Selling on Amazon: A9 Algorithm and More

One of the most important thing that you should know about Amazon before you start reading this article – “Amazon loves its buyers, it cares about them.”

Google is the most used search engine in the world, you want to know about anything and Google gives you the answer. But the search for products is three times more in Amazon. Sellers ignore Amazon and instead try optimising for selling on google, they are missing a huge opportunity.

People mistake by considering Amazon as an e-commerce store. Amazon is a search engine in itself, the only difference is it does not give you answers to all the search queries. You had like to call it a shopping search engine.

Now, your search for a particular product by just querying its specification, what you see in the results page is the most relevant products that Amazon feels that user will tend to buy.

How do these products show up on the Amazon SERP? Just like Google, Amazon too follows an algorithm, but unlike Google, it follows only one Algorithm. A huge round of applause for the A9 algorithm.

What is the A9 algorithm? is a subsidiary of Amazon. You visit their website and the first quote that they mention is “If you have done a search on Amazon, then you have used our search engine.”

It is the A9 algorithm that is responsible to present the most relevant search terms to the users.

One of A9’s tenets is that relevance is in the eye of the customer and we strive to get the best results for our users. Once we determine which items are good matches to the customer’s query, our ranking algorithms score them to present the most relevant results to the user.

So A9 algorithm basically uses conversion rate, relevance and customer satisfaction to rank products.

Metrics that affect Amazon’s ranking of products –

  1. Sales Rank – It is basically given to the products based on the number of sales they drive. Some of the products are even tagged “Best Seller” by Amazon. Look at the first product in the below image.Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 2.26.16 PM
  2. Customer Reviews – Bad customer reviews can really be a bad publicity for your product, as well Amazon would not like to sell products with bad reviews to its customers, which in direct may lower your product rank.
  3. Image Size and Quality – The image quality and size of your products matters to the customers, if they are able to see your product images with clarity then they most tend to buy it.
  4. Price – This is actually very analytical and you need to be really intelligent about it. Deciding the price of your products. Any customer would like to buy the same product which is available at a cheaper price. Sellers need to decide a price which can bring them marginal profits as well as satisfy the customer.
  5. Time on page – Amazon keeps track of everything and every customer. It knows where its customer is moving the cursor on a particular page and for how much time a customer is on a product’s page. If a customer is spending more time on your product’s page then they are more likely to buy your product.
  6. Bounce Rate – If a customer visits your page and immediately leaves without taking any actions on it, even navigating on it, then it means the customer has bounced off the page. High bounce rate may affect your product rank.
  7. Exit Rate – How often a customer exits amazon website after viewing your product. High exit rate reduces your product ranking by Amazon.
  8. Relevancy – It depends on a lot of factors:
    • Product Title – Your product title should be short and speak of brand and specifications.
    • Features – The features should be listed down correctly. These are the bullet points you see in the specifications. You need to be very clear about it.
    • Categories & Sub Categories – These should not be ignored while setting up your product. Often people tend to ignore it while setting up their product listings.
    • Keywords – Always insert the most trending keywords for your category. One of the easiest ways is to search for your product on Amazon search bar and it suggests you some terms, those are the most search queries done by consumers.
  9. Order Processing Rate – Your product ranking also depends upon the delivery time, how fast the shipping is being done. A good product rank is dependent on an efficient order processing rate.

Amazon is one of the largest channels in the discussion of online retail and it cannot be ignored as one of the channels to increase your sales. This platform is a go-to marketplace for shoppers and you are losing a lot if you are a retailer and your products are still not listed in it.

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