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#7 Making Amazon Do The Hard Work For You

Before we get into this week’s send, I wanted to give a massive shout-out to Jon Elder who has been crushing it with his newsletter. If you read The Ecommerce Expansionist, you have your DTC presence down to a "T" but you've been neglecting Amazon. If that's you, stop what you're doing and subscribe to Jon's free newsletter, Amazon Insiders, and start receiving a weekly hack to help you dominate on Amazon and crush your competition. After signing up, you'll immediately receive his Top 5 Amazon Growth Hacks and join thousands of brand owners who are improving daily.

Making Amazon Do The Hard Work For You

As you know well by now, I talk often about the perils of relying on Amazon as a sole source of revenue and often recommend a much more holistic approach to cross-channel selling.

Only a fool would overlook Amazon as part of a wider strategy when over 50% of online search starts out there in 2023, but there is so much more to it than just listing and running ads and assuming that does it.

More often than not, Amazon turns out to be a profit-sucking, ad dollar-hungry monster and you can find yourself wondering who ate the margin at the end of each month. It can quickly become frustrating, and if you’re not careful can kill the good you are doing elsewhere.

I want to talk today about some simple ways you can make Amazon work for you, rather than the other way around. Below are some quick wins you can implement into your multichannel expansion strategy:

1. Brand Awareness: Clearly, you have to have a listing and a brand store, even if you do not intend to make hard sales on the platform. Amazon’s huge customer base can be used as a tool to drive brand awareness and expose you to millions of consumers who would never have gone off-Amazon. This increased visibility can help drive traffic to your website and other online platforms, leading to increased sales and customer acquisition.

2. Product Launchpad: By leveraging Amazon’s customer base and fulfilment capabilities, you can quickly introduce new products and validate their market potential. This can help you test the waters in the simplest, most cost-effective way and gather feedback before scaling up on other platforms.

3. Market Research Data Tool: Amazon is not an online retailer, it is the largest proprietor of consumer data in the world. Like nowhere else, you can leverage their data to understand customer preferences, trends, and competition. You can then use this information to refine your marketing strategies, product development, and pricing strategies on other platforms.

4. Exclusive Products & Bundles: You may not want to cannibalise your product range or tarnish your squeaky clean non-Amazon reputation, but what if you could create exclusive products or bundles specifically for Amazon, which can help drive sales and create a unique selling proposition for customers. This can help diversify your core offer, whilst still allowing you to capitalise on Amazon’s volume potential.

5. Advertising: Amazon is quickly catching Google in terms of its ad campaign capabilities, and it is way more sophisticated than when I started selling hook racks on the platform 15 years ago! People often fail to realise, however, that advertising on Amazon can be used to drive sales off-channel. Here are a few ways smart brands are doing that:

  • Promote Brand Website or Online Store: You can use Amazon's sponsored brand ads or display ads to promote your brand website or online store.

  • Cross-Promote Products or Campaigns: You can use Amazon advertising to cross-promote your products or campaigns on other platforms.

  • Target Relevant Audiences: You can leverage Amazon's targeting options to reach relevant audiences who may be interested in your products or brand. By using features such as product targeting or audience targeting, you can create ads displayed to customers browsing similar products or who have shown interest in your brand elsewhere online.

  • Utilise Retargeting Campaigns: You can use Amazon advertising to run retargeting campaigns to reach customers who have previously interacted with your brand or products on Amazon.

  • Promote Exclusive Offers: You can create exclusive offers or promotions that are available only on your website or online store, and then use Amazon advertising to promote these offers to Amazon customers.

  • Leverage Amazon Attribution: You can use Amazon Attribution, a tracking and measurement tool, to gain insights into how your Amazon ads are driving traffic and sales on your own website or other external platforms.

6. Fulfilment: You can use Amazon's fulfilment services, such as Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), no news there right! But you can also use Amazon FBA to fulfil multichannel, across channels like Target & Walmart or your own D2C for example. Although FBA has had its challenges lately, this can be an unparalleled way to nail cross-channel compliance.

7. Liquidation & Clearance: We all get stuck with a bunch of stock from time to time right? Amazon can be used extremely well as a channel for liquidation and clearance of excess inventory. Amazon allows brands to sell products at discounted prices, which can help clear out inventory and generate revenue, while still maintaining the brand's reputation and customer loyalty off-channel.

That’s it for this week’s focus. I hope you enjoyed it and that it gave the staunched anti-amazon brands among us some ideas on how to utilise the platform to your advantage as part of a holistic approach to Ecommerce, or indeed some ways you can double down your efforts there. We cannot beat them, but we don’t have to sell out to join them either.

When you’re ready, there are a few ways I can help you:

  1. I share as much valuable content as I can, wherever I can. My goal is to help physical products companies to avoid the rollercoaster that I endured on my own 20-year journey, a journey that I’m still on. My expertise was born out of the experience, not preaching. Follow me on LinkedIn for daily insights!

  2. If you’re ready for globalisation, digitalisation or channel diversification I would recommend getting some help:

→The GTM Gameplan™: A holistic, bespoke eCommerce expansion framework to help forward-thinking brands build and implement a tried and tested plan to help you grow on your terms and go where the opportunity is. Implemented together with key deliverables and timelines.

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→1-On-1 Coaching: You’re not ready, or you don’t need our enterprise services but you would benefit from working with us to support you on your journey to achieving tangible results online. Our structured calls will allow us to go over your objectives, address your biggest challenges, agree on a clear roadmap to success and implement it together with clarity.

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