Media Insights

A Prime Opportunity: Your 2019 Amazon Strategy

While Amazon remains a thorn in the side of many-a-retail-giant, there’s no denying its outsized influence on US consumers. According to eMarketer, Amazon generated 49% of e-commerce sales in 2018, while nearly 47% of US internet users start their product search on the platform.

While brands and e-commerce companies have begrudgingly accepted this inevitable expansion, many have stood on the sidelines, unsure what to make of Amazon’s unpredictable moves. Is it a retail competitor? Marketplace? Advertising channel? Search engine? Cloud computing and data company? Right. It’s complicated.  

It can feel intimidating to puzzle out how to leverage the always-evolving features of Amazon. But this shouldn’t stop you from optimizing the platform to your advantage. Here are five steps to get you started on that journey.

1. Find a home for Amazon in your digital strategy

Consumers look to Amazon first during product research. This means the biggest benefit to optimizing on the platform is improving product and brand visibility. Unfortunately, measuring the omnichannel impact of product visibility can get fuzzy. So while it’s tempting to compare Amazon with Facebook and Google’s metrics, it’s more complicated than that.

The good news is Amazon’s strengths play into your other digital channel’s weaknesses. In thinking through your broader digital strategy, ask yourself where your shortcomings lie. Do you have product visibility issues? Are you struggling to get reviews? Are people not finding your products via search? There’s likely at least one hole in your digital strategy that Amazon can fill.  

2. Nail the basics of brand and product visibility

To begin with, Amazon is a place for product discovery and research. So be sure you show up in a way that reflects well on your brand. Product photos, detailed descriptions, size considerations and anything that can impact customer experience should be optimized. But first, register your brand with Amazon Brand Registry to ensure you have editorial control over your listings. Otherwise, your content could be overwritten by 3rd party sellers of your product.

Shoppers are likely already searching for your brand and product category on Amazon, so invest in appearing accurately and comprehensively in every single search, from both a brand and product perspective.  

After nailing the basics, it’s time to evaluate the return of Amazon as more than just a discovery tool.

3. Advertise & reallocate spend to stay competitive

Unfortunately, your access to customer data on Amazon is limited. Therefore determining incrementality, or the platform’s value in any multi-touch customer journey, can be tough.

Despite this, Amazon is the fastest growing digital ad marketplace. The features evolve constantly, giving those willing to experiment a significant competitive edge. It’s no surprise then that 80% of Amazon advertisers plan to increase budgets in 2019 (MarketingLand).  

Our key piece of advice is to structure your investment around your strategic digital objectives. This could mean purchasing brand and non-brand terms based on customer acquisition and retention goals, or owning your brand terms to box out the competition. Of course, these are just a few of the many potential strategies.

4. Optimize for organic ranking with high-quality product content

The first step is researching relevant, high-volume keywords using data from both Amazon Advertising and Google Adwords. Next, make sure your high-volume, high-converting keywords are in your listing. Think at both a category and product level. To rank well for a keyword, your listing must consistently generate sales from that specific keyword. Ensuring your Amazon listings reflect the content on your website is a great start. After that, it’s wise to invest more time and attention in your top-selling Amazon products using Amazon’s rich content features.

Achieving consistent sales boils down to having products in-stock, being eligible for Prime shipping, getting great reviews, and writing product listings that convert searchers into buyers.

5. Refine product visibility improvements

After completing steps one through four, your products should be gaining visibility and sales on Amazon. Ideally, optimization is relentless. So here are a few more tips to keep the momentum going.

  • Create a Brand Store on Amazon to showcase your products to shoppers
  • Treat product pages as an extension of your brand. For top listings, you can use Amazon’s A+ or Enhanced Brand Content features to make your listings stand out.
  • Take advantage of Amazon’s evolving Advertising features to show up in the right places

At a minimum, achieving the steps above will require having one or several team members dedicated to learning Amazon’s suite of self-service tools. Or, you’ll need to hire an outside expert or consultancy. In either case, the process requires significant time and investment.

But by investing in Amazon, you’ll gain brand control, product visibility and even increase sales. Sound complicated? The team at Ovative Group would love to help.

Ovative is a digital-first media and measurement firm seeking to transform the measure of marketing success. At Ovative, we help brands move the needle. We are curious. We value your brand. We want to see you succeed. Connect with us to learn more!

Lillian Smith

Senior Analyst, Paid Social

About the Author

Lillian is a Senior Analyst on the Paid Social team at Ovative.

Dale Nitschke

Dale Nitschke

CEO & Founder

About the Author

Dale is the Founder and CEO of Ovative. After years of operating a large omni-channel business and leading a customer data initiative, Dale knew there was an opportunity to create a marketing firm that helped clients become more customer centric and drove better performance outcomes. A gap existed between business consultancies and advertising agencies that modern marketing approaches demand. He also believed that a strong, healthy culture could attract and develop smart, talented team members. In 2009, he formed Ovative to bring media, measurement, and consulting together under one roof to enable an enterprise approach that drives more revenue and grows clients’ customer base.

Prior to founding Ovative in 2009, Dale spent 23 years at Target Corporation where he served as President of and grew the ecommerce business from start-up stage to a $1 billion+ business and established the foundation of Target’s Guest database capabilities. Previously he served as SVP Merchandising at the Department Store Division of Dayton Hudson. Dale has advised retailers and brands globally on business, growth, marketing, and measurement transformation strategies.

Outside of Ovative, Dale is a leader on topics including business strategy, change management, and team leadership. He serves on the board of Allergy Amulet and on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison.  He enjoys spending time with his family, up north in northern Wisconsin, playing golf, and cheering on Wisconsin sport teams.

Seth Brand

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Seth is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Amanda McCann

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Amanda is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative, specializing in Retail Media Networks.

Jenny Reinke

Senior Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Jenny is a Senior Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Annie Zipfel

Executive Vice President, Media

About the Author

Annie is the Executive Vice President of Media at Ovative. She oversees delivery and growth across paid and owned media (digital, traditional, and retail media) and creative services.

Annie has more than 30 years of experience in media, brand management, insights/analytics, marketing, and product. She has also developed large, high-performing teams and built new measurement capabilities. Annie led the marketing team at Andersen Windows & Doors, leading the digital, social, content, customer insights, and creative functions. Prior to that, Annie served in multiple marketing leadership roles at Starbucks, REI, Target, and General Mills, with a keen focus on brand, media, insights, analytics, and measurement.

Annie is an industry leader in brand management, customer insights, e-commerce, social media, and analytics. She enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, fishing, and spending time with her sweet dog and two sons.

Bonnie Gross

Executive Vice President, Talent Services

About the Author

Bonnie is the Executive Vice President of Talent Services at Ovative. She is responsible for attracting and retaining top talent and creating a culture in which our team thrives personally and professionally. Under Bonnie’s leadership, Ovative has defined an industry leading leadership and development program and transformed our approach to talent recruitment with a focus on diversity, equality and inclusion. Prior to her current role, Bonnie led Ovative’s Client and Business Development team overseeing client satisfaction and new growth opportunities.

Before joining Ovative in 2014, Bonnie spent 13 years at Target Corporate as the VP of digital and Digital Marketing where she led the launch of Cartwheel, an industry-leading social shopping application. Bonnie was the VP of Marketing for Fingerhut for 15 years prior to joining Target.

Leander Cohen

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Leander Cohen is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Will Silva

Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Will is an Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Sarah Chang

Sarah Chang

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Sarah Chang is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

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