How to Save Money and Increase Profits Shipping via Priority Mail

Shipping products is a large part of selling on Amazon. Get it wrong, and you could end up spending over the odds getting your products to buyers. This can lead to frustrated shoppers and increased outgoings – not ideal.

By optimizing the shipping process and choosing the right delivery options, you can dramatically cut costs in this area, improving your bottom line and increasing overall revenue. 

The tricky part is knowing where to start. There are tons of different shipping options available, all with their own unique set of pros and cons. The best one for you will depend on the type of products you’re selling, the size and weight of them, and the delivery destination.

What Are Your Packaging Options?

One of the most common questions that crops up is about boxes for shipping. If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s cheaper to use your own box for priority mail or to use a flat rate box, you’re not alone. To help you get to the bottom of it, we’ve created a handy guide that tells you everything you need to know about shipping boxes.

The difference between the two is in the kind of postage you pay for. If you buy Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box postage, you have to use a Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box. The boxes are branded with the Priority Mail logo and design. If you don’t buy flat rate postage, you can use whatever kind of packaging you like.

It’s important to note that Priority Mail is just the name of the service class and you can use any box or packaging you choose. In the majority of cases, it actually works out cheaper to use your own packaging instead of a Flat Rate service.

The idea behind the Priority Mail Flat Rate service is that you pay just one fee regardless of the weight of your product or where it’s being shipped to. If it fits into a flat rate-branded box, you can send it.

It sounds simple, but the cost isn’t the only downside.

When you ship with a Flat Rate box, you have to use the Priority Mail Flat Rate service branding. This means you can’t use your own branding which can impact your customers’ experience in a negative way. It’s worth working out whether the minimal savings you might be able to make is worth the trade off of a potentially sub-par buyer experience.

Flat Rate Boxes vs Your Own Box

USPS Priority Mail service provides free shipping boxes for sellers to use. These come at no cost to the user which is a huge benefit when you consider that most boxes elsewhere cost between $0.25-$1 or more.

You can pick up Priority shipping boxes from the post office and they come in a variety of different sizes (we’ll talk more about this later). You can also order them online and have them delivered directly to your door. Again, this is free of charge and great for sellers who don’t live close to a post office.

The range of Priority Mail boxes available allow you to ship based on a fixed amount regardless of the weight of your products. The boxes are free to get your hands on, but will cost you to send them once you have packaged up your items and got them ready for delivery.

This can be particularly beneficial to sellers who regularly ship heavy products.

Here are the sizes of Priority Mail boxes available:

  • Small flat rate box
  • Medium flat rate box
  • Large flat rate box
  • Flat rate padded envelopes

Source

As you can see, there are plenty of flat rate options for sellers depending on the size of the products they’re shipping.

Alternatively, you can use your own box to send your packages in. The general difference between the two options is that Priority Shipping flat rate boxes cost more to ship but tend to deliver quicker than your own boxes. It’s up to you to decide whether speed or cost is more important to you, but it will also depend on the size of your items, their weight, and where you’re delivering them to.

It’s worth noting that if your products are under 2.5 pounds, then flat rate fees are often more expensive than shipping non-flat rate.

At Urtasker, our goal is to help you maximize your revenue and optimize your sales processes. So, with that in mind, here are some things you should be aware of:

  • Flat rate is often only cheaper in a few situations, namely if you’re using flat rate envelopes or small flat rate boxes. As soon as you size up, the costs dramatically increase and it often works out cheaper to use your own packaging
  • Flat rate boxes are delivered at the same speed as all Priority Mail, which tends to be between one and three days if you’re shipping to another US address
  • Priority Mail flat rate shipping comes with full tracking, so both you and the recipient can keep an eye on where the package is at all times

Shipping Via Flat Rate Boxes

Now we’ve touched on the differences between the two options, let’s dig a little deeper into the details of using flat rate boxes.

How Much Do Flat Rate Boxes Cost to Ship?

For products that fall into the 1.4 pound range, Priority Mail boxes are often the cheapest way to ship. Like we said before though, this totally depends on the size of the box you use, where the product is being shipped to, and whether the destination is a business or home address.

Prices are mostly based on weight, dimensions, volume, and delivery address, so bear this in mind when researching your options.

Here is a general list of prices for flat rate boxes:

Envelopes are obviously the cheapest option to ship. Letter envelopes, gift card envelopes, window envelopes, and small envelopes all cost $7.15.

Padded envelopes and legal envelopes are a little more expensive, with the former clocking in at $7.75 and the latter at $7.45.

Small boxes cost $7.65, medium boxes are $13.20, large boxes are $18.30 and APO/FPO boxes cost $16.80. Look into the dimensions of each of these boxes to determine which one is the best fit for you and your products and calculate pricing from there.

Here’s how you can optimize the shipping experience:

  • For items under one pound – ship via First Class Mail and select a box that keeps the weight limit at or below one pound
  • For small items that weigh over one pound – some of the flat rate boxes available can save you money here, particularly small flat rate boxes, flat rate envelopes, and flat rate padded envelopes
  • For items that weigh over two pounds – sometimes the Regional Rate (more on this further down) or Flat Rate boxes ship for less than your own box. Regional Rate A rates are very similar to the two pound Priority Mail rate. This means that you can ship in the Regional Rate A box for the same rate. In a similar vein, the Regional Rate B Box ships for pretty much the same price as a four pound Priority Mail box.
  • For items that weigh over three pounds – it’s often cheaper to ship via FedEx or UPS depending on the size of the shipping box you need. However, FedEx and UPS both charge based on weight and dimensions and also add a $3-$3.50 fee for products being shipped to a home address
  • If you’re shipping 50 Priority Mail packages a month – explore shipping services that allow you to ship via USPS Dimensional Weights

What About Regional Rate Boxes?

You’ve probably come across Regional Rate Boxes in your shipping research. They work in a similar way to flat rate boxes except there are only three weight tiers and the price is based on how far the package is going.

You can pick up the boxes for free (just like flat rate boxes) and, if your product is being delivered to anywhere in Zone 1-4, this option is usually cheaper than flat rate boxes.

Which Boxes Should You Use?

The best thing you can do is sit down and play around with the shipping calculators provided on each carrier’s websites. While flat rate boxes are free to pick up, they cost to ship, and sometimes this cost is higher than independent carriers even if they charge more for pickup.

