Amazon is a competitive marketplace where brands are constantly fighting to win the buy box and the sale, sometimes not realizing they are losing control on the marketplace along the way. Control on Amazon is when a manufacturer’s brand image is being represented with integrity and its products are being sold through authorized seller(s) at authorized pricing. Pattern’s ecommerce acceleration platform of proprietary technology and resources helps brands gain control on Amazon.
Do you have marketplace control? Marketplace control is the combination of brand, listing, and distribution control.
Let’s dive into each of these strategies.
Here are three areas to check to make sure you have marketplace control:
Four tactics to achieve brand control.
First, a you must audit who is selling your products on Amazon. And, more specifically, identify the sellers causing issues. It showcases a lack of brand control when you see the price sold differently, and, even worse, prices going down. To start, you really have to have a clean channel or know where to clean up your channel. You can partner with Pattern to do this. Pattern uses proprietary technology to identify rouge sellers and partners with a law firm for takedowns following legal law principles. Once you have started to clean up your channel you can move to the next step–MAP enforcement.
MAP enforcement is an essential way to stay in control and ensure your brand is protected on Amazon. The sooner you get your MAP compliance in place, the easier it will be to maintain it long term.
Next, omnichannel pricing parity is important to maintain pricing across all channels. Pattern helps brands develop and execute a pricing strategy for marketplaces, like Amazon, and all retail channels, that allows you to stay out of the Death Spiral and maintain profitability.
Another way to maintain brand control is ensuring all authorized sellers adhere to a national promotional calendar. By setting promotional cadence and strategic discounts, you make sure your consumers have the best brand experience and you maintain their loyalty to maximize their lifetime value.
Three key tactics to achieve listing control.
First, on each listing, it is important for a brand to provide authorized sellers brand-approved and consistent images. This also helps to identify unauthorized sellers who could repurpose and edit your images on your listings, which misrepresents your product and brand and creates customer confusion. Shoppers are left asking the question, “What am I buying?” In addition, the product images may differ from the final product Amazon delivers, so consumers suffer a lackluster experience and leave negative reviews–hurting your Amazon seller rank.
Next, compliant copy is essential to listing control. Similar to the effect of poor and inconsistent images, copy is a key component of any product listing that needs to stay within brand guidelines. Without clear and consistent copy, a consumer may misunderstand the product or your brand or both.
A final callout for a brand is to have unified messaging on customer questions/reviews. Customer service is paramount and very transparent online. Without control, rogue sellers will generate and allow negative feedback to pile up, and, due to the algorithm, Amazon will penalize the brand.
Three tactics to achieve distribution control.
It is essential to success to get product quality adherence. Amazon’s algorithm awards low prices and knockoffs and past season products are typically what is available at lower prices. You want to make sure you know where your products are shipped and sold so only your product, and not knockoffs, are available on Amazon, to keep your MAP pricing
An up-to-date authorized seller list is key so your brand can identify and enforce takedowns of unauthorized sellers. The process is exhaustive and time consuming to do alone, and Pattern’s specialized software allows us to track authorized and unauthorized sellers, which means Pattern helps you identify leaky spots in your distribution and bad sellers. To remove unauthorized sellers, Pattern also partners with an eControl firm like Vorys, because they have the legal expertise to enforce the takedowns, and without that control you will lose the Buy Box on Amazon.
Aligned channels incentives will help prevent price erosion. By keeping everyone at MAP pricing, they will not undercut your pricing to win the sale–both online and in brick and mortar–therefore you can keep your logistics and fulfillment streamlined and operating to full potential.
If you are feeling the pain about being out of control on Amazon and would like to discuss any of the strategies above, feel free to click the link below and we can schedule a meeting to learn more about your brand. We help brands worldwide execute these strategies and get control back on Amazon.
Find relevant content to accelerate your ecommerce business. Stay on top of industry trends and best practices.