expert at Judolaunch.
As an experienced Amazon Product launch service, you’ll get a custom designed strategy and product evaluation that will help you have a successful Amazon product launch - without any mistakes.
Welcome to the jungle - let’s launch!