To be successful, Startups need sales. Sales equals cash flow, brand awareness and ultimately, if the product or service is good enough a long customer lifecycle of loyalty.
One platform all startups should consider selling on is Amazon. According to Mintel data, around 90% of people in the United Kingdom shop at Amazon, about 70% of people shop on Amazon at least once a month, while 17% use the online marketplace weekly.
The boom in Covid sales, rocketed brands’ exposure on D2C websites and boosted the Amazon stock prices like no other period in history. In the run up to what is expected to be the longest Black Friday sales period ever, Matt Peck, CEO of Amazon specialists, Market Rocket,explains that during the most competitive sales period of the year, Startup brands looking for a sales spike simply cannot ignore Amazon.
But for young businesses considering adding Amazon into their sales strategy, or those already on the platform, trying to scale up their activities for greater success, Matt says first brands have to define what success means to them.
He explains, “For a start-up, increasing sales from zero units to over 100 per month could be considered a success, while for a global brand, building brand and consumer trust that what is purchased is a real, genuine product of theirs and not a counterfeit could be just as important as individual unit sales.”
But, if startups really want to scale up their activities this Black Friday, while maintaining brand reputation and margins, there are five pillars that each business must leverage, together, to win the Amazon ranking war.
Says Matt, “We work with businesses of all sizes at different stages of their Amazon journey; we work with start-ups that have insanely modest budgets, market disruptors or those with a very niche product and we work with fortune 500 companies that serve global markets. What we have found is that regardless of size, when working with Amazon no-one person – and usually no one business- possesses all the skills required to succeed on the platform.”
“We talk to our clients about the four pillars of support that we offer. These are separate disciplines that clients all recognise, but then there is a fifth pillar, which may be even more valuable, which many brands forget or simply can’t replicate.”
According to Matt, the four pillars of support are:
- Account management- someone with actual, real, tangible been-down-in-the-trenches experience on Amazon.
- Analytics- someone who’s incredibly analytical and can interpret ad data to optimise engagement and performance
- Exceptional graphic design and video content creators- someone to make listings and brand pages pop
- Strong copywriting – an incredibly literate person to undertake the SEO and the copywriting tasks needed for organic ranking growth
Matt explains, “Fundamentally, these roles are performed by at least four different people who all have very different skill sets. One person could never feasibly excel at all of these disciplines at once. That is why we’ve built our business- and our team -to be able to provide all of this specialist support at once.”
“If brands are only working on advertising and pumping spend into that, but their creative is weak or their SEO work is sub-optimal,then their advertising alone is just nowhere near as efficient.”
This is also where the fifth pillar, which Matt refers to as similar to football’s twelfth man, is the X-factor that Market Rocket delivers from having more than fifty years of collective experience working on the Amazon platform.
“We have spent years learning about the platform and curating the right team to offer every client the most rounded support possible. This ‘fifth’ pillar is this glue that holds all of the other pillars together.
“By having the best people working in each discipline, in each category, we inherently become stronger as a whole and therefore add a completely different dimension to each of the other four individual disciplines.”
According to Matt, this is the point of difference between an in-house team and an out-sourced agency model that provides a real competitive advantage.
“Even for larger businesses, who maybe do have the budget to employ more than one person to work across Amazon, it’s still insanely difficult to build teams with the right skill set to excel at each individual discipline. In my opinion, It is still better to retain a plug and play solution that brings all of the required skills, across each discipline, which is also backed by years of experience on this very complicated platform.”
He adds, “If you’re only focusing on one brand, in one category, then there’s only so quickly you can grow and, of course, you can never benefit from or leverage the experiences gained across a portfolio.
“From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, the thing they have in common is they are very good at making, or selling the thing they produce, that is where they should concentrate their efforts. They rarely grow by being Amazon specialists; that is our role.”