News & Insights

Make the Most of Amazon Sponsored Ads

Most Amazon sellers know that the platform’s search algorithm is crucial to their brand’s success. But few realize there is more to the formula than relying on Amazon SEO to reach the right customers quickly. Staying on a shopper’s radar throughout the decision-making process is often just as important. In fact, Amazon’s research has shown that only four percent of shoppers buy a product after their first search. Instead, it can take them an average of six to seven days to make a purchase. 

One of the most effective ways to avoid losing prospective customers during this purchase journey of comparisons, evaluations and distractions is to utilize Amazon Sponsored ads. When used correctly, this specialized Amazon tool can reach the relevant shoppers at the most critical points of their search and substantially boost conversions for an Amazon seller’s product listing.

Types of Amazon Sponsored Ads 

Sponsored Display

The origins of this Amazon advertising began in late 2019 when the site launched Sponsored Display ads, a self-service advertising solution available via both Vendor and Seller Central. A Sponsored Display Ad was unique from other Amazon product display ads in that it could reach targeted audiences on and off the platform. In 2020, Amazon expanded the offering to include the enhanced targeting of Sponsored Display Audiences. The Amazon ad options have continued to evolve in recent years, and the services available to companies enrolled in Amazon Brand Registry are now simply known as Sponsored Display.

Sponsored Products

Similar to Google Adwords, Amazon Sponsored Product ads are targeted using keywords and Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASIN) to reach Amazon shoppers. They allow advertisers to promote specific products with Amazon search terms and product detail pages. They are the most popular form of advertising on Amazon. 

Sponsored Brand

These ads are intended to support brand building by featuring multiple products from a single company. Appearing above search results, Sponsored Brand ads display a custom headline, logo and up to three products. Clicking on this type of ad typically sends shoppers to an Amazon Storefront or custom Amazon landing page. Amazon Sponsored Brands are also available as video ads to promote a product detail page.  

Advantages of Sponsored Ads 

The attraction of Amazon Sponsored Display advertising is primarily due to the visibility it offers brands and the targeting that can be done when creating a campaign. 

While Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Products are limited to appearing on the Amazon marketplace, Sponsored Display ads may appear on and off Amazon. Ultimately, where these ads show up will depend on the parameters of the ad campaign. 

On the Amazon site, ads can display on product detail pages, next to customer reviews, under a featured offer or within search result pages. Outside of the marketplace, Sponsored Display ads may also reach audiences on mobile apps and third-party websites that have a relationship with Amazon. 

Another bonus of Sponsored Ads is that they include the visual elements that Amazon shoppers are accustomed to and trust. Since they are based on product listings, they feature images, star ratings, Prime badging, and prices directly from Amazon. In addition, they typically feature a shop now button that leads directly to the product detail page.  

One of the key benefits of Amazon Sponsored Advertising lies in the targeting options. Advertisers can create a targeting strategy based on a similar product or relevant product category or focus on specific audiences. 

Product targeting

By targeting competing or complementary products for Sponsored Ad delivery, brands can capitalize on the opportunity to reach shoppers who are likely to be interested in the product but may not realize it exists. Promoting product awareness and accelerating product discovery in this way can be a powerful way to connect with shoppers efficiently. 

Sponsored Ad product targeting can be done in one of two ways. Advertisers can select specific products listed on Amazon and target the shoppers browsing those items. Companies can also opt to target product categories for a broader approach to reach a larger swath of prospective customers.

Audience targeting

Sponsored Ad campaigns are designed to reach shoppers based on their behaviors and preferences. Brands can use audience targeting to engage or reengage prospective customers. These tactics target shoppers who have previously viewed relevant products and categories or attempt to introduce an item to new customers who are likely to be interested. In some cases, Amazon allows brands to create custom-built audiences or use pre-built audiences, depending on the goal of the Sponsored Ad campaign. 

An Amazon agency can help

Amazon ads offer brands a powerful tool to enhance advertising campaigns, expand the marketing funnel and drive greater revenue and profits. For Amazon sellers and vendors, Sponsored Display, Amazon Sponsored Brands ads, and Amazon Sponsored Product ads can supplement listing optimization to promote products efficiently. However, success requires a solid foundational strategy and a commitment to ongoing improvement. Sometimes, it’s more than an Amazon seller can handle on their own. In this case, an experienced Sponsored Ad management service is an option worth exploring. They can help navigate the complexities of creating an efficient and effective Amazon Sponsored Ad campaign. 

One of the ways an ads manager can simplify the marketing effort is by advising an Amazon seller on the appropriate ad spend necessary to achieve its goals. Campaigns that exceed their budget quickly will be challenging to evaluate and adjust effectively. An adequate budget allows sellers to compare the effectiveness of Sponsored Display, Sponsored Brands and Sponsored Product ads simultaneously while using similar targeting strategies and budgets across these types of sponsored ads to gain valuable insight. 

Another benefit of an experienced partner comes from its familiarity with analyzing the wealth of data that comes from an Amazon Sponsored Ad campaign. It’s crucial that this data is used to guide future advertising decisions and set campaign goals. Experimentation with different targeting tactics and a review of all of the metrics can identify what’s working and what isn’t. These firms also understand not to react too quickly and the importance of giving ads multiple days or weeks of impressions before making adjustments. 

Finally, a third-party agency can be helpful when setting a clear goal for any Sponsored Advertising. It’s common for brands to consider this type of advertising for established products, but new products can also benefit from a well-designed campaign. The targeting capabilities can allow companies to reach the buyers and shoppers of complementary products or introduce the item to audiences likely to be high-interest customers. 

A campaign that uses product targeting to increase traffic and audience targeting to remarket to those visitors can be an extremely effective approach to launching a new product and ramping up sales quickly. Of course, Amazon Sponsored Advertising can benefit both large and small businesses due to its flexibility. Done well, it can increase brand awareness, accelerate conversion, increase Amazon optimization and even lead to product improvements. 

A partner can set realistic expectations

The advertising cost to run a Sponsored Ad campaign will vary greatly depending on the number of products being advertised, the target audiences and the budget options that are chosen. For example, Amazon advertisers can opt for a pay-per-click (PPC) model, where advertising costs are only incurred when someone clicks on an ad, not when they see it. Or they can choose to pay by cost-per-thousand viewable impressions (vCPM), calculated by how often an ad is displayed to a shopper.  

For both PPC ads and those purchased by impressions, sellers must set a daily budget cap for the Sponsored Display ads and choose a maximum bid that can be used to purchase available ad slots. Typically a new campaign will start with a $1 bid for Amazon PPC and a $5 bid for vCPM, with plans to monitor and adjust as the effort progresses. Both CPC and vCPM bids can also be optimized for impressions, page views and conversions depending on a company’s goals and preferences. 

Working with a reputable agency makes it much easier to gauge the budget required to meet your brand’s goals. Thanks to a management service’s previous experience with Sponsored Ads management, they can also provide a more realistic timeline for seeing the full impact of any campaign and what those results may look like. 

Agency alignment matters

Unfortunately, experience alone is not enough to guarantee that a service provider will be a good fit for your company. It’s also critical that any Amazon partner aligns with your brand’s goals, team and budget. 

Goals

The Amazon marketplace is an $800 billion business. The services needed by the largest companies on the platform vary drastically compared to smaller brands. Therefore, finding an Amazon Sponsored ad manager that aligns with your brand’s business model and sales level is vital. Your brand should also seek a provider that regularly works with similarly-sized sellers to limit the risk of low-quality service, overly-high costs, or the possibility of not being a priority for the provider.

In addition, Amazon consulting services are typically split between firms that help brands following a 1P Vendor Central model (selling products to Amazon) and those pursuing growth on the 3P Seller Central marketplace (selling products on the Amazon marketplace). Therefore, picking a provider that already focuses on your brand’s business model is best. 

Team

The number one reason brands leave Amazon seller consulting services is a misalignment of the quality of the team they are working with. Often, established companies have learned from their mistakes with previous clients and can likely provide higher quality and more consistent service. While smaller, less experienced providers may be understaffed and rely heavily on contractors, which can lead to low-quality work. 

Budget

It is easy for a brand to underestimate how much work is involved with Amazon advertising management and focus on price rather than quality. However, low-cost Amazon consulting is more likely to rely on offshore teams with less quality control, while the most costly Amazon consulting experts will often provide your brand with director-level staff capable of accelerating growth. People with valuable Amazon marketing experience are expensive to hire, and it’s important to remember you get what you pay for. A common rule of thumb is that it requires one employee for each $1 to $2 million of Amazon revenue. 

Amify can help with more than advertising 

From digital marketing to fulfillment to data analysis, the Amazon experts at Amify are ready to build a comprehensive strategy to grow your business. Our decades of experience and commitment to clients ensure you are getting all you can out of your Amazon Seller Central account. Schedule your consultation with our team today.

News & Insights

FBA is the Key to Winning on Amazon (Most of the Time)

For any brand, change is difficult. Most have an established fulfillment strategy for their direct-to-consumer website, business-to-business customers, and other marketplaces. So the possibility of changing an established plan for a single platform is unsurprisingly met with hesitation and frustration. The result is that many brands opt to keep the status quo, and instead, they attempt to integrate their current fulfillment solution with their Amazon goals.  

Unfortunately, for nearly every seller on the marketplace, success on Amazon depends on utilizing Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). While there are a few rare exceptions, an understanding of the leading fulfillment models, along with the advantages of FBA, reveals the importance of this Amazon strategy.

Amazon Fulfillment Options 

Currently, Amazon offers three distinct fulfillment options for its marketplace sales. 

Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) is when a brand uses its own warehouse or fulfillment provider to ship a product to the end customer. For example, a customer would place an order for a product on Amazon. That order is transmitted to the brand’s warehouse, which then picks, packs, and ships it to the end customer. On the surface, this seems like a suitable fulfillment method since inventory can be stored in one location and used to fulfill orders on Amazon, on a brand’s website, and on other marketplaces like Walmart.com. In addition, the merchant avoids having to comply with any Amazon-specific packaging, labeling or shipping requirements and may enjoy more flexibility when it comes to bundling products for sale to customers. 

However, companies relying on this model will be unlikely to gain Prime eligibility for their products and will have to manage the return process in-house. In most cases, shipping costs will also be higher than the FBA alternative, and shipping times will be longer by several days. 

Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is when a brand ships its products into an Amazon warehouse. When a customer buys a product on Amazon, the product is shipped from an Amazon warehouse to the end customer. The products are considered Prime eligible, and sellers can offer 1-2-day shipping to their customers. Shipping costs are typically much less than seller fulfillment via other providers, and Amazon takes responsibility for the customer service and return processing. 

FBA does come with its own set of challenges. The brand must ship products into Amazon warehouses, thus creating a separate “warehouse” just for Amazon products. Also, the products must comply with all of Amazon’s requirements, including labels, temperature, and expiration dates. Once the product is at Amazon, it’s challenging to change, inspect or fix problems. And finally, Amazon controls the amount of inventory allocated to each product, frequently resulting in stock-outs during busy seasons. 

Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP) can appear to be the best of both worlds. It allows a merchant to ship products out of their own warehouse while still qualifying for Amazon Prime, thereby maintaining the ability to sell inventory on direct-to-consumer sites and other marketplaces as well. In addition, sellers avoid the Amazon packaging requirements and can also kit products for convenience.  

The downsides include expensive shipping costs to meet the Amazon Prime delivery window and the difficulty of meeting Amazon’s high warehouse and carrier standards. In some cases, businesses utilizing this model will lose their SFP capabilities due to a temporary suspension when these standards are not met consistently. The SFP option is also out of reach for many sellers since participation is limited to sellers invited to participate by Amazon. 

Why brands need FBA to reach their full potential on Amazon

There are several ways that FBA can help a company succeed in the Amazon marketplace. Not only can it level the playing field against a brand’s biggest competitors, it often improves customer service and minimizes costs. In addition, shifting fulfillment responsibilities to Amazon allows sellers to focus on their true strengths. 

Using FBA allows the product to be Prime eligible

Over 100 million American households are Amazon prime members. Prime shipping gives these members two-day shipping across the United States. Customers like this and search for it when buying products on Amazon. At Amify, we often see a 50-100 percent increase in sales when a brand moves to Prime eligibility. 

FBA shipping is dramatically cheaper than other options (for most products)

Amazon is the largest shipper in the U.S. This allows them to have the lowest shipping rates in the country, and luckily they pass these along to FBA customers in the form of low shipping rates. For most products, we find the FBA shipping costs are 30-50 percent cheaper than a brand shipping products themselves (even when comparing two-day shipping on Amazon to five-day for other carriers. Using a one-pound product as an example, the FBA shipping cost is roughly $3.50 compared to $7.00 for many third-party-logistic vendors. With the average product price on Amazon around $17, this $3.50 per item in saved shipping costs amounts to a 20 percent increase in margin. This considerable cost difference requires an FBM brand to either increase its price or be willing to accept much lower (or even negative) margins. 

Amazon handles the majority of customer service and returns

When using FBA, Amazon will answer most customer service questions and take responsibility for any late-arriving shipments. This allows businesses to focus on making great products rather than responding to “where is my item?” questions all day. 

Seller-Fulfilled Prime (SFP) is not a realistic option

Seller-Fulfilled Prime was meant to be a win-win for brands. Prime eligibility while still shipping from their own warehouses. However, several years after its launch, less than one percent of Amazon orders are shipped using SFP. Why? This option has two main downsides that prevent it from being viable for most brands. First, to qualify, the brand must ship most products via one-day shipping, which is exceedingly expensive. This can cost $20 or more per item in shipping alone for many products. Since the average item on Amazon sells for $17, the majority of products would face a negative margin. This method only really works when price points are $100 or more. Secondly, it is challenging for a warehouse to maintain the high criteria for eligibility. Products need to be shipped out and delivered quickly. We find that even FedEx’s delivery standards are not high enough for SFP, leading to many account suspensions. 

The rare exceptions

Based on the above, we highly recommend that most brands use Amazon FBA to succeed on Amazon. But there are a few circumstances when using FBA isn’t the answer.

Oversized products like furniture

Certain large products can be shipped more efficiently using FBM than FBA. FBA largely calculates shipping costs based on weight and size. For example, a large couch might cost several hundred dollars in FBA fees because of its size. In these cases, it often makes more sense to ship FBM, as it saves one layer of shipping to Amazon warehouses. 

Prohibited FBA products

Certain products, such as compressed gas or meltable chocolates, cannot be shipped into FBA. Therefore, FBM becomes the only way to get these restricted products to buyers. 

Special Returns

When using FBA, you have to follow the Amazon 30-day return policy. In general, Amazon will issue its customers a return for any reason, even if the product is heavily used. In certain situations, this return policy is unacceptable for certain products. For instance, Amify used to work with a drone company that had a return rate of roughly 20 percent. Customers would purchase the drone, fly it into a wall and break it, then return it to Amazon for a full refund claiming it was defective. By using FBM, brands like this can better control which Amazon returns they can accept. 

Let Amify design a winning strategy for your brand

The experience and expertise of Amify’s team can help take your company to new heights. Schedule your account consultation today and learn what is keeping your Amazon business from reaching its goals. And how our results-oriented agency can put you back on the right track.

News & Insights

Five Ways an Agency can Boost your Amazon PPC Campaigns

Every brand on the platform is looking for ways to strengthen its Amazon sales. However, while Amazon SEO can give sellers the edge when it comes to organic search results, it’s not the only path to a better bottom line. 

Pay-per-click (PPC) Amazon ads can be a more direct way to drive traffic to your product listings or Amazon Storefront. These PPC ads allow e-commerce businesses to break through the immense competition on Amazon and increase their reach. But it requires a solid plan, a broad understanding of the tools available and skilled execution on behalf of the advertiser. For many sellers, turning to an agency with experience in managing Amazon PPC campaigns is the best way to achieve online advertising success. 

Establishing a PPC plan

The last thing any Amazon seller should want is to run an Amazon campaign without a plan. While online advertising can be quite cost-effective, a poorly planned campaign will have very little Return on Ad Spend (RoAS), meaning you will have paid too much, no matter the cost. Relying on an Amazon PPC expert can ensure that your campaign is focused on more than just closing a sale. Instead, a reputable agency will help you align your business goals with your marketing efforts on the Amazon marketplace. 

Advertising tactics can be adjusted depending on whether you are trying to raise brand awareness, launch a new product or grow market dominance. For example, an Amazon agency can explain how targeting competing listings or keywords can help increase market share while remarketing strategies can help to drive conversions and increase profitability. 

More importantly, an experienced Amazon PPC service provider will already understand the nuanced ways to optimize a PPC advertising campaign, such as bidding thresholds and data analysis. That expertise can also help develop a more comprehensive campaign built on clearly established goals and complements other aspects of your marketing, such as social media and customer communications.  

Conducting keyword research 

While keywords play a role in successful search engine optimization, it’s not unusual for companies to undervalue keyword research. This is particularly true when it comes to PPC campaigns. But your brand doesn’t have to make the mistake of undermining digital marketing efforts with such an avoidable error. Instead, let an experienced Amazon agency take the lead in the process. 

The challenge of finding the best keywords for your brand to target often involves uncovering the search intent behind the potential options. Beyond just identifying relevant words and phrases, you must account for how those terms relate to a user’s objective and whether that purpose is adequately aligned with your company’s goals. Amazon PPC consultants are experienced in focusing on user intent and capable of narrowing the strategy down to the keywords that deserve the most attention. These PPC experts can help close the gap between your SEO goals and your audience’s online actions.

Of course, reducing Amazon PPC campaigns down to one or two words is rarely the most productive approach. So, while identifying these short but generic keywords, known as head keywords, is essential, it’s only a starting point. Long-tail keywords are another area where a brand pursuing successful Amazon SEO could benefit from some help from an Amazon PPC management company. These are a specific combination of keywords or phrases that closely mirror how a person might search for something online. For example, “waterproof shoes for kids” or “white round wall clock” would be long-tail keywords that could be targeted by brands more efficiently than the head keywords of “shoes” or “clock” alone. 

Targeting the right shoppers

A key benefit of Sponsored Display advertising and other types of Amazon PPC advertising lies in the targeting options. Advertisers can create a targeting strategy based on a similar product or relevant product category or choose to focus on specific types of audiences. A talented Amazon agency understands the strength of each approach and which one to implement based on the client’s goal. 

For example, product targeting can be helpful when promoting product awareness and attempting to accelerate product discovery. Audience targeting is designed to reach shoppers based on their behaviors and preferences, not only when they’re on Amazon. These tactics can target shoppers who have previously viewed relevant products and categories or attempt to introduce an item to new customers who are likely to be interested. 

Amazon PPC Campaigns offers brands a powerful tool to enhance advertising campaigns, expand the marketing funnel and drive greater revenue and profits. But the most successful campaigns are comprehensive, utilizing the full suite of advertising options such as Amazon Sponsored Brand purchases, Sponsored Products ads, and listing optimization to promote products efficiently. However, success requires a solid foundational strategy and a commitment to ongoing improvement that can be best implemented with the help of Amazon PPC experts. 

Measuring advertising effectiveness

Brands that are new to Amazon PPC campaigns may overlook one of the most impactful aspects of success – measurement. This is despite the fact that Amazon offers a plethora of data to advertisers on the platform via its Seller Central advertising reports. Similar to the Google Analytics dashboard that brands may also be familiar with, these metrics offer incredible insight into the performance of product display ads or other Amazon ads and include:

  • Advertising Cost of Sales (ACOS)
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Impressions
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
  • Return on Investment (ROI)

When sellers work independently, it can be difficult to decipher what each of these statistics means for their campaign and how to benchmark them appropriately. However, sellers who opt to partner with an outside agency for PPC services enjoy the competitive advantage of working with specialists who know precisely how to interpret this data. More importantly, an agency can also find actionable insights from Amazon’s advertising metrics that will allow them to improve your campaign over time and launch new PPC campaigns more efficiently based on previous results.

Staying ahead of the competition 

Selling successfully on Amazon is easily a full-time responsibility, and it often takes more time than expected. Launching new product listings, optimizing them for your customers and the algorithm, and setting up and maintaining your Storefront, are just the start of a long list of tasks that must be done and then improved over time. Creating and managing an effective PPC campaign to drive prospective customers to your products can be asking too much of any Amazon seller. 

