Throughout our journey working with Amazon Vendors and Sellers, we’ve noticed that the conversation of “retail ready” seldom comes up. Which is why we’ve laid out all of the elements and checklists you should be going over right now in order to ensure your brand is retail ready on Amazon.
What does it mean to be retail ready?
When the products you are selling on Amazon are considered “retail ready”, it means their product detail pages include all the necessary information for a customer to make a purchase. Pretty vague, right? Let’s drill deeper into what that looks like. Here are a few things you want to make sure your product detail page includes: customer reviews, clear pictures and description, and stock availability, and much more. Let’s dive in!
Elements of Retail Readiness
What is an ASIN?
An ASIN (Amazon standard identification number) is used as Amazon’s SKU to uniquely identify all products in your retail catalog. Every product sold on Amazon is assigned an ASIN. Variations of a product (like size and color) also have their own ASINs.
The Retail Readiness Checklist
1. Product Images
Since customers are not in a store, the product images are the best place for customers to see the product. Make sure you have images that contain additional views and angles, key features, lifestyle images, and even videos. The image should also match the product and be clear and professional.
2. Customer Ratings & Reviews
The star rating and review count is valuable to Amazon shoppers because it builds credibility and trust with your brand. To be retail ready an ASIN should have a star rating of 3.5 stars or more and at least 15+ customer reviews. If you need more reviews, the Amazon Early Reviewer Program (for Sellers) and Amazon Vine (for Vendors) can help you gain more reviews so you’re retail ready for Amazon Advertising.
3. Product Title & Description
To be retail ready, the title and description should accurately describe the product and include key descriptive features. Key descriptive features include size, color, and size packs. Get creative in the product description and let your customers know of all the great features your product has!
This section tells customers if the item is available to purchase. Ensure your inventory is always on hand. If a product has no inventory it will deter customers away from your brand.
5. The Buy Box
The buy box is where customers click the add to cart to purchase the product. The winner of the buy box receives credit for the sale. If you’re a vendor, winning the buy box is indicated when the item is sold by Amazon. If you are a seller, the item will be sold by your company and fulfilled by Amazon (if you use the FBA model). Bottom line, ensure you are winning the buy box to get the sales credit for your purchase. Or else, your Amazon Advertising strategy will not matter.
For Sponsored Product ads, if you don’t have the buy box, the ASIN will be paused in all campaigns. If it is the only ASIN in the campaign, the entire campaign will pause. However, for Sponsored Brands campaigns, ads will continue to run even if the vendor or seller buying the ad loses the buy box leading to wasted ad spend dollars.
6. Enhanced Content
Enhanced content is available to both Vendors (A+ content) and Sellers (Enhanced Brand Content). This is a customizable section that can be used to create positive customer experiences that empower shoppers with enough information to make an informed buying decision. This section can include extra features like images, charts, comments. Having enhanced content will increase your conversion rates from 8 – 20%.
What if your aSIN(s) is not retail ready?
If the ASIN you are trying to promote is not retail ready, you do still have options, depending on your campaign’s objective.
Driving Traffic to a specific ASIN
You have two options if you are driving traffic to an ASIN that is not retail ready.
Option 1: You can optimize the product detail page and wait for the ASIN to be retail ready. This means you take care of the following:
- Update the product title and picture
- Enroll in the Amazon Vine or Early Reviewer Programs
- Make improvements to product based on star rating/reviews
- Ensure product is in stock and you are winning the buy box
- add enhanced content to the detail page
Option 2: If you cannot accomplish Option 1, then we recommend you select a different ASIN.
driving to category/brand awareness
You also have two options if you are buying traffic to a specific product category or brand and want to build awareness of your product.
Option 1: Drive traffic to a Store. You can drive ad traffic to your Amazon Store and create a positive customer experience this way. Stores are available to all vendors and registered brand owner sellers. The great feature of stores is that they are discoverable within an Amazon ad, product detail page, or the brand’s website. They also showcase the brand value and product selection.
Option 2: Drive traffic to a campaign landing page. This is not the recommended option as the Store provides a positive and professional experience, however, you can drive traffic to an Amazon landing page.
Now You're Ready for retail readiness
Now you know of all the elements in order to have your brand retail ready on Amazon. We always recommend all of our prospects and clients review this checklist every few months to ensure that they are using Amazon’s best practices to maximize not only their organic sales, but also their sales attributed from Amazon Advertising.