6 Reasons You're Not Selling on Amazon Besides Poor Amazon Listing Optimization

Amazon listing optimization

Last updated on January 27th, 2023

Written by Mark Salvania

So you've been devouring Amazon listing optimization tips since you started on Amazon. You've modified your product titles numerous times and made sure that you're only selling in-demand products and your product images are clickable. But why on earth are you not selling well on Amazon? 

It's frustrating for first-time Amazon sellers. Even veteran sellers have days when they're not closing a sale. Perhaps you're missing something, and it’s okay to admit that. Here are the reasons you're not selling anything on Amazon.

1. Your product reviews are unsatisfactory.

Amazon lauds itself as a customer-centric company. That is why product reviews, which come from customers, are one of Amazon's metrics to assess your products.

If many customers are reviewing your product, it means that it's gaining traction. Moreover, you're getting free publicity from customers who actually use your product.

However, a product review is a double-edged sword. On the other side stand the customers who give you one- to three-star ratings and negative reviews, which can hurt your business. Potential customers may avoid buying your product once they notice it has only a few stars. They may even filter results with four- to five-star ratings only, leaving out offers with lower ratings.

But how can you get stellar ratings and positive reviews? Don’t even think about paying someone to do it, or you may face dire consequences. Amazon only wants authentic reviews from customers who really purchased the item. 

One way to get better product reviews is to respond to negative reviews in public. Terrifying? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely. Try to take a stance on the issue. Share with the irate customer how you can solve the problem and promise it won't happen again in the future. When you approach it like this, it lessens the impact of the issue and shows that you care about your customers. If you get lucky, they might change their review and rating of their own will.

Another possible solution is to request Amazon to delete the negative review. You can do this if you're confident that the customer didn't follow Amazon's community guidelines regarding product reviews. You may bring this up to Amazon by clicking “Report Abuse” at the bottom of the review in question.

2. You're not advertising your products.

Amazon is one of the world's most crowded online marketplaces, and you won't stand out if you only optimize your Amazon listing. Try advertising your products through Amazon's PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns: Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display. Let's differentiate each one.

  • A sponsored product is a type of CPC (cost-per-click) ad. It appears within the shopping results, at the top of the results, and on product pages. Use this to promote your low-converting product listings.
  • A sponsored brand is a CPC ad that displays your brand logo, custom headline, and three product listings you want to advertise. It has the same ad placement as Sponsored Products. Sponsored Brands can drive brand awareness and give you a chance to showcase your products.
  • A sponsored display lets you promote your products even outside Amazon Marketplace. It's a self-service display ad with three targeting options: views targeting, product targeting, and interest targeting.

Always keep your products on the buyer's radar with Amazon's sponsored ad campaigns. For Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands, you must win the bidding game to grab the top spot or at least land on the first page of the search results. On the other hand, Sponsored Display relies on browsing and buying signals to reach customers.

3. Your pricing is not competitive.

Contrary to popular belief, lowering your price doesn't always give you a competitive advantage. What then is the “best price” by Amazon’s standards?

The best price depends on your strategy. It can be repricing, getting the Buy Box (more on this later), or stable pricing. 

  • Repricing is suitable if you want to compete with the lowest-priced product similar to yours. You can do this manually or use a tool to adjust the price dynamically. 
  • Getting the Buy Box involves certain factors such as average shipping time, number of returns, number of replacements, number of cancellations, and your seller rating. Keep the price components at a minimum value.
  • Stable pricing is applicable if you aim to build a long-term presence on Amazon. However, make some exceptions when launching a new product or during the holiday season.

Before you develop a pricing strategy, make sure it follows the Amazon Marketplace Fair Pricing Policy to avoid infractions. 

4. Your product detail page is not retail-ready.

What is a retail-ready product detail page? It means your product listing is ready for display on Amazon Marketplace. It ensures the customer will have a positive experience and the correct information to make a buying decision. Moreover, a retail-ready product detail page is your initial investment in various advertising opportunities.

But how do you know if your product detail page is retail-ready? Below is the Amazon Standard Identification Number retail readiness checklist. Use it to determine which product listing needs optimization.

Listing optimization helps you create retail-ready product detail pages. Here's a short guide on how to improve listing on Amazon.

Product title 

It's the first thing the customer sees when searching for an item on the shopping results page. The title should accurately describe your product and entice the customer to click on it. Make sure to capitalize the first letter of each word. Of course, if you want that customer click to be successful, you have to make sure you have no broken links and that the customer ends up on the right product page. This can easily be achieved using proper redirects when needed.

Key features

It's written in the form of bullet points. Follow the “Show; don't tell” strategy when creating the key features of your product. Mention the benefit instead of the feature or a combination of both. 

Product images

The product should fill 80–100% of the image frame, and the background must be pure white (RGB = 255, 255, 255). Show the entire product and not only a part of it. The allowed image formats are JPEG (.jpeg/.jpg), PNG (.png), GIF (.gif), and TIFF (.tif/.tiff). Don't put any texts, inset images, or graphics inside the frame.

Product reviews

We've discussed before how to improve your rating and reviews. In addition, you may use the Early Reviewer Program to encourage recent buyers to post authentic reviews. Try enrolling in Amazon Brand Registry as well.


It’s an indicator your product can produce sales. Always make sure your product is in stock or replenishable.

5. You don't have Amazon Buy Box privileges.

As mentioned before, the Buy Box is equivalent to the “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” buttons. Do you want your product to get the Buy Box? Do the following:

  • Sign up for a Professional seller account.
  • Register to Fulfillment by Amazon.
  • Shorten your shipping time.
  • Provide your customers with a positive buying experience.
  • Create a competitive pricing strategy.

6. Your products are now Amazon add-on items.

It's no fun the moment Amazon categorizes your product as an add-on item. Amazon add-on items or complementary products are too small and too cheap to be ordered individually. Amazon includes it with an order that is over $25 to be shipped to the same address. 

It might increase your chance of achieving more sales because customers are forced to buy in large quantities. However, it might also lead to cart abandonment. How can you prevent Amazon from classifying your product as an add-on?

  • Increase your product's price starting from $10 above.
  • Sell it in a bundle with your other products.
  • Provide multi-pack options for the product.
  • Join Amazon's Small and Light Program.


Besides Amazon listing optimization, there are several reasons why you're not selling on Amazon. It might have something to do with negative reviews or poor pricing schemes. Perhaps you're not promoting your products well enough, or you’ve never won a Buy Box for your product. Worst of all, your products are just add-ons. 

Prevent these from happening by applying the tips above, and soon you will taste the victory of closing a sale.

Do you want to boost your sales with an optimized Amazon listing? Seller Interactive has a team of expert Amazon consultants who can help you with Amazon listing optimization. For inquiries, email [email protected].  

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