Amazon is the most important e-commerce channel in Europe and North America. In 2016 the e-commerce giant generated $136 billion in net sales worldwide. There are a lot of benefits for companies looking to sell their products on Amazon, in addition to their own online shops and brick-and-mortar stores. The opportunity to reach the majority of online shoppers and to increase sales relatively quickly are certainly only two of the aspects to be mentioned here. But how can companies get ahead of the competition and increase their sales on Amazon?
Amazon has evolved into a complex ecosystem characterized by intense and incredibly fast competition. To ensure long-term succes it is essential to deal with Marketing on Amazon. However, Amazon Marketing has become much more demanding and requires expertise and, above all, experience. There are basically five reasons for this:
1. On Amazon, brands are not only in direct competition with other brands, but also with smaller sellers. Particularly noteworthy here are the so-called FBA sellers. These sellers are very agile and able to react to trends and market changes in a very short time. They know how to use the different marketing tools on Amazon and reach their full marketing potential. It’s for this reason that FBA sellers and established brands are often the most difficult competitors to overtake on Amazon.
2. As described above, the competition on Amazon is growing steadily. According to Marketplace Pulse, more than one million new sellers worldwide entered the 14 marketplaces. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd.
3. The requirements for successful Amazon marketing are becoming more complex. Amazon is constantly expanding the capabilities of its advertising services (Amazon Marketing Services) as well as their brand presentation features. In this context especially, the so-called A + content and the Enhanced Brand Content offer a variety of options.
4. Amazon is subject of constant changes. For example, there are changes in the Amazon policy occasionally (e.g. review guidelines).
5. Amazon customers are becoming more demanding. For many, the Prime shipping option has become particularly important. According to the PWC Retail Study 2017 (GER) the majority of the surveyed persons use prime services mainly because of the special shipping options.
Of course, the most important indicator for success on Amazon is sales. Accordingly, the overall goal is to increase sales. It’s also important to make the marketing measures as sustainable as possible. The primary focus should therefore be on optimising organic search results. This activity is referred to as Amazon Search Engine Optimisation or Amazon SEO. The goal of Amazon SEO is to achieve good positions in the long term for relevant search terms.
Similar to Google, it is crucial for products to be shown on the first page, also known as the Search Engine Result Page, or SERP. The SERP consists of the first 16 positions on Amazon. According to our experience these products are bought more often than others. The positions on the pages 2 and 3 also tend to be more successful than the following ones. The ranking is generated and constantly updated by the Amazon A9 algorithm.
With Amazon Marketing, it is important to consider the numerous aspects that are relevant for success and to include them in the marketing plan. However, it doesn’t make sense to only concentrate on some of the aspects. If companies want to get the most out of their marketing efforts, they should focus on more than Amazon SEO. It’s important to understand Amazon and its versatile marketing opportunities as a whole.
For example, those who run advertising campaigns for products without optimising the content first will waste valuable sales potential. instead of increasing sales. Those who only optimise the product-related content, but underestimate the importance of product reviews, may be able to improve their ranking. However, it will be particularly difficult for them to compete for popular keywords.
Those who optimise content, generate ratings and run efficient campaigns, but neglect data tracking, will hinder their own development and therefore face problems in the long run. That’s why, at Remazing we pursue a holistic Amazon marketing approach. It’s also advisable to approach the optimisation of a product step by step. In order to reduce the complexity of the factors to be considered, we have developed a simple model. In the Remazing Pyramid, the relevant areas of Amazon Marketing are presented in four consecutive levels.
"Only with a holistic Amazon marketing approach companies can unleash the full sales potential of a product. "
There are three prerequisites that form the basis of successful Amazon marketing. By considering these aspects you can significantly increase the chance of your own marketing campaign being successful. It should go without saying that these form a vital part of the pyramid model.
Amazon customers are very price sensitive. In addition, there are often multiple providers for the same product. This leads to intense competition on Amazon. The product price, therefore has a significant impact on the ranking position. It’s necessary to analyze competitors in the respective product category and to adjust the price to the average level. If a product is significantly more expensive than the average, additional USPs or ratings are needed to become successful. However, if a product is significantly cheaper, it can be positioned by the price.
According to a recently published report of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), in September 2017, more than 90 million Amazon customers in the US were Prime-Users which corresponds to 63% of all Amazon shoppers in the country. Also, the extreme increase of these numbers in the past two years should be noted here. Prime-Users deliberately filter out products that offer the Prime shipping option. To avoid being seen as irrelevant to these customers, it’s beneficial to offer this option and make sure that there always products on stock.
It is much harder to become successful on Amazon if a product has quality issues. Clear USPs and a high quality product can facilitate marketing enormously.
We see Amazon SEO as a central component of a successful Amazon strategy. The corresponding optimisation measures make products visible to potential buyers. Here, the key is the integration of relevant search terms in the right positions of the product descriptions. The goal for brands on Amazon should be to stand out from the crowd through rich brand content. High-quality product images complete the optimisation of the product-related content and make it more tangible for the customer. The optimisation of this content has a significant impact on the conversion rate of the products and is therefore an important success factor.
Creating ‘groups’ that connect products can help to momentarily highlight new or unsuccessful products. This is called ‘creating variations’. As reviews are a key factor in the buying decision process, you should interact with your customers on Amazon and generate reviews through a well-structured review management system. There are some options such as the product testing club, Amazon Vine. Professional customer communicationconveys seriousness and convinces potential customers to buy.
By using Amazon Marketing Services campaigns (AMS), paid ads can be created which will, if set up correctly, increase sales. Indirectly, they also improve the organic ranking of products. Furthermore, Amazon offers numerous special deals that are very popular with customers. The most famous examples are Amazon Prime Day, Cyber Monday and lightning deals. It’s also possible to generate external traffic from other platforms or websites. This external traffic is often organized via the Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP).
The optimisation measures can only be evaluated properly by continuously tracking data. It’s important to carry out regular quality controls and reports to improve your performance. Easy communication with Amazon on a regular basis is also crucial for success. As the communication with Amazon is handled in cases and telephone calls it’s important to have a structured case management but also to maintain direct contact with Amazon Support.
"These measures show the numerous ways to market your own products on Amazon. In the end, the most successful companies are those who take all aspects into account."
The articles of this blog only show a small part of our Amazon marketing experience.
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