We recommend starting with the UPS calculator and the FedEx calculator to get an idea about any savings you can make compared to Priority Mail flat rate boxes.

If you decide to use the Priority Mail service, you’ll need to calculate whether your own boxes are more cost-effective than Flat Rate Boxes or Regional Rate Boxes. Unless you’re sending packages in an envelope, it usually works out cheaper to use your own boxes. This means you can incorporate your own branding and ultimately provide a better customer experience for your buyers.   

At Urtasker, our mission is to help online sellers optimize their systems and their revenue. Shipping plays a huge part in this and choosing the right packaging option can save you a ton on unnecessary costs. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you streamline your sales.

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Omer Riaz September 21, 2020 0 Comments

The Ultimate Guide to Amazon SKUs

Selling on Amazon comes with its fair share of complexities, particularly when it comes to understanding the array of acronyms that go into listing your products. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed and confused after seeing terms like SKU, ASIN, FNSKU, and GTIN, you’re not alone.

These acronyms are often used to identify products and are necessary for most sellers on Amazon. SKU is one of the most common acronyms you’ll come across because the vast majority ofsellers use them.

But what exactly are they, how do you create them, and what do they do for your products and brand? This post will tell you everything you need to know.

What Are Amazon SKUs?

SKU stands for “Stock Keeping Unit” and they are unique alphanumeric codes that run no longer than 16 characters and are used to track products for inventory and sales purposes.

Every product that’s sold on Amazon has a unique SKU code so that sellers can get a quick insight into the product that’s being sold and shipped. Usually, a SKU code includes attribution details that helps identify the product in question. This might include codes that refer to the product’s size, color, shape, and style.

It’s kind of like Amazon shorthand. It allows sellers to quickly understand what product is under the spotlight.

What Seller SKUs Help You Do

Now that you know what a SKU is, let’s dive into what they actually help Amazon sellers to do.

There are several helpful benefits of a SKU.

Firstly, they help you obtain product information quickly, especially if your SKUs use codes relating to the product’s physical attributes. SKUs also help sellers understand sales quantities and how many units are still in stock versus how long a product has “sat on the shelf” for.

One of the most significant benefits of SKUs is their ability to help sellers pick, pack, and ship orders as quickly as possible. The alphanumeric codes identify a product at a glance, helping sellers to effectively manage their inventory.

Without SKUs – or without using SKUs effectively – sellers can struggle to manage their inventory and can lose track of items. This can slow down the sales and shipping process and leave a dent in potential revenue. At Urtasker, we understand the importance of using SKUs correctly to reap the rewards they provide, which is why we help our clients optimize product listings for more sales.

An Amazon SKU Example

So what does an Amazon SKU look like in action?

Sellers can create different SKUs for their products based on how they list their inventory and what they’re selling. The building blocks of each seller’s SKUs may differ wildly depending on how they categorize and list their products.

For example, a store that sells shoes can create internal SKUs that help identify each pair based on specific details, like price, brand, size, and color. Blue, size seven Ugg boots in the classic style might have the SKU code UGG-CL-BLU-07, while a red pair might be UGG-CL-RED-07.

It’s up to Amazon sellers how they list their products, and most will come up with a consistent sequence they can use over and over again.

Image by vanitjan on Freepik.com

ASIN vs SKU: What’s the Difference?

If you’re already selling on Amazon or you’ve been looking into it, you’ve probably come across the ASIN acronym too. This is often used in tandem with SKUs, so it can get confusing about what each one is for.

While SKUs are codes for sellers to keep track of their products, ASINs (which stands for Amazon Stock Identifier Numbers) are unique codes for products sent into Amazon’s warehouse.

Basically, an ASIN is Amazon’s version of a SKU and it helps them keep track of merchandise instead of leaving it up to sellers.

Image by stories on Freepik.com

How to Create Seller SKUs on Amazon

At Urtasker, we encourage our clients to create their own SKUs for their products. It makes selling products and managing inventory that much easier. Luckily, creating unique SKU codes is fairly simple. In fact, sellers have two options:

  • Create SKU codes manually
  • Use a SKU generator or point-of-sale software

How to Create Your Own SKUs

Amazon sellers that choose to create their own SKUs (that is, without the help of a SKU generator) have more control over their codes and what identifiers go into them. If you decide to create your own, you might want to include letters and numbers that represent:

  • The product’s supplier or manufacturer
  • The type of item (for example, if you’re selling books, you might have the letters BK in there as an identifier)
  • The date you sent the products to Amazon’s warehouse
  • The condition of your product (for example, if the product is new, you might include the letters NW in your SKU to identify that)
  • The number of the product in a batch

How to Use a SKU Generator to Create SKUs

If you don’t want to create your own SKUs, you can use Amazon’s “SKU Generator within WP-Lister”. This can be accessed through the Amazon tools tab on Seller Central.

There are two ways Amazon’s generator picks unique codes for products:

  1. SKUs based on the product’s title
  2. SKUs based on the product’s attributes and details

Sellers can choose which variant they want to use for their product. Bear in mind that all lowercase SKUs are automatically converted into uppercase.

The Pros and Cons of Amazon-Created SKUs

While automatically generating SKUs through the Amazon tool is quick and easy, it isn’t the best option for everyone.

The Pros of Using Amazon’s SKU Generator

  • You can identify product groups and see which ones are performing the best because all SKUs are uniform in the way they are generated
  • It’s easy to standardize SKUs for specific products across the board

The Cons of Using Amazon’s SKU Generator

  • The SKU codes are likely to be meaningless to you and your staff because you haven’t had any input in how they’re generated
  • If you run several different Amazon stores, Amazon will create different SKUs for each one even if the products you’re selling are identical. This can make it difficult to keep track of inventory across stores

Image by jcomp on Freepik.com

Top Tips for Creating and Using SKUs

SKUs can be really helpful for Amazon sellers. They help identify products quickly and make it easy to keep track of inventory. However, if you want to reap the most benefits from them, there are some key things you should do.

Use Each SKU for Only One Product

Don’t confuse yourself and your team by using the same SKUs for multiple different product types. It’s best to use each SKU for just one product or product type, like sunglasses or phone cases or books.

