Learn From These Amazon Bestsellers in Order to Beat Them

Millions of buyers search Amazon for new products and brands. See examples of the best Amazon eCommerce marketing in order to find ways to beat competition.

When it comes to Amazon, lots of sellers say that if you can’t beat them, you should join them. That doesn’t refer to copying either the products or tactics of other sellers. At the same time, the platform offers so much information about best-selling products that successful eCommerce marketing often depends upon researching top products and sellers in order to come up with a profit- and growth-driving strategy for their own business.

Learn what kinds of products to look for, examples of top sellers, and why Amazon eCommerce marketing offers the perfect platform to launch or grow a business.

Finding Amazon top sellers to research

StartupBros, one Amazon marketing agency, has their own simple formula they use to find likely products. While other sellers may use different criteria and not every box needs checking for all products, these look like sensible gauges for new sellers who want to find products to help generate new ideas:

  • They tend to favor products with prices between about $20 and $200.
  • For obvious reasons, it’s beneficial to have easy-to-ship items that can qualify for express shipping.
  • Reasonable prices for the item should allow for a profit margin of at least 50 percent.
  • Current product listings should have less than 150 reviews, indicating the market isn’t totally saturated.
  • The product should generate at least 10 sales a day to demonstrate it has already attracted buyers.

Evaluating Amazon top sellers

Using the requirements listed above, it’s fairly easy to find some briskly selling products and figure out how another seller could improve upon them for their own business.

Pet grooming gloves

Pet grooming gloves make grooming and de-shedding a pleasant, comfortable experience for both long-haired pets and pet parents. This listing on Amazon ranks at the top for both cat hair removal products and the pet category for Amazon Launchpad, a platform for innovative startups. It also has an Amazon’s Choice badge, which is a designation for products with generally favorable reviews, immediate shipping, and reasonable pricing.

Is there an opportunity to do better? Obviously, the seller does well with this product. They’ve also effectively used images in the heading and description. However, they have very little text in the description area. Not only could these sellers have used text to provide more information, they might have sprinkled in a few more key words or phrases to help with ranking on Amazon and other search engines. 

Vegetable Spiralizers

Spiralizers slice vegetables for salads, stir-fry dishes, or pasta replacements. According to the reviews, the Mueller product performs pretty well out of the box for some tasks. Unlike the pet glove listing, this product page appears to contain both clear photos and plenty of text. In fact, the description even provides tips for setting up and using the device, probably cutting down calls and emails for customer service.

Is there room for improvement? For one thing, even many positive reviews mention that this wasn’t the first such device people have had. Mostly, this product has steel blades but otherwise relies upon a fairly cheap plastic body. Less favorable reviews pointed out some problems with the product. These issues include: 

  • The bin to catch vegetables was too small.
  • The plastic body felt cheap.
  • The product sliced zucchini well but didn’t perform to expectations with softer yellow squash.

A competitor should not have a tough time either sourcing or manufacturing an alternative product that resolves these design flaws. Even if the product would cost a little more, plenty of people appeared willing to pay for quality.

Why Amazon offers a great eCommerce marketing opportunity

According to the eCommerce platform’s own Amazon Advertising page, customers don’t just use the site to shop for things they already want. In fact, 80 percent of Amazon shoppers also visit to browse around and find new products and brands. Also, because so many sellers have already found success, it’s easy to find top sellers and improve upon their product development and marketing.

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5 Successful DTC Launches With Podcast Advertising

Podcast advertising gives DTC brands a chance to connect with a wide, engaged, and growing audience. See five DTC advertising success stories.

PPC, blogging, and social media advertising tend to dominate discussions about DTC marketing. These kind of conversations totally ignore the rapid growth of podcast advertising as an effective and increasingly popular promotional medium for DTC brands. Even last year, The Drum reported that DTC ads had increased overall podcast revenue by over 50 percent in 2018. This comes at a time when podcasts have replaced radio shows for a hands- and eyes-free way to consume entertainment and information.

Which DTC brands have enjoyed success with podcast advertising?

Look at some examples of DTC companies that have found an audience with podcasts.

TakeMeUndies

As the name implies, TakeMeUndies sells underwear. As a podcast advertiser, they shifted some of their social media advertising money to podcast advertising a few years ago. As early experimenters, they managed to cut deals with some fairly notable celebs. Their bet paid off. According to Ad Exchanger, they have already sold nine million products and expect to generate $75 million in revenue for the year.

