Amazon sellers are on their way to becoming – or already are – entrepreneurs. Having said that, on this path a seller faces numerous challenges, but the core of all these challenges is connected to sales. It could be a number of potential sales, or sales channel, or sales strategy, or anything else among the same lines. However, most sellers overlook the underlying aspect: branding. With Amazon covering more than 49% of the entire e-commerce market in the United States of America, branding – specifically, Amazon Branding – carries immense weight in terms of increasing sales.
Okay, we love to talk about branding, everyone gives advice such as ‘make an animated video, pay attention to your logo design, engage with customers through personal branding’ and other whatnots. Be that as it may, in today’s era we cannot give our best to something without knowing its logical explanation.
Effective Amazon Branding = Increasing Sales. But, how?
There are only two types of sellers on Amazon: one who creates a brand and lets the products sell themselves through branding, and the other who are losing unseen money. That is a pretty rigid statement to make. Do you know what’s even more rigid? The impression of a brand. Statistically, ⅓ customers already have their minds fixed on a brand as they step out for shopping.
We have been debating since forever: is customer loyalty dead? This comes out of a place where many companies and individuals try to build their brand around themselves or their products and still fail. Most of whom did everything right – given what we know from the previous decade. If we ask our grandparents about brand loyalty, they can surely name a couple of companies that have managed to bind them to this date; they gave the right products at an affordable price. Such as Tide and Dash.
However, that does not seem to be enough in today’s era. With customers preferring convenience over wasting time, it is important to walk along with them. Such as Amazon. The platform not only gives the customers an outlet to buy anything from anywhere but also helps Amazon sellers in building a business and not settle for simply wholesaling or retailing.
Getting back to the question: what changed in branding? Because with 82% of U.S. citizens claiming to be loyal to a brand, brand loyalty is certainly not dead. The answer lies in the hands of customers – I rephrase, the answer is the customers. Now customers have taken the driving seat and decide what is effective for them, and companies mold accordingly – while introducing newer approaches, services, and products to the customers.
This contradictory bridge crossed by customers’ preference and companies’ innovation leads to a brand that is created by a company but works for the customers. Eventually, leading to higher ROI and sales.
Path to Effective Amazon Branding for Sellers
We understand that a well-structured and customer-centric approach to branding leads to an increase in sales. However, with Amazon becoming the ‘convenient everything store,’ it is important to understand how branding is directly aligned with Amazon. Many leading Amazon sellers come across people who wonder how they stand out from the crowd on Amazon. As per esteemed Amazon expert, Damian Prosalendis, the path to overcoming such a degree of competitiveness on the platform revolves around branding.
What’s in The Name (and Logo)
There have been long-lasting discussions regarding the importance and applicability of a brand name; a brand name should reflect what the brand is about, it should be familiar, yet it should be authentic and new, it should be memorable, and a lot more. However, history proves otherwise. For perspective, one of the ‘big four companies,’ Apple, comes from a name of a fruit!
I do not suggest putting zero thoughts into naming your brand. Notwithstanding, it is important to understand that the name is merely an element of introducing your brand to the users. It may or may not associate with your products, or leave an impression on your customers. Rather, all you need to focus on while naming your brand is rule out the basic – yet, noticed repeatedly – complications. Simply, ensure that the name of your brand is not irrationally long, difficult to remember, or inconvenient to pronounce.
Trademark Your Products
Before you ask, no, having a trademark is not mandatory to sell on Amazon. However, it does not take a lot to understand the importance of having a trademark – we all have structured some of our buying patterns and preferences on a trademark.
So, can a mere symbol be that important? Well, not in every case. But when you are selling on Amazon, yes, having a trademark is more important than we want it to be.
- You can implement your trademark on multiple products, and sell them all under a brand registry – using a single trademark.
- With the help of a trademark, you can rule out the requirement for GTIN (Global Trade Identification Number).
Along with the above-mentioned aspects, a trademark will also help you with marketing your products and building a sense of trust and reliability amongst your customers. However, while having a trademark comes with its benefits, I’d suggest ensuring that you do a bit of research concerning the legalities of your trademark.
In detail: How to Trademark a Brand Name
Packaging and Branding
With time, companies and sellers are realizing that the user experience while receiving and using a product is as important as the product itself. And this begins as soon as the customer sets their mind on buying the product. However, with Amazon, you need not worry about the online buying process. Rather, as a seller on Amazon, you have control simply over your product and everything that goes with it. Thus, your first interaction with the customer will be as they receive the product. That is where packaging plays its role.
The Correct Packaging
Before we jump into the creative and branding aspects of packaging, it is essential to make sure that your packaging meets Amazon’s Packaging Guidelines. On the off chance that your packaging does not provide the appropriate information, your product could get rejected at customs (if imported) or Amazon warehouse.
Amazon’s Packaging Requirements
In order to make sure that your product is safe from any potential risk of loss or damage, Amazon requires you to align with its packaging requirements.
