Trade Show Best Practices

Trade Show Best Practices

Happy New Year! It's officially trade show season across the US and as our team prepares to attend some of the larger shows this year, we thought it was selfish not to share. Whether you're an exhibitor or attendee, here are a few things to keep in mind to help you stay organized and minimize your post-show follow ups.

Refining Your Elevator Pitch

While we're sure this doesn't piece of advice doesn't come as a surprise, we wanted to provide additional insight into what we've found to be the most relevant talking points to think about when revamping your elevator pitch:

What's the product?

Be clear--it's not always readily apparent to someone new to your field or industry.

Who is it for?

Clearly articulate the product's intended audience or target market. New moms? Kids 8-12? Executives? Professionals? This information can help determine appropriate fit just as much as the product's intended use.

Why would someone buy your product? What purpose does it serve?

What need does your product meet? What niche does it fill? Why did you develop it and why is it important to you? Are there any "off label" or alternative use cases?

Where can consumers purchase your product?

Describe your distribution. Is your product still in development? Are you only selling direct to consumers through your website's online store? Do you work with a distributor? Are you in local, regional or national brick and mortar stores? Are you on Amazon or eBay? How's it going? Are any channels over- or underperforming relative to the rest?

Are you ready to ship?

Is the product ready to ship tomorrow? Are you still prototyping or garnering interest and funding? Make sure this is information is readily available and keep in mind that when it comes to product deadlines, under promise and overdeliver: don't push up the availability date if you're not confident production can keep this promise.

Help us gauge the size of your business: how sophisticated are your operations and logistics? Do you have product in warehouses across the country? Are you packing products by hand to fill customer orders?

Managing Business Cards

For any event where you plan to hand out business cards, label your business cards with the name of event -- whether you stick on a printed label or just write it on the back of the card, this eliminates the post-con game of "When did I talk to XYZ? What was the context of our conversation?" and ensures that anyone who ends up with your card can immediately identify when and where you met.

If you're on the receiving end, the same idea applies: if the name of the show or conference isn't already present, jot it down on the back along with any other notes from the conversation. The next step is following through on these connections as soon as possible--we really can't stress expediency enough. We know how crazy these shows can be and it's not unreasonable to be concerned about getting lost in someone's inbox backlog, but just like thank you notes, timeliness is key.

Making Connections

The old adage of "You never know who you're talking to" is not often more relevant than at a trade show or conference. We're not talking about being kind to strangers--we know you've got that down-- but about making connections in the least likely of places.

Make friends with neighboring exhibitors--even competitors. Yes, even the competition. Whether it's having someone to watch over the booth so you can walk the show for a few minutes or a future co-packer, you never know who has a connection you'll need to leverage down the road.

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Now, go get 'em, tiger!

--Kelsey

Kelsey Ganes
Manager, Client Experience
Have a question? Please reach out to us at info@getarmr.com

Content 101: Product Titles

Product Titles (aka Item Name or Product Name) are like term papers: thoughtfully organized, focused on the topic at hand, concise, and informative.

Product titles should include essential product attributes. What do we mean by essential? Pretend that all of the product images on Amazon disappeared overnight. If customers only had the name of your product available, would they be able to make an informed buying decision? There are specific details you absolutely need to know before you place your order, right?

Let's look at an example: a sweater. Which brand is it? Is it for Women or Girls?  Is it a Small, Medium or Large? Is it Red or Blue? Does it have a particular style? Is it made from a specific material or fabric? "Sweater" definitely doesn't give us enough information. Even "ACME Sweater" doesn't come close! "ACME Women's Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater (Red, Small)" on the other hand, provides a succinct description of the product's key attributes.

It's important to remember that the Product Title is a catalog attribute and not a marketing vehicle: unless they're part of the product name, search terms and keywords should not be included. Going back to that sweater, details like "hand-woven on Mars," "dry clean only," and "perfect for layering" are relevant to customers--but they should be iterated in the bullet points or product description, not the Product Title.

Here are some basic guidelines for how to structure this content and which details should be included:

  • Keep it short: 80 characters or less is our rule of thumb
  • Begin with the brand name
  • The actual name of the product, the way it would be described in a sentence--no superlatives or slogans
  • Include variation or critical attribute information:
    • Model Number/Compatibility
    • Color
    • Size
    • Flavor
    • Material or fabric (i.e. Stainless Steel, Cashmere)
  • Include distinguishing or value-added features--would knowing this impact whether or not a customer decides to buy your product?
    • Waterproof
    • Organic
    • Solar-Powered
    • Remote-Controlled
  • Quantity (if applicable)
    • 3-Pack
    • 24-Count
  • Physical Dimensions (if your product or similar products come in multiple sizes, this is essential)
    • 16oz
    • A4 paper / 8.5x11 in

Content 101: Content Optimization

When it comes to e-commerce, the product details must be as compelling, informative, and thoughtfully crafted as the product's packaging. Your Amazon detail page should be designed and optimized for two unique audiences: future customers and Amazon's A9 Search Algorithm

Optimizing for Customers

Your product page is the e-commerce equivalent of your "shelf presence" and physical packaging. Because consumers don't have the ability to experience or inspect the product in person, you need to communicate all physical details through richly-written descriptive content and high-quality images. A+ and EBC also allow you to provide additional content and media to give customers a better understanding of your brand's origin story, why your product matters, and how your company or product differs from the competition.