Businesses love versatile employees, but Amazon marketing services are one area that benefits greatly from experience. It can be the difference between getting things done and getting them done well. Copywriting, keyword research, targeting, and branding are a few of the skills that Amazon PPC success depends on. Proven Amazon experts can increase conversions while minimizing ad spend. Rather than dedicate so much effort to something outside your comfort zone, an Amazon agency can ensure your brand stays up-to-date on the latest PPC advertising trends, tools and features from Amazon more efficiently. 

By outsourcing these skills to a full-service agency, you’ll enjoy award-winning product creative and can be confident that your PPC advertising will be optimized for the right keywords and targeted accurately. The additional experience can also make integrating valuable strategies like A/B testing into your Amazon advertising efforts more manageable. 

Let Amify design your next PPC campaign 

Amify can help your brand establish a data-driven advertising strategy that gets your products in front of the ideal audience. We plan and execute efficient media tactics, including sponsored products, brands, display and video, making sure you get the best possible ROI with your Amazon PPC campaigns. Contact us today to learn how Amify can maximize your Seller Central performance and ensure your advertising costs lead to tangible results.

News & Insights

Reach More Customers with Amazon OTT Advertising

Promoting products or services during viewers’ favorite TV shows is nothing new. But this type of video advertising has evolved dramatically in recent years thanks to the introduction of streaming video content. 

Today, many brands seek out advertising opportunities that can target specific types of consumers using a streaming service rather than buying broadcast or cable television ads. Not surprisingly, Amazon OTT advertising has become a major player due to its massive data collection and status as a streaming provider. But what can Amazon’s OTT advertising service mean for your sales? With the proper budget and a solid plan, it could be the difference between growth and getting left behind. Keep reading to learn more.  

Amazon’s over-the-top advertising

The expansion and affordability of high-speed internet, combined with the growing demand for convenience among consumers, has resulted in a proliferation of streaming video services. From Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV to Netflix and YouTube TV, there’s no shortage of alternatives to traditional tv, or what many in the advertising industry now refer to as linear tv. 

These streaming entertainment options are considered over-the-top (OTT) video content. The term reflects the fact that these streaming services bypass a traditional set-top box from a cable provider or over-the-air transmissions from local network stations. In addition to the many providers available, these services can be delivered via streaming devices like Amazon’s Fire Stick, a smart TV, gaming consoles or online platforms. 

The advertisements viewers see when streaming video content are typically called OTT ads or streaming TV ads. In the case of Amazon, they can tap into a vast database of customer data and various streaming video companies and partners to offer OTT ads that deliver a brand’s message to new, targeted audiences.

Despite their internet-connected origins, OTT streaming content is often not clickable, meaning the ads are often purchased based on impressions rather than a pay-per-click (PPC) model. However, they have the advantage of precise targeting and, in many cases, are non-skippable. These features, combined with their full-screen format, can make them a valuable tool in an advertiser’s arsenal. The Amazon OTT inventory is sold via the company’s Demand Side Platform. 

Amazon DSP Network

Amazon’s OTT offerings are a part of the Amazon Demand Side Platform (DSP). Initially introduced to advertisers as the Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP), it’s one of several Demand Side Platforms that have become popular in the online advertising industry. These tools are used to streamline and automate the buying and selling of online advertising. This programmatic approach allows advertisers and media buying agencies to bid automatically on ad inventory, including product display ads, video, mobile and search ads across multiple online properties.

Amazon’s DSP is designed to attract high-volume advertisers seeking a programmatic digital media campaign. The flexibility and reach offered by a DSP can be an efficient and cost-effective way to drive awareness and increase sales for brands with a substantial advertising budget and a clear understanding of their target audience. 

The language of streaming TV 

Like other areas of Amazon, the terminology related to OTT advertising can be confusing due to many acronyms and streaming-specific jargon. Therefore, getting a handle on the language is an essential first step to evaluating the potential of Amazon OTT. 

Advanced TV is the broad term for the delivery of streamed content to televisions and other devices. An array of acronyms fall under this umbrella, with each playing a unique role in OTT advertising opportunities. 

Connected TV, or CTV, is a device used to connect a television to the internet, making it capable of streaming video. According to Amazon, approximately 224 million people in the U.S. use a CTV, whether it’s gaming consoles, digital media players or smart TVs. 

TV Everywhere (TVE) allows viewers to stream digital television and video content regardless of location. Customers can use TVE to watch their subscription video services from multiple devices and on the go as long as they have internet access. 

Online video (OLV) ads run before, during, and after video content. OLV ads are not limited to streaming media or a particular type of device. They can be placed online within articles or websites and made a part of streaming video.

Video on demand (VOD) is video content that consumers access on their schedule rather than when the provider decides to show it. There are four main types of VOD:

  • Subscription video on demand (SVOD) – Content accessible to consumers with a subscription that provides unlimited viewing access to the particular service. Amazon Prime Video is an example of SVOD.
  • Transactional video on demand (TVOD) – This content relies on a pay-per-view model. Customers can purchase specific on-demand content, such as a movie or television episode, for repeated viewing or rent it for a limited time. 
  • Ad-based video on demand (AVOD) – AVOD is a newer type of streaming that doesn’t require a subscription or transactional fee but is ad-supported. Amazon notes that AVOD is growing in popularity, with half of US adults ages 18-44 signing up for an AVOD service in the first three months of 2020 and nearly as many planning to add another AVOD in the next year. 
  • Premium video on demand (PVOD) – This type of VOD offers premium video content from film studios and comes with higher price points than its other streaming counterparts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some studios relied on PVOD as part of their movie premiere plans since many movie theaters were closed. 

The Advantages of OTT

Amazon OTT features extensive benefits for its users, but it’s not intended for every e-commerce brand. To determine if the service is a good fit for your company, you need to understand what it offers. 

First, because the available ad inventory spans more than just the Amazon marketplace, it can provide incredible reach. For example, ads purchased via Amazon DSP can appear on Amazon Prime videos or Amazon-owned websites such as IMBd or Twitch. In addition, Amazon devices like Amazon Fire TV and other third-party websites also offer placements as part of the Amazon DSP network. 

As a leader in DSP, Amazon can also provide better protection for your brand when participating in programmatic advertising. The company emphasizes ensuring that the ad space inventory is limited to high-quality streaming content that won’t put its advertisers’ brands at risk with questionable content or flawed traffic. You can also expect a similar commitment regarding ad viewability and dashboard reliability. 

In addition, Amazon OTT provides deep data reporting to its advertisers. These metrics can be used to manually or automatically adjust campaigns and optimize their performance. The insights can reveal ways to refine targeting, improve creative designs and tweak bid strategies to maximize budgets. In addition, the data can be a valuable path to upgrading other areas of a brand’s marketing efforts thanks to the details about customers that it can reveal.

Finally, as part of Amazon DSP, OTT advertising offers incredible targeting options. Due to the popularity of the Amazon marketplace, the company can collect a vast amount of data on the characteristics and habits of its millions of users. They can then use this information to help brands target prospective customers that match a particular profile. Amazon OTT campaigns can be targeted with countless combinations of demographics, geographic location, lifestyle interests, product interests, actions taken on Amazon and more.

Targeting Capabilities

One of the most significant advantages of Amazon OTT over other types of digital marketing lies in the ability to target the ads to specific audiences. Custom segments can be built using Amazon’s demographic and user activity data. The primary ways that a potential customer can be targeted include:

  • Contextual Targeting: Identifies shoppers who are actively viewing specified products that are related to your brand.
  • In-Market Targeting: Segments shoppers who have recently purchased or considered purchasing an Amazon product within one of the platform’s specified product categories.
  • Lifestyle Targeting: Uses search and purchasing habits to identify shoppers who fall into certain lifestyle groups, such as outdoor enthusiasts or foodies. 
  • Remarketing: A popular method of displaying ads promoting a product to people who have recently searched for, viewed or purchased that product. 
  • Audience Lookalike Targeting: Focuses on prospects who share demographic characteristics and online behaviors with a brand’s existing customers.
  • Advertiser Audience Targeting: Amazon DSP advertisers can upload a list of customers they want to target, such as those who have opted into communications with the company or otherwise provided their contact information. 

Amazon OTT Challenges

Brands that opt to pursue an Amazon OTT advertising through the company’s Demand Side Platform have two options. One is to begin a Managed-Service relationship with Amazon and let the company handle the strategy, execution and optimization. However, this path comes with a 15 percent management fee, along with the $35,000 minimum ad spend. Brands that choose this option may also have limited access to the reporting capabilities in the form of a final report on the campaign rather than real-time reporting. 

Alternatively, Amazon offers a Self-Service option to those who can spend up to $100,000 per month on the platform. Due to its high budget requirements, most sellers that pursue this route do so via an authorized Amazon marketing agency that meets the minimum spend by working with multiple advertisers. In some cases, these agencies may charge a management fee below Amazon’s 15 percent option, adding to their value. In addition, accessing the self-service option through an agency or a hefty ad commitment puts brands in complete control of their Amazon DSP campaigns.

In addition to the high costs associated with Amazon OTT, maximizing the results of a streaming advertising campaign is not for advertising novices. While it’s not all that different from evaluating and adjusting other forms of digital advertising, it’s critical to know which audiences you are reaching and how to enhance the campaign with other marketing efforts. 

Amazon OTT advertising can be much more data-driven than traditional television advertising. Rather than relying on viewer metrics from the cable or satellite provider, advertisers can take advantage of more comprehensive insights about who is viewing ads and the activity that preceded or followed their interaction with the pitch. 

Since OTT advertising appears alongside the prospective customer’s primary content, it’s also important to target streaming content that supports the company’s brand rather than only focusing solely on insights into the viewers. Finally, streaming TV ads should make the most of the fact that much of the audience will have instant internet access from the streaming device. A clear call to action, such as a push to a website, that capitalizes on these circumstances is an effective but overlooked strategy. 

Maximize your reach with Amify

OTT video advertising is just one of many ways to get your product in front of the right audience. Boosting your Amazon sales requires a comprehensive plan for optimization, marketing and fulfillment. Start building a winning strategy for your brand with help from the experts at Amify. Contact us today to learn more.

News & Insights

Streamline your Amazon Shipping with an FBA Partner

Selling on Amazon is complex, and fulfillment is just one of many challenges. Fortunately, the launch of Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) services simplified this aspect of running an Amazon business. Seller Central brands now have the option of letting Amazon handle much of the packing, shipping and customer service duties necessary to meet shopper expectations. 

While selling FBA products can be less costly and more streamlined than managing all the logistics independently, it’s not the only step brands can take to optimize their Amazon sales. Integrating Amazon FBA consulting into their operations can ensure a company has the support and expertise necessary to make the most of the FBA option. 

Understanding Amazon’s FBA

One of the ways that Amazon sellers try to reach their full potential and land the coveted Buy Box is by opting to use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) rather than managing the process alone. The service outsources order fulfillment to the online retailer and puts your products inside an Amazon FBA warehouse where they can be picked, packed and shipped by an Amazon employee. Unlike a Vendor Central 1P relationship, the seller retains complete control over pricing and inventory management while relying on Amazon logistics for the rest. 

Obviously, the decision to use Amazon’s FBA service comes with added costs. In addition to paying standard seller fees on orders, Amazon will also charge a fulfillment fee based on the type and size of the product. Storage fees for the space that inventory takes up in Amazon’s fulfillment centers are yet another cost that results from using an FBA model for sales. However, some of these costs would simply originate elsewhere, such as from in-house employees or a different logistics provider. By partnering with Amazon on fulfillment, sellers enjoy an easier path to Amazon Prime status for their products, reduced customer interactions and more streamlined processes for returns. 

The strengths of an Amazon FBA partner

Amazon seller success hinges on a company’s ability to get its products to customers quickly. In many cases, the best way to accomplish this is via Fulfillment by Amazon. The most valuable Amazon agencies can provide FBA-optimized warehousing space that is often advantageously located near Amazon’s shipping hubs. Whether a brand is shipping to Amazon as a vendor, supplying FBA inventory, or fulfilling customer orders directly, the storage, packing, labeling and shipping of a product need to be expertly managed. It’s just one of the many services that an Amazon agency can offer to streamline a company’s operations. 

In addition to the warehousing challenges an Amazon business faces, poorly-managed inventory can negatively affect a company’s bottom line. A reputable Amazon FBA consultant can provide cost-saving logistics solutions. These agencies have experience with Amazon’s FBA guidelines to ensure that products remain in stock for customer orders and that businesses can avoid the expensive aged-inventory fees that Amazon can charge for stagnant inventory. In addition, their technology and experience can keep the correct number of your items in stock at the right time by offering supply strategy, demand planning, tracking, storage monitoring and returns management.

As the dominant e-commerce platform, selling on Amazon is a high-stakes undertaking for any business. Getting started is relatively simple, but finding success and maintaining it is much harder. An experienced FBA partner can help establish and maintain a healthy Amazon seller account. They will also be able to set up your Amazon listings, protect your brand by monitoring and removing unauthorized sellers, and respond to customer inquiries or negative product reviews promptly and courteously. In other words, an agency can take the fundamental tasks accompanying selling on Amazon off your plate and likely complete them more efficiently. 

Thriving Amazon businesses can rarely rely on content optimization alone. They also know combining the Amazon marketing service with a data-driven strategy can get products in front of their ideal online customers, even beyond the Amazon marketplace. Partnering with a qualified Amazon seller consultant can give brands access to more efficient advertising and media tactics, including sponsored brand ads, sponsored products, sponsored display advertising, social media and video. Integrating a paid digital marketing plan with Amazon optimization ensures the best possible return on investment. Companies that specialize in helping Amazon sellers are well-equipped to navigate the complexities of such an approach. 

Whether from Amazon or elsewhere, one of the advantages of e-commerce is the incredible amount of data sellers can access. There’s often an overwhelming number of reports available regarding inventory, shoppers, advertising, buyers and more. The most effective FBA experts will be ready to help your brand identify growth potential and leverage the deepest data to increase brand awareness. Remember, it’s not just about monitoring this enormous cache of data. It must also be appropriately analyzed to reveal actionable insights that optimize and grow Amazon sales. In particular, Amazon sellers can benefit from a partner that utilizes the platform’s proprietary reports via Seller Central and supplements those metrics with outside data to create a fuller picture of a brand’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Clearly, an FBA partner can strengthen a brand’s Amazon presence in several ways, but one of its most essential capabilities is an informed and well-defined strategy. The relationship between an Amazon agency and a seller can add an invaluable perspective when building a plan to reach their goals in the marketplace. An agency with extensive experience and a track record of success will know which tools to turn to first and how to stack efforts effectively to create synergy for its client. Even long-time business owners can struggle with the intricacies of selling on Amazon and benefit from a strategic plan aimed at growth on the platform. 

The impact of an Amazon FBA partner

It’s not uncommon for retailers to find success in traditional sales or via a direct-to-consumer website before attempting to add Amazon to their sales mix. If, however, a brand finds its performance on the leading online marketplace to be lackluster compared with its other channels, that could signal a problem with the strategy or execution on the platform rather than a product weakness. 

‍These circumstances may be a good reason to ask for help from an experienced Amazon FBA partner. Although Amazon FBA sellers can expect some support from the global retailer when it comes to getting started on the site, it won’t match the service that an agency can provide. In some cases, brands can even see their ability to get help from Amazon decline as they become more established sellers, and Amazon’s resources shift toward new businesses that will impact their own growth more. With an Amazon FBA expert, you know exactly who to contact about your account and can be confident that issues will be resolved with urgency. 

Are you making a move from seller fulfillment to FBA? Or is your business considering an even more significant leap from Vendor Central to Seller Central? Any such transition can be a challenge for Amazon sellers and a practical reason to consider adding an FBA agency to your team. Most likely, the agency you choose will have gone through the process before and can guide you through a less stressful changeover. Before beginning any significant Amazon-related transition that is on the horizon for your company, speak to several Amazon agencies about how they could reduce risks and maximize the benefits.

Remember, Amazon is constantly evolving, so staying informed about the latest policy changes, newest tools and fluctuating costs without help is nearly impossible for most businesses. The ones that try a do-it-yourself approach can struggle to develop a strategy that works consistently for their brand. This can lead to unpredictable sales rather than steady growth. Since experienced FBA agencies are plugged into Amazon’s current trends and deeply understand the status quo, they can make your brand’s experience on the site much less volatile. 

Unsurprisingly, few of the brands selling on Amazon take advantage of all the tools on the platform. It could be hurting your company’s bottom line, whether it’s due to a lack of time, missing expertise or a focus on other priorities. Brand Registry, A+ Content, Amazon Storefronts, listing optimization, Multi-Channel Fulfillment, Amazon SEO service and Amazon PPC ads are just some of the options available. And all of them are proven to increase conversions when implemented effectively. Sellers that haven’t been able to capitalize on these, and other tactics, regardless of the reason, should certainly explore whether an Amazon FBA consultant can transform this severe deficiency into a strength.

Find the right Amazon FBA Partner

One of the first things a brand should investigate when considering an Amazon consultant is the experience the partner brings to the table. It’s typically best to find an agency that can provide vast and deep expertise. Leadership or team members considered Amazon experts can be valuable, but be sure to inquire about how that type of resume matches your company’s goals. If it was in an irrelevant role, it might not be as attractive of a feature. Similarly, an agency with direct experience in your product category may seem ideal, but sellers are often better served by matching an agency’s strengths with the brand’s goals. 

You should also know who will be responsible for your account at the agency. The last thing your brand needs is to find out after closing the deal that you’ve never actually met the person leading your Amazon plan. Seek clarity on how accounts are managed, how responsibilities are shared among your account team, and who your company’s primary point of contact will be. 

In addition, It’s essential to determine how progress toward your goals will be measured. Remember, immediate success on Amazon is rare and instead requires commitment and determination. That’s why both the FBA seller and its Amazon FBA service need to be on the same page regarding the milestones that matter. 

Another factor worth considering is that Amazon agencies may have proprietary technology supporting their claims to help a brand optimize for FBA. When considering an Amazon consulting service with its own technology, take the time to understand how they use these tools and what data they rely on to power them. In addition, different agencies may focus on their analysis of various functions of an Amazon business, which may vary in alignment with your goals. Also, brands should avoid agencies that position any technologies as the singular solution for a company. Instead, finding a provider that offers a productive mix of tech and hands-on oversight is best. 

It may seem obvious, but don’t forget to pay close attention to an agency’s previous results and current clients. Reviewing case studies, especially those with parallels to your company’s challenges, can reveal insight into the agency’s fit as an Amazon partner. It’s also helpful to examine Amazon accomplishments over time. For example, have they been successful as Amazon’s logistics offerings have evolved, or is it limited to a smaller window that raises questions about their current or future effectiveness? 

Amify can help with FBA

Since 2011, Amazon sellers have trusted Amify to help them rise above marketplace competition. We can give your business the tools to navigate the platform’s extensive landscape of options and find the techniques and relationships that will lead to growth. So start a conversation today, and learn how we can connect you to an Amazon expert with experience in logistics, marketing or strategy to fill the gaps holding back your brand’s growth on Amazon.

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Overcoming Amazon Vendor Central Obstacles

In addition to being the most popular online marketplace in the world, Amazon remains one of the largest retailers, buying products from wholesalers and then selling them directly to consumers. The company’s supply of products comes via its Vendor Central program. However, overcoming Amazon Vendor Central obstacles presents a different slate of challenges for participating companies compared to their Seller Central counterparts. 

Exclusivity, inventory management, pricing, stability and service are all concerns for novice and experienced Vendor Central sellers alike. In some cases, they turn to an Amazon consulting expert for help optimizing their business and avoiding the pitfalls of selling to Amazon. Others opt to remain a direct-to-consumer seller or transition from Vendor Central to Seller Central, where margins are often higher, and brands have more control over the entire sales process. If you’re leading an Amazon business of any type, a clear grasp of Vendor Central can be vital to making sure your company is headed in the right direction. 

What is Amazon Vendor Central?

Unique from a traditional Amazon seller account, Amazon’s Vendor Central platform is the interface brands use to sell products directly to Amazon rather than to the consumers shopping in the marketplace. Amazon is then responsible for listing, selling and shipping the products. The Vendor Central model, commonly referred to as first-party or 1P selling, is an opportunity for companies to establish a relationship with Amazon and sell its products at wholesale prices. However, this model is an invite-only program and is usually limited to larger brands with $10M or more in revenue on the Amazon marketplace. 