In this case, the company used host-read ads. The CEO, Jonathan Shokrian, said that he credited his company’s success to having the advertisements sound more like person-to-person referrals than typical advertising.

FabFitFun

FabFitFun offers a unique and fun subscription service. Subscribers pay $49.99 each season. In return, they get a box filled with eight to ten products with a guaranteed value of at least $200. Members can also choose some of the products they want included in their basic box, or they can pick add-in products for an additional fee.

According to Magellan, FabFitFun first started advertising on podcasts in 2017 and by 2019, they made the list of the highest spending podcast advertisers. They’re featured on such popular shows as The Goal Digger Podcast and Chatty Broads.

Blue Apron

Like TakeMeUndies, Blue Apron has grown up with sponsored podcast ads. In fact, they have even launched their own branded podcast called “Why We Eat What We Eat.” During the show, a food historian named Cathy Erway discusses a variety of interesting topics related to food. Some examples have ranged from the origins of duck sauce to dealing with picky eaters.

Whatever their content marketing agency comes up with, it’s working. The company’s sales have increased 500 percent.

ZipRecruiter

Similar to Blue Apron, ZipRecruiter sponsors a podcast. In this case, it’s called Rise and Grind, a podcast that caters to their likely audience of job seekers, hiring managers, and entrepreneurs. Rise and Grind, the sponsored podcast, has even launched other businesses, like a Shark Tank investor named Daymond John.

By producing the right type of content and sharing their platform with entrepreneurs, ZipRecruiter has earned a large, targeted audience and some great publicity. As an example, Daymon John praised ZipRecruiter as a company that focused upon finding good people and good jobs, according to FastCompany.

Podcast Superstar

According to the Podcast Superstar page on Airbnb, $195 gives guests an interview in a Manhattan studio for a podcast called mürmur. video. The page promises guests a chance to promote themselves, their business, or their idea directly to the world.

This example doesn’t exactly fit with the more conventional approaches to using sponsored podcasts to attract an audience and promote a specific business. Instead, the podcast promotes itself as a way for people with a modest budget to get featured in a podcast.

The reviews suggest that the host does a good job with the interview, even if his Airbnb page doesn’t mention the audience size. Still, the deal includes a professional recording, so at least, it can give startups and small companies a way to get content produced for a budget-friendly fee. To make this opportunity truly effective, they may need to invest more to distribute and promote the recording.

How DTC brands can benefit from podcast promotions

Podcast advertising shares certain features with both digital and radio promotions. Still, it has its own character. To make the most of this rapidly growing medium, keep these tips in mind:

  • Typically, podcasts work very well to increase brand awareness, though they can directly push leads and sales.
  • Since many listeners may listen to archived or downloaded programs long after the original date, they may work better for offers that aren’t time sensitive.
  • As with radio, it’s usually not possible to finely tune audience demographics as tightly as on PPC platforms.
  • When developing content for sponsored podcasts, keep the audience in mind. They probably don’t want to listen to 30-minute advertisements, so find relevant topics that would lend themselves well to mentions of specific products and services.

As with any other kind of marketing, expect to test and tune a bit before finding the perfect podcast advertising solution. Still, many DTC brands have found receptive audiences and growth opportunities by investing in various kinds of podcast promotions.

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DTC Marketing Subscription Box Tips to Move Your Brand

How successful DTC marketing companies use flexible plans, content, and pricing to attract and retain their valued customers.

To improve returns on direct to consumer advertising, why not consider a subscription model? After all, it can help improve your company’s typical customer experience by offering convenience and discounts. At the same time, it’s likely to dramatically increase retention. Find out how to add recurring revenue to your D2C marketing plan in order to enjoy faster and more sustainable growth.

How to maximize subscriptions to your DTC marketing plan

Look at a popular example of a company using direct to consumer advertising for a subscription service. According to Core DNA, a D2C marketing agency, Dollar Shave Club enjoys an incredible 50 percent retention rate after 12 months. Even after two years, that figure only drops to 25 percent.

Combining an outstanding retention rate and recurring revenue fueled their rapid growth. Look at the example of Dollar Shave Club and some other successful DTC companies to gain some inspiration.

