When Being in a Group is Better than Going it Alone…

We get many questions about Amazon variation listings A.K.A Parent-Child listings.  There’s a lot of uncertainty about them, so I compiled seven benefits you might not have considered yet.

So, here goes.

Besides helping customers to consider and compare all of their buying options, here are some other reasons why it can make good sense to group products together.

1.  You can split different keywords across each group – each Amazon product is allowed up to 250 bytes of keywords to be entered into the backend to help shoppers find you.  If you have four variation listings you can place 1,000 bytes of keywords across each item.  Quadrupling your chance of being found!

2. Structure your long-tail keywords better – like above, you can also incorporate more long-tail keywords into each listing.  Despite what Amazon might claim, a little repetition here and there does seem to entice the algorithm into noticing your product.  Once you have done your keyword analysis place the best five throughout your Title, Bullets and Description, the next five in your Subject Matter, and an additional five in Intended Use – change them for each variation and you are increasing your chance of ranking higher.

3. Improved Relevancy – providing that the keywords you have chosen are relevant to your category, by splitting more phrases across your variations you are increasing the breadth of keywords ranked by the algorithm for your whole product variants.  The algorithm basis your relevance for things like sponsored ad campaigns, largely on which keywords you have in your listings front end and backend.  The more you have, the more relevance you are likely to have.

4. More Clicks – shoppers are likely to click on one of your variation listings when they can see them grouped together. Amazon will measure this as “interest” which catches the attention of the algorithm.  You need to ensure that your listing is fully optimized and competitive because if your clicks don’t convert, Amazon will notice this too, and lower your ranking accordingly if it expects you to sell less than other competitor products.

5. Piggybacking – in variation listings, it is common for one product to outsell the rest, over time, the other listings will also benefit from the improved ranking of the best-seller and therefore “may” piggyback.  Usually, when a keyword does well it can improve the ranking of others also in the listing.  With variations the very fact that more people are likely to click on one or more of your listings will help with ranking.  If they were sold independently, they would not have this competitive advantage.

6. More Flexibility – an advantage of variations in sponsored ad campaigns is a) you get more chances of converting an order if you are displaying more than one product, and b) you get more PPC keyword data back that you can build your listings around so that they rank organically much faster.  It is best to give each variation a separate Ad Group so that you can control your budgets better and make strategic changes to keywords without those decisions impacting all of your products at once – some keywords will work well for one SKU but not another, if they are commingled together making decisions will be more difficult to do.

7. Stars Attract – when a person is shopping on Amazon, one of the factors sure to get clicks is where products have more review stars and good ratings.  The advantage of variation listings is that all of your product ratings are pooled together.  If one product has 10-reviews and another 15 they will appear to have 25 collectively.  – Update (3rd May 2019: Amazon is currently changing this benefit and separating the ratings per SKU. They are working through the categories as I write.)

8. Multiple Markets – if you sell in multiple marketplaces such as the US, Canada and EU, your ratings transfer across if you keep the same ASINs.  This means that when you sell products in one marketplace their star ratings transfer across to the other marketplace.  This is explained by Amazon once a shopper has clicked the listing, however, on a page of search results it can make your product look even more enticing!

Take a look at the images below, which products would you shortlist, which would you click?

Let’s take a closer look at what is happening here:

This coffee mug shares its home with another seven coffee mugs, and they all pool together to total 244 ratings.  

Chances are, people are going to take a quick peek at what else they are selling.  And that’s how it works my friends!

9. Adding Sub-Categories – if you add variations using a flat-file you can change the subcategory of a variant which gets added to the main category of the original parent listing, therefore your products can appear in different categories.   You will need the correct browser tree nodes to do this effectively which you can access via Seller Central.  Note, if you contact the Catalog Team (.com) they may be able to add a single product to more than one category.

Happy selling!

Until next time.


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