A tendency increasingly observed in online buyers is they always check their product on Amazon, even if it is being offered on other retail sites. If you also do so, you are not alone, millions across the globe are addicted to Amazon for their buying needs. This is because Amazon is the world’s largest marketplace that offers all kinds of products to millions of online shoppers.
Why selling on Amazon is so important for retailers?
Amazon’s popularity was recognized by Shopify that introduced Amazon Sales channel that makes it easy for retailers to list their products and get them the exposure not available on other platforms.
Amazon remains the first choice of buyers. In fact, a recent study conducted by BloomReach showed that nine out of ten consumers begin their search on Amazon than on Google. Not only this, they never fail to check Amazon, even if their product is available on other retail sites.
Amazon works out to be an amazing additional sales channel to direct-to-consumer websites of retailers. The fear that Amazon will cannibalize all sales of the retailers is unfounded. On the contrary it works as a great complement to retailers’ own websites.
What Google search may not bring to fore on its first page, Amazon makes them more visible on its pages and gets the brand within reach of its customers. What’s more, reviews by other consumers makes the buying choice more deliberate for them.
Since Amazon is an open marketplace, any third-party seller is at liberty to create a listing of retailer’s brand on its behalf, without the latter’s consent. This makes it all the more important for retailers to get their brands listed on Amazon. This will help them retain the right to manage their content, pricing and exchange with customers.
How can retailers promote their Amazon listings?
It is now evidently clear as to why selling on Amazon is a most preferred choice for retailers. Armed with this knowledge, the retailers can now introduce their products at Amazon and sit around and wait. Will this translate into sales? Hardly.
It is here that promotingAmazon listings assumes importance for the retailers. Let us see the ways of promoting Amazon listings to drive more sales:
#1 Know the competitors
Retailers must have a thorough understanding of their competitors. This will give them a fair idea of customers’ expectations from the product, what they want and what they don’t. Reading reviews of customers on competitors’ pages may make the retailers aware of customers’ preferences and help them in seizing promotional opportunities.
The specifics that retailers can garner from customers’ product reviews include their views on pricing, defects, packaging and any other product mentioned. The retailers can also get to know how often do their competitors update product content, images and other details.
How the competitors promote their products give insights to their marketing strategy. If the competitors’ products are disappearing fast, the retailers can latch on to their ideas and if the competitors are out of stock, the retailers can act quickly to take advantage by lowering their price.
#2 Pricing the products right
Stiff competition in an open market makes it difficult for retailers to price their products competitively to thwart those of their competitors.This problem is further compounded by the ‘general pricing rule’, a part of pricing parity clause which states that the price of the item and total price cannot be lower than any other online sales platform. Not adhering to it may get the retailers account suspended.
To ease the pricing problem of retailers, Amazon has introduced an ‘Automate Pricing’ tool to help automate pricing decisions. It simply requires retailers to set a rule, such as “beat the lowest price by $0.10” and monitor it.
#3 Product content matters
It takes only a few seconds for potential customers to reject retailers’ products based on what they find on the page. This is because the text and images of the product may not be attractive enough to hold their interest. Retailers may be great at marketing, but to make their product pages grab customers’ eyeballs, requires good copywriter.
A Copywriter will ensure that the product title clearly describes the item, the details are given out in easy to read bulleted format and not in boring long paragraphs and suggest product images that highlight all aspects of the product.
#4 Encouraging reviews
If a comparison is made between a product with reviews and one without, the customers get more attracted towards the one with reviews. It is a different matter whether these reviews are positive or negative. Reviews kind of assure the buyer of the authenticity of the product.
There are ways retailers can encourage reviews that are allowed by Amazon. These include sending email follow-up, promotional messages and links to other websites. The retailers can also incentivize positive reviews. Services, such as Feedback Five and Feedback Genius, can help automate the process.
#5 Sponsored product ads
Amazon’s pay per click (PPC) model, called Sponsored Product Ads, allows the retailers to promote their products. They have the option of such placements either above, alongside or below the search results on the desktop and below in mobile.
To initiate it, the first step is automatic targeting that takes the advantage of Amazon’s powerful search algorithms to suggest potential keywords. Once the retailers have generated a month’s worth of data, the process of evaluating which keywords performed the best commences. The retailers should continue to test this till they find something that works well.
#6 Taking advantage of promotions
Introducing lightning deals increases the sale that attracts more reviews. If such deals are offered towards the beginning, it will not only attract additional reviews, but also build relevancy for other customers in searching for the retailers’ products.
Retailers can also go in for Early Review Program in which Amazon randomly selects customers who leave reviews and reward them with Amazon Gift Card. This is in recognition of their unbiased review.
#7 Driving external traffic
It pays to drive external channels, such as external traffic blogs, vlogs, Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, etc. to retailers’ websites. However, it doesn’t quite work the same way for promoting Amazon listings. In this, the retailers have to strategically decide which channels are to be directed to Amazon.
#8 Amazon SEO
For products to come up tops in search, the retailers need to ensure that their listing adhere to Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This entails using specific set of keywords that helps potential customers to easily find products put up by retailers.
Programs like Amazon Launchpad helps retailers apply crowdfunding tactics to their promotions. What Amazon Launchpad does is to showcase products of new retailers to Amazon customers, who are launching their business. Amazon Launchpad helps in collaborate with crowdfunding platforms for promoting new start-ups. For this Amazon may use its own site as well as external websites.
For crowdfunding, the retailers may not rely on Amazon Launchpad entirely, but go through crowdfunding sites independently for their product promotion. This way the products get the attention of potential customers, before they are launched on Amazon. Manufacturers who produce their own products benefit the most from this.
#10 Using social platforms and influencers for promotion
Targeting an already existing audience on social networking services, such as Instagram or Facebook, is effective. It can be made still more effective by offering free products or discounts to social media influencers in exchange for promoting the retailers’ products.
YouTube influencers are another great medium for promoting products. Retailers can either search for such influencers directly from YouTube or use Famebit website to get in touch with them. The big advantage of such influencers is that they are completely in the know of how to promote Amazon products.
Retailers can also take the help of bloggers who write blogs on specific niche products that retailers are marketing. They can be made to partner with retailers and promote their products by writing articles on launched products. Any blog writer worth his or her salt will know how to subtly promote Amazon product in their blog articles.
#11 Offers and giveaways
If one product is selling well, while the other is not, one of the great ways to promote the product not doing well is to offer it under the ‘Buy 1 get 1 free’ scheme. This will not only up the sale of the primary product, but also get promotion for the other product, attracting good reviews.
Giveaways are also most effective in promoting products. Retailers can use their products as a prize for a giveaway hosted on Amazon. Such giveaways can be promoted via emails.
To standout in the complex and competitive open market of Amazon is no mean feat. It requires retailers to strategically plan optimizing and promoting their listings to have an edge over the competition. The best way to know what customers expect from a retailer is to step into their shoes and view products from their point of view. This means the product should have clear and concise description with relevant images, competitive pricing and practical reviews. Learning how to promote your Amazon listings is half the battle won.