Amazon Web Services (AWS), Audible, Amazon Advertising, and Amazon.com–Which of these do you think is Amazon’s fastest growing channel?
Did you say Amazon.com? Think again. While Amazon.com is pulling huge numbers year over year and continues to be a dominating force for business, the company’s fastest growing channel is a relative newcomer that has quietly slipped into the main lexicon of B2B sales and become a powerhouse that sellers and buyers alike should be watching closely: Amazon Business.
Just as its name suggests, Amazon Business is an Amazon marketplace exclusively for businesses. It looks and operates like Amazon.com, but offers additional features to help B2B buyers run their business more economically. B2B buyers are able to procure hundreds of millions of products on Amazon Business, many of which cannot be found on Amazon’s other channels. These products include IT products, janitorial products, medical supplies, restaurant supplies, office supplies, and other materials they may need for their staff and site.
Amazon Business is a fairly new addition to Amazon and the B2B space. It was launched in 2015, and has since undergone rapid growth. It’s important to note that Amazon Business isn’t just an experiment or backburner channel for Amazon. Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has made it clear that Amazon Business is a priority as the company looks to expand, and the numbers paint a clear picture of why.
Three years after it launched, Amazon Business surpassed $10 billion in annualized sales. The channel hit $25 billion in worldwide annualized sales in May 2021, and their gross sales grew 2.9 times faster than the total sales for Amazon.com, according to Digital 360. More than half of that comes from third-party sellers, who have the unique opportunity to sell to larger corporations through Amazon Business.
Amazon Business is currently available in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, India, and Japan. Business Prime is currently more limited.
In addition to a wide product selection, the Amazon Business platform offers several unique perks for businesses. For example, business buyers have access to multiple-user accounts (this means they can connect their entire team to the platform), exclusive business-only discounts on products, bulk discounts on products, pallet deliveries, time saving features to help them run their business more effectively, and the option to sign up for a Business Prime membership.
Similar to Amazon Prime, Business Prime members pay a membership fee that gives them access to exclusive services like free same-day, one-day, or two-day shipping on eligible products.
Amazon Business is a bit like the dark web of Amazon, because regular users can’t just find its storefront by searching for it or stumbling upon it. Getting on Amazon Business requires approval from Amazon.
Just like on Amazon’s main channel, businesses can create an account on Amazon Business and join for free. Once a business has created an account and been verified by Amazon, they can then access the Amazon Business storefront.
Imagine how Amazon.com works and you’ll have a great idea of how Amazon Business works: they’re essentially the same. Buyers can add products to their cart, select whether or not it’s a recurring delivery, and purchase products the same way they would on Amazon.com.
Buyer behavior has changed dramatically over the past few years, and B2B buyer behavior and business procurement is no exception. B2B buyers and business managers of today are largely tech-savvy millennials who want to buy products for their business the same way they’re buying products for themselves: totally online, without having to speak to a middleman, and without waiting weeks for their products to be shipped to them. These buyers are looking for something familiar that’s efficient and easy to use. Doing things the traditional way, such as buying directly through a VAR, isn’t cutting it anymore.
B2B brands should be selling on Amazon Business simply because that’s where their customers are and how their customers want to make their purchases. As of May 2021, Amazon Business was serving over five million businesses, and the B2B ecommerce sector at large is projected to increase to $1.8 trillion come 2023. There is a plethora of opportunity in the online B2B space right now, and suppliers who want to grow are going to need to adapt quickly to capture this growing revenue stream.
Another reason why B2B companies should be selling on Amazon Business is because their products are likely already being sold there, and without some kind of control or oversight brands can run into brand protection and reputation problems.
VARs and other third party sellers are aware of the potential that Amazon Business has for business, and when given the opportunity, many of them are flocking to Amazon to list products. The issue is that most VARs cannot be both a good traditional seller and a good Amazon seller. While they might be experts at offline sales, they’re likely not familiar with or well-tuned to the complexities of selling on Amazon. This may lead to product listings that don’t follow basic practices (like having good images and clear, concise product descriptions), poorly selected keywords, inconsistent pricing, and a lack of thought put into overall brand messaging. This will reflect poorly on the product and the manufacturer in addition to the seller, meaning the brand is hurt without any say.
Having a presence on Amazon Business allows you to tidy up your brand messaging, regain control, and ensure that no matter who is selling your product, the B2B customer experience remains exceptional.
Now is an exciting time to be a B2B seller, and Amazon Business is making the B2B experience more streamlined and lucrative than ever. Brands looking for opportunities to grow should be looking at Amazon Business yesterday and partnering with VARs who can help them leverage the platform to their advantage.
If you’re interested in learning more about an Amazon-experienced VAR or how Pattern can help your B2B tech brand excel on Amazon, request a demo and see how our experts can upgrade your marketplace offering.
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Peak season is almost upon us and with all signs pointing to it starting earlier than ever, with Christmas gifting searches now ramping up in August and September, it’s time to start preparing for peak. In this article, we’re sharing our top five tips for planning and preparing for peak season with Google Ads and the strategies required to get your Paid Search ready so you can drive success over this crucial period.
In 2021, gifting search terms started increasing in popularity in August. The general trend is that people are looking, researching and weighing their options early, so it’s best to start your Paid activity early to ensure that you’re capturing that early research traffic. This will help drive revenue alongside aiding those consumers who are in their research phase.
From 2020 to 2021, spend during Cyber Week actually only rose 2% but in the weeks leading up to it, it increased by 16%. However, Cyber Week is still the biggest period during the latter half of the year, accounting for 23% of all online spend by consumers over peak. Being prepared and starting early will help you to maximise your time during this period.