For the few businesses that become eligible, the 1P option has some attractive advantages. First, it’s easy to understand. Since it’s similar to any other relationship between a vendor and retailer, a brand does not need internal Amazon expertise. It’s also purchase-order based, so the brand receives large purchase orders from Amazon, which then pays for the inventory. Also, as a retailer, Amazon will often accept lower profitability than a Seller Central (Third-Party or 3P seller), as they compete with Walmart and other retailers on price. 

The 1P model is often a good fit for low-priced and highly competitive Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG). It can also work well for heavy products with high shipping costs, brands that sell through many distribution channels, and brands that do not attempt to enforce a MAP program. 

For other brands, the downside of operating with a 1P model can make it a less appealing option than the Amazon Seller Central route. By selling to a retail intermediary, a seller is giving up margin, making 1P far less profitable for premium quality brands in many cases. 

It’s also clear that Amazon provides little guidance to its vendors. For example, the platform does not assist in overall strategy, brand positioning, merchandising, or provide technical support. Instead, Amazon simply buys the products. The retailer is also very aggressive at negotiating lower costs from their 1P suppliers by tacking on co-op advertising fees, return fees and chargebacks. And it’s not unusual for Amazon to disregard Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) guidelines to sell products for less than a supplier expects. 

Getting an Invite to Amazon Vendor Central 

As mentioned, access to Vendor Central is limited to the companies that are invited to participate by Amazon. It is an exclusive program that typically targets merchants with a record of success within Seller Central or other direct-to-consumer sales channels

While there’s no set method for obtaining an invite, there is a way to stand out among the businesses in contention and increase your chances. Essentially, brands interested in joining the Vendor Central program should focus on dominating the marketplace as a Third-Party Seller Central brand. An Amazon seller that has demonstrated a consistent ability to keep products in stock despite high demand and that has a stellar reputation among buyers is the most likely to catch the attention of Amazon. 

In some cases, manufacturers that focus primarily on the wholesaler market can also be tapped by Amazon for a Vendor Central account if they can make an impression at a trade show or product fair. In either scenario, an invite will depend on the potential Amazon sees in a particular product. High-demand, low-cost items that will move quickly are the most appealing. 

Unfortunately, companies invited to the Vendor Central program should not expect to have the opportunity to negotiate the terms of the relationship. Most of the time, Amazon will make an offer for the vendor to accept or decline. While a prominent brand with an established following may be able to seek adjustments, other companies will have to determine whether the offer is worth considering as is. Once an agreement is made, sellers will be able to create and access a Vendor Central account that will be used to manage the new relationship. 

Fulfilling Vendor Central Orders

Companies with an active Vendor Central account can expect to receive purchase orders from Amazon, typically weekly. In cases where demand for a product is exceptionally high or outpaces expectations, purchase orders can arrive even more frequently. This is because Amazon prefers to regularly order smaller quantities of products to limit the risk of taking on inventory that they cannot sell. 

Since Vendor Central ordering is automated, new 1P sellers may have to wait longer than expected to receive their initial order from Amazon, and it may be smaller than anticipated. However, as a product establishes a history and proves its ability to move out of Amazon’s stock and to shoppers, orders will likely grow. 

As mentioned, the Vendor Central model means that Amazon is responsible for getting the products into the hands of its customers. As a 1P seller, your responsibility is to fulfill the purchase orders placed by Amazon and provide bulk shipments of your products according to Amazon’s requirements. Therefore, running out of stock on Vendor Central products can be a costly problem if not handled appropriately. Unavailable items, whether it’s a temporary or permanent issue, need to be marked accordingly in the Vendor Central dashboard to prevent Amazon from including them in their purchase orders. Placing inventory on backorder or a substantial number of cancellations can result in an expensive Amazon chargeback, which is a fee for not being able to provide the products ordered. 

Fortunately, the Vendor Central features allow brands to access a broad range of information to help them manage their relationship with Amazon. In addition to providing a place to upload images, costs and details about products, 1P sellers can submit current shipment information related to orders from Amazon. The Vendor Central hub provides valuable reports about product sales, inventory forecasts and consumer behavior. For an experienced Vendor Central seller, these metrics can be an extremely useful tool to optimize sales and keep the brand in good standing with Amazon. 

Vendor Central Pricing Challenges

The simplicity of a 1P relationship may be most evident when it comes to pricing. As an Amazon 1P vendor, products are sold to the online retailer at a wholesale price. Amazon can then set the retail price that customers will pay without consultation or approval from the vendor. Typically, this lack of price control is less attractive for products with high retail margins. 

Amazon may also ask its vendors to reduce prices on certain products via the Vendor Central dashboard. Upon receiving such a request, businesses must choose whether to accommodate the reduction in full, lower the price partially, or discontinue selling that product to Amazon. 

It’s also important to note that Amazon does not always follow Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) guidelines and may sell products for less than a supplier expects. Amazon’s primary concern is providing competitive pricing to shoppers, and a MAP agreement limits their flexibility. The best way to minimize the chances of a sale that violates MAP is to avoid overstocking Amazon with your products and to police pricing at other sales channels carefully. There’s little doubt that Amazon will reduce prices below the MAP to clear its inventory or to avoid being undercut by a competing marketplace. 

Advertising your Vendor Central products

While it may seem surprising, Amazon advertising plays a critical role for Vendor Central sellers. Even though Amazon is responsible for the product listing and selling a vendor’s products, demand is what keeps the orders coming. For this reason, many Vendor Central participants undertake serious advertising campaigns to promote the products that Amazon is buying from them and selling to shoppers. 

While there were previously significant differences between the advertising options for vendors and sellers, Amazon has tried to consolidate its advertising services recently. Currently, Amazon PPC and other advertising tools for Vendor Central are much the same as those offered to Amazon’s Seller Central brands. Sponsored Product Ads, Sponsored Brands and Amazon Display Advertising are all viable options for both vendors and sellers in the Amazon marketplace. 

Although an Amazon Brand Registry account is not a requirement for Vendor Central, it is worth mentioning that it is required to take advantage of Amazon marketing. Also, while advertising as a vendor is optional, it can significantly boost product sales and add more stability to a vendor relationship with Amazon. This can be especially true when attempting to ramp up demand for new products that customers are unfamiliar with and can benefit significantly from an Amazon ad campaign.

Getting help with your Vendor Central account

Much like 3P sellers, 1P sellers can struggle to receive consistent account support from Amazon. Trying to resolve problems or find clear answers to complicated questions can be a frustrating experience. In some instances, a vendor manager is assigned to new vendors, at least temporarily, and can ease some of the headaches. However, this is not always the case, and these experts often move on to other clients after a certain amount of time. As a result, smaller vendors are regularly left to fend for themselves when trying to navigate Vendor Central successfully. 

An outside Amazon consultant is an alternative worth considering for vendors that find the relationship difficult to manage. An Amazon expert will likely have the knowledge or connections to troubleshoot issues or avoid them in the first place. In addition to helping Vendor Central sellers navigate many of the challenges mentioned above, they provide brands with a reliable point of contact for their Amazon questions and optimization. 

The Vendor Central vs. Seller Central Decision

E-commerce is continuing to evolve. As brands compete in a larger and more competitive environment, it is more important than ever for brands to control their own destiny on the Amazon platform. Unfortunately, this isn’t easy to achieve when a retailer sits between the brand and the end customer. 

While each Amazon business will need to approach the question according to their unique circumstances, we expect the long-term trend will be for brands to sell directly on Amazon to increase margins, control their brand, manage the customer experience, and have better access to data. 

Fortunately, brands can control their Amazon channel and choose the model best for them in this fast-changing industry. But, brands need to understand the necessary steps and have realistic expectations when switching from a retailer-based model to direct sales. When planning this switch, your Amazon product listings, Amazon storefront, and overall demand on Amazon should stay constant, if possible. 

Find the right path to Amazon success

Amify’s clients enjoy a long-term partner with more than a decade of experience helping premium brands achieve their Amazon goals. If overcoming Amazon Vendor Central obstacles is proving more challenging than you expected, or a consumer-direct 3P sales model seems appealing, industry-leading expertise can be the first step to growing your business. Our results-oriented approach and up-to-the-minute Amazon listing services can outperform the competition and unlock your product’s full potential. Contact us today to learn more.

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Eight Tips to Help Products Climb Amazon’s Rankings

For most customers, Amazon is simply an online marketplace. It offers a convenient destination for consumers to compare products and purchase the items they need. But fundamentally, Amazon is as much a search engine as it is a place to shop. Hundreds of millions of products from countless sellers are listed for sale, and they are all competing to climb Amazon’s rankings to be among the top results when a customer types in a relevant search term. 

Unfortunately, there is no single factor that determines your product’s placement. Instead, success within the Amazon ranking service requires a comprehensive approach of capitalizing on the right tools, targeting the appropriate shoppers, having a detailed Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plan, avoiding costly mistakes, and constantly refining the process. To help Amazon sellers get on the right track to their ranking goals, we’re sharing some insights into eight of the most critical factors to climb Amazon’s rankings.  

#1 Understand the importance of keywords

Identifying the primary keywords that are most important to Amazon listing optimization is the first step to making a push to move up in product rankings. The challenge often comes in prioritizing those terms and effectively integrating them into a product listing. Effective Amazon SEO requires gauging the relevance and appropriate keyword ranking to determine how to best leverage them within a product title, feature bullet points, product description or elsewhere. 

Optimization is also more complex than repeating keywords numerous times. When it comes to Amazon’s algorithm and keyword integration, quality is way more important than quantity. In many cases, once a search term appears in your Amazon listing, it has likely added all the value it can. Therefore, adding it repeatedly, especially to the detriment of the copywriting, is unlikely to improve your spot in a search result. 

The products that dominate Amazon’s search results capitalize on both the broadest keywords and the long-tail keywords that help differentiate a brand from its competition and reach customers who are closer to the point of purchase. More importantly, they do so with engaging copy while leveraging Amazon’s backend keyword tools that other brands overlook. 

#2 Encourage reviews

There’s no question that reviews, positive and negative, can impact product sales and conversion metrics. Surveys have shown that nine out of 10 customers read reviews before clicking the buy button, while eight out of 10 give them as much weight as a personal recommendation

What may not be as clear is how the relationship between Amazon reviews and sales can begin before a prospective customer even finds your listing. Product reviews on a site like Amazon can impact your organic rank even before a shopper discovers your product detail page. Quantity and quality both matter when it comes to the role reviews play as a ranking factor. Having a lot of positive reviews can improve your chances of landing on the coveted first page of search results. Since substantial and credible reviews also benefit your ability to convert potential customers, and your sales volume and velocity are critical factors for the algorithm, a steady stream of positive reviews is a great way to double-dip your optimization efforts. 

