By Benjamin Pipat, Seelk
In a year of unprecedented upheaval and change, Amazon has taken over the retail sector and become a trailblazer in the new remote economy of working – and shopping – at home. In its most recent quarter, revenue grew by 37% and net income tripled year-over-year to $6.3 billion. Brands who may have thought they could avoid the online giant now are starting to reconsider their e-commerce strategies, as experts predict Amazon could take 42 cents of every dollar spent during the 2020 holiday season. Amazon’s strengths will only propel it further in the post-pandemic world, and a strategy for the platform is no longer optional.
The Remote-Economy Is Here To Stay
Even when the pandemic has passed, there will be a permanent remote economy. Many patterns and habits that were upended in 2020 proved that work can be more flexible than previously believed. The convenience of e-commerce, from pricing to product availability and delivery, will lure shoppers even when brick-and-mortar is back to normal. Consumption habits have been forced to change and are now here to stay. More customers are accustomed to buying online, and the ones who already did now buy a wider range of goods.
Amazon is a major driver of this shift as it now accounts for more than 40% of online spending in the US, and as a portal for discovering and comparing products, Amazon is second to none.
Although an e-commerce strategy should not be solely based on the platform, it has become essential for brands to establish themselves on Amazon and be front and center for consumers looking for products they offer. But with such intense and broad competition, how can a brand show up, break through the noise, and succeed?
Brands Need A Specialized Amazon Sales Strategy
Performing well on Amazon isn’t dark magic. It’s the result of a continuous equilibrium including great content, always-available products, and retail-driven advertising strategies.
This means omni-channel brands must:
- Build compelling and trustworthy product pages (content & reviews). Go beyond boring packshot and build visuals that tell a story about your product and answer primary customer questions on any device.
- Elevate their supply chain to Amazon’s standards (in-stock). With expedited and same-day delivery options more popular than ever, being out of stock will quickly relegate a product to the distant end of search results.
- Drive growth by leveraging an agile mix of Amazon’s media levers (search & display). Brands must constantly evaluate and refine their media approach on the platform to maximize their reach within the Amazon ecosystem.
Digital-Native Brands Have The Upper Hand
Digital-native brands have long understood this model and have invested the necessary tools and resources to maintain what is often called the flywheel effect – leveraging intelligence about their performance on Amazon to perpetually improve and compete even more capably for consumer's attention and dollars.
Omnichannel brands need support to level the playing field. This means creating agile, dedicated teams, sitting between Sales and Marketing, to address Amazon as a whole platform, and invest in the necessary tools to make data-driven decisions. They must optimize each step of the customer journey, specific to the Amazon channel, to differentiate their brand from their digitally native counterparts.
Amazon needs to be a part of every brand’s sales strategy in 2021. But those who want to carve out a larger slice of the market will need to go above and beyond. A commitment to investing in Amazon-centric operations and truly understanding how the marketplace runs will be a game changer in the year ahead.
About The Author
Benjamin graduated from Polytechnique and the London School of Economics, he worked in management consulting in London before turning to entrepreneurship. Passionate about tech and e-commerce, he founded Vinify (a Pandora-like wine-cellar app) before cofounding Seelk with the ambition to build the most advanced retail-medial technology and solutions for brands on Amazon. Benjamin is an active member of the Paris start-up ecosystem, being a board member of AngelSquare Impact and investor in companies like Slite and Bubble.