If you sell a physical product, it’s high time you sell via Amazon. The wildly popular ecommerce marketplace’s growth has been considerable and consistent in the last decade, surmounting to a monthly user base of over 197 million people worldwide, according to Big Commerce. Of course, numbers this large can also feel intimidating. How to stand out amongst the competition? How to get in front of the right eyeballs, and convert to purchases?
I sat down with Akemi Sue Fisher, who is called the “Amazon Queen” — and for good reason. She is one of the most trusted e-commerce brand consultants in the world, having helped thousands of brands scale on Amazon to the six, seven, and even eight figure mark. Her consulting is rooted in her own experience, as she herself has generated significant revenue from Amazon. In our conversation, she gave me the skinny on what it takes to quickly scale Amazon sales, and what you should implement if you’re hoping to take advantage of the marketplace.
1. Build A Community
Now, most go directly to ad spend, and while there’s nothing wrong with this, Fisher’s approach is quite different: she’s all about building a community. “People want to be part of a community – it’s an intrinsic human need,” she explained. “I build communities for brands by helping them identify influencers who can promote their products, we use and create Facebook groups, and attract brand ambassadors.” The power of building a community around a brand is in creating a sense of brand loyalty. If one’s desire to purchase a product is consistently reinforced by seeing images of other customers purchasing and enjoying a product, they’re more likely to go ahead and purchase.
Begin to recruit influencers (even micro-influencers in the ballpark of 5,000-10,000 followers for lower budgets) to promote your product, and direct customers into a Facebook group where discussions can be pertinent to the product’s industry. For example, if your product is an air fryer, the group could be about swapping recipes and sharing cooking tips.
2. Ask For Reviews
Reviews are the top way to create a sense of trust with brand new customers. We know this from personal experience – we always scour the online reviews when making a purchasing decision, whether w”e’re ordering from Amazon or elsewhere. Statistics shared from Ready Cloud Suite noted that 87 percent of customers place as much trust in online reviews as they would from word of mouth” – which is significant. In other words, reading a stranger’s opinion online carries equal weight to customers as hearing from a friend.
It’s great to have good reviews, but the number of reviews matters, too. It may give you pause in your own purchasing choices if there are only a handful of reviews at all. However, it’s been a long time issue as to how to ask for these reviews from customers. “Now, you can actually ask for reviews within the first 30 days through Amazon Seller Central,” Fisher confided. “There’s actually more opportunity than ever right now to call for reviews. Amazon has made it very accessible.”
3. Prioritize Packaging
Beyond the actual quality of your product, Fisher says that the way your product is packaged goes a long way. “People tend to like nice packaging that reflects your brand,” she noted. “Because of the added expense, it slightly decreases profit margins, but the payoff is in something less measurable: customer loyalty.” Additionally, if you’re hiring ambassadors or influencers to post about your product, the ‘unboxing’ form of content is quite popular. People adore a fun unboxing experience – think of it like giving a present to a friend!
“In my experience, well-done packaging will take you 95% further than those packaged with a poly bag and sku sticker on it,” Fisher added. “It makes the experience of receiving and opening the package feel more individual, rather than giving off the sense that the product has been mass-produced. The human touch goes a long way.”
4. Provide Instant Customer Service Through Messenger Bots
Finally, prepare the proper infrastructure on your listing and your website to scale. Things can take off quite quickly once you invest in ad spend, influencer marketing, or get an influx of positive reviews. To prepare, Fisher often talks about the necessity of messenger bots. The AI for bots has developed significantly – and, bots help with scaling in a way that human capital can’t. “We use messenger bots to connect with customers, offer discounts, release new products, share content related to our products, and build community,” Fisher said.
An unintended but welcome consequence of having this at-the-ready customer service bot is that it can actually lessen the chance of negative reviews. “If someone is unhappy with the product and can share this with a messenger bot in the moment that they’re feeling frustrated or angry, they’re less likely to take to the reviews section and write a scathing review,” Fisher explained. “This gives us an opportunity to make it right immediately, no matter what hour of the day or night it is.”
Combined, these four tips will get you and your business off on the right foot when creating a listing and a community via Amazon.