So, how many reviews do you need? While a magic number would simplify things, reality, as usual, is more complicated. However, data does suggest that younger customers expect more reviews than older ones. For example, a 2019 survey found that digital shoppers aged 18-24 anticipated more than 200 reviews for a product they were considering, while those over the age of 55 were comfortable with less than 50.  

#3 Improve your content

On Amazon, where customers can buy almost anything under the sun with a few clicks, brands need a way to stand out. Enter A+ Content: your secret weapon for selling more products online. If your brand has already begun selling via Amazon Seller Central, you’ve probably heard about A+ Content before. But perhaps you haven’t considered what it can actually do for your business. To sum it up in one sentence: Amazon A+ Content offers a proven way to boost traffic and sales.

Adding enhanced brand content for your Amazon product pages that can take many forms, including high-quality product images, comparison charts, video content, FAQs and more. Each of them can increase the likelihood of customer conversions, and when used together, they can create a personalized, seamless experience that is hard for Amazon shoppers to ignore. Brands hoping to boost their product ranking need content that is an extension of their website and social media that can delight and connect with their customers. 

#4 Integrate Amazon PPC

Pay-per-click (PPC) Amazon ads can be a direct way to drive traffic to your product listings, but they can also improve their placement in Amazon search results. PPC ads allow e-commerce businesses to break through the immense competition on the Amazon marketplace and increase their reach. Done well, an Amazon PPC campaign can increase sales velocity, which is the number and efficiency of shopper conversions. The Amazon A9 algorithm will factor in this success, giving companies a bump in their organic rankings as well. But achieving this requires a solid plan, a broad understanding of the tools available and skilled execution on behalf of the advertiser. 

The last thing any Amazon seller should want is to run an Amazon campaign without a plan. While online advertising can be quite cost-effective, a poorly planned campaign will have very little Return on Ad Spend (RoAS), meaning you will have paid too much, no matter the cost. The advertising tactics should be determined by whether you are trying to raise brand awareness, launch a new product or grow market dominance. Ongoing data analysis and coordination with other digital marketing initiatives is also necessary to create and maintain the sales impacts that will improve product rankings organically.

#5 Manage inventory

Few things can make an item lose its stellar product rank than being out of stock. Amazon’s primary goal is to sell things, and customers are impatient. So a product that isn’t available is unlikely to be added to anyone’s cart. Similarly, brands that can’t provide fast shipping will have trouble breaking through the competition vying for a spot near the top of the search results. That’s why a robust inventory management program is essential for sellers looking to improve their ranking on Amazon. 

In many cases, the best way to accomplish this is via Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Consider utilizing a logistics partner with Amazon experience or that has warehouse options located near Amazon’s shipping hubs to streamline the process. Remember, not only can shipping challenges harm your product’s ranking, a poorly-managed inventory can negatively affect a company’s bottom line since Amazon can charge expensive aged-inventory fees for stagnant inventory. Some sellers seek the additional simplicity of using Amazon to fulfill products that are ordered from other websites. Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF) can provide the same features and services of Amazon FBA for orders that originate from most online merchants, including a brand’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) website. 

#6 Organize Listings

One of the most critical aspects of an effective ranking strategy is the organization of your Amazon product listing. Parent-child variations offer the advantage of grouping products with minor variations in sizing or color options into a single listing. The benefit of this structure is that traffic to the listing and any resulting conversions are combined to provide more influence within Amazon’s search algorithm. 

Organization is also critical within a company’s Amazon Store. One of the quickest ways to lose potential customers is by presenting them with a confusing layout that frustrates them and makes finding products difficult. ‍Opt for simple naming conventions for your Store’s pages rather than trying to cram descriptive details into each one. Save those long-tail keyword efforts for your product listings. It’s also best to create a minimum of three pages for your Amazon Store. More expansive stores make organizing products in appropriate categories easier and keep shoppers in your brand store longer, often increasing sales per visitor to the benefit of product rank. 

#7 Price effectively

As e-commerce continues its rapid growth, pricing policies are becoming more important for both retailers and manufacturers. First and foremost, an effective pricing policy can enhance profits by avoiding short-term price wars and making the company a more attractive partner for retailers. The market awareness required to implement and monitor pricing policies can also result in less competition from businesses that will likely seek out more vulnerable targets. Relatedly, well-executed pricing policies will likely lead to greater market share as brand image improves and accessibility increases. 

All of these benefits can contribute to a brand’s ability to rank highly in Amazon search results. The alternative of using a destructive race to the bottom and hoping a lower price will improve your ranking is unlikely to be a successful long-term strategy. Other resellers will become frustrated by brands undercutting their margins on Amazon, and consumers will begin to lose confidence in the product’s value. Prioritizing margins and protecting retailers is the better way to see a bump in Amazon’s ranking of products. 

#8 Make Data-driven adjustments

Since 2021, brands have had access to anonymized data on customer interests, preferences and shopping behavior via the Amazon Brand Analytics Dashboards. They are an incredible resource for companies looking to optimize their Amazon ranking.

The brand analytics shared by Amazon are divided between two separate tools – the Search Query Performance Dashboard and the Search Catalog Performance Dashboard

The Query Performance Dashboard provides key metrics on top search terms associated with a brand’s products. Such information can help you better target keywords, as well as identify opportunities to improve messaging, run advertising campaigns and even expand product offerings. 

The Catalog Performance Dashboard helps brands analyze product-level performance and can be used to discover conversion issues and find out where customers lose attention or click away. The dashboard also offers insights on inventory planning, marketing investments and your products’ competitiveness, especially in pricing. 

Both offer data on impressions, clicks, cart adds and purchases to assist brands in their efforts to maximize conversions and fine-tune their Amazon listings and product offerings. Since minor improvements to a listing’s content, or even an adjustment to the product title, can result in dramatic increases in ranking and conversion rates, this can be a considerable asset to brands that know how to react to the information. 

Elevate with Amify

The Amazon Buy Box isn’t the only key to winning on the platform. Turning your product into a best seller means beating out the competition to climb Amazon’s rankings and reach the top of the search results.

Fortunately, the pros at Amify are ready to provide you with the Amazon SEO service you need to increase traffic and convert shoppers. From Amazon keyword research to actionable data analysis, reach out to our experts today to discover how we can make a difference for your brand.

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Design your Amazon Storefront for Growth

As the face of your products on Amazon, any brand owner can appreciate the opportunity that an Amazon Storefront provides. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that design and branding are skills and not something to take lightly. While the platform has gone to great lengths to make Store creation simple and accessible to any Amazon business, the task will benefit from a well-devised strategy and an experienced designer. 

For companies that opt to use the drag-and-drop tools or pre-designed templates to undertake the creative process themselves, it’s important to understand some of the fundamental aspects of the process. Beyond familiarity with Amazon Seller Central and the Amazon Brand Registry process, Sellers should know how the most effective techniques and best practices can influence the design. But first, the foundation of every Amazon Store starts with the self-service Store Builder, available through the advertising console. 

Amazon Storefront Building Blocks

An ‍Amazon Storefront consists of various pages that feature a brand’s products and organize them in a customer-friendly way. The best Amazon Stores will often have an engaging homepage highlighting the most popular products. At the same time, an intuitive set of sub-pages makes it easy for shoppers to navigate the shop and find exactly what they are looking for. 

The pages that make up an Amazon Storefront are composed of content tiles and widgets. These can contain text, video, images or product listings. Each page has a header section that features a hero image that remains consistent throughout your Store’s pages, as well as a brand logo and a navigation bar. Every page requires at least one additional tile beside the header section and can only be divided into 20 total sections. In addition, there are further limitations on certain types of tiles used in each area. These per-section restrictions limit the sections to:

  • Four background video tiles
  • One product grid tile
  • One gallery tile
  • One featured deals tile
  • One recommended products tile

More on Tiles and Widgets

As more and more brands have added a Store to increase brand awareness on the Amazon marketplace, the flexibility and options available have grown. Currently, there are nearly a dozen different types of tiles and widgets to choose from when designing a Storefront. Some of them automatically populate based on sales data or user preferences, and most can be combined in countless ways to customize the user experience to align with a brand’s goals. The current options when designing an Amazon Store include the following:

Product tile – Once you add the product, a product tile auto-populates with the product’s price, primary image, and Prime status. A full-width product tile will also allow you to add more information from the product detail page or input your own title and description.

Image tile and image with text tile – Images are added via an image tile, while an image with text tile allows you to enhance an image with overlaid or adjacent text. These tiles can also link to a page in your Store or any product detail page.

Shoppable collection images tile – This tile is intended to feature your products in use or to group your complementary products easily. Most brands will use lifestyle images within this option to engage customers and strengthen their branding. 

Text tile – Text tiles allow you to add copy within your Amazon Store and highlight product details or your brand story outside of an item listing. Text tiles can link to a page within your Store or to a product detail page by adding a “Shop now” or “Learn more” button below the text.

Video – Videos are a valuable part of any Amazon Storefront and can be added to split-section tiles and full-width tiles. Just remember, Amazon does not allow links or references to external websites, so existing videos that promote your direct-to-consumer site may need to be adjusted for compliance before uploading. 

Product grid tile – Companies that want to display a group of four or more products can use this tile to showcase the product name, image, price, star rating, and shopping actions like “Add to cart” for multiple items simultaneously. 

Gallery widget – The gallery widget adds visual interest to an Amazon Storefront by integrating between three to eight images that are at least 1500×750 pixels. Use this to capture multiple shots from your brand.

Best-selling products widget – This is a simple, automatic way to highlight a brand’s bestsellers. When selected, this widget auto-populates to reflect your top products and will update as new ones reach that status.

Recommended products widget – This tile automatically generates products for the Amazon shoppers who visit your Store based on their purchases and preferences.

Featured deals widget – If you have active promotions for any of your products, the featured deals widget will display those promotions automatically in your Amazon Store. 

Background video – Background videos can make a bold visual statement by adding dramatic motion to your Store. A background video will auto-play and loop silently for visitors while serving as a background for your page.

