How to Know if Amazon is Working for Your Brand: 6 Questions to Ask

Rob White

March 10, 2022

When it comes to marketplace ecommerce, maximizing your brand’s potential on Amazon is vital to any strategy—but it can be difficult to determine whether Amazon is working for you based on sales alone. Many factors influence your brand’s success on Amazon, and some aren’t as obvious as conversion rates or year-over-year growth.

So how can you understand where your brand stands on Amazon? We’ve compiled a list of questions that uncover if Amazon is truly working for you. And in the case that your brand is falling short in any of these areas, we’ve also offered practical suggestions on how to improve.

Are you growing as fast as your category?

Obviously, profitability is an important factor to keep in mind when considering whether Amazon is working for your brand. But keeping up with your competitors isn’t as cut-and-dry as it seems—you could be making a decent profit on Amazon yet still be underperforming in your category or market.

Almost every brand is growing on Amazon. A rising tide lifts all boats, as they say. What brands need to determine is whether they’re rising as quickly as others in their market. You may have had 40% year-over-year growth and feel happy with that, but if the rest of your market had 50% year-over-year growth, you’re ultimately losing market share.

Check how your product measures up to competitors in terms of pricing, reviews, and content. If a competitor offers a similar product with a lower price or better reviews (either in ratings or number), your product may struggle to keep up on sales. Consider ethical ways to get reviews or better calling out the qualities that make your product more expensive.

Is your price stable on Amazon?

Loss of price control online is a major pain point for many brands. If another vendor is selling your products on Amazon, they will control every aspect of the listing, including content and pricing. These sellers rarely, if ever, value your brand image and reputation as much as you do. As such, it’s likely they will cause price erosion by selling your product for lower than MAP and tarnishing your brand’s name with subpar listing content. This not only hurts your price, but the control of your overall branding.

Enforcing a MAP policy can be a lot of work, but pays off in your profits, branding, and distributor relationships. You may also consider working with fewer or even a single authorized seller to ensure your product is always listed at the price you approve.

Are you staying in stock?

Going out of stock can be one common cause for decreased sales, especially in COVID times. So how is your forecasting and inventory management going? Are you spending more time worrying about issues, dealing with Amazon support, or making last minute production orders than is worth the profits you see from the platform?

Working with your historical data to forecast sales and inventory needs is crucial to marketplace success, especially because temporarily out of stock products can cost you long term rankings and sales.

How do your data reports trend?

Taking a look at Amazon’s metrics is a quick way to determine how you’re performing online and where you can improve. Check your sales patterns, your traffic, and your conversion rates, but make sure to check how they trend over time. If your sales are decreasing, take a deep dive to discover why—but don’t forget to account for seasonality or historical sales events and promotions.

If your traffic is low but your conversion is high, you know there’s an opportunity for more success with increased advertising and traffic. If your traffic is high but conversions are low, you know convincing people to buy is the problem and you can look at your image stack, product description, and overall listing appeal.

Do your Amazon listings strengthen your brand?

Amazon has evolved to become more than just an ecommerce platform—it doubles as a search engine. Customers look to Amazon to research product options, read reviews, and find additional information. They also price check online vs in-store prices to find the best deal. For this reason, it’s of utmost importance that your Amazon listings accurately and consistently represent your product and brand.

Prioritize publishing top-notch creative content in your listings. Tell your product’s whole story. Answer all of your customers’ questions. Detailed descriptions, clear and concise bullet points, and high-quality images make a big difference in how your brand and product are perceived both online and off.

How much do you have to spend on advertising?

Evaluate how much you’re budgeting for paid ads. If you’re regularly spending through your budget and your ads are getting shut off, you may need to allocate more money to advertising or adjust your ad strategy. Although adding spend may initially cut into your ecommerce budget, it may ultimately pay off. Paid advertising helps your product gain reviews, credibility, and sales, which in turn boost your organic rankings.

It’s also worth evaluating if other brands are targeting yours through conquest advertising. To avoid this, you can invest in defensive advertising by paying to show up in the sponsored search results for your own branded terms, like your company name or product titles. You can also serve the strategy right back and invest in conquest advertising to appear in search results for branded terms of competing brands.

Did you say no to multiple of these questions?

If considering the questions above made you realize your brand has room for improvement on Amazon, it’s very likely that an under-resourced ecommerce team is to blame. We’ve been in the room where executives at large, well-known companies are asked if they have more than 5 people running their ecommerce, and the answer is usually no.

