Amazon is a critical channel for brands and independent sellers, and the company’s dominance of the e-commerce market is growing in large part due to the vast number of independent brands that use the platform to reach consumers directly.
Whether you are a large brand or a smaller seller, once you’ve worked hard to develop a unique product and begin using Amazon to make your company’s sales grow, you need to control your channel in order to achieve long-term success. Otherwise you risk letting others steal business that is rightfully yours.
Here are a few tips, taken from our white paper on how to maximize Amazon sales success:
Make your reseller agreements airtight
Resellers can play an important role in a manufacturer’s business plan, providing a way to reach a broad array of customers in brick-and-mortar stores and a growing array of online channels.
But when it comes to Amazon, you need to block resellers from undercutting your prices on your own product — which effectively makes you bid against yourself.
GoPro, maker of the wildly popular weatherproof mini-cameras, provides a helpful example of how to avoid having resellers undercut their supplier. To earn the right to handle GoPro products, resellers must agree to 17 specific requirements including: disclosing all locations that carry GoPro, reporting sell-through for physical retail locations and e-commerce sites, selling products only in their original packaging, and marketing only to retail customers on approved websites.
Use the Amazon Brand Registry
By registering their trademarked products with Amazon’s Brand Registry, companies gain important protections when knockoffs of their products appear. Amazon will take speedy action to remove fake listings if they mimic a registered brand.
Registering takes time, but using the registry is well worth the effort. If left unchallenged, unscrupulous sellers can erode brand appeal and customer trust — not to mention hurting your sales through undercutting you on price.
It’s nearly as important to Amazon as it is to you to protect legitimate brands; Jeff Bezos & Co. know that customers want to buy the real thing and will look elsewhere if an imposter takes them for a ride. One proof of that commitment: Amazon has a 24/7 customer service team dedicated to protecting registered brands.
Own the Buy Box
Amazon rewards its most appealing products with a Buy Box on the product detail page. This is a featured place where consumers can add a product to their carts or purchase it using one-click ordering. Given that easy path to the checkout, between 80 to 90 percent of the time a customer will choose to buy that product instead of looking at alternative sellers of that same product appearing farther down the same page. If your product is not winning the Buy Box, Amazon will not serve your Sponsored Products ads, further eating into your potential revenue.
Amazon takes several factors into account when deciding which sellers win the Buy Box, including price, product availability, fulfillment method and the all-important customer reviews.
To increase your chance of winning the Buy Box, be sure to review your pricing to make sure it stacks up well against competitors, keep products in stock, and invest in shortening shipping times when possible. Most importantly, win as many 4- and 5-star customer reviews on your seller account as possible — one happy customer leads to another.