In our quest to help you understand how the Amazon private label market has changed with Amazon’s latest TOS update, we bring you day two of our Ultimate Amazon Success Guide.
The latest TOS change has leveled competition and is forcing sellers to do EVERYTHING right in order to get ahead and even survive their competitors. Design is a major element in building a prosperous Amazon business!
Today we are focused on how developing a beautiful product can help you increase reviews, increase profit margin, increase page sessions and how that may have changed since the TOS change.
Thinking About Design In Ecommerce
Product and package design for ecommerce is inherently different. When shopping online, customers are not picking up your product, examining the box, or experiencing the source materials. They are shopping based on images of your product.
So with that, we may think that design for ecommerce may be less important, right? If someone is not handling the product in it’s packaging when making their purchase decision, what is the point of having a great box/packaging if we are not going to include it in the photos?
Great questions, and here are the four major benefits of having a great looking product with even better package design.
The Four Major Benefits To Good Design
How To Leverage Design To Increase Reviews
Running a company I’ve learned a crucial lesson about life and business. It’s all about managing expectations. If a customer runs a launch expecting to get to page 1 for a keyword, but lands on page 2, then they are unhappy and, if given the opportunity, would leave a bad review. If that same customer ran a launch expecting to get to page 2 and landed on page 2, then they would be happy, and if given the opportunity, they may leave a good review. In both instances the customer saw the same result, but it's their expectation prior to the experience that shaped their overall feelings towards the experience. If the customer was expecting to reach page 2, and landed on page 1, they would rush and tell all their friends about their great experience they had. In this instance, they are much more likely to leave a good review!
The same is true with the look and design of the product and any kind of packaging. Imagine this: a customer purchases a product based on high-quality and aesthetically-pleasing photos of the bare product. When it arrives to his doorstep, the product is in an ugly poly bag or a weak cardboard box. This seller is likely disappointed, and he may already assume that he received another cheap Amazon product sourced straight from China. By contrast, if that same product came in a sleek, branded box or a well designed duffle bag, his expectations would be exceeded, and it's a lot more likely that he'd leave a positive review.
The same is true with the actual aesthetic of the product. You need to have a product with a design you are proud to sell! We have had customers ask us to take photos of their product and then ask us to photoshop it to make it look better, to hide a blemish, or to cover up an obvious manufacturing error. This is a MAJOR “No NO”! When the customer expects to receive the beautiful, photoshopped item shown on Amazon and the blemished product arrives, it's extremely likely that you'll receive complaints and negative reviews.
With Amazon’s latest update to TOS, reviews are more crucial than ever! You need to be leveraging every tip and trick necessary to helping you increase your review rate on organic purchases. Having a well-designed product, label, packaging, etc. can have a major impact on avoiding negative reviews and increasing positive reviews.
How To Leverage Design To Increase Profit Margin
You know when something is “cheap”. “Cheap” when describing a product can mean a few different things.
For example, there is an obvious difference between a Toyota Yauris and a Tesla Model S. You can easily tell a difference in source materials, functionality and the attention to detail. Rightfully so, the Tesla Model S is able to fetch a far higher sales price. The consumer perception is that the Tesla is of greater quality, therefore they are willing to pay more.
This concept applies to sourcing private label products as well. Leveraging the power of design, you can source/create products that are of higher quality and will fetch a higher price. The aesthetics of your product’s label(s) and package are the easiest way to increase the customer’s perception of your product. So why not pay the extra $.35 per unit for upgraded packaging to be able to sell at a few dollars more? Why not?
With that said, it is easy to get into the trap of the higher quality product I have, the more I can charge. This is more the exception than the rule. Be wise about your industry and make sure that the market allows for higher quality goods. When customer’s search “grill gloves”, I don’t think they are searching for “Tesla quality grill gloves” at 10 times the price of the others. Although having some awesome packaging that shows the quality of your gloves, may allow you to charge a dollar or two higher.
- Flimsy/low quality source materials.
- Product does not function well
- Lack of attention to detail in assembly or design.
How To Leverage Design To Increase Clicks & Sessions
Again, shopping for ecommerce is an entirely different experience. When designing your product, label(s), or packaging the goal is to design to draw clicks! When customers are scrolling through the search results for “sleep mask”, you see a lot of black and blue masks which all look pretty much the same. Do any really pop-out at you?
It makes sense though right? Black and blue are associated with sleep and that is the utility function of the product. You could easily add a contrasting color to your package design or maybe a product insert to help breakup the monotony of black and blue when scrolling.
If a sleep mask seller threw in some touches of bright (but tasteful) orange in their main image to contrast the rest of the results, whether it be with their packaging or an inert, I can guarantee they will see an increase in sessions!
This doesn’t mean start going crazy with neon colors that pop to start drawing clicks. The “pop factor” still needs to be tasteful, as again, quality is important. Having a tacky aesthetic is a fast-track to decreasing sales.
How To Leverage Design To Increase Sales
Depending on your market, design is even more crucial than most. Let’s take supplements for example. If your bottle of pills to help relieve blood pressure looks like it was produced 15 years ago and may kill whoever consumes them before the high blood pressure even gets to them, then no matter how many reviews you have, it's going to be difficult to get potential customers to buy. If your blood pressure pills looked high quality and gave the perception that they are technologically advanced, you would have a far easier time selling.
The perceived quality of your product compared to competitors is crucial to driving sales. Why would a customer buy a product that is perceived to be of lower quality when they can get a perceivably higher quality product for the same price. It is all about the perception, which is easily adjust by improving the design of your product’s packaging/labeling.
When Getting Your Designs…
While we are obviously biased as to where to get your designs, the bias largely comes from our customer’s experience with poor designs. To remind you, we’ve worked with over 5,000 products so we have plenty of experience with the good, the bad, and the ugly. No matter what channel you use when having your designs made or when selecting the actual design of the product, make sure that the designer is well aware that the product is being designed for ecommerce including the above mentioned elements. This is one aspect of selling where you cannot cut corners. Hiring a low quality graphic designer will result in you going to a more expensive designer to have them redone or you will have a poor design and have a difficult time selling once on Amazon. Both scenarios result in having less money in your pocket.
At the end of the day, Amazon’s latest TOS update has made a major push to level the playing field. Those that rise above will be those that focus on every aspect of their business. It will be those that leverage every major tip and trick to building quality products and brands from the ground up. Design is just one major aspect of that. So all in all, product, label, and package design in the private label world, post-TOS update 2016, is that much more important!