Amazon's position as the biggest retail website in the world means Sales Directors are waking up to its importance as a route to market, but Marketing Directors are less clear about the opportunity for brand building on Amazon.
I recently attended a conference where Amazon presented to FMCGs, and focused on persuading the audience that the site can act as a platform to build a brand. As a cynical, ex-brand marketer, initially I wasn't convinced. With very rigid page layouts and little chance to express brand personality or branded experience, brand building on Amazon seemed a strange concept to grasp at first.
However, as the platform has evolved, and become a trusted source for information and entertainment, as well as a sales channel, there are opportunities to reinforce your brand's key messaging. Below we highlight four ways that consumer brands should consider brand building on Amazon.
Brand exposure and education
First and foremost, the numbers are hard to argue with. Amazon boasted 4.8 billion visits in the last year and on average 400 million visits a month in the UK alone. To add to this, in a list ranking top ecommerce marketplace sites worldwide, Amazon's global marketplace sites were amongst the most visited. The sheer size and scale of Amazon will mean that if you get your product listings, marketing and SEO right, your brand is more likely to be exposed to a larger number of prospective customers, even if your category is not one of the bigger ones. Plus, get your content right and you as a brand, are given the opportunity to educate consumers about your product benefits and attributes.
Brand building on Amazon: product discovery
More recently, an Amazon Shopping Behaviour survey described the platform as a product discovery hub and no longer a place just for loyal customers to repurchase their favourite items. To be precise, the survey states that 75% of shoppers look to Amazon for new products and brands to shop from. Amazon shoppers' emphasis on price is said to be partly responsible for this openness to new products. This makes the site an open door to build your brand awareness, scope out new buyers and potentially steal customers from your competitors.
Build your brand awareness within customer groups that are down the purchase funnel
Plenty of consumer surveys have shown that a large majority of digital shoppers now start their searches on Amazon. In fact, Pattern's recent consumer poll on Australian consumers' attitudes to Amazon showed that 55.9% of visitors used the site to check the price of products, and 35.1% looked for product information or reviews. Customers that are closer to purchase are more likely to be motivated to read, understand and retain information about brands that meet their requirements. This allows brands to reach their target customers directly - not just when discovering.
Scaled customer feedback
Finally, on Amazon your brand can benefit from direct feedback on your product or brand virtually immediately. For those brands who traditionally sell through retail partners and get very little exposure to customers and their thoughts, building on this feedback can be incredibly valuable. It enables you to address any issues or comments and adapt your product offer to reflect consumer demand. In fact, some brands are cleverly using technology to assess their competitors' customer feedback and use this insight to inform their own product development and communication strategies.
So, with my brand hat well and truly back on, if you have a premium, experience-based brand tread with care and approach strategically, perhaps with an essentials or value line. On the other hand, if your brand has the right type of product and needs fast exposure, Amazon's capabilities as a brand building platform mustn't be overlooked.
For more information on how Pattern can help grow your online sales, protect your brand or develop your marketplace strategy please contact us here.