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Build a Winning Marketing Strategy for Amazon
Having a marketing strategy is essential for any business, and this is particularly true for Amazon sellers. With millions of products listed on Amazon, it’s easy for sellers to get lost in the crowd. However, an effective marketing strategy can help sellers stand out and increase their visibility on the platform. And like most marketing plans, an Amazon marketing strategy should focus on the Four Ps of marketing – product, price, placement and promotion.
A well-executed marketing strategy can help sellers establish brand recognition and reputation, leading to increased customer loyalty and repeat business. Put your brand on the path to higher customer retention rates and increased sales with these tips to strengthen your Amazon marketing strategy.
Choose the best sales model for your product
The most common Amazon partnership, of course, is via a seller relationship with the retail platform. With more than 300 million shoppers worldwide and tens of millions of products, the Amazon marketplace is integral to e-commerce in the United States.
In the Seller Central (3P) model, a brand sells its product directly to the end customer through an Amazon Seller Central account. By avoiding a retailer, brands can realize increased profitability, gain more control over the customer experience, and enjoy increased visibility into data and sales trends. Brands that sell directly in this way typically add a clause to any retailer agreements prohibiting the product from being sold on Amazon by other distributors.
Generally, brands with experience selling directly to consumers and with high-margin products can benefit from this model. These companies can use the valuable data to refine their marketing strategy and will maintain control over their customer-facing interactions.
On the other hand, businesses without appropriate margins or the resources to dedicate to Amazon optimization may not be well-served by a 3P model. They can pursue a Vendor Central (1P) relationship in those cases.
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 called 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 eligible to become Amazon vendors, 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 3P seller, as they compete with Walmart and other retailers on price.
Pinpoint the right price for Amazon
Start by identifying and implementing a pricing policy that matches your goals. Every brand looking to succeed on Amazon should take a deliberate approach to price. As e-commerce continues its rapid growth, pricing policies will become more critical for retailers and manufacturers. Online sales will likely continue their growth trend while consolidating among the largest online retailers, including Amazon. 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.
A transparent pricing policy can help companies create mutually-beneficial relationships with retailers and shoppers. Resellers will appreciate the support from the brand that protects their margins. At the same time, consumers will enjoy more confidence in the value of a product and a less frustrating shopping experience due to the consistency across both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores.
In addition to the positive impacts a successful Amazon 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.
While Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) may not be top of mind for brands, particularly new ones, it’s a strategy worth exploring. True to the name, MAP is the minimum price a retailer can advertise for a product they sell. The MAP is set by the brand and should include a margin allowing retailers to profit reasonably. It applies to any retailer who carries the item and is intended to level the competition among sellers and avoid price wars. It differs from the more familiar Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price or MSRP, which refers to the amount a manufacturer thinks a product should sell for. It does not create any restrictions on the advertised price.
The next step after creating a MAP or setting the MSRP is one that many merchants may overlook. But, utilized correctly, Amazon’s automated pricing service can free up time for other responsibilities and give sellers an all-important edge against the competition.
Amazon’s automated pricing system relies on rules customized by an Amazon seller to automatically adjust prices on designated SKUs in response to specific events. For example, this could include creating a repricing rule to lower the price of a product when the Buy Box win percentage for that item drops below a certain threshold or when another seller drops their pricing for the same item.
While the automated pricing tool may sound like it takes control out of the hands of a seller, it is entirely dependent on the parameters you set. The automation is designed to save you the time and hassle of manually monitoring every aspect of a product’s status or competition and avoid delays in responding to changing circumstances. Automated pricing only applies to selected SKUs rather than a seller’s entire catalog, and the system can be started or stopped at any time. Sellers using the system can set minimum and maximum prices and other optional boundaries to keep any adjustments within their pricing strategy.
Clearly, winning the Amazon Buy Box is the goal for competing retailers, but automated repricing can also play a role in growing sales for brands that are the exclusive seller of their products on the platform. In addition to creating rules designed to win the Featured Offer, it’s also possible to create an automated pricing structure that helps retailers manage inventory or find the right price for a new product. You can accomplish this by designating how many units you hope to sell during a set time frame and letting the system reprice accordingly.
Place your Amazon listing in front of the right shoppers
The competition for a potential customer 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 in the marketplace. Unfortunately, it’s also a common weakness among Amazon sellers.
One of the ways that brands can overcome their struggles with Amazon SEO is by finding an experienced Amazon SEO company with the knowledge and staffing to help fill the gaps. In addition, thriving businesses need a data-driven marketing strategy to get products in front of their ideal audiences on Amazon’s platform. And since the Amazon marketplace is essentially a search engine, SEO is an essential strategy for brands that want to capitalize on the shopping convenience that virtually everyone now has at their fingertips.
But gaining a meaningful edge requires a thorough grasp of one of the fundamental building blocks of Amazon product SEO. Optimization is not as simple as repeating keywords numerous times. Regarding Amazon’s algorithm and keywords, quality is 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 the search results.
