Amazon in an SME digital strategy, an essential asset

The platform is essential to sell your products on the Internet, but it is often misused or poorly positioned in SME digital strategies.

Most business leaders I know are unhappy with the results they are getting at Amazon. However, they often fail to tell me how they position the platform in their digital or even commercial strategy. Additionally, they acknowledge that they have not assigned specific resources to this role, but have assigned it as an additional task to existing roles in marketing, adv, e-commerce, etc.

So it’s not surprising that the results are disappointing, as crudely and somewhat provocatively, the only thing they really nailed down is the churn target they were hoping for.

Why is Amazon an indispensable asset in B2C and B2B?

Amazon has become more than a market, it has become a media in its own right that in Q2 2022 (source FEVAD/Médiamétrie) had:

  • 34 million unique visitors per month, ie twice as many unique visitors per month as Cdiscount, its main competitor in France;
  • almost 7 million unique visitors per day, that is, almost 4 times more than Cdiscount.

It is worth remembering that in France, in 2022, there are 53.5 million Internet users, which means that 64% of this population connects to Amazon at least once a month.

On the other hand, several studies indicate that:

  • 57% of regular shoppers use Amazon as a product search engine vs. Google (Ifop/Ad’s up Consulting);
  • 34% of French people say they discover new products through Marketplaces, the second largest discovery channel after word-of-mouth: 37% (Dynata study).

These simple numbers show that today, whether B2B or B2C, being on Amazon is an essential way to make your brand known both inside and outside Amazon.

Amazon in a Digital Strategy

For an SME, you have to pick your battles, because you rarely have the wherewithal to do everything, and therefore you have to focus your resources on the best ROI possible.

The digital strategy towards the consumer will be almost the same, whether B2B or B2C. In fact, with the use of the Internet, consumers will seek information about their products, whether in the form of direct or indirect distribution. It is therefore necessary, in both cases, to highlight in this B2C media your products, your company, your advantages over the competition, to simply make people want to buy. (Learn more: SMBs in B2B: why sell on B2C marketplaces?)

For this, you can use two means with different purposes: your own website and Amazon.

Above all, the website will allow consumers to be informed in depth about your brand, your products, your company in a broad sense. On the other hand, it will be barely visible on Google, as the first pages (with some exceptions) are trusted by large multinationals or marketplaces. Test yourself on Google with one of your keywords and you will find the companies mentioned on the first page.

However, you don’t have the financial means to fight them at the cost of buying keywords on Google. It would be a waste of time and money.

That way, your website won’t be visible on the internet, except for people who know your brand or who will type your name directly into Google. And this is where Amazon will take its place in finding new customers. In fact, Amazon, as demonstrated above, has become a medium and should be used as such to promote your brand and find new customers.

Shoppers on Amazon are mostly occasional shoppers who test and discover a new product.

Just look at the picture example below from Amazon on one of my cosmetics customers to see this:

© AmazonAds

As of September 2022, 77% of your Amazon sales were made by first-time buyers, while your products have been there since 2017…

Website and Amazon, which tool for what?

The website’s main function is therefore to provide detailed information to customers who discover your brand through word of mouth, Amazon searches, your social media presence or your purchases in a physical store.

The two main goals of your website will be:

  • highlight its history, its advantages, its quality, its ecological responsibility, with the aim of informing new visitors in the most qualitative way possible and turning them into customers;
  • the implementation of a loyalty program for its recurring customers in order to make them as captive as possible with mechanisms to increase the average basket of their purchases.

Your budgets should be centered on these two goals and not your invisibility on Google.

Amazon’s main objective is to make your brand and products known through your large audience, who will either shop on Amazon or return to your website through Google and your brand. In fact, regular internet shoppers (57%) who use Amazon as their product search engine do not necessarily shop on Amazon.

Amazon has its followers, but also its detractors. Be that as it may, it has become an essential medium to promote your products and your brand.

How to become visible among 150 million products on Amazon?

Once you understand that Amazon is an essential medium, the next question is: how to make your brand and products visible with so much competition?

As an SME, you will have to be able to differentiate yourself from large groups and your competitors.

To do this, there is no magic wand, you must use all the means made available by Amazon to make yourself visible. This requires having or assigning the skills and resources to make this happen. This success will go through several actions that, all combined, will allow you to have some of your products among the 100 best sellers on Amazon while you are just an SME facing the giants of your category of activity.

These levers are:

  • the quality of your product sheets and their natural referencing (SEO): title, descriptions, images and visuals, videos;
  • the creation of A+ sheets (detailed marketing sheet): on the brand, on the range, on the collection, see for each product;
  • creation of a Store (mini site of your brand on Amazon);
  • the use of Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA), which corresponds to the implementation of a consignment sales strategy where Amazon delivers to the end customer;
  • the management and implementation of regular advertising campaigns with Amazon Advertising (SEA) tools;
  • the pricing and referral strategy on Amazon versus its other channels

If you want to know the details of these levers, you can read the following articles on JDN: SMEs: why and how to sell “well” on marketplaces? / Which B2C marketplaces should you choose to sell your products? / Solutions to Optimize Your Amazon Advertising ROI

It is the good use of these different levers and the deep knowledge of Amazon that will allow you to be visible on the front pages of Amazon, despite the 150 million products.

Amazon Builds Leads, Website Builds Loyalty

In summary, a 2022 digital strategy for an SME should be:

  • use Amazon as a medium where you will advertise, communicate as you sell;
  • use your website to better inform, transform and retain your customers.

Of course, you’ll have to think smartly about your interaction strategy between the two to attract as many Amazon customers to your site as possible. There are simple and legal practices to do it…

It will also be necessary to allocate the necessary resources for a good domain of the Amazon to be able to obtain all the benefits generating a margin. In fact, Amazon’s marketing costs don’t stop at the commission on sales and their cost mechanisms must be mastered if a positive ROI is to be desired.

The difficulty is finding resources dominating Amazon, because “since 2021, the sector has entered a strong tension in digital marketing because large retailers are descending in the refinement of positions and are increasingly demanding in the skills sought”. year, salaries rose 10% in e-commerce marketing, a bigger increase than what we’ve seen before. Vacancies are increasingly difficult to find”, observes Jacques Froissant, managing director of Altaïde.

And as an SME, the matter is even more true, because it doesn’t necessarily have enough attractiveness or turnover to finance a full-time position. Amazon will continue to lead the way for a few more years, and investing in training its people, even if partial in each required area of ​​expertise, is a good investment for the future. Otherwise, outsourcing to stay focused on your core business is another strategy.

If you want to get results that meet your expectations, adapt your resources to your ambitions and don’t neglect the necessary skills or budget at the risk of losing this fabulous communication and sales channel: 34% of French people say they discover new products through markets.

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