Consumers can hardly remember a time before they shopped on Amazon. Today, 54% of US consumers say they begin product searches there before looking anywhere else.
But success with the world’s largest online retailer isn’t guaranteed. Without the chops to compete and put products in front of shoppers, brands and retailers won’t make it on the highly saturated marketplace.
ChannelAdvisor recently released a Comprehensive Guide to Amazon featuring the must-know strategies every Amazon seller should employ to succeed in such a competitive space. What are your brand’s strengths and weaknesses? Are you grabbing shoppers’ attention and ensuring their loyalty with seamless fulfillment? See what strategies put you ahead of the game.
The Multichannel Growth Flywheel
Simply listing your products on Amazon is no longer enough. The marketplace is now home to 1.9 million active sellers around the world — and they’re all vying for consumers’ attention.
A growth flywheel is an effective, high-level way to structure your thinking as you develop strategies to succeed on Amazon and beyond.
The flywheel helps assess and develop strategies in five key areas:
- Connect your products to consumers with error-free listings
- Market your products effectively to drive awareness and sales
- Sell your products by converting browsers into buyers at the moment it matters
- Fulfill your customer’s expectations with fast, efficient delivery
- Optimize your Amazon strategies to constantly improve results
Let’s take a look at how each area helps you focus on essential selling tactics to become a successful Amazon seller.
Connect Your Products to Consumers
How do you want to sell on Amazon? Choose the best model for your business:
- A first-party (1P) relationship where you sell your products to Amazon via Vendor Central. Your brand is responsible for advertising, promotions and shipping products to Amazon, while they control the pricing and inventory.
- A third-party (3P) relationship where you sell directly to consumers via Seller Central. You control the advertising, pricing, inventory and any fulfillment or logistics.
Once you’ve decided how to sell, start your Amazon presence strong with error-free listings. The trick is meeting Amazon’s listing requirements while optimizing them to appeal to your target audience. However, every marketplace you sell on is different, potentially leading to listing errors that could cause your products to appear incorrectly or prevent them from showing up at all. Make sure your Amazon connections are error-free by ensuring your product data is clean, organized and in line with Amazon’s standards.
Market Effectively to Drive Sales
Amazon Advertising helps sellers boost awareness among consumers and increase sales. But with so many sellers to compete against, a simple manual campaign isn’t likely to cut it. The most successful Amazon sellers vary their marketing across ad types:
- Sponsored Products — keyword-driven ads that appear alongside organic search results to promote individual listings
- Sponsored Brands — top-of-page ads that build awareness for your brand among browsing shoppers
- Sponsored Display Ads — display ads that appear on product detail pages, the Amazon homepage or third-party apps and websites
Investing in a mix of Amazon ad types ensures different consumers see your products at various stages. Not sure where to start? ChannelAdvisor offers a complimentary advertising analysis where our Amazon experts will take a look at your Amazon Advertising account to identify areas for optimization.
Sell at the Right Moment
A growing number (41%) of consumers now begin their search on Amazon when their intent is simply to research. The more accurate your product listings, the more trust you build during the consideration phase for eventual purchase.
Put yourself in consumers’ shoes when writing product descriptions. What do they want to know? How will they search and arrive at your product? Research similar products to see what competitors are saying, and optimize your descriptions with the most accurate and detailed keywords possible.
You can also improve sales by keeping prices competitive — but no one has time to manually monitor price variations across hundreds of comparable sellers. Automated repricing tools automatically adjust your prices to remain competitive and align with your goals. Choose from a marketplace repricer, which uses algorithmic pricing technology to help you win the Buy Box or Best Offer position at the highest possible price, or a velocity repricer, where prices are adjusted automatically based on your goals — whether you want to extract more margin on fast-selling products or lower prices when sales are slow.
Fulfill Amazon Buyers’ Growing Expectations
Consumers choose Amazon Prime for its fast, convenient two-day shipping, and they now expect sellers across channels to keep up. Luckily, Amazon offers two options to make fulfillment fast and seamless:
- Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Send a portion of your inventory to Amazon, and they’ll handle the rest. FBA also manages customer support and returns, removing the hassle from your team.
- Seller Fulfilled Prime. You entice customers with the Amazon Prime name and shipping guarantee, but call the shots on packing and shipping. You’re also responsible for returns, which are automatically authorized by Amazon.
Want to understand the advantages and disadvantages of Amazon fulfillment options even better? Check out these 5 Differences Between Fulfillment by Amazon and Seller Fulfilled Prime.
Optimize for Improved Results
Most consumers now look at reviews before making an online purchase. That means your customer satisfaction rating and reviews must accurately reflect your products to entice new buyers. Stay on top of your customer satisfaction levels by monitoring key metrics, such as order defect rate, return dissatisfaction rate and late shipment rate. Once you become a certified seller, Amazon provides a wealth of data to help you monitor these categories.
Optimizing your Amazon presence also means demonstrating growth. You can expand your presence by going global across the marketplace’s 19 countries of operation. Selling internationally increases brand awareness and expands your customer base. To get started, the Amazon Global Selling program allows you to “test the waters” of cross-border trade.
Don’t just list on Amazon. ChannelAdvisor solutions help you execute flywheel strategies to succeed on the world’s most popular marketplace and across more than 340 other channels.
Get more Amazon selling tips and best practices in our new Comprehensive Guide to Amazon and webinar, Developing a Comprehensive Approach to Amazon: Strategies and Tips for Marketplace Success.