For many years I’ve met a friend of mine for coffee every fortnight. We both work in online marketing, and every other Wednesday was our chance to chew over what was going on in the industry.
Anyway, one afternoon in 2013 we met up as normal. However, on this occasion I noticed my friend was more energised than usual. As our drinks arrived, he began to speak with enthusiasm about a new venture he’d started; it was a new private label launch on Amazon. In a couple of weeks, orders had started coming in.
It showed signs that there was demand and the ecommerce side was more or less on auto-pilot, as it used Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA). This allowed him to focus more on growth with less time spent on dealing with fulfilment or delivery issues.
What was also interesting is that it looked scalable…
At the start the sales figures may have looked fairly ordinary, but my friend decided he wanted to increase sales by multiples, launch another product and expand! He wanted my help and I liked his ambitious idea. This is how my Amazon SEO journey began.
By 2013, I’d worked in SEO and ecommerce for over a decade. Some of those skills I found were invaluable when it came to working on Amazon, but there was still more to learn. From day one I ran tests. These turned into scores of tests on the key elements. It started to reveal that a number of small things done right, can make a big difference.
Two months later we launched a second product. The discoveries that had been made were added into the mix and these made a notable difference. They were not necessarily something we’d seen anywhere else yet product 2 was a resounding success.
As time passed I was approached by other clients and began working on other Amazon seller accounts. These were in different industries with different products, but implementing the same strategies continued to get positive results.
Sales could shoot up in weeks. Sometimes by 90 days monthly revenues were in the tens of thousands of dollars. For some sellers so were the profits! The process became known as the “AMCROSE” methodology, but more about that later.
First let’s consider what most people are doing right now…chasing traffic on Google.
Google and Amazon
Many web retailers, SEOs and internet marketers (and I'm going to lump you in with them) battle it out each day on Google. It can be both time consuming, money consuming and a slow process to get traffic and sales organically – certainly it’s true of the first few months of launching on Google.
There are many reasons for this. The net result of the last 5 years of Google updates have changed the playing field a fair bit. Some will argue that Google now favors larger brands. More and more traffic from search engines appears to be monetized, and many small business owners have reported that their ‘free’ organic traffic is eroding away year on year.
Yet while all this this has happened, the private label market on Amazon began to boom. It saw a new era of automated ecommerce emerge.
Amazon FBA - the ecommerce game changer
Amazon’s FBA platform has helped put ecommerce on auto-pilot.
It allows sellers to store inventory in Amazon warehouses for a relatively low cost. When customers place an order, Amazon handles the card and payment processing. Amazon will then pick, pack and deliver products (as well as manage the returns process).
FBA is a game-changer, especially for small business owners. The barrier of entry to ecommerce has fallen and it now means that a handful of people (or one person and some remote staff) can run a successful online brand through Amazon without renting a warehouse or processing a credit card payments.
Amazon can trump Google for buyers
It’s something you may be surprised to hear, but Amazon can trump Google for ‘buyers’. The latest figures suggest that Amazon has up to 3 times as many buyers searching for products as Google.
In addition to this the results from Amazon campaigns can also happen fast. Internal organic sales inside Amazon can happen in as little as a few weeks or less. This can allow businesses to get faster feedback from customers about their product, as well as benefiting from better cashflow.
Amazon pages have high conversion rates
Amazon product pages can convert to sales higher than most independent website pages. Amazon constantly split test their web pages to find the best performing version and do this at an enormous scale. With the results from this data, Amazon tweak their templates – these layouts are then what sellers will use for their products.
Consumers have great trust in the Amazon brand and this can help with conversion. Most customers who shop on Amazon already have card details set up, so it can be a potent conversion mix.
And there’s MORE good news. Amazon has plenty of untapped niches where there are hungry customers and relatively low competition. This is true of both the UK, Europe and even USA
Private label selling - no more a fight for the buy box
If you retail other people’s branded products on Amazon, the brand owner will tend to control the product page. As a retailer, you can only compete to get the buy box.
With private labelled products this changes. You are the brand and so can control the product page (or ASIN, as Amazon likes to call them).
Private label selling can help shift the focus onto brand building and connecting with customers, rather than a straight retail price war for the buy box.
Now if this all sounds too good to be true and so easy you can get rich in your sleep, then I’m going to need to disappoint you – it’s not.
This is certainly not some ‘Get rich quick’ scheme. But if your business can self-brand now on Amazon and skilfully market those products, it could open doors that change your business forever.
To get the most out of Amazon, picking and producing a good product is key. An understanding of the niche, combined with a great launch strategy are also vital components to success.
In the next article I’ll let you in on how clients achieved fantastic rates of growth when we combined 3 simple techniques.