What to do When Your Listing is Not Selling on Amazon

Follow these steps to find out why your Amazon listing is stuck and how to get it selling!
Seth Kniep
Jun 8, 2021
Grow your Amazon store
If your Amazon product isn’t selling well, do not give up hope.

Before you go back to the drawing board, find out why your product is not selling step-by-step. Even if your product is not salvageable, you first need to know why your sales are lackluster or else you risk repeating the same mistakes.

Today, I will show you the top five possible reasons your product is not selling and what you can do to start selling on Amazon like a champion.

1. Your keywords aren’t relevant enough to your product.

When an Amazon customer looks for a product via search, whatever they type in the search bar is a keyword. Keywords can be a single word like “knife” or a string of words like “steel kitchen knife”.

Your goal should be for your product listing to appear at the top of search results for your product’s best keywords.

Your best keywords will both have a high search volume and high relevance to your product. 

If a keyword exactly describes (and therefore is relevant to) your product, but almost no one uses that keyword in Amazon search, it won’t do you any good.

If no one is searching, that means no one is buying. For example, let’s say you sell a gray costume top hat for magicians. If no one is looking for your top hat product using the keyword “gray costume top hat for magicians” then you should target different keywords instead, even though that keyword describes the product exactly.

Additionally, if a ton of Amazon shoppers search using a keyword, but that keyword has little to no relevance to your product, then most or all of those shoppers will not buy from your listing.

For example, if you sell a top hat, appearing in search results for the keyword “safari hat” will probably not net you any sales. I mean, they’re both hats, but they serve different functions. If a shopper is looking for a safari hat, then they are probably either going on a safari and want to look the part, or they need it to complete a costume. Why would that person want a top hat? The keyword “safari hat” is not relevant to the top hat product.

In order to determine which keywords are relevant to your product, type in each of them into Amazon search. If more than half of the results are similar to your product or serve the same function as your product, then that keyword is highly relevant. 

If only one or two of the products are similar to your product, then that keyword is slightly relevant. If none of the products are similar to your product, then that keyword is not relevant. 

If your type of product is new to Amazon, perform this check on a website where that product is sold.

If the product results for your keyword are not similar to your product, then you found the problem.

Solution: Edit your listing to target high volume keywords that are relevant to your product.

Gather your keywords from all the tools you use and put them together in a data sheet.

You can get your keywords from these softwares and more:

  • Niche Hunter
  • MerchantWords
  • AmazeOwl
  • Keyword Inspector
  • Keyword Tool Dominator
  • Viral Launch

Let’s use Niche Hunter for demonstration purposes. Sign up for Niche Hunter at jod.com/nh. Once you’ve signed up, navigate to https://hunter.justonedime.com

Hover over the blue bar on the left side of your browser window.

Niche Hunter by Just One Dime

Click Keyword Autocomplete.

Type in your main keyword. Your main keyword is the keyword that uses the fewest number of words necessary to accurately describe your product. For example, if you sell a gray costume top hat for magicians, “top hat” describes your product using the fewest number of words. You don’t need the extra adjectives. Yes, you could boil it down to “hat”, but then no image comes to mind. Is it a baseball hat, safari hat, cowboy hat? On the other hand, “gray top hat” is one more word than you need to accurately describe the product.

Keyword Autocomplete

Click Search.

Niche Hunter Keyword Autocomplete

Choose all keywords that accurately describe your product. Take note of the search volume listed to the right of the keyword.

Check Relevant Keywords

Pro-tip! Use the keywords you find through your product research software to discover niche markets where shoppers want a product no one offers on Amazon. For example, if “top hat with cane” has a high search volume on Amazon, but no one on Amazon sells a top hat and cane bundle, you can fill that void. You know that shoppers are searching for these products. If there is high demand but low competition, you can crush it in a niche market.

Click Add Selected to Your Keyword List.

Add Selected to Your Keyword List

Click Download Selected Keywords.

Download Selected Keywords

Test each keyword for relevance to your product using Amazon search.

You will often find the best keywords in your top competitor’s titles. Place your best keywords in your listing title and bullet points. Place your next best set of keywords in your bullet points and description. Place all leftover keywords in your backend “search terms” for your listing.

