Amazon’s A9 Algorithm Investigated: Mastering Visibility in the World’s Largest Marketplace
In the vast expanse of Amazon’s online marketplace, where millions of products vie for attention, understanding the A9 algorithm is not just beneficial – it’s essential. This mysterious algorithm stands as the gatekeeper between your products and the customers who are searching for them. But what exactly is the A9 algorithm and how does it determine which products soar to the top of Amazon’s search results?
Our journey through this blog post aims to demystify the A9 algorithm, breaking down its components and revealing how it impacts product visibility and sales. We’ll navigate through the intricacies of keyword importance, product listing optimisation and the pivotal role of customer interactions. This comprehensive guide is designed to provide you with actionable strategies to not only understand but also effectively leverage the A9 algorithm to your advantage.
Whether you’re a seasoned seller on Amazon or just starting, grasping the workings of the A9 algorithm can transform your approach to online selling. So, let’s embark on this journey of discovery and master the art of visibility in the world’s largest marketplace
Understanding the A9 Algorithm
At the heart of Amazon’s marketplace is the A9 algorithm, a sophisticated system that decides which products appear first in search results. Unlike traditional search engines that primarily focus on keyword matching and link analysis, A9 prioritises customer satisfaction and relevance. It’s designed to deliver a shopping experience that’s both intuitive and efficient, connecting shoppers with the products they’re most likely to purchase.
The algorithm considers several factors: product listing quality, keyword relevance, customer behaviour and seller performance. Understanding these factors and how they intertwine can significantly enhance your product’s visibility and, consequently, your sales.
Overview of Key Factors Influencing A9 Rankings
Optimising your products for Amazon’s A9 algorithm involves a deep understanding of various factors that influence how your products are ranked. Here’s a detailed look at each of these factors:
1. Keywords: The Cornerstone of Visibility
• Comprehensive Keyword Research: Utilise Amazon-specific analysis software to identify keywords that are not only high in search volume but also highly relevant to your product. This involves understanding the language your target customers use and the search queries they are likely to input.
• Strategic Keyword Placement: Once you have a list of relevant keywords, strategically placing them in your product listing is crucial. The product title is the most critical place for your primary keywords. It’s important to strike a balance to ensure the title remains clear and customer-friendly. In your bullet points and product descriptions, integrate secondary keywords. These should be used naturally within informative and engaging content.
• Ongoing Keyword Optimisation: The effectiveness of keywords can change over time due to shifts in consumer behaviour and market trends. Regularly review your keyword strategy and adapt as necessary. Amazon provides tools like the Search Term Report, which can offer insights into the performance of your keywords, helping you understand which are driving traffic and conversions.
2. Product Listings: Crafting Your Showcase
• High-Quality Images: Amazon’s search algorithm favours listings with high-quality images. Utilise all available image slots to show your product from various angles, in use, and to highlight important features or variations. Follow Amazon’s image guidelines closely, ensuring that your main image has a pure white background and the product occupies at least 85% of the image area.
Below are a few examples of optimised images created for some recent client projects:
• Detailed and Informative Product Descriptions: Beyond just a list of features, your product descriptions should tell a story about your product, highlighting its benefits and how it can solve problems or improve the customer’s life. Use this space to include any information a customer might be looking for, such as dimensions, use cases, or compatibility information. Bullet points are particularly effective for breaking down this information into readable chunks. Remember, if a confused shopper never purchases!
• A+ Content: For sellers enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry, A+ Content on product detail pages, offers an opportunity to further differentiate your products. This feature allows you to add enhanced images, comparison charts and more in-depth product descriptions. These enhancements not only provide a better customer experience but can also improve conversion rates, which in turn positively influences your rankings.
3. Price and Availability: Competitive and Consistent
• Competitive Pricing: Your product’s price significantly impacts its visibility on Amazon. The A9 algorithm considers your product’s price in relation to similar products – even outside of the Amazon platform. Regularly monitor the competition to remain competitive while still maintaining profitable margins.
• Maintaining Stock Levels: Product availability is a key factor in Amazon rankings. Products that are frequently out of stock can see a decline in their rankings. This may happen at launch, so don’t be alarmed, but make sure this does not become a regular situation.
