The current crisis has been a gamechanger for e-commerce. With many people stuck at home and unable to get out, e-commerce acceleration has been one of the big stories in retail. And even within that, the undisputed winner is Amazon.
Deep Dives: Amazon Strategies is a survival guide packed with of videos, presenter’s decks and key takeaways from our Amazon Strategies Virtual Forum that provides valuable insights and practical tips in order to help you grow your business.
Despite being told that using Amazon as a sales channel would ruin its brand, luxury men’s skincare company Oars + Alps’ decided that not being on the platform would be just as detrimental. Amazon is not only the number one channel for men to shop on — so it made sense to be where the customers are — but not being on the platform meant that other third-party retailers could sell Oars + Alps’ products.
Designer wallet and bag brand Bellroy was in a similar position of not thinking that Amazon was the right channel for its business. In 2013, however, COO Lina Calabria started seeing some of its retail partners buying up large quantities of product beyond their store’s capabilities to sell. She knew that they were creating their own Amazon retail strategy around Bellroy’s product and were selling to customers who wanted to be on that platform. “We didn’t have a choice,” she said.
To take back control of its brand, in 2013, Bellroy joined Amazon, three years after launching. And in 2018, a year after launching, Oars + Alps joined the marketplace.
Brand consistency can mean keeping the same imagery running from a DTC site to the Amazon store front, or it can mean upholding the same brand values.
For Ekta Chopra, vp of digital at E.L.F. Cosmetics, being on Amazon, despite it not being a top channel for sales for the company, maintaining brand consistency in appearance was crucial.
And once Bellroy joined the platform, Calabria said that it was important to maintain the tone of the brand and create clear lines from its DTC site, its retail presence and its Amazon presence. She said it was really important to her team to not “train customers to go to Amazon for a discount or hunt around for a bargain,” as discounting is not core to the brand’s sales strategy.
Luxury sports bag brand was briefly on Amazon for just about a year before deciding that the trade offs to the brand were just not worth the effort.
CEO Aaron Luo said that the platform initially pulled him in with statistics like using fulfilled by Amazon capabilities gives sellers a 30-50% increase in sales, and 90% of U.S. consumers go to Amazon to search for products that they’ve seen on another site. So in 2018, he started testing selling older, past season products on Amazon. This did not yield as good results as his team initially thought and decided that putting any more product onto the platform would not make the returns any better.
“Ultimately, we felt that in order to tell the story from start to end, we really needed the supply chain to be fully integrated and not chance not meeting our goals,” Luo said.
Before leaving the platform, Luo suggests considering a few key things:
Gravity Products launched on Kickstarter in 2017 with its weighted blanket and soon enough, the term “gravity blanket” became synonymous with the physical weighted blanket, according to Mark Wynohradnyk, brand director at Gravity Products. While the company itself was not on Amazon, similar products began popping up on the platform and used the company’s name and intellectual property within its titles and descriptions, naturally leading to confusion over the product and whether or not it was coming from the Gravity brand itself.
Gravity eventually came onto the marketplace to regain its IP and trademarks, but learned in the process that keywords within titles and descriptions are crucial to operating effectively on Amazon. Beyond that though, the Amazon product page is essentially an extension of your brand, so it needs to be designed in a way that fully illustrates the benefits and the unique value proposition of the product you are trying to sell.
Launching an advertising strategy on Amazon is not only very complicated, but it is very complex.
Mark Power, CEO of Amazon marketing services company Podean, said that for his newly formed clients, one-third of their investment goes towards creating the product and one-third goes towards investing in Amazon and building the brand’s presence on the marketplace. The final one-third needs to be allocated to a marketing and media strategy on Amazon in order to make sure that you’re building your demand on the platform.
“In your first period, don’t expect big profits from Amazon,” said Power. “It’s a platform that you need to invest in” before you start making any headway in terms of revenue. On the other hand, if you aren’t investing anything into your Amazon marketing strategy, but you are investing a significant amount of your budget into your DTC site and promotion, you’re going to leave out a significant portion of your potential customer base who are channel loyalists.
