Why resisting Amazon is hurting your brand
Unilever CEO, Paul Polman, recently spoke to the media about the company’s survival techniques in the wake of changing consumer expectations and demands. In addition to focusing on sustainability, purpose-driven products, strong innovation and investing in prestige businesses, direct-to-consumer is a growing channel for Unilever, especially in beauty and health.
Direct-to-consumer sales account for 5% of the company’s revenue, while Polman believes there’s no reason that figure couldn’t be double. But while the FMCG giant is growing D2C, it is only doing so “where it’s sensible, we will always have it next to our other channels.”
What Polman shouldn’t overlook is the fact that all their products are selling on Amazon, regardless of their strategy. This may be through distributors, third party sellers or the brands themselves. The only way to control how your brand is being represented on Amazon is to become a vendor or seller yourself.
Why is it vital to take control of your brand on Amazon?
Amazon have 300 million active customer accounts worldwide. In the UK, 37 million people visit Amazon a month, visiting on average 60 pages.
In 2016, Amazon surpassed Google as the first choice for product research. A study by BloomReach reported that 55% of Americans turn to Amazon first when searching for products online. Search engines only account for 28% of product searches, while retailers collectively account for a lowly 16%.
Whether or not you’re selling on Amazon, customers are looking for your products here. Landing on an Amazon page will give consumers product details, peer reviews, customer ratings and the cheapest price available for the product. If you’re not managing your Amazon sales, you can’t control any of these elements.
Take this example of kiddie brands, Bugaboo, versus Mamas & Papas.
In the example above, Bugaboo’s product listing is light on content with only 4 images (Amazon gives Vendors up to 6 spaces plus an allowance for video), no evidence of keyword research, a nondescript title, no customer ratings or reviews, no Prime offering, and the buy box is being won by a reseller.
Below, Mamas & Papas have taken advantage of Amazon’s content opportunities with a full suite of images, descriptive titles and bullets, colour variants, great reviews, customer questions answered, and Prime delivery.
Lower down the page there are full, detailed product specifications and A+ Content that is visual, emotive and presents customers with alternative products in the range.
Whether you wish to sell on Amazon directly or not, managing your products on the marketplace is key to maintaining your brand’s integrity and building trust with your customers.