According to Google, 48% of global consumers have stopped buying or using a service due to privacy concerns. Privacy is front of mind when consumers are shopping online and we know that Google is phasing out 3rd party cookies in 2023. This is going to make it much harder to track users online and it’s something that brands need to think about this now – waiting isn’t an option.
From a Google Ads point of view, you want to ensure you have set up the Google Ads tag across your site and have enabled ‘Enhanced Conversions’, which ensures all conversions are tracked and allows you to monitor other actions such as ‘Add to Cart.’ This is relatively easy to set up, especially if you use ‘Google Tag Manager’.
It’s also vitally important that you build up your first-party data during this time as this is data you own and it can be used when targeting consumers that have provided your brand with their email address. Pattern’s own experience shows that by segmenting and using first-party data, you can see a 10% improvement in revenue and ROI.
A full-funnel approach is now more important than ever as consumers become more discerning and have more choices than ever of where to shop.
Pattern has seen success with Google Ads’ ‘Discovery Campaigns’ (image-based ads that appear on Google platforms such as Gmail and the Google app), which have driven success both from a traffic and revenue perspective.
The performance of these campaigns is significantly enhanced by adopting a segmented and nuanced approach to first-party data and incorporating these into your campaigns. Other options for a full-funnel approach include YouTube and testing bidding on keywords that are more representative of the research phase. (e.g. ‘best baby clothes’ for a baby clothes brand)
Earlier this year, Google announced that they were moving away from Smart Shopping and launched Performance Max. This is a new campaign type that incorporates features and placements from Smart Shopping but expands them onto other platforms such as Gmail but also alternative creative options, such as images and videos.
Since Google has already started automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max, expect to see some fluctuations in the first 2 weeks following the switch over but results generally seem positive. We recommend upgrading sooner rather than later to limit any potential impact to peak period.
Peak period will be even more competitive than in 2021 and you’ll need your budgets to support this period, we recommend boosting budgets in October to start capturing that early peak traffic. As we enter November and the Cyber Period, start early and make sure you are capturing those consumers looking for early bargains, ensuring you are being nimble in your optimisations and reacting to the data that you are seeing.
Overall, peak period is vital to help drive your sales and by preparing early, you will see strong results and drive success for your brand. If you want to discuss how your brand can navigate this next peak period, contact us to discuss your options with our performance team now.
Entering the ecommerce landscape is a huge undertaking for any brand—it usually requires a large investment in resources and expertise to really be successful. Any brand can quickly get in over their heads trying to navigate the nuances of SEO, fulfillment and logistics, distribution control, listing optimization, and meeting the numerous other requirements and administrative tasks to show up well on marketplaces.
Unfortunately, because it’s so easy for third party, gray market, and unauthorized sellers to obtain and sell products online, many brands find themselves pressured to execute an ecommerce plan without the right resources to succeed on marketplaces and their other channels.
So, for brands looking to enter the ecommerce space or improve their current and future performance, it makes sense to partner with an ecommerce consultant.
Pattern’s global presence and proven success with hundreds of brands has allowed us to develop highly effective ecommerce consulting services. We can guide your brand to navigate issues both large and small in marketplaces worldwide. To maximize your ecommerce efforts, you’ll need to understand what an ecommerce consultant does and how to select one who drives the right value for your brand and products.
An ecommerce consultant is a specialist in the ecommerce space who can give you personalized guidance on how to market your products and grow their presence on digital marketplaces.
An ecommerce consultant should be able to analyze your brand, audience, category, opportunity, and current roadblocks and help you understand how to utilize your resources (or what resources are missing) to be most effective in capturing your opportunities in the ecommerce space.
Not sure how to evaluate a consultant? Here are 4 key attributes to look for as you make your choice.
At Pattern, we prioritize brand obsession for a reason—we know that a brand-centered mindset makes a crucial difference in the outcomes and results our partners achieve. So in our experience, when you begin your search for an ecommerce consultant, it’s important to look for a partner who is specialized in ecommerce, invested in the product, and passionate about helping brands build and improve their strategies. Typically, this means finding someone that consults exclusively for ecommerce marketplaces, rather than choosing a consultant who offers many different services.
It’s also important to avoid choosing a consulting partner who can’t deliver the right experience for your brand. The best indication of whether your potential consultant can do that is to review their history, data, and results with other brands. Ask if they’ve helped others in your selling category, if they’ve solved specific issues your brand is facing, and why they feel you are a good fit. The key is to leave the conversation feeling confident that you understand your consultants’ capabilities and whether or not they match up with your needs.
It’s best to pick a consultant who knows how to guide a brand onto and through multiple marketplaces worldwide. You’ll want to take a look at your long-term strategy and think about the regions and platforms you’re currently on and where you might want to take your brand in the future. If your consultant is truly great at what they do, they’ll be able to help you perform well enough with your current product roadmap that it’ll be a no-brainer to expand your presence at the right time.
The most effective partnership with an ecommerce consultant will be able to give you both recommendations and point you to solutions for making those changes in your planning, processes, and execution. Your time and money is valuable, so you want to make sure that you’re spending it as efficiently as possible as you follow your consultant’s advice. So, before you commit to an ecommerce consultant, ask about the resources and concrete solutions they typically recommend to the brands they work with.
Finding an ecommerce consultant that checks the boxes can be a difficult task. At Pattern, our entire focus and drive centers around giving brands the tools and resources they need to succeed on domestic and international ecommerce marketplaces.
With over 100 global ecommerce consultants across 10 global offices, we have the right tools to partner with brands across the world to achieve better ecommerce success. We give specialized advice, then make sure our partners have all the adequate SEO, social media, CRM, Amazon multi-channel fulfillment services, and ecommerce outsourcing services they need.
Interested in ecommerce consulting services? Set up a call here to learn what Pattern can do for your brand on global marketplaces.