4. Customer Reviews and Ratings: Building Trust and Credibility
• The Importance of Reviews: Customer reviews are a critical factor in the A9 algorithm. They not only provide social proof to potential buyers but also signal to Amazon that your product is trustworthy and popular. A higher number of positive reviews can lead to improved product rankings.
• Ethical Review Strategies: Encouraging reviews within Amazon’s guidelines is important. Follow-up emails that inquire about the customer’s experience and gently remind them to leave a review can be effective. However, it’s crucial to avoid any tactics that could be seen as manipulative, such as offering incentives for reviews.
• Managing Negative Reviews: Negative reviews are inevitable, but how you handle them can make a difference. Promptly and professionally addressing customer concerns can turn a negative experience into a positive one. Additionally, feedback from negative reviews can provide valuable insights into potential product improvements.
5. Sales Velocity: Indicative of Popularity and Relevance
• Understanding Sales Velocity: Sales velocity refers to the rate at which your product sells on Amazon. Products that have a high sales velocity are often ranked higher as this indicates to Amazon that customers favour your product.
• Improving Sales Velocity: Strategies to improve sales velocity include running promotional campaigns, optimising your product listings and using Amazon PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising to increase visibility. Bundling products or offering discounts for multiple purchases can also be effective.
6. Fulfilment Method: FBA vs FBM
• Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA): Products fulfilled by Amazon often have an advantage in rankings. The Prime badge associated with FBA products can lead to higher conversion rates due to customer trust in Amazon’s fast shipping and customer service.
• Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM): FBM can be a suitable option for products with lower margins or those that are oversized or require special handling. Balancing FBA and FBM depending on your product portfolio can be an effective strategy. Also remember, products fulfilled by FBA, automatically have Prime. So you may find that your FBM products may not get the Algo boost that your FBA competitors do!
Understanding and optimising these key factors can significantly enhance your product’s visibility on Amazon. Remember, the goal is to create the best possible shopping experience for your customers, which in turn aligns with Amazon’s objectives and positively influences your rankings.
Optimising for the A9 Algorithm
Optimising for Amazon’s A9 algorithm involves a multi-faceted approach, focusing on various aspects of your product listing and seller performance. We’ve shown you the ‘what’, now let’s dive deeper into each of these elements to understand how you can effectively optimise your Amazon presence.
1. Keyword Optimisation
Keywords are the linchpin of your Amazon SEO strategy. They are the bridge between what customers are searching for and the products you offer. To optimise for keywords:
• Conduct Comprehensive Keyword Research: Utilise tools like Helium 10 or Jungle Scout to identify high-volume search terms relevant to your product and your competitors. Look for long-tail keywords that have less competition but are highly targeted.
• Strategically Place Keywords: Your product title should have the most important keywords. However, ensure it reads naturally. Amazon suggests using brand, product line, material, key feature, product type, colour, size, and quantity in the title. In bullet points and product descriptions, weave in other relevant keywords without sacrificing readability.
• Balance Between Broad and Specific Keywords: While broad keywords have a higher search volume, they are highly competitive. Specific (long-tail) keywords, though lower in search volume, can attract more targeted traffic. A mix of both is ideal.
• Monitor Keyword Performance: Regularly check how your keywords perform. Check out the your Search Term Report to provide insights into which keywords are driving traffic and conversions.
2. Enhancing Product Listings
Your product listings should provide comprehensive, clear and attractive information about your products.
• Quality Images: Use professional, high-resolution images. Amazon allows up to 7 images, including the main image. Show your product from different angles, in use, and include any necessary close-ups to highlight important features. You also have a space for a short product video! If you have something suitable like a product 360, this can really help to show of your product in all its glory.
• Detailed and Informative Descriptions: Your description should provide all the information a customer needs to make a purchase decision. Mention benefits, specifications, uses and any unique selling points. Use bullet points to break down information into digestible chunks.
• Utilise Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) or A+ Content: If you’re a registered brand on Amazon, use A+ Content to enhance your product descriptions with rich media, like images and custom text placements. This can help in better conversion rates. You can check out some of our recent A+ designs below or by clicking here
Here are some optimised A+ Content examples created by us for our clients:
3. Encouraging Customer Reviews
Reviews are critical in Amazon’s ecosystem. They build trust and influence buying decisions.
