Amazon has become crucial to the ecommerce success of many of the Web’s top retailers. In fact, for many of them, it’s the cornerstone of their retail strategy. After all, Amazon accounted for 60% of all online sales growth in the U.S. last year!
But limiting your products to just Amazon may be a mistake. Amazon is so big that you might get lost trying to communicate to potential customers. Plus, the world of e-commerce has grown exponentially in the past few years. There are dozens of high-traffic shopping channels that reach a wide variety of niche markets and diverse customers. And smaller or more specialized marketplaces can make it easier for you to stand out, secure sales, and get brand recognition.
Bottom line? The longer you limit yourself to one platform, the more potential customers you miss out on. Start looking beyond Amazon by taking the following steps.
Understand your Amazon customers first.
Why do you need to learn about your Amazon customers if your goal is to sell your products elsewhere? Because doing so will provide you with a better picture of who you want to reach and what product offerings you should use to do it. You can use this information to identify shopping channels most likely to cater to that audience.
So start by analyzing the performance of your Amazon product catalog – but don’t stop there! Amazon allows you to communicate with customers after the sale, so take advantage of this. Gather information about your current customers through surveys, feedback requests, and any other methods that seem useful.
Do your research.
Learn about the shopping channels available to you. Each marketplace will have different consumers with different interests and buying habits.
That being said, there are a few main types of shopping channels:
Comparison Shopping Engines
Also known as CSEs, consumers visit these sites to research and compare prices. Comparison shopping engines draw high amounts of traffic, but the downside is that their shoppers are often looking for a bargain. If you do not want to compete on price, then you may want to avoid CSEs.
A few examples of CSEs include:
If you’re already listing your products on Amazon, then you know how marketplaces work. Products from multiple vendors are listed on the website, with the marketplace taking a piece of each sale. It’s a good idea to look at what similar vendors are already listing products on a marketplace you are considering.
A few examples of Marketplaces include:
- Walmart (Important update regarding Walmart’s Jet.com acquisition)
These websites help connect you with affiliates who will promote your products for a portion of the sale. They may directly connect you with affiliates, provide the tools for you to run your own affiliate program, or both. Affiliates can help expand your audience, but they also take a larger portion of the ultimate sale.
A few examples of Affiliate Networks include:
- Conversant (Formerly Commission Junction)
- Affiliate Window
Many of the shopping channels above have a mobile version, but there are also platforms found exclusively on mobile apps. These may be particularly valuable to businesses who determine that they enjoy a high percentage of mobile sales.
Examples of Mobile Apps include: