How To Move Away From Amazon & Own Your Customer
In recent years we have seen a massive change in the eCommerce space. One of the biggest giants of online sales is Amazon. As you are probably aware, it’s very simple to set up a shop there – basically, anyone can do it. The platform is responsible for 43% of all online sales, so for many, it’s a no-brainer to start selling products there.
While it all may sound very easy and straightforward, the shifts in customer shopping behaviour might make you rethink if it’s still worth selling on Amazon. We saw that many brands with online stores are moving to a Direct-To-Customer (DTC) business model. This online sales strategy can create excellent opportunities for your brand, such as deeper insights about customers, which is one of the requirements for a successful digital marketing strategy.
On top of that, if you are selling only through Amazon, you are forced to listen to the Amazon overlords, adhere to their guidelines, and most importantly, it’s quite hard to create a strong brand image while selling under someone else’s name. Combine that with the recent raises in fees by 5%, and you have a perfect recipe for reducing your brand’s growth and profits.
In this article, we will cover how to move away from Amazon, establish a strong brand identity and finally own your customer.
What Is A Direct-To-Consumer Model?
Direct-To-Consumer is a retail model which is exactly what the name says – selling your products directly to the end consumer.
This approach entirely skips the middlemen who are retailers, wholesalers, or places like Amazon. By doing so, brands can cut out the majority of the unnecessary costs that might arise from stakeholders being between manufacturers and your customers.
Brands that are using a DTC model are responsible for keeping their products in stock, and once a consumer makes a payment, the brand’s employees have complete control over sorting, packaging, and dispatching the product. They don’t depend on third parties to deliver the merchandise. The biggest advantage of this model is that you have the power of being in complete charge of the fulfilment experience and communication with the customers.
Pretty cool, right?
By taking out third parties, DTC makes the supply chain less confusing and quicker, which can make the whole shopping experience more enjoyable for your customer.
Let’s look at an example:
- Traditional retail model: manufacturer > wholesaler > distributor > retailer > consumer
- Direct To Consumer model: manufacturer > advertising/website > customer
As you can see, the whole process is way more simple. Moreover, many brands are switching to this type of business model because it allows for improving customer relationships and gives more data, which can be used to understand customers’ needs and create a perfect marketing strategy around that. Moreover, DTC is currently the fastest growing eCommerce segment, with 57% of manufacturers saying that they prefer it.
The Popularity Of The Direct To Consumer Model
There are various factors that make the DTC model grow so fast. It’s nothing new as it already existed in the 20th century; however, with the recent changes in the eCommerce industry and customer shopping behaviours, this strategy is becoming increasingly popular.
Since the pandemic, the eCommerce industry has been booming; in fact, more than 1 out of every 4 people is an online shopper. It sounds like a perfect opportunity to grow an online business with the help of platforms like Amazon, right? Unfortunately, with so many sellers on Amazon selling the same products, it’s tough to stand out and create a strong brand image.
Another factor is the change in online buying behaviour. Nowadays, consumers favour brands which are offering unique shopping experiences, personalization, and human interactions. Moreover, 77% of them buy from brands that have similar values. It is challenging to achieve if your primary sales channel is Amazon.
Pretty doesn’t sound? Don’t worry we will show that it’s not as scarry as it seems!
Benefits Of Moving From Amazon To DTC
Nowadays, many of Amazon’s USPs are already used by various other companies. ApplePay, PayPal, or GooglePay make the checkout process very simple for the customers. There are numerous fulfilment services, and people use Google to find new products. Therefore, switching from Amazon won’t negatively impact you and has a great chance to grow your business.
There are many benefits from switching from selling on Amazon to your websites. In the next paragraphs, we will go over some of them and how to do them. So you can be ready to move to your own website!
When selling only on Amazon, the shoppers are just consumers, and what is worse they are Amazon’s customers. When selling through your website as an independent brand, you have the chance to turn them into raving fans. However, firstly you need to build your brand because consumers want to buy from some shady website, and it changes you – a seller into a brand.
To build a brand, you must establish your mission, vision, USP, and core values. The next step is to create your brand identity and, eventually, branding. We recommend starting with discovering the purpose of your brand.
Developing A Website
Another key factor while moving away from Amazon is to create a website. The benefits of having your online store are that you own the name and customer data, no overlords, and most importantly, you are in full control of your customer shopping experience.
However, to build a strong website, there are a few fundamental rules you have to follow:
- A clear brand identity – Make sure that your website is resonating with your audience. Is the tone of voice correct, and is the offering clear?
- Easy navigation – Ensure that your website is easy to navigate.
- Style – Choose a website style that is unique and fits within your industry/niche.
- Quality images – Make sure the images are high quality – but in a smaller size as it impacts the site speed.
- Site speed – Consumers don’t like to wait, so make sure your website is able to load in under 3 seconds.
- Checkout – You need to have good call-to-action points and an easy checkout process with plenty of payment options to drive conversions
- Social Proof – Customers like to listen to the opinions of others, so make sure to include reviews of your products! We recommend apps such as judge.me
- SEO – You need a good SEO strategy to grow your organic traffic. You can do a lot on your own; however, we recommend getting help from the experts like ourselves.
