CPG brands have an ocean of opportunity at their fingertips in the era of eCommerce. Public retail marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart open doors to exciting possibilities that entrepreneurs wouldn’t have had 15 years ago.
During just one month in 2019, 150.6 million users in the United States alone shopped on the Amazon app. And, this doesn’t account for desktop and mobile shoppers. So, the traffic is there.
When you listed your products on the platform, you took a crucial step for your modern retail business. At the same time, no matter what commodities you offer, you swim in a sea of competitive sharks. You must learn to swim if you want to stay ahead of them.
If you’re ready to dive into the waters of power-selling on Amazon, learn what seven and eight-figure retailers do differently than newcomers to the marketplace.
Read this to the end before you execute your next Amazon marketing campaign.
How Does Amazon Advertise Your Products?
Amazon has several helpful advertising services and tools designed for online retailers. If you’re not using them, you’re likely missing out on more traffic to your products and services. Here, we’ll focus on some of the brand’s key marketing solutions and briefly touch on a few tools that you may or may not have considered employing.
Get the Most From Amazon’s Built-in Advertising Features
If you are a 3p seller (you sell directly to consumers on the platform), you can use Seller Central to promote your store, brand, and products. In your dashboard, create sponsored posts and display ads while managing and monitoring your campaigns.
And, if you are a 1p seller (you act as a wholesaler with Amazon as the retailer), there are other options. Previously, 1p sellers had access to a trio of marketing and advertising tools:
- Amazon Marketing Services (AMS)
- Amazon Media Group (AMG)
- Amazon Advertising Platform (AAP)
Advertising Console is a consolidation of most of the features from the above tools in one dashboard for a streamlined marketing experience. Essentially, the console is set up for Amazon PPC advertising and other promotional tactics similar to available options in Seller Central.
So, if you are a 3p seller, you can advertise in Seller Central. If you’re a 1p seller, use the Advertising Console for sponsored listings and display ads.
Learn About the Amazon Demand-Side Platform
In addition to the Advertising Console, you may want to open yourself to more options. Demand-Side Platform (DSP) can be what you’re looking for if you want your ads to appear on across the Amazon website and apps and on third-party and partner websites.
You can skyrocket your campaigns when you leverage DSP because of the complex data and insights you’ll receive about your customers and their buying patterns. Target your ads based on lifestyle, behavior, context, retargeting, and more. DSP is available in 12 countries in North America, Europe, the MiddleEast, and Asia Pacific.
What is Amazon Affiliate Marketing?
You may have seen Amazon products appear in listicles and other informational content looking something like this:
The above example is not a DSP ad. Rather, it is an example of affiliate marketing. The Amazon affiliate program enables any website that meets quality and trust standards to share links to Amazon products in exchange for a small fee for each sale generated from using the link.
Affiliates can share links in their website content and on some social media channels like Pinterest. As a seller on the platform, you cannot incentivize affiliate links to your product pages. Still, it’s another way that web traffic can be routed to your offers.
Have You Considered These Other Amazon Solutions?
Aside from offers directly-related to marketing and advertising, Amazon enables companies to scale operations through several web apps and services. Here are a few of our favorites.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) are best known for their free cloud hosting. But, that’s not all they offer. Manage your business with scalable, enterprise tools for many processes from analytics to machine learning to cost management. As an eCommerce seller, you might get the most out of a customer engagement service like Connect or Simple Email Service (SES).
Alexa for Business enables companies to get work done more efficiently using virtual assistants at home and in the workplace. The business solution features are similar to personal voice assistants, allowing staff to schedule meetings, book conference rooms, and manage business-related tasks.
Amazon Translate is a web app/service, similar to Google Translate, which uses neural machine translation to close language barriers. The offer is exceptionally helpful for international sellers. Consider using this service for your website or translate chat messages to enhance real-time on-site customer support in 55 languages.
6 Ideas to Propel Your Amazon Marketing Strategy to the Next Level
Not all successful sellers rely on squeezing all of the juice they can from Amazon’s tools. It takes a combination of the right tools and tactics mixed with some creative thinking to reach lofty eCommerce goals. After working with our clients in the CPG industry through countless successes and failures, here are the seven ideas we suggest for online sellers.
1. Work With Negative Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are one tool that you likely covered at the beginning of your sales strategy. When selling on Amazon, you need to know who your ideal customers are. But, many new online merchants forget to define who their ideal customers aren’t.
A negative buyer persona highlights the demographics and behaviors of a person who would not need, want, or like your product(s). You can use the information from this research to build out marketing materials in a way that highlights their potential rejections and ensures that these shoppers don’t buy your product. After all, they would be unsatisfied with it anyway.
Negative buyer personas are important for an Amazon marketing strategy because they help you identify the people who won’t like your product and make room for higher customer satisfaction.
