If you're an Amazon seller, at some point you'll need to change your product category.
Maybe your product has outgrown its original category, or maybe you've decided to target a new market.
Whatever the reason, making the change is actually pretty simple. In this article, we'll walk you through the process step-by-step. So read on, and get ready to make the switch!
Why Change the Category?
Knowing how to change a product category in Amazon Seller Central can help solve a few issues. Overall, changing the category to one that's more accurate may help improve your sales.
Before you change a product category, consider how the change will affect you and your business. Think about why you want to change the category and if it's worth it.
Here are a few reasons why you may want to change the section for one of your products on Amazon.
You Made a Mistake
When you first listed the item, you may not have chosen the best section for the product. Whether you've learned more about certain categories, or your item isn't performing well, consider editing the product details.
Most business owners will make a mistake at some point. As long as you learn from it, you can set yourself up for more success by selecting a more relevant category.
Maybe the product you want to update was the first product you listed, or perhaps you were in a rush as you listed it. Either way, taking the time to research different categories can help you get the product to show up in the correct place.
Someone Else Made a Mistake
You may also want to update the Amazon product category if someone else chose the wrong one. Maybe you have a virtual assistant who chose what they thought was best.
Another potential reason for the mistake is that another seller on the same listing chose the wrong category. It could also be that Amazon thought the section you selected wasn't the best, so the company switched it.
No matter who chose the incorrect category, make sure that you have Bindwise Alerts set up to learn about these errors right away and just fix the problem.
You Want To Make a Change
While you can't run an A/B test on the listing categories, you can change the category to see if another one may provide better results. You will need to give it time for the change to occur and see new sales.
Maybe you have two similar products, each in a different category. If the first product is selling much better, you can switch the category on the second product.
Changing the category won't guarantee you'll see more clicks or sales. However, it may be worth a shot, and you can always change the category back later.
What Happens When You Change the Product's Category
Knowing why you may want to change product categories on Amazon is great. However, you should consider what may happen as a result and if those risks are worth the rewards.
If you don't want to take a big risk by changing the whole category you can optimize other elements of your listing - for example, you can update the title or the images.
Before you update anything though, here are a few things you can expect from updating product categories.
Your Ranking Drops
If your product has been in a certain category for a while, there's a chance it reached the first page of Amazon search. When you update the category, the listing may need to start from scratch when it comes to SEO.
You may notice a drop in impressions and clicks after the product moves to a new category. Now, this may not affect you if a lot of your traffic comes from social media.
But a lot of Amazon sellers can benefit from the search feature. It will take a bit of time for your listing to rise up in the rankings for the new category, so prepare to take this hit.
Decrease in Sales
Of course, the drop in impressions will probably also lead to a drop in sales. As you slowly gain a better SEO position in the new category, prepare for a lower number of sales for this period.
Consider if the product makes up the bulk of your profits or if you can rely on other products to make money in the meantime. You can also make a plan to market the product on social media and tap into influencer marketing as it slowly moves to the top of search results.
Similar to clicks, the sales decrease may not be permanent. But you should prepare for it to happen so that you can stay in business and cover all of your costs.
Loss of Special Badges
Another thing that can happen when you change categories is that you may lose special badges that Amazon gives you. If your product is Amazon's Choice or a Best Seller in its current category, you will lose those tags after the switch.
Now, that doesn't mean you can't earn those same labels in the new category. If the product is popular and of good quality, you may be able to become a Best Seller, or Amazon may select it for the Amazon's Choice tag again.
However, prepare to lose those tags for a while after you switch categories.
Reach New Customers
Even if it takes a while, you may be able to reach new customers by updating product categories. For example, maybe you move one of your products from the Appliances category to the Home & Kitchen category.
You could reach new potential buyers who frequently shop for home and kitchen supplies but never think of appliances. Changing categories may be a good strategy if it seems you've made as many sales as you could in one category.
If sales have plateaued, switching may cause a drop for a while. However, you may gain a bit more traction as your product starts ranking higher in the new section.
Find Your Target Audience
Editing product details may not only help you get more customers, but it could also help you find the right customers. Using the home example, maybe you sell a small kitchen device.
If your ideal customer is a busy mom who needs help preparing dinner, the Home & Kitchen category may be a good fit. Busy moms may not think to shop specifically for appliances.
Do some market research and check out a few categories on Amazon to learn about popular products. That way, you can make sure your switch has a good chance of resulting in sales.
Increase Conversion Rate
Even if your sales drop, you may see your conversion rate increase. Your monthly impressions may drop from 10,000 to 1,000, for example, but maybe both periods result in 100 sales.
If that's the case, your conversion rate would increase from one percent to 10 percent, which can be well worth the change. You may even see more sales as you get more impressions.
As long as the new category is a good fit for the listing, it could help increase conversions. Then, you may be able to grow your overall business.
How to Change a Product Category in Amazon Seller Central
If you want to update your products and get more sales, you should know how to change a product category in Amazon Seller Central. That way, you'll be able to attract your ideal buyer.
You can change product categories in a couple of ways. The process you use depends on your account and what permissions you have when it comes to changing Amazon product data.
Consider the following methods to change the product category.
If You Have the Buy Box or a Brand
If you have the Amazon Buy Box, you can edit the product details in Seller Central. The same is true if you own the product and have registered the product through the Amazon Brand Registry.
In either case, you'll need to go to the Inventory tab and click on Manage Inventory. Next, find the product that you want to update, and click on Edit, then More Details.
Look for the box that says Category, and click on Edit. Now, you'll be able to scroll through the categories and choose the one you want to change the product to.
If You Don't Have Access
If you don't have the Buy Box and haven't registered the product brand, you have a couple of options.
- you can go through Amazon Seller Support to report the problem.
- you can also copy the listing details and create a new listing with the correct category. Now, you can lose a lot of sales data and other details, so you should only do this as the last resort.
Overview of Categories That Need Approval From Amazon
Some categories require special approval from Amazon before you can list products in them. If you want to speed up the change, you can apply to sell in a category before you edit the listing.
However, you can apply as you change the product category to any of the following:
- Video, DVD & Blu-ray
If you've listed products in those categories before, you shouldn't have to apply again. You can simply change the product category, and your listing can move like it would to any other section of Amazon.
FAQ: What If Amazon Assigned My Product to the Wrong Category?
One of the first things you can do if Amazon assigned your product to the wrong category is to contact support. You can open a case through the Help tab of Seller Central.
Explain why you want to change the category, such as to show customers relevant items. If Amazon doesn't change the category, you may decide to open another case until someone does update the listing.
In some cases, you may need to optimize the listing from scratch. Make sure to do your keyword research and make it clear what the item is to help Amazon categorize it correctly.
NB: make sure you have Bindwise Alerts set up, so you would be notified about listing changes ASAP.
FAQ: How Do I Know If My Product's Category Changed Without My Knowledge?
As mentioned above, you can use a tool such as Bindwise to track listing changes for all of your products. This will help you track edits to the category, product title, and dozens of other fields.
When you go into the tool, you can see the prior and current categories. You'll also receive alerts in real-time, so you can update listings as soon as the category changes by mistake.
FAQ: What If I Can't Change the Wrongly Assigned Category on My Listing?
If you can't change the category on your listing, you can do a few things.
- The easiest thing to do is to contact support and get Amazon to change the category.
- Another option is to lower the price just enough so that you win the Buy Box. Then, you should be able to edit the category to one you want.
- Finally, you can register the brand with Amazon if you want to change listings of products that you make and sell. This won't work when dropshipping other products, but it's worth a shot for your own products.