Experiencing a Drop in Sales? The Honeymoon Could Be Over

In my early days as a seller I enjoyed unprecedented success in a short time after I began selling. Then suddenly, almost overnight, I ran into some challenges. I noticed that my ranking for important keywords dropped, and I could find no discernible reason why.

After scouring forums and consulting with as many fellow sellers as possible, I discovered this was common. Furthermore, I noticed a trend that newer listings seemed to overtake established listings.

What could possibly be the cause? Was it that Amazon’s algorithm favored newer listings by ranking them higher in the beginning?

In a way, yes.

After countless tests and digging into the data of several seller promotions, I concluded that the algorithm looks at sales velocity averages over benchmark time periods. The daily, weekly and monthly data was obvious quickly. However, this odd and sudden drop didn’t make sense until it became clear that there is a benchmark for six months.

In the time before you’ve reached six months of selling, you are assigned a null value so your benchmarks only go as far as monthly. That means any long periods of low conversions and sales velocity won’t count against you just yet.

This, basically, is your product’s “honeymoon period,” or period where ranking takes less effort. This is the biggest opportunity for increasing rank.

So I advise that you use all the launch strategies at your disposal as soon as your product goes live. You may also consider avoiding going live until you can put your promotional strategy in place.

- Anthony Lee (excerpt from Bootstrapping E-Commerce: How to Import and Sell on Amazon.