Ask the right questions when hiring an Amazon product launch consultant. Don't be charmed with their sweet words and promises.
From optimizing your product listings, winning the Buy Box, and maintaining a stellar seller rating, the right Amazon product launch consultant can focus on all the nitty-gritty. Even though there are tons of tutorials about launching a product on Amazon on the internet, nothing beats an experienced consultant that will help propel your Amazon business to success. But how can you choose one that offers top-notch Amazon launch services?
In this article, we will discuss the questions you should ask your product launch consultant before hiring them, give a brief overview of what is inside an Amazon product launch checklist, and talk about common mistakes when launching a product on Amazon that you should avoid.
During your first meeting, an Amazon consultant might present you sets of plans that their agency offers. However, don't settle with standard Amazon launch service plans. Try fine-tuning them to align with your brand's goals and objectives. How? Ask them the right questions.
1. How much e-commerce and Amazon product launch experience do they have?
When launching a product on Amazon, experience is important. Remember that you will pay for the tools your consultant will be using. Their knowledge and skills to execute the best Amazon product launch service count the most.
Years of experience will also give you an idea of how many product launches they have made. In reality, a product launch timeline takes less than a year. Yes! It is that long. For example, they told you that they have roughly four years of experience; it means they have only executed more or less four product launches, unless they were from a large agency that can accomplish multiple launches.
2. How long does it take to launch a product on Amazon?
This is a trick question. If they answer, "Oh, we can do it in a week," then there's something weird going on with their agency. Or worse, they're doing shady strategies just to launch a product within a short period.
As we mentioned before, launching a product on Amazon takes almost a year. Don't be amazed when an Amazon consultant guarantees that they can do it in a week. Instead, run for the hills and schedule a meeting with your next prospect right away.
3. What Amazon launch service do they offer?
Amazon product launch agencies have their specialties. Some are good at optimizing an Amazon product listing. Others can create PPC (pay-per-click) campaign ads that are a magnet for clicks and conversions. In contrast, few agencies are focused on promoting Amazon products on social media platforms.
However, it would be better if an Amazon consultant can offer you a packaged deal. Why? For example, if you want to advertise on Facebook but your product listing isn't retail-ready, then you need to spend a great deal of time and money to optimize it. Every phase of an Amazon product launch must complement each other to run like a well-oiled machine.
On the other hand, if your problem is a poorly structured Amazon PPC campaign, then an agency with such specialization would be perfect.
4. Can they share a portfolio of their product launches?
An Amazon consultant may boast about how good they are. Well, anyone can. But without solid proof of their accomplishments, their claims are automatically invalidated.
Try asking if it is alright to interview their past clients to dig deeper into how they work. Also, try to find out if they have already worked on a brand or industry similar to yours. This way, you can gauge their level of expertise with regards to your line of business.
5. Do they have experience in Amazon SEO?
How much do they know about Amazon SEO? Can they offer Amazon SEO services?
If your Amazon listing quality score is low, you can't start PPC campaigns, put up social media advertisements, or give freebies. Even launching a product on Amazon is impossible! This is how vital a fully optimized product listing is.
6. Do they know about winning the Buy Box?
Of course, no sane consultant will divulge this information as this is a trade secret. At the very least, they must give you an idea or the fundamentals of how they can do so.
Remember that winning the Buy Box is the key to more sales. An Amazon consultant must also know how to explain terms like Add to Cart and Add to List.
It would be a bonus if they can place your products on Amazon's Choice or Best Sellers roster.
7. Is there a difference between Amazon FBA and Amazon Prime?
Another trick question! The answer is: Amazon FBA and Prime may be linked. When you enroll under Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon), you're automatically a Prime seller.
Being a Prime seller is a big deal on Amazon because you can sell your products to ready-to-buy customers, which comprises more than 150 million members worldwide. You can also easily win the Buy Box, and the products you're offering will be eye candy among Prime members.
Although, you can be an Amazon Prime seller while not being on FBA if you're in the Self-Fulfilled Prime program.
8. What tools do they use when launching a product on Amazon?
Before asking this question, do your homework first by searching for industry-standard Amazon tools. If they mention one or two tools from your list, it may be a good sign because they're offering the best. Exceptions to this are proprietary software that they have developed themselves.
Find out how these tools would be beneficial for your business. Moreover, ensure that your data and other sensitive information will be secured when used for analysis and monitoring.
9. How long can a product run on coupons or giveaways?
Casually ask this trick question. If they answer “As long as you want,” then this is a red flag. Amazon doesn't penalize you for giving away coupons or freebies when launching a product. However, once you have settled for a month or so in the marketplace, Amazon expects that you will switch to gaining sales organically.
Another red flag is when an Amazon consultant suggests soliciting reviews to improve your product ranking. It gives you an idea of how unethical the person or agency is.
10. What are the qualities of a successful product launch?
An Amazon consulting agency that runs purely on theories and hunches can't offer you the best Amazon product launch service. One way of exposing this is through this question.
Besides impressive sales growth, a successful product launch has the following characteristics:
Here's a checklist when launching a product on Amazon to give you an idea about how it is done:
1. Read the Amazon TOS (terms of service) back-to-back.
2. Optimize your listings and images.
3. Check your inventory to ensure it is well-stocked.
4. Give your supplier a heads up in case you need to replenish stock.
5. Create an Amazon PPC ad.
6. Sign up for Amazon's Early Reviewer Program and Vine.
7. Give away a reasonable number of coupons or discounts.
8. Promote your product on social media.
Remember that you should always consider Amazon's house rules in everything you do in their marketplace. These rules were implemented to provide customers with the best buying experience and to ensure fair treatment of sellers.
Since you're a new Amazon seller, it is natural for you to make mistakes. Your first few months might be tough, but eventually, you will get familiar with the Amazon marketplace's ins and outs. However, it is better to be safe than sorry, so here are the newbie mistakes you may commit when launching a product on Amazon:
1. You've chosen the wrong product to sell. A product with low demand and high competition won't make sales. Moreover, if Amazon prohibits that type of product, all your efforts will be wasted.
2. You didn't test the product thoroughly. Amazon has strict guidelines regarding packaging and prep requirements. One of which is passing the 3-foot drop test.
3. You don't have a sufficient advertising budget. As a first-time seller, you might be hesitant to go full blast, like setting a higher discount or giving away too many units.
4. You’ve targeted the wrong keyword. You may have the best product in possession, but your keyword isn't relevant or not related to your product.
5. You're sending the incorrect URL. Remember that the product's listing URL is different from the 2-Step URL.
You can avoid these mistakes by hiring an Amazon consultant. They can give you sound advice and guide you by providing an Amazon launch service suitable for your product.
Launching a product on Amazon could make or break your business. If it doesn't go well, it will affect your chances of success in the marketplace. Recruiting a qualified product launch consultant can help you tick off each box on the Amazon product launch checklist with their experience and knowledge. You may ask the questions above to screen your prospects. It is crucial to choose someone who aligns with your goals, and who is happy and willing to answer your questions.
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