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As waves of legacy retailers close their doors, countless other retailers and brands are reevaluating their digital strategies in the wake of Amazon’s rise. The reality is that Amazon’s highly sophisticated, dynamic Marketplace has already defined the trajectory of ecommerce, and digital marketing is next on its list.
In a recent earnings report, the online retail giant shed light on both the present success and future potential of its advertising solutions. Amazon reported $2 billion alone in “other revenues” during the first quarter of this year, most of which came from advertising. This number represents a 139 percent increase from the same period a year earlier, and expectations are that this massive growth pattern will continue as estimates of Amazon’s ad revenue are slated at nearly $19 billion by 2020. For brands and retailers selling on the Marketplace, there is a significant opportunity to benefit from Amazon’s shift in focus.
Earlier this year, Amazon reported more than 100 million global Prime subscribers, 68 percent of which make online purchases at least once a week (up from 50 percent in 2017). With more than 50 percent of online shoppers starting their product search directly on Amazon, today’s brands and retailers have access to a rapidly expanding, highly engaged audience that is ready to convert.
Despite this newfound opportunity, the unprecedented pace of Amazon’s innovation is making it difficult to keep pace. Throughout the ecommerce community, a knowledge gap is growing between the brands and retailers navigating these complexities and Amazon itself. As marketing becomes a more critical piece in the complex Amazon puzzle, here are the key strategies brands and retailers should keep in mind to drive success.
Maximize search visibility
Customers rely on Amazon’s algorithm to find the most relevant products they are searching for, so it is important for brands and retailers to implement best practices for creating compelling product listings by taking an in-depth, SEO-style approach to advertising. Optimize listing keywords whenever possible, tailor keywords for visibility, relevance and conversion and use data to understand performance at both a big picture and granular level. At the beginning of a launch campaign for a new product, ads should be used to increase visibility, generate reviews and drive overall traffic, all of which increase exposure and organic sales.
Drive brand awareness
Today, registered brands on Amazon have more freedom than ever before to customize their shopping experience. Through advertising products such as Headline Search Ads and Product Display Ads, brands have access to creative advertising tools and features that can help strengthen their brand equity and promote customer loyalty. Contrary to the idea that selling on Amazon means losing control of your brand ethos, implementing these creative features such as video, comparison charts and feature-rich landing pages not only strengthens brand integrity and awareness but also provides new opportunities to drive traffic and increase conversion rates.
Promote your top products
Every product can benefit from advertising campaigns on Amazon, particularly your best-selling items. Amazon’s Sponsored Products Ads, for example, can drive incremental exposure and revenue for products that are already ranking well organically. However, marketing teams should coordinate these efforts closely with product teams. Brands and retailers should regularly track their inventory levels and projected demand to ensure that they do not go out of stock, particularly during high-volume periods such as the Q4 holiday season.
Use data to your advantage
To thrive on Amazon, brands and retailers need to have a fluid, adaptable business strategy that can quickly account for changing consumer behavior. As other brands and retailers on the Marketplace scale their efforts, this strategy will become increasingly important to remain competitive and drive profits. Many are investing in data-driven AI platforms that can digest and analyze all of the important variables that go into running an Amazon store, not just marketing and advertising. With predictions and actionable advice, these solutions also provide the opportunity to learn how each variable affects success on Amazon, ultimately arming brands and retailers with insights and a competitive Marketplace advantage.
In the coming weeks, months and years, an increasing number of advertising solutions will become available for brands and retailers to implement on Amazon, making selling on this channel even more complicated and competitive. Ultimately, the most successful companies of tomorrow will be the ones that not only stay ahead of Amazon’s shifting priorities but the ones that understand how to leverage these changes to generate success of their own.