Q&A: Chris Caruso of Amazon Business and Maggie Bullard-Marshall of Aldevra, a supplier of healthcare and food-service products and services, share insights on how to sell through Amazon’s B2B marketplace.

In this Q&A article, Digital Commerce 360 B2B asked Amazon Business and one of its third-party sellers to share tips on how companies can effectively sell through Amazon’s B2B marketplace, which recently noted that it has surpassed $25 billion in annualized gross sales in its sixth year of operation.

Chris Caruso, head of pricing, selection and supplier tools at Amazon Business, and Maggie Bullard-Marshall, vice president of Aldevra, a supplier of healthcare and food-service products and services, share tips on how to generate sales and repeat customers.

B2B sellers can differentiate their listings by providing detailed descriptions, effective product images and common keywords.

Q: How can sellers maintain consistent pricing across online stores?

ChrisCaruso-AmazonBusiness

Chris Caruso

Caruso: Price parity is an important element of maintaining customer trust to generate sales. With more B2B companies opting to sell through online stores, competitive and consistent pricing is critical to capturing the attention of buyers. And because these buyers actively monitor and compare listing prices, sellers should too. Online stores give sellers the autonomy to set their own prices and ensure consistency across channels.

Take Vari, an active workspace solutions provider and Amazon Business selling partner. More than 98% of Fortune 500 companies use Vari products, so the seller has to maintain pricing across a number of touchpoints. This entails monitoring similar listings to gauge customer expectations, and then refining prices ad hoc to drive customer loyalty and sales. Amazon Business offers selling partners with professional selling plans an Amazon Selling Coach, a feature offering personalized recommendations to help businesses determine comparable offers with lower prices.

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Q: How can sellers leverage online selling tools, such as optimized product listings and customer reviews and ratings?

Caruso: The importance of positive customer reviews cannot be overstated: 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to go through with a purchase if they read a trusted review. Sellers should be aware of and leverage tools provided by the online store. For example, Amazon offers the Early Reviewer Program to incentivize buyers to submit reviews. B2B sellers should strategize ways to offer bulk pricing discounts or other motivations for buyers to leave positive feedback.

Just as businesses use optimization to place their web pages at the top of search engine results, B2B sellers can differentiate their listings by providing detailed descriptions, effective product images and common keywords. Accurate product data that reflects inventory status sets initial customer expectations about when they will receive the product, and optimized images lets them know what to expect when they do. Images should clearly show the entire product, infographics or sizing information.

Sellers can also make sure their products are easily discoverable with relevant keywords and concise, rather than cluttered, product descriptions. Amazon Business offers selling partners criteria to help them generate optimized keywords and terms.

Q: How can sellers maintain consistent pricing across online stores?

MaggieBullard-Marshall_Aldevra

Maggie Bullard-Marshall

Bullard-Marshall: Many manufacturers and resellers establish a minimum advertised price (MAP) to ensure consistency between ecommerce platforms. Fees vary depending on the online store/tool being used, but the MAP can remain the same from the consumer perspective.

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Q: How can sellers leverage online selling tools, such as optimized product listings and customer reviews and ratings?

Bullard-Marshall: Robust product descriptions and customer reviews are two of the most influential bits of information consumers use to make buying decisions. We recommend, at a minimum, developing an Excel spreadsheet that captures product names, descriptions and images to make sure the listings are as comprehensive as possible on the online platform, and consistent among the sites.

Sellers should also promptly address any negative reviews and take corrective action so other consumers can see that the seller may not always be perfect but does take responsibility and try to make things right by the customer. Amazon’s Seller Central offers a number of tools for sellers to optimize product information and provides suggestions on how to improve the customer experience.

In addition, the Wayfair decision has made collecting and remitting state and local taxes even more complicated, so it’s easier to tell interested customers to order from Amazon as Amazon ensures compliance.

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