PLH 87 | Amazon Competitive Analysis

It’s tough when you first get on Amazon. You don’t know where to start, what keywords to use, or what images to put. Jenna Lieber of Turnkey Product Management suggests doing an Amazon competitive analysis so you can hone in on what you need to start with. Jenna thinks everyone needs to. If you’re already on Amazon, she recommends doing this once a quarter to see if your competitors have changed or if there’s anything new going on that maybe you’re not doing yet. It’s very simple and valuable for everyone to do it. Jenna goes through six steps in terms of creating a competitive analysis.

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My name is Jenna Lieber, I work for Turnkey Product Management. I’m not sure if you have seen a couple of my last podcast, but we have covered tons of different Amazon topics for you. Our Turnkey team takes every single time we sign a new client. I feel it is incredibly valuable for brand owners, for anyone selling on Amazon to complete this as your first step. The reality is it’s tough when you first get on Amazon. You don’t know, “Where should I start? Where to begin?” Doing a competitor analysis hones in on what you need to start with. With this competitor analysis you’re able to see where should I start, what keywords should I use, what images? I’m going to go through step-by-step on how we do it. It is incredibly simple. It’s valuable for everyone to do it.

I think everyone needs to. I also recommend if you’re already on Amazon, it’s cool to do this maybe once a quarter. See if your competitors have changed, see if there’s anything new going on that maybe you’re not doing yet. I’ll roll through our six steps in terms of creating that competitor analysis. Step one is going and finding those competitors. You need to find those top five competitors, people that have the similar product to you, similar brand message. These people are your competitors, these are the people you need to beat. Put that list together, find those five or four that you feel match up against well and they’re the ones taking your customers.

Once you do that, you’ll go ahead and complete the competitor analysis. The first piece that we look at is the sales copy. What do I mean by sales copy? That could mean the title, it could mean the product description, the bullet points, literally any piece of the sales copy. What we look for is maybe why taglines that you can also use, look for keywords, look for anything that stands out to you as a customer and think, “This sold me on this product.” Step number one is completing that. It’s super simple. All I do is I just copy and paste it. That is a great bullet point.

Do not put the exact same bullet point. Do not do that, but you can go use it as your starting point, your starting block. This is how you’re going to start it off. After we look at the sales copy, we’re also going to look at the bonus value. See if there’s anything free they’re giving away with their product. An example is on a Prime Day, I was a sucker and I bought a waist trimmer. One thing they gave away with that waist trimmer was that lotion that you can put on that will help your waist get trimmer quicker. I was an even bigger sucker and I loved the little lotion so I went and bought it on Amazon. They cross-sold to me and it was great. That’s one example of a bonus ad. Another thing that could be a bonus is a warranty, a guarantee, that’s valuable to people.

Go straight to the one-star reviews. Check out what people are saying. Click To Tweet

That’s also what you’re going to be looking for when you’re going to this competitor analysis, looking at your different competitors to see what are they adding that is valuable to the customer? After you’ve completed that, this is my all-time favorite part of this competitor analysis process, is you go through and look at the complaints people are getting on their listings. You’re like, “That sucks that people said that about you.” We all have to deal with it. Unfortunately, it’s not very fun when people are leaving some not so awesome feedback, but at that moment it’s not feedback about your product. You get to learn from it. What I do personally is go straight to the one-stars. I want to see what people are saying.

What made them upset that they gave it one star? That’s what I do, straight to the one star and look for about three to five complaints. When you’re looking at these complaints, you’re thinking, “How can I transfer this complaint into something I put in maybe my sales copy, maybe my images?” Maybe you’re in the designing process of your product and you can say, “I need to add something that fixes that problem that they’re talking about here.” That’s another example right there, but you definitely during this process want to look at the reviews and see what people are saying. The next part, I’ve definitely talked about this in a couple of my other talks, is looking at those product images and those infographics. What are people using to sell on Amazon? What do those images look like?

You’re also looking at those infographics not only what they are putting together for the infographic, but also what material is in that infographic. What content is in there? What things are they pointing out in that infographic? After we complete all those, our next thing is the brainstorm, because right now you’re in that brainstorming area. You’re looking at all these things, you’re getting ideas, they’re flowing, and you’re putting yourself in that brainstorming area. This is a great time to jot down different things that maybe you could do to your product, maybe different free things you can add for your customers. This is a great time to quickly brainstorm on things you can test on your page, on your product, anywhere.