Use the Same SKU For Identical Products

Many Amazon sellers have multiple stores that they sell similar products from. If this is you, make sure you use the same SKU for identical products you sell across each Amazon store. This will help you keep track of your entire inventory, rather than having to constantly add up sales from each individual store.

Keep It Consistent

Once you’ve set up a system for creating your SKUs, make sure you stick to it. For example, if you always add a couple of letters to identify your supplier first in your SKUs, make sure you keep it that way for every item.

Ensure All Employees Are In the Know

Your employees will be up close and personal with your SKUs often. Make sure they know the system well; you can write up a guide if you need to, and make sure your SKU process is easily accessible to everyone who needs it.

Changing a SKU

You might have haphazardly created SKUs for your products as quickly as possible when you set up your store. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, a lot of sellers do this. However, once you’ve got an established brand, you might decide you want to switch up your SKUs so they fit a more rigid process.

So can you change a SKU after using it for a while?

The simple answer is yes, but it can be a hassle. To do so, you have to delete the product from the Amazon.com catalog and re-submit it with the new SKU you want to use. You should wait at least 24 hours before you add the new SKU. If you’re dead set on deleting SKUs from your inventory and replacing them with new ones, it’s best to upload a delete feed and go from there.

Make Your SKUs Work Harder For You

SKUs are an integral part of running an Amazon business. They help you identify your products quickly and keep a check on how much stock is coming and going from your inventory.

Creating a SKU is simple. You can either put it together yourself by using numbers and letters relating to the physical attributes of a product, or you can use Amazon’s SKU generator to automatically create unique codes.

Whichever way you decide to do it, make sure you’re consistent. This will help you streamline the sales and shipping process. Ensure you keep your staff in the know too – everyone who uses SKUs in your business should understand how they’re created and what each number and letter stands for.

By now, you should have an in-depth understanding of SKUs and their important role in selling on Amazon. Start creating yours today and see how much easier it is to manage your inventory in the coming months.

SKUs are a crucial back-end part of product listings. They make keeping track of your inventory easy and help your team better understand the selling process.

Find out more about how Urtasker can help you optimize your product listings and streamline your selling systems to dramatically increase revenue. Schedule a 30-minute call with our expert team today.

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Omer Riaz September 14, 2020 0 Comments

Urtasker Receives Media Spotlight for Synthesizing Digital Tactics with Human Innovation

In the digital age, humans remain the epicenter which drive innovation, visceral connectivity and ultimately your success.

Urtasker has been delivering impactful, robust, marketing services with a global team of marketing professionals for years. With more than 500 clients harnessing the variety of Urtasker services, including Amazon Listing Optimizations, Amazon Account Management and more, there remains one foundational component that Urtasker has not only maintained, but celebrated. This secret ingredient is humans.

While there is always a plethora of data to process, cross-pollinate and extrapolate, and while this data can guide us and steward our initiatives Urtasker has always believed that we are only as good as our people. The people who review the metrics, discern the learnings and craft strategies from the information. The people who understand that it’s not bots which buy products nor services, but rather humans.

Our team fundamentally understand that we must harness human innovation and ultimately connect with audiences on a visceral level to propel our clients potential.  

Omer Riaz, CEO of Urtasker, had this to say:

“The human element is often overlooked and should not be underestimated. Personal interaction aligns our clients with the best marketing consultant to drive their business forward to maximize revenues and profits. As well, one of our most coveted human characteristics is our ability to be creative. There is no mimicking human innovation, an epicenter of creativity and a synergy between our clients and alignment with our marketing professionals.”

Major media portals picked up on this news and Urtasker was recently featured in Yahoo Finance, MarketWatch, Seeking Alpha, ABC News affiliates and more.

We invite you to explore the links below and enjoy the media pick up as we continue to empower our services and your marketing growth with marketing experts, our team, our people.

Yahoo! View Press ReleaseMarketWatch View Press Release
PR Newswire View Press ReleaseDigital Journal View Press Release
Virtual-Strategy Magazine View Press ReleaseKHTT-FM 106.9 [Tulsa, OK] View Press Release
Yes FM View Press ReleaseKITV View Press Release
KTVN View Press ReleaseKVOO-FM 98.5 [Tulsa, OK] View Press Release
Seeking Alpha View Press ReleaseKXBL-FM 99.5 [Tulsa, OK] View Press Release
Lubbock CW View Press ReleaseWFMZ-TV IND-69 (Allentown, PA) View Press Release

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Omer Riaz September 5, 2020 0 Comments

Payment Security and Savings Tips for Online International eCommerce

A merchant’s entire business operation is similar to a grandiose machine, made up of several intricate moving parts, all meticulously placed and installed to ensure the business runs optimally. Remember the childhood game, Mouse Trap?

Payments are much like that. A vital part of the well-structured and oiled machine. 

Customers are sending payments, sometimes in foreign currencies, to merchants operating in international markets. 

Merchants are receiving payments in several currencies, depending on the markets where they operate. 

Payments are being processed and converted, often “behind the scenes,” and deposited into merchant bank accounts. 

Foreign markets require local VAT, GST, and other legal payment regulations to be adhered to. 

Payments are sent to vendors, suppliers, manufacturers, logistics companies, and more. 

Contracts are signed, wire transfers approved, and bank accounts storing balances, sending money, and receiving currencies. 

WHAT THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS: 

  • The importance of local tax compliance (VAT, GST, etc.)
  • Conversion safety, accuracy, savings (FX, transparent, flat conversion costs)
  • Other Cost-effective Solutions (Virtual, Regulated Bank Accounts in Foreign Countries) 
  • Info regarding transaction and funds safety 

New challenges will always arise in eCommerce, but merchants should settle for nothing less than these benefits:

Challenge: Paying foreign tax, like VAT or GST

COVID-19 is causing demand for eCommerce to increase in many countries around the world. As a merchant, you’re likely facing challenges, such as paying the Value Added Tax (also called VAT and GST) applied to products sold online.

Solution: Vat-paying and/or calculating products

Benefit: A feature that can identify and pay different types of taxes in various countries takes the guesswork out of it for you. You don’t need to be worried about tax hassles or ensuring taxes are paid on time and to the proper authorities – what you need is a feature that does this on your behalf! 

