A Guide to Amazon Vendor Tools for Marketing Your Products
You would think a company that has extensive data on online user behavior would know how to build a vendor platform that’s powerful and easy to use, but the tools Amazon provides to its vendors are actually pretty lacking. Any business that treats selling on Amazon as an important part of its business model will have to invest in some third-party products to do what they really need to on the platform.
And, chances are, you’ll need to dish out money for several different products to meet all your needs as an Amazon seller. A whole industry has grown up around providing the functionality that Amazon’s vendor platform is missing. For the marketing needed to stay visible and successful on the platform, there are five different categories of products worth considering. Here’s a rundown:
Types of Amazon Marketing Tools
Many of the categories of tools for Amazon marketing are similar in function to products you’re probably using for the rest of your digital marketing. Even if you already have software to help you with PPC, SEO, and analytics, you’ll still want to invest in separate Amazon-specific tools to help you do these things well on Amazon. The e-commerce giant really is its own ecosystem.
Note that there is some overlap in these different categories. You may not need five different products, each one devoted to a specific category of Amazon marketing functionality. In many cases, one product you go with will cover two or three of these areas. But, each product will have its pros and cons, so you’ll have to figure out for yourself which ones make the most sense.
Amazon PPC Tools
If your product area is at all competitive on Amazon, then competing in the general search can be an uphill battle. You’ll get your product listing in front of more people faster by investing in sponsored ads.
Amazon PPC tools can help you make your investment in sponsored ads go a lot further by providing you the means to do better targeting and optimize your bidding for better ROI.
What to Look for in an Amazon PPC Tool
Some of the most important features to look for in an Amazon PPC tool are:
Keyword research – Keywords are the lifeblood of Amazon PPC. To know which searches you want your ads to show up for, you need to know what people are searching for on Amazon to begin with. Any good Amazon PPC tool should have an easy-to-use, comprehensive keyword research tool.
Bid automation – For each campaign, you need to figure out which keywords to target and how much to bid for each. With bid automation, PPC technology looks at all the data available and figures out the best bids available to you to get the most ROI. It can both make your job easier and improve your results.
Negative mining – To do Amazon PPC well, you don’t just need to know the right keywords to bid on, you need to know which ones to avoid. If your ads show up for searches that don’t make sense – or worse, if people click on them only to be disappointed – then, you’ll be wasting time and money. Negative mining can help you weed out the bad keywords so you just focus on the good.
The Main Amazon PPC Tools
Sellics – Offers all three of the main features we recommend along with a lot of additional functionality. This is a popular choice, particularly for its powerful bid automation feature. The product isn’t perfect. It can be buggy, especially as the developers have to rush to make updates in line with frequent changes Amazon makes to their API. But, it’s one of the best options currently available. They price based on how much you do in sales, starting at $47 a month for small businesses and going to $317 a month for especially big ones.
SellerLabs – Offers all of our main recommended features as well. Their pricing is based on how many campaigns you run at once, starting at $49 a month for up to 5 campaigns and going to $499 for 100.
AdBadger – Focused specifically on Amazon PPC and offers the big three features we recommend. The basic plan starts at $107 a month, with the elite plan, which includes more hands-on help from staff going up to $1,750 a month.
Jungle Scout – Useful for competitor and keyword research. A less robust tool than the others, but still provides some useful functionality. Jungle Scout plans start at $29 a month, but go up to $69 a month for more features.
Amazon SEO Tools
While sponsored ads can get your product to the top of the page, some customers are good at spotting the “Sponsored” label and may scroll down to find the organic results. If your products are buried on page 10 in Amazon, they might as well not be listed at all. But, if you can craft your product listings just right to show up on the first page of the results for relevant searches (or even better, the first spot), you’ll see a big difference in sales because of it. Amazon SEO technically doesn’t cost you anything except time, but investing in the right software can make your SEO efforts a lot easier and more effective.
What to Look for in an Amazon SEO Tool
There’s some overlap in the features you’ll want from an Amazon SEO tool and a PPC one, but some are important to SEO specifically. Here are the main features we recommend looking for:
Keyword research – Keywords are just as important in SEO as PPC. A good SEO tool needs to provide in-depth information on what people are searching for.
Competitor research – When you can analyze the competitors showing up at the top for your target terms, you can learn what works for landing those top spots. Your SEO tool should help you identify your top competitors and analyze their listings.
Rank tracking – A tool that makes it easy for you to see what spot you’re in for each search term you hope to rank for helps you track the progress of your SEO efforts and figure out when your optimization efforts are working and when you need to try new tactics.
The Main Amazon SEO Tools
Amz Tracker– Provides all three of the main features we recommend, along with automated suggestions for improving conversion rates. Amz Tracker was one of the first products in the space and provides some good features, but it’s costly at $50-$400 a month, depending on the number of keywords and products you track.
Sellics– Offers all three of our main recommended SEO features (along with the PPC features described above). An overall good tool, but buggy, as previously mentioned.
AmaSuite– Provides functionality for keyword research and competitor research. It has fewer features than the other two, but comes at a lower price – either one payment of $197, or $268 if you split it between multiple payments.
Customer reviews are a huge part of how people make purchasing decisions. 85% of consumers say they trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Sure, reviews can make or break any type of business. But, for someone selling on Amazon, the rating is one of the first things people see, and the reviews are right there on the product page. They’re the main part of your listing you have limited control over and they play a huge role in whether or not someone chooses to buy. Ratings even influence whether Amazon is likely to show your listings high up in the search or give them the buy box.
Feedback management tools help you encourage more customers to leave reviews and make it easier to stay on top of following and responding to the reviews that come in.