After we complete that, the last step is we do a Jungle Scout report. I don’t know if any of you are using Jungle Scout, but if you are selling on Amazon, you’ve got to get it. If you’re sourcing products to sell on Amazon, you’ve got to get it because through Jungle Scout, you’re able to see what people are selling products for. You’re able to see their monthly revenue, you’re able to see a ton. Also, what we use it for is for keywords. There is a feature on the Jungle Scout Chrome extension where you can see what keywords people are targeting for that category. I’m going to walk you through what we do.

We are representing a client called Jenna’s Jamming Slow Feeder Bowl. That’s our new client. We are completing this competitor analysis for Jenna’s Jamming Slow Feeder Bowl. What we do is we want to make sure we save that link of that competitor. In that way we can go back and look at our notes. You want to see, “What was I talking about there?” because sometimes when you’re taking notes, you do have to circle back around and see what you meant by that.

I also like to put a screenshot of their entire listing so that way you can see how many images they have, what their bullet points look like, what does their title look like. It looks like right now they had about 700 reviews, how many questions were asked? It’s good to grab this screenshot. In that way you know what competitor you’re talking about. I’ve completed this first step for this one, then we’ll move onto more competitors after this. Here are a couple of pieces of the sales copy that I grabbed from this competitor. These are things that you want to put in your sales copy. These are things that you’re like, “That does matter to customers,” and I need to make sure I mention that.

For example, it talks about what the product is made out of, the type of materials it’s made out of. That’s important because people care about their dogs. They want to know what their dog is eating out of. This is a critical part to put into your sales copy at some point. Wherever you decide to put it, is up to you, but you definitely want to make sure you’re mentioning that. Another piece of their sales copy I found incredibly valuable was easy to use and clean. Our dogs are messy, we love them but they’re messy. Making sure that this product is easy to clean, that makes sense. You need to include that somewhere. It maybe not in your bullet points, but maybe it should be in your infographic.

PLH 87 | Amazon Competitive Analysis

Amazon Competitive Analysis: Make sure you’re portraying the proper message. If it’s just for dogs, you might want to put in a disclaimer, “Not good for cats.”

You’re just grabbing pieces that sell to a customer. You’re grabbing things that you think, “This sells me. I want to buy this because of this,” just thinking that way. Another thing that this listing had their value add that I found was 100% guarantee when purchasing this product. They said 100% money back guarantee will be included with all slow eating bowls. If your competitors are providing a guarantee, you need to also provide that guarantee just because that could be the difference maker. That could be why someone won’t buy your product, but they’ll buy another product. Make sure you’re adding those value items and trying to match what your competitors are doing and beat it. You want to beat what your competitors are saying.

Moving on to my favorite part. Finding the top three to five complaints from customers from the critical reviews area. Here are the three that I found. One thing that I do is I make sure that we have those links in there, that way I can go back and read the review more in-depth. This is a shorter version of it, it’s cute but skip it, unless your dog has a freakishly long tongue. This is a good thing to think about because in your sales copy, maybe you can make the joke like that, “This bowl is not for freakishly long tongue dogs. This is for normal tongue dog,” something like that. You can make a joke out of it or simply say, “Our bowl is not as deep as others,” just trying to see what are people complaining about it. Just trying to pick out those different things. If the food gets stuck into spirals, maybe you can create a video showing it doesn’t get stuck in the spirals. Maybe you can create an image that shows it’s not going to get caught in the little corners. It’s not that hard to get it out of.

The last one is a huge complaint and frustrating for the puppy. That would be a good bullet point like frustration-free zone for your puppy. It’s going to challenge them, it’s going to prevent bloating, but it’s frustration free. People are saying, “This frustrates my dog. My dog gets upset, flips the bowl and gets mad,” making it a frustration-free product. That’s another thing you can point out in the sales copy. I’ve shown you this before and it still stands true. These are great product images. Basically in this step, you grab a few images that you love. I don’t think there’s a limit to this. You don’t have to do one-on-one, do as many as you want because it’s important. The more examples you have, the easier it is to hand to your designer and say, “Can you make this please?”

