Brand or Bust: Why Establishing a Trusted Brand is Critical for Success on Amazon
Long gone are the days of posting a product or two on Amazon and calling that your business.
We are entering a new era where shoppers are no longer shopping with a scattered shopping list and purchasing from randomized sellers across Amazon. Shoppers are now transforming into loyal customers expecting to see a brand they know and, above all else, trust.
This is huge. It raises the bar for how businesses must market on Amazon to gain coveted shopper loyalty.
Amazon itself has bought into the wave of brand loyalty and is adopting a brand-centric approach on its marketplace, encouraging sellers to do the same.
For the benefit of sellers, Amazon has been rolling out brand-building tools on their platform over the years to allow sellers to create a brand, establish customer rapport, and stand out in the crowded marketplace.
We’ll be going through the newest tools Amazon has released so you’re up to speed on the changes. We’ll delve into why trust is so important and help you understand how you can build a trusted brand on Amazon.
Have Brand? Have Trust.
Data backs up the relationship between brand and trust. According to Marketing Charts, consumers feel they can trust brands based on concerns surrounding product quality, customer service, and societal-oriented reasons.
A large percentage (73%) of consumers said they trust brands because they believe they deliver good-quality products or services. In the US, 63% of consumers (and 57% globally) said brands demonstrate good ratings and reviews. They believe brands treat them better, with 56% of global and 57% of US respondents citing reasons like being treated well, having customer service problems addressed quickly, and feeling their information was protected as the driving force behind choosing a branded versus an unbranded store or seller.
Trust can then lead to much-coveted brand loyalty. Marketing Charts reported, “Some 8 in 10 US consumers (82%) and three-quarters (75%) of global respondents say they will continue to buy a brand they trust, even if another brand suddenly becomes hot and trendy.”
Loyalty and trust go hand-in-hand, but trust has to be established for consumers to convert to being loyal.
Despite capturing most of the market share, Amazon has had a trust issue that’s plagued the giant’s ability to win over consumers. Amazon has been in the hot seat for selling faulty products with disastrous consequences, not to mention enticing Chinese sellers to sell directly to consumers, which gave rise to counterfeit products and fake reviews. Buyers were burned, unhappy they couldn’t find trusted products on the largest marketplace out there.
Amazon’s solution? Brand-building. For themselves and for their sellers.
They realized that having numerous recognizable and respectable brands on their platform instills a sense of trustworthiness. Brands could cut through the noise of less-worthy sellers and capture the immediate attention of shoppers looking to buy worry-free.
So what does this all mean for sellers? It means that Amazon is looking to recoup its losses in consumer trust and push hard to make brand-building the norm.
This means it’s brand or bust. To make it on Amazon, and to be respected by Amazon as well as by shoppers, you will have to build a brand.
Brand-building doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating. Amazon has implemented three strong brand creation tools that make fleshing out your brand easier than ever. Let’s get into what they are and what they can do for you:
Amazon A+ Content
Amazon’s A+ Content, previously known as EBC, allows for customizable, feature-rich content added to listing pages. This feature is nested under Amazon’s Brand Registry 2.0 and becomes available when you have registered a trademarked brand.
A+ Content is making waves for businesses because it allows for brand-building through the visual narrative of photos and videos. It allows you to emphasize key selling points, address customer concerns, and inform your customers as much as possible before they purchase your product. It’s a winning scenario for Amazon, as this educational aspect cuts down on returned goods.
A+ Content transcends just selling a product. It allows you to build a brand story and an identity your customers resonate with. According to Amazon, using A+ Content to establish your brand can boost sales between 3%-10%.
This boost makes sense in the wider context of growth in video. It was predicted that in 2019, 80% of global Internet consumption will be video content. In terms of online shopping, viewers range from being 64%-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video.
There’s more at play for the impact of video than just an increase in sales. Product videos or how-to videos are giving consumers the ability to see the products in action and make the most informed decision possible before buying. Video is adding a layer of trust and reassurance for consumers, meaning it’s a powerful tool in a brand’s arsenal.
It may be hard to quantify, but trust now has monetary value. Multimedia’s ability to convert skeptics into buyers proves just that.
In beta, Amazon’s Posts function “help shoppers discover new products and see what’s new from brands by browsing feeds of brand-curated content. Posts link to product detail pages, making each post in a feed shoppable, and each post includes category tags so shoppers can continue exploring posts in related categories.”
If that sounds a little like Instagram to you, that’s because it is like Instagram, only housed within Amazon’s platform. It’s taking Instagram head-on for wooing shoppers with strong product visuals that take them right to the buy function while on mobile.
Access to the Posts function is still limited. Posts are only available in the US on the Amazon mobile shopping app and on mobile web. It’s so recent that Amazon encourages brands to “experiment with various types of content to learn what engages customers” and to “consider repurposing product-focused content that your brand has previously shared on social media.”
In short, they’re not even sure what will win customers over yet, but they’re hedging bets that what has worked for you on social media will likely translate to success with their newest functionality.
On Amazon’s overview page of Posts, they mention the word “brand” 40 times. Take that as 40 not-so-subtle clues that Amazon really wants to see brands on their platform.
It’s free, for now, meaning there is no reason to not try to use this as a visual brand builder. Because Posts is so new to the platform, it gives early users the ability to stand out and experiment with ways to engage consumers.
Amazon Attribution is the next step in building a full-blown brand on Amazon.
Now in beta, this new addition to the platform allows for their most precise conversion metrics to date through 1×1 image impression pixels added to your media, ads, and campaigns off the Amazon platform. These pixels give you the power to track the genesis of a sale off of Amazon whether in your social media campaigns, Facebook ads, or from Google. As long as the sale ends on Amazon, the starting point can now be understood.
It takes the mystery out of which campaigns are converting into sales, linking all your advertising performance on and off Amazon. Amazon Attribution provides a granular look at attribution, breaking conversion metrics down to specific conversions for individual ASINs, total conversions for a subset of ASINs, and any products related to the brand. Attribution also helps you understand just how good your photo and video display efforts are, allowing you to understand the ROI of your efforts and pivot if spending patterns need to shift.
Understanding where you are converting on Amazon and beyond means you can strengthen the power of your brand in the eyes of your customers no matter where they find you. It’s a leg up to see your business as more than being housed on Amazon, and as an omnipresent online entity.
The Future of the Trusted Brand
Trust isn’t a trend or a cliche marketing term. As you can now see, trust is a currency exchanged between buyer, seller, and Amazon as a marketplace. It’s a currency whose value will increase with time, so it’s worth investing time and effort into creating trust early on while you scale your brand.
Have a well-established brand on Amazon you’d like to sell? One of our business analysts can walk you through your brand’s value proposition and help you strategically plan your exit on our marketplace. If you are looking to jump right into owning your own brand without building, you can have a criteria call with our team, so we can connect you with the right brand for you.