The consumer journey to the Amazon checkout page is more complex than most brands realize and is unlike the traditional journey to checkout out on a brand’s direct website. Amazon is the third largest online marketplace in the world, behind Alibaba’s two giant Chinese shopping sites, Taobao and Tmall. Marketplaces account for 50 percent of global online sales.
The immense amount of competition on Amazon leaves little real estate for brands selling on the online marketplace to gain brand loyalty. Every step a brand makes on Amazon must be branded, targeted, and perfectly executed through a holistic Amazon marketing strategy. Too many brands apply their own e-commerce website strategies to Amazon, underestimating the fact that Amazon is its own retail ecosystem requiring Amazon-specific marketing strategies.
Here are three of the most common marketing mistakes that brands selling on Amazon make and how to fix them to maximize product exposure and sales.
Mistake #1: Neglecting inbound marketing
Inbound marketing campaigns are often the most neglected piece of the consumer journey, because it’s hard to immediately gauge their impact on Amazon sales. However, over time, social media ads and influencer marketing ultimately succeed in holistically increasing brand awareness, which not only drives more sales on Amazon but may result in an uptick in sales across all mediums.
The BloomReach “State of Amazon” study reports that 55 percent of all product searches begin on Amazon, but the other 45 percent of off-Amazon searches should not be ignored. This first mistake made by brands running marketing campaigns on Amazon is failing to meet consumers where they’re at on social media.
Fix: Embrace inbound marketing as a key component of your Amazon marketing approach. For example, engage with an influencer who has a blog or social following that resonate well with your brand. Offering the influencer an exclusive coupon code can help turn their followers into your customers.
Mistake #2: Ineffective Amazon CPC campaigns
The brand recognition created through inbound marketing can drive incremental purchases when shoppers search for products on Amazon because of their newfound familiarity with the brand. Amazon’s ad placements offer prime real estate on the first page of the search results and capture already-engaged shoppers. Only 30 percent of shoppers click past the first page according to global research agency Kantar Millward Brown, so why would you not run these ads that offer an extremely high return for your brand?
Fix: Invest in Amazon CPC ads to drive the right consumers to your listings. With inbound marketing and Amazon CPC ads in place, your chances of getting the most relevant consumer to click into the listing drastically increase, which can lead to the acquisition of repeat customers.
Mistake #3: Publishing listings that are not optimized and lack of content
If you’re spending marketing dollars driving consumers to your brand’s listings, it is paramount that your listings are optimized. Often, listings are sub-par, which is akin to leaving money on the table. Sub-par listings typically lack relevant content, are missing keywords that consumers may be searching for, have poor or a limited number of images, and so on.
Fix: Make sure your listings have x, y, and z… A clear title, keyword-rich content that informs and inspires, high-quality photography and video, and enhanced brand content (which Amazon says can increase conversions by up to 10 percent) are all essential to your listings. They communicate the product’s value, increasing the likelihood that the consumer will proceed with the purchase.
Conclusion: Run holistic Amazon marketing campaigns to maximize sales
When inbound marketing, Amazon CPC ads, and optimized listings are working together, relevant traffic increases, rank improves, and sales can accelerate. If one, two, or even worse, all three above mistakes are made, your Amazon marketing strategy is incomplete, and your sales will not be as strong as possible.
Amazon values the consumer’s experience above all else, with its vision to be “the earth’s most customer-centric company.” Brands that wish to optimize their sales on Amazon should align with this strategy and create holistic marketing campaigns focused on the consumer’s journey to “add to cart.”
Josh Neblett is founder and CEO of online retailer etailz and also of Marketplace Growth Partners, which helps brands and retailers sell on online shopping portals. In 2016, Trans World Entertainment, a retailer of videos, music, toys and pop culture products, acquired etailz. Trans World Entertainment is No. 234 in the 2018 Internet Retailer Top 1000 ranking of North America’s leading online retailers.