One question we frequently get from our clients is, “How long will it take for a new listing to start performing well?” Obviously, a business owner believes in their products and sees endless growth potential, especially looking at the mammoth of a platform that is Amazon. To some, it may seem like a simple process to list an item and wait for mountains of traffic to flock to the product and buy, but that is far from the reality of Amazon.
In actuality, Amazon is a complex system that has a language of its own. It takes a great deal of time and investment to navigate the system and understand the ebb and flow involved with growing listings. Especially if you are a new seller or have new items to grow, Amazon makes you work hard, play by its rules, and grind to earn every penny you make.
Because of the sheer amount of factors that come into play when creating a new listing, the answer to the above question can actually be extremely difficult to predict. Here are some of the factors to consider when thinking about listing growth on Amazon:
The first factor to consider when thinking about how long it will take to grow a listing is product category. This is because, depending on your item, Amazon has extremely strict product safety policies that can lead to a gruelling approval process. When listing a new item you may find you will have to submit various forms such as SDS or CPC documents to let Amazon know that your products are consumer-friendly or child-safe. If your product falls into a category with stricter limitations, this process can last for months at a time before the approval process is complete.
Apart from compliance policies, categories are also important to consider because some will be far more competitive than others. For example, according to the JungleScout’s The State of the Amazon Seller 2020 report, the top three categories are listed as “Home and Kitchen”, “Toys and Games”, and “Sports and Outdoors” (pg. 7). Breaking into one of these categories could be far more difficult than one of the smaller categories such as pet supplies or appliances.
Keywords, though a little more tricky to navigate, also need to be taken into consideration when thinking about growing a new listing. Just like categories, keywords will have several different levels of competition depending on what type of item you are trying to list. Generally speaking, the highest traffic keywords will also be the highest competition. This makes growing a new listing a balancing act of locating and utilizing useful keywords that aren’t too competitive as you start out, then moving up the ladder as you grow. This can be a challenging and time-consuming process, making hiring an expert or agency like BBS extremely beneficial.
Believe it or not, the time of the year that you try to list a product matters quite a bit. For example, because of how busy Q4 is for Amazon, product approvals can take even longer than normal. At the same time, months like February and March are quite a bit slower shopping months than the rest of the year, so listing a new product then only means less traffic and slower growth.
Amazon’s number one concern is conversion. If a product looks good, stays in stock, and is converting consistently, Amazon will trust it and allow it to slowly gain traffic because the customers like it and it is making them money. However, if the product is no longer available because of a stock-out, Amazon’s algorithm will peg this as an inconsistency and divert traffic to other more consistent listings. Once this happens, momentum is lost and an item has to regain trust and rebuild. Because of this, keeping consistent stock is CRITICAL. If product availability is ever an issue the listing growth process will take much longer, making inventory planning essential.
Product Quality and Competition
Lastly, when considering listing growth speed on Amazon, you need to consider your own product, what it’s quality is like, and how it competes with similar products in it’s own space. We at BBS have listed thousands upon thousands of different products on Amazon and found that not everything works. Sometimes, for one reason or another, one product simply won’t catch on at all on Amazon even if it has done well on other platforms.
It can be a tough pill to swallow, but there are simply no guarantees on Amazon. It is important to understand that patience on Amazon is absolutely key to gaining traction, because it may take a lot of time, even if a product is amazing. If we are being 100% honest, we have seen that the surest way to success on Amazon is having an experienced team like BBS behind you. Because this is our full-time focus, our team’s experience can mitigate a lot of the time and stress associated with growing listings on Amazon. Having listed thousands of items in every category, we have seen what it takes to make a product successful and have been through the steps time and time again, and we have been happy to be able to fight those battles for our clients.