Even large companies still rely on small teams to handle an inordinate amount of work. Realistically, an individual or small team simply does not have the time or bandwidth to do everything necessary to keep ecommerce and marketplaces like Amazon rolling smoothly and efficiently. Add in new marketplaces, new countries, and new languages and they’ll inevitably drop the ball somewhere—due to no fault of their own.

What to do if Amazon isn’t working for you

In today’s ecommerce landscape, giving up on Amazon isn’t a valid option, even if it isn’t currently working for you. If you don’t sell your product on Amazon, someone else will, often cutting at your brand credibility and profits.

Your specific approach to solving your problems on Amazon will, of course, depend on the type and extent of your issues. While we’ve given many examples and strategies here, each brand will require a unique approach tailored to their specific brand weaknesses and strengths.

Need help reaching your potential on Amazon? Learn how Pattern can help fix the concerns addressed above for your brand.

Get in touch.

Explore Our Ecommerce Resource Library

Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.

Sept 27, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 27th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon drives renewable energy push with 71 new projects Amazon is planning to add 2.7 gigawatts of clean energy capacity through a couple of new projects as the company attempts to use 100% renewable energy by 2025. The ecommerce business will soon have a total of 329 renewable energy projects, generating 50,000 gigawatt hours of clean energy, which is equivalent to powering 4.6 million US homes every year. [Read more on Reuters]( Amazon launches Prime Early Access Sale Amazon is launching a new 2-day shopping event for its Prime members only, beginning on the 11th of October. Across 15 countries, Prime customers will have access to the shopping event, with thousands of deals on offer globall, ranging from fashion to electronics to essentials. The event has the purpose of giving Prime users the chance to spread the cost of items over the winter months, 6 weeks ahead of Black Friday. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopify unveils new localisation tool Shopify is launching a new localisation tool, called Translate & Adapt, which works with Shopify Markets to offer localisation for sellers who are looking to expand into new markets. The tool translates a user’s online store into different languages, including product pages and information pages. Merchants are also able to create different shipping terms for each market using the new tool, which allows international expansion and offers a more localised consumer experience, unveiling new potential. [Read more on Ecommerce News]( Etsy is set to invest hundreds of millions into its marketing platform Etsy CEO claims that the company is on route to spend more than $570 million USD on marketing this year. Even during a time of macroeconomic pressure, inflation and rising interest rates, the company is preparing itself and its sellers for the upcoming holiday season and is focused on retaining interest from buyers. [Read more on Yahoo News]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Meta looks to cut costs by 10% in the coming months Meta employees are facing job redundancies as the company plans to cut its costs by 10% over the next few months. Meta reported a 22% YoY increase in costs and expenses, totalling over $20 billion USD. The cuts are expected to come in the form of job redundancies as a result of department reorganisations rather than formal layoffs. [Read more on Charged Retail]( DHL teams up with Quadient to offer smart locker deliveries in the UK DHL and tech company, Quadient, have partnered to offer smart lockers parcel pick-up throughout the UK. The new contactless, secure locker stations will give recipients more choice and flexibility to receive their parcels at a time and location best suited to them. The partnership plans to install 500 locker stations across the country by the end of 2022. [Read more on Charged Retail]( The online fashion market is set to be worth nearly $170 billion USD in 2025 The European online fashion retail market is set to grow 50% by 2025, with an online turnover of $170 billion USD, which is 33% of the retail branch’s total. Cross-border marketplaces prove to be the largest drivers of this growth, with online websites and apps like Vinted largely pushing the market’s online growth. Zalando recently became the largest cross-border fashion retailer/marketplace, responsible for 11.7% of the online market’s share. [Read more on Ecommerce News](
Sept 20, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 20th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to raise pay and add extra work benefits for delivery drivers Following the rise in fuel prices and protests by Amazon workers, the ecommerce giant is raising its delivery drivers’ pay and adding more work benefits. Amazon has mentioned that it will be investing $450 million into rate increases along with an education program and a Delivery Service Partners program. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon announces it will give away shipping software to merchants at no cost Amazon has recently announced that it will be giving ecommerce merchants free software to manage shopper orders on and off its platform as it extends its reach. The ecommerce giant will be ending monthly costs for sellers using Veeqo, a shipping software it recently acquired and instead offer to them a new, free shipping software. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Walmart unveils new virtual fitting rooms In an effort to drive clothing sales, Walmart has launched virtual fitting rooms while competitors reduce spending amid the cost of living crisis. The virtual try-on tool can be used by Walmart customers to virtually measure the clothing items and see how the products would look on them. Shoppers will now be able to see how over 270,000 clothing items on Walmart’s ecommerce site would look on their bodies. [Read more on Charged Retail]( THG slashes sales and profit expectations The Hut Group has slashed its forecasts for 2022 as rising interest rates, inflation and energy costs take a toll on consumers. Previously, THG estimated its sales growth to be between 22-25% but after a recent evaluation, has lowered this prediction to between 10-15%. Initial predictions did not take into account the negative effects of ceasing sales in Russia and Ukraine along with the impact that the cost-of-living has had on consumer spending. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- DHL and Post Office team up to provide click and collect services Through a partnership between delivery company, DHL and Post Office, a new click and collect service is to be tested at Post Offices before rolling out to over 1000 branches across the UK. Online shoppers will now have the option of choosing their local Post Office as a collection point, and DHL will fulfil the delivery aspect, opening up networks for both parties. [Read more on Charged Retail]( US consumer watchdog plans to further regulate the BNPL sector The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has raised concerns regarding the collection of consumer data and the fast-growing nature of the BNPL sector, which includes companies such as Affirm and Klarna. The CFPB is worried that these companies could be negatively impacting consumers’ financial health and aims to put better regulations in place to ensure consumers are safe and empowered. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Japanese ecommerce market estimated to grow by 6.9% in 2022 The ecommerce market in Japan, largely dominated by domestic online retailers including Reakuten and Mercari, is set to reach $194.3 billion USD in 2022, after seeing an annual compound growth rate of 5.2% between 2018 and 2021. This makes Japan the fourth leading ecommerce market globally, following China, the US, and the UK. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Ecommerce brands are spending more on TikTok ads TikTok may soon be surpassing Facebook and Google as the most lucrative advertising channel, with ecommerce brands spending 60% more on TikTok ads in Q2. Facebook is still ahead as the top choice for ecommerce advertisers but only grew by 5.6% from Q1, while Google grew 20.5% in Q2, and Snap declined 10.8% in Q2. [Read more on SearchEngineLand](
Sept 13, 2022