For example, this dog bowl has the packaging. I love to show packaging with the main image. Over to the other side, we have the infographics. It’s talking about the different benefits of this bowl. Maybe people don’t understand, “Why would I get my dog that bowl?” Here’s why. It prevents choking and vomiting, food-safe materials, prevents food spillage and sliding. It’s listing all of the benefits to this product. It’s going to sell you if you don’t understand it. The last thing, if you’re in brainstorming mode I put down like, “It would be cool if there are different colors, different variations for this product. What if my dog doesn’t like blue?” I’m pretty sure dogs are colorblind, but maybe my dog doesn’t like blue. It’s important to have different colors, different variation.

The sales copy could mean the title, the product description, the bullet point, or any of the pieces of the copy. Click To Tweet

That was one little brainstorm I put down there after completing that. Talking about the Jungle Scout report, this is what it looks like there is the average price of this item, the revenues they’re making, the reviews they have, that average star rating that they have. I’m telling you, use Jungle Scout, it’s awesome. The last thing I want to go over from Jungle Scout is keywords. Every single Chrome extension with Jungle Scout does have this.

This can kickstart your keyword research where you could see a lot of people are mentioning bloat, they’re mentioning bowl, dog, feeder, fun, interactive. These are things people are mentioning in this category. I’m going to roll through a few of my competitors that I’ve listed and tell you how I look at this, how our team grabbed stuff and what we think when we’re grabbing them. We’re going to look at sales copy. This is what we’re looking at for this specific one. The title isn’t that crazy. I don’t see that as a big sales copy thing. When I go to the bullet points, obviously not that in depth, but they do have some good points to them. They’re not saying that much, but they are pointing out very important things that you should be mentioning if you’re selling this product.

One that sticks out to me is veterinarian-recommended. This is huge, people care about that stuff. They want to know, “Do the dog professionals think this is a great idea? Do they think that my dog’s going to be mad at me and not like me anymore?” Truthfully, this is good. This is something you want to include. You would want to mention veterinarian-recommended in your bullet points. What all you would do is create a Google doc or create a Word doc and copy and paste that, then save it for later and say, “I’m going to mention that in my bullet points.” Another thing I like here is proper portions. This one’s good because when I look at this, it doesn’t look like it carries that much food. I might wonder how much food can I put in there because my dog eats a lot? This tells you exactly each portion size for each. It says the large one carries four cups of kibble, the small one holds two cups, etc.

Making sure that you’re putting those portion sizes in there is very valuable especially if you have an image because to me, it doesn’t look like there’s that much food. What you would do is just copy and paste it. You definitely need to mention that. That’s all you’re doing when you’re going through this is, “What am I seeing that would sell me on this product?” The next thing we’re going to talk about is value items. They do have a warranty. Warranty for all our products has 180 days. What you can do is say, “My competitor is offering a 180-day warranty, maybe I should add a year warranty.” That’s better than 180 days. That’s something you would want to save and say, “Maybe I can make use of this. Maybe I can provide something similar to this warranty or guarantee.”

My other suggestion on this was, “I wonder if the word warranty or guarantee works better? What’s selling better?” If I were you, when I’m looking at this I would think, “They’re using warranty, maybe I should use guarantee and see if that works better.” If it’s not working too well, maybe you can do a warranty, where you can change it to a warranty bullet point, split test and see maybe one converts better than the other. Maybe you can take a quick little brainstorm note and say, “Split tests, warranty or guarantee?”

Another thing I think about when I’m on this listing in particular is keyword research. That’s what I’m thinking just because of their title here. It looks like they’re trying to get all those keywords in there. I would open maybe a spreadsheet and start copy and pasting different keywords that I’m finding. I would probably grab pet, fun, feeder, dog bowl, slow feeder. Maybe I’d grab slow, feed, dog, bowl, bloat stop, dog bowl, and anything like that. That’s a great idea. Start putting those keywords together and that’s going to help you in the long run. That’s another thing to think about when you’re rolling through these is grab some keywords and store them. Create a simple list for yourself. Make it easy for yourself when that time comes. My big takeaway for this one is that warranty, that’s a good value item.

The more examples you have, the easier it is to hand to your designer and say, “Can you make this please?” Click To Tweet

We’re going to move on to customer reviews. If you’re on their listing go ahead and click their customer reviews. If you see that they have 5% or one star, click that. You roll through these reviews and see what people are saying. It looks like Aunt Bee this was not a win for her cat. That’s a big red flag there. Maybe you’ll think about it like if it’s not a win for a cat in my sales copy maybe I should mention that it’s for cats. If it’s not for cats, then you don’t want to lie. You want to make sure you’re portraying the proper message. If it’s just for dogs, you might want to put in a disclaimer, “Not good for cats.” Also maybe you’re in the product development stage where you want to make sure that you have both options, maybe you wanted one for a dog and one for a cat. That’s one right there that you can save and say, “People are talking about cats. People did buy this for a cat. I want to make sure it’s clear if this is for a cat or if it’s not for a cat.”

