Understanding Amazon, a linkdump of Amazon related article's video's and pdf's

A few months ago, I did some research about marketplaces (in specific Amazon). I did a lot of reading, asked friends and collegues and watched a lot of webinars.

This blog post has no intention to be complete, it is just my personal linkdump for video's, PDF's and some other info that I might need again in the future and that I like to share with others.

If you want to be succesful at marketplaces you have to understand marketplaces. This blog post helps you in that. Also it helps (at least it helped me) in gerating idea's to make your own webshop(s) better in terms of customer experience.

First of all I like to share this presentation (it is in Dutch) about marketplaces in cross border ecommerce. Highly interesting presentation about marketplace metric's, the choice between a marketplace or a webshop in a country and more. I saved this presenation at my dropbox and not youtube so it is not embedded. Just click here.

This article (PDF) explains how Amazon works and it specifically explains Amazon prime, the customer experience and Amazon's vision.

Amazon's vicious circle of destruction, read the complete article on click.

Recently Amazon started in Australia, altough I live far from Australia, some very interesting articles have been written about Amazon starting there. This is one of them.
Read about Amazon's customer first policy and how local businesses need to adapt. The idea is pretty simple but most online retailers that I know, unfortunately still do not place the customer as first as Amazon making them vulnarable to lose customers to Amazon.

Amazon's customer first policy. Amazon sets the standard.

This screenshot is from another magazine in Australia where they again explain the importance of service for local businesses to adapt to the standards Amazon sets.

This retailer is active at many marketplaces throughout the world and I have learned a lot from them. Best is to download the article instead of using the dropbox internal PDF viewer as I see it misses a page if you use this viewer. This article explains the importance of technology when you use marketplaces:

The importance of technology when using marketplaces , on click for complete article

One of the most strategic interesting video's I watched in 2017 is one:

Just be ready for those Alexa Ads in 2018

Now my experience is, talking to a lot of people the past 2 years, you have two ways of ding business with marketplaces. They do not exclude each other but they are different:

One is to do business via a "marketplace pipeline" system like channeladvisor, or tradebite or channable. I suggest to keep an eye at these companies as they usually publish interesting information about marketplaces and technology.

2 ways of selling at marketplaces

Using their marketplace pipleline you can easily connect to many marketplaces, you have a stronger negotiation position with the marketplaces and your local IT department does not need to develop to the API of the marketplaces themselves, meaning more ease of working. If the marketplaces change anything technical the "marketplace pipeline" company takes care of it. Usually this is faster then to do it yourself. The problem with these pipeline companies is that they partly serve different marketplaces. So at the end you might need multiple of those agency's (but they do not come cheap). Their way of working is often the same so you do not need to adjust your processes.

The second way of doing business via and with marketplaces is to do it yourself. This way you (partly) manually optmize your products at the marketplace.
There are many toolings available both on and offline that help you rank higher at a marketplace.
For Amazon this German tool, JTL Wawi can be helpful. It can even help you with the customer experience as this tool allows you to automate sending emails to people who bought your products at a Amazon, which normally spoken is not possible.
If you work (partly) manually you can improve your ranking (at least with Amazon) by for example:

  • Store at least one product via FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon)
  • Use a tool to insert more keywords then standard possible.
  • Use "Amazon" vouchers to increase your sales (f.e. think about these vouchers when a product is temporarily out of stock)
  • Amazon has a "parent-child" structure, use it to keep your Amazon ranking
  • Find partners where you can insert your flyer in their Amazon sold parcel's (that include a voucher for a purchase with you)
  • Don't forget about Amazon advertising (usually cheaper then Adwords).
  • Create landingpages that let visitors do the purchase at your Amazon webshop

Of course there are much more ranking factors, read about them and implement them with creativity to stay ahead of the competition. Click here for an e-book about selling at Amazon. (direct download via my dropbox).

To be succesful at marketplaces think like a marketplace. Think customer first. Make sure your processes (customer centric processses, see below for examples),logistics and technology (f.e. PIM system, content in PIM, EAN, auto enter orders in CRM, use of Amazon vouchers in your backoffice etc)  is ready,  because marketplaces will penalize you very easily if you do not do what you promise to the customer. Once get panalized it can be very difficult to get back online.
Marketplaces do everything for their customers and their success depends at their customer experience. So if you care about your marketplaces customers, you will be rewarded.

What marketplaces lack

What marketplaces at this moment lack and what are opportunities for other ways of selling, to my opinion are these aspects:

  • It is very difficult to really "brand" your marketplaces webshop, to really give users the brandfeeling you want to give them.
  • The after sales customer journey is often impossible to set up , because you cannot use the contact details from the buyers from marketplaces for these purposes and they do not offer journey possibilities themselves. (altough you see they try to improve this)
  • And if you are a seller it is often very difficult to get the right contact at a large marketplace.

Amazon's working culture and customer centricity

To conclude and to understand more about how Amazon works a few screenshots from the book "The Amazon Way". When I read this book for the first time a few years ago I became totally enthousiastic. That kind of culture that is described in this book, really fits me.
I publish it here below also for other companies as I encourage them to create such a culture. It makes working more nice and it is better for the end user :)

Great, solving problems for customers before they know they have a problem!

I always hated when you try to solve customer issues and someone says "that is not my job so I cannot help you with that now ask a manager. Good to read at Amazon this does not happen.

Customer centricity is to prevent bureaucracy!

Sharing is caring! 

Generate your fulfilment KPI's and metrics from a customer point of view instead of an internal point of view:

Set your (internal) SLA's extremely high to keep customers!

And more on that:

Short term vs long term

Leadership principle: how to gain trust with the "open your kimono principle"

The two way pizza team, to get things done!


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