Target quality keywords over quantity. You should not aim for over 100 keywords.

Once you are sure you have the right keywords, make sure you use them to their fullest effect.

2. Your product market customers cannot find your listing.

First, Amazon search each of your keywords in an incognito internet browser window.

Check to be sure your listing appears or “indexes” in each search. Amazon uses many factors to determine which products index for which keywords, but the number one factor is whether or not that keyword exists in the Amazon listing. 

Second, write down where your listing appears or “ranks” in each search. 

The listing at the top of search results ranks number one. The listing second from the top of search results ranks number two and so on. Amazon uses many factors to determine how high each product ranks for a keyword, but the number one factor is how many times shoppers clicked and bought the product after using that keyword in Amazon search. The more sales the keyword brings the listing, the higher the ranking for that keyword.

Indexing and ranking are specific to keywords. Your indexing and ranking for one keyword generally makes little impact on your ranking and indexing for other keywords.

If your product does not rank on the first page for your top keywords, then you found your problem.

Solution: Improve your ranking via Amazon pay-per-click (PPC) ads.

When you run PPC, you pay Amazon every time a customer clicks on your ad. You pay Amazon whether or not that customer buys from you.

These sponsored ads look like regular listings in search results except that they can be identified by a "sponsored" badge. Sellers often refer to them as “sponsored listings”.

Your regular “organic” listing does not have a sponsored badge on it. Your organic listing is the default listing. It's the listing you create when you add a product to Amazon. If a customer clicks on your organic listing preview in the search results page, you are not charged for that click, and you enjoy sales at full profit.

PPC works on a bidding system like an auction, and each individual keyword is bid on separately. The seller who bids the most (offers the most money for a potential click) on a keyword will get position one at the top of the first page of search results. The seller who bids the second most will get position two and so on.

When you create your sponsored ad, both your ad and your organic listing will appear for the same keyword. You can only run a successful PPC campaign on keywords that your organic listing indexes for.

Amazon PPC

Until your organic listing is ranking on the first page of search results for a keyword, you 100% need PPC in order to get your product in front of more Amazon shoppers’ eyes. Once you have gained sales through PPC, your organic ranking will increase.

Check out our full PPC beginners guide here.

If you have determined that shoppers can find your product, now make sure that shoppers want your product.

3. Your photos do not appeal to shoppers enough.

The human brain processes an entire image in 13 milliseconds.

According to MIT, 90% of all information transmitted through the brain is visual. If you aren’t investing in absolutely stunning photos, you are bypassing 90% of the senses customers use to decide if they want your product.

Your product photos must:

  • Attract the shopper.
  • Solve a relevant problem for the shopper.
  • Persuade the shopper to buy.

The product photo is the number one factor in a listing that determines whether or not a shopper wants to buy your product. If shoppers are seeing your product listing in search results, but not clicking on your listing or buying, rule out the photos as the reason why before going any further.

Solution: Split test stunning product photos.

First, get new, spectacular photos of your product. 

If you have lighting equipment, a whitewall studio, a professional camera, and a ton of professional photography experience, then take product photos yourself. Otherwise, it’s 100% worth it to pay a professional photographer to make your product shine.

Check out this video to see what makes for beautiful product photos.

Second, use pickfu.com to get feedback on which photos users like more. 

Pickfu allows you to put your photos head-to-head in trial by combat. Users vote which photo appeals to them more. You can even set your voter demographics to match your customer base. For example, if you sell purses, then you will want your Pickfu audience set to where only women receive your poll since women are typically the people who buy purses. Pickfu charges for a membership, and it’s worth every dime. Knowing which photo of your product is the best empowers you to make your listing more attractive and can bring you a ton of more sales.

Third, test your photo on your Amazon listing. 

When you switch out your main product photo, make sure to not change anything else on your listing. This way, you can isolate the product photo as the sole cause for any rise or drop in sales. If you change your photo and your bullet points at the same time, then you won’t know for sure which change caused a spike or fall in sales. Test each photo for at least seven days.

