Amazon is one of the largest e-commerce platforms across the globe. It serves people worldwide and hosts a range of sellers and products that are easily accessible. According to Statista, as of December 2019, 214.8 million users visited Amazon’s websites per month. Plus, they also hold a considerable market share in the entire US e-commerce sector.
With the platform showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, there’s a huge incentive to be a part of this massive network. However, it’s not just a case of setting up a shop and hoping for the best.
While Amazon has a significant stake in the online selling sector, your business will be a tiny piece of the pie. This means competition is fierce across most niches. While the key may be to stand out among the crowd, finding that opening is tough if you don’t have the right tools for the job. To help overcome these hurdles, there are some things to consider when you set up an Amazon business and want to take advantage of the opportunities available.
Here we take a look at some of the key features to help you grasp a slice the action in this lucrative marketplace.
The power of comparison
Comparing prices is something that most people do these days. Once they’ve found a product on a website, they then check other sites to see how much they can save. One of the main sources of this price comparison happens through Amazon. It’s a platform that many people turn to, to check out similar products and whether they can buy it cheaper. Another plus side of purchasing on Amazon is that customers will also compare shipping and delivery timing compared to the competitor website. If the customer also has Amazon Prime, they are also most likely to choose this method, as shipping is fast and free!
Endless product lines
When you want to buy something, most of the time, customers know they’ll probably be able to get hold of it on Amazon. According to research, Amazon is the leading place for customer searches for specific products. Plus, in October 2019, they had 2.15 billion desktop and mobile visits combined. This places your business is a great position to get in front of this massive audience.
The sheer scale of products doesn’t appear to put people off, and you’ll also see lots of similar products, which do the same thing in listings. The key here is to appear in a prominent place to help convert customers on your listings rather than the competitors. Using optimization techniques and expertise in this area can help you maximize the potential here.
Utilize Amazon customer loyalty
Statistics highlight that 1 in 4 adults in the US has an Amazon Prime membership. It’s also said that Prime members use the site more than non-prime members. The perks for customers are fantastic, and as this type of loyalty is something that most companies can only dream of, there’s no point in passing up the opportunity to take advantage of it.
Prime members will often choose to shop at Amazon over competitors as they benefit from doing so. As a company, if you can get Prime-eligible status, you are opening your brand up to over 95 million US shoppers and many more worldwide that will typically look here first before making a purchase.
Take advantage of FBA
FBA or Fulfilment by Amazon is a solution that can help you sell more products with the direct help of Amazon. Your company can register for this service, and there are huge benefits if you want to open your products up to a broader audience.
The concept of FBA is that you send stock to Amazon warehouses, and they take care of everything else for you. There is no minimum inventory required, and you pay-per-use so you can control costs. There’s also no subscription fee for the service. According to Amazon Europe, 83% of sellers signed up FBA said they achieved their goal in accessing Prime members.
There are many opportunities to take advantage of using this service, including:
Gaining a Prime Badge
As your stock is shipped directly from an Amazon warehouse, your brand can have the Amazon Prime badge attributed to it as the order is being fulfilled directly from Amazon. This means customers are more likely to choose your product over something that has delivery charges.
Earning a Fulfilled by Amazon badge
Alongside the Prime badge, sellers using FBA also gain the Fulfilled by Amazon badge. This helps customers when choosing products, as they already trust Amazon’s shipping process compared to an individual seller.
Stock preparation and packaging
Another thing that FBA can include is the preparation and packaging of the product. Once the stock is received into the warehouse, Amazon does everything, including packing, taping, and labeling, to get the product out on time. On selected order, a gift-wrapping service can also be applied. As everything is handled in the Amazon warehouse, you don’t have to worry about the extra time and costs for this aspect.
Use of Amazon’s seller tools
Another way to maximize your opportunities when selling on Amazon is to use the tools provided. The platform is dedicated to helping sellers sell their products, and there are many ways to optimize listings to achieve this. There are step by step guides on getting the most of your Amazon selling experience. However, hiring experts can push your potential to new heights. Specialists such as Nuanced Media have expertise in this area. They have designed techniques to focus on getting your listings seen in the right places for maximum conversions.
There are several elements to consider when developing a marketing strategy for Amazon selling, including:
- Choosing relevant keywords
- Optimizing products descriptions and titles
- Using clear and appropriate pictures and videos
- Gaining reviews
- Utilizing PPC strategies and Amazon advertising
All these aspects plus many more factors can get your product in front of the right people. However, this also takes time and investment to get right. Testing and monitoring can help move your sales forwards to ensure you’re targeting the best avenues to improve conversions.
Encouraging customer reviews
One of the best things about Amazon for customers is that they can leave honest reviews on items. In short, the more reviews you have, the more your listings will be seen in relevant searches. However, feedback can be a challenge to get, and it’s something that your business cannot control for the most part.
Encouragement is the key here!
Some customers will happily leave a review of they love a product. Some may love a product but don’t find the time to go back and write feedback. To avoid this scenario, add some prompts to the buying experience. You could send the buyer a short message to encourage feedback or questions if they have any. You can also outright ask them after they’ve received the product with a follow-up message. Another way is to add a little prompt into the parcel. Use a small card insert with details on politely requesting a review so it can help other customers.
The vital factor to think about when asking for reviews is that Amazon has some strict rules about conduct in this area. Amazon guidelines stipulate what is allowed, and don’t ask anyone to review the product that hasn’t purchased it. It won’t help your brand in the long run and may end up with Amazon expelling you from the platform.
Harnessing negative reviews
While all businesses want to get gleaming reviews all the time, there will be occasions where negative ones pop up. You can’t please everyone, all of the time. However, it’s how you handle these that are important. Some customers will be forthright and rude, so meeting this with professionalism is vital. Address issues and send a message in the Buyer-Seller messaging area to resolve issues. Never accuse the customer of anything and try to respond to your side of the issue if applicable. Good customer service is the best way to tackle issues and ensure they feel happy the problem has been solved.
Research has said that customers spend more time engaging with negative reviews than positive ones. Still, it also boosts the conversion rate at the same time. So negative feedback isn’t all bad!
Take advantage of the question and answer section
In product listing, there is a section for questions and answers between customers and sellers. In all instances, you should try and provide clear and concise information in the description. However, sometimes you will still get general questions. Answer questions quickly and giving as much information as possible. Engage with the customer and be friendly to convert them. If the question has an answer that can be added to the description to help other customers, consider adding it in.
There are many opportunities to make the most of selling on Amazon, and some are not as obvious as others. By using the relevant Amazon tools and seeking expert advice, you can improve your sales and brand visibility.
Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of NuancedMedia, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of Millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed and Modern Retail. To connect with Ryan, check out @Ryanflannagan on Twitter or via Linkedin.