Amazon's goal is to enable anyone with a quality product to sell on their platform. This makes gaining traction and selling product at volume difficult. There are a handful of sellers who win big and a long-tail of “losers” that hardly get anywhere.
The problem is this: everyone is vying for the top spots for their products because that’s where customers look first. Having a SKU on page six of your chosen category is a little bit like having a website that appears on page six in search results. Simply put, it’s not going to give you the traffic you need for a viable business.
There is a way out of this conundrum, though: hire an Amazon agency. Instead of trying to learn everything yourself, pass over the task of managing and growing your account to seasoned experts. These professionals know how to get your products into those coveted top spots and help your brand win.
Before we delve into the reasons you need to hire an Amazon agency, it’s worth pointing out that the platform isn’t as brutal as many sellers imagine. 86 percent of vendors make money on the platform, and 67 percent make a healthy return within their first year. Amazon facilitated more than $280 billion from third-party revenue in 2019, about half of the company’s overall takings, and the 3P percentage share of total revenue continues to rise.
Here are some of the reasons why you might need to hire an Amazon agency like ours:
1. Your Retail Business Is Successful Via Other Channels, But Not Amazon
If you have a successful retail business, either via your own website or through a brick-and-mortar store, it’s a sign that consumers are deriving value from what you sell. In short, you’re doing something right.
If, however, you’re struggling to make headway on Amazon, it suggests a problem with your company’s approach to the platform, not a flaw in your business model.
For example, one of our clients, Furniture Clinic, experienced rapid growth via their own website and other DTC channels, but struggled on Amazon prior to working with us. The brand knew that Amazon was a sticking point but couldn’t gain traction on the platform. It wasn’t a product issue. Something else was wrong.
Within two years of working with us, Furniture Clinic was turning over five times as much in sales. The project was so successful that the company was featured in the INC 5000’s list of fastest-growing brands, underscoring the importance of working with experts who understand how the model works.
This issue, it turned out, was that the company didn’t have the in-house expertise to know how to win the Amazon game. Once they outsourced that task to us, they started winning.
2. You Rely Heavily On Third-Party Tools
Tools can help Amazon sellers a lot, especially newbies to the platform. Keyword trackers assist with Amazon SEO, seller apps make it easier to achieve retail arbitrage, and web crawler scraping tools allow you to collect data without having any knowledge of coding or configuration.
But tools have an Achilles heel: they’re not able to help you in a strategic sense. Just like a hammer or a chisel, they’re only as good as the artisan using them. They don’t give you the big-picture insights and priorities you need to dominate.
The best approach is to combine tools with human intuition provided by an Amazon agency. That’s why we offer various service offerings that add strategy to your existing toolset and resources.
3. Your Amazon Support Rep Isn’t Responding To Your Queries
Like Google, Amazon is keen to support new businesses on its platform because it knows that working with them is a win-win. The more successful they become, the more money Amazon takes.
Support, however, doesn’t last forever and with so many brands on the platform, you may wind up finding it hard to get anyone at the other end of the line when things go wrong.
It seems like a raw deal, but it is just the way the incentives of the platform works. The goal of Amazon reps is to grow Amazon’s profitability, not yours. So there’s no specific reason for them to continue working with your brand once you’re up-and-running. The opportunity cost is too high.
With an agency, though, you always have support. If there’s an issue with your Amazon account, we solve it rapidly.
4. You Learn About Amazon Policy Changes Too Late
While Amazon is a lucrative platform, it has been known to implement policies that burn sellers. Suspension policies and review bans change all the time and can be a threat to your existing business model if you don’t comply.
Many vendors on the platform like to believe that they’re up to date on what Amazon is doing because they read regular update emails and platform blogs. But, unfortunately, even that information can be a little behind-the-curve.
Ideally, what you want is to be able to see which way the wind is blowing ahead of time. And that’s what you get from an Amazon agency. We’re continually researching behind the scenes to determine the likely course the platform will take, providing you with advance warnings of changes that might impact your business model.
5. You Don’t Have The In-House Skill To Get Your Products To Rank
As discussed above, you might have great products, but if you don’t know how to play the Amazon SEO game, then you’ll struggle to get the traction you deserve. Getting your products to rank will remain permanently elusive.
Here again, agencies can help. We know which keywords are most likely to help you rank and are able to generate strategic copy that converts.
Remember, as a director, you probably don’t have time to create copy for all of your Amazon listings. And even if you did, would you know how to create content that converts? Maybe not.
6. You Haven’t Been Able To Migrate From Vendor Central To Seller Central
Brands often make the move from “vendor” to “seller" on Amazon. This means they stop selling as first-party wholesalers to Amazon and instead sell directly to customers as a third-party via the platform. They do this because they want more control over content, inventory, and pricing, and they want to gain direct contact with the final customer.
