Differentiating my products is my secret weapon to making a lot of money on Amazon. It simply works. Anyone can do it if you take the time to learn what your customers love. I find critical reviews of competitors, learn from them, and use their customers’ complaints to improve my own product.
Something that’s very important to successful differentiation is knowing the difference between real value and perceived value. Perceived value is what you want potential buyers to see, and real value is what you want customers to experience. Customer service is real value; marketing is perceived value.
Let's say you’re selling a computer stand on Amazon. Real value is what the computer stand does for the customer. Does it work with their computer? Does their laptop sit on it? Can they adjust the height? Real value is important. Your product should work, obviously. But even if you have the best product in the world, without high perceived value, no one will buy it.
You can claim your product is the best on the market, with the highest quality, but if your photos suck, your description is terrible, and the title doesn’t have the right keywords, you won’t get any sales. For a product to sell, the listing needs to look amazing.
Why is perceived value so important?
Look at the competitors who are outselling you and compare your listings to theirs. What’s different? Their listings might have better perceived value.
Packaging, in terms of real value, is completely worthless. You could just wrap a laptop in bubble wrap and ship it, and it would still work as advertised. But nice packaging creates an experience, and the customer expects it. Attractive packaging makes the customer perceive the item as more valuable. Even though the packaging will likely get thrown away after five minutes, it plays a large part in the perceived value of the product. Apple does this brilliantly.
Here’s another example: if you’ve ever sold a home, you know the importance of perceived value. If a house has the best AC, a new roof, and a solid foundation, it has tons of real value. But when you bring in a potential buyer and there’s paint peeling off the front door, and the grass is overgrown, you’ve lost out in perceived value. The peeling paint doesn’t hurt the door, structurally, and the grass can always be cut, but they make the house look less valuable. Remember: we eat with our eyes, and we buy with our eyes, too.
There are a few different ways to increase perceived value. High-quality photos are important. If your photos don’t look good, people aren’t even going to click on your listing. Photos that include props and smiling faces, and photos that break down the technical specifications of the product, will all help increase perceived value.
Your product description and title also impact the perceived value of your product. The title should use strong, descriptive keywords, and the product description should be clean and easy to read.