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7 Simple Steps to Retail-Ready Listings

“Retail Readiness” is a term that Amazon uses to describe the quality of a product listing. A “retail ready” product detail page has everything the customer needs to find your product and decide whether or not to buy it, including accurate descriptions, high-resolution images, correct keyword placement, positive reviews, and more.

Off Amazon, retail readiness is about making a powerful first impression on your customer. It’s taking time to clean house and make sure new shoppers are met with the best of your brand.

The steps to become “retail ready” will vary depending on your sales channels, but the basic principle is the same: show customers what to expect from your brand, then deliver on that promise.

In this article, we’ll share simple tips to improve your retail readiness ahead of peak season and make a powerful impression with shoppers.

Why Get Retail Ready?

Your website, brand store, and product listings are the online equivalent of a brick-and-mortar salesperson. If that salesperson looks disheveled and confused about your store’s inventory, you probably wouldn’t trust them to sell you so much as a paperclip. 

But if they’re clean and polished, with deep knowledge on the products they sell, you’ll feel much more confident handing them your money.

In a recent PYMNTS survey, over 26% of consumers said inconsistencies between the product description and actual product negatively impacted their sense of trust with a merchant. And in a poll of around 2,000 US shoppers, 24% said they consider obsolete or incomplete product information a total dealbreaker. 

It’s often the details that can make or break a sale. Numerous Stanford University studies have shown that seemingly small factors, such as typo-free text, can substantially boost a site’s credibility.

Don’t risk losing a quarter of your sales to trivial errors and typos. To increase your conversions and win more market share, it’s time embracing retail readiness across all your listings.

1. Optimized Product Titles

On Amazon, retail ready sellers can get increased rankings, more customer traffic, and a better shot at winning the Buy Box. No matter where you sell, you’ll need optimized product pages to win more conversions.

In this section, we’ll share the top tips and tricks for optimizing your product titles on Amazon. While many of these rules apply to all types of listings, always check the specific policies and guidelines of each e-commerce marketplace you sell on to ensure optimal retail readiness.

On Amazon, the perfect product title is descriptive enough to capitalize on keywords, yet simple enough to catch the eye of the casual scroller.

You only have 200 characters (including spaces). Here are some tips to make the most of them:

  • Start your product title with your brand name
  • Include your main target keyword or key phrase
  • Avoid promotional phrases like “free shipping” or “quality guarantee”
  • Include specifications like size, wattage, color, compatibility, etc.
  • Avoid pipe symbols (|) or unnecessary use of character space

When optimizing for Google and other search engines, think in terms of likely customer queries. Google suggests including highly specific attributes in your product titles, such as:

  • Brand Name
  • Age Group
  • Gender
  • Color
  • Size Type
  • Personalization Options

By sharing the most relevant and specific information in your product titles, you can attract high intent shoppers and drive a performance lift for your store.

2. High-Res Product Images

Research has shown that warmth, detail, size, and other image elements can have a substantial impact on customer purchase intent. One study even found that men are less likely to purchase products when a brand’s logo is included in the photos

Of course, you can’t please everyone. But clear, detailed product photos and images are important for increasing sales no matter where you do business. 

Use a variety of high-quality images, including: 

  • Photos of the product from every angle
  • Lifestyle images with models using your products
  • User-generated content
  • Measurement descriptions and/or “to scale” items to help shoppers visualize the size
  • Nutrition information

Last but not least, avoid images with placeholders and those that include promotional messages or logos.

3. Succinct and Consistent Bullet Points

Bullet points are the best opportunities you have for quickly and accurately describing your product to a potential buyer.

On Amazon, they appear on every product listing under the header “About this item.” Sellers get up to five bullet points (vendors get 10) and up to 1,000 characters total.

Although it’s true that bullet points are another opportunity to rank, don’t fall into the trap of trying to stuff in as many keywords as possible. Instead, be intentional with your choices. Highlight the key product features that matter most to your customers.

Here are some tips to optimize the bullet points in your product listings:

  • Keep bullet points clear and concise, avoiding walls of text that overwhelm the reader
  • Choose between complete sentences or brief fragments and stay consistent with that format throughout all 5+ bullet points
  • Use CAPITALIZATION or [bracketing] to catch the reader’s eye (without being spammy)
  • Get someone who doesn’t know your product to read the bullet points 

If your bullets clearly communicate the problem your product solves and immediately make sense to passive shoppers, you’re on the right track.

You don’t necessarily need to include bullet points on your DTC site or other marketplace listings, but they can be helpful. After all, attention spans are short. Well-placed bullet points can help you communicate the right product benefits quickly.

4. A+ Content

A+ Content is an Amazon-specific offering, available for free to registered brands who have a professional selling plan. According to Amazon, A+ Content can help brands increase sales by up to 20%.

