Archive for October, 2018

How to Leverage Amazon Marketing and Promotions to Drive Business Forward

How to Leverage Amazon Marketing and Promotions to Drive Business Forward

On Amazon, marketing and promotions are a must.

Here’s the deal. While Amazon puts your product in front of millions of potential customers, your product will compete against potentially millions of other Amazon products. Any brand that has a product on Amazon and wants to succeed must leverage marketing and promotions to drive brand and product awareness.

We know Amazon shoppers find products in many ways. They search directly for the best deals in the Today’s Deals section. Offering Lightning Deals or Best Deals can require steep discounting but the visibility and uptick in sales make it worthwhile. Being in the right spot at the right price point, at the right time, so customers put your product in their shopping cart is the difference between winning and losing on Amazon. Shoppers also discover products through generic search terms in the search bar. 80% of clicks happen on page one of results and If your product is not on page one, you are missing out on 80% of the audience.

No marketing. No new yacht.

You may have the greatest product in the world, a product that, if people knew about it, will allow you to retire early and sail a yacht through the Mediterranean. If you don’t have a solid strategy in place that leverages the sales power of marketing and promotions, you can kiss your yacht goodbye. Products on Amazon don’t sell themselves. In fact, if your product isn’t selling Amazon will suppress it on the platform. We have seen that even products with major brand equity need to incorporate marketing into their strategy to stay relevant, and these are brands where people are searching for them every single day.

Marketing builds brand likeability.

Many businesses focus just on sales conversions. That is a short-sighted marketing strategy. We work with clients to develop holistic, brand-centric business strategies that build organic awareness for you on the Amazon platform. Awareness puts you top of mind for purchase decisions. We direct marketing to help build a stronger relationship between your brand and the customer. Once you have established a stellar reputation online, customers will search for your brand first before they search for an actual product. This gives you a great advantage over competitors while reducing costs long-term. Marketing creates buzz and draws customers into your sales funnel. By the time they get to your storefront, they have already made up their mind to purchase from you. There is more trust, less risk, and an increase in sales conversions.

Promotions drive sales conversions and organic search.

Revenue is the obvious reason to drive sales conversions. The not-so-obvious reason is that conversions and activity on your storefront help drive organic search rankings. As we stated earlier, we want you to be on page one where customers make most of their decisions. Utilizing special pricing and promotions, we can drive sales for a specific product depending on needs. If the advertising isn’t working as planned or the marketplace is highly competitive, exploring other opportunities such as Subscribe and Save. Subscription services like Subscribe and Save gets you repeat purchases every month, two months, or three months and helps familiarize customers with your brand. As your brand gains momentum, turning off ads and shifting budgets to other marketing and promotions strategies will continue to help establish your presence on and off Amazon. Through marketing, future product launches become less expensive to promote due to this brand awareness and loyalty.

Products leverage marketing which leverages data.

What is best, search volume per month for a brand or a specific product? What is the estimated cost per clicks for advertising going to be? What are the price points? What is the competition doing? How are consumers shopping? Channel Key utilizes in-depth data analysis to structure the foundation of your marketing plan. If the consumer is shopping the majority of the time for brands, we focus on marketing your brand. If consumers are shopping generic searches, we focus more on product-specific initiatives. With all that is going on daily on the Amazon platform, you can’t afford to sit and do nothing with your product. Marketing and promotions are the most valuable tools you possess to generate ongoing sales on the Amazon platform.

If you are interested in learning more about leveraging Amazon marketing and promotions, please click here or reach out to Channel Key at info@channelkey.com today.

Q4 Amazon Planning Strategy

Q4 Amazon Planning Strategy

Why Is Q4 Season Important?

Our goal at Channel Key is to set up our client’s Amazon business’ to be optimally positioned to achieve their goals. A large part of that success can be controlled with strong proactive Q4 holiday season planning.

With Prime Day having already past, customers and sellers on Amazon are looking forward to one thing – Q4 Holiday/Black Friday/Cyber Monday! Amazon brought in $35.13 billion in revenue during Q4 of 2017 and they had a record-breaking season for Prime Orders. This year Amazon will not be holding back and anticipates breaking last year’s records. With more people shopping and an influx of competition each Q4 season, this time of year can make or break businesses entire year on Amazon!

How to Prepare?