Amazon Storefront templates

While Stores can be completely customized and built from scratch, one of the most popular methods of building an Amazon Storefront is to rely on the available pre-designed templates. These can help sellers create Stores and pages that meet acceptable design standards and support a quick launch even by novice sellers. Amazon offers three template themes and suggests determining the best one based on your brand’s goals. 

The marquee template is intended for companies that want to educate shoppers about their entire selection of products. It focuses on presenting multiple subcategories in an organized, easy-to-navigate way.

Brands looking to build awareness about a product or range of products are encouraged to use the product highlight template. Its design attempts to promote specific products in a catalog (like bestsellers or new launches) and make them more visible to shoppers.

Finally, a product grid template aims to boost discovery and sales of individual products and is well suited for companies with many items to display or that want to give shoppers a total view of your portfolio.

Strategies for Success

Maintaining an Amazon Store requires continuous focus and an understanding of various tools available to improve the customer experience. As you’re building an Amazon Storefront, don’t overlook these essential strategies to ensure a stronger brand and encourage long-term growth. 

Be creative

One overlooked advantage of an Amazon Storefront is its flexibility to supplement your brand’s seasonal swings or Amazon advertising. Tiles, featured products and categories can be easily adjusted to reflect the changing interests of consumers during holiday periods or when certain products are in higher demand. 

Amazon brand stores even offer a “Versioning & Scheduling” option to support temporary sales. This can be used to capitalize on events such as Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday while minimizing the disruption to your usual Storefront design and the amount of work required to adjust between versions. 

You should also consider that your Amazon product presentation within a Storefront doesn’t have to be limited to an Amazon listing. It’s important to also clearly communicate the benefits that the items you sell can provide to a purchaser. You can make these benefits a key piece of your enhanced brand content through endorsements from credible reviewers or informative videos. 

Similarly, Amazon Stores can be an opportunity to educate customers more broadly about your brand and introduce them to other products they may be interested in. Rather than focusing entirely on promoting each product description individually, consider how the items in your inventory can complement each other and which tools within the Storefront can be used to showcase those relationships. 

Keep it organized

One of the most critical aspects of an effective Amazon Store is organization. In addition to telling the story behind your products, a brand store should improve a customer’s shopping experience on the Amazon platform, not make it more complicated. You also want to create a structure that will introduce shoppers to new products that complement the ones they are already familiar with. 

In many cases, the navigation within your Amazon Storefront should be set up similarly to your direct-to-consumer site, assuming it is already rooted in how consumers shop your products. We recommend setting up the navigation by need or “job to be done.” This approach prioritizes the perspective of customers who typically shop based on a problem they are trying to solve. 

The design must be simple and organized regardless of the product category. One of the quickest ways to lose potential customers is by presenting them with a confusing layout that frustrates them and makes finding products difficult. Opt for simple naming conventions for your Store’s pages rather than trying to cram descriptive details into each one. Save those long-tail keyword efforts for your product listings. It’s also best to create a minimum of three pages for your Amazon Store. Finally, don’t forget to evaluate the brand analytics data that an Amazon store unlocks to look for empirical evidence that your navigation plan is working as expected. 

Make it mobile-friendly

Any Amazon store that plans to meet customer expectations needs to perform well on a mobile device. Fortunately, the folks at Amazon realize this and have given Store Builder users the ability to switch between mobile and desktop views as they design a storefront. But don’t rely on Amazon’s tools. Instead, once a Store launches, check the live version on various devices continually, as screen proportions and response can change as mobile options evolve. 

Brands that want to optimize their Store experience for mobile shoppers should plan to keep text to a minimum and avoid split sections that will result in a discouraging amount of scrolling on smaller screens. Large featured images and videos can be among the most effective tools for Amazon Stores on a mobile device and are among the tiles that display most consistently across a range of screens. Be sure to keep your navigation and product organization simple enough to avoid frustrating customers who will be shopping from a mobile device. 

Embrace Inspiration

Of course, there’s no shortage of examples to look to when designing an Amazon Store. A little time researching successful Storefronts will reveal that captivating images and high-quality photography are integral to the best Amazon Storefront design. Video is also an underused feature that shoppers rate among the most helpful factors when making a purchase decision. 

Don’t hesitate to spend some time shopping in existing Stores before you begin building your own. It can help you identify problems that disrupt a customer’s search flow and find strategies that will work well to lead shoppers to complementary products seamlessly. And don’t focus only on the product categories you’ll be competing in. Look for brands with a similar number of products or that target the same types of customers to find fresh ideas that will stand out. 

Amify Can Help

At Amify, we’ve helped many of our clients refine the Amazon shopping experience for their customers. Moby, Stella & Chewy’s and Because are just a few examples of our proven approach to designing an Amazon Storefront that strengthens a brand and moves products. 

Contact us today to learn how our experts can lead an Amazon Store design process that brings your brand’s growth and conversion goals closer to reality. 

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The Path to Amazon Marketplace Success

Success within the e-commerce business model requires a unique mix of business strengths. This is especially true when brands are pursuing customers in multiple ways. For example, growing a direct-to-consumer website is much different than winning on an online marketplace like Amazon, where companies face fierce competition for shopper attention. 

Fortunately, there are Amazon marketplace success strategies that can help companies grow their business on these platforms. So whether your brand is only focused on Amazon or looking to improve its sales outlook on multiple marketplaces, this guide can lead you in the right direction.  

Build a Strong Presence

Much like making the most of a social media platform, presence means a lot when it comes to turning an online marketplace into a powerful sales channel. Small businesses, in particular, need to take advantage of every opportunity to establish their brand. Otherwise, they may wonder if they’re in the right marketplace. 

Engage in optimization

Amazon content is the lifeblood of businesses selling on the platform. Producing exceptional Amazon product listings should be a priority for any brand or marketplace seller pursuing growth and long-term success on Amazon. However, creating product listings that reach the right shoppers, earn the Buy Box and have high conversion rates requires more than a desire to achieve those goals or even the existence of quality products to back them up. It demands a strategic plan for optimization and the ability to execute it.

The best listings are optimized for Amazon’s search algorithm and maximize the opportunities that come with each of its key components. A failure in these fundamentals can undermine further efforts to elevate their effectiveness. While writing a listing’s title and description may seem intuitive, the nuances of optimizing these often trip up inexperienced sellers. 

Create an Amazon Store

Since 2018, Amazon Storefronts have offered a way for brands to showcase all their Amazon products to online shoppers within a custom-designed and branded store interface. So rather than sacrificing such a significant advantage when selling on Amazon, businesses can create a Storefront that organizes and features their listings to reinforce their unique brand, introduce new products and enhance the customer experience. 

As the face of your products on Amazon, brand owners should be highly involved with creating their Amazon Store. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that design and branding are skills and not something to take lightly. While Amazon has gone to great lengths to make Storefront creation simple and accessible to any seller via templates and drag-and-drop tools, the task will undoubtedly benefit from a well-devised strategy and an experienced designer. 

Remember your branding

E-commerce success doesn’t just come from selling products online. It also requires selling your brand to customers in a way that strengthens satisfaction and encourages loyalty. You want to relate to your customers as people, not just treat them as numbers on a spreadsheet. 

Customers who connect emotionally with a brand name have three times higher lifetime value. And according to Deloitte research, 80 percent of consumers would pay more for products if the company committed itself to be socially responsible, environmentally responsible, and/or paying higher wages. While there are several ways to share your brand’s story on Amazon, clear and concise writing, content marketing, professional photography, and integrated video can all be critical to the effort. 

Reach the Right Customers

Growing consistently on a marketplace platform requires a thorough understanding of your target audience. But beyond reaching potential buyers, brands also need to be able to convert them into loyal customers whose experience can result in more sales and new prospects. 

Implement a pricing strategy

Every brand selling on Amazon should take a deliberate approach to price. As e-commerce continues its rapid growth, pricing policies are becoming more important for both retailers and manufacturers. Online sales are likely to continue their growth trend while also consolidating among the most prominent online marketplaces. As this happens, the desire of smaller resellers to compete with industry leaders is more likely to lead to destructive price wars for products that aren’t backed by effective pricing strategies. 

Implementing effective pricing policies can help companies create mutually-beneficial relationships with retailers and shoppers. In addition to the positive impacts that a successful pricing strategy can have on a company’s retailers and customers, there are also substantial benefits for the brand. Prioritizing margins and protecting retailers from price wars increases a brand’s value in several ways. 

An effective pricing policy can enhance profits by avoiding these short-term price wars and making the company a more attractive partner for retailers. The market awareness required to implement and monitor pricing policies can also result in less competition from businesses that will likely seek out more vulnerable targets. Relatedly, well-executed pricing policies will likely lead to greater market share as brand awareness improves and reaches more prospective customers. 

Drive traffic with online advertising

Every brand on the platform is looking for ways to strengthen its Amazon sales. However, while Amazon Search Engine Optimizations (SEO) can give sellers the edge regarding organic search results, it’s not the only path to a better bottom line. 

‍Pay-per-click (PPC) Amazon ads can be a more direct way to drive traffic to your product listings or Amazon Storefront. These PPC ads allow e-commerce businesses to break through the immense competition on Amazon and increase their reach. But it requires a solid plan, a broad understanding of the tools available and skilled execution on behalf of the advertiser. While online advertising can be quite cost-effective, a poorly planned campaign will have very little Return on Ad Spend (RoAS), meaning you will have paid too much, no matter the cost. 

Focus on Fulfillment

As Amazon grew its dominance as a shopping platform, its vast network of distribution warehouses has made fast shipping a mainstay of customer expectations. One of the impacts of this is that long-term success as a seller on the platform now relies on a brand’s ability to live up to those customer demands and maintain an efficient fulfillment process. 

Brands pursuing Amazon marketplace success have several options to ensure a steady supply of their products and that they reach customers quickly and in good condition. Many Amazon businesses take advantage of the platform’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program, while some expand Amazon’s role in their shipping strategy with Amazon’s Multi-Channel Fulfillment (MCF). The latter can simplify logistics by providing the same features and services of Amazon FBA to fulfill orders that originate from most online merchants, including a brand’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) website. However, the lack of an effective fulfillment plan is often too big a hurdle to overcome. 

