How to Keep Up with Amazon's Competitive Landscape
Amazon has come a long way from its humble beginning as a small online bookstore. Now the marketplace includes products from thousands of categories. Its convenience-driven and customer-focused company philosophy have attracted brands and shoppers worldwide. But now, in 2020, Amazon's competitive landscape has become crowded and much more sophisticated. Here we share important considerations for brands to apply to their strategies.
Direct Competition is Expanding
Over the years, brands have witnessed their list of direct competitors become increasingly large. For the most part, this is due to the rise of lesser-known and often cheaper sellers and products selling on the channel.
With this in mind, differentiating products has become more challenging for brands. Competing requires extra effort, resources, and knowledge to get the upper hand.
The Appearance of Amazon’s Search Results are Changing
At Marketplace Strategy (MPS), strategists regularly observe changes in the structure of Amazon’s search results. Findings are often able to be used to propel a brand's strategy toward success. But, leveraging these trends requires an ability to identify and understand trends.
Recently, MPS strategists observed shifts in how Amazon's search results are displayed. Now, product searches yield predominantly sponsored placements, creating for even stiffer competition. In addition, ‘Amazon’s Choice’ modules and editorial reviews receive placements above organic listings.
As a result of these changes, organic placements are usually below the fold on desktop and even harder to discover on mobile. Now more than ever, we stress the importance of advertising to our clients. Although organic optimizations are still important, advertising is essential to ensure visibility in Amazon's search results.
Advertising Campaigns Should Conquest & Protect
Like we mentioned, advertising is a significant factor in a brand’s success on Amazon. But in today’s landscape, it’s especially necessary to look at the big picture. Focusing only on an offensive approach will limit a brand’s ability to compete.
To adapt, brands should focus on a defensive advertising strategy before expanding too deeply into offensive targeting techniques. Competitors have become more sophisticated and shoppers are using branded keywords more often. Because of this, brands need to employ brand protection to gain ownership of their branded traffic.
Amazon’s competitive landscape shouldn’t be underestimated. Being aware of how the channel’s environment has evolved is crucial to whether a brand succeeds. Revisit your strategy regularly and be vigilant to keep your brand up to date on what matters. Amazon isn’t a one-size-fits-all platform and will always require brands to adapt to its trends.
We have found tapping into cross-category knowledge and experience to be invaluable. Collaborating among our client teams at MPS makes it possible to fully prepare and defend our clients.
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