Once you know which photo performs the best, stick with it!

4. Your market niche does not have high enough demand.

You’re using the best possible keywords, have the top ranking sponsored ad for your best keywords, and you’ve optimized your product photo...but your product is still dead in the water.

Then, it’s time to check to see if there is sufficient demand for your product using the Niche Hunter browser extension.

You should have already made sure your market niche has high demand when you did your initial product research, but let’s check to make sure your product meets the Just One Dime standard.

First, ensure that at least three of your niche’s top ten competitors make at least $5,000 per month. If you sell in the UK, Europe, or any other non-American marketplace, lower that standard to $2,500 per month. The United States has the highest sales volume of all the Amazon marketplaces.

Go to Amazon.com.

Search Amazon using your best keywords. For example, search “top hat”.

The Niche Hunter extension will show you how many of your top ten ranking competitors for that keyword make at least $5,000 per month.

Niche Hunter Browser Extension

If you check all of your best keywords, and they all fall short of this standard, then I have bad news for you: You found the problem.

Solution: Liquidate your stock and use that money to invest in a new product.

The simplest way to liquidate your stock and salvage your funds is through the Amazon Liquidations program. 

Instead of paying Amazon to remove or dispose of your FBA inventory, you can choose to use FBA Liquidations to have the inventory liquidated through a wholesale liquidator. By liquidating inventory, you recover a portion of your inventory cost and avoid the cost of monthly and long-term storage fees. The net recovery value should appear in your Amazon Seller Central account within 60 days, and no later than 90 days, after you submit your liquidation order.

Amazon determines the average selling price (ASP) of your inventory by evaluating several factors, including:

  • Your sales history
  • The average FBA selling price on Amazon
  • The sales history of your specific product listing

Based on contracted rates, wholesale liquidators will purchase your inventory for a gross recovery value, which is about 5% to 10% of its ASP. Amazon will then deduct fees and pay you the net recovery value.

When you research for new products in the future, make sure that:

  • At least three of your top ten competitors make more than $5,000 per month.
  • At least three of your top ten competitors have under 150 reviews.
  • Your stand to gain at least 40% profit margins before accounting for PPC.
  • The product can be differentiated.

Check out this Amazon FBA product research guide when the time comes to get back in the saddle.

5. Your product is not differentiated enough.

If you have gone through all previous reasons why your product may not be selling, and your product meets the Just One Dime product research standard, then you probably did not differentiate your product enough.

Differentiation is when you produce a product that is different from what already exists on the market.

When you differentiate a product, you produce either a novel product or an improved version of an existing product. You can also differentiate your Amazon listing by bundling products that are often bought together into one package. 

As long as you are adding value to a product, then you are giving shoppers a reason to choose your product whether you have reviews or not.

For example, if no sellers on Amazon offer a top hat and cane combo, and you see that there is demand for a top hat and cane combo using Niche Hunter, then you can differentiate your offer by bundling those two items together.

If products are both selling well and have under 3.5 stars, that means shoppers want the products so badly that they tolerate it because nothing else better is being offered. This means you have a huge opportunity to bust into the market and blow everyone else out of the water. 

Niche Hunter helps you find differentiation opportunities by showing you how many of your top ten competitors have a rating less than a number of stars that you determine (3.5 stars by default). There can be a ton of differentiation opportunities even when your competitors have a perfect 5.0 star rating, so just think of the star rating info from Niche Hunter as a bonus.

Solution: Liquidate your stock to invest in a new product.

The solution is the same as in the previous step. You’ve got to start over. This is one reason why product research is so key. Check out the Just One Dime differentiation guide here.

There’s a ton of even more advanced know-how that’s exclusive to the Amazon FBA Mastery Membership. Click here to apply today.

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Seth Kniep

Married a pearl. Fathered 4 miracles. Fired his boss. Turned a single dime into $104,857. Today, a self-made millionaire, Seth and his team of 8 badass coaches teach entrepreneurs how to build passive income on Amazon.

Dead serious about building income on Amazon with eight successful coaches in a community of badass Amazon sellers? Join the Amazon FBA Mastery membership.

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