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Reverse ASIN searches: 3 things you may not have thought about

Reverse ASIN - sounds far more complicated than it actually is and can be pretty powerful when looking into top-ranking product-specific keywords.
Mauro Castellana
Last updated:
February 9, 2022

Amazon Sellers need to stay on top of their Amazon search strategies. There are many ways to go about Amazon product keyword research, and one that is worth knowing is reverse ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) search. While a useful technique in its own right, it can be made even more powerful. 

But first, let’s start with the basics.

What are reverse ASIN searches?

Also known as Amazon reverse ASIN lookup, a reverse ASIN search allows you to look up the top-ranking keywords that any Amazon listing (your own ASINs or your competitors’) ranks for. This stands in comparison to looking up search terms and viewing which ASINs rank on a term-by-term basis.

When using ABA, only ASINs that rank in the top three products for at least one search term will appear using this function, and it will only show these top three ranking keywords.

What reverse ASIN tools are there?

If you are Brand Registered on Amazon, you can use Amazon Brand Analytics (ABA) as a reverse ASIN  lookup tool.

4. Search Terms (1)

When using ABA, only ASINs that rank in the top three products for at least one search term will appear using this function, and it will only show these top three ranking keywords.

There are also third-party tools that can help augment this data, or simply supply an alternative to non-Brand Registered Sellers. Some are available for free on the web — although more advanced tools can start to provide additional information, e.g. potential cost-per-click and search volume.

With that said, the primary use for reverse ASIN searches is simply to identify good keywords. Most of what we are going to address in this article is based on how you can use the ABA reverse ASIN search function to create a competitive advantage.  

Pro tip: if you want to dig into the real details of Amazon Brand Analytics, and advanced strategies for data analysis — check out our free eBook, Mastering Amazon Brand Analytics. 

Why are Reverse ASIN searches useful?

Reverse ASIN searches are an excellent way of carrying out keyword research on competitor products and benchmarking your own outcomes. If this is done over time, you can also find search patterns. 

Reverse ASIN is a powerful technique, but for it to work well, you need to make sure that you’re targeting ASINs that are in direct competition with your products. You should also go after only those keywords and search queries that are relevant to your products. 

Pro tip: It’s easy to get carried away seeking out obscure keywords in the belief that they will be cheaper. Diving into the keyword long-tail can be useful, but don’t spend so much time there that it becomes a productivity drain. Very low volume search terms generally lead to low click-thru rate (CTR)  and low conversions. 

With all of that out of the way, let’s dive into advanced strategies to get more out of the reverse ASIN lookup function.

1. Use the Amazon search algorithm to help you find products

A concern with any keyword research is that you miss terms. Not every product will rank for all relevant terms. One way to cast your net wider and expand your search is to find new related products. To do this, take the terms you discover and simply type them into Amazon and harvest the results.

How to do it

There are two components to fully exhausting the keyword information available to you through the Amazon algorithm. They are: 

Idea # 1: Look for ASINs of category leaders

  1. Enter a search term that you are interested in — say “bug spray”
  2. Identify the best seller
Screenshot 2020-06-30 at 21.52.20
  1. Click on Category (in this case “Outdoor Multi-Insect Control”)
  2. Scan list for competitors
Screenshot 2020-06-30 at 21.55.58
  1. Go to those products you’re interested in — find the ASIN (under Product Information)
Screenshot 2020-06-30 at 21.56.51
  1. Start keying in ASINs to ABA to see what keywords are proving most successful.
  2. You can then repeat this cycle — searching Amazon for the other terms that show up in your reverse ASIN search, taking the top-performing products for those terms and plugging them into a reverse ASIN search. 

Idea # 2: Look for long-tail search terms

You can also simply look at the search terms suggested by Amazon. Start typing the search term and note down other long-tail search terms as you type.

Screenshot 2020-06-30 at 21.57.50

Go to those terms, and then reverse ASIN the products you are interested in into ABA.

What you can achieve

Reverse ASIN searching based on category leaders enables you to target those ASINs that are your specific competitors. This process (along with looking at long-tail suggestions) will also yield niche keywords that suit your product, and may not be the most used or most expensive keywords.

2. Cross-reference other Amazon reports

Pulling information from across the Amazon ecosystem builds a far more detailed picture of which products customers are buying and why. The challenge is sorting through this information without tedious spreadsheet analysis. 

Analytics tools (check out our eBook on How to make sense of your Amazon customer data if you want to learn more) can take care of the heavy lifting, presenting outcomes and insights via an online dashboard. This leaves you to make better decisions based on those insights. It also means you have a more detailed approach than competitors who are using standard reports for insight.

With that said, some diligent manual processes can get you part of the way there. Reverse ASIN searches are a good start to do “what if” analysis using these tools and reports.

How to do it:

Make the most of Item Comparison

The Item Comparison report shows the top five products that Amazon shoppers view after looking at your items, as well as the frequency. This means you can identify the products that were most frequently viewed together with your own. In addition, you can see the relative number of views that were made on the same day (24 hour period), together with your own product views. You can cross-reference this with your best seller category list from your reverse ASIN search.

Compared ASIN: gives the ASIN with which your product is compared.

Compared %: gives the frequency of the product viewed by customers alongside yours within the same day. 

7 8 Item comparison and alt purch

Find out where you are losing sales

The Alternate Purchase report is similar to Item Comparison. It shows which products your customers bought after viewing your product listings. This helps you to analyze customer buying patterns and gives you a view of the ASINs you are losing sales to. You can then use your own reverse ASIN search results to validate these ASINs and forensically compare their listings to yours to spot weaknesses or opportunities. 

Encourage Repeat Purchase Behavior

The Repeat Purchase Behavior report is a good jumping-off point to see how you can take advantage of your customers’ repeat purchase behavior. For example, you could use the “Frequently bought together” section of your reverse ASIN competitors to suggest potential bundles or product category additions that you could try.

5. Repeat Purchase Behavior

What you can achieve:

You can use all of the data from these reports to find new terms or provide context to your research.  The long-term analysis and evaluation of this data can even reveal opportunities for product differentiation or diversification.

3. Start to put together the “why”

The biggest problem with ABA data is a lack of context, Sometimes it’s difficult to understand why something ranks and something else does not. Pulling all of the critical stats from ABA, and the information you can collect looking at product listings (pricing, shipping terms, star ratings, reviews) can augment reverse ASIN results to help you determine what to focus on.

ABA is like a massive data store. Used wisely, it allows you to “spy on” (or “keep an eye” on) your competitors. From there, you can work out the key drivers for your major competitors’ sales. The value of this data is all about the actions it allows you to take to generate more revenue and outflank the competition.

Again, this is where analytics tools can come in really handy, allowing you to bypass manual processes and go straight to the insights. Full disclosure: we’ve developed a SaaS tool that deploys AI and machine learning to do just that. 

With that said, Amazon reverse ASIN lookup is a clever approach to building Amazon PPC campaigns with new keywords — but it‘s also more than that. It’s a great approach to help Sellers reach new customers by targeting specific audiences with specific advertising strategies. 

If you want more information and advice, feel free to get in touch.

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