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The myths that prevent you from winning on Amazon

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Success on Amazon can be described as a tactical game, with brands constantly having to adapt to new competitors' practices, consumer behavior or changes within the Amazon. .

For companies looking to make their way to the top, or stay there, it can be tempting to minimize Amazon's chaos by clinging to the "best practices" of years past.

Between my work and what I see in the e-commerce landscape, it is clear that brands need to abandon some of these past practices to meet the current realities of the e-commerce marketplace. In addition, by encouraging better interdepartmental collaboration, tactics can better fit into broader strategic objectives and long-term sales growth.

Here are the three myths you must stop believing.

1. You only want reviews of 5 stars

Of course, you want to get as many five-star reviews as you can, but across the verticals and price points, consumers care much more about the large number of reviews on a page rather than the overall rating.

The examples below come from a recent analysis of our company made of more than 335,000 tools and home improvement pages on Amazon, as well as an investigation from the consumers we conducted in early 2018.

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In the first chart, top-performing products account for the top 10% of Amazon's sales at this price level, while the worst performers are the bottom 10%. The second graph shows the number of revisions needed to reassure them before making a purchase.

Click on image to enlarge.

Brands should see this as a call to arms to more effectively solicit customer reviews to increase their market share. While there are paid tactics like Amazon's Vine Critics Program or solution providers that aim to ease the pace and format of post-purchase communication, less expensive options may include:

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  • Insert packaging proactively asking the user to review the product on Amazon.
  • Sending personalized emails to customers for a reasonable period of time after receipt.
  • Answer customer questions posted directly on the product page as they appear.

Of course, remember never to trade products for criticism or to risk harsh penalties on the part of Amazon.

2. Delete old or abandoned products

In the world of brick and mortar, the continuous rotation of new products to replace old ones on the shelves was a proven strategy to reinvigorate sales. But in the digital retail business, and the endless aisles that accompany it, your new products do not compete with your old ones for a limited display space. In addition, search engines like Google and Amazon A9 use longevity-related aspects such as historical links and clickthrough rates to inform search rankings.

Given all this, do not throw out the relevance and existing SEO of long-standing ASINs by deleting the product page, even if it is abandoned. We've even seen brands put "Discontinued by Manufacturer" in the product title, helping people examine similar products by the same brand.

Remember that if a customer arrives on an abandoned product page via Google, for example, Amazon does its best to keep them on the site and convert them via the "Customers viewed" banner. to action, as seen above.

3. The only Amazon ads that are worth bidding are Category or Similar Brand Searches

Title search and Amazon Marketing Services sponsored product announcements (AMS) are a great way to catapult your products to the top of an Amazon search page, making it very tempting to focus meaningful portions of these ads on these relevant terms. extremely high search volumes on the site. These include searches by category (for example, a vacuum cleaner) or competing brand searches to steal market shares.

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But with the maturation of AMS as a whole, these terms are more and more often attached to very high CPCs, which risks crippling the overall ROAS. While each brand must absolutely do its due diligence in these relevant and potentially important terms (and protect its own brand searches), successful brands seek to bid outside of their specific vertical markets to generate incremental sales over time. lower CPCs. ]

At a recent conference, Spencer Millberg of One Click Retail highlighted this example of Moov, a fitness brand, who made an offer on Speedo's searches to run AMS ads for his own trackers.

As another example, a research advertisement from The Classic Kitchen showcasing its high-end kitchen accessories appears in search of Le Creuset – a range of pots, pans, Dutch ovens and other top kitchen utensils. range.

These more creative uses of AMS – auctions on brand terminology where consumers have essentially segmented themselves – are a tactic that deserves to be studied in order to generate more sales without reducing the advertising budget.

Bringing All Together

It should be noted that in the aforementioned "tactical game" on Amazon, the strategic element that binds everything is an organizational structure and a process that allows the best possible results. This may include technology or software that facilitates collaboration between internal teams, but it also requires a concerted effort to have Amazon-focused teams meet regularly (for example, weekly or biweekly) with their counterparts. sales, marketing or product development.

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Successful brands take this philosophy to heart to help them more effectively address the interdepartmental challenges of the digital landscape, such as managing cross-channel inventory during promotional periods or launching new robust digital products. These regular audits and the organizational alignment that they foster can go a long way toward ensuring sustainable success on the digital shelf.

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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. The authors of the staff are listed here.

About the author

Andrew Waber is the director of Data Insights and Media Relations at Salsify, a provider of Product Experience Management (PXM) platforms. In his current role, Andrew manages the analysis, editorial direction and strategy of Salsify's public reporting in the online retail market. Prior to joining Salsify, Andrew held the position of Director of Market Research and Media Relations for the Nanigans advertising automation software provider. He has also been a market analyst and senior report author for Chitika Insights, the research arm of online advertising network Chitika. Andrew's comments on online trends have been cited by the New York Times, Re / Code and The Guardian among others.