25 Rules For Amazon Consulting Services (Simple Mistakes To Avoid)
If you’re new to selling products on Amazon, then it’s likely you’re still in the “I don’t know what I don’t know” phase. If that’s the case, it’s best to do some up-front research to determine what’s necessary to be successful.
Then, you’ll have a general idea of what it takes to be successful on Amazon. You’ll still need someone with experience who can fill in the gaps in your knowledge, though.
Here are 25 things to look for in an Amazon consulting expert:
1. Get Amazon Consulting Services That Include Amazon SEO
The first thing to look for in an Amazon consultant is somebody who knows Amazon SEO.
Note the word “Amazon” in front of “SEO” in that last sentence. That’s an important distinction from traditional SEO.
Effectively, Amazon is a search engine. Although you can find Amazon products with Google, many online shoppers go straight to Amazon when searching for products they want to buy.
And when they perform a search related to your niche, you’ll want your products to appear at the top, right?
That’s why you need an Amazon consultant who understands the various ranking factors that will give your products maximum exposure in the Amazon search results.
2. A Consultant Who Knows the Importance of Good Reviews
Of course, good reviews are important on any e-commerce platform. But they’re especially important on Amazon.
Why? Because they’re a ranking factor.
In other words, good reviews don’t just impress potential buyers, but they also impress Amazon’s search algorithm. Your product is more likely to rank well if it has good reviews.
Your consultant should also know about the importance of getting verified reviews. Those are reviews from people that Amazon has verified as purchasers of the product. They go a long way in helping you rank.
3. Make Sure Your Amazon Consulting Expert Abides By The Rules
While we’re on the subject of reviews, it’s a good idea to remember that incentivized reviews are a big no-no on Amazon.
In other words, you are absolutely prohibited from offering somebody anything in return for leaving a good review. If you do that, and Amazon catches you, then you can kiss your account goodbye.
You might even end up in court.
This should be discussed when looking at Amazon consulting services. In fact, your consultant should know about all the rules associated with selling on Amazon and abide by them.
Sadly, we’re almost at the point now where someone needs a J.D. just to keep up Amazon’s rules. That’s why it’s a good idea to get in touch with a consultant.
4. A Consultant Who Understands the Difference Between 1P and 3P Selling
Pro-tip: if you ask an Amazon consultant whether you should sell 1P or 3P and he or she doesn’t know what you’re talking about, then you need to find another consultant.
Your Amazon advisor should not only know the difference between Vendor Central and Seller Central but should also advise you about which is best for you.
Briefly, here’s the difference between each:
1P – You’re a first-party seller. That means you sell to Amazon retail as a wholesaler and Amazon sells your products to its customers. You’ll use the Vendor Central interface if you opt for 1P.
3P – You’re a third-party seller. That means you’re using the Amazon platform to sell directly to consumers. You’ll use the Seller Central interface if you opt for 3P.
There are pros and cons to each option. Your consultant should explain them to you.
5. Amazon Consulting That Also Offers Amazon A+ Content to Boost Sales
If you go with a 1P account, then your consultant should inform you about Amazon A+ content.
In a nutshell, A+ content gives you content advantages over competitors who don’t use it. You’ll have access to advanced text options, images, and even video in your product listings.
All of that is going to help you increase conversions, if it’s done right.
And that’s where the consultant comes into play. Your Amazon expert should know how to create A+ content that reels in customers.
6. An Amazon Consultant Who Knows How to Use Enhanced Brand Content to Boost Sales
If you opt to go 3P instead of 1P in your Amazon selling efforts, then your consultant should advise you about Enhanced Brand Content (EBC).
To use EBC, your brand must be enrolled in the Amazon brand registry. Not all businesses qualify for enrollment, and your consultant should inform you about whether or not you’ll qualify.
If you do qualify, your consultant should offer guidance on creating EBC that will improve your conversion rate.
7. A Consultant Who Knows How to Create Product Descriptions That Sell
If only products could sell themselves. Then, we wouldn’t need marketers.
But we do need marketers. That’s why your Amazon consultant should be knowledgeable in how to create product descriptions that sell products.
