Feast or famine on the world’s largest marketplace is now just one click away as Shopify announces a direct integration with Amazon. This move allows business owners to center their direct-to-consumer strategy around the Shopify platform— not to mention top-funnel opportunities for awareness and acquisition. Let’s take a look at how to strategically incorporate this feature into your 2017 plan.

Why should you integrate Amazon through your Shopify store?

  • Manage your orders and inventory in one central location
  • Reduce frustration and overhead relating to fulfillment software and opportunity cost
  • Take control of your presence on the world’s largest marketplace

    Consider that last point the most important. If you think you’re not selling on Amazon, chances are there’s someone listing your products on there, which also means they could be diluting your brand equity, undercutting your prices or otherwise exceeding the value offered on your own website.

    Important policies to be aware of:

    • Many products must be approved for sale on Amazon
    • Amazon takes a percentage of your sales and does not share customer data
    • Your current return policy may need to be altered to match Amazon requirements
    • Strict product imagery requirements

    At its simplest, it’s a trade of margin and customer contact info for access to a massive audience. Now that we’ve established understanding of the deal points, the next step is this:

    DON'T LIST YOUR ENTIRE STORE ON AMAZON

    You’ll want to use Amazon as an introduction to new consumers. First impressions are integral, so lead with your best product(s). The cash cow of the brand’s portfolio has proven itself in terms of both market acceptance and returns greater than the market growth rate, and it’s ready for the big stage.


     

    With your best product, you have the best chance of attracting new customers & with the extra return you cover the margin lost in acquiring those customers.

    This approach encourages brand entry, and with how good your product is, we know customers will want to purchase again and again. Make sure your packaging tells them how they can find your website and incentivize them to follow your social media channels with the hope that they make their purchase directly with you next time. It also wouldn’t hurt to reinforce the digital communications Amazon will be sending to elicit a review of your product on their marketplace— a massively important attribute of your listings. The package is your only way of communicating with those who purchase through Amazon.

    With awareness and acquisition balanced against lower margin and indirect contact capture it’s time to consider the most important piece— the users.

    Amazon shoppers look for deals.

    The marketplace is working hard to change this perception but for now it’s the reality, making product lifecycle the next consideration in setting your strategy. For many, end-of-line and liquidation means off my site and out of mind. Instead, give this audience what it wants and offer discount product on Amazon. You’ll still control the brand presence as these sales are fulfilled, creating another opportunity to move consumers into your owned audience.

    These foundational elements of Amazon integration limit your exposure and increase your potential for success, but as with anything you’ll want to analyze and adjust accordingly. Pay careful attention to your COG-to-CPA ratio as it compares to your website and other direct-to-consumer channels. Amazon’s ad network and Prime fulfillment can supercharge your efforts on the platform, but just remember that your entire online presence is intertwined and easily cannibalized.

    Like the way we think? Drop us a line.

    ---
    Image Credit: http://www.smartinsights.com/marketing-planning/marketing-models/use-bcg-matrix/