- Brand name and/or product name to help with the Brand Registry.
- Country of origin of the product.
- FNSKU: A code designed specifically for Amazon that is used to identify and track products at Amazon warehouses. As a seller, you are required to print the same and ensure it is visible at the outside of product packaging.
- GTIN/UPC/EAN: In order to get the FNSKU for your product, you require a GTIN. This number can be acquired in 3 ways: using GSI, or a third party, or with the help of a GTIN Exemption.
- Any applicable warnings or certifications associated with the product.
- In case you have used any poly bags, you are required to provide a suffocation warning as well.
- Any other certifications and guidelines.
The Creative Packaging
From elegant wine glasses to laundry detergents, the packaging is the aspect that decides if the customer is likely to return the product or put it on social media in its appreciation. Therefore, once you ensure that your packaging meets the Amazon packaging requirements, it is time to engage with the customers through the same.
- There are millions of products listed on Amazon, it is crucial for your product to stand out. Thus, the foremost factor to consider while packaging your product is to make it noticeable.
- Secondly, the shape and size of your packaging should be just right. A toy packed in a complicated and huge packaging material will simply be inconvenient for customers. On the other hand, an electronic product packaging could be something that you can play around with – offering a case or protective material is one of the approaches to go.
- Next, the touch and feel. Creating a product that works efficiently is good. However, a bad packaging design can ruin it more than you would think. Therefore, anything that resonates with the customers, or makes them smile – even a bubble wrap – can play to your advantage.
- Subtle marketing: along with the product, you can also send some of your sub-products as a gift. For instance, if you sell beverages, you can send a couple of coasters with your trademark and logo on the same.
While the correct packaging is crucial, creative branding is equally important. Thus, combine the two and make sure your product is safe and provides a user-friendly experience in its entirety.
Now that we understand Amazon branding, its importance, and its approaches in detail, let us get to the final action: selling it all.
Selling on Amazon
I admit Amazon takes quite some measures to ease the purchasing process for the customers. However, a lot goes in the background that requires your attention.
Listing Your Product
The eCommerce giant gives a high degree of importance to relevancy. With the number of filters that a user can apply, it is important that your product pops up in the list. That is where listing your product becomes a task that needs to be kept in check.
As you create a new listing, you will be required to fill in a section with information including title, product, description, and visuals. Most sellers on Amazon consider this simply as a part of the process. However, it is more than that. In fact, this is what makes or breaks your entire product page, and eventually, affecting your sales.
Here’s a compact checklist to ensure your product listing on Amazon is on point:
- SEO-driven keywords: In order to reach customers, your products must pop up in search results. That is achieved by ranking well on search engines. This may sound a bit technological, however, it is rather easy to learn. You may also appoint a professional who would ensure that your title and product description is SEO-rich.
- Easy-to-read: As a customer, we do not want to waste a single second in sorting out the complications – even something as minute as a lengthy paragraph. Thus, ensure that all the information related to the product is easy on your customers’ eyes.
- Detail matters: While the product description should be crisp and on-point, it is important that it contains all the necessary information. From physical characteristics of the product to elements used to assemble the same, your customers would prefer knowing it all.
- Visuals: This goes without saying, your Amazon product listing should be pleasant to browse. Most of it depends on the visuals of your products. With numerous alternatives to most of the products, customers are inclined to buying products that seem reliable and authentic. Therefore, instead of heavy editing, I would suggest showing your customers what they will truly get out of your product, and build a loyal customer out of a one-time sale.
Onboard with FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon)
To turn into a professional Amazon merchant, it is a nice-to-do that you take a leap to Fulfillment by Amazon. It is a program that permits the certified sellers on Amazon to dispatch their product ahead of time to the Amazon warehouse, and at the hour of offering, Amazon ships it to the customer. Likewise, FBA takes supreme care of conveyance and delivery, customer service, return, and discounts. Also, it will give you a lot of time to zero in on other significant things in your business. It likewise leads and assists you with selling items on Amazon Prime. Notwithstanding, FBA isn’t for everybody. At times, you may find that the costs are excessively high. However, ultimately, the ROI would be significant.
Road to The Buy Box
Buy Box is the page that shows up when people click on any of the suggested results from their previous search. Statistically, 78% of the Amazon sale is made through the buy box. Evidently, it is vital to winning a Buy Box and eventually increase sales through the same. While Amazon does not have an official step-to-step guide to lead you to a Buy Box, here are our findings:
- A seller’s account that has low prices along with good customer reviews and overall account reputation.
- A set of unique products, all combined together in alignment with Amazon’s Bundling Policy.
- Products that are unique and only offered by you or very, very few sellers on Amazon.
Amazon has been growing faster than the speed of light. With time, it will certainly unfold newer and easier ways to reach its users – while providing them ease in buying along the way. Clearly, selling on Amazon is and will continue to remain beneficial. Nonetheless, putting some pieces of hard work together – starting from using the above-mentioned approaches – can help you reap the benefits in unforeseen and effective ways.