Amazon Copywriting: How to Write a Product Description
Are you daunted at the thought of setting up an Amazon seller account and listing your products for sale? It’s an understandable reaction. After all, Amazon is the biggest e-commerce site in the world, with annual revenue of over $280 billion (£203 billion) on the back of approximately 2.4 billion visitors and 8.1 million sellers.
Here’s the good news: this ultimate guide will help you on how to start selling on Amazon and stay ahead of the competition. Let’s start the tutorial by setting up your very own Amazon seller account.
Step 1: How to Create Amazon Seller Account
Visit Amazon Seller Central and register an account there. You will be required to provide your personal and business information, as well as tax, billing and banking details.
You will have to choose from one of the two offered plans, namely, the individual and professional plan. The individual plan costs £0.75 per month and is meant for casual sellers with less than 40 sales a month. You are limited to 20 product categories under this plan and have no access to Amazon’s advanced selling tools.
The professional plan costs £25 (excl. VAT) per month, but it offers a whole range of features that are beneficial to businesses. You are still limited to 20 product categories under the plan, but you can apply permission to sell in ten additional categories.
Amazon charge a flat fee of £0.75 to individual sellers and a variable closing fee which ranges from £0.50 to £1.00 for every item sold. A referral fee is also levied for every sale on the platform which ranges from 5.1% (books, music, VHS, DVD, etc.) to 15.30% (software, furniture, education supplies, etc.). If you choose to allow your products to be delivered by Amazon under its Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) service, other fees, such as fulfilment and inventory fees, may also apply.
If you are a vendor and are selling products at wholesale rates, please choose the Amazon Vendor account during registration. You will effectively be selling your products to Amazon, and your operational responsibility will be limited to the back-end of the supply chain process. Your products will also enjoy complimentary marketing and advertising from Amazon. Established companies are typically invited to join Amazon Vendor Central, which provides sellers with even more features.
Step 2: Create a Product Identifier
Do you know the barcodes that are scanned by cashiers at supermarkets? Every product on Amazon has a similar product identifier such as Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), Universal Product Code (UPC) or International Standard Book Number (ISBN). If your product is already sold on Amazon by a different seller, you can reuse the existing product identifier.
However, if your product has never been sold on Amazon before, you will have to apply for a unique product identifier from GSI. The Brussels-based not-for-profit organisation’s fee starts at $30.
Additionally, you must also generate a stock-keeping unit (SKU) code for your products. SKUs are unique alphanumeric codes used to track and manage your internal inventory. Amazon allows you to create your own unique SKUs (maximum 40 characters). Alternatively, Amazon can generate random SKUs for all your products. The SKU code is only visible in your Seller Central account and is meant for internal use.
Step 3: Amazon Product Description Guidelines
Similar to search engines, Amazon’s A10 search algorithm is a closely guarded secret. As such, there really isn’t a way to game the system. At least with search engines, websites can be given a guaranteed boost by developing reputable backlinks.
Every facet of your activities on Amazon starts and ends at the Seller Central dashboard. The dashboard provides a wide array of information ranging from profits and fulfilment to messages and analytics. Naturally, listing a product on Amazon starts here as well.
Log in to your Seller account and access your dashboard. Once there, click on the Inventory tab at the top row of the screen and select the “Add a Product’ option.
In the new page, use the search bar to find out if your product is already sold on Amazon. If it is, you can use the existing product identifier and SKU. If not, click on the “Create a New Product Listing” link below the search bar.
In the new window, your first task is to accurately categorise your product using Amazon’s classification system. For instance, if you’re selling a digital alarm clock, your classification tree might be Home and Kitchen > Home Décor > Clocks > Alarm Clocks.
Once that’s complete, you will be prompted to provide basic information about the product, such as Product Name, Manufacturer, Brand and Product ID. We recommend you to have it prepared in advance.
So, what’s the optimal strategy to write a copy that sells? A proven one. We focus on a copy that at once attracts humans and Amazon’s search engine. And you know what? It’s actually isn’t hard once you get the hang of it. By optimising each component of your listing, your product will scale the search engine results page (SERP) instead of being buried in page 20.
