News & Insights
Six Common Mistakes Brands Make on Amazon
Amify has been helping brands sell on the Amazon platform for more than a decade, and we have seen and made our fair share of mistakes during that time. However, we know it’s valuable to reflect on the lessons we have learned during this past decade, and we believe it’s helpful to share some of the most common mistakes. In our experience, these are a few of the self-inflicted blunders that are likely to derail brands as they pursue growth on the platform.
#1 Unrealistic expectations
We find that many brands expect huge sales and profitability from the start. We all want our products to be massively successful right out of the gate, but launching an overnight sensation is extremely rare. Instead, it often takes many years to perfect a product and craft a selling strategy that leads to sustainable growth. Brands need to take a long-term approach on Amazon to make it successful. The market is enormous and highly competitive. Time and patience are a necessity as new brands work to build their reputation against entrenched competitors. The good news is that perseverance does pay off.
#2 A lack of focus
Brands have limited time, money and resources. Still, it’s not unusual for them to try to do too much within these restraints. For example, they often want to launch all of their products on multiple Amazon marketplaces simultaneously and as quickly as possible. However, this “put everything everywhere” strategy causes a huge logistical distraction for a brand. So instead, we recommend that brands sell a small number of their top products on Amazon US first, expanding into other areas over time. It’s a much more straightforward approach to target 10 percent growth on Amazon US, which is by far the largest market, than it is to launch in other countries.
#3 Underinvesting in content and overinvesting in advertising
Advertising is expensive but easy. Creating awesome content specifically for Amazon isn’t as costly but can be time-consuming. We find many brands create product listings without much thought or understanding of the Amazon platform. Often these listings have a few bad pictures and bullet points like “Made in China.” Meanwhile, these same brands will spend thousands of dollars on advertising to drive traffic to these poor listings. Not surprisingly, the poor conversions of the ads are met with confusion from the novice sellers.
We know from experience that developing an amazing product listing that features high-quality copywriting, images and A+ Content is a step that brands cannot afford to overlook. It’s a surefire path to dramatically increasing sales and decreasing costs. Great content can realistically increase conversion rates by several percentage points. This increased efficiency has the added bonus of substantially lowering advertising costs and can lead to increased sales with much higher profitability.
#4 Thinking that Amazon cares about your brand
Amazon does not care about your brand. Again, Amazon does not care about your brand. However, Amazon is a business, and the platform wants to make money off your brand. But companies should approach the marketplace with a clear understanding that Amazon will not prioritize a seller’s internal profitability levels or provide unique advantages to any brand over its competition. Amazon knows that their customers are probably more loyal to them than to most brands selling on the site. If one brand goes away, shoppers are likely to buy from a competitor’s Amazon listing, which has little, if any, impact on Amazon. They still make their cut from the sale. The sooner a brand realizes that Amazon doesn’t care, the better it can build a strategy for growth on the site.
#5 Misunderstanding the value of product pages and seller listings
Every product on Amazon has its own unique product listing. But, if the item has multiple sellers, each seller’s offer is still represented by that single product page. Brands often overlook the fact that demand for their products at any given time is typically fixed. Therefore, whether there is one seller or 100 sellers of the product will yield the same amount of total sales in most circumstances. Despite this, we see brands that will spend countless hours selling to retailers that do nothing but list the product on Amazon and compete against the myriad other sellers of the same product. Eliminating the continuous addition of new sellers and minimizing the existing non-value-added retailers can streamline a business without diminishing overall sales on the Amazon platform.
#6 Underestimating how complicated it is to sell on Amazon
Selling on Amazon requires expertise in branding, advertising, SEO, creative content, customer service, platform management, inventory management, financial operations, and many other areas. In other words, finding success on Amazon is like running an entirely separate business with vastly different skill sets than the ones that likely built your company. There are very few people who can excel at both branding and financial management. And even with specialists for each critical aspect, those people and systems need to work together productively for an Amazon business to thrive. Most companies looking to get their start on Amazon don’t have the capacity to hire an entire team to develop a solid Amazon strategy and execute it properly. The brands that try adding the necessary experience, technology, and expertise to their in-house capabilities usually fall short.
Navigate Amazon’s biggest pitfalls with an experienced partner
The experts at Amify can give your brand the advantage of experience in the areas that matter most and the confidence of a strategy refined over a decade. Don’t let Amazon’s learning curve slow down your company’s success. Instead, rely on our team of generalists and specialists to give your brand the dedicated commitment to e-commerce growth that it deserves. Contact us today to learn more.