Taking the Benefit Further 

Most companies dealing in eCommerce should offer a weekly webinar or newsletter with additional tips to support merchants when it comes to local tax regulations and other tax-compliant processes. Some might even monitor customers transactions to ensure taxes are appropriately charged and paid. This is an additional benefit to you, the merchant. 

What you’re getting that you don’t see: These technology and data systems provide helpful tax payment and compliance insights and significantly lower the risks money launderers and fraudsters pose to the financial industry. 

Can you imagine traveling to a foreign marketplace where you want to do business and attempting to open a foreign bank account during COVID-19? 

Challenge: Busting into International Markets, LEGALLY – AND with Confidence

Solution: A Virtual Bank Account – Monitored and Regulated by Leading Financial Institutions 

Benefit: More customers! More revenue! Global expansion! Less paperwork! Loads of time and money saved! 

From an online or virtual account you can access and manage your marketplace profits from a single dashboard. You apply for the account, receive a unique account number, and can send and receive domestic currency in the countries where you choose to expand. 

Taking the Benefit Further 

This benefit spans company-wide. For example, your finance department completely avoids the daunting task of managing multiple online banking platforms, having to reconcile funds, and potential hurdles with money sitting in different currencies in different countries around the world. 

Choose a platform that allows you to view all of your profit using a single platform – no matter what country or currency you’re operating in.

Currency Conversion: Hidden FX Fees

Challenge: Retaining more of your the profit you worked to earn

Solution: Paying the same mid-market rate that your financial institution or payment platform negotiates – without an unreasonable markup.  

Benefit: Transparency. Save money. More profit. Ability to project costs.   

How much of your profit is being shaved off the top in foreign exchange fees?

The exchange rate is something all eCommerce and online merchants should be taking into consideration. There is lots of money to be saved when conducting cross-border commerce.  Traditionally, many merchants are receiving profits from marketplaces after they’ve already applied conversion fees using their own rates. 

How much did you pay? Did you get the best rate?

PingPong performs currency conversions for you at the mid-market rate. They’ve provided this service at a transparent 1% cost to merchants since the company’s inception.   

How does your current payment platform compare? Trust us when we say, it won’t sit right to discover you’ve been receiving less profit to pay more fees. 

Up until August 2020, Amazon, for example, charged anywhere from 3% to 5% of the original sum to convert currencies for customers like you.

This rate is high. Most sellers and online merchants are unaware of the revenue they could be saving in paying mid-market conversion fees. 

Look at the savings generated for these profits, after each marketplace has applied conversion fees:

Taking the Benefit Further: You can use money from a virtual account to pay suppliers, invoices, and logistics companies, in their preferred currency, without paying additional conversion fees.

What you’re getting that you don’t see: FX rates fluctuate all the time – sometimes daily. You can control when you convert your cross-border profits back into USD (or local currency), based on the conversion rates. This means potentially greater money savings. 

Transparent and fair, mid-market conversion rates free of tacked on markups can make a major impact on your cross-border profitability – especially when you look at those monthly and annual savings. 

All the really important legal behind-the-scenes operations that go into keeping your money safe: 

What platform are you using, and is your money safe? 

Can you confidently answer that question? 

As a merchant, where is your money held? Who has access to your money? Is your access unlimited? Can anyone, including the institution or company holding it prevent you from withdrawing it at any given time? 

These are valid questions. So, check yourself.

Review your current financial operations. 

How many of these items can you check off?

1. Are your funds held in bank accounts separate from your chosen platform’s business bank accounts? 

PingPong keeps customer funds in legally separated, dedicated customer accounts. These accounts are not used by the company, only for customer transactions.  

No third-parties are allowed to access your funds or account information without your permission.

Company partnerships with leading financial institutions like Citibank and Wells Fargo makes this possible, avoiding any impact to the customer should a business-related matter arise. These institutions are your payment processors. This type of payment model keeps your funds and marketplace transactions safely managed at all times.

Do some research. As a merchant, your funds are more secure with a company that proactively mitigates fraud and monitors risks of money laundering. 

These factors ensure secure access to your money, an ability to handle logistics – like paying suppliers – and easily withdrawing and transferring. 

2. Is the method you use to send, receive, and convert money being monitored by financial regulators?

It should be.

This additional layer of security gives merchants more confidence in their chosen payment platform. Important protocols and compliance regulations are standard in companies that are monitored and regulated. These measures strengthen security knowledge and precautions within every department of an organization. 

PingPong applies for and legally obtains all appropriate licenses in the countries they operate. Furthermore, employees are expected to undergo specific AML and other training to protect customers, their businesses, and revenue from fraud and money laundering risks.  

3. Do its customer service and compliance teams consist of experts with financial background and training?

It’s nice to know the people you’re trusting with your revenue have compliance and finance knowledge, right? 

Experience working with reputable companies like CitiBank and PayPal (or others) can mean more detail and expertise is dedicated to ensuring the safety of your transactions and funds. 

PingPong has a team entirely dedicated to identifying and foreseeing risks, taking this burden off its customers. This team handles: 

  • Risk Identification: Everything from operations, currency amount, time, customer and market behavior, and many other contributing factors are continually assessed. 
  • Risk Warning: Security measures are further customized and implemented on a per-customer assessment of each customer’s front-end risk verification. 
  • Risk Review: Audits are conducted digitally or manually; audit methods depend on various risk levels. 
  • Risk Handling: Protocols are in place to ensure risk sources are identified and funds security is ensured

Conclusion: 

In 2015, PingPong set a new standard for safely and cost-effectively conducting domestic and international online eCommerce. Competitors have been left with no option but to scurry to adapt their safety measures and payment models accordingly. 

Plans for innovative products and additional features that support international online eCommerce are being developed on a rolling basis. 

PingPong keeps merchant funds safe while providing the flexibility to quickly and easily transfer funds worldwide. This includes being experts on tax compliance regulations in the countries we operate. As a merchant, you can take additional comfort in the payment institutions’s legal requirement (and operating incentive) to strictly monitor and report abuse of its services.

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Omer Riaz September 3, 2020 0 Comments

The Different Types of Amazon Ads That Will Ignite Your Sales

More than 50% of shoppers head to Amazon to find a product they need. But the increase in shoppers means that there are more sellers than ever to compete with as an increasing number of businesses see the potential of the marketplace.

So how do you gain a competitive edge?

