Sellercon 2021 has come and gone, but the core lessons are here to stay. Our team at Nozzle attended a range of lectures and breakout sessions (from the comfort of our living rooms!) to grab the key insights from this year's three-day conference. Now we can pass them on to you.
Normally a summer event, SellerCon 2021 was not only moved to January, it was also a wholly digital affair. Of course, we missed the networking and drinks — but it did make it far easier to attend a full range of presentations. And with an important year ahead, getting up-to-date on the latest strategies couldn’t have come soon enough. Let’s get started and look at the details.
Takeaway #1: An increased focus on brands
If there was a central theme to this year’s SellerCon it was the importance of brand experience — both for Sellers and for their customers. Amazon is increasingly making it possible for brands to create unique branded experiences for customers on the platform — with storefronts, new content types (more on that later), and branded advertising — all accessible by joining Amazon’s Brand Registry.
As Amazon becomes ever more reliant on Sellers over Vendors, they have needed to appeal to independent brands while retaining quality control across their platform. Adding perks to Brand Registry is a central part of incentivising brand participation, and improving customer experience across the board.
What you should do
Increasingly, operating on Amazon without being Brand Registered isn’t a viable option. As the platform becomes the central online marketplace, and shopping moves increasingly online, it will become critically important to professionalise your operation. If you aren’t brand registered, 2021 is the year.
Suggested reading: Check out our blog — How Does Amazon Brand Registry Work? — for more details.
Takeaway #2: Big mergers and niche players
2020 was a boom year for Amazon, and one that saw a number of shakeups on the platform. Not only have large brands joined Amazon for the first time, we’ve witnessed mergers and acquisitions like never before. Amazon aggregator Thras.io became the fastest company to date to reach a valuation of $1 billion. The rise of FBA aggregators was a big topic at a number of events.
However, the 2020 shift towards ecommerce also caused an explosion of niche brands targeting an ever-increasing range of long-tail selling options. There is seemingly more opportunity for small Sellers on Amazon than ever before.
What you should do
The nature of acquisitions within a digital economy is an important thing to consider. Online communication closes distances, and operating through a common marketplace like Amazon simplifies the process even more.
The same infrastructure that makes it easy for small brands to connect with customers enables aggregators to merge those small brands. Realistically, this is good news no matter who you are. We are going through an online retail revolution. There are more opportunities to be had, and Amazon is a central place to find them.
Takeaway #3: New types of content (especially video)
We shouldn’t be surprised to see new forms of content this year — and opportunities for existing content types were discussed heavily at SellerCon 2021. Amazon has been regularly expanding PPC options (e.g. Sponsored Display Ad), ad offerings (e.g. Amazon DSP), and content types (e.g. Sponsored Brands video ads). And we should expect to see new forms of branded content emerging this year.
What you should do
Amazon doesn’t always make a lot of noise about updates to their advertising and listing options. It’s important to pay attention to industry news (for example, subscribe to this blog below). But you should also remember to proactively explore new options in Seller Central when they appear.
Fundamentally, it’s important to make good use of the wider range of content and ad types already available. The Amazon DSP is a particularly exciting development that covers a range of advertising options both on- and off-Amazon.
Suggested Reading: Amazon DSP Video Ads — How, Why, Where, When
Takeaway #4: Strategic and tactical PPC
There are a few unique characteristics of Amazon PPC that were prominently highlighted in several talks this year. Most notably is the impact that your PPC strategy can have on organic search rankings.
The A9 algorithm is influenced by conversion rates (or, at least, that’s the theory), and counts PPC conversions within that calculation. So, if your PPC ad has a better than average conversion rate for a search term, the associated ASIN will receive an organic boost for that specific query. This makes a lot of sense — Amazon wants to surface relevant and appealing products to customers, and CVR functions as an approximate stand-in for both.
What you should do
By focusing your PPC spend on your best converting search terms, you can reduce costs and drive up your organic traffic — reducing your overall reliance on PPC over time (which you will see reflected in TACoS). However, this is only one of many different PPC strategies.
Thinking carefully about how you can use PPC to further business goals is central to success on Amazon. Every product and every brand is unique. For example, if a certain product consistently generates repeat purchases (contributing to a higher customer lifetime value) that can change the long-term ROI of winning a bid — impacting prioritise and best practices.
Suggested reading: PPC strategy is a recurring theme on this blog, including details on using PPC to grow organic traffic and the value of CLV calculations on bidding best practices.
Customer data is key — Nozzle can help
At Nozzle, we provide data analysis and PPC solutions. We help our customers better understand their customers and products in order to optimise their Amazon strategy and further their business goals.
Time and again, we’ve seen the importance of using customer data to drive commercial outcomes on Amazon. A lot of the lessons of SellerCon 2021 echoed back to a customer-centric theme. If you understand your customer and your products, you can align both to maximum effect. Get in touch or check out our ebook How to Make Sense of Your Amazon Customer Data if you want to learn more.