Flexible subscription options can overcome objections

Since Dollar Shave Club engaged in DTC marketing, they could offer some flexible options that may have contributed to their retention rate. For instance, they have a “Not-So-Hairy” option that lets customers skip months. It’s interesting to note that they tend to take in more transactions on the second month than the first one. Customers might already have blades for the current month, and this option can overcome that objection.

In any case, it’s always a good idea to figure out the market’s possible objections and pain points. Adding in some flexibility to help maximize benefits and prompt quick purchases can help attract more reluctant shoppers.

Subscription pricing tactics to reduce competition

Because Zuora provides subscription apps to online retailers, they’ve paid attention to the effectiveness of various pricing strategies. In Zuora’s view, competing on the price of a basic subscription may be inevitable for some products. Their best advice to a product marketing agency with stiff competition may be to keep prices as low as possible for the first subscription. Then try to maximize revenues with possible upsells.

Of course, they also offered the example of T-Mobile. Instead of solely competing by price, the mobile carrier was one of the first to sell their services without requiring a contract, which helped them double their subscriber base within three years.

They still have subscribers who pay monthly fees for services, and often, for extra insurance and to pay off their phones. After getting a phone, many customers also decide to add a tablet or accessories. Their strategy provides an example of a company that offered more flexibility in order to maximize customers and the potential for upsells.

Consider using content for marketing DTC subscriptions

A more traditional consumer marketing agency may suggest using mostly paid ads to gain brand recognition and attention. In particular, a startup marketing agency could advise very new brands that they need to sell products as quickly as possible to start driving revenue. That can work; however, a lot of companies have enjoyed success by using an inbound, content-driven marketing scheme to attract their audience.

Some companies even start with content before they ever offer their products by subscription. As an example, Glossier sells beauty products directly to consumers. The founder, Emily Weiss, started with a beauty blog and strong social media and video presence that offered insights about celebrity beauty rituals. Her content strategy also allowed her to connect with plenty of online influencers.

Only after the blog attracted 15 million views each month, Ms. Weiss decided to develop her beauty company. By that time, she already had a huge, loyal audience. Even better, she had gotten to know her market very well.

Other brands do it the other way. They begin their product brand and then develop online and in some cases, offline content. Popular kinds of online content include blogs, videos, and even webinars. For offline content, businesses might sponsor such relevant events as demos, classes, tables at festivals, or booths at trade shows.

Benefit from loyal customers and brand ambassadors

Word-of-mouth marketing still performs very well. By offering a referral program, a DTC subscription business can recruit an army of brand ambassadors from its own satisfied customers. Also, the nature of recurring revenue can make it easier to entice customers to spread the word by offering them recurring discounts or rewards every time their recruit’s subscription charges them.

And since recurring customers can offer businesses a high lifetime value, it’s worth an investment to keep them. Loyalty programs can motivate customers to stay subscribed by providing them a way to earn discounts, reward points, or free gifts every time they get an order.

Work to create the best customer experience with subscription plans 

Of course, customers enroll in subscription plans to enjoy convenience and discounts. Businesses should learn about their customers to deliver the best possible experience and overcome potential objections. Some succeed by offering very simple options to maximize efficiency and avoid overwhelming people. Others provide a variety of plans to try to satisfy different kinds of customers. Finding the perfect balance may require some testing and surveys.

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Is the “Paradox of Choice” Ruining Your eCommerce Site?

According to the paradox of choice idea, offering too many choices can stress out customers, reduce conversions, and detract from business.

The “paradox of choice” phrase comes from a marketing book and a Ted Talk by Barry Schwartz, a well-known psychology professor. On the surface, having plenty of choices seems like a very positive thing. Dr. Schwartz thinks this idea often backfires because people get so overwhelmed by having a great number of choices that they may fail to make any decisions at all.

Online shopping offers consumers an almost unlimited range of choices. Recently, businesses have taken a look at eCommerce marketing to find out if having so many options benefits buyers and sellers as much as they might have thought. As with most marketing questions, it can depend upon the business, market conditions, and unique marketing strategies.

Can offering fewer choices make eCommerce marketing more profitable?

