To say Amazon’s come a long way since its 1994 beginnings as an online bookstore is an understatement. With two massive new HQs in New York and Virginia, and a staff of over 600,000 and growing, Amazon is now, well, everywhere. Indeed, it’s only a matter of time before Alexa sits inside our actual skulls.
Fun fact: Every time you watch Netflix, Amazon’s powering it. That’s because Amazon’s the world’s top provider of cloud computing. Airbnb, Spotify, Ticketmaster, Pinterest, SoundCloud and We Transfer are just a few other huge clients.
Just name an industry, Amazon’s all over it, or has plans to be. Because in an age of unrelated differentiation, there’s no telling what sector Mr Bezos will disrupt next. But it’s Amazon’s role as a giant of online retail that we’re concerned with.
Today, it’s not a question of ‘should’ your brand be selling on Amazon, but ‘how’ it’s selling on Amazon. It’s not enough to list your products and hope they sell. You need a strategy that involves cross-departmental collaboration, and a whole new set of rules to inform it.
At ChannelSight, we recognize the importance of an Amazon strategy for brands. And as it’s our mission to help brands excel at eCommerce, we decided to base our latest eBook on exactly this. You can get your FREE download of ‘9 Ways Brands Can Optimize Their Amazon Strategy In 2019’ here, and enjoy a taster of it in this blog post!
1. Observe The New Rules For Retail
Our first tactic is more of a mindset — four core values must form the bedrock of your Amazon strategy. We call these ‘The New Rules For Retail’. They are:
Amazon is famous for being obsessively customer-centric. The lesson for brands? Do the same. That’s what Amazon wants, that’s what the algorithm rewards, and that’s what brings success.
So, always bring every proposed tactic back to the consumer. Empathize with them. Put yourself in their shoes and ask how it will affect them. Is it convenient? Will it make their lives easier? Will it save them time? Will it save them money? And so on. If the answer’s yes, your strategy’s on the right track. Otherwise, back to the drawing board.
Yes, Amazon has disrupted retail and caused a headache for brands. But it’s all about perspective. The smart approach is to view this disruption as an opportunity, not a threat. You’re now free to rip up the rule book and play the disruptors at their own game.
This means taking a microscope to your current business model. Ask yourself what needs to stay? What needs to go? Some of it? All of it? What can you reimagine? Perhaps some small tweak to your delivery service or packages sizes could blow Amazon wide open for you.
No idea’s too crazy. As long as it better facilitates the new digital path to purchase on Amazon somehow, you’re on the right track.
On Amazon, the only constant is change. Whether it’s changes to its search algorithm, its advertising products, its content offerings or its delivery services, Amazon is constantly changing to meet the ever-evolving expectations of the modern consumer.
And as a brand you must evolve with this. Otherwise you’ll be outflanked by new, digital-first competitors, whose success is driven by inherent agility. So make sure you’re watching what Amazon’s doing like a hawk.
Our fourth and final new rule for retail is partnership. And this is perhaps the most important. Too many brands waste time an resources trying to compete with Amazon. But this is an exercise in futility. Partnering with Amazon is the winning approach.
To get the most out of this partnership, ask yourself this very simple question: What does Amazon want? The answer, which is also very simple, is that Amazon wants to sell product. So help Amazon sell your product. Unite in putting the customer first. Send them engaged traffic. Deliver them content that converts.
2. Brand Lock Your Product Detail Page
Once your digital shelf is in top condition, you want to minimize chances of a competitor stealing your customers away at the last minute. We see this happen a lot on Amazon thanks to product level data, which is a data set we specialize in at ChannelSight.
Product level data is an itemized breakdown of everything a consumer puts in their basket and purchases, both brand and non-brand, and the insights it provides are invaluable.
Here’s how using a simple example where we compare what happens offline to online…
So, a consumer goes to the supermarket to buy a specific brand of biscuits. They reach the checkout and see a rival brand on special offer. They remove the biscuits they came to buy from their basket and replace it with the rival brand.
Product level data reveals the same thing happening regularly on Amazon. A consumer lands on your product detail page full of purchase intent, only to be presented with a competitor’s Sponsored Product ad and you lose the sale at the final hurdle due to a cheaper price point.
The trick here is to sponsor your own products. Aim to ‘brand lock’ your Amazon product detail page with your own alternative and complementary products so competitors don’t steal your customers away at the point of conversion.
3. Seize Opportunities For Product Bundling
Product bundling is made for Amazon. It offers increased savings and convenience to the consumer, which in turn helps your brand and Amazon sell more product together. Happy customer, happy brand, happy Amazon.
There are endless opportunities for bundles. Our product level insights provide great inspiration for them. For example, perhaps you sell cameras, and see many consumers are purchasing memory cards and camera bags with your cameras. The logical move here is to create a discounted ‘one stop shop’ bundle of all three.
The main rule on bundles is that they consist of complementary items that, when packaged together, enhance the overall customer experience.
4. Drive External Traffic To Your Amazon Listings
Your consumers aren’t mind readers. So if you’re selling on Amazon, you need to let them know, and drive them there. Our ‘Where to Buy’ technology is one of the best ways of doing this.
We make all digital content shoppable, allowing you to capture engaged users and connect them directly to your product pages on Amazon where they complete their purchase without competitive distraction or delay.
So folks, we shall leave it there for now. For all the deets on devising a winning brand strategy on Amazon, download our free eBook here. And/or if you fancy a chat about optimizing your eCommerce strategy in general, then talk to one of our team today.