Note: Most of your customers won’t leave reviews. However, low satisfaction, no matter how trivial the reason, is a perfect excuse to leave a poor product review.
2. Implement Self-Liquidating Promotions for Social Proof
Social proof is one of the most powerful weapons to have in your marketing arsenal. Traditional word-of-mouth advertising still works in most industries. eCommerce sellers rely on reviews. Did you know that the average consumer will spend 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before they make a purchase decision?
So, unless your product already has hundreds or thousands of reviews, you’ll need a review strategy. And, you never want to pay for fake reviews — they will quickly ruin your credibility. Instead, you need to get creative.
An effective way to incentivize Amazon customer reviews is to execute a self-liquidating promotion. To do this, you essentially give something away for free that generates enough revenue to offset the cost of the promotion.
For example, some high-volume sellers include promotional cards inside their product packaging with messages like, “email email@example.com to find out how to get X for free.” This often works best with small add-on items. For example, if you’ve sold a tea kettle, tea bags might be a worthwhile gift to offer a customer in exchange for leaving a review.
Remember when employing this tactic that you can not ask for 5-star reviews. You must only incentivize “unbiased,” honest reviews. Otherwise, you could have your listings removed from the platform or your account banned.
3. Employ Up-to-Date SEO Tactics
When a brand first starts selling on Amazon, it may sort of guess what people are searching for. If you’re selling vegetable soup, for example, you’ll include the phrase “vegetable soup” in your title and product description. Then, you cross your fingers that shoppers will discover your product.
In many cases, people will find your offer based on simple phrases. But, remember, you’re swimming in a sea filled with large, aggressive fish right now. So, you need to maneuver search optimization strategically.
Titles and descriptions aren’t the only factors that will rank your products in Amazon search. You must also optimize images and Q&As. Furthermore, engagement — clicks, purchases, and reviews — will play a role in search rankings. So, you need relevant titles and descriptions based on what shoppers are searching for. In a nutshell, you must take a holistic approach to SEO.
The most critical factors to optimize your pages are relevance and helpfulness. Deceitful listings will lead to poor reviews and quickly hurtle your products to the bottom of Amazon search results. Instead, make it easy for shoppers to fully-understand your offer.
4. Conduct Strategic Competitor Research
You likely did a competitive analysis when you started your business. So, you understand the general idea of competitor research. Now, you’re going to want to repeat the process, targeting your key competitors on Amazon. Start by ordering competitors’ products.
Choose your top three or more competitors and immerse yourself in their Amazon sales funnels. After you order, analyze each step of the process.
- Did you receive an email thanking you for your order?
- Was there a promotional offer?
- What’s the price comparison?
Next, reach out to customer service to see how they reply to your concerns.
- How quickly did they respond?
- What did the support team do in an attempt to resolve the issue?
Not only do you want to order and try the products. Also, check out the customer reviews. Customer opinions, especially 3-star reviews, will teach you so much.
Note: You don’t have to price low if your offer is better than the competition. So, use what you discover to make your offer better.
5. Monitor and Optimize Your Q&A Section
Your Q&A section contributes to your conversion, satisfaction, and both Amazon and Google search results. Many sellers sit back and wait for customers to answer shoppers’ questions. Instead, it’s better to take a proactive approach to questions and answers. When should you answer and when should you let customers answer questions about your product.
As a rule, when it comes to questions related to opinions or results, it’s often helpful when customers share reviews. For example, if a shopper asks, “Does this taste good?” they’re more likely to trust a customer than a brand.
However, when a customer asks a technical question like, “What tools do I need to assemble?” or “Where can I get replacement parts?” it’s your cue to step in. The faster you can answer these questions, the closer you will be to an immediate conversion and future transactions from shoppers who might have the same query.
6. Cross-Sell to Interested Shoppers
We’ve all seen the “Frequently bought together” section at the bottom of an Amazon product listing. Sometimes these seem completely unrelated or even look like competing products, right? So, you probably assume that Amazon chooses products at random to bundle. Well, they do. But, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have some control over cross-selling.
You can use promotional thank you emails and package inserts to introduce shoppers to your other products. Another tactic you don’t want to ignore is to show side-by-side comparisons of multiple products in your “From the Manufacturer” section.
To include a manufacturer section on a product listing, you will need to be a 1p seller. 3p sellers can use emails and package inserts for promotions.
You’ve made the plunge and entered the vast waters of Amazon retail. Now that you’re here, use the tips above to scale out your marketing and grow your eCommerce business.
If you’ve landed here because you want help with marketing and advertising for your Amazon products or you’d like to start selling on the platform, reach out! We’d be thrilled to partner with you as your Amazon marketing agency to help you take your online retail to the next level.