What to Look for in an Amazon Feedback Management Tool
Good Amazon feedback management tools include at least these two most important features:
Automated email follow-up – You’re limited in how much you can interact with your Amazon customers while staying within Amazon’s rules. But the main thing you can do is make sure you follow up with each one, encouraging them to let you know if there’s any problem with the order and leave a review if they’re satisfied. Many feedback tools will let you work up a customized email for each product that will be sent automatically soon after your product is delivered.
Review notifications – While most Amazon customers don’t take the time to leave reviews, whenever one does, you want to know about it. For bad reviews in particular, a fast response is important. Review notifications mean you get an alert every time a new review goes up so you can react quickly if needed.
The Main Amazon Feedback Management Tools
SellerLabs Feedback Genius – In addition to their PPC features mentioned above, SellerLabs sells a feedback management tool that offers both of our recommended features above, along with email templates you can use and analytics for the emails you send. It’s priced based on the number of emails you send: free if you send fewer than 100 in a month and up to $250 a month for 60,000.
Feedback Tuner – Also offers both of our recommended features, along with email templates and analytics. It’s also priced on number of emails, free for up to 150 a month, and up to $149.99 a month for 40,000 emails.
Feedback Five – Offers both our main features, but in separate tools. The product for automated emails is priced by number of emails, free for up to 50, going up to $899.99 a month for up to a million emails. To get review notifications, you pay based on the number of products you track reviews for, free for up to 10 and up to $399.99 a month for 10,000.
Amazon Repricing Tools
For any product that has multiple sellers on Amazon, there’s competition to be the vendor chosen when a person clicks on the product listing. Amazon will choose the best available price to display to customers. So, to be the seller who wins the buy box (the one who gets the sale if the customer makes a purchase), you have to consistently have your products listed at the best price.
But, you can’t be in front of your computer all day long looking for changes to product pricing by your competitors. Repricing tools recognize price changes for competitor listings of the products you sell and automatically change your prices to beat them. For any Amazon vendors that resell products that are popular with other sellers, this is a valuable tool to help you win more of those sales.
What to Look for in an Amazon Repricing Tool
There are a lot of repricing tools on the market that offer essentially the same service. The two main things you want to make sure your tool offers are:
Good customization options – It’s not always worth it to be the cheapest option. If the competitor undercutting you has worse reviews or is selling the product used while you’re selling it new, then having a higher price may not cost you the sale. Customization options let you tell the tool when it’s worth dropping the price (and how low you’re willing to go), so you don’t risk losing money on sales you’d have probably gotten anyway.
Fast speed – This is one of the main differentiators between different products. How quickly can they register a change in price and update your listings to beat it? For popular products that sell fast, a few minutes could make a big difference in how many sales you make.
Main Amazon Repricing Tools
Informed – Formerly called Appeagle, provides customization options including by seller rating and fulfillment method and offers “continuous repricing,” meaning that they check prices and make changes continually throughout the day. Pricing starts at $100 a month and goes up to $200 for more listings and features.
Xsellco – Offers customization options that include ratings, fulfillment method, and sellers that price below your minimum. Also allows you to schedule different rules at different times of the day or week so you can take advantage of slow periods. Offers nearly instant repricing at higher pricing levels. Prices start a $69 a month and go up to $349.
Sellery – Has extensive customization options and real-time repricing. Sellery’s a popular choice. The price is 1% of your monthly sales, with a minimum of $50 a month and maximum $2,000.
AlphaRepricer – Provides continual repricing and customization options that include featured sellers, recent sellers, and choosing different parameters for different products. Pricing is based on your number of active listings and marketplaces. It starts at $25 a month and goes up to $175 a month.
Amazon Reporting and Analytics Tools
One of the great truths in marketing is that the only way to get better is to pay attention to what your analytics have to tell you about where you’ve been. That’s just as true on Amazon as it is in any other channel. And, Amazon’s reporting features leave a lot to be desired. If you want to get ever better results selling on Amazon over time, then you’ll need an Amazon reporting tool that can give you the data you need.
What to Look for in an Amazon Reporting Tool
Profit reporting– You don’t just need to know how much you’re selling, but how much you’re making. Good profit reporting helps you break down what you’re making after expenses like Amazon fees and the costs of sponsored ads and helps you see which of your efforts and products are paying off the most.
Data trends – In order to really understand what’s working and what isn’t, you need to be able to see how each individual sale and loss relates to the overall trends. A good reporting tool makes it easy for you to see how all your different marketing decisions and their results relate to each other so you can gain a full picture of the Amazon selling experience.
Main Amazon Reporting Tools
A lot of the tools we’ve mentioned throughout this piece have some reporting component as well as the other features we’ve mentioned. Some of the tools that offer the best reporting features are:
Sellics – In addition to the features we’ve covered in other sections, Sellics provides some powerful reporting features. They offer profit reporting that makes it easy to see where your money is going and where it’s coming from, analytics to help you track your PPC campaigns, and data on keyword ranking.
Teikametrics – Offers great features for profit reporting, data trends, and product sales velocity, although the user experience needs work. Pricing starts at $499 a month and goes up to $2499.
Fetcher – Provides intuitive profit reporting in a tool focused on just doing that (instead of as one feature amongst many). Prices go by the number of orders you have in a month, starting at $19 a month and going up to $99.
As you can see from this list, the cost of selling on Amazon can get pretty high as the tools you use start to add up. On the one hand, this is a situation where spending money makes you money. Having the features you need to make more sales on the platform is crucial to long-term success. On the other hand, the high costs can still be a hard pill to swallow when you got into this to make money and you see expenses everywhere you turn.
The right third-party Amazon tools are worth the money. It’s just important that you figure out which ones are right for you. Most of these products provide free trials, so you can play around with them to see if you find them intuitive and useful for your purposes. Take some time to figure out which ones work for you before making a commitment.