How to Pick the Right Amazon Product Category

Post by Tom Baker
01 Jul 2019

Not sure whether you’re products are categorised correctly on Amazon? Concerned about whether this is losing you sales?

Here’s a simple, actionable guide to ensure your products are in the most appropriate Amazon product category, are discoverable and reaching the right customers.

So let’s dive in, first by looking at why categories are so important.

Correct Categorisation Drives Highly Targeted Traffic

Amazon gives very little direction on how to choose a category for your products.

Often, and inevitably given Amazon’s desire to control navigation choices, you may find that your product could fit in to more than one category or none at all. 

Before we get in to how to choose your category let’s look at why your choice is important.

Here’s a search with no filter added to the search box. Amazon is nudging me to view the filtered results for adult toothbrushes within the ‘Beauty & Personal Care’ category. 

Clearly, Amazon knows that customers are more likely to buy if they’re directed to a more specific set of search results. 

Or to put this another way, Amazon knows that the highest converting adult toothbrush products are in the ‘Beauty & Personal Care’ category.

Even if I choose to search ‘all departments’ the top organic search results are products that are categorised under the ‘Beauty & Personal Care’ category.

You’ll see this behaviour across thousands of search results.  Amazon is giving you some direction, my advice is to take it!

The bottom line is that your product should categorised within the parent category that Amazon suggests. 

If you don’t you’re going to miss out on the highly qualified traffic that generates good conversion rates and lots of sales.

How do you choose the right Amazon product category?

  • Do your keyword research – I’ve explained how to do this here (link to keyword section)
  • Run searches on Amazon for those keywords
  • Note the suggested category and the categories of the top ranking products (organic not the sponsored results)
  • Decide whether the suggested category is relevant to your product. If it is then happy days, you have your product category
  • If it isn’t then revisit the keyword list and question whether you need to change the parameters of your keyword research

A few other words of wisdom

  • Always select as many child nodes as possible. Amazon will walk you through the process. Child nodes are the sub-categories that customers will filter through to find a specific product type.
  • To find the category selector or ‘recommended browse node’ as they so eloquently describe it follow Inventory > Manage Inventory > Edit > Vital Info > Edit Recommended Browse Node
  • Follow the most relevant choices from the parent category as far as you can take it. You want your product to appear in the search results for as many relevant categories as possible. 

A word of warning…

You may have noticed the use of the word ‘recommended’ in the category selection process.  Amazon reserves the right to change the category or not index the product within a chosen category if it deems it not to be relevant.

Secondly, many categories have restricted access and require Amazon’s prior approval. If you are launching a new product please factor this into your launch timeline. To find out whether your product requires approval check out these resources:

If your product does fall under one of the restricted categories then follow the links provided in these resources to apply for approval.

In Summary

Adding your category choices is a simple process. If done correctly then your products are going to be more discoverable to more people.

Consider how your target customer searches for your product category and choose a category that best suits your customer’s behaviour. Remember to select as many sub-categories as possible.

And that’s it. Simple yet highly effective Amazon category optimisation.

Tom Baker

The guy writing this stuff. Previously worked in-house doing all sorts of marketing for start-ups and large brands. Now devising marketing strategies and executing for small, medium and large brands.

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