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Why You Can’t Afford To Ignore Amazon Any Longer

 

It’s no surprise that most consumers go online first before making a purchase of any kind. Specifically, they beeline for Amazon—reviews, price checks, questions, product comparisons, you name it. It’s all right there. Now with Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, on-demand snack service and even a roving (that’s right) Treasure Truck, it’s all right there…and down the street.

Until now, a user-friendly, but restrictive and oatmeal-bland interface prohibited brands from really standing out in the endless sea of no-nonsense digital aisles. However, Amazon just released a suite of branding tools and media services designed to attract even more brands to activate on the platform, and empower Amazon users to make better, more informed purchase decisions.

The free-for-all is just beginning…

Those who take advantage will surely reap the rewards. Those that don’t? Well, they’re leaving money on the table…and making it easier for salivating competitors to recover the fumble—in the form of current and incremental sales.

How You Can Be Among the First to Take Action
From a marketing standpoint, Amazon has become nearly as important as more traditional search engines, like Google. But it can be difficult to know where to focus to make a real difference on the platform, and ultimately increase your brand awareness, recognition and overall revenue.

An agency who is well-versed in the latest Amazon offerings (they change almost weekly) is essential to help guide the process and provide innovative business thought leadership. Staying ahead of the curve and activating in this landscape requires agility, connections and time. It’s a job in and of itself.

Larger CPG companies have already begun reacting. Some set up teams dedicated solely to Amazon. Even smaller players are employing at baseline an internal resource or “e-Commerce Manager” (often a junior person who “gets the Internet”). And while that’s certainly a step in the right direction, it’s most definitely not enough.

“Staying ahead of the
curve is a job in and of itself.”

The e-Commerce team or manager IS critical to the process—particularly to deal with supply chain, shipping, warehouse operations, pricing, logistics, setting and fixing the SKU mix, and ultimately maintaining relationships with key Amazon buyers in the category (who often can’t be reached for assistance easily like they are in the Brick and Mortar world). Marketers and sales teams who are serious about taking advantage of the “Amazon opportunity” require a well-rounded ecosystem of talent, knowledge and expertise to deliver real, desired results.

Though Amazon is considered “self-service,” it doesn’t mean anyone who knows how to use the Web can create, maintain and grow a brand (and increase sales) there. Just like in the world of brand management, internal brand resources need a partner on the marketing side to help develop strategy, creative, promotion and innovate in the space.

The RIGHT partner brings e-tailing consumer insights married with brand-building expertise across strategy, creative and content, and efficiently puts media dollars in the right places to get the best ROI. The world of AMG, AMS and AAP (we’ll talk more later) is complex, and frankly, you can ask the bank where to put your money (guess what they’ll say), OR you can ask an independent advisor to invest it wisely so you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck.

Amazon’s agile approach to the evolution of its platform means that things change frequently. And if you don’t have a team of people paying attention, watching the horizon and poised to act—you’ll be Amazon Prime-d out of luck.

A Peek Into What’s New
An ever-burgeoning consumer demand for a convenient, but full-bodied digital shopping experience inspired Amazon’s latest round of offerings, which include next-level Brand Stores, informative and immersive Product Page Enhancements, and a Media Platform designed to help get them scrolling in front of consumer eyeballs.

Brand Stores

Amazon’s New Brand Stores are built for browsing.

“There is a 9% conversion rate for consumers
who reach a brand store on Amazon.”

(and that’s just for the old ones!)

Consumers and brands alike can get excited about this unique, dynamic and more visually-driven chance to meet consumers where they are by presenting brands in a way that they’re used to experiencing them in other retailers. (Think: browsing magazine-worthy imagery, comparing features and pricing, getting drawn in by the brand’s DNA) Plus, it not only helps you create another entry point for your brand by capturing consumers you might not otherwise reach, but allows you to protect your brand reputation by controlling the quality of your marketing efforts.

The flexible templates also provide a rich canvas to showcase content that completes the story around a brand and its products.

Enhanced Product Pages

Strategic attention to content, creative, brand and products opens up an entirely new “path” of awareness, consideration, intent and sales.filling out the brand store with a collection of detailed “A+ pages” creates a full catalog of offerings and ties everything together with a cohesive and consistent bow.

Shoppers can make more informed choices by seeing any details they desire at a glance, while brands ramp up awareness, increase conversions, cross-sell (or upsell) and enjoy improved SEO relevance.

Amazon Media Group

AMG is Amazon’s proprietary media platform that can be used similarly to any other media publisher’s platform in that display ads both on and off Amazon can be purchased, consumers can be retargeted, their behaviors can be monitored, and more.

This built-in media program is by far the most expensive option. And while it is a great awareness building solution for brands with larger budgets, before diving in headfirst, it’s essential that brands get “the basics” right. That means tapping into some of the more cost-sensitive options to set a foundation:

  • AMS (Amazon Marketing Services)—for targeted keyword/search to drive both organic and paid SEO results. AMS is table stakes and the strategy should be developed in conjunction with the content/creative development for Amazon. AMS is self-service, but requires a detailed understanding the search strategies for Amazon (which differ from Google).
  • AAP (Amazon Advertising Platform)—a new, but underutilized self-service platform that allows brands to enjoy many of AMG’s features (including more creative display, behavior targeting, etc.) with less investment.

When it comes to adding these features to your brand portfolio, there are no downsides. Only upsides…that keep going up.

How Agile Marketing Can Help
Over the course of just a few months, our Agile marketing agency, Scrum50 helped clients like Juicy Couture, Elizabeth Arden, Nestle Waters, Nothing But The Fruit  and Conair earn between 300%-600% ROAS—results that simply cannot be refuted.

“In just a few months, our clients earned
300%-600% ROAS.”

Forward-thinking executives are treating Amazon like a true marketing channel. As a leader in emerging e-Retail—and experts in the content realm—Scrum50 brings together test and learn capabilities, quick insights gathering and lightening-speed implementation to help our clients build brands and achieve sales results.

Contact us to see how we can help your brand succeed in this exciting and evolving territory.