Croud’s Director of eCommerce, Andy Siviter, explains why Amazon Stores should be a key part of any brand’s ecommerce strategy, and how to make the most of them.
When we think about the connected Amazon experience for shoppers, Amazon Stores have become a key component. Having an optimised Amazon Store is now an incredibly important part of a successful Amazon approach, and that importance is only growing.
Amazon Stores have been available to brand registered marketplace sellers and Amazon vendors for some time. However, they haven’t always been a natural part of the typical shopper journey. This is now starting to change.
Andy will be speaking on-stage on behalf of Croud at Digital City Expo, part of Digital City Festival, next month. Registration for the free event is open here.
Most shoppers on Amazon tend to use the search bar as a means to surface relevant products and build their shopping baskets. This user journey, backed by the search algorithm, is incredibly effective, as evidenced by the high conversion rates we see and the fact that many advertisers are reporting a higher return on ad spend through Amazon than other platforms.
However, this can often mean there is less browsing across different products sold by the same sellers or brands. Amazon Stores are a great way to address this challenge, by increasing same-session, same-seller basket building and overall repeatability. In fact, Amazon says that if we link our Sponsored Brand ads to Stores instead of to a product detail page, it can increase RoAS by, on average, 22%.
So what’s changing?
Amazon Stores are becoming more discoverable. Brand logos and small banners are now visible on some product detail pages to help signpost Stores better. We also see organically generated store recommendations on some browsing pages in the form of ‘brands related to your search’ and ‘customers also viewed these brands’ across both desktop and mobile. It’s also widely expected that we will see a brand ‘follow’ button soon that will allow users to instantly navigate to their favorite Stores.
As well as making Stores more discoverable, Amazon is continually introducing new, more visual and engaging widgets into the Stores builder. These include things like product and brand videos, interactive shoppable tiles and comparison tables.
Brands are increasingly looking to update the content and messaging in Stores in the same way they would with other mediums around seasonal and promotional activities. To help with this, it recently became possible to plan ahead and schedule updates to Stores at specific times.
All these changes mean Stores are even more customisable and appear less templated to users. This gives brands the opportunity to use richer, fresher and more engaging content to highlight products, tell their brand story and reinforce the value proposition.
It’s really important to plan and design your Store purposefully and not just replicate the navigation and design you have on your website. Being clear about your goals and the way your audience shops on Amazon is key to this.
Think carefully about the layout, the need state of your shoppers and which ASINs you will feature in key positions. Use the opportunity to boost discovery of different ASINs or ranges, and to highlight new products. Interactive images and video can be really effective.
It’s also worth considering how you group products together in themes rather than looking only at best sellers. There are now even more opportunities to test and refresh layouts with new widgets, products and assets. A good Amazon Store will continually evolve.
It’s clear from recent and upcoming developments that Amazon is keen to help shoppers find and use Stores more often as part of the typical user journey. Alongside really well optimised product pages, engaging A+ content and an effective approach to advertising, Stores give sellers and brands a great opportunity to create more engaging experiences within Amazon that can enhance cross-sell and repeatability.
Amazon is no longer just a destination for brands to reach only the highest intent, ready-to-buy shoppers. This growing ability to engage shoppers at other stages and offer enhanced brand experiences should mean more sellers and brands see Amazon as a key part of their future strategy and not just a highly effective sales channel for the here and now.