The 4 Stages of the Amazon Product Life Cycle & How to Make the Most of Them
Amazon is one of the biggest online stores in the world. Scratch that. Amazon is one of the biggest stores ever.
Selling products on Amazon is a great way to make some income. But those products can’t bring in a steady cash flow forever. All good things must come to an end, even your product’s sellability.
Amazon products go through the Amazon product life cycle. The four stages in this cycle have their own unique problems and intricacies. It’s important to understand each stage in the Amazon product life cycle to maximize profit and your product’s sellability.
Today, we’re going to go through each of the stages and how you can use different strategies to perform better on Amazon.
What Kind of Products to Sell
Selling a successful product on Amazon is incredibly difficult, considering how much competition there is. There are millions of sellers on Amazon trying to take a piece of the pie. It might seem easy to just say, “I’ll sell some face masks, those are sure to sell”—but it isn’t that simple. There are way too many sellers on the platform selling face masks. Those sellers are established, experienced, and popular on Amazon’s platforms already. You wouldn’t stand a chance.
If you’re wondering what kind of product to sell, then here are some things to consider:
Look up your product on Amazon. What products are on the first page? How are they priced? Who’s behind those products? Could you make a similar product at a cheaper cost? Try to find out how much the products cost a year ago. Did the prices change? If so, why?
Pricing can be the difference between a comfortably profitable business and a stressful side-hustle with razor-thin margins.
Reviews & Ratings
How is your product rated on Amazon? It should have at least 3.5 stars and a few decent reviews. This shows potential buyers that you have an established and quality product. Try to land a product with about 200-300 reviews, any more than that proves that the niche might be hard to compete in.
Amazon’s best seller rank shows how well a product is doing in its niche. It shows recent sales success.
You’re going to want to find a product with a low ranking. It’s good to target products ranked 50,000 or lower. It’s your job to get that number up yourself by closing in a ton of sales.
Other things to consider
You also want to consider what role your product plays in the overall market. What gap is it filling? Who is going to be using it?
Understanding your customer is key to beating out your competition on the platform. Read through reviews, forums, and discussion threads. Try to find any useful information that might help you build a better product for them.
The Introduction Stage
Now that you’ve selected a product to go with, the real work begins. This stage starts the moment you introduce a new product to the market. Things are exciting, but there’s no buzz yet.
It’s your job to create that buzz. To make a demand for your product. Good news: there’s no competition. You can create that buzz with simple marketing techniques and spreading the word throughout the community. There’s a value to your product, just convince customers of that value.
Eventually, you’re going to need to ramp up your marketing efforts. But for now, just simply having a low price point could get people to buy. If it isn’t an expensive item, then just curiosity could push them over the edge.
The great thing about this stage is the fact that there’s no competition. If you can successfully start that snowball, then you’re going to have an established brand with the credibility of being “The Original”.
As per stock, try looking at sales charts of products in the same niche as the one your product fits in. Then cut back on the sales estimates a bit. Don’t order too much inventory, or you might be paying hefty fees. Click here to learn how to manage Amazon inventory.
The Growth Stage
You’ve established yourself quite well in the niche. Now there are competitors trying to nab some of the success from you. Buyers are aware of them but you still have more product reviews and a higher ranking, giving you the edge.
You need to keep an eye on those competitors, though. They’re hungry for success!
Invest in larger numbers of inventory to keep up with the demand. Demand is ramping up and things are mostly smooth-sailing in this stage. Be sure to manage your inventory efficiently.
In terms of marketing, your competition is going to try to stand out. Try to use the “OG” edge when marketing your product. Work on quality control and keeping customers happy.
The Maturity Stage
Now there’s a pretty competent set of competitors. Buyers are the ones in control, now. They have plenty of options and competitive prices to sway their choice.
This is when you need to step it up with your marketing and quality.
Why is your product different? Let buyers know what sets you apart. Offer them color variations, trial periods, maybe even upgrade the product entirely.
Inventory management is still important. Going out of stock could plummet your ranking and ordering too much is a lot easier now that customers might buy into other options. Try to keep up with steady demand and be prepared for slight shifts in demand.
The Decline Stage
Like we said earlier: All good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, your product’s going to die off. Of course, there won’t be zero sales but there will be a very significant decline in sales.
At this point, cut down on inventory and make sure it’s consistently moving out of Amazon’s warehouses. Drop prices and run promotions to sell what you can.
This isn’t the greatest stage to be in, but at least you got a nice amount of cash to invest into your next product venture.
Now, not all products experience this cycle in the same way. Let’s go over two examples:
The fidget spinner. These things hit the ground running… then ran for about 2 meters before giving up. A lot of sellers bought into the fad way too late and were screwed with hefty fees from the warehouse. The only profitable sellers started early into the fad’s lifetime. Be careful with fads, they’re extremely risky.
Mousepads. Possibly the most boring example I can think of, but that’s the point. Mousepads are boring products that have been sold for decades. Sales are consistent. There’s a lot of competition but the sellers who got into it are going to be pretty comfortable for a long, long time.
Maintaining Your Amazon Business
Now that you know about the four stages of the Amazon product life cycle and how to manage each of them, you can comfortably enter a niche.
I admit, running an Amazon business isn’t just an easy way of passive income. That’s why you shouldn’t go at it alone.
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