It’s no surprise that people love online shopping.
There’s very little to dislike about finding what you want, whenever you want it, and having it delivered directly to your door—unless of course, you need something immediately (and that’s not too far out).
But, where are people shopping… and why?
The truth is people leverage different mediums for different reasons, but some channels appeal to consumers enough to effectively keep them coming back.
Of those ecommerce titans, Amazon is the dominant force.
To what degree though? Well, a 2018 Adeptmind survey states that nearly half (46.7%) of US Internet users start product searches on Amazon. There’s no doubt that alone is influential, but that’s just regarding initial product searches… there has to be more significant markers, no?
There are, and they’re kind of shocking.
According to Forbes, $4 out of every $10 spent online in the U.S. (43%) is with Amazon… and there are approximately 80 million Amazon Prime members… that’s a whopping 64% of U.S. households.
What does this mean for brand owners? Retailers? Anyone with a pulse and product to sell?
Simply put, that you absolutely must have your products on Amazon. Not doing so guarantees missing out on millions of potential customers.
So what’s making people bypass the rest of the Web? After all, there’s always opportunity (better prices, worthy promotions, alternative options) hidden among other sites.
It boils down to a few factors.
Everything in one place
It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that Amazon sells everything.
Amazon’s direct catalog is enormous on its own, but you can’t quite say it’s limitless. However, when you factor in the extended Amazon Marketplace, it’s hard to find something that is truly not available on Amazon.
That’s important considering the Amazon Marketplace is a vital component of Amazon’s overall product sales. In 2018, over 53% of total units sold on Amazon were by third-party sellers on the Amazon Marketplace.
It’s no secret that Prime is Amazon’s golden goose.
At $119 a year, or $12.99 per month (for students: $59 a year/$6.49 per month), Prime not only guarantees loyalty, but it makes sense to consumers.
As stated earlier, over 64% of US households have access to Amazon Prime. Realistically speaking, that means over 60% of the country stronger considers buying from Amazon when they take to the Web to make a purchase.
Chock-full of useful benefits, Amazon Prime is sensibly priced for what it delivers. Most online shoppers are sold on free two-day shipping alone—as anyone who’s ever bought anything online knows how expensive shipping can get—but Prime actually offers a bunch of other neat features:
- Free same-day/two-day delivery (available in more than 5,000 US cities; check if you quality here)
- Prime Video (totally free with prime)
- Prime Photos (unlimited photo storage, plus 5 GB for videos and/or documents)
- Amazon Music Discount ($7.99 per month, $9.99 for non-members)
- Twitch Prime (video game discounts, ad-free Twitch, and free monthly channel subscription)
- Amazon Household (at not additional cost, split your Prime benefits with your significant other… or anyone else, really… we won’t tell *wink*)
- Prime Early Access (flash-sale priority)
- much more!
The Amazon App
In 2017, mobile accounted for 34.5% of online sales… and that number is growing. By 2021, mobile ecommerce sales are expected to account for 54% of all ecommerce sales.
That’s wild when you consider how many people have access to Prime and how effective mobile online shopping can be.
“Amazon has over 760M mobile users, while all of its retailing competitors have a combined total of 173M mobile users.... Not only does Amazon follow the maxim of ‘meet your customers where they are’—which often means mobile—but the retail giant makes it seamless” - Tune
Amazon’s mobile app is densely packed with everything you’d want from a mobile shopping app. From full control over everything Amazon has to offer, to visual search, there’s no reason to limit your online shopping to a desktop or laptop computer.
How Much of Your Amazon Listings Can You Control?
Marketplaces tend to offer a similar range of control over product listings, especially for retailers. Amazon isn’t too different, but the platform does do things a bit differently.
Brand owners, on the other hand, are significantly empowered by Amazon’s brand registry—a feature that really sets the platform apart from other marketplaces
Amazon for Retailers
You don’t have to own a brand to have a decent amount of control over its products as a retailer, but there are some technicalities.
Retailers have control over the following:
- Price: Regardless of the brand owner’s price, you have control over what you charge.
- Shipping: When it comes to fulfillment methods, there are two options: Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
- FBM: Puts the retailer in control of fulfillment from start to finish. If you’ve got your shipping process down to a science, then this option may work best for you.
- FBA: Puts Amazon in control. Through FBA, you send your desired products to Amazon and they handle the process for you; packing, shipping, and customer service—all of it.
- Product Inventory: You maintain control over how your inventory is managed on Amazon. With FBA, however, you want to make sure you follow Amazon’s inventory requirements.
- Promotions: Retailers can decide whether or not to use promotions.
- Buy Box: Essential to rock star sales on Amazon, the buy box is the designated “main seller” box on the right-hand side of the screen where the golden (figuratively and literally) “Add to Cart” button resides. While you can’t directly control if you win the buy box (ultimately Amazon’s decision), your price and fulfillment standards can set you above the rest… even the brand owner!
- Product Details (sort of): While retailers have the ability to submit these attributes (title, description, bullet points, and product photos), there is no guarantee that they will make it to the listing. Amazon uses an algorithm to decide what content from its product database is actually shown. This considers a few factors and is heavily influenced by brand owners.
Amazon for Brands Owners
Brand owners have control over all the basic product listing elements that retailers have, as well as the perks of the Amazon Brand Registry.
This registry ties products back to the standards of the brand they belong to. It enables the following:
- Amazon Storefront & enhanced brand content showcasing: dedicated brand storefront and exclusive content showcasing features
- Copyright & IP control: easy finding and reporting, as well as retracting incorrect IP infringement claims
- Advanced listing moderation: control over listing content developed to hijack/sabotage original listings
- Premium support: more responsive and overall quicker listing issue fixing via a dedicated team with more focused training
There’s no doubt Amazon is one of the most—if not the most—powerful ecommerce platforms in today’s landscape. Not listing your products on the beloved marketplace guarantees missing out on many potential customers.
With everything in one place, a wildly useful loyalty program, and an extremely capable mobile app, Amazon sets up its merchants for success. Whether you’re a retailer or a brand owner, there’s no reason to miss out on this mass exposure opportunity.