The detailed process and system to prepare for the Q4 Season will vary depending on whether you are selling on Amazon as a 3P Seller Central Fulfillment by Amazon, Fulfillment by Merchant, or 1P Vendor Central. For this reason, we’re going to keep our discussion at a high-level.

Use historical (Prime Day, previous Q4, trailing 3-months sales) and current data (sales & inventory, Item Detail Page updates, competitive landscape, and advertising) to position your full selection on Amazon in the most customer-centric manner. By applying your learnings from Prime Day you will amplify the successes you’ve had while minimizing the failures and misses.

Sales & Inventory

  • This data clearly shows what customers have preferred in the past.
  • Where did you see sales spikes and dips? What were the characteristics of those items?
  • Did you have any surprisingly well-performing items? Did you have any underperforming items?
  • Of the items listed above, were there any out-of-stock situations? Conversely, were there any situations where you were left with excessive inventory after a sales cycle?
  • Getting proper FBA inventory quantities sent in advance is critical to making sure you’re not missing the key late November selling days. We recommend shipping in larger quantities in late October/Early November.

Item Detail Page & Content Updates

  • Item Detail Pages on Amazon can be equated to your shelf space, while Amazon Brand Stores can be equated to your storefront. Understanding both what information as well as how that information should be communicated to your customer is of the utmost importance. This remains true most of all on your item detail pages and storefronts.
    • What updates have you made in the past that you saw a positive effect from and Vice Versa?
    • Product returns and negative feedback can be very strong indicators of where content must be improved to more accurately represent what the customer will be receiving.
    • Implementing the correct content changes in advance of Q4 will be imperative in driving success.

Competitive Landscape

Understanding the competitive landscape (# of similar products, pricing strategies, promotional strategies, and advertising strategies) will allow you to focus your efforts on the items with the highest chance of success.

Maybe you provide customers with a product or value that is currently being underserved? Building more into this space will allow you to gain a larger share of a pie with fewer sellers.

Pricing Strategies

Through benchmarking your pricing strategy with other sellers who are targeting the same customer you gain the ability to create a pricing strategy that provides the customer the most value while staying ahead of your competitors.

Promotional Strategies

Your promotional strategy is dependent upon the goal you want to reach during Q4 and can vary by product. Utilize a promotion such as Buy 3 Units and Get 10% off to incentivize customers to buy more than one or offer cross-selling promotions to drive existing traffic to a new product. In addition, promotions have little to no cost besides the discount provided to consumers.

Advertising

Focusing on all the factors listed previously will naturally allow your listings to rise in search and browse, leading to increased customer demand. Now that you have guaranteed a strong foundation to be able to successfully and accurately fulfill customer demand, it’s time to focus on traffic driving! This is where the cherry-on-top happens – Amazon Advertising.

Amazon Advertising recently underwent a re-brand where they consolidated multiple services, tools, and teams into a single ‘Amazon Advertising’ group. While this aims to simplify the Amazon Advertising process, this area remains a complicated, competitive, and growing space. For the sake of simplicity, today we’ll briefly talk about the multiple Amazon advertising tools out there.

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored ads—such as Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands (formerly known as Headline Search Ads)—allow you to reach Amazon customers as they research and discover products. Ads appear on search results pages and relevant product pages, directing customers to your product detail page or Store.

Display Ads

Use relevant audiences, customizable creatives, and actionable insights to deliver your message to the right customers—on Amazon sites, apps, devices, and third-party sites. You can either manage campaigns yourself through the Amazon DSP console or work with our team of experts.

Video Ads

Video ads empower you to tell stories and make emotional connections with customers throughout their decision journeys. We help you reach your ideal audience in brand-safe environments and measure the results of your video campaigns.

Stores

Stores allow you to create your own website, with its own branded URL, on Amazon. You can use it to showcase your brand story and product portfolio in a curated customer destination.

Amazon DSP

Amazon DSP (formerly Amazon Advertising Platform, or AAP) is a demand-side platform that allows you to programmatically reach your audiences both on Amazon sites and apps as well as through our publishing partners and third-party exchanges.

Now what?

You may now be asking yourself…This is a great deal to consider – how can we possibly execute on all of this successfully?! Visit Channel Key or reach out to chat with one of our specialists who can help you finish mapping your road to a successful Q4 Season at info@channelkey.com!

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