Amazon ads help you stand out, get your products in front of new customers, and build a brand presence.

There are several different types of Amazon ads to leverage, each of which brings different benefits. If you’re wondering which type of ad you should use to maximize sales and reduce your ACoS, keep reading.


The Different Types of Amazon Ads

1. Sponsored Product Ads

Sponsored product ads elevate your listings so they show up top in relevant search results. When a shopper types in a keyword or phrase related to a product you’ve created an ad around, it’ll show up on the right side of the search results, at the bottom of the search results, or on the product details page.

This is prime real estate for Amazon products, and the prominent position of sponsored product ads helps you reach new buyers who are actively looking for products just like yours.

You can manually or automatically target keywords that are relevant to your products and buyers – the latter lets Amazon determine the most popular keywords, while the former lets you have a say on the words and phrases you want to include.

Sellers only pay for sponsored product ads when a shopper clicks on them, which means you have complete control over your ad budget and the bid amount you place on relevant keywords.

Sponsored product ads are identified by the “Sponsored” tag at the top of the listing in search results.

Why Use Sponsored Product Ads?

Sponsored product ads help you reach shoppers who are actively searching for products like yours. This means that they’re already a decent way through the sales cycle and are therefore more likely to buy. They also give you insights into the keywords your target audience uses when searching for similar products.

2. Sponsored Brand Ads

You might have also seen sponsored brand ads referred to as sponsored headline ads. Amazon rebranded this type of ad fairly recently in order to better capture its purpose.

The recent surge in online shopping has seen sellers on Amazon increasing their sponsored brand ad spending by more than 160%. Essentially, these types of Amazon ad shine a spotlight on your brand and up to three products of your choosing. Again, like sponsored product ads, you pay when a shopper clicks, not when Amazon displays the ad.

Keywords are a major component of sponsored brand or headline search ads, and you can bid on relevant keywords that you want your ads to show up for. Keyword research forms an important part of the optimization process in our services at Urtasker, and we take the time to dig into the most common words and phrases shoppers use.

Similarly to sponsored product ads, you can run automatic or manual campaigns, which gives you the choice of how much control you have over your ad campaigns.

You’re likely to see sponsored brands ads appear above the search results for specific, relevant search terms, below the search results, or to the left of search results. If a shopper is using the Amazon app on their mobile device, they might see your ad appear within the search results too.

Sponsored brand ads often have the seller’s logo in the corner and three product listings below it.

Why Use Sponsored Brand Ads?

Sponsored brand ads drive awareness for your brand and allow you to promote multiple products at once. This gives shoppers an overview of the products you sell, which maximizes your exposure and encourages more sales.

3. Product Display Ads

Product display ads present a competitive advertising choice for Amazon sellers. Instead of operating on a keyword search term basis, they focus instead on how your products relate to shopper interests as well as select categories. This gives your product valuable exposure to shoppers who are actively seeking what you’re selling and are already in “buy mode”.

Product display ads don’t appear in search results. Instead, they show up on related product detail pages, on customer review pages, and in merchandising emails. They can also be served outside of Amazon, including on Amazon-owned websites like IMDb, Amazon-owned devices like Amazon Fire TV, and on the Amazon Demand-Side Platform.

The sheer number of places a product display ad can be shown means you can reach a much wider audience – some of whom haven’t even made their way to Amazon yet.

There are often lots of sponsored display ads on product listing pages.

Why Use Product Display Ads?

Product display ads give you the opportunity to cross-sell and upsell your products to interested shoppers. This helps you reach a wider audience and connect with shoppers that are interested in buying or are already buying from your competitors.

At Urtasker, we specialize in creating and optimizing Amazon ad campaigns using the different types of Amazon ad to help you reach more customers. Get in touch today to find out which ad type is best for you and how to leverage the benefits of each of them.

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Omer Riaz August 26, 2020 0 Comments

The Truth About Amazon Advertising Costs

Amazon is a fantastic place to sell your products and attract more buyers. Millions of shoppers head to the platform every day to purchase items in almost every category imaginable.

There is a lot of competition for sellers, which drives up the costs of Amazon ads unless they have been properly optimized.

By taking advantage of Amazon’s advertising options, you can maximize visibility on your products and reach a wider range of people who are interested in what you’re selling.

If you’re new to selling on Amazon or your business is still on the smaller side, you might be worried about how much advertising will cost and whether it’s really worth it. The truth is, the Amazon advertising costs can vary wildly depending on several different factors.

At Urtasker, we’ve worked with brands of all sizes that sell all manner of products, so we know that the cost of ads truly depends on what you’re selling, who you’re targeting, and what budget you have in mind.

Amazon ads work in a similar way to Google Adwords in that the higher you bid (or the higher your budget is per click), the more likely it will be that your product shows up in a relevant search.

How much you spend on your campaigns is entirely up to you, and you can set your budget to be as much or as little as you like. Obviously, a seller who has a huge budget will experience different results to a seller that has a much smaller amount to spend, but it can still be a fruitful way to generate leads.

Product type is a huge cost indicator, too.

For example, if you’re selling something like a t-shirt or a television, you’ll experience a much higher rate of competition than if you were selling something a little more obscure. The general rule is that the more listings there are competing for attention, the higher the price will be to advertise similar items.

Amazon Advertising Costs: The Average

Despite there being many different factors that go into determining how much your Amazon ads will cost, there are some guidelines you can go by.

Research has been carried out to identify the average costs of ad campaigns on Amazon, as well as the average cost per click and the average daily ad spend.

Here are some of the most important findings:

The Average Cost Per Click (CPC) is $0.97

The average cost for a click across the board is almost $1. CPC refers to how much it costs when a customer actually clicks your ad, not when a customer simply sees your ad in their feed and scrolls past it.

Amazon CPC is an auction-based process, which means the price that you end up paying is always just a cent higher than the next bidder. If your bid can beat $0.97 per click, there’s a high chance you’ll see good results.

Again, this cost will also be determined by the product you’re selling and its competition. Some products might see an average CPC that’s much lower than this, while others might be much higher.

The Average Daily Ad Spend is $381.48

This is the average for high volume Amazon sellers who advertise on a daily basis. If this seems high, don’t panic – you can always set your budget to a much lower amount and measure your results from that.

Your daily spend is completely determined by you and it can be measured in a number of different ways, including by base keyword cost or by ad groups.

