MerchantWords Review – Is it Up to the Job These Days?
As an Amazon seller, you are probably always on the lookout for the latest trends and the most sellable products you can get your hands on. The hunt for “the next big thing” is a never-ending process that’s part of every Amazon seller’s busy life.
To get ahead of the competition, various keyword research tools are available to help you find the products that your customer wants and needs.
Using regular search engines to find profitable products to sell is pretty much a waste of time. Google shows you the most relevant answers to your questions and Amazon’s own search engine is programmed to show you products that you are likely to buy now, not what your potential customers are interested in.
This is where a service like MerchantWords comes in. It does more than just provide you with relevant search results. In this blog post, we’re going to tell you what it is and how it can help you become more visible to more people.
Table of Contents
What is MerchantWords?
MerchantWords is the brainchild of CEO and Founder George Lawrence. A software engineer by trade, George launched MerchantWords in December of 2012 to help sellers figure out which products buyers are searching for.
As an Amazon seller, wouldn’t it be really nice to get inside your buyer’s head and learn which products they are looking for within the Amazon marketplace?
This is exactly what MerchantWords does. By giving you estimates for the total number of searches for any given term, you learn which products are in demand and therefore, are potential opportunities.
MerchantWords also shows you the variations of the keyword along with their corresponding estimated search volumes, which will help you not only identify which products to sell but also the keywords you need to include in your listings so you’ll consistently appear for the maximum number of related searches. If you can match the way you describe your product with that of the keywords people search for, you’ll be more likely to put your products in front of more eyes.
How Do You Use it?
Using MerchantWords is as easy as one, two, and three. The first step is to type in your search term in the search dialog box. For this example we’re going to use the keyword “yoga mat”:
The site will show you estimates on the number of searches people made for the term “yoga mat” as well as possible variations to the term and their corresponding search estimates as well.
The first thing you’ll notice with MerchantWords is the number of keyword variations it produces which can in turn help you come up with new product ideas you never thought of.
Some of the suggestions really are out of left field; items that you would never have imagined were popular.
The program also shows you the dominant categories where these search terms can be found which, not surprisingly in this example, is Sports and Fitness.
From this point forward, you can then analyze which of these keywords have high volume searches and low competition which is the sweet spot everyone’s looking for.
You do have to keep in mind that using search volume on its own as a measure of how valuable a niche could be is somewhat dated, and you should definitely consider other factors before you commit.
Search Amazon, Walmart and Merchant Words
One feature that is quite helpful is the option to search specific terms on Amazon, Walmart and MerchantWords using their standard search, or the “page 1” search, which we’ll explain more below. These are great ways to scope out the competition, or further dig down into a niche to find the perfect product.
All you have to do is hover your mouse over one of the search results then hover your mouse again over the magnifying glass icon that appears. This placement is quite intuitive and really improves workflow when investigating new products.
You can click on any of the three options that appear so you can make a comparison if the said search estimates are accurate or not without opening a new browser and manually searching for the keywords.
Filtering and CSV Download
One search term can produce thousands, if not millions of results that may not be easy to comb through one-by-one. The program comes with filtering options where you can choose to show all results according to their categories or according to volume.
It also provides you with an option to download the data to CSV format which is a really big help, especially when you need to analyze the information offline.
MerchantWords is considered to be the largest buyer keyword database that has since expanded to cover more marketplaces.
What sets it apart is that it gives you access to a global audience by giving you a database of search terms from buyers across the world from North America to Asia.
You can find this feature in the dropdown menu next to the .csv download at the top of the search results. For our yoga mat example, this is how it looks like:
Let’s face it. Keyword searches are done differently across different countries with the language being a huge factor. What also really helps is seeing the categories each of the keywords belong to in their native languages.
One recent big change to MerchantWords is the introduction of their premium optimization service for your Amazon listings.
This is clearly an attempt by MerchantWords to move away from being a simple search engine and provide more valuable services aimed at Amazon sellers.
The promise is a done for you, fully optimised Amazon listings with:
- Keyword optimized title.
- 5 product feature bullet points.
- Text and HTML descriptions.
- Backend terms.
- Additional keyword bundle.
- 1 free rewrite.
This is charged per ‘parent ASIN’. One ASIN will set you back $300, with discounts the more you order at once, up to 10 ASINs which you can have optimized for $2500.
These prices may or may not seem high to you, but a well optimized listing in a profitable niche has the potential to see significant ROI from such an investment.
However, most experienced Amazon sellers who are skilled at finding profitable niches are able to do this optimization themselves, or have a team that already does this.
So newbies are clearly the target here. But then they are also the least likely to have found a product worth investing so much money into!
Although the new features are great to see, I am yet to be convinced of the utility of the Merchant Words Listing Advisor service.
Page 1 Products
The Page 1 Products search is a great little time saver when you are getting deep into your product research.
As you can see below for the “yoga mats” search term, this tool brings up all of the page 1 listings for that term on Amazon US. Everybody knows that your new product needs to be on that first page if you want to be successful, so this is a great way to scope out the competition.
I personally like the way that this search pulls the information relevant to Amazon sellers out and displays it clearly, meaning you don’t need to wade through each individual product description to get the needed information.
This new feature is currently only available for the US Amazon store, but the promise is that it will be rolled out globally in the near future.
Collecting and showing you hundreds, if not millions of keywords is just part of the equation. Understanding which of those keywords to use at the right time is what really makes a difference.
This is exactly what MerchantWords’ algorithm does so you don’t have to do it yourself which is extremely beneficial considering the volume of data you have to go through.
If you choose MerchantWords as your Amazon research tool of choice, this is definitely a feature worth playing around with.
Currently, there are three MerchantWords plans to choose from:
- United States – Gives you unlimited access to US data for just $30 per month or $300 a year.
- Global – Gives you unlimited access to global data for just $60 a month or $600 a year.
- ‘Other Countries – Gives you unlimited access to data from one of the 9 other countries with dedicated Amazon stores for $15 a month, or $150 a year.
As you can see, these plans allow you to tailor your subscription to match your usage and offer 12 months for the price of 10 if you opt for the year long subscription.
Value for Money?
At the time of writing, MerchantWords offers a discount which brings the monthly price of $39 per month for the global plan.
While this does represent a decent saving, MerchantWords previously offered a discount that made the software available for a mere $9 a month.
For many long term users, it will be hard to justify this additional cost when many other Amazon research alternatives exist now, with arguably better features.
Which brings us to…
Overall Verdict and Alternatives?
While the idea of a tool that provides simple search volume data worked years ago with the Google Keyword Tool, MerchantWords now is not very accurate with its estimates. It also doesn’t help that better alternatives with more features tailored specifically to Amazon seller have since come out.
At the old discount price of $9, MerchantWords was worth a look, but even with the best discount only reducing the price to $39 now, it is hard to justify the expense of this software when there are now much better options on the market.
Jungle Scout’s new tool Keyword Scout would be considered the best alternative and it very much is so. You can read our review of Keyword Scout and see how it compares specifically with MerchantWords in this comparison. Not only is Keyword Scout more accurate and reliable for Amazon sellers, but given that it’s included in the price of a Jungle Scout subscription, which of course has many other features beyond a keyword tool, it arguably presents much better value for money overall.
Similarly, Helium 10 has accurate keyword research features within its suite of tools.
MerchantWords isn’t an especially bad tool or service; we just think there are much better options these days as this industry has progressed.