The Ultimate Amazon Strategy Guide For Brands in 2023
Merely deciding to sell on Amazon is not enough; the key lies in understanding how to do it effectively. This involves emphasising collaboration across departments. It's about driving traffic to Amazon product pages and optimising them for search. Utilising strategies like bundling, leveraging Amazon's tools, and constantly analysing and optimising data are crucial. Success is achieved by optimising each component individually and as part of a comprehensive strategy.
From day 1 with Amazon, brands are able to access millions of potential customers, already shopping for products they love. The world of eCommerce has stiff competition and brands need to stay ahead of the curve – and one crucial area to focus will be brand presence on third–party marketplaces. And with Amazon the global retail marketplace leader, there’s no better place to start.
To say that Amazon has come a long way since its 1994 beginnings as an online bookstore is an understatement. The current valuation for Amazon is approximately $1.03 Trillion and their 2022 quarterly earnings calls told the story that Amazon’s revenue percentage continues to grow at approximately 7-15%. It’s not a question of ‘should’ your brand be selling on Amazon, but rather ‘how’ it’s selling on Amazon.
Leaving it to your merchandising team to build pleasing product detail pages isn’t enough. Amazon requires cross-departmental collaboration and strategizing from your brand - and a whole new set of rules to inform it. Whether your brand is new to selling on Amazon or you’re looking to redevelop some or all of your Amazon strategy, let this eBook be your essential guide
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The New Rules For Retail:
Online marketplaces are already flooded with targeted traffic allowing sellers to solely focus on optimising their product pages for conversions. That free traffic is an irresistible advantage of online marketplaces that business owners need to leverage. But before we talk tactics, let’s first talk about the foundation.
There are four core values that must form the bedrock of all brand strategies on Amazon – and we’ll call them the ‘New Rules for Retail’.
‘We’re not competitor obsessed, we’re customer obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backwards’. These are the words of Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos in a quote that perfectly encapsulates his customer-centric approach to business. What is the lesson for brands? Obsess over your customers too.
That’s what Amazon wants, that’s what the algorithm rewards and that’s what brings success. So, when strategizing, bring every proposed tactic back to the consumer. Put yourself in their shoes and ask how it will affect them. Is it convenient? Does it make their lives easier? Does it save them time? Does it save them money? And so on. If the answer is yes, your strategy’s on the right track. If it’s no, then back to the drawing board.
The mass disruption of Amazon means retail will never be the same again. And sure, this has caused problems for brands. But it’s all about perspective. The smart approach is to tip this disruption on its head. Use it your advantage, viewing it as an opportunity rather than a threat. In this digital-first age of Amazon, many of the traditional rules no longer apply. And this is a wonderful thing. It means you’re free to open your mind and rip up the rule book when it comes to strategizing for maximum eCommerce success. So, play the disruptors at their own game.
Take a microscope to every last element of your current business model and examine each through the prism of digital. What needs to stay? What needs to go? Some of it? All of it? Just one crucial piece of it? Is there something new you can add? Where can you innovate? What can you reimagine? No idea is too crazy. For inspiration, consider the following big brand moves, in which all involved rethought major aspects of their business to better facilitate the new online buyer journey:
Mondelez famously changed its Oreo packet sizes to better suit eCommerce
Coke is exploring how ‘click and collect’ can help bring impulse buying to the digital shelf
Barilla overhauled its supply chain strategy to be eligible for FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) Prime
Whether it’s changes to its search algorithm, its advertising products, its content offerings or its delivery services, Amazon is a fluid entity. It is both a trend setter and a trend follower, constantly adapting and growing to best meet the ever-changing needs, demands and expectations of the modern consumer. Brands must evolve in line with this to succeed, or they risk being left in the dust by new digital-first competitors, whose success is driven by their inherent agility.
Many brands fear Amazon and waste time and resources figuring out how to compete with it. But resistance is futile! Not only is this approach like trying to turn back the tide - it’s also outdated. In the past, the dynamic between brands and retailers was challenging, if not downright adversarial. But today it must be a partnership between brands and Amazon.
That’s the winning approach. To get the most out of this partnership, ask yourself this very simple question: what does Amazon want? The answer, also very simple, is that it wants to sell products. So help Amazon sell your product. Unite in putting the customer first. Send them engaged traffic. Deliver them content that converts. And they in turn will reward your efforts. If you scratch their back, they’ll scratch yours!
Prioritise Your Product Detail Page:
Once you’ve got the ‘New Rules for Retail’ hardwired into your mindset, you can start getting tactical. First up, let’s discuss the product detail page, a crucial destination that can make or break a sale. Not unlike a human pinball, today’s consumer has bounced between many touchpoints, both online and offline, to get here. By now, their purchase intent is high. So you don’t want to blow it at the final hurdle. There are many ways to drive sales on Amazon, but no matter how sophisticated your marketing efforts, they’ll be wasted if your product detail page isn’t right.