Another one is, “Will not work with small dogs.” Does yours work for a small dog? If it does, you want to point that out. “This bowl works for large dogs, medium dogs, small dogs. Works for my guinea pig.” List what it works for. You want your product to be shown in the best way possible, so be honest with your customers. If it doesn’t work for small dogs, maybe create one that is just for small dogs. Making sure you have that variety is important. If you’re seeing that it will not work for small dogs, you want to make sure that you have that in your bullet points if it does work for small dogs. Maybe you’ll get this customer that wasn’t too happy with this one. Maybe she wants to try another one.

I purchased this product to protect my dog, instead one of the nonslip grips fell off and I found her chewing on it. Dogs do chew on things, we can’t control that. Maybe in your bullet points or in your infographic, you could talk about those slip grips. You can say like super tight or airtight slipped grips that won’t fall off when your dog’s pushing the bowl. You can use that negative here that you’re finding on a competitor and use it to help yourself down the road. We’re all set with those. Basically, what I’m trying to tell is take your time by looking at customer reviews because you can find a lot of interesting things.

PLH 87 | Amazon Competitive Analysis

Amazon Competitive Analysis: The little cloud on the bottom right of the Jungle Scout contains the big keywords you need to make sure are in your sales copy because everyone else is using them.

Things that maybe you didn’t think of, points that you want to make in your sales copy, you can find a lot of that when you’re looking at complaints from customers. I know some people have mentioned, “Should I look at the positive reviews?” I definitely think so, maybe see what their positive experience was with this product. You can even use some taglines from there like a life-changing dog bowl. It’s what people are saying about a similar product. You can use that as well. The last bit I want to talk about is infographics. I felt that this dog bowl company did an amazing job. One thing for sure is you need to have that white background for your main image.

They are technically meeting that requirement with this because there is a very cute dog here, but also it is a white background. Technically, this is a white background and the product is right here. If you can make something like this happen with your product, I would recommend it. This definitely catches someone’s eye, especially when you have all of those bowls listed. Maybe this one will stick out to someone because they’re seeing a cute dog next to it. What I recommend is if you like an image, take a screenshot of it and create a full document of images that you like. In that way, when it’s time for your designer to take product images you’re set, you already know what images you want.

Beat what your competitors are saying. Click To Tweet

He doesn’t even need to brainstorm it. You can say, “Here you go, please make this one. Make it our own. Create this infographic, etc.” If you already have that altogether, it makes it way easier down the line when you’re ready for that product image to start. This is a good one. People obviously care about this non-slip rubber feet situation with these bowls. You definitely want to point that out. I like how they did it. They mentioned how many are on the bowl. They mentioned where they are, they zoomed into the picture. These nonslip rubber feet are on this product and they have made that very clear.

They are basically telling you your dog will not be pushing this bowl. It sells you. You see these features when you’re looking at something like this. Amazon is getting very tight with bullet points for keywords. I know a lot of people are getting in trouble mentioning certain words and certain categories. Make sure that you’re able to talk about the benefits. Maybe you don’t have them in your bullet points or anything like that, but you can put it in an infographic. I love this one, “Mealtime is fun and challenging. It prevents choking. It’s easy to use and clean. It’s bite resistant. Slow down eating time.”

It’s listing all the benefits of the product. This alone sells you. This is telling you, “This is why you want our product. It’s going to make your meal times way more fun and challenging.” Creating something like this, do not recreate this infographic to be exactly like your competitor. It’s okay if you use similar benefits, similar idea, but you want it to be your own. You want it to look like it has your company stamp on it. This is a good example of an infographic. In the complaints, for this product in particular, it seemed like there was a big discrepancy in terms of what size dogs could eat out of these bowls. This one are three very different sized dogs.

This is maybe a medium sized dog eating out of the bowl. It’s showing you that this size dog can eat out of this bowl. An owner of a dog similar size to this knows, “My dog can eat out of this bowl. I can buy this bowl for my dog.” Another one is an image that says a couple of things to me. Obviously, a big dog can eat out of this bowl, but also a child is able to feed their dogs. Simple things like that that maybe you don’t think about but they could sell a customer.