The Average Number of Daily Conversions is 35

Amazon sellers that run daily ads see an average of 35 conversions a day. That’s a pretty decent number, although we can safely assume that this is based on the average daily ad spend listed above. If your daily ad spend is lower, you’ll likely experience fewer conversions and if your ad spend is higher, you’ll probably enjoy a lot more.

Amazon Advertising Costs Aren’t Set in Stone

There is no one-size-fits-all rule for Amazon advertising costs. Here, we’ve simply listed the averages that research has shown, but this can vary dramatically depending on the categories you’re selling in and the keywords you’re targeting.

The amount of competition you have and the budget you can set aside for ads has a huge impact on how much money you’ll spend and the results you’ll reap. If you want to compete with big-name brands for highly-competitive keywords, the cost is going to reflect that. It’ll essentially lead to a bidding war between brands, which will eventually drive up the average CPC.

If you have a limited budget, it can be a wise idea to lower your CPC and target less competitive keywords. For example, if you just have $500 to spend on a campaign, you can set your bid to $1 instead of $5. This means you’ll get 500 clicks at $1 per click or 100 clicks with $5.

It really depends on the goal of your campaign, too. If you simply want to boost brand visibility, going for the higher amount of clicks can work well. However, if you want to get more sales, you’ll need to target keywords that are further through the sales cycle which are often more expensive.

Our team at Urtasker are experts at running and optimizing successful Amazon advertising campaigns. Our thoughtfully designed Amazon PPC services help individual sellers reach the right people and sell more products without spending over the odds. To find out more about how we can help, book a free 30-minute chat with us at a time that suits you.

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Omer Riaz August 26, 2020 0 Comments

The Correct Way to Write Amazon Product Dimensions

Alt titles: 

  • How to Write Amazon Product Dimensions 
  • The Best Way to Write Amazon Product Dimensions 

Despite a significant uptick in the number of consumers turning to online shopping, buying products online still comes with its downfalls. Not least the fact that buyers can’t touch or see a product in-person when browsing online. 

Think about it: shopping in a brick-and-mortar store allows customers to handle products, see them up close, and get a feel for their texture and size – all things that are much harder to do when a product can only be seen on screen. 

This means online sellers are having to be really specific when explaining how their products look, and dimensions play a huge part in this. 

Listing product dimensions on Amazon comes with many benefits. Not only do they set clear expectations so that buyers aren’t disappointed, but they also help you stand out against competitors who don’t display accurate dimensions (or any at all, for that matter). 

All of this is to say that product dimensions are a vital part of your Amazon product listings. The question is, is there a right way to write them? 

How Are Amazon Dimensions Listed in Order?

Dimensions are essentially a formula of numbers that provide buyers with a solid understanding of a product’s size. This is especially important for products where size matters, like furniture and accessories that complement another specific item. 

So how do you write this formula?

Amazon dimensions are listed in the standard way for measurements: length x width x height. 

This is the common formula for dimensions for anything on any website, so it makes sense that Amazon follows this.

How to Write Amazon Product Dimensions 

However, it ultimately doesn’t matter what order you list product dimensions in. 

The length doesn’t necessarily have to come first, as long as it’s clear which dimension refers to which part of the product. 

The end result tends to be the same for the shopper. That is, it’s usually easy enough for them to work out which measurement goes where depending on the item that they are buying and its general shape and size. 

While it helps to write your product’s dimensions out in the standard order of length x width x height, it’s not absolutely mandatory. 

But it does help improve the customer experience, as it means the customer doesn’t have to carry out basic geometry on their own time and it also avoids disappointment if the customer isn’t able to determine which measurement goes with which part of the product. 

You can make the process slicker by adding in the identifier when listing dimensions. 

For example, you can write 10L x 15W x 60H. 

The letters here refer to length, width, and height and directly tell shoppers which measurement they are looking at. 

What Do Amazon’s Product Dimensions Include? 

Product dimensions are listed in the “technical details” section on an Amazon product page, but do these numbers refer to the product on its own or with packaging? 

There’s a common myth that these dimensions involve packaging, but this isn’t strictly true. 

The dimensions listed on a product page should only include the size of the product itself, sans packaging. This is because shoppers really only care about the size of the actual product and not how big the box is going to be that it’s delivered in. 

The packaging dimensions can be listed separately if necessary (although often the size of the packaging isn’t important at all). When filling out the product information through your Amazon seller account, there is a section for “Package Dimensions” where this information goes. 

The Importance of Product Dimensions for Amazon FBA Sellers

While customers don’t necessarily care about the size of the package you store and send their products in, Amazon does – particularly for FBA sellers.

The dimensions of the product in total – that is, including packaging and any add-ons – is used to calculate shelf space fees. Amazon uses this information to charge the right monthly storage fees, shipping fees, and any long term storage fees. 

Amazon groups products based on their size and charges sellers accordingly. For example, small standard-size products (which includes packaging) can measure up to 15” on the longest side, 12” on the median side, and 0.75” on the shortest side. The dimensions increase in structured steps up until the “special oversize” category which is reserved for products that are over 108” in length. 

See the table below for more information: 

Amazon uses these dimensions to set FBA sellers’ fulfillment and monthly storage fees. For example, small products incur a fee of $2.41 per unit per month, while special oversize products are charged at $137.32 per unit per month. 

It’s important to note that the dimensions listed here for sellers includes packaging. They are also used to determine the cost of shipping. 

When creating an FBA product listing, sellers are asked to enter the product dimensions and the packaging dimensions in separate fields. Amazon calculates the overall size to determine the FBA charges. 

The packaging field won’t be shown on the product listings pages though, since it is irrelevant to buyers. 

For example, let’s say a shopper is looking to buy this bathroom cabinet: 

The dimensions read 45 x 45 x 13cm. 

These dimensions are the size of the product as it is without it’s packaging. 

Amazon Product Dimensions From the Buyer’s Perspective

Product descriptions are vital for buyers and they form an important part of the customer experience. If a customer receives a product that isn’t quite what they were expecting, they’re more likely to leave a bad review and not come back, which can have a negative knock on effect in the future. 

There are two key places on a product page where buyers go to find out the dimensions of a product.

Firstly, customers often look in the bulleted features list to find out the dimensions of a product. 

