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.

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Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (6th September 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 6th September 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon announces new inventory and distribution service, AWD Amazon has launched Amazon Warehousing and Distribution (AWD), providing inventory and distribution services to its sellers as a means of addressing current supply chain issues. AWD is now available for sellers using Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA), i.e. outsourcing their fulfilment to the platform. Amazon has plans to expand the service outside the platform in 2023. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches in the UAE AWS, Amazon’s cloud-computing platform offering, has launched its second region in the Middle East and now provides its services in the UAE. The move will now allow anyone in the UAE who utilises cloud technologies to harness AWS’s advanced platforms and APIs. An estimated $11 billion USD is expected to be added to the UAE’s GDP thanks to the implementation, with an average of 6,000 external vendor jobs to be created annually. AWS is now available in 87 zones across 27 regions, with sights set on expanding further across Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Lazada to launch in Europe Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform Lazada is set to launch in Europe, marking a refreshed internationalisation push from the company. The move follows toughening economic conditions and performance in Southeast Asia, advancing the need to tap overseas markets. In Europe, Lazada will face tough competition from giants like Amazon and Zalando. Lazada’s exact entry strategy is to be confirmed and will be reliant on macroeconomic and market conditions, according to Lazada CEO James Dong. [Read more on DigitalCommerce360]( Chinese ecommerce giant Pinduoduo to launch cross-border platform in the United States Pinduoduo, a Chinese ecommerce giant rivalling Alibaba and JD, has announced it will be launching a new cross-border ecommerce platform. The marketplace is set to launch in the United States next month, as part of the company’s larger push into new markets. Pinduoduo found success in China thanks to its rock-bottom price offerings and harnessing of social commerce marketing, emulating strategies similar to fast-fashion giant Shein. [Read more on Yahoo Finance]( Alibaba launches its biggest B2B sales event, ‘Super September’ China ecommerce giant, Alibaba, has now launched its month-long B2B sales event ‘Super September’. The event provides 40 million buyers and 200,000 suppliers with the ability to connect on the platform, showcasing a ‘virtually unlimited’ number of products. The event hopes to foster new cross-border business relationships to tackle supply chain challenges currently faced by businesses. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Klarna’s losses quadruple in first half of 2022 BNPL provider, Klarna, has reported losses of $581 million USD for the first half of 2022. This figure is almost four times larger than a year earlier, where $129 million USD in losses were reported. The company attributes the losses to employee costs, technology investments, and rising credit losses. Klarna’s figure reporting comes amidst worsening economic conditions, fresh legal and regulatory scrutiny, and pressure from Big Tech competitors. [Read more on The Financial Times]( [Read more on the Guardian]( One fifth of Snap employees to be laid off amidst poor financial performance Social media platform Snap (‘Snapchat’) has announced it will be laying off 20% of its employees and closing out a number of projects following a year of poor financial results.The move will see 1,200 employees globally lose their jobs, saving the company an estimated $500 million USD in costs. Snap is currently valued at $20 billion, an 84% decrease from its valuation of $130 billion last year. [Read more on Charged Retail](

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (30th August 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 30th August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon set to shut down Amazon Care Amazon is closing its telehealth service, Amazon Care, which launched in 2019 as a trial program for its headquartered employees. Later the service was rolled out nationwide for employees and other companies. The ecommerce giant has now made the decision to move away from the healthcare space, believing it was not the right long-term solution for its enterprise customers. [Read more on CNBC]( Peloton closes new deal to sell on Amazon Following a recent deal, Amazon customers will soon be able to buy Peloton fitness equipment on the marketplace, marking Peleton’s first move outside a direct-to-consumer model. According to Peloton’s CCO, there are already around half a million searches on Amazon for Peloton products every month, despite having no presence on the marketplace. Some key products include the original Peloton Bike, retailing for $1,445 and Peloton Guide for $295. [Read more on Charged Retail]( --- Other Marketplace News --- 60% of Malaysians are buying from local sellers on Shopee A recent survey of nearly 3,500 respondents found that nearly half of the shoppers prefer to purchase from local sellers due to shorter delivery times. Other shoppers decide to shop locally due to the quality of the products made in Malaysia and an interest in keeping the economy running. As a result, smaller local merchants have been able to grow their businesses, and shoppers benefit from shorter delivery times, products of high quality and supporting local businesses. [Read more on The Malaysian Reserve]( Flipkart’s social commerce platform Shopsy crosses 100 million users Flipkart launched a social commerce arm, Shopsy, in July of last year, which has now surpassed 100 million users, ahead of its target timeline being the end of 2022. This acquisition of new users has made Shopsy one of the largest platforms of its kind in the country, and is expected to onboard a further 100 million by the end of 2023. The platform is centred around boosting local entrepreneurship and powering ecommerce for consumers across tier 2+ regions where users face challenges around trust and navigation when shopping online. [Read more on Business Standard]( Meta joins Amazon and Walmart in bid for Indian ecommerce market Amazon mentioned earlier in the year that it would be building a logistics division in-house through its purchase of a 51% stake in Ecom Express, an end-to-end logistics firm, to make ecommerce deliveries more efficient in the country. Walmart operates Flipkart in India and is set to continue its investment in the marketplace. In an effort to compete in the Indian ecommerce market, Meta has partnered with Indian ecommerce company, JioMart, to offer customers a grocery shopping platform within its WhatsApp chat feature. [Read more on Pymnts]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Ecommerce in Spain worth €57.7 billion in 2021 Spanish ecommerce saw 11.7% growth compared to last year, largely attributed to cross-border sales. In the final quarter of 2021, ecommerce sales in Spain were at €16.9 billion euros, at least 60% of which came from cross-border sales. Transactions from foreign locations to Spain generated a turnover of €1.56 billion in Q4, a growth of 27.7% compared to Q4 a year before. [Read more on Ecommerce News](

