If you are an Amazon seller, there’s so much to think about and do—it’s a bit of the Wild West with best practices still being figured out on how to truly take advantage of this retail opportunity. In today’s post, we recap Episode 3 of our Ask the Ecomm Experts series where Quiverr’s Ryan Mulvany shares with us some of his advanced Amazon seller considerations.
Most retailers understand how important Google rankings are for discovery and even sales, but many ignore the huge role Amazon rankings now play in the research stage of the buyer’s journey. According to a recent poll by NPR and Marist, 44% of shoppers begin their search on Amazon, which is actually 11% more than report getting started with Google searches. And what customers find on Amazon–including reviews, images, and product descriptions–absolutely affects what they buy in brick and mortar stores.
Recently Nich Weinheimer, Vice President of Ecommerce at Kenshoo, caught up with Ryan Mulvany, Founder and Partner at Quiverr, one of Amazon’s Platinum 3rd party marketplace sellers specializing in full-service channel strategy, for an expert rundown of everything businesses need to know in order to boost their Amazon SEO.
Here are five takeaways from Kenshoo’s Q&A with Quiverr’s Ryan Mulvany:
Q: Can you tell us about how Amazon advertising relates to your growth model?
Mulvany: When it comes to driving business on Amazon, Quiverr is always seller-minded because that’s where we cut our teeth. Ultimately, what we’re trying to influence is organic ranking. That’s going to give brands more visibility on the platform. And we know that once we have the organic ranking optimization in place, that’s when brands start to see conversions. Think of the recycling symbol. It’s this self-fulfilling prophecy. If you get organic rankings moving, it leads to sales, which keeps rankings high.
Q: For an Amazon seller, what kind of metrics do you think are the most important?
Mulvany: Ultimately it depends on the intentions of the brand. For example, sometimes we’ve got brands that just want exposure. Other brands want as many sales as possible because from those sales they get feedback on their product, and they can drive reviews from those sales. But pretty much every brand wants to have organic search results.
Q: How do smaller brands compete on a crowded playing field?
Mulvany: It comes down to who you’re playing against. If your brand is competing in highly commoditized categories against brands willing to come in and just lose money, your competitive edge is where your listing sits in the search results. A lot of companies know this, and they’re investing a lot of money into growing that piece of their business at a loss.
If you want to go head to head with a huge brand on Amazon it can be a very expensive game. The brands I really admire are playing that game on Amazon, but they’re also going into other ponds to build audiences in places like Instagram. Use your audience in other platforms to point attention back to Amazon to avoid playing such an expensive game in the marketplace.
Q: How are you leveraging Amazon datasets?
Mulvany: I love to just go into these datasets and look at what people are looking for. I then use that information to overlay these newly available datasets back to brands in order to provide information on products they could potentially develop or promote. This is the first time we’ve been able to make such informed decisions.
Q: How do you drive home the importance of optimization for brands that see brick and mortar as a priority and Amazon as “If we have time”?
Mulvany: The way that I look at it is that brands need to provide the best opportunity for customers to convert wherever the shopper finds their product. It doesn’t mean brands have to go all-in on Amazon. But if they ignore Amazon, someone is going to go all-in and sell your products on your behalf.
And it’s not always going to be the best representation of your brand. They might have old products up there or old images. Those things will lead to negative reviews, which affects offline business. When you go to Target, look around, shoppers are on their phones looking at Amazon, and if there is bad feedback on Amazon, they’re probably not going to buy a product at your store. Brands have to at least be aware of Amazon right now.
If you are an Amazon seller, what is your competitive edge?
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