There has been a change on Amazon over the last few years — no longer is it simply about selling, it is now about marketing too. Increasing and fierce Seller competition, more advertising options, and the capacity to reach potential customers beyond the Amazon marketplace have all contributed to the need for a more holistic approach. And don't forget marketing is not sales. Kotler defined it as:
"The process by which companies engage customers, build strong customer relationships, and create customer value in order to capture value from customers in return".1
This goes far beyond PPC and keywords. Let's look at the fundamentals to marketing success on Amazon.
Suggested reading: For more information on exactly how to leverage Amazon analytics to curate success, check out our eBook — Mastering Amazon Brand Analytics
Have the right organizational structure
You can spend a great deal of time and resources on product listings, content, and advertising and still fail if the rest of your organization structure is not aligned. But, your order fulfilment and inventory impact your in-stock rating, which influences control of the Amazon Buy Box. This then affects your Sponsored Ads, which then reduces sales and your organic product rankings.
So, your approach to your organization structure will be different depending on what kind of Vendor/Seller you. Do you sell products wholesale to Amazon, or a third-party seller using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), or an alternative fulfilment service — for example Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM), where a Seller is responsible for their entire shipment and handling?
Psst… The FBA vs FBM decision is complex and you might not be sure what kind of fulfillment service is right for you — the key is research, and aligning your decision with your specific organisational requirements.
Regardless of your model, the objective is to identify and minimize organization gaps that reduce performance and cost you money.
To do this, you must price well and understand how customers interact with your products. Data is the fundamental part of this equation. For example, Amazon pricing strategies — what pricing strategy do you assign to products to grow market dominance? Which should be cut from your catalogue altogether? And where can you effectively increase margin?
If you have an eligible Amazon account, Brand Registry is pretty much always a worthwhile investment. It is also free — excluding the costs of maintaining your Amazon Seller account.
Suggested reading: Thinking about joining the registry but looking to learn more? Check out our blog — How does Amazon Brand Registry work? And is it worthwhile for Sellers?
Get your organic listings right
You can drive all the traffic in the world to your listings, but if your content is lacking or not relevant, you will lose out. Fortunately, Amazon is making more creative tools available to make your listings stand out. Features include:
- Enhanced Brand Content: A premium feature, introduced to Sellers in 2016, that allows Sellers to optimise product description of branded ASINs with enhanced images and text, allowing them to truly showcase their unique value proposition.
- A+ Content: Basic A+ content is available to all Sellers at no additional cost — with this feature Sellers can spotlight products, share their brand story by adding pre-formatted text and image-based modules to product descriptions.
- Premium A+ Content: This is the paid version of standard A+ content, it ensures Sellers can provide best-in-class detail page experiences for supplemental marketing information. You can use video, image carousels, enhanced comparative tables to tell their brand story and product info on the marketplace.4
These creative features can help to improve brand visibility. They also provide opportunities to drive traffic to your complete catalog.
As an Amazon seller, you can consider offering different complementary products or even expanding the variations of a popular product that you currently offer. By examining your existing products, you can identify what's currently working to determine what other products your customers might be interested in.
Leverage paid advertising
PPC advertising on Amazon continues to grow relentlessly — that being said, paid traffic off of Amazon is also becoming an attractive option. This is because off-Amazon PPC affords you better organic rankings and you waive the referral fee which constitutes about 10% of Seller commision.6
However, for now, let’s focus on on-Amazon PPC. There, you can see how search results pages have changed with paid placements assuming the dominant positions — ‘4-star and above’ sponsored positions replacing ‘customer recommendations’ and ‘also bought’ real estate.
Even brands with a solid organic ranking need a paid media strategy because they will lose sales velocity, traffic, and ranking without it. It is also worth noting that success in Amazon PPC will also positively impact your organic rankings and vice versa.
When it comes to generating paid traffic to drive your Amazon virtuous circle or flywheel, you have many options:
- Amazon Sponsored Ads: These are different types of paid adverts available on Amazon. They’re designed for individual product listings appearing in shopping results and on product detail pages.
- Amazon DSP: The Demand-Side-Platform allows retailers to target and retarget customers on and off the Amazon platform — diverting them back to your shop on Amazon, or your site itself.
- Video ads: These ads appear on a range of third party sites on and off Amazon, they offer a way to engage with your audience in a simple yet effective way.
- Audio ads: This kind of advert plays on the free tier of Amazon Music platforms — this includes Alexa-enabled devices as well as mobile and desktop.7
Amazon DSP targeting spans all kinds of marketing: lifestyle, in-market and retargeting — all based on Amazon's detailed knowledge of its shoppers. Sponsored Display ads effectively build brand awareness and bring traffic back to your product details page. Sponsored Products are great for targeting keywords and competitor listings. Whilst Sponsored Brands can build brand awareness or support a product launch.
Use customer analytics to improve performance
Amazon is all about data. New data analysis tools are at your disposal to help you understand and prosper. Understanding your customer data will help you plan and execute your strategy and also help align and drive the rest of the business. Here we have some Amazon marketing strategy tips to supercharge your performance…
You will want to set marketing goals that are tailored to your desired outcomes. You may want to help customers:
- Keep your brand top-of-mind while they shop.
- Understand what differentiates your brand or products and why they should choose you.
- Decide to buy your product.
- Engage with you to become repeat customers.
Why you do this and which elements you focus on will be dependent on your business. An important by-product of this process is communication and agreement with the rest of the company regarding your marketing goals.
Track metrics (aligned to your goals)
There are various critical Amazon metrics for Sellers. Analytics tools can provide in-depth insights on advertising performance, customer activity, and purchases cross-referenced with persona data. Over time, this provides an increasingly detailed view of how many products different buyer personas are likely to buy.
These are the metrics you should have at your disposal to make the best decisions for particular goals.
- Awareness: Attribution and Impression share
- Ad Performance: ACoS and Return on Marketing Investment (RoMI)
- Loyalty: CLV and CAC repeat purchase analysis, customer purchase journeys
- Differentiation: TACoS, CLV and personas
Act on the data
Amazon is shifting their strategy toward data, so you need to be capable of measuring and analyzing it in real-time while the data is still relevant. That being said, measurement is no use if it isn't supported by systems that act on the insights and opportunities the data reveals.
Amazon provides several measurement reports and a few analytics tools, but these don't offer insights on what brand owners should do to improve outcomes. They focus primarily on comparative analysis and don't give you the context required to understand and act on that information. In other words, Amazon leaves the interpretation of data and subsequent decision-making up to you — which is not an easy task — it requires massive data-processing power, expert algorithms built to identify and act on Seller opportunities and someone or a team of people to manage it.
Partner with Nozzle
Marketing is not a standalone one-off activity. It is a collaborative effort involving creatives, front-office, logistics, finance, sales, and technical departments. Without a sound marketing strategy on Amazon and customer data to back it up, you're always in danger of falling behind the competition.
Amazon is a unique and complex ecosystem. Amazon marketing best practices involve going further than collating data with Amazon's native tools. To beat the competition, you need a third party like Nozzle to work with you to understand your data, avoid data silos, and create meaningful outcomes.
Nozzle enables you to crunch the numbers far more successfully. At Nozzle, we're all about customer analytics, having created an industry-leading insights platform built specifically for the Amazon ecosystem. We combine tech knowledge with Amazon expertise and have a track record to match.
But see for yourself, get in touch today and book a demo.
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