Maybe someone is concerned about their child using the bowl like “Can my child still complete their daily chore of feeding the dog?” You don’t know what people are thinking about. I thought this was a great idea to show the size of the dog and to involve a child and show, “Your child can still feed the dog. Don’t worry about it. They’ve got it. The last one is a puppy and it shows a puppy’s able to handle it. It will challenge them but they are able to handle it. I would screenshot every single one of these pictures, save it in a document, and then send it to your graphic designer and say, “Can you help me create something similar for my brand?”

Talk about the benefits of the product. This alone sells you. Click To Tweet

It’s super easy and it’s a great way to start brainstorming. After you complete all those steps through all those competitors, and you want to complete all of those different things for every single competitor, just with time and everything, I felt this was probably better to roll three different listings with you. Definitely, complete all of that. You’ve got to complete the sales copy part, the value part, the customer reviews, the infographic part. You want to complete all of that for every single competitor but this was just for an example.

As promised, I’m also going to tell you about the Jungle Scout tool that we use. We’re going to go with this keyword phrase and search that on Amazon. Then it pulls up what people find when they search for this. After you’ve signed up for Jungle Scout and everything, go ahead and click JS in the right-hand corner. That’s your Chrome extension. Click that and it pulls up all that data in my initial example. You’ll see their revenue, their reviews, and their rating. The most valuable part is you can see what the revenue potential is for this type of product. I also like knowing what reviews you’re up against. How many reviews do I need to compete with these people? For example, with the first bowl that we went through, they have 8,000 reviews. That’s a tough one, but you know going into it, they have 8,000, another one has 315 and then one more has 32. You really have a better idea as to what reviews you are up against.

The last part about it is looking at those keywords. All you do if you have this open, you see there’s a little cloud on the bottom right of the Jungle Scout part, go ahead and click that. It says associated keywords and those are your keywords. Copy those down as soon as they come up, screenshot them so they’re saved. These are the big keywords you need to make sure are in your sales copy because everyone else is using them. They must be working. You’re saying that feeder was used six times, interactive was used, pat, stop, everything. You’re seeing what different keywords are being used.

PLH 87 | Amazon Competitive Analysis

Amazon Competitive Analysis: You need to make sure you mention things that matter to customers in your sales copy.

Other than that, that’s how we do our competitor analysis. It helps you brainstorm and it gives you your first start when you’re heading onto Amazon. That’s my presentation. If you have any questions or if you need any advice in terms of brainstorming for stuff like this, definitely reach out to me. It’s Jenna@TurnkeyProductManagement.com. I’ll be happy to help you.

Jenna, it’s Tracy. I did not know about that cloud thing. I use Jungle Scout all the time and I did not know about that cloud thing. All this time, I skipped all their emails with their tutorials and their upgrades and I didn’t pay attention because I’m not a daily user. I use it for pre-research. I do early research but that is useful.

We accidentally found it. I don’t even think it was in an email. We’re like, “What’s this cloud thing?”

You just gave us a huge hack tip.

I would recommend it and if you ever just stumped on keywords, you’re seeing what other people are using.

Jenna and Jeff Lieber, who is the founder of Turnkey Product Management are featured in my Inc. column. The article went live and I drove into the posts on Facebook. They are rock stars as you have had already gauged from this presentation. First up, I did not know that slow food for dogs was a thing. Slow food for people is a huge thing but I did not realize we needed to do that to our dogs too.

I didn’t either. The reason I always use this as my guinea pig is that I just love looking at dogs. People do get creative with these product images. That’s why I love using them as an example.

Thanks so much for being on. I appreciate it. You were our first live streamer. We’re going to be doing that pretty much as often as we can all the time if possible. Hopefully, every one of our experts is going to be tech-savvy enough to be able to handle this and we’ll be on live. To our audience, check it out. Make sure you follow us on Hazz Design Facebook page. If you follow Hazz Design on Facebook, then you will be notified every time an expert goes live. Be sure to check out Jenna’s profile and Jeff’s profile in Product Launch Hazzards because you can connect to them through there and you could see all of their previous videos. They’ve done quite a few and they are educational. I learned something new every time and that’s why I wrote the article because I was like, “This stuff is bold. No one knows this stuff.” Thanks so much, Jenna, we appreciate it.

Tune in to Jenna Lieber next Office Hours. Connect with and find out more about Jenna Lieber in our Experts Directory.

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