A product title provides a quick overview of your product. However, the formatting of your title must comply with Amazon’s style guide. Otherwise, it may cause your listing to be suppressed from search results. Yet, so many sellers ignore these basic requirements. Some of the requirements include:
- Capitalize the first letter of each word, with the exception of articles, conjunctions and prepositions with fewer than five words
- Amazon product title character limit is 200 characters. However, shorter titles are preferred, ideally in the 80 characters range.
- Do not include company name and gimmicky promotional messages (such as Best Seller or On Sale)
- Include brand, model, size, colour and product features (as well as quantity if an item is sold in a pack)
- Use numerals instead of numbers (2 instead of two)
- Never use symbols like $, ! or #
Important: Amazon’s search algorithm will give added weight to listings which include search terms or keywords – the earlier the better. Popular keywords are usually similar to those used on search engines. So use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, SEMrush, Ahrefs or Majestic to determine the right keywords for your product.
Key Product Features (Bullet Points)
Key product features, not to be confused with product description, comes in a bullet list which highlights the top five attributes of products. They allow customers to quickly ‘scan’ the suitability of products for their needs. They are also reportedly used by the Amazon search algorithm to determine results a user sees.
Many sellers don’t place enough focus on product features, which results in lower conversion. You can’t afford to merely slap some text in this section. You have to give careful thought to this while meeting Amazon’s guidelines. Most of the restrictions are similar to the Product Title, but there are a few differences which you should be mindful of.
- Highlight five features of your products in five bullet points. These should include information such as product capability, country of origin and age appropriateness
- Write in fragments instead of complete sentences and do not end your fragments with a period
- Be as specific as possible about the product attributes
- Spell out units of measurement
- Do not exceed 1,000 characters
Product descriptions give you a chance to make a sales pitch and convert your customers. Amazon give you up to 2,000 characters to pull this off. The best product descriptions tell a story while demonstrating your product’s best attributes. A great way to write a product description is by expanding on your earlier five bullets. Use images to create a receptive environment and emphasise your story.
A great description starts with thorough keyword research. You need to know how your potential customers are phrasing their search queries. Additionally, research semantically-related keywords, so-called Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. It will also help you rank better with more general searches. You can even use the keywords in the title to strengthen your headline.
Your product description must also contain powerful unique selling propositions (USPs) and a complete list of features to effectively persuade prospective buyers. And finally, it must include a call to action (CTA) to trigger the conversion process. Something as simple as “Buy this alarm clock today so you will never be later for work again” will set you apart from 70% of businesses which do not use CTAs. Give your product and your business every possible edge you can.
Be sure to include all information your customer needs in the product description, such as warranty details, care instructions, usage restrictions and features. Write in full sentences, pay attention to grammar and punctuation and avoid gimmicky language.
Please remember to use HTML to format your copy so you don’t end up with a lifeless wall of text. HTML text formatting will allow you to separate, sort and create strategic emphasis on selected portions of your content. This will help readers to consume your content and pitch better. You will also be able to manipulate their reading flow and improve conversion rate using transition signals and stop words.
Humans are visual creatures. Over 90% of information is transmitted visually to the human brain, which can process images up to 60 thousand times faster than text. So take this advantage by using images as part of your selling tool.
Use beautiful, unique and high-resolution images for your product listing. If necessary, get a photographer to shoot the photos, and make sure you capture every angle of the product. Further, make sure the product occupies at least 80% of the image – customers love close-ups.
Other requirements you need to be mindful of include:
- Every listing should have at least one image
- Images should be minimally 1,600 pixels or larger on the longest side and not exceed 10,000 pixels
- While JPEG is the preferred format, Amazon also accepts images in TIFF and GIF (non-animated) formats
- Images should have an absolute white background (RGB: 255, 255, 255)
- Images should not include any logos or trademarks of Amazon or its subsidiaries
Creating an Amazon listing is both a process and an opportunity. You will improve and refine the process with repetition. The result will consequently create growth opportunities for your product and company.