When you walk down a store aisle, what do you see? Products lined from floor to ceiling with brands pulling you in, giving you options to discover and compare. As a brand, you want to combat the competition – providing the customer with all possible options organized together in one place, so they have no reason to look elsewhere. Comparable to merchandising a store floor, variating products together on an Amazon listing is a must – making products more discoverable, creating a better user experience, and increasing sales.
What is a Variation?
Variations allow brands to combine related products together onto a single listing. When a variation relationship is created, a parent and child relationship is formed – the parent product is a non-buyable product used to house the buyable child products that differ by the variation theme assigned. Grouping together products differentiated by a variation theme – size, color, flavor, style, or another classification – shows the shopper all possible buying options in one place. Whether it be an art set variated by size or a pack of tuna variated by flavor, variations give the shopper the option to discover and compare the product varieties.
Benefits of Variations
While product variations are a no brainer in providing the shopper with the best possible user experience and utmost convenience – letting shoppers engage with the listing and find exactly what they’re looking for – the brand will also benefit from:
- Conversion Rate Optimization – As all like products are variated on a single listing, shoppers are engaging more with your listing and less with the competition from the search results. With a variation displaying all product options, a shopper is more inclined to buy from your listing than to abandon the page and purchase from a competitor.
- Aggregated Reviews – When products are variated together, all reviews from those products are combined onto the single listing and displayed as an aggregated total. As reviews play a key role in a shopper’s purchase decision, this factor can provide a positive impression for less popular products.
- Discoverability – Variating products allows less popular products to be discovered, since they can be grouped on a listing with a high sales rank and search result ranking. Combining less popular, or new, products with popular listings lets a product once buried in the search results be found atop the search results – giving the shopper an option they may not have known existed before.
- Increased Sales – All of the benefits stated above lead to one end goal – an overall increase in sales. Products in your catalog are more discoverable and listings are engaging the shopper and driving more sales.
Creating the best shopper experience is the overall goal of variating products together, and Amazon appreciates these technical contributions, as they ultimately add up to a better customer experience on Amazon as a whole.
Amazon Variation Strategy
As you develop a strategy for cleaning up your catalog, start by stepping into the shopper’s shoes and deciding what you’d like to see on a listing. What makes sense together? What doesn’t? The key is to not clutter or confuse the shopper, but rather provide them the options they’d be looking for based on their initial product search.
Once you have a strategy in place, dig in and categorize your catalog into product-related groups. Prioritize the no brainer products that should be together and keep it simple with one or two variation themes – three is the max, but that gets messy. As you continue to variate products in your catalog, keep the shopper in mind and keep it relevant.
Variating your Amazon listings is like merchandising a store aisle. Create the best possible shopping experience by providing the shopper with all available product options – stopping them from having to look anywhere else. At the end of the day, creating variations will create the best possible shopping experience and best of all, drive more sales.
Amazon Technical Analyst