Amazon has been the biggest name in eCommerce in the 21st century. By creating a platform for retailers both large and small to sell their products through one homogenous retail hub, Amazon surpassed other giants such as eBay as a platform for small business sales. Many businesses now rely solely on their relationship with Amazon for their eCommerce needs, but all that might change soon.
With recent rumors that Amazon plans to limit its wholesale suppliers to only major brands that produce sales in excess of $10 million, many small businesses need to start planning their next move to consider if and how they will continue to do business with this eCommerce giant.
Companies that sell with Amazon fall into two categories, wholesalers and marketplace businesses. The wholesale companies range from retail giants to “mom and pop” companies. Amazon buys these companies’ products in bulk, stores them in their warehouses, and sells them for a profit like a typical retail business. For the companies on the smaller end of the wholesale market, the consistent business Amazon offers is crucial for maintaining their bottom lines and expanding their businesses.
Amazon’s other selling system is the Marketplace, a peer to peer service somewhat similar to eBay’s business model. The Amazon Marketplace allows sellers to list their products through Amazon for a monthly fee and a percentage of each sale. The Marketplace allows the sale of used products and makes up roughly half of Amazon’s total transactions. Though if recent rumors are true, that number might increase drastically before the end of the year.
In order to manage fewer products, Amazon is hoping to shift many smaller wholesalers into their marketplace. By doing so, Amazon hopes to still reap the benefits from smaller manufacturers without needing to maintain and market their products internally. Currently, Amazon has to hire internal managers for these accounts to list, price, and order inventory from its wholesale providers. By forcing these businesses into the Marketplace, Amazon can eliminate many of these account managers and still profit off the sale of the items they would have been managing.
What’s Next for your Small Business?
For many smaller businesses, the prospect of moving to the Marketplace is not ideal. Being forced to move from wholesale volume to what is basically peer to peer sales through a third party means smaller businesses are going to have to rethink their strategies. Now more than ever, businesses will need to focus on their personal eCommerce platforms if they want to avoid paying Amazon’s seller fees on every transaction.
Though the task of competing with Amazon may seem daunting, it is not impossible. While the eCommerce giant is always on top of Google, the right marketing strategies can help small businesses reach customers who need their products. We have a few simple tips to keep your business afloat outside of Amazon.
Revamp your Website’s Look
Many businesses have eCommerce pages and websites that are not their primary point of sale. These websites are valuable tools for promoting your brand to customers exploring options outside of Amazon. Making sure your website has a sleek look can help retain user attention.
Outdated websites or websites with limited function won’t engage the modern customer very long. Information about what makes your company special, detailed product descriptions, and company blog content can all help users engage with your website. The longer you can keep customers on your website, the more likely you are to make a sale.
Having a strong social media presence is a great way to generate leads. Social media has become the watering hole of the internet, with millions of users online at any given time. If you can get enough of those users to start sharing your content, you can see a lot of traffic.
Producing engaging content for social media can be daunting, but extremely beneficial to your brand. While paid ad marketing might work for many businesses, sharing posts is the new word of mouth and it’s as powerful a tool as ever. Simple factors like knowing what type of content your customer base would appreciate and when to post will be the key to success with this strategy.
Climb the Search Results
The best way to draw customers to your eCommerce page is by making it easy to find. Though this concept is simple, executing it can be difficult. Over 90% of internet traffic starts with Google and having a spot on the first page of Google for the right search terms will guarantee increased traffic.
Climbing the search results is all about knowing what keywords to focus on. Promoting the right keywords will draw your targetted audience to your page quickly.
Google’s algorithms are designed to present the most reputable businesses to its users. To get Google’s attention, you need to present yourself as an informed leader in your field. Search engine optimized content, backlinking to informational blogs, and proper item titles and descriptions can all help Google know that you’re a trusted source for your products.
Make Sure You’re Business is Ready
If your company is used to wholesaling to Amazon, you should prepare to handle the logistics of receiving and shipping orders yourself. Amazon famously makes big decisions with little warning to its sellers, so having a plan to adapt to increased internal sales is a good idea for any company that sells a large portion of inventory to Amazon.
Making sure your website is up to date and easily accessible to your clients will be your best way to increase sales.
If your business needs to set up an eCommerce website or would just like to update your existing site, you can trust the experts at 1Digital Agency. We partner with major eCommerce platforms to create the best designs for your business. Visit our website to see the kind of design and development work we have done for our clients.
To help increase traffic to your website, our marketing team specializes in setting up keyword targeted SEO campaigns to help our clients climb search results. To talk to our team about development and SEO marketing for your online business, give us a call at 215-809-1567.