Just one small mistake on your product listings could cost your company hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars. And some errors can even get you kicked off shopping channels altogether!
Fortunately, there are ways you can catch and correct most issues before they snowball into bigger problems. Here are five of the most common (and costly) product listing mistakes – and how to fix them.
1: Listing the Wrong Quantity
This is a huge one. If you list a lower quantity than you have in stock, then you could potentially lose out on sales. Your product will be “sold out” before it actually is. But if you list a higher quantity than you have in stock, you could oversell. That could potentially be worse, because Amazon, Walmart, and other marketplaces penalize sellers for overselling, and they may even suspend your account.
Unfortunately, this is a common headache for retailers. After all, you may have products listed on Amazon, Walmart, eBay, your own website, and dozens of other shopping channels. It can be hard to keep track of where sales were made and then accurately update your inventory in real-time on each site.
Solution: Use an inventory tracking program that will automatically aggregate all of your marketplace order information and sync it with your shopping cart platform across channels.
For example, GoOrderSync instantly updates your shopping cart platform and the various marketplaces you sell on with order status, shipping/tracking information, and cancellations.
2: Inaccurate Pricing
It’s amazing how much of a difference a decimal point can make. After all, $100.00 is very different from $10.00. And when you post an incorrect price that is way too low, you can be sure word will spread fast. The result will either be a slew of cancelled orders (and the accompanying black mark with the shopping channel) – or a big financial loss to your company.
But the flip side isn’t much better. If you post an incorrect price that is too high, then you’re simply not likely to get sales until the problem is discovered and corrected. Meanwhile, you’ve been paying to promote the product, so all that money just went down the drain.
Solution: Double and triple check your pricing before you go live. Alternatively, you can employ a repricing tool to handle the task for you.
You can also more easily spot problems using analytics tools that will automatically alert you of problems, such as when an item isn’t converting or one that isn’t turning a profit.
3: Following general SEO Practices
If you’re thinking about search engine optimization in your product listings, that’s a good thing. After all, Amazon is a top product search engine, with 44% of consumers heading straight to the site to find items to purchase.
However, that doesn’t mean Amazon does SEO the same as other general search engines. Some practices carry over, but others don’t.
For example, keyword repetition is important to find success on Google. However, you only have to use a keyword once on Amazon. If you repeat it, the only thing you’ll accomplish is to negatively impact the quality and effectiveness of your sales copy.
Solution: Revisit your product descriptions. If appropriate, hire a copywriter to improve the quality. Provide them with a list of keywords and instructions to only include each once.
Also, if a keyword is already in the title, brand, manufacturer, and UPC, don’t bother repeating it in the Search Terms field. Instead, use those spaces as opportunities to feature other keywords that may drive traffic your way.
4: Product Titles That Include Promotions
You’re looking for a way to make your products stand out, so you figure why not include a sale or coupon right in the title? That will hook them!
Unfortunately, that’s against Amazon’s rules, and that can lead to the rejection of the item – or your entire feed. You should also avoid suggestive commentary, such as “the best” or “#1 seller.”
Solution: Generally, you want to stick to the facts and this order: “Brand -> Product Name -> Color -> Style -> Material -> Size -> Important Features.” However, there are some variations based on product type and category.
You can write and check each title yourself, or you can employ a platform like GoDataFeed that will automatically generate product titles for you using the best practices based on its particular categories.
5: Bad Images
Low-resolution files. Unprofessional composition. Poorly lit. Out of focus. A cluttered background. These are just a few of the problems that can plague your product images.
Additionally, make sure you are not using copyrighted or watermarked images. Not only could you get kicked off of many shopping channels for the practice, you could also face costly legal issues.
Solution: Hire a professional product photographer. That’s the best way to ensure you get quality images for your product listings.
If you can't afford that, stick to manufacturer images that you have approval to use. Or purchase basic photography equipment to improve your in-house photos.
You can also see if a graphic designer is able to work with your images to improve them. This could mean adjusting the color balance, placing the item on a white background, or cropping the image more closely.
Mistake 6: Misspellings
If you’re advertising a “punpkin candle,” you’re likely missing out on customers searching for a “pumpkin candle.”
Even the most experienced data entry clerks make typos now and then. And even the best spellers have words that trip them up time and again.
In most situations, these minor issues don’t wreak too much havoc, but in the world of online retail, they can add up to big losses.
Solution: Run a spellcheck on your product information. Even Excel offers the feature. It just takes a few minutes, and it can save you a lot of trouble.