New Amazon Sellers Must Avoid This Huge Beginner Mistake Get sales quicker and easier as a new Amazon seller by avoiding the number one mistake I see as an Amazon consultant. This is what to avoid and what to do instead.

By Tanner Rankin

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

To say it's easy for new Amazon sellers to make mistakes that cost them time and money is an understatement. With the complexity of Amazon algorithms, getting your first Amazon sales can be like trying to ice skate uphill.

Luckily, you can increase your Amazon sales if you take this new Amazon seller advice and avoid the number one mistake I see as an Amazon consultant. Avoiding this common mistake will shorten your path to success.

Related: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Through Amazon

Don't copy big brand best-sellers with thousands of reviews

This likely sounds like it goes against the grain right? You would think you would want to model your Amazon presence on a successful example. The problem? It's easy to model the wrong things.

The truth is, the big brand best-selling Amazon sellers make lots of mistakes that you cannot afford to make. What's more, they are best-selling brands because of best practices and marketing mechanisms that you don't see when examining their Amazon product detail page with your favorite Amazon tool.

New Amazon sellers are inclined to follow this process:

  1. Make a list of competing products that sell the most for their primary keywords

  2. Evaluate their product detail page

  3. Write a product description derivative of the best-sellers

  4. Make A+ content that looks similar

  5. Create gallery images that are reminiscent of the best-sellers

  6. Run the best-sellers through Amazon tools and download the keywords they are ranking for in SEO and running ads on

  7. Add those keywords to their listings

  8. Run ads on the same keywords

  9. Get frustrated when sales aren't flowing in

  10. Quit

Here are the reasons why this technique doesn't work for new Amazon sellers and Amazon Private Label sellers:

  • External Amazon marketing: What you're not seeing when you evaluate an Amazon product listing is all of the marketing efforts they're doing off of Amazon to build their brand and drive traffic back to Amazon. This includes showing up on every social media ad, Google ads, Amazon Influencers, PR, email lists and much more.

  • Reviews: They have hundreds if not thousands of reviews that you do not have as a new Amazon seller. This results in you having to work that much harder to earn a click and then earn the sale.

  • A10 algorithm: Since they're doing significant marketing off of Amazon and even driving traffic from off of Amazon onto Amazon specifically for their products, they are getting a boost in their SEO and ad impressions.

  • Brand awareness: Another benefit of external Amazon marketing is brand awareness and the trust that goes with it. Many Amazon sellers believe that if they can just get their product to the top of Amazon searches, customers will buy as long as they have a good price and great features. Unfortunately, this couldn't be farther from the truth and doesn't make up the delta between a good product and brand awareness.

The truth is, your favorite Amazon tools can only show you a small portion of what is actually making the big brand product successful. Amazon best-sellers can get away with fundamental mistakes that would otherwise sink the ship of a new Amazon seller because of their powerful marketing efforts off of Amazon.

These common big brand mistakes often include:

  • Poor copywriting

  • Misaligned color psychology

  • Bad art direction

  • Targeting keywords that are far too broad

  • Lack of a focus on buyer intent keywords

Related: 7 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Seller on Amazon

What new Amazon sellers should do instead

The best new Amazon seller advice I can give is to learn the fundamentals of sales and marketing. Then, make sure your listings and marketing efforts blow theirs out of the water.

An all too common mistake is to not worry about your presence off of Amazon since millions of customers are on Amazon every day ready to buy. The thing is, your external presence and ability to drive external traffic from off of Amazon to your products on Amazon impact your visibility on Amazon. It's part of their algorithm.

That means how visible you will be when people search for keywords — in organic results as well as paid — depends on how good of a job you do at building your brand off of Amazon. So, what should you do?

  • Launch list: Amazon has a honeymoon period. Amazon watches how many sales you make and how much traffic you drive in your first 30-60 days, and this determines how easy or hard it will be for you to rank in product searches and get ad visibility. Build up a buzz before you launch, collect emails, and drive email traffic to your product detail page when you launch. This way, you can thrive right out of the gate.

  • Product descriptions, A+ content and gallery images: Don't simply hand off your product to a graphic designer and say "make me Amazon A+ content and gallery images that will sell!" or to a copywriter and say the same about product descriptions. Arm them with a buyer persona, color psychology that will align with your buyer and critical information that will help with art direction and copywriting like FAQs, objections, competitive advantages and more.

  • External Amazon traffic: With the brand referral bonus program that gives Amazon sellers up to 10% cash back for driving external traffic in place, there is no reason not to drive traffic from PPC Ads, Amazon Influencers and more.

  • Brand building: It's no secret that Amazon crawls the internet to learn about the products sold on its marketplace. Arm Amazon with as much information as possible to show them you are a brand capable of marketing yourself and driving sales intent on Amazon. Bolster your website SEO, get PR, and foster a community of passionate enthusiasts around your brand.

New Amazon sellers can thrive early on in their selling journey by not copying the big brands and focusing on sales and marketing best practices instead.

Related: 4 Ways to Sell (a Lot) More on Amazon

Tanner Rankin

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO at The Source Approach & Referazon

For 10+ years as an author, speaker, Fractional CMO & CEO at The Source Approach – eCommerce Consultancy & Referazon – Amazon Influencer Search & CRM, Tanner Rankin has helped brands thrive at eCommerce quicker & easier.

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