8 Reasons Why Your Products Should Be on Amazon

Cassandra Shaffer

November 6, 2018

So, you’re thinking about selling your products on Amazon. There are clear opportunities and advantages when it comes to selling through one of the world’s most active online marketplaces. If you want to bring in new customers, make more sales, grow brand awareness, and get exposure to new markets, expanding your brand’s reach to shoppers on Amazon is alluring, to say the least.

Once you are prepared to keep your inventory in sync with a third-party and pay some fees, it could be a huge benefit for your brand to sell on Amazon. Here are eight reasons why.

Amazon Packages

  • 1. You’ll get access to a HUGE customer base
  • An obvious step toward making more sales is to go where the people are – and that is Amazon. Neto HQ estimates that there are over 300 million active Amazon accounts. This means you can continue building a customer base through your brand’s online store, and market your product to millions of active users at once.

    Not to mention, you will likely increase sales by joining Amazon Marketplace. According to an Amazon executive, sellers report an average 50% increase in sales when they join the action.

  • 2. It’s relatively easy to get started
  • Starting your journey as a seller on Amazon is simple, depending on the category you’re in. Amazon’s system provides the infrastructure and support to get new sellers up quickly. In 2017, 1,029,528 new sellers joined Amazon, according to Marketplace Pulse.

  • 3. Hello, new customers
  • If you’re like most brands, you probably already have a group of loyal customers who love your products. When it comes to repeat customers, more is ALWAYS merrier, right?

    Joining the Amazon Marketplace means people will see your products who might have not found you otherwise. Very few shoppers visit Amazon searching for a specific store. However, once there is a customer interested in your product, you’ll have a chance to win their repeated business by providing helpful product information, answering their questions, and giving them excellent customer service. This is extra significant for brands that encourage repeat purchases, like household supplies.

  • 4. People love and trust Amazon
  • Not only do people love Amazon’s stress-free return policy, shoppers can read hundreds (if not thousands) of customer reviews per product. Gone are the days where buyers have to gamble on a new purchase.

    Amazon’s size and reputability has fostered a trusting relationship with shoppers. In fact, a recent study found that 50% of shoppers begin their search on Amazon.

  • 5. Amazon shoppers are more likely to try new things
  • Because buyers trust Amazon and its return policy, they are willing to trying new products. This is great news for smaller merchants wanting to get their foot in the door, as 53.4% of shoppers are more willing to try an unfamiliar brand on Amazon than any other site. Furthermore, 80% of consumers discover new products on Amazon.

  • 6. Access to data
  • When it comes to making data-focused decisions about your brand, products, and marketing, Amazon Marketplace sellers have some helpful tools at their fingertips.

    When you become a seller, you get information about your customers, access to reviews for marketing, keyword performance data, and much more - allowing your brand to market effectively and plan ahead.

  • 7. Know the rules, and Amazon will have your back
  • No matter how streamlined your Amazon store is, there will be mistakes. There will sometimes be unhappy customers and complaints. Thankfully, Amazon takes measures to mediate buyer-seller relations. For example, sellers can request to remove feedback that contains abusive or inappropriate language.

    In that same spirit, Amazon knows there are two sides to every story and Amazon seller protection gives you a chance to make things right with a buyer before they can file an A-to-z guarantee claim.

  • 8. Adapt to Amazon, or get left behind
  • As Amazon continues to grow and loyal customers continue to shop there, not having your products in the mix could hurt your business. Although it is important for brands to have websites of their own, there is no competing with the amount of eyeballs that can find your product on Amazon. Becoming an established seller on Amazon (especially if you are a small business) is crucial for future success.

    Selling your product through the most trusted online marketplace naturally sounds like a good move. The platform can offer you an opportunity to expand your business, raise awareness, and reach new customers. Although selling through Amazon Marketplace can be a gamble, if you follow the rules and prepare adequately, it can offer your brand unmatched potential for growth.

    If you're interested in learning more about how to get started on Amazon Marketplace, fill out the form below.

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    6 Executive Trading Problems on Amazon and How to Avoid Them - blog header

    6 Executive Trading Problems on Amazon and How to Avoid Them

    At Pattern, we are constantly trying to better understand brands' performance and experience on Amazon through our research and marketplace data. Our latest Amazon Seller report uncovered common pain points executives faced throughout 2022 on Amazon in Europe and the Middle East. 