Find Ways to Improve

No marketplace marketing strategy is complete without ongoing refinement. From Amazon product data to google analytics, there are plenty of resources to help companies make sure they are on the right track. But without a commitment to maximizing those opportunities, they risk their outreach to a potential customer missing the mark or falling short. 

Utilize analytics and reporting

Whether from Amazon or elsewhere, one of the advantages of e-commerce is the incredible amount of data sellers can access. There’s often an overwhelming number of reports available regarding inventory, shoppers, advertising, buyers and more. But, the most effective Amazon sellers will understand how to leverage the data to reach more customers and increase conversions.

Remember, it’s not just about monitoring this enormous cache of data. It must also be appropriately analyzed to reveal actionable insights that optimize and grow sales. In particular, Amazon sellers can utilize the platform’s proprietary reports via Seller Central and supplement those metrics with other online store or marketing data to create a fuller picture of a brand’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Monitor Competition

Regardless of what or where you sell, it’s always advisable to be mindful of your competition. An e-commerce site such as Amazon is certainly no exception. Using the most relevant search terms can help you identify competing brands and products, evaluate pricing strategies, compare reviews and spot ways to differentiate your product listings. 

Be sure to review what products are available, how they are organized and what tactics are used to describe and promote them. Most importantly, you’ll need to do so regularly to remain aware of any changes to the competition that could begin to undermine your other optimization strategies. If your brand is building a presence on Amazon 

Don’t overlook Customer Reviews

Online shopping is more popular than ever, and buyers are extremely savvy about their options. As a result, many view reading product reviews as one of the best ways to inform their purchasing decision. Surveys have shown that nine out of 10 customers read reviews before clicking the buy button, while eight out of 10 give them as much weight as a personal recommendation

There’s no question that reviews, positive and negative, can impact product sales and conversion metrics. What may not be clear, though, is how the relationship between Amazon reviews and sales can begin before a prospective customer even finds your listing. Product reviews on a site like Amazon can impact your organic rank among the search results. That’s why brands need to pay close attention to customer reviews and develop a strategy to mine them as part of their ongoing customer service and marketing efforts. 

Let Amify Guide Your Amazon Marketplace Success

If you’re in need of a marketplace expert to lead your target audience from shopper to buyer, consider trusting your brand with the Amazon experts at Amify. We can develop the right digital marketing strategy for your business and provide the skills necessary to execute it effectively. Schedule your free Amazon Account Consultation to get started.

News & Insights

Finding the Right Amazon Optimization Partner


Amazon’s competitive environment presents a challenge for sellers on the platform. In pursuit of winning the Buy Box and climbing to the top of the site’s organic ranking, they often need to become an expert in building brand awareness, designing Amazon advertising campaigns and managing customer fulfillment. 

However, some brands have discovered there is a viable alternative to do-it-yourself Amazon product listing optimization and management. A full-service Amazon agency or qualified partner can allow them to eliminate the learning curve by shifting specialized, time-consuming responsibilities to a capable third party. But finding an Amazon optimization partner that can actually help you reach your goals requires a deliberate approach. 

Identify your deficiencies

The first step is to identify the deficiencies in your Amazon business that must be addressed. This can vary significantly between 1P (Seller Central) and 3P (Vendor Central) sellers. Service providers may also have different strengths. For example, some may focus on high-visibility components such as an Amazon listing or Amazon Store, while others support backend operations like logistics management or data analysis. Regardless, there is likely to be an opportunity for improvement. 

Warehousing & Logistics

Amazon seller success hinges on a company’s ability to get its products to customers quickly. Whether a brand is shipping to Amazon as a vendor, supplying Amazon FBA inventory, or fulfilling customer orders directly, the storage, packing, labeling and shipping of a product need to be expertly managed. Long-term growth is unlikely if your products don’t arrive on time, show up damaged or don’t match what a customer ordered.

In addition, poorly-managed inventory can negatively affect a company’s bottom line. Customers who find the products they are shopping for are out-of-stock often turn to alternatives, while companies can end up paying extremely high prices for storage fees and penalties if their inventory is not managed correctly. Brands struggling with warehousing and logistics are ideal candidates to partner with a company experienced with overcoming these hurdles for an Amazon seller. 

Platform Management

As the dominant e-commerce platform, selling on Amazon is a high-stakes undertaking for any business. Getting started is relatively simple, but finding success and maintaining it is much harder. Many Amazon sellers have trouble setting up listings correctly, identifying or removing unauthorized sellers, responding to customer inquiries and reacting to negative reviews. An Amazon optimization consultant can help brands establish and maintain a healthy Amazon Seller Central account, taking many of these fundamental but time-consuming tasks off your plate. 

Listing Optimization & Marketing

The competition on Amazon is fierce. And although listing products for sale on the site is a critical first step, it is by no means the end of the effort. Regardless of how many shoppers land on a listing, the most successful Amazon sellers know that a high-quality Amazon listing is necessary to lead to sales. A failure to understand the platform’s search algorithm or make adjustments based on the preferences and behaviors of customers makes it nearly impossible to succeed on the platform. Unfortunately, it’s also a common weakness among Amazon sellers.

In addition to Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO), thriving businesses also need a data-driven marketing strategy to get products in front of their ideal online customers, even beyond the Amazon platform. Integrating a paid digital marketing plan with Amazon optimization ensures the best possible return on investment. Due to the complexities of Amazon PPC services, a results-oriented Amazon marketing partner can be well worth the investment when internal efforts are not meeting expectations or are being neglected completely. 

Analysis & Strategy

Whether from Amazon or elsewhere, one of the advantages of e-commerce is the incredible amount of data sellers can access. There’s often an overwhelming number of reports available regarding inventory, shoppers, advertising, buyers and more. As a result, even long-time business owners can struggle with the intricacies of selling on Amazon and benefit from a strategic plan aimed at growth on the platform. 

Brands that aren’t capitalizing on this data and using it to develop an informed and well-defined strategy specifically for Amazon are missing a huge opportunity. However, they can often correct this with an Amazon consultant that can take a deep dive into the data and build a plan to reach the company’s marketplace goals. 

Evaluate experience carefully

Judging experience may seem straightforward, but examining a prospective agency’s claims closely is helpful. Focus on more than just how long the agency has existed. A newer Amazon consulting service may have a talented team with decades of relevant experience. In contrast, an established agency could have had lots of turnover resulting in leadership or specialists who have spent minimal time in the industry. 

Remember to also pay close attention to an agency’s current roster of clients and past results. Any reputable agency should be able to provide detailed case studies that shed light on their capabilities and tactics. Ask for examples that have parallels to your company’s challenges and will reveal whether the agency would be a good fit as an Amazon consulting expert. As important as who they have been able to assist is when their seller support took place. Amazon’s tools and policies are constantly evolving, and a service provider needs to be able to adjust accordingly. An agency with continuous success over time is more likely to be effective regardless of what lies ahead for the platform.

You should also inquire how the resume of those managing your Amazon account matches your company’s goals. An agency with direct experience in your product category may seem ideal, but sellers are often better served by comparing an agency’s strengths with the brand’s goals.

Seek a partner with broad alignment

Unfortunately, experience alone is not enough to guarantee that a service provider will be a good fit for your company. It’s also critical that any Amazon partner aligns with your brand’s goals, team and budget. 

Goals

The Amazon marketplace is an $800 billion business. The services needed by the largest companies on the platform vary drastically compared to smaller brands. Finding an Amazon seller consultant that aligns with your brand’s business model, sales level and service requirements is crucial. 

Providers usually break down into those serving brands with less than $500k in annual sales, agencies specializing in mid-sized sellers with $500k-$2 million of annual sales, and partners targeting companies with more than $2 million in sales each year. Your brand should align with the size the provider focuses on to limit the risk of low-quality service, overly-high costs, or the possibility of not being a priority for the provider.

Amazon consulting services are typically split between firms that help brands following a 1P Vendor Central model (selling products to Amazon) and those pursuing growth on the 3P Seller Central marketplace (selling products on the Amazon marketplace). Therefore, picking a provider that focuses on your brand’s business model is best. If a provider says they do everything, you may find they are not good at either. 

In your search for an optimization partner, consider creating a list of the functions necessary to run your Amazon business. Then, when comparing proposals from partners, confirm who will be responsible for each of those tasks. It’s a common mistake to overlook the specific services offered and simply choose the lowest-priced provider before realizing that some responsibilities will still need to be done internally and for an additional cost.  

Team

It is easy for firms to claim to be Amazon Buy Box experts, but what differentiates most providers is their ability to deliver the quality level that a brand expects at a reasonable cost. The number one reason brands leave Amazon seller consulting services is a misalignment of the quality of the team they are working with. By asking to meet the team upfront, a brand will quickly see if there is an appropriate alignment. 

Sometimes, a service provider consists of five people in a townhouse claiming to offer expert Amazon marketing services. These smaller providers have difficulty providing the consistency and breadth of the service many brands require. Larger, established companies have learned from their mistakes with previous clients and can likely provide a higher quality of consistent service. In addition, understaffed providers that rely heavily on contractors usually have difficulty delivering high-quality work. 

A brand should look at the provider’s client roster to determine if they match up well in size and product category. If the brands that a prospective Amazon consultant is currently working with have similarities to your business, the likelihood of success is much higher. 

Budget

Amazon claims it is easy to run a brand on its platform. In reality, it requires a lot of expertise in various areas ranging from graphic design and customer service to copywriting and advertising strategy. All of these specialties cost money and need to work together flawlessly. It is easy for a brand to underestimate how much work is involved and focus on price rather than quality. 

Low-cost Amazon consulting is more likely to rely on offshore teams with less quality control, while the most expensive Amazon consulting experts will often provide your brand with director-level staff capable of accelerating growth. 

People with valuable Amazon marketing experience are expensive to hire, and it’s important to remember you get what you pay for. A common rule of thumb is that it requires one employee for each $1 to $2 million of Amazon revenue. 

Amazon is a huge opportunity, but it is also very competitive. It will take a brand many months or years to reach its potential on Amazon. Brands that expect huge success in the short term will usually be disappointed by the results, regardless of which agency they choose. 

Start your search with Amify

Don’t spend any more of your valuable time trying to optimize your product page or searching for an internal staff member who can add keyword research to their existing duties. Instead, let Amify do the heavy lifting on Amazon SEO services and your quest to reach new potential customers. We already have the experts to help you dominate the buy box and keep your company on track for its growth goals. Contact us today to learn more.