Keeping Sales Fresh and
Exciting for the Long-Term

Even an ancient game can be viewed in new ways. And the Amazon marketplace is constantly changing, so your perspective must evolve, too.

We began this series of articles with a simple premise: Amazon sales is a game much like chess. And, similar to most games, it is something that you can improve with the right studying, planning, practicing, and learning. In short, you learn and grow by reflection and repetition.

The ultimate goal is to achieve incredible sales volume on Amazon. That’s a business objective and an important one. Maximizing ROI, finding efficiencies to automate, building strong communities of customers and influencers. All of these things correspond to business objectives, but it is impossible to transform your sales toolkit and build prowess without changing a bit yourself, too. For the greatest chess grandmasters, each match was just as much about their own journey as it was about winning a game.

As a growing, evolving sales professional, these articles will hopefully have reshaped the way you view Amazon sales and the approach you bring to the game. Once you’ve learned the ropes and played a few rounds, you can continue to keep the game fresh and energizing by learning the fun tricks to round out your playbook, and find a community to stay regularly engaged.

Some Final Moves

Remember when we talked about the way each piece can move? There were a few expert scenarios we never covered. Because in certain cases, the pieces can move in a different way than usual. Keeping these in your tool-kit will ensure you’re ready just in case you need them, even though they aren’t your go-to moves.

En Passant

French for “in passing,” this move allows a pawn to take an enemy pawn who has tried to avoid capture. There are some specific rules about when this move is possible, but it essentially prevents your opponent from moving two squares when one would have resulted in capture.

You can turn the tables by knowing what to look for and how to respond.

In Amazon sales, we said pawns represented your label. Title, basic info, and content are all wrapped up into this idea of a label — the first thing your potential customer sees. Maybe a competitor has tried to enhance their title with claims of being the “best” or “only” product of its kind. Or maybe they’re undercutting everyone else with a lower price. How would you use your own content to combat this? How might you adjust price (if needed) to maintain a premium position in the category?

Or, you can be on the other side of the coin. Amazon offers best seller rankings to show how you stack up against competitors. Whether you’re 450 or 1,052, you can reverse engineer the equation to look at your own sales volume and roughly estimate new targets to take on. What are the competitors doing, and how can you slip by…in passing?

Castling

Sometimes in chess, you really wish you could move two pieces at the same time. In fact, there is one specialty move that allows you to do just that. Castling is a nifty trick that lets you move both the king and the rook at the same time, crossing over each other. As with en passant, there are several rules governing when and how this can be done, but it is a powerful play when used well.

We have said your Amazon sales volume is king and your price is mainly represented by the rooks. Perhaps it is necessary to temporarily protect your sales volume by adjusting the price point, or capitalizing on high sales volume by lifting the price. In either scenario, closely monitoring the relationship between these two specific factors can alert you to coming shifts or adjustments that need to be made to optimize performance. As a bonus, price adjustment (especially lowering to increase sales volume) can result in additional product reviews, which can offer an important boost back to the sales volume itself.

Castling is a move you would use regularly in chess (mainly a defensive play). En passant isn’t however. Knowing them each and having them available to you can make a big difference if the match conditions favor them. Likewise in the Amazon marketplace, there are many patterns and combinations you won’t always need, but having them in your playbook can save you should those situations ever arise.

Finding the Right Partners

One of the reasons chess is such a strong metaphor for sales is that the skills you learn and use will stick with you forever. And, like chess, the real growth opportunity comes from playing regularly and playing with someone who challenges you, as an opponent, mentor, or training partner.

We started Toucan to be great partners to our clients as they tackle their sales challenges in the Amazon marketplace. Analyzing and optimizing your performance to maximize ROI comes down to experience and knowledge. They are our greatest assets, and every engagement we have shows us something new to add to our playbook, too. When we combine our collective knowledge base, it allows us to see things uniquely.

Two heads are better than one. When we combine our experience, we see things differently.

Just like young prodigies who reimagine bold tactics to upset wise grandmasters, your product will inevitably face challenges in the market. Every tactic and choice you have done today and tried to sustain with your Amazon product positioning, some other upstart will try to do against you, too.

So, never stop playing. Never stop seeking a fresh perspective. Turn every setback into a new opportunity to grow. And, most importantly, stay sharp with the right partners along the way. We love playing this game and are tremendously passionate about it. Sharing this passion with you would be our pleasure, and we’d love to see how high we can fly together.

Your move — check.

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