Amazon: Competitor or Marketing Channel?

Online shopping is becoming more common in 2021 due to the global lockdown restrictions worldwide.

The global pandemic has affected all industries and has led to a surge in eCommerce. Now over 2.14 billion people around the globe are expected to buy goods and services online, so having an online store is an excellent beginning in increasing sales and gaining customers.

Whether it’s an online-only store or an online shopping platform for your brick-and-mortar business, online sales are crucial in 2021. However, it’s equally important to identify your competitors on the market to respond to their marketing campaigns and stand out from the competition.

Unsurprisingly, many businesses start their list of competitors with the eCommerce giant – Amazon and feel hopeless to beat the opponent, generating billions of dollars.

Although Amazon may sell similar or identical products as you sell, the good news is that you don’t need to compete with the largest eCommerce website worldwide but rather use it as one of your marketing channels. Once you stop viewing Amazon as your competitor, you can start utilizing its platform for increasing sales and generating more revenue.

Amazon Might Sell Similar Products, but It’s Not Your Competitor

Your competitors are those stores that offer similar products you sell. Regardless of what you sell, Amazon will provide the same or similar products to its customers, so in a way, it makes sense to think of Amazon as your competitor.

Most probably, you’re also amongst millions of people who turn to the biggest online retailer when you need a product to purchase online, and you may think it’s where your prospects will go too instead of visiting your website. Each minute, Amazon sales amount to $283,000, so yes, many online shoppers start their shopping journey on Amazon.

As a small business owner, you may jump to conclusions and think you’ll never beat the competition if your competitor is the global eCommerce giant, but not quite so.

Let’s take a Disney store, for example. One of their primary product types is toys. If you look for toys on Amazon, you’ll see nearly 20,000 toys for sale. Does that mean Disney Store competes with Amazon? No, Disney is an official Amazon seller, so it utilizes Amazon to market and sell its products instead of competing with the eCommerce giant.

Instead of viewing Amazon as your competitor, you can start using it as one of your marketing channels, as it provides an excellent opportunity to increase your online sales.

Why Marketers Are Focusing More on Amazon

Amazon customers have invested in their Prime membership, and they’ll want to maximize its use. Over 200 million Prime members on Amazon have great perks, including free and speedy shipping, so unsurprisingly, they will visit Amazon first when purchasing something online.

Amazon will allow you to reach a larger audience, and by selling there, you can help your business grow and make more sales.

Amazon Advertising for Your Business

In addition to selling on Amazon, Amazon Advertising offers excellent opportunities for marketers. It works similarly to pay-per-click ads on Google: and you only have to pay when online shoppers click on your ad.

Amazon’s advertising business keeps growing, and its demand-side platform (Amazon DSP) enables advertisers to reach wider audiences.

It will allow you to reach new and existing customers on and off Amazon on Amazon-owned sites and apps, like IMDb, and leading publishers’ sites through direct inventory from Amazon Publisher Services and third-party exchanges.

You can use Amazon DSP to target users who have already visited your product page and re-market to them on Amazon, where they are likely to be in the mindset to purchase. Or, if you want to drive brand awareness and reach a wider audience, you can target new customers off-site with a video promoting your brand and products.

Amazon DSP is a great tool for small businesses to use much more targeted marketing methods to sell their products, which will help them stand out from the competition.

So rather than being the competitor you won’t be able to beat, you can use Amazon and its advertising to increase revenue, market your products, and compete with other

businesses.

How to Make Amazon Marketing Work for Your Business

Although Amazon can be a great marketing channel to reach a wider audience and increase sales, you can’t expect to see its results without a well-crafted marketing strategy.

Like any other marketing tool, it needs a strategic approach, well-calculated budget, and knowledge in many aspects of marketing and how Amazon works to utilize its marketing potential for your business entirely.

First and foremost, you’ll need to integrate Amazon into your overall digital marketing strategy. Secondly, you’ll need to find a marketing company with extensive knowledge of Amazon advertising and marketing in general to craft a plan that will drive results for your company.

Like any other search-driven marketing method, marketing on Amazon begins with keyword research. It’ll help you determine how to reach the right audiences who are likely to buy your products.

Moving forward, you’ll have to identify the correct formats of your advertising campaigns, which fall into three categories: product display ads, sponsored products ads, and headline search ads. Which one to choose? It depends on the products you are selling, your budget, and the keywords you target. Ideally, you want to combine all the three to see the best results.

Moreover, you will have to optimize your product listings to improve their search visibility like you’d optimize your website for Google search queries. Still, not to go too much into details, a great marketing company can direct your marketing efforts in the right way to see desired results.

Can Every Business Sell on Amazon?

Technically, yes. Amazon is one of the biggest sales platforms in the U.S., and even individuals can sell on Amazon. However, some product categories may require Amazon approval, and some may be restricted for selling. So, while you can use the platform to promote your skin-care products, you can’t sell and ship your dog’s puppies through Amazon services or use Amazon for selling lottery tickets.

Not to guess whether you’re allowed to sell on Amazon, click here to see its list of restricted products.

Unfortunately, to thousands of CBD companies in the U.S., selling CBD on Amazon is prohibited, per its policy.

CBD products are also ineligible for advertising, so while Amazon is a fantastic place for many sellers and eCommerce stores, CBD brands will have to find alternative marketing channels for promoting their products. However, if you truly want to try selling Amazon, the only way to do it is to label and market it as hemp. Although it may sound like sad news, the good news is that CBD consumers aren’t on the platform either, so, usually, brands’ websites are where they shop for cannabidiol products. Amazon cannot be part of your digital marketing plan. You can direct your efforts towards your website, blog, online store, and social media.

So, a competitor or a marketing channel? Unless you’re next Jeff Bezos and have created another innovative multinational internet-based enterprise with millions of products, Amazon can be a fantastic platform to include in your marketing strategy if your products are allowed for selling and advertising on the platform.



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