With Amazon A+ Content, you can create customized product detail pages including high-quality images, charts, and other visual elements to differentiate your brand from the competition and let shoppers know in a glance that your store and products are trustworthy.

A+ Content features include:

  • Rich text, imagery, HD videos, and more
  • A/B testing to help you choose the best-performing version of your pages
  • A variety of image modules for lifestyle photos, product comparison charts, and more

There are two types of A+ Content, basic and premium. Each has its own unique eligibility criteria.

To be eligible for Amazon Premium A+ Content, you need to have a published A+ Brand Story to all ASINs in your catalog. You should have also had at least five A+ Content modules approved in the last 12 months.

If you’re eligible, Amazon will display a banner within A+ Content Manager. From there, you’ll be able to use A+ Content on listings in any Amazon markets where you sell.

5. Product Descriptions

You know product descriptions are important, but just how important is still up for debate.

Though not all shoppers will read every line of your product descriptions, they’re still an essential part of your retail readiness prepwork. Let’s take a closer look at how to optimize your descriptions, both on Amazon and your own site.

Amazon

We’ll level with you, your Amazon product description won’t always get read. It falls so far down the page and is so small, it’s just too easy for customers to scroll right past.

However, it is indexed by Amazon’s search algorithm. That means it’s yet another opportunity to add in relevant keywords — without stuffing. Amazon has also explicitly stated that you can use the product description to upsell, making it a great place to recommend updated product versions, attachments, add-ons, and alternative uses potential customers might not be aware of.

Before writing your product description, be sure to check Amazon’s character limit, as it will vary by category. Product descriptions are text only, so no bullet points or special formatting is allowed here. Testimonials, quotes, or promotional messages are also prohibited in this part of the listing.

DTC Site

On your website, product listings may be more likely to get noticed. Depending on how you format your site and what you choose to emphasize, you can use them to draw readers in and highlight the key benefits and your product.

You can also take the opportunity to target additional keywords, be highly descriptive, and offer more detailed answers to frequent shopper questions. You make the rules here, so do what makes the most sense for your site and products. That may mean using this space to promote your subscriptions, loyalty programs, and more.

6. Ratings and Reviews

Data shows that 84% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Not only that, an astounding 91% say they actually read product reviews. Given how hard it is to get anyone to read anything these days, that’s a pretty impressive figure.

While no one likes getting bad reviews, one or two can actually help your brand. After all, modern shoppers have seen it all. It’s hard for them to believe that any brand has only received five-star reviews. 

Reviews are also a goldmine of important feedback, both negative and positive, that you can use to make targeted improvements to products, listings, and more to boost your conversions and reduce returns.

Here are some tips to help you get more product reviews on Amazon:

  • Use the “Request a Review” button to ask buyers to review products within 30 days of purchase
  • If you’re a registered brand, enroll in Amazon Vine to send samples out to potential reviewers
  • Place product inserts in your packaging encouraging shoppers to leave reviews
  • Collect customer emails or use automated services to send review requests

Remember, you’re allowed to ask for reviews — but not specifically for positive reviews. You also can’t incentivize customers to leave a review. Take a minute to review Amazon’s latest policies and community guidelines to ensure you’re up-to-date on what is and isn’t allowed.

When it comes to generating more reviews on your own site, there are a number of apps available on the Shopify app store that can help automate this process for you.

Other sites, like BigCommerce, let you enable reviews directly through their platforms. There are also several other programs and plugins, like Elfsight for example, that will let you display reviews from other platforms directly on your site. You can ask customers to review you or your products on Google, Trustpilot, Facebook, Yelp, and more, then showcase those reviews on your own site listings.

7. Product Availability

One critical yet often overlooked element of retail readiness is inventory readiness.

No one likes the experience of finding the exact product they’re looking for, only to discover that it’s out of stock. Plus, you can’t generate sales on inventory you don’t have.

The following steps will help you make sure all the right products are in stock:

  • Use an inventory planning system to forecast sales and help you order just the right amount of inventory
  • Use plugins and automated systems to immediately flag sold out products on your website and offer backordering options to shoppers
  • Be transparent about supply chain issues and delivery delays and consider using an order tracking app to keep customers in the loop
  • Be prepared to manage any unavoidable issues with amazing customer service

Remember, customers want to know exactly when to expect their products. 76% say they’ll consider switching brands after a single poor delivery experience.

Do what you can to make sure you have the right amount of inventory in stock ahead of peak season, And always let customers know when a product is on backorder or low in stock.

Get Retail Ready with SellersFi

To build and maintain a brand that customers trust, it might be time for a little spring cleaning. Clear out the typos, sharpen your product images, and make sure your listings have all the elements modern shoppers are looking for.

With the right plan, process and tools, you can keep your store in top shape and stay ready to win year round.

For more ways to get retail ready, check out our Resource Hub and Amazon LIbrary. Or test out our free Product Matcher tool to learn more about how SellersFi can help you stay a step ahead.

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