One of the most important discussions we have with our clients is about the right Amazon strategy in Europe. Some may already be selling on Amazon in the US and know exactly what they want to do in Europe. Others may not have thought about it. Whatever decisions we make about Amazon will have an influence far beyond the Amazon platform, so it’s critical that we get these right.
For those unfamiliar with selling on Amazon let us begin with a quick introduction. Amazon launched in the US in 1994 selling a wide selection of books. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and now the wealthiest person on the planet, chose the book market because it was easy to disrupt. The low cost of operating online meant he could offer more aggressive prices than retail stores could. However his intention was always to become “the Everything Store” and looking at his business today he is almost there! On 4th September 2018 Amazon became a trillion dollar company. Not bad for a 14 year-old business started in Jeff Bezos’s garage!
What is Amazon?
Amazon is two things: an online retail store and a marketplace. As an online retail store they buy a huge range of products from many suppliers and sell these to consumers, offering fast, efficient service. As a marketplace they allow (almost) anyone to sell (almost) anything to their customer base. So one of the first decisions to make is whether to sell TO Amazon or THROUGH Amazon (or indeed both). There are advantages and disadvantages to each and we can help you figure out what is best for your brand. Whatever you decide, it needs to support your strategic objectives in that market.
The biggest challenge with Amazon today is their scale. With such a large customer base and a product catalogue that is unmatched in size, anyone hoping to sell on Amazon first needs their products to be found. The first step is to ensure your item detail pages are optimised for discoverability. As well as adding product features and descriptions, you will also need to think about images and video. The more you can bring your product to life the more likely it is to sell.
Once your basic content is in place you may want to improve your presence on Amazon. Enhanced content and Brand pages are both valuable ways create a richer experience for Amazon customers. Adding enhanced content to your product pages improves their layout and allows you to provide more detailed information. A brand page gives you one location where Amazon customers can see all of your products together.
Selling on Amazon
Getting your content right is an important piece in the Amazon jigsaw puzzle but it’s only the start. Whilst Amazon may well be the most capable fulfilment partner you will ever work with, what they don’t do is generate demand for your product. Once your content is right and you have figured how to supply Amazon customers you should begin creating demand for your products. Some of this will be done outside of the Amazon site through PR, Social Media and Influencer marketing and some of it will be done using Amazon’s own advertising programs.
So what is the right Amazon strategy in Europe?
The truth is there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. Your strategy should be created to match the objectives you have in each market, recognising your own capability and the capability of your partners. To make the most of the opportunity you should optimise your content to ensure your products are discoverable, enhance your content with all the available programs and spend time (and money) generating demand. If you do these things you will be in the best position to take advantage of the opportunity Amazon can offer.