As you can see, there are a couple of key points when building a website. Notwithstanding, when done right, it can really grow your business. You can offer excellent customer service, engaging shopping experiences, turn customers into loyal fans, and then brand advocates. In comparison, it would be extremely difficult to achieve with Amazon.
Our tip is to take inspiration from Amazon. They are known for their free and fast delivery, and every product has social proof in the form of reviews. A good idea is to include both of these tactics to attract shoppers.
If you lack the knowledge of building a successful and professional-looking website we recommend reaching out to an agency that can do it for you. At The Good Marketer, we work with clients, such as The House Outfit, to completely transform their websites into profitable customer touchpoints.
One advantage of Amazon is that the eCommerce giant draws in an enormous number of people daily. When moving away from it, you are responsible for creating the traffic. Some of the most common strategies to make people come to your website are content marketing, performance marketing, paid ads on Google and social media, and SEO. It is your responsibility to understand your customer, what apps they use and what they like and dislike. Try going to the competitors’ websites and see what they are doing. Check out their marketing tactics and what you could improve.
As we specialize in digital marketing, here are some pointers which you can start with:
One of the most important marketing tactics you can take advantage of is SEO. With almost 2 billion websites, your website must be well optimized to rank highly in the SERPs.
SEO is made up of three pillars. On-page, off-page, and technical SEO.
The first one is everything that the visitor can see, such as images, your cool website copy, design, and navigation. You can start by using relevant keywords, writing blog content, and making the website responsive so customers can easily find information no matter the screen size.
Off-page SEO is a practice which focuses on efforts to rank higher on search engines but they don’t happen on your page. Some of them are being active on social media, guest blogging and link building. While search engines rank your page based on the content and performance, Google also gathers data about the website from sources outside of it. For example, link building is an off-page SEO which focuses on getting hyperlinks from other domains pointing to yours. If the links are from quality and reliable sources then the search engine will think that your website has great content, thus the page ranks higher.
The last type of SEO is technical which focuses on improving the technical side of your website. It makes it easier for search engines to crawl your website and as a result, the site has a chance to rank higher on the rankings. Some of the things you should focus on are speed, various link errors, duplicate content, and crawlability.
Nowadays, almost every business has at least one social media account. It is an amazing free marketing tool that can grow your business when used correctly. Before jumping in and creating accounts on all available socials, it’s essential to understand where your customers spend the most amount of time. If it’s B2B you could look at LinkedIn. Gen Z – try Tik Tok or Instagram; if it’s middle-aged mums, Facebook is your best bet.
After figuring out where your customers spend the most amount of time, you can start creating content. Make sure that your posts are high quality, engaging, and provide some sort of value for the audience.
If you have some spare budget for promoting your website, you can look into Facebook Advertising or Google Ads.
As you are probably new to digital paid advertising it’s best to leave it to professionals with years of experience in the industry such as The Good Marketer.
We can use Facebook Advertising and target relevant audiences not only on Facebook but on Instagram, too, as they are connected. Think about your customer, who they are, and their demographics, such as age or gender. Then you can provide us with your findings and we will research their interests, see what they might like, write a compelling copy, include a call-to-action, develop quality imagery and manage your ads.
Another option is to use Google Ads. It allows your website to appear first in the user’s search results. At The Good Marketer we can develop a fully professional Google Campaign for you. By working together we are able to find relevant keywords, which your customers use while searching for products or services. Next, our team develops your campaign and manages it once it’s live.
Many people think that email marketing is outdated. However, they are wrong. Email marketing is still alive and thriving.
Once your website is live, starting an email marketing campaign is relatively simple, and there are plenty of email services to choose from. Some of them offer free plans which you can use at the beginning.
You can build an email list by collecting customers’ emails at the checkout or if your business is service-based, a good idea is to offer something for free in return for an email address.
Once you have those emails, try running a campaign. It can be a weekly newsletter, new products that just arrived, or special offers and discounts for your subscribers. A bonus is that you can use this email list later in Facebook Ads to target the same people on social media.
If these are your first steps into the marketing world, take some inspiration from competitors, or you can skip that part and reach out to a marketing agency for help.
Amazon is one of the biggest eCommerce platforms in the world. It certainly can help your online business; however, there is minimal branding opportunity, and everything happens under their name. Do you remember the name of the seller you bought your last product from? Probably not.
With your website, you can build a strong foundation for your business. It will allow you to create unique and personalised experiences, which you wouldn’t be able to do with Amazon. What’s more, with your own domain you can be in full control, gain valuable insights into your customers and connect with them on a personal level without any overlords hanging above you!
We highly recommend spending some time thinking about moving away from Amazon. Weigh out all pros and cons and whether this will help your business to grow. If you decide to do so, then go ahead and build a website and create a successful brand. However, if you don’t have experience in website development or just want to make the transition simple and efficient then at The Good Marketer we offer a range of services from website development, social media marketing, and PPC ads. Everything you need to build a successful online business.