How do major brand manufacturers fare on Amazon?
In order to address this issue, factor-a has launched a Visibility Index, which from now on uses clearly defined criteria to regularly measure how well brands from a particular industry position themselves on Amazon. On the one hand, the content presentation, i.e. title, bullet points and product description of the brand on Amazon, whilst on the other hand, the marketplace management of the seller with regard to customer interaction, marketing activities, availability and use of the strike price are examined. All criteria used have a significant influence on the ranking of the product and are therefore absolutely crucial for Amazon’s success. Every month, an industry is scrutinised in detail to determine which brands are already exploiting Amazon’s potential and which are leaving it untapped.
NESCAFÉ, Barilla and Co.: Which brands are prepared for Amazon Fresh and Pantry?
Before the launch of Amazon Fresh and during the roll-out of Amazon Pantry, factor-a checked how the top brands are positioned.
There are few industries that have recently enjoyed such attention in e-commerce as the food industry. Whether it’s “Hello Fresh” from the Rocket Internet company forge, Foodist from Hamburg or the classic supermarkets such as REWE and Edeka, who have now also begun to conveniently deliver food and groceries to homes. In all the efforts of the top dogs and Rocket Start-Ups – Amazon Fresh and also Amazon Pantry will gain importance in the market very quickly and thus offer great opportunities for brand manufacturers from the food retail trade.
This makes it all the more interesting to analyse how brands from this industry react to this trend and to recognise and use the resulting opportunities for themselves. In the course of this process, six brands have now been selected which are particularly popular in the food retail trade. These brands have the potential to grow with Amazon in the food segment, provided they take the measures to ensure growth on Amazon.
Adult brands in their infancy
As young as the food segment on Amazon is, the brands studied are also at the beginning of their development. The product pages are hardly or not at all optimized and many basic elements are missing. It is particularly striking that almost no traffic and long tail keywords have been incorporated into the content, neither in the title nor in the bulletpoints. As a result, the traceability of the products is severely impaired, resulting in lower sales at Amazon.
The pictures on the product pages were also rather neglected, which is particularly evident in the quality of the resolution. Mood images that can convey the brand world are searched for in vain. Only Nescafe Dolce Gusto stands out, especially by uploading videos.
There is also a great deal of catching up to be done in product descriptions. A list of ingredients and information on the preparation are definitely not sufficient to convince a customer of the added value and attitude to life of a product. Especially the product description in the form of A+ Content offers the possibility to play the trump card of a strong brand and thus to increase the conversion rate. Only Barilla and Dolce Gusto take advantage of this opportunity, which definitely gives them a competitive advantage.
The topic of marketplace management is almost completely ignored by the brands. This is reflected above all in the lack of customer communication, which is an essential element in the Amazon ecosystem. It is an effective instrument for retaining customers and defusing negative reviews. Many negative reviews arise simply because of a misunderstanding between customer and product. If the vendor responds to the poor rating and explains that the problem is not with the product, but with the incorrect use of the product, the negative rating loses a part of its effect, as it becomes apparent to everyone who reads the vendor’s answer that the product has no quality defects.
AMS: The revenue machine is not being used
The subject of marketing, especially AMS (Amazon Marketing Services), plays no role in the brands examined. However, if used properly, this is a powerful tool to build up reach and increase sales. Through the continuous optimisation of the campaigns, overwhelming results can be achieved, which can hardly be surpassed by other marketing channels, especially in terms of ROI. AMS has clear parallels to Google Adwords and is also based on a bidding model. As with Google, a certain bid must be made in order to be listed prominently. Precisely because there is still a great deal of ignorance in this segment in the field of marketing among vendors, the first one who becomes active there with the necessary know-how will be able to benefit from the low level of competition that has been available up to now, as little competition at AMS also means low click costs (CPC).
The three steps to success on Amazon
What can brand manufacturers do to position themselves better?
1. Market analysis on Amazon
A well-founded analysis of your own product range, the market situation and the competition should always serve as the basis for all activities on Amazon. It will then quickly become clear which products should be the focus of attention, which niches offer particularly high potential and which screws in the product presentation must be turned to achieve the best possible result. If this in-depth and extensive analysis and research is lacking, all measures and the time spent on them will be wasted.
2. Content optimisation based on a thorough keyword search
As soon as a sensible concept has been found for optimising the Amazon product range, the actual optimisation work begins. Here too, however, pure actionism does not help. The optimisation of the content must be based on an extremely detailed keyword search. Otherwise it would again be a waste of resources. The aim of the search is to locate all traffic and long tail keywords and to position the assortment as broadly as possible on Amazon. When the keyword set is ready, it goes to the content creation team. The trick here is to embed the relevant keywords in titles and bullet points, but at the same time to ensure that the content always remains conversion-friendly. This is a balancing act and requires a great deal of sensitivity and know-how.
3. Marketing measures on Amazon
Amazon offers a wide range of marketing opportunities, with Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) clearly to be highlighted. Here too, it is of great importance not simply to launch campaigns without sense and understanding, but to actually initiate this step only when you have premium content. If you switch on AMS without having optimised content, this effect will also go unnoticed and cause additional cost because every click costs and transfers the customer to a product page where the product is not actually purchased, since the content is either irrelevant or not convincing. In essence, the money is being thrown out the window. The management of the AMS campaigns should always be based on the results of the first two steps described above and should constantly be followed up, as this is the only way to ensure that the most cost-effective sales are generated.