If you’re a veteran Amazon merchant you have a story or two about the complexities of selling on their platform. If you’re a newbie, you assume that you can make your own rules with Amazon.
But ask anyone with experience selling on Amazon and they will tell you bluntly, it’s Amazon’s pond and we’re all just swimming in it. In other words, Amazon doesn’t care about you or your brand. Amazon cares about their process and their sales. Stay in this swim lane and you’ll be fine. Swim outside these lanes and you’ll quickly find yourself in uncharted waters, with sharks circling.
Luckily we can throw you a rope and provide some hard lessons learned, that can save you time and frustration as you forge a plan to become a successful Amazon seller.
1. Offer a Quality Product that People Actually Want to Buy
On Amazon and other marketplace channels, you’re going from a walled garden, to the farmer’s market. Marketplaces are designed for competition, so the best way to compete is to have a great product and ensure people can find it, and that they have a good experience with it. Ensure the value of the product aligns with their expectations and be proactive about mitigating returns and poor reviews
- Offer a quality product
- Price it competitively
- Get found by the right audience
- Offer fastest shipping possible
- Minimize returns
- Maximize positive reviews
2. Understand the “Amazon Flywheel”
One of the biggest advantages of the Amazon flywheel is its ability to create compound effects:
- The synergies between the parts of the flywheel work together to keep the flywheel spinning.
- On Amazon, your organic ranking is strongly influenced by your sales velocity.
- In other words, more sales = higher rankings
- Higher rankings will lead to more sales, which in turn will boost your organic rankings, leading to more sales, etc.
Understanding how the flywheel works, and keeps spinning is an essential part of working with Amazon’s structure to have your brand and products well represented, and of course driving sales.
3. Fulfill through FBA, So you Ship Prime!
According to the latest Amazon user statistics:
- Ages 18-34: 81% Prime Members
- Ages 35-54: 68% Prime Members
- Age 55+: 60% Prime Members
Shipping through Amazon’s systems is always the way to go, if you can. You get the Prime Badge, they take care of everything and shipping and fulfillment issues are on them, not you and your teams. So when a problem arises, it’s much easier to resolve it. Avoiding A to Z Claims, due to poor shipping issues, is an essential component of success on Amazon. Remember, this is their ecosystem, you’re just opting to be a part of it. There is no such thing as setting your own rules with Amazon.
4. Amazon Advertising
Running ads is a strategic part of all Amazon launches and ongoing success. Amazon is very much a pay to play platform. Especially at the beginning when you need to create awareness of your products. Your products are in a category with relatively high seasonal demand, some with a very high price point.
We recommend the following to get started:
- Starting with Vine (Amazon’s review program, if applicable)
- Creating our own Review program ASAP
- Launch Automatic Sponsored product campaigns limited by budget.
- Launch Keyword and ASIN targeting Sponsored product ads
- Driving outside traffic to the ASINs from social media and email marketing
- We will launch a Sponsored Brand campaign once the brand is claimed
5. Create a Multichannel Ecosystem
At this point I think we’re all on the same page that having a multichannel ecosystem is the right approach for your DTC. Putting all your eggs in one basket can be a gamble. When COVID hit last year, many of our clients were not able to ship into Amazon warehouses, pretty much overnight. This caused a lot of confusion, lost sales and frustration because there was no “Plan B.” Remember, Amazon is a company, they have their own rules, their own priorities and their own way of doing business.
You’re just opting to be a part of their company’s rules, regulations and way of doing business. So having a distributed approach to DTC ecommerce, is the best approach for your brand and your customers. Here is our recommendations on the best mix of ecommerce channels for your brand and sales:
- Your own Ecommerce Website (DTC)
- Social storefronts
Need help with your Amazon and DTC strategy? We can help!
What Makes us Different from Other Amazon Agencies?
- We’re 5 star rated certified members of the Amazon Service Provider Network
- We’re multichannel specialists (Walmart, eBay, Best Buy, Staples, Home Depot, Lowes, NewEgg, Wayfair and more)
- We have a global focus (NA, EMEA, APAC)
- We are also web developers with a very deep technical skill set
- We specialize in technology + merchandising + marketing – the three pillars of success for ecommerce channel growth.
For any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Amazon Experts at 888-651-1554 to talk to a human who understands your goals.