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Tips and tricks to scale your business from the experts in eCommerce

Are You Selling Products That Buyers Are Actually Looking For?

Posted by Emilie Fritsch on Jun 23, 2014

Buyer's-Journey

Finding the answer is vital to your business.  Thankfully, finding the answer is easy.  An insightful guest blog post, by SkuVault's new strategic partner, MerchantWords.

First, a quick story: Imagine you’re the manager of a local bookstore with a small storefront.  You want to capture people’s attention by placing the most popular books in your window display.  But you wonder how to figure out which books your customers will be most interested in buying.

You decide to hang out at the public library one day.  As you eavesdrop on the conversations between the visitors and the librarian, you’re hoping to get some sense of what books are popular.  After a few hours you realize that you’ve heard plenty of discussions about books, but it’s always from people who have no intention of buying anything.  Some folks are merely doing research.  Other folks are looking to borrow a book for a few days.  The problem is that nobody is asking the librarian about books they actually want to buy.

The next day you take a different approach.  You hang out inside the local Barnes & Noble Booksellers.  They are much larger than you, and they attract plenty of foot traffic.  As you eavesdrop on the conversations between customers and the employee at the Information Desk, you realize that this is exactly what you need to know.  After a few hours you know exactly which books people are looking for.  Most importantly, you know that people intend to actually buy them.

The moral of the story: Discovering which products people generally search for is interesting, but discovering which products people search for when they intend to purchase is way more important.

How Can I Discover What People Intend on Buying?

Just like in the story, you should hang out in the largest store you can find and eavesdrop on what their customers are looking to buy.  The largest store I know is Amazon.com.  Thankfully, eavesdropping on their customers is easy and free.

Go to Amazon’s homepage and enter a few characters in the search box (but don’t hit enter).  You’ll notice that Amazon immediately suggests different searches based on what you typed.  Make a mental note on some of the results you see.

Now type a few more characters.  Notice how Amazon’s suggestions change based on the letters you type.  What’s happening here is Amazon is automatically matching whatever you type with the most popular searches from their millions of customers.  You can get a good sense of which Amazon searches are more popular than others by looking at the order in which these suggestions appear.

Think about this for a second.  You’re eavesdropping on the searches of millions of Amazon customers.  That’s millions of shoppers with purchase intent, and you’ve got access to all that knowledge.  Bam.  Thank you very much.  :)

So that’s it.  Now get out there and figure out what products people are looking to buy.  And make sure you’re selling them.

Shameless Plug

We founded MerchantWords to help you figure out which Amazon searches are the most popular.  Our database of 22M unique Amazon search terms will let you see instantly which searches are more popular than others.  Additionally, it’s a great way to research long-tail keyword searches, and to discover new product ideas.

Optimize Your Supply Chain with SkuVault WMS. Request a demo.

Topics: eCommerce, Guest Posts, Amazon