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Amazon accounts for more than a quarter of ecommerce sales in the U.S. Yes, you read that right: 26% of all ecommerce sales in our country go through the retail giant. And that’s up from 22% last year.

This continued dominance of ecommerce means that brands and retailers who choose to utilize Amazon’s Marketplace have an amazing opportunity to put their products in front of a vast, ever-growing audience of potential customers. But in order to capitalize on this opportunity, they need to ensure their listings follow Amazon best practices.

Such an undertaking can be incredibly complicated, time-consuming and expensive. So much so that it just isn’t practical for most businesses to handle the process manually. More and more, seasoned sellers are turning to Amazon listing tools – software that allows businesses to update product listings in bulk, sync orders and more.

But how do you know which tool is the right one for you? What features should you look for? Read on to find out.

1. Bulk optimization.

Every single product listing will need to be optimized for Amazon’s internal search engine to make it more likely to show up when people look for products similar to yours.

But this doesn’t mean that you have to optimize them one at a time. This can be nearly impossible for businesses with hundreds or even thousands of products available, and even time consuming for those with a few dozen.

With bulk optimizing, you can apply a specific set of changes across all of your products or specific product groups by making alterations to a single template.

2. Bulk data editing.

It’s the nature of the beast with online marketplaces: you’re going to need to regularly update your data with the most current information if you want to stay near the top of the search rankings. Often, you will need to make the same exact change to numerous products.

Bulk data editing allows you to edit one template and apply the alteration across numerous products, saving you time and ensuring accurate results for customers.

3. Built-in Amazon templates.

Auto, Beauty, Health, Office – different product categories in Amazon have different requirements. This makes it incredibly tedious if you are trying to input product data into a spreadsheet since you have to figure out the specifics for each one.

Except that you don’t have to do that – if you choose a listing tool that already has Amazon product templates built-in. Simply choose the template you want to use, and fill in the necessary information.

4. Built-in Amazon categorization.

Amazon has amazingly specific, in-depth product categories to help people find exactly what they are looking for. You could look up all of the various category and subcategory paths available for each and every product… or you could choose a tool that comes with a tool for categorization built-in.

5. Amazon feed validation prior to submitting data.

Few things are worse than spending the time to update your various product feeds only to submit them to Amazon and learn that there’s some kind of problem. Rejection slows the process down, and that means lost sales.

Avoid this scenario with a tool that will use Amazon’s own requirements to validate your feed before you submit it.

6. ASIN matching tool.

What if you don’t have detailed product information for each item you sell? It can be a difficult, time-intensive project to start gathering it – unless you use an ASIN matching tool. You simply provide the ASIN, and the tool will fill in the pertinent details to help flesh out product information and improve sales.

7. Automatic shopping cart-to-Amazon product updates.

Good inventory management is one of the most important ways to keep your products near the top of the listings. If you sell something through your shopping cart, it’s important that this is reflected on Amazon so you don’t attempt to sell a product through the marketplace that is now out-of-stock. This can result in your entire merchant account being cancelled.

Look for a tool that automatically updates your Amazon product feed with inventory changes even if they happen on other marketplaces or your website. This will eliminate errors and ensure that your stock level is always accurate.

8. Amazon-to-shopping cart order syncing.

Just like you want to send order data from your shopping cart to Amazon, it is vital that your cart is synced with all sales that happen through Amazon. A mistake on either end can lead to a huge problem.

9. Processing reports.

Listing errors are the bane of any Amazon seller. Processing reports are how you learn about and rectify errors to keep them from negatively impacting future sales.

In the past, businesses had to use several different pieces of software to utilize all of these features, but no longer. Single solutions now exist – so why wouldn’t you use them?

When you can do everything in one place, it cuts down on time, reduces the potential for compatibility errors, and lowers your overall cost. Find the right tool, and you will not only save yourself a lot of grief, but make it easier to get more customers and increase sales.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, there are more than a few absolute must-have features that will spell the difference between success and failure on Amazon, and finding the perfect Amazon listing tool -- the one that has them all -- might seem like looking for a thousand different things. Unless you know where to look (hint: it’s just a click away).