Over 3,000 new sellers join the Amazon Marketplace daily. That’s over a million new sellers in the last year alone. If you’re already selling in the Marketplace, how are you differentiating yourself from the competition? And if you’re not selling there yet, why aren’t you? It’s the largest online retailer in the world, with over $118 billion in sales in 2017 alone, a dramatic 25% increase over 2016’s total of $94.67 billion.
At ICUC, we understand the importance of feedback and we see how critical it is in the Marketplace, but also in the opportunities it offers for valuable feedback from consumers.
Think of Amazon Marketplace as the world’s biggest mall, filled with an insane variety of products. But, instead of having to enter various stores to see products, consumers simply summon what they want. Through simple searches with filtering options, consumers find what they seek in a Marketplace that, in 2016, boasted 353 million products. Then, the consumer reads each product’s page for information, from size and weights to performance and reviews, before purchasing – often with the possibility of free two-day shipping. And they do all this without ever having to leave the house, let alone put on pants!
Amazon’s Prime Membership is a big factor in the Marketplace’s viability. By joining Prime, members get a variety of perks. Brilliantly, Amazon has added their video-streaming content to Prime, so membership isn’t just about getting two-day delivery from “fulfilled by Amazon” merchants, who now make up 66% of the Marketplace. Now it’s about how consumers enjoy their off-hours with streamable content, too.
In fact, to watch award-winning original Amazon programming, like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” or “The Man in the High Tower”, consumers need to join Prime –making the video service as coveted as the shopping club itself is. Video fans get the perk of online shopping and quick, free delivery. Shopping fanatics get the perk of great video programming. Either way, at $9.99 a month (or $99.99 annually) for both streaming and two-day delivery, the Prime Membership price is comparable to subscribing to Netflix or Hulu, except it also gets new Bluetooth headphones delivered to your doorstep within 48 hours.
That one-two punch is partly why Prime Membership is exploding by as much as 80% year over year, with 95% of members reporting they will renew when their year ends (up from 94% in 2016). With over 90 million members in the United States alone, more than a third of American homes subscribe to Prime. That’s $9 billion Amazon’s making before those members even spend a penny. But the shopping-delivery perk leads Prime consumers to spend an average of $600 more per year through the Amazon Marketplace than others do, at an average of $1,300 annually. As Amazon’s product selection increases, so does that average expenditure.
What all this translates to is that, as the Amazon Marketplace grows with over 3,000 new sellers daily, with millions of new products, there’s evermore incentive for Prime Members to loyally spend their cash through Amazon and its Marketplace merchants – maybe even for equipment on which to enjoy that award-winning subscription programming.
As a result of Prime’s impressive consumer pull, 9 out of 10 retailers now offer at least one product as fulfilled-by-Amazon so it can get the coveted Prime “checkmark” icon, allowing consumers to find it through filtering for Prime-only products.
So, apart from joining the fulfilled-by-Amazon crowd of Prime-enabled retailers, how do you take advantage of this growing commercial juggernaut? How do you stand out from the crowd?
For some, the answer is to employ fake reviews. While this is a rampant practice, blowback is amping up. Amazon has launched several lawsuits in recent years against those engaging in the fake-review business.
The best way for you to capitalize is by doing practices that have always gotten great consumer response – listening, understanding, and marketing. It’s arguable it’s more critical to do these well in the Marketplace than in any other arena of retail, since 90% of Amazon customers won’t purchase a product with under three stars. Beyond price and 48-hour delivery, they won’t be wooed by anything except a well-designed product page, the product itself, and consumer feedback.
Unlike a bricks-and-mortar shop, where you control the atmosphere and branding in infinite ways to encourage consumer trust and spending, Amazon Marketplace requires a different approach. Pages must be designed and branded for clarity and appeal, the first critical step in achieving distinction from a parade of similar items offered by other retailers. The more information your audience can get about your product on the page, the better the odds you’ll have happy purchasers for those you convert.
Beyond page design, consumer outreach through email or answering questions posted on your page greatly impacts response and loyalty. Promoted products and internal advertising on Amazon Marketplace reaches specially-targeted consumers more likely to be converted into purchasers but knowing how, and to whom, to target these ads is the trick.
At ICUC, we understand Amazon Marketplace’s mechanics and how to better position your products for best performance, but we also know how to harness data analysis to improve feedback and loyalty.
As the retail revolution continues and physical locations are increasingly challenged by online consumer trends, it’s critical that you drive traffic to your products, hear and act upon consumer response, and convert undecideds by capitalizing on internet chatter. At ICUC, with game-changing listening algorithms paired with human experts around the world, we’ll monitor your Amazon Marketplace presence 24/7 and get you positioned to perform better than ever. And with Amazon now having 12 international Marketplace sites – from India to Germany – our worldwide workforce is ready to serve you around the globe. Ask us today how we can help.
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