If they don’t find them there, they’ll scroll down to the “Product Information” section and look at the “Technical Details”. 

How and Where to Fill Out Product Dimension Information 

The product dimensions are added when you upload a new product listing to Amazon from your seller central account.

When you click “Add a Product”, you’ll be taken to a form where you can fill out all the essential information about your product and any extra details you think might be useful to buyers. 

It’s in this form that you’ll be asked for both the product dimensions and the packaging dimensions (remember though that the packaging dimensions won’t be displayed on the public product page). 

How to Find the Dimensions of a Product

If you’re thinking about selling a product and want to see what the average size is with your competitors, you can use a tool to do so. This will provide you with the median size of the best-selling examples of that product.

This is also a necessary activity if you are selling via FBA or via a method where you don’t get to see the products before you sell them. 

Tools to Find Amazon Product Dimensions

If the product dimensions are listed on the product details page, you can use a free tool to get this information:

  • CamelCamelCamel is an Amazon price tracker tool that serves up price history charts as well as average product dimensions for any products you search for 
  • Keepa does a similar thing for free – it creates price chart history and consolidates the most important information about best-selling products, like their dimensions 

Alternatively, you can use a paid tool that has more features. These tools not only track the prices of best-selling products in your chosen categories, but they also provide tons of other information, like product analytics, sales information, most profitable keywords and more. 

Paid tools for finding out product dimensions include:

  • Helium 10 – this is a suite of tools designed to help you grow your Amazon store 
  • Jungle Scout – this is an all-in-one platform that helps you find top-selling products and research their key metrics
  • Viral Launch – this tools helps Amazon sellers source the right products, sell them at the right prices, and optimize their listings
  • AMZ Scout – this tool is designed to make Amazon product research quick and easy, allowing sellers to identify and track niches and find the right products to sell 

The Importance of Amazon Product Dimensions 

Amazon product dimensions might seem like a small part of your overall strategy, but they’re vital for maintaining customer expectations and ensuring buyers aren’t disappointed when their product arrives.

The dimensions listed on an Amazon product page don’t have to be in any particular order, but the standard formula is length x width x height. This doesn’t include packaging dimensions, although you will be asked for this information when filling out your product information on Amazon as they use it to calculate FBA fees, like monthly storage costs and shipping prices. 

Listing product dimensions incorrectly can ruin the customer experience, encourage bad reviews, and lose potential lifelong customers. It sounds so simple, but it’s so important to get it right. 

Make sure you upload the right product dimensions and display them in the places where customers look for them – the bulleted feature list and in the “technical details” section of the product information chart.

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Omer Riaz August 19, 2020 0 Comments

From Yahoo to Benzinga, Urtasker Free Brand Analysis during COVID-19 Piques Interest of Media

Urtasker has long been known as a trusted, valuable, full-service marketing agency. Offering a keen eye on revenue growth in many marketplaces, including Amazon and Walmart online, businesses gravitate to Urtasker as a trusted partner in their expansion and sustainability efforts. However, COVID-19 has changed the landscape for many businesses and now more than ever having the strength of a professional, seasoned, and global marketing team is proving critical to the survival of small and medium business alike.

Urtasker believes that uniting to survive this pandemic in a concerted effort will take time, dedication, as well as, generosity. We are all in this together and together we will not only survive, but rather, thrive.

Beyond the Words, there is Action

Urtasker has made the commitment to offer free brand analysis to any business that desires actionable recommendations on how they can grow and build in this unique economic landscape.

Omer Riaz, CEO of Urtasker said, “It has always been our mission to support businesses and ensure they have guidance and experience to lead them to success. There has never been a more critical time to set aside any hurdles which stand in the way of supporting businesses. Offering a free consultation allows us to give actionable guidance to business owners that they can implement immediately to make an impact.”

This noble cause has piqued the interest of media and dawned the wire of notable and credible sources, spanning from MarketWatch to Digital Journal, Yahoo Finance, and more.

We invite you to explore the press links below and help us to propagate our cause and free brand analysis. There is no obligation, just a sincere desire to help businesses succeed.

Economy Watch
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Digital Journal
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Yahoo!
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MarketWatch
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PR Newswire
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NCN: Southeast – News Channel Nebraska [Beatrice, NE]
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Benzinga
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Oldies 97.7
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996.9-FM The Bull [Lubbock, TX]
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100.7 The Score
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Suncoast News Network [Sarasota, FL]
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DoubleT
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Omer Riaz August 12, 2020 0 Comments

Choosing the Right USPS: First Class Vs Priority

Getting products to buyers is a vital part of the Amazon selling process. To do this, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to send products to customers. There are plenty of options out there, but the main question you’ll find yourself asking is whether you should send products via first class mail or via priority mail. 

You might be wondering what the difference is between the two or whether choosing the wrong one will affect your business. 

We lay it all out in this piece.

The New USPS Initiative 

First things first, we should point out that USPS has recently made some changes to its services. They will be standardizing mail delivery times and leaving more undelivered items behind to go out the following day. 

The new initiative will push mail sorting to the afternoon so that letter carriers can start on their morning routes earlier. At 2pm, they’ll return to their post offices to sort new items for the next day. This could push package deliveries out by a day depending on the time they arrive in the sorting office. 

This will be trialled for a period of 30-60 days and will only be picked up by city carriers, but it’s worth bearing it in mind as you read the rest of this post as it is likely to have an effect on customers that use its package delivery services regularly. 

Image by pch.vector on Freepik.com

First Class Vs Priority Mail: The Differences 

From the outside, first class and priority mail look pretty similar. They are both a step up from second class deliveries, but they each have unique features that bring different benefits.

Most importantly, first class and priority mail differ based on weight, size, shape, and the delivery timeframe for your packages. These are the most common elements you should take into account when deciding what kind of service to go for. 

First class mail is predominantly used to ship parcels that are 3.5 ounces or less. This means it’s mostly used for sending letters, thick envelopes, and lightweight packages that are of a standard size. 

It’s an affordable way to send smaller, lighter items quickly and efficiently. 

Priority mail on the other hand is often used to send packages weighing up to 70lbs. It’s prioritized first before standard mail, hence its name, and is the favored way to send large parcels and packages. In fact, these types of packages are almost always delivered using priority mail, while smaller packages that don’t exceed the 3.5 ounce limit are usually always sent via first class mail. 

