With 54% of product searches happening on Amazon can you afford not to be there? Developing a cohesive website and Amazon strategy.

Developing an eCommerce strategy that encompasses both a direct to consumer (D2C) website and a marketplace presence has long been debated. With the correct understanding of both platforms and a cohesive strategy they can in fact fully compliment each other and offer brands a significant opportunity to reach and engage with a wider target audience. An audience that may otherwise be unavailable to them. 

 

A non-linear purchase path:

We can safely say that the patch to purchase is no longer linear. Adopting an omni channel strategy enables brands to meet people on or in the channels where they are shopping or purchasing.  

There will be customers loyal to Amazon who will only want to purchase within the channel. There will be customers who are brand loyal and who seek out the brands website for all the additional information and communications that may offer. And then there will be a large middle swathe who will move between multiple platforms on their path to purchase. Understanding and knowing the possible touch points enables a brand to deliver a seamless and consistent experience across various channels. Creating synergy across both your website and Amazon that is self reinforcing will enable customers to discover and familiarise themselves with your brand on one channel and purchase on the other as they choose. 

  

Common Misconceptions dispelled:

Common misconceptions include a fear that Amazon may cheapen their brand, either literally or figuratively or that Amazon may use market data intelligence to compete with their products.  However, these misconceptions are largely unfounded. 

Over the past number of years Amazon has invested significant effort into allaying these fears. In order to maintain pricing integrity, brands have to effectively manage the channel but this holds true for every distribution channel. A suite of tools, such as Enhanced Content, Stores, Amazon Posts and Video content, have been developed in order to enable brands to develop a strong and immersive experience on the platform. 

Amazon recognises the value that brands bring to their platform and consumer demand for their availability.  Their private label strategy is a commodity strategy not a brand development strategy. 

  

Understanding the differences between your website and Amazon:

Size and Reach

One of the most enticing elements of Amazon is of course the audience size and international reach. The sheer volume of shoppers on the platform represents an incredible opportunity to any brand. A brand’s website will always be considerably more limited in the numbers of customers that they can reach. 

 

Competition

The sheer scale of Amazon makes it an intensely competitive space where there can be hundreds if not thousands of brands competing in your category. On your website it’s all about your brand. Brands must use the tools available to them and invest in building their brand presence and discoverability on Amazon so that they can deliver strong search performance and then divert customers from a results list to a brand owned page or store where they can have a more curated customer experience. 

 

Shopper Behaviour

Amazon is a well known and trusted platform, driven by conversion and purchase. The majority of searches begin with product and not brand and there is an immediacy to the need. I am searching for a product for this need that I can buy now and have delivered in 2 days time. Amazon is working to enhance and improve their full shopping experience to include browsing and discovery.

Where this is fundamentally different to the shopping experience of a brand website it also offers a significant opportunity for brand discovery by customers looking for a product with their brand attributes. When content on Amazon is developed and product specific, conversions rates significantly improve. 

 

Conclusion

An estimated 54% of product searches take place on Amazon. This represents a sizeable target audience for a brand with a very significant sales opportunity. Quite simply if you are not present on Amazon you are not putting your brand in front of these consumers. 

Create a synergy between your website and Amazon. Create rich immersive experiences on your product detail pages and stores seeing Amazon as a doorway to your brand. On your website prioritise personalised experiences and dynamic content that cannot be found on marketplaces. Develop an omni channel strategy that allows the two channels to work in synergy to build a brand’s presence, sale volume and lasting customer relationships. 

Finally a word of advice. Amazon has become very specialised and is very different from other eCommerce platforms. If you want to develop your Amazon presence successfully, invest in an Amazon specialist with specialist Amazon Technology, be that internally or through an external agency. Amazon and competitors selling on Amazon are becoming increasingly sophisticated so if you want to be successful you need to have the right team!