    Not too surprisingly, there was more than one trading challenge for CEOs selling on Amazon in Europe and the Middle East. There were several top responses such as supply chain issues, advertising, and stock outs–all challenges we hear frequently from 1P Sellers on Amazon no matter the region.  

    Here is what we learned about 1P seller trading problems on Amazon:

    1. Getting Product into Amazon Warehouses 

    Of the brand CEOs who took the survey, 52% mentioned this challenge–making it the most common issue for the second year in a row.  Basically, executives struggle with getting their product into Amazon warehouses, which typically happens because Amazon FBA can be difficult to navigate and comply with. Illegible barcodes, not labeling your products correctly, and a failure to include certain details on barcodes are all reasons your product could be rejected by Amazon FBA works. 

    2. Increasing Chargebacks

    51% mentioned increasing chargebacks on their products on Amazon, which occurs when brands fail to maintain stock levels or fulfill orders on time. As a 1P seller, if there are any issues with the products you send to Amazon, they will charge you for the time and effort it took for them to resolve those issues. 

    Various types of chargebacks could include unauthorized use of credit cards, operational malfunctions (late arrivals, technical issues, etc.), and packaging non-compliance. In a 1P Seller relationship, Amazon will charge vendors with these chargebacks, and disputing them is typically a long, time-intensive, and costly endeavor for any brand.

    3. Increasing CPC Costs for Amazon Advertising 

    Increasing CPC costs for Amazon Advertising was mentioned by 45% of respondents as a top trading problem. Getting traffic to a product listing helps brands keep their inventory levels stable, so that they never have too much or too little of the product. Increasing CPC costs leads to a possible loss in traffic to a brand’s product, leading to fewer conversions and sales in the long run. 

    4. Your Own Supply Chain Being Disrupted 

    Sometimes it is not an Amazon issue, but an internal resource and capabilities scenario. 43% of respondents mentioned their own supply chain being disrupted as a common trading problem. Supply chains can be disrupted by a variety of factors, such as inventory order delays, supplier issues, shipping expenses, and problems with existing inventory. 

    5. Inadequate Forecasting Methods to Keep Enough Stock in Hand

    Many brands lack the resources and expertise to accurately forecast stock levels, according to 38% of the survey respondents. Inadequate forecasting methods can lead to high costs, non-competitive prices, and dissatisfied customers.

    6. High Out of Stock Levels Due to Amazon’s Algorithm-driven Price Reductions

    High out of stock levels due to Amazon’s algorithm-driven price reductions frustrated 37% of respondents in 2022. Amazon’s dynamic pricing strategy makes sure that the most competitive prices are being offered to shoppers. Low prices are great for shoppers, but sometimes stressful for brand executives. Amazon’s sudden algorithm-driven price reductions can catch a brand off-guard, leading to stockouts. 

    Why Most Brand Executives Face the Same Challenges

    Being in a 1P relationship with Amazon has its ups and downs—just like any relationship. One of those downsides includes the trading problems mentioned above. In a 1P relationship, Amazon buys your product wholesale and handles most of the selling details, which can be very beneficial in some ways, but may lead to less brand control on your end. Brand executives selling their products through Amazon in Europe and the Middle East face the same challenges that brands are facing world-wide–a lack of brand control and resources to succeed.

    Trading problems are just one aspect of the challenges brands face as 1P sellers on Amazon. Learn more about these issues in the full Amazon Vendor Survey from 2022.

    How to Avoid These Issues on Amazon

    The good news about the trading challenges brand executives are facing as a 1P seller on Amazon is that they are all avoidable. In a 1P relationship, you’re constantly being forced to work around their erratic forecasts, limited communication, and changing priorities. But in a 3P partnership, you dictate inventory management, allowing you to stay in-stock, maintain control of forecasting, and plan for promotions or holidays.

    With Pattern as your 3P accelerator, you can simplify forecasting and get inventory to the right place. You ship inventory to one of our warehouses, and we handle the rest—distribution across Amazon’s warehouse network for FBA, repackaging products into bundles, and delivering your orders on time.

