Bob Garfield

3 big mistakes retailers are making on Amazon

When it comes to driving e-commerce, there are few juggernauts as powerful as Amazon. Here's how you may be screwing it up.

Not strategically using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) to drive sales via Amazon Prime

Fulfillment by Amazon, or FBA, is a recent service offered by this e-commerce juggernaut to expose small and medium brands to the global commerce world. FBA allows brands to store their products and content at Amazon Fulfillment centers and have Amazon pick, pack, and ship the merchandise to anyone who orders it. This service is making it possible for small retailers to operate globally because its products can move around the globe with Amazon's expert assistance. Plus, because Amazon Prime members enjoy free two-day shipping, small brands can say goodbye to shipping costs by driving sales through the channel. FBA is a tool that brands have just scratched the surface of, and how it affects e-commerce for small companies is an exciting prospect yet to be seen.

Poor price management

Prices online should be nimble, flexible, and responsive in real time to supply and demand. With the amount of online competition out there and consumers' easy access to price comparisons, it's incredibly easy to see if you are offering unfairly high prices when the market doesn't dictate it. Frequently, your brand should be adjusting the price tags of your products on Amazon to reflect market demand and stay competitive. Brands who don't let their prices adapt to the market look lazy -- or even worse -- up to no good.

Not sending Amazon enough content

Amazon is, well, what it sounds like. It's a massive jungle of products, services, and content that have made it one of the most popular and successful e-commerce platforms on the web. Consumers love one-stop-shopping, and they have come to expect it in the online world. Consumers don't want their e-commerce experience to take them from site to site, directing them to even more niche places to buy products. If you're not sending Amazon a good amount of your content, you run the risk of losing customers to competitors that have kept up inventory. Consumers want to add anything they desire to their online shopping carts, and if you're not making it easy, they have no qualms about jumping ship to another brand.

Few know more about how to successfully position your brand on this platform like Jay Allen, VP of online marketing for FootSmart, a 25-year-old shoe and accessory brand that has expertly embraced digital. Here's his advice on what you may be doing wrong, and how to make changes that give your brand the strongest presence on Amazon.

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Article written and video edited by senior media producer David Zaleski.

"Closeup photo of Amazon icon on mobile phone screen" image via Shutterstock and Alexander Supertramp.

 

Comments

Jordan Malik
Jordan Malik August 26, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Great article! I'd like to add 2 other common mistakes:

- Not diversifying enough (merchants should rely on a broad array of products and even categories)
- Poor feedback management (ideally, merchants with more than 5 sales a day should be using a feedback automation tool to cull/manage positive/negative feedback).