Do Your Products Show Up on the #1 place people are looking?
image credit: B2BecNews.com
Last year we published at least 3 posts on Amazon Business: Amazon; Friend, Foe or Frenemy to Industrial eCommerce, 2 Industrial Suppliers Share Advice On Using Amazon Business, and B2B Industrial eCommerce Update and Maturity Assessment along with our recommendations which included utilizing the Amazon Business marketplace platform as one of your sales channels to sell industrial B2B products.
Now, 12-18 months later, a lot has changed so it's time for an update on what has happened since and on our updated recommendations for industrial suppliers.
Updates on Amazon Business
- Amazon and Amazon Business have 48% of US eCommerce. Think about that for a moment - one company controls half of all US eCommerce, everyone else has pieces of the rest!
- Amazon Partfinder includes an iPhone app that lets you find parts for building and repairing things by photographing a part on a white background with a penny in the frame for scale.
- Amazon has more than 560 million products for sale - and you thought you had a lot of SKUs!
- Amazon is beating Google in product search. This is a huge change. Most product selection now starts on Amazon - 54% actually and we can expect that number to keep increasing. If your products aren't there you may not even be in consideration.
- Amazon is becoming more of a competitor as it now sells through sales reps as well as online. These reps focus on getting more buyers and more sellers on the platform.
- Amazon Business is ensuring B2B buyers' existing workflows (via their leading corporate procurement systems) are integrated to support traditional B2B workflows and customers’ purchasing expectations. If you use Amazon Business this functionality becomes accessible to you so that your products can show up in customers' procurement systems.
- Amazon has built many B2B specific tools into the platform so you can offer tiered pricing, purchase approval processes, and control your brand and messaging even if you have multiple resellers of your products using the platform.
- As the chart at the top of this post shows Amazon is far ahead of its competition. Not only in functionality but in how it uses data to personalize digital experiences. The result is buyers flocking to its easy to use, fast, personalized service with the broadest product selection, limited login requirements, and built-in trust. Amazon does these things best and is taking market share from traditional channels.
Brian Beck recently published an article on Digitalcommerce360.com called Amazon Business - the Brutal Reality for Manufacturers and Distributors. Please read it for yourself but he says, "Amazon is a disruptive juggernaut that is dis-intermediating traditional sales and distribution channels... it is only a matter of time before Amazon disrupts the B2B marketplace in similar fashion. The brutal reality is that Amazon has the expertise, deep pockets, data, and incredible execution capabilities that will change how and where business buyers are transacting. Make no mistake–this is already happening. His key points include:
- Make Your Buyer's Job Easy - his key point is that your products need to be on Amazon Business because that's the main place where people search and because Amazon Business has integrated into most corporate purchasing systems so you can take advantage of those mechanisms.
- Own your Brand on Amazon Business - ensure that if your products are represented there, then they are well represented in terms of brand value, story and product info (including extended product data such as 3D CAD models and 2D CAD drawings).
- Express your Full Catalog - he advises putting all your products on Amazon Business
1. If your products are or will be searched for on Amazon Business ensure they are there. If you aren't sure whether your products are there or not, search Amazon Business for yourself. If they are, are you happy with how your brand is showing up? If not fix it.
2. Don't ignore the Amazon Business opportunity if it's applicable to your products. Treat it as another sales channel (like your distributors or your own eCommerce website) and ensure your brand is well managed on it. Decide whether you or a partner (or partners) will manage it.
3. Do it well. 70% of Amazon shoppers only purchase from the 1st page of product listings so managing it well includes being on the 1st page a lot!
As always, if you have comments or suggestions please make them below, click to ask us a question or call for a discussion. In the meantime we'll continue to keep you up-to-date on eCommerce and new technologies impacting industrial suppliers.