If you are a regular reader of our articles then you know how passionate we are about the digital channel. J. Schall Consulting is a team of Millennials that believe in the digital first economy. We understand that traditional retail is still an important part of the sports, fitness, and sports nutrition CPG industry but we spend a vast majority of our time constructing digital first strategies/tactics for our clients. This digital first client work always leads us into discussions about Amazon. The Amazon dialogue usually starts at how to sell more on the marketplace but it quickly shifts to us focusing on it’s product search dominance. In fact, recent studies reveal that Amazon is the place most American consumers begin their product research.
So, why should you care about Amazon being the top spot for consumer product search? Imagine the old search model below…
A shopper starts with an idea and searches for your product. The shopper then spends maybe several blocks of minutes bouncing among various websites. The result is a frustrated shopper because each site offers positives and negatives to pricing, trustworthiness, and mix of product.
See the inefficiency above? For these and many other reasons, consumers are bypassing traditional search engines and turning to the Amazon marketplace for all their product research and acquisition needs.
So now that we have started to accept this trend as a reality, how do we make sure we are developing a strategy tailored for Amazon search?
Tactic #1 – Make sure your Amazon product listing is focused on providing comprehensive information. Since a consumer is using Amazon for product research, you have to assume that you will get some cross channel sales offline. For that reason, you need to build your pages with the idea that this is the first and only place a consumer will research your brand before purchasing. You can no longer assume the consumer will spend time on your website or social media to get a full picture of your brand or product before purchase. It doesn’t matter if you are using Seller Central, Vendor Express, or Vendor Central, you need to make sure the consumer can get the following information from your listing:
- Product Information (usage directions, ingredients, manufacturing standards, and special claims)
- Well Manicured Product Reviews (transparency is important but if a consumer has a bad experience you should be reaching out to them to make the situation perfect so they would be willing to adjust their negative review)
- Brand Storytelling (if you have a bigger brand strategy and not just trying to sell a one-off product)
Tactic #2 – Make sure your Amazon product listing has proper SEO. For years, you have heard the importance of an optimized web presence across Google. While these search engines still are important to businesses, it’s also noteworthy to acknowledge the growth of Amazon SEO. Granted, most merchants have less control on the visibility of individual Amazon product listings. Amazon maintains tight control over most product details, particularly when multiple merchants share the Buy Box. The goal though for Amazon is simple, it seeks to match searchers with the most relevant, trustworthy and sought-after products. You will want to make sure your consumer facing web copy and back-end search terms match to make sure you have the best chance of being seen by the right consumers.
Tactic #3 – Learn to use Amazon Marketing Services (AMS). Whether your brand is running a variety of ads including Sponsored Products, Headline Search, and Product Display, AMS options have started to become increasing popular as brands are shifting their advertising budgets toward an Amazon-focused sales strategy. With the success of this program, brands can expose their listings to purchase-ready searchers. With each click, shoppers remain within the cozy confines of the Amazon marketplace, rather than being redirected to third-party websites. This approach delivers a more cohesive, convenient shopping experience and generates traffic with higher conversion rates.