George Reid

 What I Learned About Amazon This Week
To: LaunchPod Readers
🚀 Brands should fear Amazon’s recent move

1. Amazon introduces “Built It”. Firstly, I think this is excellent for customers. But there is a dark side to this.

Whenever a brand puts the customer first and builds products based on the quick feedback you get from them, it’s always going to lead to more success. Wild Cosmetics talked about this here. But Amazon are looking to re-engineer Kickstarter, whipping up ideas, and getting you to pre-order them. If they get enough orders, they build it [Video].

Here’s why you might wanna shit yourself. Amazon already have mountains of data on what sort of products you like, what products are selling well, what new trends are emerging, etc. They can also put their products wherever they like in the search results and not pay for it (e.g. “from our brands”). Now they are going further down the chain and using your data (as customers and brands) to create new product ideas, then validating them at mass scale before launching.

This is great for customers. Make no mistake. But is this great for brands like you? They preach this bollocks about their Launchpad programme, but I just don’t believe they’ve got small business interests at the heart of their decision making. They have customers at the heart and customers want lower prices. If you’re Amazon, why would you not look at the data, see what people want, figure out if you can make it cheaper (they can), then go make it. Their Amazon Basics range is literally this. The wealth then transfers from small-medium brands and into the pocket of Amazon.

Maybe I am just a pessimist. Maybe not. Time will tell.

2. Cost per click varies massively between markets. “Protein” in the US is $10, but just $1 in Mexico. It’s the ongoing argument to explore new locales. Barriers to entry are obviously higher, as is creating your content, but for those that master it you can secure strong footholds much more easily…and cheaply.

3. Advertising wins customers from competition. Product page views driven by ads are the single greatest factor in cases where customers switched brands AND in cases where brands retained customers. Price is the next biggest influencer in customers switching. Click here if you want a free deep dive where we’ll uncover some competitors for you to target.

4. 48% open rates on your email are great. Here is a little tip to get that number up. Not enough Amazon sellers are thinking about Amazon being an acquisition channel, to grab customers, bring them into your ecosystem (e.g. email list) and sell to them again. There is so much more to be made on the backend than the front.

5. Amazon want you to use Alexa for repeat purchases. I don’t personally use Alexa for anything but cooking timers and music. It still irritates the f*ck out of me when she starts my Spotify playlist with the exact same song every time. Although they’re using ads now to promote the repeat purchase of products you’ve bought that are consumable, and this kind of could work. “Alexa, buy that toothpaste again”.

6. Your first A+ image must perform a pattern interrupt. Like this. I don’t see this enough, brands largely just put a boring brand logo or something. This was quite pleasing to see and interrupts the mundane scroll we usually get.

7. I hit 5000 downloads of the podcast. It’s Always Day One could be offering some value, as my Mum surely can’t download it that many times. Here is the latest episode on supply chain and sourcing. I actually learned loads on this one, as it’s an area of weakness for me.

8. Utilise loss aversion with your content. We tend to do everything in our power to avoid loss. In fact, we consider the loss of something (i.e. £20) a lot more significant than the happiness we feel when we gain something (i.e. £100).

9. I think this would make a great video ad on Amazon [video].

10. Is AI creeping its creepy head into your packaging design? I discovered a fascinated article today exploring how AI can be used to help you make packaging decisions with your target audience in mind [article]. In the example given, with avocado oil as a key ingredient, how do you call attention to this element from a design perspective and ensure consumers will notice them and respond positively? The whole article is fascinating, a highly recommend reading.

Thanks,
George

 
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