How Amazon Dominates eCommerce
According to the latest figures from eMarketer, Amazon controls nearly 50 percent of the online retail market in the USA, with sales last year of nearly $260 billion dollars. Its closest competitor is eBay, who currently pales into insignificance with a paltry 6.6 percent of the market share. The eCommerce giant has certainly come a long way from its humble beginnings of book sales in the mid-1990s, and today offers virtually every product someone cares to think of via its world famous platform. The Amazon brand is one that is trusted, not just by technologically-savvy millennials and iGens, but by every target age group and buying demographic, from moms through to grandparents and silver surfers.
In addition to their own direct sales, Amazon has mastered the integration of third-party sellers into their portfolio. Digital marketers across the world can take advantage of the huge brand loyalty the Amazon name instills by utilizing one or both of two options; an Amazon Seller Account, or by creating their own Amazon Webstore.
The Differences Between An Amazon Seller Account And An Amazon Webstore
There are fundamental differences between the two, with the most dramatic being that the owner of an Amazon Webstore can control both the backend and frontend of the store. To explain this in plain English, it means the ability to customize how the Amazon Webstore is displayed, both in the place where products are uploaded—the backend—and where prospective customers view them—the frontend.
A Seller Account showcases items on the regular Amazon website, with two different options available (individual and professional) depending on the number of items a seller wishes to offer.
One big disadvantage of only selling through a Seller Account is that Amazon restricts sales to that of specific categories. These tend to be in the technology fields, but also include baby products, music, sporting equipment, groceries, health & personal care, and home & garden.
An Amazon Webstore is a complete eCommerce platform that can be customized to a brand’s own business model. In short, it allows the creation of a company-specific sales website powered by the multi-billion dollar potency of the Amazon organization. As such it provides advanced tools to design and create bespoke, multi-page stores and sell in virtually any niche imaginable. It allows sellers to take advantage of the value image and integrity of the Amazon name, but build their own following and loyalty to their own brand. In addition, store owners benefit from the almost boundless traffic driven by existing customer devotion to the household name, as well as the continual efforts of a blue chip company to increase website hits from both within the US and beyond.
Thanks to the ability to tailor-make the frontend of an Amazon Webstore to best represent a business brand, customers are showcased products as the business owner requires, not in the Amazon format. A seller can operate an Amazon Seller Account and an Amazon Webstore concurrently, taking advantage of both methods of offering goods for sale.
Why A Business Of Every Size Needs An Amazon Webstore
It is true that up until recently the Amazon Webstore eCommerce platform was not exactly user-friendly. Neither did it offer the necessary tools to customize a store that best represented what a smaller brand was all about. However, this has all changed dramatically, and such online stores are rapidly becoming an essential marketing tool for small and medium-sized businesses to succeed in the fiercely competitive online marketplace.
Thanks to a plethora of easy-to-use website building tools, users can create an aesthetically pleasing online store that provides the ideal showcase for their brand. This works for those who offer unique niche products and also for resellers. When a customer is browsing a seller’s products on Amazon and wants to see more, they will be directed to the Amazon Webstore in a single click. This simple action builds brand awareness, brand equity, and brand appreciation. Combining this sales option with a standalone website further utilizes the power of Amazon traffic to drive increased sales to a company’s main site.
The benefits of Amazon’s value, global appeal, and traffic volume to that of a small or medium-sized business can be phenomenal. Such a webstore is a powerful means to not only bring a brand to the attention of a far wider audience, but to influence shopper loyalty. It can offer a very real edge over competitors by showcasing a curated portfolio in a unique and bespoke manner.
In addition, other impressive tools come as standard with an Amazon Webstore. Examples include powerful digital marketing options that drive potential web-wide customers to the store, including those from social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook. Just as importantly, vital monitoring means are also included, allowing store owners to track the success of a variety of sales campaigns.
These are just some examples of how incorporating an Amazon Webstore into a company’s business plan can have a far-reaching positive effect that extends way beyond that of the Amazon brand model.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) For Shipping
Amazon also offers a full picking, packing, and shipping service, called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). With strategically located fulfillment centers, a company can choose to store products in these warehouses and let Amazon take care of all the logistics of sending them to customers. In addition, they will take care of the customer service aspect of the sale, including returns.
Advantages of this are numerous. The most obvious is that products can be shipped under the much-loved “Prime” model, meaning customers receive their goods fast— typically within one to two days. It also makes products eligible for other popular benefits, such as free shipping. Many customers apply the Prime filter to their searches within the global Amazon system. So for a business to ensure the greatest visibility to potential customers, this provides formidable gain for what could potentially be a very small company expense.
The service is designed to work with businesses of all sizes, with no minimum levels of sales enforced. Fees are determined by the amount of storage space necessary and the amount of orders shipped. There are no other costs, meaning it makes it simple for business owners to budget this within their overheads. It also negates the need for separate storage space and insurance. Businesses can also be confident that products are delivered in sturdy, professional packaging with a robust system in place for the security of goods.
Such collaborative selling is one of the reasons that webstores work so well. By allowing a wide variety of enterprises to sell their own inventory, Amazon can continue to dominate the home shopping industry. The small and medium-sized businesses get access to a worldwide customer base, driven sales traffic, and the loyalty and confidence from shoppers that they are purchasing from a trusted source.
Web Design Company That Optimizes Amazon Webstores
The ability to leverage the brand allegiance of shoppers to the Amazon model is one that no business today should ignore. Companies that boast such a feature are taking advantage of a hugely successful global business to propel their own growth. Smashed Media is a web design company in Boca Raton that can help determine if such a move is one that a small or medium-sized business should be considering.
Their digital marketing expertise is well-versed in the submission process and creation of fully optimized Amazon Webstores. This includes full SEO adaptation, ensuring products are optimally displayed, both for desktop and mobile browsing, plus ensuring compliance to all of Amazon’s restrictions and policies. Utilizing the services of Smashed Media can provide drastic cost-cutting and time reduction in the set-up of an Amazon Webstore negating the need for unnecessary revisions and resubmissions.
In addition, Smashed Media can also offer further guidance on web design and targeted marketing strategies to further evolve a business both on and off Amazon.