Global Ecommerce: Weekly News (23rd August 2022)

Global Ecommerce Weekly News: 23rd August 2022

Get up to date with this week's ecommerce headlines from around the globe. --- Amazon News --- Amazon to add mental health support to primary-care service Amazon is set to move into mental health therapy with its primary-care division, following its recent acquisition deal of One Medical. The plan is to partner with virtual behavioural therapy service, Ginger, to offer its Amazon Care users with on-demand access to mental health services, licensed therapists and psychiatrists. [Read more on Charged Retail]( GMB union calls for £15 an hour minimum pay at UK Amazon warehouses Amazon recently offered its warehouse workers a 3% pay rise, which in comparison to the June inflation rate of 9.4% left employees disappointed. Following this, hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers stopped work last week, protesting against the minimal pay increase, seeking a minimum of £15 an hour. Recent protests consisting of employee walkouts and sit-ins aim to get a better offer out of Amazon. [Read more on The Guardian]( Amazon third-party sellers have received their first-ever holiday fee hike Amazon’s third-party marketplaces account for close to half of the company’s online sales. The company introduced a 5% fuel and inflation charge to its third-party sellers earlier this year, and has now implemented another inflation increase charge. Commencing 14 October, any seller who uses Amazon’s fulfilment service is subject to the price hike, which is set to be an additional 35 cents per item for products sold in the US and Canada. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Amazon puts a pause on UK grocery shop roll-out as the cost of living increases Amazon has slowed down on its UK roll-out of till-free Amazon Fresh grocery stores following disappointing sales and the rise in cost of living. Allegedly, the company is no longer looking for potential sites to expand and if more stores are opened, they will likely no longer use a till-free system, as consumers become more cautious about spending. [Read more on The Telegraph]( --- Other Marketplace News --- Shopee overtakes Alibaba across international markets Shopee has surpassed Alibaba and taken the top spot for sales outside of China. Singapore-based marketplace saw a year-on-year increase of 51.4% at the end of Q2 of this year, while Alibaba saw a 3% drop during the same time period. This can be seen as a promising development for start-ups and their ability to compete with some of the largest ecommerce giants in the market. [Read more on Exchange Wire]( H&M reopens its official store to Alibaba’s Tmall ecommerce platform It has been nearly 18 months since Alibaba removed H&M from its Tmall platform, following H&M’s criticism of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. It is estimated that over a million people, predominantly minorities in the area, have been unlawfully detained in camps across the city. Brands including Nike, Adidas, Burberry and Converse were swept up in the controversy, however H&M was one of the first to be targeted for speaking out about the issue. [Read more on Charged Retail]( Klarna launches new feature allowing UK consumers to view full online order history Buy-now-pay-later company, Klarna, has launched a new feature on its shopping app, which allows UK consumers to view their full online order history, regardless of whether they purchased the product using Klarna. The feature also shows delivery tracking and aids consumers in managing their online purchases more conveniently. [Read more on The Industry]( --- Other Ecommerce News --- Online marketplaces responsible for £280 billion business turnover in the UK Nearly 900,000 UK businesses are currently selling on online marketplaces, generating an estimated £282 billion worth of sales each year. This figure represents 6% of the UK’s annual business turnover, highlighting the notable contribution that marketplaces make to the UK economy, along with the potential for further growth in this area. [Read more on Charged Retail](