Key Considerations for Amazon Outside of Marketing Efforts
A recent survey found 75% of consumers purchased products from Amazon sellers over the past year. It has quickly become a popular destination for shoppers to discover, research, and buy products. With this in mind, many brands and retailers see Amazon as a necessary part of their e-commerce strategies. However, there are many nuances associated with selling on Amazon that can slow down a brand’s progress. With the proper knowledge and support, brands can overcome obstacles and find great success. Continue reading to learn more and for key considerations for Amazon outside of marketing efforts.
Brands that sell on Amazon in addition to other marketplaces often face inventory management issues. This is usually because different inventory level tracking systems don't always communicate with each other. As a result, it can be challenging to understand a brand's inventory levels at any given time.
Depending on a brand's unique situation, it's possible to integrate existing tracking systems with Amazon. But when this isn't the case, inventory challenges on Amazon are triggered by a number of factors. For example, peak seasons, strong advertising campaigns, or the use of promotions can cause listings to ‘stock out’ or be suspended. It can be time-consuming and frustrating to address these issues once they're identified. But more importantly, brands lose the ability to earn sales until they reach a resolution.
This is more likely to happen to brands that are unable to integrate their systems with Amazon. Remember the importance of regularly monitoring inventory levels and preparing for fluctuations in demand. Doing so will save your brand a lot of time, stress, and ultimately money.
Rules and Regulations
Amazon has a long list of rules that restrict what kind of products are able to be sold on the channel. There are also regulations to streamline and control how brands represent their products.
For example, policies address hazmat issues, and what’s acceptable within product images and listing copy. Violation of these guidelines can result in the suppression or removal of a listing.
First, it's important for brands to be aware and understand what's permitted on Amazon. A product could be affected when it's considered harmful, illegal, or includes a prohibited ingredient. If a product is otherwise eligible to be sold, listing copy or product images could also present challenges.
We help our clients steer clear of issues stemming from Amazon’s rules and regulations. For example, creative and content strategists understand what could flag Amazon’s system. As a result, this level of support prevents many potentially serious issues.
Due to Amazon's always-changing landscape, it’s crucial to understand key considerations for Amazon outside of marketing efforts. Being prepared and understanding how to move through these hurdles can save brands invaluable amounts of time and money.
Challenging Ramp Up Process
Regardless of a brand's size or category, starting out on Amazon can be challenging, and success is almost never immediate. As we mentioned, setting up an account doesn’t guarantee approval to sell your brand’s products. But once a brand is approved to sell, jumpstarting Amazon’s flywheel requires patience and tactical skill.
To jumpstart Amazon’s flywheel, brands have to build momentum and sales velocity for their products. Doing so helps products sustain themselves and allows resources to be used elsewhere on the channel. Once your products build sales velocity, executing efficient and intelligently targeted advertising campaigns is the next step.
Aggressive Third-Party Landscape
Amazon is home to many third-party resellers that run respectable businesses, and are authorized resellers of the brands they offer. But there are many resellers that have no issue employing black-hat techniques and have little or no relationship with the brand. Because of this, Amazon's third-party landscape is something most brands and retailers have to navigate.
Problematic third-parties can attack a brand’s Amazon presence by leaving fake customer reviews, creating duplicate listings, or hijacking listing content. They're also known to sell counterfeit products. Regardless of how a reseller schemes to shortcut the system, the consequences can be troubling. Brands affected by this kind of activity can experience product suspension, loss of sales, negative customer reviews, and severely off-brand messaging.
While this only scratches the surface, it's important for brands to understand what's possible. It's important to know what to look for and what steps to take when your brand falls victim. But it's equally important to be able to resolve problems before they get out of control. This complicated extra hurdle is undoubtedly a challenge for brands selling on Amazon. And like most, it requires brands to have strong knowledge and support.
Managing Fees and Profitability
Based on a brand's situation, selling, fulfillment, and taxes are common. Costs also vary based on whether a brand sells on Vendor or Seller Central. We recommend performing a profitability analysis and reviewing the differences between the two platforms.
This will help brands understand whether they can be profitable with all costs considered. Taking this step is necessary to form a strategy that leads to healthy, sustainable success.
Pricing and Winning the Buy Box
If your product isn't winning the Buy Box, it’s usually losing sales to a reseller with the same product at a lower price point. This is crucial because almost 85% of Amazon's sales are attributed to the Buy Box.
Amazon is a very competitive channel, and as we mentioned, resellers often have their eyes on successful brands. Brands need to take the proper steps to ensure they're in a position to win and keep the Buy Box.
Time and Effort for Organic Optimizations
Organic optimizations are essential to a brand’s performance on Amazon. Listings should reflect best practices across copy, design, and back end efforts. Otherwise, a brand’s presence can be negatively impacted in a number of ways.
For example, without organic optimization, the customer’s experience can suffer and cause a decrease in conversion. As a result, organic ranking and advertising performance won’t reach its full potential.
Time and effort are required to fully understand what’s necessary, and then optimizations should be applied to a brand’s entire catalog. Brands should evaluate optimizations on a regular basis to stay on top of the competition and to adjust to trends in consumer behavior.
In Amazon’s constantly changing landscape, there will always be something new for brands to resolve and overcome. Because of this, it’s essential brands understand what they need to be aware of and how to work through obstacles when they arise. This includes remembering key considerations for Amazon outside of marketing efforts.
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