Exploring the Amazon

As we all know, Amazon is growing fast and is here to stay. As a new platform, Amazon has not yet established its best practices, making it slightly difficult to adopt beyond the experimentation phase… but that’s where we come in!

As we work with our clients, there will be a mixture of vendors and sellers, some fulfilling with Amazon and some not – but all of them can advertise on the channel.

Recently, we attended a training at Amazon to get all the deets on the basics – here’s what we learned.

Terminology Refresh

  • Vendor means Amazon’s retail team buys and resells your products to their customers – you’re called a first-party seller as you’re acting as a supplier and selling to Amazon. This is VIP, invite only. (Think: LG)
  • Seller means you are selling directly to Amazon’s customers and are considered a marketplace or third-party seller. You can either handle the operations yourself or allow Amazon to handle everything through the FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) program. (Think: New York & Company)
  • FBA = Fulfilled by Amazon. Through the FBA program, Amazon handles all logistics. When you sell through Amazon, you’re capitalizing on their high traffic – and you’ll typically rank better, which means selling more, with them taking care of the operations side (shipping, returns/exchanges, inventory, etc.) – not to mention, speedy delivery times through Amazon Prime.
  • FBM = Fulfilled by Merchant which means a customer can buy, but you’d have to fulfill the order yourself.
  • Endemic Ad Type: Tangible products that can be sold on Amazon (Note: At New Engen, we will likely always be working with ‘endemic’ products. All of the advertising we are currently doing is only available for endemic products).
  • Non-endemic Ad Type: Ads for what cannot be purchased on Amazon (For example, Blue Cross Blue Shield).
  • ASIN: An Amazon Standard Identification Number is a 10-character alphanumeric unique identifier assigned by Amazon.com and its partners for product identification within the Amazon organization.
  • Parent ASIN = Products with variations that are generic – ex: “pants”
  • Child ASIN = Specific variation of products – ex: pants, size small, dark blue
  • Buy Box: According to Vertical Rail, Amazon's Buy Box is the top right section on a product page where customers can directly add items to their shopping carts. Since many sellers on Amazon can sell the same product, they must compete to “win the Buy Box” for a certain product. Winning the Amazon Buy Box simply means that you were chosen for the Buy Box placement. When you win this placement, customers have a button to directly add your product to their carts, giving you an advantage over competing sellers. Generally, one “New” and one “Used” condition offer will win the Buy Box, depending on the product.

Product Detail Pages

A strong product page is a critical foundation and it's not worth spending money on advertising until that is in place.

Here’s how...

  • You should prioritize optimizing these elements above all others: Image, Header, Product description bullet points
  • Great images will make or break you
  • Let’s say you’re selling a food product – you will want to include the food label with the nutritional facts, ingredients, size at scale (who knows how much 5 ounces is!?), etc. – the more, the better (only one image is no good)
  • Your description must be exactly that – descriptive
  • The title is the most critical from a search standpoint – make sure customers can find what they’re looking for
  • Your additional product details must be clear, informative and convey what’s special about your product (Use those value props!)
  • Reviews: Amazon suggests looking at your top 5 and bottom 5 reviews to see what you’re doing right… and what you need to improve on.

Product Suites

  • Sponsored Products/Product Display Ads - These used to be separate, until they blended into one suite. Target by keyword, product or interest and appear within search results and/or product detail pages (This is the simplest way to get started as no images or custom copy is needed – your ads go live immediately)
  • Sponsored Brands - target by keyword, appear at the top of the page, above search results – Advertise your store and create a powerful advertising experience for customers in search with sponsored brands
  • Target your sponsored brands ad to keywords relevant to your brand, Amazon store and products – Clicking on the logo and headline drives the shopper to your Amazon Store
  • Amazon Stores - build a dedicated brand presence to foster awareness and loyalty – must be a registered brand (Plus, reporting is available and getting better!) Learn more.

Target Your Competition

Something unique about advertising on Amazon is you can target your competition. Amazon suggests you understand offense and defense because a lot of people tend to forget about the defense side. “I don't want to spend money defending my brand…” But if you're spending all this money, it's important to protect your product, so your competition doesn’t steal your customer!

Take An 'Always-On' Approach

Run campaigns continuously to keep your brand discoverable, anytime, anywhere. In today’s world, people are shopping 24/7 – so Amazon suggests keeping your ads on all the time. Whether the consumer is on the train, on the go – although they might not be purchasing, they could be adding the items to their cart and check out tomorrow or in a week. It’s important to always be available to customers!

Brand Registry

If you’re a trademarked brand, it’s best to register your brand on Amazon (through Seller Central) so you’re able to protect yourself from fake and phony’s – because no one else can sell your product.

Another benefit of registering your brand is the ability to have a landing page, which is a brand page through Amazon storefront. When you’re a registered brand, you have a storefront, which means you can also have a banner – which isn’t an option otherwise. So why wouldn’t you take advantage of this!? Learn more.

More Resources?

Whew...Want to learn more? Here are some additional resources provided by Amazon:

  • Seller central (shows benefits of seller including Fulfilled by Amazon)

Buckle up as we continue exploring the Amazon – because it’s going to be a fast ride. If you have any questions or additional insights to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!