Assume that the customer is utterly ignorant of both the product and the category or family of products it belongs to. To deliver the best possible customer experience, and ensure there is no confusion or misunderstanding once the product arrives at their door, it's essential to state exactly what the product is, its purpose and functionality, and precisely what customers can expect to find when they open the box. Does it include any accessories like a carrying case? Is there an essential accessory that is not included, like a charging cable or batteries? Are there any other products featured in the images or video that aren't included with their purchase?

Optimizing for A9: Amazon SEO

At a high level, A9 is the Amazon Search Algorithm that powers customer search within the Amazon ecosystem. Just like making sure your products are correctly categorized, it's imperative to optimize detail page content for A9 indexing. The first thing to keep in mind is that A9 doesn't index all of the detail page content; it only looks at the first 500 characters of the Product Title and Bullet Points and all priority keywords should be included in these attribute fields. How do you include all of these additional keywords without it looking like alphabet soup? Diversify your language. Instead of reusing the same words or phrases, use synonymous terms to maximize the indexable real estate. 

Content 101: Anatomy of an Amazon Detail Page

Content organization is crucial. In a perfect world, every customer would scroll down the detail page and view your meticulously crafted A+ Content or Enhanced Brand Content (EBC), but the reality is that the majority of customers don't scroll down at all. This certainly doesn't mean that A+/EBC content is unimportant, but understanding that many customers may not see that content means that the content they will see must contain all of the information they need to make an educated purchasing decision.

These critical placements are referred to as Above The Fold (ATF)--the 'fold' being the bottom of the browser window, the visual cutoff point when a customer first lands on a product's detail page. This content includes the product title, product images or video, bullet points, variation information (sizes, colors, flavors), and of course, the buy box.

Placements that fall Below The Fold (BTF) are anything you have to scroll down to see: Product Details and Technical Specifications, Warranty Information, Product Description, A+ and EBC.

Above The Fold

Brand, Product Title, Ratings & Rankings

Brand Name, Product Title, Ratings, Reviews, Question and Rankings

Brand

The brand is always immediately adjacent to the product title. You provide this information during Item Creation or New Item Setup (NIS) and can be edited at any time in Seller Central. The name is hyperlinked to your Brand Store (Storefront)-- if you do not have a brand store setup, Amazon search results for that brand name.

Product Title

Also known as Item Name or Product Name, the product title should include your brand, a succinct description of the product, and any variation details like color, size, and quantity.

Ratings, Reviews, Questions & Ranking

The product's star rating is an aggregated metric based on customer reviews. Customers can also ask questions about the product, like "Does the printer include a toner cartridge?" or "Is this product vegan-friendly?" These questions are published to the product's detail page where you (the seller or brand owner) and other customers can publish a response. If a product is top-ranked within a category or subcategory, a "Best Seller" badge will display to let customers know that this is a super popular and relevant product.

Images & Video

Thumbnails for additional images and product videos will display either to the left or directly below the primary product image (depending on the product category). It's critical that images are large enough to enable Amazon's zoom function, at least 1000px or larger on one side; there's a direct correlation between "zoomable" images and increased sales.

Buy Box

You're probably already familiar with the basic Buy Box appearance and options, so we wanted to take a moment and explore some of the more specialized formats.
Lightning Deal or CSLD Buy Box

Lightning Deals

Often abbreviated as CSLD (Category-Specific Lightning Deal), Lightning Deals are 4-6 hour deals, offering a significant discount on a specific, predetermined number of units with a strict quantity limit of one unit per customer. Did you know CSLDs have their own Buy Box? While the deal is running, the normal Buy Box is replaced by the CSLD offer, which displays both the time remaining on the deal and what percentage of the available units have already been claimed or purchased. What's the difference between "claimed" and "purchased?" From the time a customer adds a CSLD to their cart, they have 15 minutes to check out; if they don't complete their order during that time, the unit is removed from their cart and becomes available to other customers.
Subscribe and Save
 

Subscribe & Save

Often abbreviated as SnS, Subscribe & Save is just what it sounds like: an automatic subscription program for products you regularly order--and by committing to future orders, you'll also receive a 5% discount.

Inventory & Fulfillment

Inventory and Fulfillment Options

Displays a product's inventory status (In Stock, Temporarily Out of Stock, Currently Unavailable), who is selling the product (Amazon.com for Retail offers and the seller name for FBA or MFN), and how customer orders are fulfilled (Fulfilled by Amazon or directly by the seller).

For FBA offers, this will display as "Sold by [Seller] and Fulfilled by Amazon." and include a link to the seller's profile.

Twister & Variations

Bullet Points

Below The Fold

 

Special Offers & Promotions

Product Details

Product Description

A+ Content / Enhanced Brand Content