You can get an idea about whether a consultant you’re considering is any good at that by performing a quick Wolf of Wall Street test.
That movie includes a scene in which Jordan Belfort (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) hands a pen to one of his co-workers and says: “Sell me this [expletive deleted] pen.” Interestingly enough, the movie ends with a similar scene.
When you’re interviewing them for Amazon consulting services, show him or her one of your products and say: “Sell me this product.”
The answer doesn’t have to be compelling right away (hey, you’re putting the person on the spot), but the consultant should respond by describing the benefits of the product and not the features.
8. A Consultant Who Knows How to use Amazon SEO Tools
We’ve already covered the importance of Amazon SEO. A good consultant will use tools to help with SEO.
Here’s another good test when interviewing a potential Amazon consultant: ask which tools he or she uses.
You should hear answers like:
Sellics – an on-page ranking tool
Scientific Seller – a keyword research tool
MerchantWords – offers estimates on the search volume of keywords
AmzTracker – an Amazon rank-tracking tool
SellerMetrics – yet another Amazon rank-tracking tool
Jungle Scout, etc…
9. A Consultant Who Knows When and How to Use Amazon Sponsored Products
Amazon offers its own in-house pay-per-click (PPC) program called Amazon Sponsored Products. Your consultant should know all about it and offer advice about whether or not it’s right for your business model.
Basically, it’s a program that allows you to advertise your products on Amazon so that they appear at the top of the search results. It’s a great way to increase your visibility.
Amazon Consulting Services
Another thing your consultant should know: Amazon also will boost the organic rank of products that perform well in Sponsored Products. In other words, if you run a PPC ad on Amazon and it gives you a great conversion rate, then you can expect a boost in rank if you stop running the ad.
10. Amazon Consulting That Focuses On Marketing Services to Maximize Sales
If you’re “all in” when it comes to selling products on Amazon, then you’ll likely want to use Amazon Marketing Services (AMS). A great consultant can help you with that.
AMS gives you the ability to run display ads, target competitors, and gain access to Amazon’s library of data on individual consumers. It’s a fabulous service for hardcore marketers.
Your consultant should also understand that AMS uses an auction market to determine PPC rates. That’s why you want a consultant who can help you with bidding strategies.
11. A Consultant Who Knows How to Use Creatives to Improve Conversions
With AMS, you get a little more flexibility in the use of creatives for display advertising. Your consultant should know that and help you create images that reel in customers.
Keep in mind, though, that your Amazon consulting services might not offer graphic design. So you might spend a little extra cash to get just the right image for your product.
12. A Consultant Who Understands Amazon Vine
Amazon Vine is a program that includes Amazon’s most trusted reviewers. They post reviews about new and pre-release products.
That’s important to you, as a seller, for a couple of reasons. First, they’re trusted reviewers, so their reviews will go a long way in convincing wavering customers.
Second, they aren’t required to post positive reviews. Amazon shoppers who are familiar with the program know that they can trust the reviews of Vine reviewers.
In other words, if you get a great review from somebody in Amazon Vine, that’s very good news for your product.
13. Amazon Consulting Services That Focus On Your Target Market
It’s not likely that everybody wants to buy your product, no matter how good it is. That’s why you need to identify a target market.
Of course, your Amazon consultant should be able to do that as well. In fact, a good consultant will open up your product to markets you hadn’t even thought about.
14. A Consultant Who Understands FBA and Whether or Not It’s Right for You
If you decide to sell on Amazon, you might want to become a part of the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. Your consultant should know all about that program and tell you whether or not it’s best for your business.
Briefly, FBA lets you turn over the shipping, handling, and customer service aspects of online selling to Amazon. Of course, the company charges a fee for all of that, and it isn’t cheap.
On the other hand, you might decide to do all the shipping and handling out of your own business location. You’ll also offer customers a phone number so you can handle questions and complaints.
A good consultant will give you a cost breakdown of both options so you can get an idea of your profit margin in either case.