If your parcels weigh less than 3.5 ounces, they should always be sent first class since it’s often faster than priority and costs less. 

Maximum Dimensions

As package size is one of the most important factors when considering which USPS mail service to go for, let’s take a closer look at the company’s sizing guide. 

The maximum dimensions of packages sent via first class mail can be 108” in combined length and girth – this is where the longest side is the “length” and the circumference of the parcel’s thickest section is the “girth”. The maximum weight of a package being delivered by first class mail is 15.99 oz.

Priority mail packages can again have a maximum dimension of 108” in combined length and girth, however the maximum weight is considerably more at 70 lbs. 

Find out more about dimensions here

Insurance Policies 

One of the biggest differences between the two services is that first class mail doesn’t have a default insurance policy like priority mail. So, in instances where a package is lost or damaged on delivery via first class, the sender isn’t covered. But with priority mail, they are. 

However, you can add insurance coverage onto your first class mail deliveries for an additional fee. 

Priority mail, on the other hand, comes with an insurance policy attached. This covers up to $100 for domestic coverage and $200 for international coverage.

Keep the products that you’ll be shipping in mind here because, while some products are light in weight, they may benefit from the insurance policy that’s included with priority mail. For example, watches almost always weigh less that 1 lb, which means they can be shipped at an affordable price through the first class service, but priority mail offers up to $200 worth of coverage depending on where the watch is being shipped which will cover if the package is lost or damaged. 

First Class Vs Priority Mail: Delivery Times

Delivery times are important if you’re selling goods via Amazon. You don’t want to over promise to customers and leave them disappointed when their products don’t arrive when you said they would. 

Both priority mail and first class mail tend to arrive between one and three days if they are shipped to a domestic address. If you’re shipping products abroad, priority mail can be the best option because it considerably cuts down the shipping time that is associated with standard shipping. 

First class international delivery times vary depending on the destination you’re sending your products to. Priority mail is often a better fit for international packages. This is because it tends to be faster, taking around six to ten business days if you’re shipping to one of the 180 countries that are listed on the USPS site. 

It’s worth bearing in mind that neither first class nor priority mail can guarantee a delivery date for international mail, so promising customers their items will arrive in a specific time frame isn’t always possible. 

Image by jcomp on Freepik.com 

First Class Vs Priority Mail: Services Charges 

You’re probably wondering how much it costs to send packages via both first class and priority mail. There’s actually no set pricing structure and prices for both services vary dramatically depending on the size and weight of the item you’re shipping and where you’re shipping it to. As a general rule, shipping via priority mail tends to cost about $3 more per package. 

To figure out how much each individual package will cost to send, you can use the helpful USPS domestic calculator if you’re delivering to a US address, or the international calculator to work out prices for sending your packages abroad. 

Prices are based on the size, weight, and delivery address of your product, but once you start to get a feel for the pricing structure, it gets easier to predict how much delivery will cost – particularly on your best-selling items. 

Choosing the Right USPS Service

Your choice of priority mail or first class mail will depend entirely on the products you’re selling and where you’re shipping them to. Smaller, lighter items are best sent through first class mail because it’s more affordable, but if you’re selling small high-ticket products that fit into the maximum dimensions for first class, it’s worth opting for priority mail to claim the insurance that’s automatically included. 

Take some time to play around with the domestic and the international calculator to see which option might be best for you in terms of price and delivery terms, especially if you’re going to be sending packages in bulk. 

First Class Mail Vs Priority Mail: FAQs

What’s the difference between USPS priority mail and USPS first class?

The main difference is in the size of the packages that can be delivered via each service. First class mail is limited to smaller packages that weigh less than 3.5 ounces, while priority mail can include packages that weigh up to 70 lbs. The other difference is that priority mail comes with insurance coverage if a product gets lost or damaged during delivery. This is particularly useful if you’re sending high-ticket items. 

Is priority mail faster than first class mail?

The delivery times of both services depends on where you’re sending your packages. Domestic deliveries are much quicker for both, as are international deliveries. 

Domestic mail sent via first class mail usually takes between two and three days to arrive depending on the delivery address, while domestic mail sent via USPS’ priority service can take between one and three days. 

For international deliveries, first class mail has no guarantee or estimate, while priority mail usually takes between six and ten days to arrive. 

Is first class mail considered priority mail? 

First class mail is considered a priority mail over other standard mail services. However priority mail is an extension of first class mail that includes weightier packages. Packages sent through both services are prioritized, it purely depends on the weight of your products and whether you want to take advantage of the built-in insurance that comes with priority mail. 

Both Services Have Their Benefits

To wrap up, priority mail is often the most affordable way to send packages. This is because it comes with free package tracking, a one to three day delivery time frame, and $100 of built-in insurance. There is a much higher weight limit on products sent through this service and it is treated as a priority by the USPS. 

First class mail is often the preferred way to send lighter items, like cards, thick envelopes, and letters that weigh less than 3.5 oz. This service is predominantly used for personal correspondence, but it can and definitely is used to ship smaller, lighter packages. 

Use the USPS’ calculators to determine which method is best for sending your products depending on their size, weight, and value. 

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Omer Riaz August 5, 2020 0 Comments

Urtasker Assists Nonessential Sellers on Amazon During COVID-19 and Major Media Takes Notice

Urtasker has long been regarded as experts in aiding sellers on Amazon to thrive, expand their revenues and propel their businesses. Our team of marketing experts has always been dedicated to the success of our clients and when COVID-19 dramatically changed the face of online commerce, and retail commerce alike, we rose to the challenge.

Thankfully, our clients were not the only ones to notice. Recently, major media outlets such as NBC affiliates, FOX news and others covered our PR to provide awareness to our efforts.

When Amazon issued a letter to sellers informing them that shipments for nonessential products fulfilled by their FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) services were stopped, third party sellers were immediately impacted. It was then that Urtasker clients sought and found stability from the creative, strategic, and methodical full marketing services that Urtasker offers.

Read the full news at any one of the below media links.  Urtasker stands ready to assist our clients under any economic condition, stable, turbulent or unprecedented.

And more.. Ready to see what Urtasker can do for you? Get in touch today and schedule a free 30 minute consultation

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Omer Riaz July 9, 2020 0 Comments