    Avoid the trading problems on Amazon by partnering with Pattern. Contact us. 

    Discover more insights by downloading our annual Amazon Vendor Survey EMEA.

    MAP Pricing vs MSRP: What's the Difference? (blog header)

    MAP Pricing vs. MSRP: What's the Difference?

    “MAP” and “MSRP” are two of hundreds of acronyms floating around in the world of ecommerce, and they’re two of the easiest to confuse and misunderstand. While MAP and MSRP do play similar roles, they also have key differences that can work in tandem to support and protect your brand on marketplaces.

    So what are MAP and MSRP and why do they matter? Here’s what you should know: 

    What is MAP?

    MAP (or minimum advertised price) is the minimum amount that a manufacturer or wholesaler recommends resellers advertise their products for. MAP pricing policy is essentially a one-way boundary you set to protect your brand, protect the margins of your resellers, and maintain fair competition across all of your distribution channels.

    When setting a MAP policy strategy, remember the important things you’ll want your MAP policy to do are:

    1. Protect the interests of your brick-and-mortar resellers, giving them the margins they need to display and carry your product as well as sell it.

    2. Stay small enough that it discourages resellers from heavily discounting your products and keeps competition fair.

    3. Accurately reflects on the brand image and value you want to reflect.

    “Advertising” and “recommends” are the key terms here. MAP policies should only recommend the price that is advertised online or in-store for a product, not attempt to fix the actual selling price of the product—that’s illegal—or recommend the actual selling price. That’s MSRP’s job.

    Benefits of MAP

    MAP not only keeps competition fair, but allows you to control your brand identity and promote consumer trust of your product and brand. Here are some of the benefits of having MAP policies:

    • Better brand protection and control

    • Creates a level playing field for retailers

    • Reduces bad customer experiences

    • Provides an accurate performance analysis

    How Can Brands Effectively Enforce MAP?

    It’s critical that MAP policies are structured in such a way that a brand avoids violating anti-trust laws. One way brands can effectively enforce MAP is by simply monitoring online product prices across digital channels to identify fluctuations in the market. 

    At Pattern, we help brands not only develop a MAP policy, but also enforce it. Enforcing MAP policies and gaining marketplace control includes finding unauthorized sellers, which Pattern’s data finds. Once Pattern finds the unauthorized sellers, Vorys eControls (Pattern’s legal partner) steps in and handles the takedowns of unauthorized sellers, continuous enforcement of brand management, and reseller policy enforcements.

    What is MSRP?

    MSRP (or manufacturer’s suggested retail price) is how manufacturers standardize pricing across their resale channel and determine what price is fair for their product. The key difference between MSRP and MAP is that MSRP is the actual price manufacturers set and recommend retailers charge for their goods while MAP is the advertised price. 

    MSRP doesn’t necessarily have to be the final price of a product—it’s most often a starting price—but it is determined by taking into account all of the costs associated with the distribution and manufacturing process for a product and the margin amount resellers need in order to make a profit. MSRP also establishes value. For example, if a brand wants to build a premium brand, the MSRP can reflect the actual or perceived value of their product.

    Benefits of MSRP

    Setting up an MSRP for your product includes the following benefits:

    • Maintains brand equity

    • Establishes brand and product value

    • Standardizes costs across marketplaces

    How Can Brands Effectively Enforce MSRP?

    Like MAP pricing, MSRP has to be set up as a one-way policy and not an agreement between a manufacturer and a reseller to avoid landing a manufacturer on the wrong side of the law. It’s a recommendation, not a contractual bind. As mentioned for MAP policy, Pattern helps brands effectively enforce MSRP with our proprietary data and expertise to protect their brand. 

    How Do MAP and MSRP Work Together?

    MAP and MSRP have different applications that may prove useful in different scenarios. For example, MAP policies are typically more useful in marketplaces where competition is fierce and price erosion happens easily if sellers are left unchecked. Ideally, however, MAP and MSRP are a dynamic duo that work together to serve the interests of your brand, support your resale channels, and protect your resellers.

    Setting an MSRP establishes value for your product and lets your resellers know you’re serious about controlling channel conflict, maintaining pricing equity, and protecting their margins so they’re more confident setting pricing at the MSRP level.

