We ran a couple marathons at The Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Denver last week. (Seriously, we did 17,000 steps per day – Fitbits don’t lie!) We were on a mission to take the temperature of today’s e-com environment. We met hundreds of sellers - seasoned market masters, fresh-faced newcomers and everyone in between.
For everyone we met, we asked one simple question:
How are you doing on Amazon?
We got a wide range of responses from, “Couldn’t be better!” to “…Amazon? It’s not for us.”
In a nutshell, we learned that there are a lot of emerging concerns across the board. Many brands are scrambling to address Amazon’s crackdown on CRAP (Can’t Realize A Profit). Some larger brands feel like things are running pretty smoothly selling through 1P, some brands are actively avoiding Amazon, and some brands are looking for help on the platform. But we noticed some of the same concerns popping up again and again. And, for the most part, these concern all came down to addressing two of our core principles At ProMark: Profitability and Brand Cohesion.
After the event, we broke it all down: the frustrations, the concerns, the solutions. Here’s what we found:
Concern #1: Intellectual Property (IP) Protection
Brands are tired of introducing innovative products and gifts, only to see other Amazon sellers swoop in weeks later with cheaper knockoffs. Or, many times there are already cheaper versions on the platform.
Solution: Rule the category. Make your product THE ONLY choice. Leverage your product’s higher quality and be the voice of authority with stronger content that builds brand loyalty and trust. Another thing to keep in mind – if you’re letting other sellers have free reign with a similar product on Amazon – they’re hurting your brand off Amazon. Compete on their turf – make it YOUR TURF.
Concern #2: Pricing (MAP)
Everyone wants more control over their pricing on Amazon. When Amazon or 3P sellers manipulate the price to be below a brand’s MAP policy, brands are left dealing with the fallout on other channels.
Solution: Take back price control on the 3P side. It’s easier said than done, but our Brand Booster agency will take the time to get you Brand-Registered, clean up your Amazon seller from other 3rd parties, and own the Buy Box to put you back in the driver’s seat.
Concern #3: Shipping + Inventory
Whether it’s paying storage fees or high shipping costs, brands are left with steep bills and less predictability when it comes to shipping and inventory fees. For some brands, Amazon is regulating larger products/hazmat products. This is frustrating as brands have to evaluate just how to ship their products under the new terms. Meanwhile, Amazon is seeing a profit; shipping charges and Prime subscriptions are their bread and butter.
Solution: Optimize the supply chain. Again, as a 3P Seller, brands have an opportunity to track their inventory, and in turn, allocate inventory to better align with seasonality, market trends, excess stock, and product life cycles – reducing storage fees, and tying shipping costs to sales conversions.
Concern #4: “Amazon’s Not the Right Fit for Our Brand.”
A lot of brands treat Amazon as a stigma; they’re worried their brand will not be represented accurately in terms of style and voice, that they’ll come off as sell-outs. In a nutshell, it’s a too-cool-for-school mentality that defines many brands thinking they’re at their best operating in a smaller market off-Amazon.
Solution: Optimize your content on your terms. By not doing so, you run the risk of letting other sellers offer your product on Amazon without preserving your brand’s voice. Tell your story your way. When our team works with brands, your style guide is the Holy Grail when optimizing your titles, bullets, descriptions, and images to best represent your brand.
Concern #5: No Concern
Having no concern is … concerning. Many brands are happy with the status quo. They’re confident they’re doing enough; confident their listings are competitive enough. While settling for business as usual, their competitors are undercutting their prices, introducing compelling new content, and leaving brands in the dust.
Solution: Competitive Analysis. There is a huge opportunity waiting on Amazon. Don’t think so? Why not take advantage of one free hour of consulting to see if there’s something you’re not thinking of? Where is your focus? Make your money where your focus is by identifying the opportunity and claiming your share in the market.
ProMark was founded to not only boost brands on Amazon’s ever-growing platform, but to lay the groundwork for long term success. Our team of experts thrives on tackling all of the above issues, and much, much more. Whether you’re new to Amazon, or curious to learn more about maximizing your brand’s performance, we’re always eager to meet new partners looking to accelerate to the top. To learn more about our introductory Brand Audit, please reach out using the form below, or email us any time: email@example.com