Using variations is a great way to boost sales by increasing review counts, combining sales history across all products and giving customers more choice
Benefits of variations
Amazon will combine the reviews for all children in the variation, increasing your total count and helping you appear higher in search. Reviews are at the heart of customer trust, and a higher number can lead to an improved click-through rate and more conversions.
Amazon ranks products based on historical sales and conversion rates. By using variations, the sale of any one product increases the sales rank of all products in the family.
New listings on Amazon can be very difficult to rank in the first few months - with no reviews and no prior sales history, Amazon does not promote the product above more established listings. By adding new products to established variations, they can immediately start attracting clicks and sales.
Variations allow customers to quickly see all buying options for a single product on a single page and can help them discover and compare various versions of a single product
Downsides of variations
Appearance in search
Variations will only appear once in Amazon Search - you will not appear multiple times for each colour or size. The search algorithm is intelligent, so if a customer searches "pink hat", they will likely see your pink variation, but if they search for only "hat", they may see your black or blue hat.
In general, one listing on page 1 is better than multiple listings on page 6 of search, but this is why it is important to only include similar products in a variation.
Things to consider
Do not list different products together
Do not use variation themes incorrectly; they should only be used for their defined purpose.
Do not introduce a large variation family. Large variation families deliver a poor customer experience.
Child listings with extremely negative reviews can hinder the overall performance of the variation listings
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