    MAP is the second half of setting a pricing policy. Setting a MAP price for your product, in addition to an MSRP, further standardizes pricing across your resale channel and gives legitimate resellers a fair environment to compete in while setting boundaries against unauthorized sellers harming your brand.

    MAP combined with MSRP creates a stronger level of brand protection, giving your brand more sustainable, profitable growth.

    Maintain Brand Control With Pattern

    MAP policies can be tricky to draft, because there are so many legal lines to tiptoe around and so much nuance that goes into pricing. They can also be tricky to enforce without the right tools. At Pattern, partnered with Vorys, we have the tools and resources to help you maintain brand control on all marketplaces. 

    As an ecommerce accelerator, Pattern can help you identify MAP violators and regain control of your brand online so that your image and your resellers are protected. To learn more, contact us today.

    Athlon Optics Walmart.com Launch Has Record Setting Sales within 3 Days

    Athlon Optics Walmart.com Launch Has Record Setting Sales within 3 Days

    Athlon Optics sells scopes and other optical accessories like binoculars for anyone who may be hunting, shooting recreationally, or competing.  After achieving significant success on Amazon, the brand wanted to launch on Walmart. As a growing marketplace with huge growth forecasts, Athlon saw their competitors already staking claim on walmart.com and saw opportunities for increasing their sales.

    As a prestigious brand in its category, with loyal consumers, Athlon does so much with very few resources. With less than twenty employees in the entire company, managing everything from customer service to product development, their ecommerce team needed support to scale to a new marketplace.  And, they needed a partner who had a relationship with and deep understanding of walmart.com to accelerate their growth. Pattern is a one-stop shop for Athlon, providing the resources and expertise, so Athlon could also save budget and stop outsourcing so many different aspects of their marketplace business.

    Athlon Optics Prepares for a Seamless Launch

    Sometimes brands who transition from 1P to 3P with Pattern have no proprietary sales, marketplace data or content such as product images, video, or optimized copy. These circumstances create a more hands on transition for Pattern and may interfere with launch expectations. 

    But Athlon was the consummate partner and overly prepared to transition to 3P– buttoned up, organized, and ready to take on walmart.com’s list of launch needs. Athlon provided all the required assets on time and was very organized.  The images were shot, formatted, and categorized as A+ content that Pattern ported over.  This process dramatically reduced wait times and lag times within the platform.  Plus, since the content was optimized for marketplaces, all images, copy, and listing information uploaded in the first pass. 

    Pattern’s Walmart Expertise Leads to Success

    But the content worked because of Pattern’s resources and marketplace expertise.  Pattern provided Athlon with a very clear outline of needs and expectations for seamless launch and this process has become a playbook for other brands on walmart.com.  The team’s mutual partnership and Pattern’s diligent follow up with and detailed attention to Walmart processes and logistics prevented Athlon from getting lost in the weeds. 

    Three Days is All it Takes

    The successful, thorough, and quick transition to 3P with Pattern secured Athlon most likely the fastest ramp-up periods for any brand on Walmart.com.  

    Together we achieved success such as:

    • 'Best in class' turnaround–98% faster onboarding than average brand on Walmart.

    • First sale within the first week of landing at Walmart. 

      • Unprecedented turnaround considering the ramp up usually needed to gain momentum and traction with reviews on Walmart. 

    • Exceeded initial first month growth projection by 34%.

    Athlon was so impressed by the ease and simplicity of its launch and execution on Walmart that the brand wants to grow our 3P relationship with other marketplaces such as Amazon Canada and Target+.

    And, in the meantime, look out for Athlon Optics in Walmart Deal Days in 2022.  A huge win for any brand tied to organic advertising and new traffic opportunities across all media.

    Pattern Helps Brands Expand Marketplaces 

    Pattern has the 3P partner experience and deep expertise on Walmart and other global marketplaces to help a brand expand their footprint to maintain sales momentum and a competitive edge. Pattern, an ecommerce accelerator, takes on the responsibility of your stock and provides the expert resources needed to successfully launch and continue to grow your revenue on global marketplaces. 

    Learn more about Pattern’s expertise and partnership on Walmart.  Contact us today.