Top black hat tricks to boost Amazon Sales

Before purchasing a product online, customers do their detailed research by comparing similar items, reading reviews, checking prices and specs of the shortlisted products. Sometimes purchases are driven by featured deals and discounts as well. One thing is certain that customers depend on reviews, ratings, price comparisons etc in order to make a purchase. We look for the best deals around that product at the best price possible. Most of the times, when we click on buy now button without checking other seller’s price or some of us even buy the top showing result/bestsellers product.

Why Black Hat in Amazon eCommerce Marketing

It takes time for a new product to rank high, gather sufficient reviews and ratings. There is a parallel world where few online sellers or digital marketers have developed eCommerce black hat tricks to rank higher/rank as a bestseller/to be the seller with buy box. eCommerce companies such as Amazon are extremely good at detecting all this and proactively are banning seller accounts. Hence it is absolutely not recommended. However, it is imperative to learn so that we can avoid such tactics. In this article, we will talk about do’s and not do’s in the eCommerce domain.

New sellers are often lured into applying black hat techniques to get a quick boost in their sales.

Black hat techniques are illegal. Even sellers know that. Some still pursue that because it helps them boost their ranking and improve sale. More than likely this will result in account suspension and permanent account closure.

What is White Hat Marketing for eCommerce

White hat eCommerce marketing strategies are the opposite of black hat. It’s totally legal and sellers do not break any guidelines or rules to rank faster. Below we will discuss both categories and help you understand the entire landscape.

Is there Gray Hate techniques in eCommerce Marketing as well?

Gray hat is something between black and white hat. It is illegal as well, but the seller’s account might or might not get suspended. Usually you will receive an alert to stop doing such activities. There is sure shot way to determine though. Hence it is recommended to not indulge in anything that looks shady to begin with. Better to check with the seller support team if something seems dubious.

Let us now see what black hat tricks are being applied by the sellers and what techniques should be avoided to keep their account running. Later we will discuss few white and gray hat techniques as well to make sure you focus on the correct techniques.

But what if cheats still exist within your competition? I will tell you how to stay alert and away from these black hat marketers.

Commonly used Black Hat Techniques

Review Fiddling

Reviews often have a huge impact on conversion in the eCommerce world. Are you suddenly getting one-star ratings? Are a bunch of customers posting negative reviews complaining about the product? All this within a matter of a few days. Even one negative review can put a potential customer in doubt.

Since Amazon started detecting fabricated positive reviews, malicious sellers started doing something else. With the help of the above black hat trick, malicious sellers have started buying negative reviews for their competitors instead of buying a positive review for themselves. This has no impact on their own accounts. However, it ends up hurting the brand image of the competitor.

Search Manipulation

Ranking on top for a given keyword on Amazon takes time. working on SEO is a slow and steady process by improving the listed product quality and increasing sales steadily. However, the impatient sellers don’t want to wait till their ratings improve organically. Instead, they use it in a negative way on their competitors. These methods include reporting the product as pseudo, leaving and upvoting negative comments.

Some others would search and improve clicks on their own products, explore and add them to the cart, with no intention of buying. This games the Amazon algorithm and helps boost their product rank in Amazon keyword searches.

Playing with competitors listing

The sellers here change the product details or pictures and drive negative review to competitors listing.

Products which aren’t enrolled with Brand Registry can be under danger. As for sellers using black hat tricks can easily request for changes in these products. It can have a severe effect on sales.

When customers buy some product and receive something else, it will result in a negative review through which the sellers will lose their customers.

Draining competitors’ ad spend

If nothing works, few of the sellers drain competitor’s money spent on ads. This is done by clicking on their link and using up their ad budget. This ends up helping Amazon and Google make a lot of money but conversions don’t happen. In turn, this also affects the quality score for the ads and ad placement gets worsened as well.

Future ad campaigns also get affected because of such things as algorithms get incorrect signals about user behavior. This results in wrong conclusions about product relevance for given keywords and hence lowering Amazon ranking for your product.

Multiple Amazon accounts

If you are already selling on Amazon, you don’t want to put your account under permanent suspension. Opening multiple accounts with Amazon without prior approval results into getting the accounts permanently disabled.

In order to avoid being caught/suspended, the fraudsters register themselves with multiple seller accounts. Amazon is good at detecting such accounts. However smart black hat sellers end up creating multiple accounts unless they have applied through different email addresses, contact number, bank accounts, IP’s, browsers/computers and what not.

The above-listed techniques are only for a knowledge purpose. I don’t want you to rely on these black hat tricks and get your account suspended. So read further to know more on how to not let the fraudsters affect your account and what tricks you can apply instead.

How to not let black hat tricks affect your Amazon business

If there is competition in business, there will be people applying shortcuts to earn more in the short run at the cost jeopardizing the entire business. You should always monitor your account of phishing activities by staying alert.

Usually, if Amazon encounters any of these activities, they will block the hackers account themselves. However, if you feel your Amazon account is under attack, you can always report to Amazon seller support and raise an alarm with them.

You should also start following best practices pertaining to brand protection:

1. Keep a check on your’s and competitor products

2. Contact Seller Performance or other teams to keep a check on fraud activities

4. Keep following up with Amazon repeatedly on fake review submissions

5. Encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews to overwhelm the efforts of black hats

White hat techniques to improve Amazon Listings?

Now that you know what not to do, let’s talk about some of the ways you can boost your listings in the right way. Keep in mind, it takes time for these white hat practices to take effect. Be patient and you’ll see the fruits of your labor.

Some of the more effective and strategic ways to improve your Amazon listings include:

1.    Early review Rewards

Amazon has come up with early review program, wherein the customers with no fraud activities get to review and earn small credits in return.

2.    Request customers for product reviews

There are few customers who leave seller feedback instead of the product. You can reach out to these customers and request for product reviews. Send an email to these users providing a link or tutorial on how to leave a review for products. These are the customers who will leave you a product review when prompted.

Use the automatic feedback pop up for customers to review the products. Some of the tools are feedback five ; feedback express and more.

3.    Apply discounts and giveaway promotions

Amazon has come up with a giveaway campaign wherein the customers are asked to watch a video and get discounts in return. These campaigns can be promoted across a number of customers who can be invited to take part in the free giveaway products. With this, there will be multiple customers engaging with the contest and only a few will be winning them. However, you will get to promote your product across a large audience. Follow the link to know more about how the giveaway works.

4.    Inventory Management

There are few inventory management tools coming up with the virtual inventory option. With this, you can obtain the benefit of keeping low unit stock in the product inventory moving slowly.

With the help of virtual inventory, the count will always remain the same.

So if you keep Amazon inventory as 0 and virtual inventory count as 1, the product quantity will show as 1 in the product inventory, and will never reduce.

Some other tricks you can apply are,

–          Apply Keyword strategy on the Amazon listing by using the relevant keywords in your product titles, bullet points, and product descriptions

–          High-quality product images and videos attract or engage customers

–          Opt-in for Amazon promotions including Prime membership Deals to provide a discount on your products to drive more engagement

–          Promote your product through social media

If you have got any more tricks to share, feel free to share with us in the comments section and we will include them in the list.

Conclusion:

Black hat tricks normally take less time to rank and the white hat tricks are the ones taking time to rank as a bestseller.  However, staying safe and not coming under Amazon eye being as a fraudster can save your account from getting suspended. This will gain your trust among the customers and boost sales in the long run.



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