• Provide Excellent Customer Service: Good service can lead to positive reviews. Address customer concerns promptly and professionally.
• Use Amazon’s ‘Request a Review’ Button: This tool allows you to ask customers for a review within Amazon’s guidelines.
• Automate Review Requests: Consider using email automation tools compatible with Amazon to send review requests.
4. Competitive Pricing Strategy
Price is a crucial factor in winning the Buy Box and influencing your product’s visibility.
• Competitive Pricing: Regularly check your competitors’ prices and adjust yours to stay competitive. Be mindful of your margins and create profit and loss calculations to understand all your costs and available margins. Do this at the start rather than experience a nasty shock down the line.
• Use Dynamic Pricing Tools: Tools like RepricerExpress can automatically adjust your prices based on market conditions, competitor pricing and other factors. These are very effective, but bear in mind your margins as you do not want to start a race to the bottom!
• Consider Promotions and Discounts: Temporary price reductions or promotions can increase sales velocity, positively impacting your rankings. Be aware of upcoming sale periods such as Black Friday or Prime Day. These are a fantastic way to gain traction and momentum, especially if your competitors have not considered entering.
5. Monitoring Stock Levels
Stock availability is a critical factor for ranking on Amazon. Running out of stock can lead to a significant drop in rankings and can take time to recover. Effective inventory management is crucial to ensure that your products are always available to customers.
• Effective Inventory Management: Utilise inventory management software and implement buffers to predict demand and manage volumes, especially during peak seasons or sales events, to keep a consistent stock level.
• Plan for Replenishment: Always plan ahead for inventory replenishment, considering lead times and potential delays. Consider time of year – expect long check-in delays during November and December!
6. Utilising Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)
Using FBA can give you an edge in rankings due to the Prime badge, faster shipping times, and Amazon handling customer service and returns.
• Leverage FBA Benefits: Did you know that nearly 7 in 10 shoppers click the ‘Prime’ toggle when searching for products on Amazon? Not only do products fulfilled by Amazon see higher search volumes, but their conversion rates are often higher due to customer trust and delivery speed.
• Balance FBA and Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM): Depending on your product type and margins, a mix of FBA and FBM can be effective. Use FBA for high-volume, fast-selling items and FBM for larger, slower-moving products.
7. Continuous Analysis and Adaptation
Finally, always be analysing and adapting your strategy.
• Use Amazon’s Reporting Tools: Regularly review reports provided by Amazon to understand your sales, conversion rates, and traffic.
• Test and Experiment: Experiment with different images, descriptions, and keywords to see what resonates best with your audience. A/B testing can be invaluable here!
• Stay Informed: Amazon’s marketplace is dynamic. Stay informed about the latest trends, algorithm updates, and best practices.
Optimising for Amazon’s A9 algorithm is not a one-time task but an ongoing process. It requires attention to detail, a deep understanding of your audience and an ability to adapt to changing market dynamics. By focusing on these strategies, you can enhance your visibility, increase your sales, and succeed in the competitive Amazon marketplace.
It is important to stay ahead in Amazon’s dynamic marketplace! Amazon is constantly evolving and staying up-to-date with the latest changes and trends is crucial. Subscribe to Amazon seller forums, attend webinars and stay connected with other sellers to keep abreast of the latest developments.
Understanding and leveraging the A9 algorithm is a journey, not a destination. It requires ongoing effort, experimentation, and adaptation. By focusing on these key areas, you can significantly improve your product’s visibility and success on Amazon.
We hope this guide has demystified the A9 algorithm and given you actionable insights to apply to your Amazon strategy. As always, let us know if you have any questions.
If you need support optimising your listings or scaling your sales, why not speak to a member of our team today? Utilise our experience to get ahead of your competition, quickly and effectively, working with our amazing team of Amazon experts!
In the meantime, why not check out some of our impressive case studies which showcase the power of optimisation? Through optimisation alone, we helped cuddle+kind increase their YoY revenues by $180k!
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