Is it time to abandon an e-commerce strategy based on selling your products through your own webstore?
In the big markets it’s the online shopping marketplaces that increasingly dominate e-commerce, controlling a bigger and bigger proportion of e-commerce.
In Japan Rakuten is the biggest online shopping marketplace. In China it’s Taobao, Tmall and 360buy. In Europe and North America Amazon casts a long shadow. In the USA the value of merchandise sold by or through Amazon is now a staggering 30% of all e-commerce. When it comes to e-commerce, even huge brands like Apple, Walmart, Dell and Sears are dwarfed by Amazon.
Why do people love to shop on Amazon? Great selection, good prices, fast low-cost delivery, guaranteed delivery dates, informative product reviews, the sheer ease of making a purchase, the Prime loyalty programme.
Why would a customer forego those Amazon advantages and buy from your webstore instead?
If online shoppers are not on the marketplace websites, they’ll be using mobile shopping apps on their iPads and smartphones.
Chances are, where they won’t be is shopping on your website.
“Aha!” I hear you say. “I’m smarter than that. I just won’t supply my products to Amazon. Customers will have to come to my website to buy them.”
Think again. It’s a flawed strategy.
Firstly, most people prefer to shop on Amazon. If your product is not available there, they’ll most likely just buy something else that is available on Amazon, so they can get their Prime free 2-day delivery.
Secondly, if your products are distributed to retail stockists, it’s highly likely that your products are going to end up on Amazon anyway, whether you like it or not, through an online discounter or, worse, a clearance-item trader.
Maybe your products are on Amazon and eBay already, with product images taken on someone’s kitchen table. Your brand development investment is down the tubes. That’s your brand right there as far as the online shopper is concerned.
What it comes down to is this:
If your products are not on Amazon, 95%* of shoppers will likely never see your products.
If your products are on Amazon, those 95% of shoppers will see your products first on Amazon.
In other words, ignore Amazon at your peril. How your products are presented on Amazon sets the first impression of your brand for most of your potential customers. Your brand is far too important to leave up to distributors, let alone retailers and discount traders.
For all these reasons ExportX specialises in representing products and brands at the highest possible standard on Amazon.
* OK I made up the 95% figure. I believe it’s about right considering trends in online shopping.