We've done a lot of work over the last 5+ years with eCommerce websites. From designing and developing websites on both WordPress WooCommerce and Shopify and/or supporting with Digital Strategy / Digital Marketing for companies that sell products like men's apparel, family multivitamins, cupcakes, high fashion products, guitar amplifiers, AEDs, signage, cowboy boots, office furniture, teething necklaces and more, and from these experiences we've learned a lot about how our clients should think about bringing in quality web traffic and sales.
And while most of our eCommerce digital strategy engagements are focused around conversion optimization using analytics, heatmapping and A/B Testing, we've also learned a thing or two about how to drive net new customers.
For many, it's also Amazon.
Amazon is a totally different beast, a contradiction, in fact - but simpler in many ways.
For a website or small / emerging brand to sell on Amazon means increased visibility, but decreased leverage, due the fact that your brand is further removed from the customer.
It could mean increased revenue, but decreased profit margin. But the cost/benefit analysis for many companies we work with on selling on Amazon may be simple - sell on Amazon or go out of business.
So if you're currently selling on Amazon or looking to, there's one main place to start - generating Amazon Customer Reviews.
Positive Amazon Reviews have long been proved to increase a product's visibility faster than any other method.
Getting positive Amazon Reviews is hard work. You have to go back and communicate with your customer base on a one-on-one personal level and encourage them to review you. And, from experience, this is something that small, emerging brands NEVER want to take the time to do.
There is another way. You can pay for a program called Amazon Vine. Amazon Vine is a program that sellers pay to participate in on a product-by-product basis.
Sellers have to spend a minimum of $2,500 per product, and provide 15 to 100 free product samples.
These samples are then distributed by Amazon to a group of certified reviewers (specially selected Amazon customers) called "Vine Voices."
The Vine Voices are required to review the products they receive, but they're NOT required to leave positive reviews, only to leave HONEST reviews.
So, the good news is, you will get anywhere from 15 to 100 reviews depending on how many product samples you send for your ~$2,500.
The risk is that your reviews may not all be positive - but this is always the case. Your product better be good in order to keep selling, but if it needs improvement, at least you'll learn.
So you'll send $2,500 to either sell more, or learn valuable information about how to improve your product. And you'll do it on the world's #1 eCommerce platform.
As you think through outlining and executing your eCommerce marketing strategy, keep in mind that the more success you start having selling on Amazon, you need to diversify and put that profit back into Content Marketing, Facebook Ads and Google Ads that drive traffic back to your own domain, so that you develop brand loyalty and brand equity and not just rely on Amazon.
Why? Because as great as positive reviews can shoot you to the top now, a handful of negative Amazon reviews in the future can push you down and create a huge loss.
While Amazon Vine may make sense now, and help, it's not the end-all, be-all.
You're welcome and SELL MORE PRODUCTS!
Hit me up with any questions anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading, watching and listening, and have a great day!
Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.