Identifying the primary keywords that are most important to a listing’s performance is typically within a brand’s in-house capabilities. However, prioritizing those terms and effectively integrating them into an Amazon product listing is much more likely to drive your product’s reach and grow sales.
Search engine optimization (SEO) on the platform gauges relevance and value to determine how to best leverage a keyword in a product title, feature bullet points, product description or elsewhere. An effective Amazon SEO plan accounts for both the broadest keywords and the long-tail keywords that help differentiate a brand from its competition and target customers who are closer to the point of purchase. Adding these keywords to engaging copy and taking advantage of Amazon’s backend keyword tools will help your brand to grow its sales on the platform.
Add an Amazon brand Storefront
Creating an Amazon Storefront is another incredible opportunity to raise brand awareness among Amazon customers, which can lead to more sales. 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.
As the face of your products on Amazon, brand owners should be highly involved with creating their Amazon Store. However, it’s essential to remember that design and branding are learned 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.
Amazon Storefronts consist of various pages that feature a brand’s products and organize them in a customer-friendly way. The best stores 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.
One of the most critical aspects of an effective Amazon Store is organization. In many cases, the navigation within your storefront should be set up similarly to your direct-to-consumer site, assuming it is already rooted in how consumers shop for 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.
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. Creating at least three pages for your Amazon Store is also best. More expansive stores make organizing products in appropriate categories easier and keep shoppers in your brand store longer, often increasing sales per visitor.
Promote products effectively on Amazon
Effective promotion is an integral part of a successful marketing strategy and can help sellers increase their visibility, reach new customers, and drive sales. Promotional tools on Amazon, such as PPC advertising, product listing videos, Storefronts and customer reviews, provide sellers with powerful tools to reach more shoppers and drive sales. By taking advantage of these resources, sellers can effectively promote their products to their target audience and dominate the competition.
Amazon PPC Advertising
Every brand on the platform is looking for new ways to strengthen its Amazon sales. However, while optimization can give sellers the edge when pursuing the top organic search result, 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 a product listing 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.
For example, a key benefit of Amazon Sponsored Display ads and other types of Amazon advertising lies in the targeting options. Brands can create a targeting strategy based on a similar product or relevant product category or choose to focus on specific types of audiences. This type of product targeting can be helpful when promoting product awareness and attempting to accelerate product discovery. In addition, audience targeting can reach shoppers based on their behaviors and preferences outside of Amazon by targeting shoppers who have previously viewed relevant products and categories or attempting to introduce an item to new customers who are likely to be interested.
Add Product Listing Videos
In our experience, Amazon product videos can add significant value to a customer’s shopping journey. These videos can offer a more dynamic and engaging product presentation than static images alone. A well-produced product video can showcase the features and benefits of a product, demonstrate its use, and provide context for how it fits into a customer’s life.
Product videos can also help build customer trust by providing a more transparent look at a product. They can even help reduce the number of returns by giving customers a more accurate understanding of what they are buying.
Adding effective product videos to an Amazon listing can keep people on your product page longer and create an additional opportunity to include relevant keywords. But the main reason to make product videos a part of an Amazon listing is to increase conversions for that item.
Videos demonstrate confidence in your product and can be tailored to address any hurdles that are holding back sales. For example, use them to be sure customers are using their purchases correctly or to address past concerns from unsatisfied customers.
A high-quality Amazon product video can strengthen your reputation as a serious seller who goes beyond the minimum requirements to reach customers and will stand by their product. All these factors can influence Amazon shoppers and be the difference between those who “add to cart” and those who move on to other listings.
Encourage and leverage reviews
There’s no question that both positive and negative reviews 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.
How the relationship between Amazon reviews and sales can begin before a prospective customer even finds your listing may not be as clear.
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 regarding 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.
Regardless of the number, scour your reviews from the online marketplace, particularly the negative and neutral ones, to find the most pressing FAQs and address them through compelling copy and imagery. You may want to invest in experienced designers and copywriters who can set the right tone and learn how tactics like A/B testing can refine your sales strategies. It’s not an easy task, but it is necessary to grow your Amazon-reliant business. Doing anything less leads to leaving sales on the table.
In addition, you can cash in on the value of a negative review by making broader adjustments that will help you avoid additional ones and even lead to more positive reviews in the future. Shoppers will give older, negative reviews less weight if four- and five-star reviews substantially outnumber them. Improved descriptions can also blunt their impact on decision-making if the product’s updated details specifically address the substance of past complaints.
Start your marketing strategy with Amify
Sometimes building the best marketing strategy to attract shoppers to your product listings and convert them into buyers requires a little help. The Amazon experts at Amify can optimize your Amazon presence and develop the right digital marketing plan for your products. Schedule your free Amazon Account Consultation to get started.