Written by a Guest Author
Even if you are an incredibly successful, high-volume seller on Amazon, making more money than you had ever dreamed of making, it is still a good idea to diversify your sales channels to other markets.
Limiting yourself to one space, no matter how large that space is, nor how successful you are within it, is not necessarily a sustainable business model. Putting your entire business in the Amazon market puts a lot of pressure on those product listings. A glitch in the system or an unexpected seller suspension and your entire business is on hold. That is not a comfortable place to be, and it is not a place you have to be.
By diversifying your business off Amazon, you can solidify your revenues and build a stronger ecommerce business or brand. Here are four really good reasons to branch out and diversify to other sales channels:
As we have mentioned above, having only one source for your online sales is not a secure way of operating your business. Amazon is a very popular marketplace and has millions of active users but this popularity has also lead to a large number of sellers. It can be very difficult to make your product stand out in a crowd. Even when you have found success and have a high volume of sales, there are no guarantees.
Amazon has incredibly strict rules and regulations and they are always subject to change. In many ways, these rules are good. They exist to protect the customer from people looking to rip them off and they protect sellers from underhanded practices. The rules are there to keep everything above board. They are necessary, however, they can also tie your hands. You have very little control over Amazon. There are lots of things you can do to improve your sales but at the same time, you never know when a competitor can come in and steal a buyer out from underneath you. More seriously, you never know when you might find yourself in violation of Amazon’s terms of service.
The threat of suspension is something that all Amazon sellers learn to live with. Sometimes your violation is obvious, other times all you will find is confusion and vague responses from Amazon. There are many stories out there of sellers who have been penalized for unintentional errors or for seemingly no good reason at all. It is possible to appeal your suspension but that can be time-consuming and again, there are no guarantees that your privileges will be reinstated. During this time period, if you are only selling your products on Amazon, you will not be earning any money at all and Amazon may hold funds from previous sales until the problem is resolved.
Easier Marketing Opportunities
Stepping outside of Amazon gives you more opportunities to market your products to interested buyers. By selling from your own website, for example, you will be able to use creative means, like using free eBooks or newsletters, to gain important customer information so you can offer them more specific deals and new product news. Amazon does not want you contacting buyers outside the site, and doing so can get you suspended, so trying to remarket to people after purchase can be difficult. It is not impossible to do, but it is not necessarily a simple process and as we have said, it comes with great risks. When you are running sales from your own site or using social media to direct traffic towards a purchase point, you have more freedom to collect the data you need to not only create effective marketing campaigns but to develop new products!
Take Full Control
Creating your own website and store using a platform like Shopify can give you complete control over how your product is marketed and sold. You can set our own prices, offer your own promotions, but most significantly, you can control the user experience. Through content and design, you can say everything about yourself that you feel is important to say.
Amazon product listings can say a great deal about your product but, depending on what you sell, they may not be able to paint the whole picture, leaving some potential buyers a little confused and unsure — emotions that rarely convert to sales. On your own site, you can add more photos, videos, and even product demos. Show them what and who you are.
Writing blog content around your product and how it is used or sharing related information and educational posts about your industry or category will not only improve your website’s SEO but it will give added value to your visitors. It will establish you as a thought leader and expert in your field and people are more likely to trust you and purchase from you when you sound like you know what you are doing! Dynamic blog content also provides more ways for traffic to make its way to your site. Amazon is a contained space; people there are already researching products and are primed to buy. Without the safety and security of Amazon, you need to pull out all the stops to show people that you are a legitimate, trustworthy, business who knows what is what. And remember, many buyers may find you while searching for products like yours, but they may also find you through some of your blog content. Having a website and store gives you the chance to reach a wider audience than you might if you were just selling in a niche category on Amazon.
Bigger Pool of Potential Buyers
Speaking of a wider audience, the internet is a massive place. Yes, Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer but it is not the only online retailer.
It makes sense that you would put so much effort into your Amazon store and listings. Hard work and effort is part of what leads to success in that space, but if you put a little bit of effort into listing on other sites as well, you would be amazed at what a positive impact it can have on your revenues.
Websites like eBay and Walmart are also big and diverse ecommerce sites where you can reach buyers. If you have a more niche product, try listing on a niche marketplace as well.
For example, if you sell handcrafted, one of a kind pieces, list them on Etsy, or if you sell electronics, try an electronics site like Newegg. Each of these sites has a buyer persona and if you can craft your listings to speak directly to the needs of these unique buyers, you are more likely to make a sale. Repeating the same listing in each space will not allow you to properly reach potential buyers across each sales channel and it will actually harm your SEO. Google returns the most popular result first, which is usually your Amazon listing. If the rest of your listings are exactly the same, they will be suppressed in the search results. Using different language across these spaces increases the chances that more than one of your listings will appear on the first page of results, which increases the chances that an interested buyer will find your product.
Diversifying off Amazon takes a little bit of work but it is work that can pay massive dividends. It can give you control over your sales, increase your audience of potential buyers, provide more revenue streams and help you develop a more secure and sustainable business model.
This is a guest post by Andrew Maff, Director of Marketing and Operations for Seller’s Choice, a full-service digital marketing agency for e-commerce sellers. Seller’s Choice provides uniquely personalized marketing and managed services for digital marketplace sellers, e-commerce merchants, and brand builders worldwide. You can learn more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting here.