Amazon began prioritizing the fulfillment of essential products on March 17, however, for brands deemed non-essential, Margaux Logan, head of online marketplaces at advertising agency Publicis, said that this is not the time to pull back on marketing and media spend on the platform.
Unless you do not have the inventory to deliver on the products you’re advertising, do not give up your competitive edge. But, if inventory is down and your supply chain has been impacted, Logan said that now is a good time to focus on upper funnel brand campaigns that will keep your company’s name in the back of consumers minds.
Upwards of 70% of brands on Amazon use Fulfillment by Amazon as their fulfillment strategy. In normal circumstances, this is a great for brands because fulfillment tends to not only cost a lot of money, but a lot of time and effort, which can be better spent focusing on promotion strategy and growing search visibility on the marketplace, according to Kavita Cariapa, svp of strategy at Sellwin Consulting.
Right now, however, the de-prioritization of non-essential products within FBA is leaving these brands high and dry in figuring out how they can deliver to their customers. For many, Cariapa said she recommends that brands have to take on the brunt of the fulfillment themselves in order to keep their businesses going, or they should turn to 3PL sources that can support the businesses during this time. Either way, without optimizing e-commerce fulfillment operations, brands are going to suffer during the pandemic.
王者荣耀貂蝉去衣图WTF – Someone is already selling my stuff and undercutting my prices but it takes so much work to clear out those third-party sellers. 王者荣耀貂蝉去衣图
王者荣耀貂蝉去衣图Don’t王者荣耀貂蝉去衣图 get into a bidding war, even if you’ll still earn a high profit margin. — instead,
王者荣耀貂蝉去衣图Do王者荣耀貂蝉去衣图 figure out where those vendors are getting the products, if you are the sole manufacturer, and cut them off. Then, let them sell out of their inventory. After a few months, you should have a higher percentage of the buy box back for that product.
王者荣耀貂蝉去衣图WTF – Amazon packaging for products that are fulfilled by Amazon ruins my luxury brand experience.王者荣耀貂蝉去衣图
An operational change you can make to help deliver your luxury branding to your customer is to prep and package your product in wrappings or containers that fit with your branding before shipping the inventory over to Amazon. Amazon will still put your wrapped items in its mailer box or envelope, but the physical experience of unboxing the product will still be better for the customer.
Amazon also has a shipped and owned container program that will use your own branded packaging as well, if you want to maintain branding across the entire buying experience.
王者荣耀貂蝉去衣图WTF – I have a 1,000-product catalogue. Should I spend my time putting the entire thing on Amazon, or just my best sellers to start? 王者荣耀貂蝉去衣图
Put all of your products up at the same time, if you can. This allows you to learn from the diversity of products you have available about which items will perform the best with your Amazon consumer base. The product heroes you have on your DTC site might not be the same heroes that you have on Amazon.
王者荣耀貂蝉去衣图WTF – Where should new brands to Amazon even start their advertising strategy? 王者荣耀貂蝉去衣图
Brand new sellers should spend on Amazon’s automated ads. Let its AI do the work for you; you’re not going to predict right away better than what Amazon’s AI will deliver.
Also, it is a pay to play environment and you have to overbid on close-match keywords in order to get in the game. Despite it being expensive, it is the best place to start, however, so that you can get next to brands that are the most similar to you. Then, that is the prime opportunity to experiment with which keywords have the best ROAS as well as which keywords are too expensive for you to incorporate into your advertising strategy, if they do not have a solid returns.
Explore the future of retail, including how brands are adapting to changing consumer demand to be both effective and judicious with spend and how c-level execs are evaluating their omnichannel approach.
Go deep on the state of advertising on Amazon, including Amazon’s Marketing Services 101 and advertising against competitors. Mark Power, CEO of Podean and author of the book “Amazon for CMOs,” discusses the basics of Amazon’s advertising ecosystem and what those just starting out in the marketplace should do to begin marketing their brand.
Follow @Digiday for the latest news, insider access to events and more.