As we’ve said many times, the world of marketing and sales continues to change very rapidly, and e-commerce is one of the major drivers of those changes.
And who is at the forefront of this e-commerce earthquake? Amazon.com of course! It’s no wonder that one of the hottest topics clients are asking about these days is how to deal with Amazon.
Amazon has transformed the world of retail in unimaginable ways. Consider this…Amazon continues to dominate e-commerce and “change the game” in so many ways and in so many categories. E-Marketer recently reported that with an incredible 49.1% market share of online shopping, Amazon is bigger in e-commerce than eBay, Apple, Walmart, Home Depot, Best Buy and Macy’s combined! (And those retailers are all ranked in the Top 10 online!) And it seems as if 90% of the time, the price of an item on Amazon is cheaper than in a typical “bricks and mortar” retail store. And with just a few clicks, the item can be ordered and then delivered seamlessly (and super quick if you’ve got Amazon Prime!).
As companies watch all of this, people lose sleep over the fact that in an instant, they could wake up one morning having lost half of their business! The key question for business people is…how does/will all of this affect you and your business, and what should you do about it? Let’s have a look….
9 Amazon Survival Strategies for Your Business in 2019!
- Recognize the Shifts Within your Category, Which Are Often Dramatic – Amazon is affecting almost every retail category. In fact, for 2019, be on the lookout for Amazon’s continued expansion into healthcare, beauty products and food. So do you know how it is affecting YOUR category? And even if you’re a B2B, you’re likely being affected in some way indirectly. If you’re not at least tracking your category on Amazon, you’d better start as there may be seismic shifts occurring right in your blind spot!
- Analyze the Successful Players in Your Specific Industry – For example, in CPG, look at what Clorox has done. In just one year, they grew their e-commerce business +50% overall and +98% on Amazon alone.
- Register Your Brand on Amazon’s Brand Registry – As Amazon itself says…Their registry helps you protect your intellectual property and create an accurate and trusted experience for Amazon’s customers. It also lowers the risk of someone selling counterfeit products under your brand name.
- Carefully Consider and Balance Your Amazon Fulfillment Options – There are 3 primary selling options in conjunction with Amazon. “FBA” or Fulfilled by Amazon is where you do all of the selling by yourself on Amazon, but you ship your inventory to Amazon and they fulfill each order via their world class fulfillment and shipping facilities. “MFN” or Merchant Fulfilled Network is when you sell on Amazon, but fulfill each customer order by yourself. Finally, Vendor Central is where Amazon buys products from you in bulk and then they sell it in the Amazon Marketplace. Obviously, each of these options has pros and cons, and you can use multiple methods, but carefully weight each for your individual business needs.
- Stand Out From Your Competition on Amazon – Be sure your photography and descriptive copy is top notch and read your competitor product reviews to get insights as to where they are strong and where weak. Interesting that one of the hottest competitive type questions clients are posing to me these days is as follows…”People are selling my products on Amazon at prices lower than we sell them for ourselves. How do they do this and how can we protect ourselves? If you don’t know how to answer this question, reach out to us or someone qualified to help guide you!
- Defend Your Business vs. Amazon Itself – Amazon certainly does a great job selling products, but you can distinguish yourself with things like product details, video demos, special one off promotions and customer service focused FAQs on topics such as shipping and return policies.
- Go on the Offensive! – I have a number of clients who have grown their revenue base so fast through Amazon, that it is today one of their top couple of distribution channels! The payoff for those who know what they’re doing can be enormous. Think Amazon paid search, sponsored product ads, value bundles, cross sell and “Buy Box” features.
- Explore the New “Amazon Stores” Feature to Highlight Your Own Product Line – These are new multipage store options that provide an enhanced brand centric shopping experience on both consumer’s desktop computers and mobile phones. Great for customizing your own product collection, and enhancing the consumer’s shopping experience.
- Explore Advanced Technologies such as dynamic “pricing”. Based on market supply and demand, Amazon often reprices certain items every 15 minutes. But dynamic pricing software can help you do this as well to change prices in real time and generate the most revenue possible.
Bottom line….Are you taking advantage of Amazon’s amazing new source of revenue yet? The payoff can be enormous! But at a bare minimum, you need to watch and protect your flank, so you don’t wake up one day having lost 50% of your revenue.