THE BIG IDEA
Last year, e-commerce saw a 129% year-over-year growth in the USA and Canada alone. Hoards of people who didn't typically shop online became avid e-commerce customers to avoid crowded areas, people, and line-ups cooped up in indoor spaces. Online shopping, curbside pick-up, and delivery became the norm for products not usually popular for e-commerce, and existing categories soared! People were flooding towards their devices, and 'Add to Cart' was one click away.
These events led to a domino effect on commerce like none other before. The decline of traditional retail brought everyone online while the number of new sellers grew. People saw an opportunity, and now the competition is getting steeper and steeper as we grow accustomed to the new way of life. Learning how to stay ahead amidst new competition is crucial as this fast-moving community develops.
So, what does a seller need to know in 2021?
Know where your audience is - Where are they, and how are they shopping? Amazon's share of the US e-commerce market was 47% in 2020, and that number is expected to snowball. Keep in mind, ⅓ Americans have prime membership and typically spend $1000/year.
Personalize the experience and stand out - It's easy to source and market a generic product, but it takes work to stand out! Put effort into differentiating your brand so that you can stand out from the competition. Remember, clear, crisp, clean photos MATTER!
People trust Amazon - 89% of buyers rely on Amazon so gaining customer trust is crucial. Customer service, messaging, and reviews are a big deal on this platform, so ensure that this side of your operation is on point.
Where to source your products - It's been the trend that many sellers source their products from factories in Asia; however, nowadays, there's a growing interest in buying local. As factories begin to sell directly to Amazon, the need to stand out against competition rises.
Fast-growing categories - Be on the lookout for trends and fast-growing categories on Amazon. The pandemic changed our behavior which led to interests expanding. Monitor these shifts closely as you research the product that is right for you!
2020 will undoubtedly be remembered as a highly eventful year. Our typical day-to-day evolved so quickly amid a pandemic that stopped us right in our tracks and set us up for a year of change. What does that mean to you as a seller? New challenges to take on and a changed and fast-moving marketplace to keep up with!
THIS WEEK'S BITES
KEY DATES FOR SELLERS
NEW ON AMAZON
If you ship directly to customers via Seller Central, keep reading...
Suppose you're a shopper on Amazon, curious about the tracking times only to find inaccurate information and no clue as to when your shipment is arriving. Frustrating right? You wouldn't be the only one to experience this - and Amazon is cracking down. To provide a better experience to shoppers, Amazon is making it mandatory to input Carrier Name and Tracking Information to confirm orders.
Although some debate that this is a move to push more people towards FBA, Amazon claims it's to combat inaccurate, unreliable order information. This move is a response to reduce customer complaints, contact, and chances for lost-shipments while improving seller feedback. With these updates, customers will now have more detailed information regarding their order shipment status, which is excellent for both parties.
However, sellers have some backlash as this change risks their marketplace differently. On this thread, some commenters stated their distress as they ship small enveloped-sized packages, and providing tracking information would cost them. This would result in increased prices and ultimately loss of sales.
Amazon does request this information from sellers already; however, these fields have not been mandatory. Beginning May 3, 2021, Amazon will be cracking down and verifying input to confirm orders. So, if you've already been practicing this, then these changes might not matter too much, but if you haven't, then it's time to get ready!
TRENDS TO FOLLOW
Daily schedules influence what customers do and how they act throughout the day, resulting in fluctuating buying behavior. Could this be used to maximize the results of your campaigns?
Dayparting is a strategy that aims to optimize your campaigns and yield results based on this Reddit user’s analysis. Essentially, this strategy observes the data of how shoppers interact with your store/listings on Amazon throughout the day. It splits days into hours and allows you to see the metrics change, allowing you to adjust your bids accordingly.
• Conversion rates are most vital in the morning into the lunch hour, winds down as midday traffic begin to peak, declines further into the evening, then bottoms out overnight
• Traffic peaks in the afternoon. It ramps up over the lunch hour, holds strong into mid-afternoon, then tapers off in the evening
• Click-through rates are more consistent than other metrics but have a slight bias towards mid-morning hours
• Costs per click are remarkably consistent over the day, but ever so slightly less expensive in the evening/night time
• ROAS follows conversion rate trends since CPC is relatively stable (ACoS follows inverse of CVR trend; i.e., lowest in AM)
Key takeaway: Advertising spend generates more conversions in the morning hours than the afternoon, evening, and overnight hours.
Ultimately, this strategy is meant to hyper-optimize your bidding strategy by looking at information hour by hour; however, in practice, it's a challenge due to the lack of data available on the platform and copious amounts of effort required to reap the rewards. In theory, dayparting is great - but you'll need to evaluate whether the effort is worth it for your store.
As we continue to remain in lockdown, the number of online businesses and new Amazon sellers is quickly increasing. How will your product stand out from all these new competitors?
With more than 2.5 million sellers actively selling on the marketplace, keep in mind continually delivering a cohesive and consistent image for your organization and products. The uniformity strengthens your brand and communicates a well-structured and trusted seller.