For local business retailers, Amazon is tough, tough competition. Every dollar in Amazon’s pocket is a dollar out of the piggy banks of small businesses trying to compete in the online marketplace. Amazon is a perpetual threat that just seems to be getting larger and larger.
As the most popular online store in the US, Amazon takes home around $130 billion annually. Their size and popularity only seem to expand with added services like Amazon Prime, Amazon Stores, the AmazonBasics products and other strategies.
The question on many small business owner’s minds is, how does a local business retailer David the Amazon Goliath?
There’s the adage, ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,’ which is exactly the approach a small business retailer should take with Amazon. In other words, rather than compete with Amazon, use the massive e-commerce platform as an advantage.
The truth is, as much as you may view Amazon as a competitor, they have a lot of tools available for businesses to sell their products and grow their company through Amazon’s services.
Here are some tactics that a local business retailer can use to increase their sales and other key metrics through Amazon.
Market Your Brand/Website Outside Of Your Local Store
You can advertise your products and brands through two key Amazon offerings: Sponsored Products and Headline Search Ads. Sponsored Products allows you to “bid” on specific keywords that may be searched by consumers looking for products similar to yours.
Your listing will appear near or at the top of the list, depending on your bid. Headline Search Ads follow a similar protocol but list your brand and all its products, rather than a single item.
Advertising on Amazon allows you to reach new customers and audiences outside of your local area. With Amazon’s millions of users, your products can see some significant traffic that you wouldn’t otherwise experience.
While you do pay for your bids on keywords, Amazon allows the advertiser to have complete control over their costs. You only pay for actual clicks on your ad(s), which makes it helpful in measuring your return on investment (ROI) and allows you to adjust your spending as you see fit.
This is a great way to get your brand and its products discovered by more people!
Increase Revenue By Selling On Amazon
Aside from just advertising your products on Amazon, you can also sell through this massive online platform. You send your products to Amazon, and they take care of the rest, including the shipping and fulfillment of orders and any returns.
This helps you focus on other aspects of your business and doesn’t create a ton of additional work for your company to utilize this added selling method.
While Amazon does charge a subscription fee for the selling service, as well as some other additional fees, these costs can be well worth having your products discoverable by Amazon’s hundreds of millions of users. Some brands that utilize Amazon’s selling service see a considerable chunk of their revenue coming from the Amazon platform.
Selling on Amazon allows a local business to have the reach and visibility of a much larger company, which drives sales and revenue.
Use As A Research Tool To Check Demand And New Product Ideas
Part of surviving the hyper-competitive world of retail is research. Knowing what consumers are buying, who the best retailers are and how these trends are affecting other brands and products is essential.
The more you understand how specific products sell, the better you’ll be at creating new products that meet current demands and marketing existing items in ways that resonate with current consumer behaviors and attitudes.
As the largest online retailer, Amazon is a gold mine for research and actionable marketing insights. You can quickly find Amazon’s Best Sellers and see what products are moving the most.
Then, use this information to try and predict the next big item. Also, if your competitors are present on Amazon, you can look at their products and reviews to see how they are selling and what customers have to say. This information can be invaluable in finding ways to gain a leg up over that competition.
Researching through Amazon is free and doesn’t require any fancy data analytics software. However, you do have to have a marketing-focused mind to understand where there are significant wins possible.
Get Reviews To Build Social Proof
Amazon Reviews are some of the best out there. Amazon generates more product reviews than any other selling platform. There are even professional Amazon product reviewers.
These product reviews provide beneficial information for your business. Understanding how people feel about your products, what they use them for, why they buy from you instead of others, these are all critical dimensions to offering better products and becoming an overall better brand. The more you know about customer sentiments, the greater your understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
Amazon products and reviews can also be shared on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Not only does this help expand the reach of your products, but good reviews help establish social proof of the quality of those items and allow your brand to build a superb reputation.
A high standing in Amazon reviews will encourage new customers to investigate and potentially buy your products.
Use Amazon Pay
Amazon Pay is the online retailer’s payment processing service. Amazon users have their credit card and payment information stored in their secured account for automatic entry when paying.
This makes it speedy and secure to checkout and is a significant contributing factor to the success of Amazon. Your business can also take advantage of these quick checkout times by signing up as an Amazon Pay-approved business.
Optimizing your product pages with the Amazon Pay option will allow users to pay through their Amazon account when they shop at your website.
This can take your e-commerce store to the next level because it will enable your small business to have that immediate checkout process of the largest online retailer. And, shoppers will feel even more safe and secure because the transaction is protected by Amazon’s payment security protocols.
Amazon has millions of users that enjoy and expect a quick checkout when shopping online. Amazon Pay allows a local business retailer to offer that to its customers.
Save Money By Using Amazon Business
Amazon Business encapsulates all of the excellent services and offerings of Amazon in an environment that is geared for business owners. It is free to sign up for and only requires some basic information about your company. Once approved, you’ll get customized product selections that are relevant to your unique business.
Whatever supplies or products that your business needs to continue operating and growing, you can find them on your Amazon Business page. Then, you’ll enjoy 2-day free shipping and a number of other features.
Amazon Business helps save money and time by making it cheaper, more convenient and more cost-efficient to buy things for your business.
You can easily compare prices from a variety of Amazon vendors, which ensures you’re getting the best price. And, you can stay organized with custom order names/numbers, which helps track your Amazon Business purchases alongside any other vendor orders.
There’s tons of benefit to having an Amazon Business account, but the biggest is saving money.
Attract And Retain Customers With Amazon Gift Cards
With Amazon’s soaring popularity, Amazon Gift Cards have become a go-to gift alternative to handing someone cash. If you’re selling on Amazon or have Amazon Pay loaded on your website’s e-commerce pages, you can allow customers to redeem their Amazon Gift Cards for your products, which has vast potential for added sales.
If your business offers its own gift cards, you’re almost exclusively selling them to people that are already customers (or know someone that is).
Amazon Gift Cards, on the other hand, are much more universal, which means people who stumble upon your brand for the first time with an Amazon Gift Card can use this gift money to purchase your products.
Plus, people are much more motivated to buy when they have a gift card because it feels like free money. Thus, there’s no spending guilt.
If the balance on the card isn’t entirely used up, the customer may come back to purchase again with the remaining balance. Thus, Amazon Gift Cards are tremendous tools for attracting new business and encouraging return visits.
Instead of looking at Amazon as your competition, you can join forces with the mega online retailer to grow and improve your business. While that may seem like a proposition from Darth Vader, the truth is that you have a lot more to gain from leveraging Amazon’s business tools and services than they do.
You can expand your brand’s reach well beyond your local means, drive sales, attract new business, establish a better reputation and stronger connections with customers (both new and old) with eHopper POS. Get started with eHopper today!