Improving Amazon Conversion Rate – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

In my previous post, we looked at the “double whammy” (in a good way) from a high conversion rate in your Amazon listing.  Not only will you convert more visitors, resulting in higher profit per visitor, but your rankings in Amazon search will also increase, sending you more traffic, that then converts at a higher conversion rate.  A double whammy!

It’s why it’s so important to have a high converting listing.

This blog post is not intended to be a guide to building a high converting Amazon listing.  But I wanted to cover one key strategy that can make a big difference.  In a bad way.

The Good

To rank for certain search phrases in Amazon, it is widely taught that you need to have those words (that you want to rank for) present in your listing.  In other words, you wont rank high for “red toddler toy” if the words “red” “toddler” and “toy” are not in your listing.

As a result, people often put their top competitors’ brand names in their listing (usually in the keyword section of their ‘back-end’), figuring that if someone is searching for “Contigo travel mug,” for example (which people do, in large numbers), they might be interested in my travel mug.

The Bad

Now that’s fine, and you will likely increase traffic and sales to your listing if you can rank for your competitors’ brand names.

But you will reduce your conversion rate.  Why?

Because, if someone is looking for a Contigo mug, they may click on your listing out of interest, and they might buy, but a smaller proportion will buy because they have a predisposition towards a Contigo mug.

The challenge is, therefore, that if you start ranking for and getting traffic from people searching for your competitors, you’ll make some sales, but if your listing’s overall conversion rate is lower there is an unquantifiable negative impact on your rankings across the board.

You have to ask yourself - will the extra sales you're getting from your competitors' brand names be more than the sales you might lose from a drop in rankings across other keywords?

The Ugly

A similar point applies if I am selling a red iPhone 7 case, and I manage to rank for “black iPhone 7 case.”  I might rank, and some people will click, and some will buy, but those people all started out looking for a red case.  Only a small proportion will change their mind and go for a black one.

So, in this example, conversion rates will suffer if I rank for “black iPhone 7 case.”


The challenge is that these things are very hard to test or quantify, if not impossible (any ideas, please share in the comments!).

Therefore, you pretty much need to make a policy decision.  For me, the decision I’ve made is to maximize conversion rate at all costs, because of the double whammy effect, rather than chase more sales from less targeted keywords irrespective of cost to conversion rate.

Seems to be working as you say in the 50% conversion rate screenshot in the previous post!

Please do share your comments/thoughts.

John Pearce



  • kieron penrose

    Reply Reply January 2, 2018

    Hi John

    Good debate …

    In the search term report you can see the keywords that people have search for and whether they resulted in a sales or not i.e. does the competitor name or colour variation keyword contribute to or dilute your conversion rate.

    • John Pearce

      Reply Reply January 2, 2018

      Thanks Kieron – excellent idea. The only caution is, in looking at search term reports, we need to see a lot of clicks before we can determine with any statistical significance whether the search term is converting. Seeing 5 clicks and no sales proves nothing with any confidence. Nor does 5 clicks and one sale. Any statisticians out there can tell us how many clicks would be statistically significant!

      I prefer KISS adage – keep it simple, sweetheart! There may be better uses of time than a deep dive into such keyphrases?

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