[5 minute read]
Around 10 years ago, I started managing sales to Amazon for my previous company, growing sales from a few hundred thousand pounds in my first year, to several million pounds in the fourth year. At Xport, we now help Finnish companies to get their products set-up on Amazon’s Marketplaces across Europe, see the Amazon page on xport.fi.
After writing my previous blog post Experiences Booking a Holiday Online (And How Finland Can Do It Better!), I started looking at holiday destinations in Europe, and realised that the principles that apply to setting-up products on Amazon, also apply to listing products on travel fare aggregators, such as Booking.com or Trip Advisor. Below, are the key elements of both an Amazon page AND a holiday accommodation listing.
“I would find myself thinking ‘I don’t know enough about this to make a decision‘ or… ‘They haven’t made much effort to sell this place… If they don’t care enough, why should I?‘”
Product name, Title or Short Description
When searching, many people will use descriptive terms when searching a marketplace. They will then be offered a selection of products with only a small photo and the product name. This is your opportunity to make a first impression; to get the customer to ‘open’ your product and look at the details. A short title and no photo will not encourage someone to take a closer look. Make sure, however, that the title is accurate, there is nothing more annoying than clicking on a promising title, to discover that the product/accommodation is not what you want.
Key Feature Bullets
These are the key features of your product. Look at your competitors unique features and where your products are different. Be sure to highlight which aspects of your is better, add some more details to the Product
✅ Title: 3-piece Fireplace Set/Fireside Companion in Steel, White.
Feature bullet: Contents: Hooked poker, ash shovel, hearth brush, stand.
❌ Title: Beautiful Villa Located a Whisper from the Beach.
Feature bullet: Only 1.2KM from golden, sandy beach.
‘A whisper’ is a very vague way to describe a distance, but it sounded like it was a beach front villa. The disappointment that we would need to walk/drive to the beach, meant that we never looked at the rest of the product details.
On Amazon, this is your opportunity to include some descriptive, marketing text, adding colour to your listing. As a Finnish manufacturer, why not include some information about your company and help the customer connect to the Finnish quality you are offering? With accommodation, take the chance to describe the strengths and differences of your property, include the additional facilities and amenities they will enjoy if they decide to stay with you. When I was searching through travel website listings, I would find myself thinking ‘I don’t know enough about this to make a decision‘ or even worse ‘They haven’t made much effort to sell this place to me. If they don’t care enough, why should I?‘
Amazon insists on a clean product shot for the main image, a cut-out on a white background, as it stands out effectively on their white website. Other than this you are able to add alternative views and lifestyle shots of the product in use, they should be high quality so the customer can zoom in on details. When someone goes into a traditional store, they can pick-up a product to check it out with their hands and eyes. A good selection of online photos is your way of giving the customer as much visual information along with the text. With accommodation, consider this as a virtual tour around the property. Dress the rooms attractively, make them look inviting and get good quality, professional images taken, so your potential customer can see exactly where they will be staying. Then, of course, make sure it looks like that when they arrive.
Keywords are not visible on the product page, but they help with search optimisation within Amazon. When selecting these, I look at how the competition describes their products and use some of the relevant words in my additional keywords. Again, it is important to keep these relevant so your listing is shown to people that might be interested. If too many people ignore your listing, you may find it has a negative effect on the visibility of the listing in future.
Xport has a selection of service packages that should qualify for financial support e.g. Innovaatioseteli, Team Finland Explorer. Our team includes both Finnish and International with experience in the HoReCa industry, who can assess, plan and implement changes that you want and need to make.
If you want to arrange a one-hour consultation to discuss listing your products or accommodation online, contact me on the xport.fi/amazon page. In the long-term, it could save you time, money and hassle.
Mark Wiltshear, Co-founder, Xport