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Understanding and Ensuring Retail Readiness

The Amazon space bursts with potential for businesses looking to grow. However, you may not be able to leverage this potential entirely unless your listings are retail ready.

Even if you invest in advertising to drive growth, your campaigns may underdeliver if your product detail pages do not check all the boxes of retail readiness, resulting in stunted performance.

But what exactly is retail readiness and how do you ensure it? We will talk about that in this blog!

Understanding Retail Readiness

Retail Readiness is a term Amazon uses to define listings that are fully optimized and ready to offer the best possible customer experience.

The retail readiness of your listing builds on a number of elements including but not limited to:

  • Product title, description, and bullet points

  • Images and listing video

  • Enhanced Brand Content

  • Reviews and ratings

Once your listing checks all the boxes of retail readiness, it is in a better state to convert the incremental traffic that organic visibility and, more importantly, ads may drive to your listing and generate a better return on your ad spend.

Ensuring Retail Readiness: The Checklist

Making sure that your Amazon listing is retail-ready requires that you analyze various elements of your existing listing, compare them with Amazon's best practices, and optimize them so they are better aligned with how Amazon recommends a particular element should be.

Below are the most important areas you need to double-check and potentially improve when trying to build a retail-ready listing that is fit to drive better engagements for your brand:

Product Title

Title is one of the first things that customers see, even before they have clicked on your listing. And so, it deserves to be in the number one spot on our list and should be one of the first elements you analyze and optimize as well.

Ideally, your product title should be concise, descriptive, and optimized with the most relevant keywords. It should also have your brand name at the very beginning to make sure your brand gets the desired exposure once it starts to appear on the search results.

Different niches have different character limits for titles on Amazon. However, generally, 125-200 characters are allowed within the title. That’s enough for you to include the brand name, most important information (like a couple of product features/benefits, size, color, or whatever chunk of information you think might be necessary for the customer experience), and keywords.

It is important to mention here that your titles should not be in ALL CAPS, overly promotional, or making claims that are either unproven, not supported, or against Amazon’s policies.

Including such claims can get your listing suppressed on Amazon and you can end up losing sales.

So, always cross-check every claim that you are making on your listings with Amazon’s compliance policies, and then move forward.

Product Images

Customers don’t have the same experience when shopping online as they do in physical stores. This is why, images play a crucial role in driving online sales.

Fortunately, Amazon offers all the opportunities a seller needs to leverage visuals to drive conversions for their products.

Now, how well you use these opportunities will determine how “retail ready” your listing may be.

Amazon allows up to seven listing images. You can also replace the seventh image with a listing video.

Your first image needs to be a clear, high-res product photo on white background, but you can get more creative and leverage better selling opportunities with the remaining five or six images.

You can include images that reflect the product’s use cases, benefits, and the value it adds to the customers’ lives. Lifestyle images can also be a valuable addition to your listing images as they help customers envision themselves using your product.

Many brands also use infographic-like images that consolidate all product features or benefits within a single image and present them in a more visually appealing manner.

Creativity has no bounds when it comes to designing your Amazon posts. Take a look at top competitive brands, see what they are doing, and consider replicating them. But make sure your images comply with Amazon’s policies, are high quality, and are shot or designed professionally.

When adding listing videos, make sure your videos are short, engaging, and valuable for a customer who is looking to understand your product and how it benefits them. And of course, double-check Amazon’s listing video requirements before moving forward.

Bullet Points

Bullet points appear next to your product images and offer an opportunity for you to explain your product better and position your brand more strongly in front of a customer.

You can leverage this space to explain various product features. But remember, as you talk about features, don’t forget to mention the benefits of those features as well. How will a particular feature help the customer? Answer that question through your bullet points.

You can also use your bullet points to build trust with customers by sharing information about your return or refund policies and any guarantees that you may be offering.

Your bullet points are also an opportunity for you to include keywords within your listing so it may rank higher organically.

Amazon allows up to five bullet points with a 1000-character limit for all bullet points. Use this space efficiently to build trust with your prospects and close more sales.

Customer Reviews and Ratings

Customer reviews and ratings are probably the biggest factors that influence your sales.

Reviews are the comments customers leave for a product on its detail page and ratings are the star ratings that the product has. Both play a crucial role in determining the retail readiness of your listing.

As a rule of thumb, your listing should have at least 15 reviews and a rating of 3.5 or above to be conisdered retail-ready. However, ideally, it is best to aim for a 4+ rating to ensure better conversions.

Product Description

Product description appears when customers scroll down on your product’s detail page. This is another space for you to describe your product, its features, and benefits as well as build a reputation for your brand.

You can also use this space to include more keywords to improve your listing’s SEO.

Another option is to convert a plain text product description with the more visually appealing A+ product description. Doing this will help improve your listing experience and may also enable you to drive better conversions.

Enhanced Brand Content

Enhanced brand content, whether in terms of product description or A+ content, can uplift the expereince you offer on your listing. Additionally, EBC also gives you space to share more features and benefits of your products and build your brand to build customer trust and interest.

Use visually appealing and professionally designed or shot images within your A+ content. Make sure all the content is compliant with Amazon’s policies and balance the text-to-image ratio since too much text within the A+ content will take a toll on its true impact.

Inventory

Regardless of how perfect your listing may be, you can never win sales with low or no inventory.

So, as you go ahead and make sure all your listing elements are optimized, don’t forget to take a look at your inventory levels.

Amazon requires you to have at least 30 days of inventory before launching ad campaigns. Therefore, analyze your sales velocity and forecast sales for the next 30 or so days and maintain that inventory level.

This is more important for sellers who use FBA. Because restocking your FBA inventory can take more time and increase the risk of you missing out on crucial sales opportunities.

Buy Box

If you have a nice listing, a nice product, and a nice brand, you deserve the sales credit, too right? Of course. This happens when your brand is winning the Buy Box.

Make sure your brand is winning the Buy Box before approving a product listing for advertising. That’s because If you are not winning the coveted Buy Box, you may miss out on crucial ad impressions as well.

Continuous Improvement

Ensuring retail readiness is not a one-time thing. You need to revisit your listings regularly, identify opportunity areas, and optimize them for continued growth. For example, consider refreshing your visual content for back-to-school or holiday season.

More importantly, track your performance metrics like conversion rates, sales, impressions, clicks, etc. to understand what’s working and what’s not working. And use these data-driven insights to guide your listing optimization strategy.

Amazon has lots of potential and can help businesses scale, no matter what size they are. But you need to have an optimized or, in other words, a “retail ready” listing to unlock and truly benefit from this potential.

At Accrue, ensuring retail readiness is one of the first things we do for our brands. Not sure how you should proceed with retail readiness, ads, or Amazon selling? Talk to our ecommerce strategists and Amazon experts.



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