It’s the ultimate love/hate relationship. You fight to maintain autonomy but your hands are tied by the overwhelming power of the other; you try to hold on to your principles and regain full control, but can’t seem to walk away from the advantages and comfort they provide. This is the scenario we all know too well, whether as a person in love or an independent seller on Amazon.
Many online retailers see Amazon as a competitor rather than an ally. While Amazon Brand Registry offers some brand security for independent sellers, the fear of the inability to fully establish your brand among buyers often leaves sellers feeling powerless and hesitant to further expand across the marketplace. Despite this, independent brands can use Amazon as a platform to acquire customers. By playing Amazon’s game strategically, here are 4 tips to turn Amazon buyers into your customers.
#1 CURATE YOUR PRODUCT MIX
It’s only natural that you want to list all your products on Amazon, but hold that thought for a moment and consider offering bundles on Amazon and selling individual items on your website. This is a great way to showcase your catalog, as the bundles provide a good overview of what you’re selling. It is also a natural way to funnel buyers to your website if they want to buy individual items.
“But Amazon allows no direct link to my website!” you say, and that brings us to our next tip…
#2 DESIGN YOUR PACKAGING AND INSERTS STRATEGICALLY
Although Amazon discourages sellers from directing buyers to other websites, there are some loopholes for sellers to take advantage of. If you fulfill the orders yourself, utilize branded packaging to show the buyers who you are. Brand information such as website URL and contact number can all be included without breaking Amazon’s rules.
Inserts are another great way to turn Amazon buyers into your customers, but they do require a little delicacy in implementation. As stated in Amazon Seller Central, “any advertisements, marketing messages (special offers) or ‘calls to action’ that lead, prompt, or encourage Amazon users to leave the Amazon website are prohibited.” So instead of bluntly slipping in your business card, you can offer instructional videos, encourage buyers to register a product for warranties, or simply connect the buyers with your customer service team in case of a query. This is a smooth transition from Amazon to your website, and it does so in a way that benefits the customers and boosts their satisfaction.
#3 INVEST IN FACEBOOK ADS
Besides the access to over 310 million active shoppers worldwide, Amazon sellers also benefit from the huge database the marketplace provides. Knowing who has purchased from you is essential in identifying your future buyers. With the help of your Amazon buyer data, you’re now ready to further your marketing efforts and turn Amazon buyers into your customers.
With a gigantic user base, Facebook Ads give you the option to target an audience that shares the same interests and attributes as your Amazon buyers. “Custom Audience” is the functionality which allows the sellers to upload a customer list so Facebook can match those people to Facebook accounts and target them with your designed ads. This is a great opportunity to direct the target audience to your own website for upselling and brand building.
“Lookalike Audiences” is another powerful feature in Facebook Ads. As the name suggests, Facebook identifies other profiles that are similar to your Amazon buyers found in an uploaded customer list and filters them to provide you with a list of similar sellers to advertise to. This introduces a much bigger audience with great potential for the sellers to market to. Design your ads well and you could find sales number picking up in no time.
#4 TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEEDBACK AND RATINGS
Collecting impeccable reviews are one of the biggest incentives for buyers to find out more about your brand, but in reality, this is easier said than done. Almost all sellers have suffered from unfair negative feedback and some may have even resulted in a significant impact on sales. Amazon provides a very clear guideline about comments, feedback and ratings, so when you get unfair negative feedback, act quickly and contact Amazon to have that feedback removed.
When you get a legitimate negative feedback, use it as an opportunity to establish your brand image. Reply to the feedback, address the issue and provide feasible solutions. Doing so shows the buyers your commitment to their satisfaction which exhibits an extremely powerful brand value. It’s also important to note that Amazon has an anti-manipulation policy for customer reviews and any attempt to tamper with customer feedback can have serious consequences. This being said, it’s not against Amazon’s rules to ask buyers to remove that negative feedback. Be very careful when doing so however, as this can backfire if not done properly.
It’s true that Amazon’s policies can present some inconvenience for online sellers. However, the possibilities Amazon offers are invaluable to those retailers looking to expand their customer base. Once a buyer discovers your brand on Amazon, use every chance to showcase your brand and create a unique shopping experience for the buyer. After all, a satisfied buyer is more likely to form a personal relationship with the brand, and therefore has a higher chance in becoming your next loyal customer.