Making this switch, however, can be challenging. There are all sorts of hurdles you have to jump through. Luckily, we've been through the process before and can help you make the move.
In fact, we helped one of our beauty clients with the transition and as a result improved their SEO, product imagery, and enhanced their brand content. We also implemented aggressive PPC and SKU creation strategies to drive demand through their account. ACOS fell by 28 percent, and new-to-brand customers rocketed by more than 94 percent.
7. You’re Not Sure How To Diversify Your SKUs
Many times, brands become wildly successful at honing individual SKUs and selling them at volume via the platform. But when it comes to diversifying their revenue away from their top-selling lines, they struggle.
A home and kitchen client of ours found itself in this very conundrum. The brand wanted to promote some of its non-core products, but struggled to do so.
We responded to their brief by:
- Creating a series of educational infographics showing customers the optimal ways to use the brand’s products to increase review ratings
- Enhancing product awareness via an aggressive Amazon PPC strategy
- Assisting in their home and kitchen product launch strategy
Combined, these efforts generated massive results for the brand. Monthly sales volume went up by 455 percent, two new products came to market, and ad revenues rocketed by an almost unbelievable 1,569 percent.
8. You Don’t Have Time To Devote To Ad Management
If you want to achieve success on Amazon as a third-party seller, you have to treat each product as an individual business. You must continually consider factors such as pricing, reviews, advertising, and content to ensure that products continue to rank well. Constant vigilance is the order of the day.
But as a seller, you have other priorities. You need to tend to your website, manage employees, and market via other channels. You don’t have time to constantly monitor your ASINs. That’s madness.
Again, that’s where Envision Horizons can help. We manually monitor thousands of individual SKUs and optimize them, case-by-case, allowing you to avoid this tedious task and focus on growing instead. If nothing else, it makes running your enterprise more enjoyable.
9. You Still Haven’t Invested In Branding
Amazon offers a variety of tools that allow third-party sellers to enhance their branding via the platform. Here are some examples:
- A+ Content: a feature that allows sellers to adorn their product pages with rich media, including videos, comparison charts, and FAQs
- Enhanced Brand Content (EBC): a tool that permits enhanced content, such as images and text placements
- Amazon Stores: lets you create multi-page stores to better showcase your products.
But when it comes to these branding aids on Amazon, a lot of executives are skeptical. Is there really any point in investing in them?
Data provides an answer. Estimates suggest that Amazon Stores alone generated more than 1.6 million jobs globally.
10. You’re Tired Of Doing Tedious Work On Your Product Pages
The whole point of selling on Amazon is to free yourself from drudgery. You want a semi-automated business model that allows you to make money, without having to trade so much of your time.
But when you finally get into it, you realize that it takes up a tremendous chunk of the week. And worse yet, many of the tasks you find yourself having to perform are tedious, dull, and boring - not what you want at all.
Outsourcing these operations to an Amazon agency frees you from this chore. Once you take the leap, you’re free to focus on other value-adds in your enterprise, like product development or multi-channel marketing. Managing your Amazon account is no longer a drain on your time.
11. You’re Hemorrhaging Money, But Don’t Know Where
Back of the envelope calculations can often be misleading. A quick scribbling might indicate that a particular product line is going to be profitable, but Amazon comes with all kinds of unexpected money leaks you don’t expect. Worse still, you’re not always sure how to plug them.
Sometimes, clients can get into trouble when they don’t understand how Fulfillment by Amazon works. They think that the cost of getting Amazon to store and deliver an SKU will be manageable, only to find out that it is eating away all their margin, and sometimes more. Other businesses get into trouble when spending incorrectly on Amazon advertising or failing to understand the platform’s fee structure works.
Again, many of these problems are entirely avoidable, but they require in-depth knowledge of the marketplace. That's where our agency helps. We look at all of the costs embodied in your goods and ensure that they reach your customers intact while providing you with a healthy margin.
12. You’re Fearful Of The Unknown on Amazon
Lastly, if you’re an Amazon vendor, you simply sell directly to the retail giant and then get them to manage the rest of the process for you. However, becoming a seller requires you to become a much more active participant in the process. You can’t just sit back and expect things to happen. You have to play your part.
Doing that, though, can feel like a big risk. You already have a business model that works. The last thing you want is to change your entire business model and survive the risks that that brings.
Envision Horizons helps to remove some of the angst by providing you with a comprehensive strategy you can use to succeed, even in an unfamiliar operating environment. We get to know your vertical, create a formula to win, and implement it on your behalf.