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 13th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon scales back on US warehouse facilities Amazon is shutting down two facilities with 300 employees, discarding plans for 42 facilities, and delaying plans to open a further 21 buildings across the US. The ecommerce giant is scaling back on hiring as well as the expansion of its vast delivery network, as it was left with an excess of space following its rapid expansion during the pandemic. [Read more on Business Insider]( --- Other Marketplace News --- is ‘betting’ on ecommerce grocery market Amidst a slowing economy and a decline in ecommerce, Chinese ecommerce giant has increased its urgency to seek new growth engines. The company is looking to boost its online grocery business through offline partnerships and expansion into lower-tier cities, where it may be able to unleash more consumption power. [Read more on The Star]( Shopee shuts operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico Sea’s ecommerce arm, Shopee, has shut local operations in some LATAM countries but will continue to maintain cross-border operations in a few markets. Latin America is Sea’s most important region following South-east Asia, accounting for close to 19% of its revenue in 2021. The move away from these countries is largely due to increased levels of macro uncertainty and rising interest and inflation rates, and rather putting a focus on its core operations. [Read more on Straits Times]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Instagram scales back in-stream shopping elements Instagram is re-examining its approach as it hasn’t been able to make ‘fetch’ happen. ‘Fetch’ in this context being the online shopping trends which have become all-consuming in China, and what Western social platforms have been hoping to add into their apps to make them more addictive and revenue-generating. Consumers have not been swayed by the latest shopping tools on TikTok and Instagram, leading to Instagram scaling back its in-stream shopping program. [Read more on SocialMediaToday]( FedEx Express supporting the growth of cross border ecommerce FedEx express has expanded its international commerce shipping service to four more markets across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region in an effort to support the strong development of ecommerce in this region. Three of the fastest growing markets, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam are leading Southeast Asia’s ecommerce sales, which is set to reach $100 billion by 2023. [Read more on Post & Parcel]( India ramps up hiring as companies prepare for shoppers Ecommerce companies are getting ready for the festive season by rapidly expanding their temporary workforce. As ecommerce in India grows, the country is predicted to have 372 million online shoppers by the end of 2022. The festive season this year, running from October to December, is expected to see a two-fold increase in logistics and delivery alone. During this period, companies are predicted to add 20% more to their existing workforce base, with a 8-10% higher pay scale compared to last year. [Read more on Business Insider India](