15. Amazon Consulting Services That Focus On Split-Testing
Marketing on Amazon is just like any other type of online marketing in this way: split-testing is absolutely necessary to determine what works.
If your consultant doesn’t have any experience with split-testing (sometimes called A/B testing), then you should probably find another consultant. You need to evaluate different marketing options to determine what works for your brand.
16. An Amazon Consultant Familiar With Repricing Strategies
Sometimes, the first price you set for your product isn’t the right one. Don’t expect even an experienced consultant to get the price right the first time, either.
It’s easy to set the price too high or too low.
However, your consultant should know all about repricing strategies. Ask about that during the interview process.
17. A Consultant Who Knows How to Use Longtail Keywords That Are Less Competitive
There are numerous third-party tools that allow you to do Amazon keyword research (for example: Sonar, Scientific Seller, and AMZTracker) . Your consultant should know about them.
More than that, though, your consultant should also know how to use those tools to find longtail keywords that aren’t as competitive as some shorter keywords. Then, he or she can help you optimize your product descriptions for those keywords.
18. A Consultant Who Knows How to Help Your Brand Stand Out
Amazon is a jungle of competitors. That’s why your brand needs to stand out from the rest.
If you try to do that by just lowering your price (a marketing mistake, by the way), then you’ll end up starting a price war with competitors. The winner is the business with the lowest price.
Is that really what you want?
Of course not. That’s why you need to find a consultant who can help your brand stand out from the rest on Amazon.
19. Amazon Consulting Experts That Help You Connect With Customers
Although Amazon is a jungle, there are communities within that jungle.
One way to be successful on Amazon, and outmaneuver your competitors at the same time, is to develop relationships with potential and existing customers.
How do you do that? One way is to respond to reviews.
Your consultant should offer you other ideas.
20. An Amazon Consultant Who Knows How to Get Negative Feedback Removed
Nobody has a perfect score in retail. There will be customers who are disappointed and leave negative feedback.
Fortunately, the story doesn’t have to end there. You can get the negative feedback removed.
How? The customer who left it can remove it.
And how do you get the customer to remove it? That’s where your consultant should be able to help you.
21. Amazon Consulting On Inventory Management
Although your inventory is an asset, it’s not going to generate much cash for you if it’s sitting in storage for months on end.
Similarly, if you’ve got a lot of people placing orders for a product you don’t have in inventory, you’ve got a problem.
That’s why your Amazon consultant should know all about inventory management. You want to get as close as you can to a just-in-time (JIT) inventory management strategy as possible.
22. Amazon Consulting (Outside of Amazon)
Your consultant shouldn’t just focus on marketing your product within Amazon, but outside of Amazon as well.
In other words, a great consultant will help you find ways to bring people on the Internet to your Amazon store. That might be accomplished with a content marketing strategy, a PPC strategy, or some other means.
23. A Consultant Who Knows How to Land Your Product in the Buy Box
When customers search for something on Amazon, they’ll navigate to a product’s main page. On that page, they’ll see a “box” that gives them the option to add the product to their shopping cart (or buy it with one click). That’s the Buy Box.
Now, suppose different sellers are selling the same product. Which one “wins” the Buy Box?
Your Amazon consultant should know the answer to that question and give you advice about how your product can win the Buy Box.
24. A Consultant Who Has a Proven Track Record of Improving Sales Rank Over Time
When you sell on Amazon, you’ll have access to a “sales rank” statistic that describes how well your product is selling when compared against other products in the same niche. The lower the number, the better.
Your consultant should have a track record of working with other companies to improve their Amazon sales rank over time. Ask for references of previous clients who have seen their rank get better.
25. Amazon Consulting Services That Focus On The Customer
When it comes to selling on Amazon, you’ll live or die based on the quality of your customer service. Your Amazon consultant should understand that and advise you to bend over backwards to keep your customers happy.
If you’re interviewing a potential consultant and getting a vibe that he or she just wants to maximize your sales without considering the best interests of customers, look for another consultant. You might gain some short-term wins with marketing trickery, but if you won’t do your brand any long-term favors.
Good luck selecting the right Amazon consulting expert for your business.