Get your Branding straight and let your costumers get a full overview of your products on Amazon by setting up an attractive Storefront! There is a certain attraction that consumers have with small, mom-and-pop shop businesses that allows them the satisfaction of a more intimate interaction. That is a feeling that is hard to capture on the internet scale. That is also the same feeling Amazon hoped to achieve by creating Amazon Storefronts in 2018.
This is a move in a positive direction from Amazon’s past relationships with small businesses. Amazon’s pricing model and a tech-fronted approach siphoned a lot of businesses’ consumers away. The introduction of Storefronts offers these same businesses to leverage Amazon’s vast reach and power to connect small businesses with consumers in a more personable way. Amazon’s Small Business Impact Report denotes that small businesses selling through Amazon have generated more than 900,000 jobs. It is important to consider, however, that some portion of these were businesses that formerly felt the mounting competition from Amazon and had little choice but to join the platform or go out of business.
One giant benefit is that while a lot of sellers are utilizing Amazon Storefronts already, the scope of use is still relatively limited, at least in terms of what it could one day grow to be. The reason for the limitation is that there are only certain categories for such Amazon stores currently available, so certain businesses that do not fit into any of the offered categories may not pass the qualifications process. As the platform expands in the near future, more categories will become available, giving a whole slew of small businesses qualifying attributes to enter the thriving program and to keep expanding their sales.
Beneficial Features of Amazon Storefronts
Amazon Storefronts is equipped with a multiple of features specifically helpful to small business owners. It is estimated that around 300,000 small businesses have leveraged the power and reach of Amazon’s platform since 2017. 20,000 of those small business companies can now be found as being featured in the Storefronts section. By being part of the newly established, small business-friendly platform, these sellers can take advantage of several helpful features to boost their sales and get the name of their business in front of the eyes of a much bigger audience.
The curated collections feature Amazon Storefronts sorts and organizes products among 25 different categories which include certain specialty and seasonal ones (such as Back To School and Halloween). In the past, sellers would need to display their own product catalogs on a separate website and have links directing prospective consumers to their Amazon listings through sales. After all, with so many brands selling through the traditional Amazon marketplace, the chances of the business’ particular brand being found are staggeringly low, requiring a more directed pointer to the product rather than leaving it’s finding up to chance.
Amazon Storefronts eliminates the need to redirect consumers in this way, but provides any selling brand the ability to create a curated experience. This helps brands distinguish themselves from the competition, as the buying audience has wisened up to purchasing just any variety of products.
One example of such a curated collection benefiting a small business involves a seller who specialized in decorations. With the curated collection, the seller was able to provide decorations sorted by occasion, providing suggestions to users seeking decorations of a certain sort as they shopped. The business was able to increase its sales from the previously utilized method of traditional Amazon sales by 51%.
Promotion is the lifeblood of any thriving business. When a consumer has a sense of familiarity with a brand, they are more likely to trust it and buy from it again if their former purchases were regarded as quality and represented something that consumers considered valuable. This brand loyalty can only be achieved if people are able to get their eyes on the product. In the traditional Amazon selling scheme, having one’s product make it to a prospective buyer’s attention is not easy, and leaves a lot up to chance.
Storefront Of The Week
This extra exposure is something that Amazon Storefronts looks to help out within three notable ways. One is the ‘Storefront of the Week’ feature that highlights a particular small business selling on Amazon and puts it at the front and center of the promotional platform. Many buyers will see this business, likely for the first time, and choose to check on their goods. Parties that are interested enough are likely to pursue further research into the brand and potentially make some purchases.
Meet The Business Owner
‘Meet The Business Owner’ is another one of the helpful features provided by Amazon Storefronts. Many buyers are attracted to a company in large part because of the owner’s story or due to what the company represents. This familiarity can keep consumers coming back repeatedly to the same brand, building brand loyalty from certain sections of the consumer market. Companies who support social causes for instance, often appeal greatly to millennials, who are currently the largest consumer block of the market.
The support of social causes doesn’t need to be ‘proven’ by the seller to their consumer base either. Many buyers resonate with the seller’s story and their background, something that is often enough to prompt them to make such a choice. The ‘Meet The Business Owner’ feature allows for exposure to the prospective buyers to find out more about who the seller is. For example, buyers often want to support diversity in the marketplace. Businesses run by minorities or women often prosper from such exposure, gaining a loyal following from people wanting to support their venture. Therefore, a feature that allows for a company to make use of text, photos, and video to share the seller’s story and promote their brand can be widely useful when put at the forefront of Amazon Storefronts, and used on social media outlets external to the Amazon platform in general.
One of the biggest hang-ups of new or lesser-known brands selling on Amazon has been the lack of brand discovery. While brand stores did exist on the Amazon Stores platform, the only customers that would arrive at them would be those that were directly linked from the brand’s website. However, for those shopping on Amazon, this process is far from natural. Searches are typically done for products, not for brands.
Amazon has been testing a new feature however by which unbranded searches will associate products with particular brands. What is unclear at this point is which brands are participating in this test, as well as how exactly Amazon makes the decision about how to associate the brandless product to a particular brand. What is less uncertain is that brand stores on Amazon could mark a significant shift in how purchases are made as it relates to brand recognition. The ability to link over to an Amazon store for a particular brand will allow that brand to gain the consumers’ trust and implant itself in the buyers’ minds. On top of that, the brand store will not require supplemental promotion of products. As it stands now, brand pages for Amazon Stores do exist, shoppers just have no idea they exist when simply cruising through the Amazon platform.
Of course, the association of one product to one brand is not conducive to actual brand discovery. However, this testing does certainly show a move in the right direction for Amazon to give brands the ability to have their names tied to products and to direct some number of interested shoppers to their Amazon Storefronts, where the previously mentioned personalized and customized appeal could be used to win over the buyer’s business.
Analytics Through Amazon Store Insights
One of the most important parts of tailoring sales is the tracking of analytics. It helps a business owner track not only where the sales are being made, but which products are delivering more conversions. This makes detailed analytics tools such as Insights an extremely powerful tool in helping owners key in on the most successful parts of their business. Monitoring current sales and traffic to Storefront pages can help better establish future goals for the company.
There are many monitored metrics, but some of the crucial ones involve seeing detailed sources of traffic, average page view number over a period of time, an average of the store’s daily visitors, and unique devices that access the store daily. Tracking how much is sold and the value of sales is another crucial analytical component every seller must keep in mind as well.
The true appeal of a small business is its treatment of customers’ needs on an individual basis as one that should be tailored to that specific customer, an effect that is challenging to achieve on a juggernaut platform like Amazon. The ability of small businesses to share their origins, stories, commitments, beliefs, and connect to the community, while promoting their products on a more personable level, offers great gains in winning over brand loyalty to a business’s product.