Steve Honight of Alchemy NRG is back with us again, but this time to talk about something very different. Last time Steve joined us to talk about the eCommerce business he was running – New Running Gear. (Episode 98 if you want a listen).
Steve recently sold that business and is now using what he learnt making New Running Gear a success to help brands use the Amazon Marketplace as an extra channel alongside their eCommerce site.
Switching to a Seller’s Platform
Amazon has become less interested in pushing the vendor model and has begun to suggest those using it to switch to the seller’s platform because it has shown more success. Steve picked up on this trend and realized that many online store owners need help switching models and figuring out how to manage the seller platform because it requires a lot more involvement. He jumped on this need as an open business opportunity and dropped his own store to begin consulting.
Listen to learn which model is right for you and what each involves.
The King of the eCommerce Jungle
It’s no secret that Amazon is an eCommerce giant and continues to spread like wildfire. In fact, 55% of online shoppers browse with them before anyone else. Amazon has built an extremely impressive brand that people trust and appreciate for price and convenience. Amazon Prime, the real game changer, provides users free two-day shipping along with many other benefits that make it really difficult not to buy into. Amazon not only improves visibility with frequent visits, but the consumers are also generally locked in as repeat customers with Prime – music to the ears of store owners looking to improve return traffic.
There’s Always a Dark Side
In arguably the most competitive eCommerce platform to date, SEO masters and vendors with deep advertising pockets maintain a huge advantage over anyone ranking on the second page. Amazon Echo has made it possible to purchase using voice commands (14% of their current sales are from Alexa) which enables anyone at the very top of the search results to automatically yield that 14% by default of the voice command. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just means you have to step up your game. The bigger downside most sellers struggle with is that Amazon owns the customers that buy on their platform. Shopify sellers who are used to receiving demographic and contact details from activity on their own site often struggle to find ways to track and market towards past customers.
Listen to learn the pros and cons of selling on Amazon and how to work the cons to your advantage.
Choosing Your Model
In order to offer a product as “Primeable,” fulfillment must either follow the FBA model or the Merchant Fulfilled model. The FBA model ensures that everything is done through an Amazon Fulfillment center and tends to be more cost effective with the added bonus of trustworthy Amazon packaging and highly trusted standards. The Merchant Fulfilled model uses other verified carriers and is generally better for shipping large, bulky products. Both options allow products to be eligible for Amazon Prime, which automatically makes them more preferable to customers.
Maximizing Amazon Sales
Improving rankings on Amazon is very similar to improving SEO on Google. The most important component there is to make all product listings rank highly with relevant keywords and include them in product descriptions, titles, and backend keywords. It is better to use keywords cleverly rather than prioritize quantity over quality; keyword stuffing will count against you. However, even more effective than SEO is paying for sponsored products. This lends the opportunity of automatically ranking higher and can be done with keyword bidding. This technique allows analyzation of product success by monitoring impressions, CPC and sales delivered. Given the competitive playing field of Amazon, it is wise to run both offensive and defensive campaigns that pay attention to other brands ranking near the top.
Listen to learn how to optimize Amazon as a marketing platform.
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eCommerce Book Top Tip
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – by Yuval Noah Harari
Understanding who we are as humans
- Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow – by Yuval Noah Harari
How humans are going to evolve in the future
eCommerce Traffic Top Tip
- Use the Amazon button on your own eCommerce store and use your own affiliate code to capture yourself extra credits
You can hear about all this on the podcast, for free – right now…
Tool Top Tip
- Boomerang – Email app that recalls email back to your inbox if it hasn’t been read in a couple days
Growth Top Tip
- Own the IP of your product
- Get it registered on Amazon
- Optimize for headline search
- Be one of the first three listeners to contact Steve and his team at Alchemy NRG and receive your free tailored Product Listing Optimization audit, normally priced at £79.