The recent experience of many restaurants can illustrate the idea that offering fewer choices might provide businesses with benefits. Though they’re not typically thought of as traditional eCommerce businesses, a lot of dine-in restaurants had to publish online menus and offer to-go orders because of social distancing measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

To simplify ordering and eCommerce web development, they considered the fact that a few items generally generated most of their profits and sales. Thus, they often trimmed menus and featured only their most popular meals.  More than a few restaurants decided to maintain their limited menus even after they reopened because they found smaller menus move improved efficiency more than it turned away customers.

During the outbreak, restaurants needed to run as efficiently as possible for a number of reasons, including restrictions on capacity and problems with supply chains. As time passes and things return to normal, some of these places may add back more items to their menus. However, while they need to remain very lean and agile to cope with the outbreak, many have decided that reducing frills and choices solves a lot of problems. Particularly for businesses that need to trim budgets and run as lean as possible, the notion of offering fewer items has obvious merit.

How fewer choices might increase conversions

To see why limiting options won’t always reduce sales, consider one study from a Columbia University psychology professor. Dr. Iyengar set out a tasting table in a grocery store with 24 different jam flavors. That table attracted 60 percent of the shoppers who passed by. Later, she reduced the selection to to only six flavors and attracted only 40 percent of the customers.

At the same time, she enjoyed conversion rates of only three percent when she offered 24 flavors and thirty percent when she only offered six. Even though she attracted fewer tasters to the table, she sold a lot more jam when she limited choices. In response, Dr. Iyengar agreed with Dr. Schwartz’ idea that offering too many options might lead to information overload. She believed more customers turned away because so many choices made them feel fatigue or even stress.

How does the paradox of choice impact online sales?

An Amazon marketing agency might also keep this in mind when deciding on how many products to offer or even if Amazon will provide the best platform to focus on. Who hasn’t started shopping on Amazon at one time or another and found so many options that nothing ever got ordered at all?

According to BigCommerce:

  • Amazon already sells more than 12 million products.
  • Amazon lists over a million products in the home improvement category alone.

At the same time, some channels enjoy fairly low conversion rates. For instance, only two percent of Echo owners have used their device to order products. Maybe this audio-only device doesn’t lend itself so well to an eCommerce platform with so many choices.

DTC companies and distributors may want to also consult with a Shopify agency to see if they would have a better opportunity marketing with their own distinct shop. Most third-party sellers also use other platforms, so testing more than one option appears prudent. Even then, new sellers should probably consider starting with only a few products. As they grow, they might slowly and carefully expand their offerings and even remove some low-performing products.

Finally, trying to become all things to all people can make it difficult to remain efficient. Meanwhile, offering a few, well-chosen options makes it easy to deal with inventory, customer service, and sometimes even eCommerce web development. Businesses with fewer products might not attract as many prospects. Still, if they can balance a lower number of visitors with high conversion rates, lower operating costs, and fewer hassles, maybe they can use this tactic to increase profits.

What can the paradox of choice tell you about your customers?

Of course, some companies thrive by offering lots of interesting choices. For instance, having lots of creatively named ice cream flavors has appeared to serve Ben & Jerry’s very well. Lots of fans of this company can’t wait to taste the latest creation.

Still, Dr. Schwartz cautioned that providing too many choices might lead people to take shortcuts that will prompt them to pick something that they believe is good enough instead of taking more time to find the best solution. He also said people with too much freedom of choice may have extremely high expectations and that increases the risk of disappointment.

Perhaps offering lots of flavors works for Ben & Jerry’s because selecting ice cream doesn’t require a big investment. Also, the company’s been very creative about their release strategy and devoted themselves to building customer trust. With the jam experiment, customers were first introduced to an unfamiliar brand. A more expensive and durable kind of product may also take a bigger risk.

Is less more for eCommerce marketing?

The choice of how many products to offer and which online platform to use can depend upon many factors. These might include the type of product, overall marketing goals, and the company’s market audience. Still, any business that’s struggled while trying to appeal to as many people as possible might consider narrowing its focus to see if they can gain more attention from a smaller market.

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Use These Tactics to Advertise Like Chewy.com

DTC brands are known for their clever, original, and on-trend ads. Read what we can learn from the pet product marketing tactics Chewy.com uses to connect with audiences.

In a few short years, DTC (or D2C) brands have gone from a novelty to an essential part of the lives of most consumers. Emarketer forecasts that DTC sales will account for $17.75 billion of total ecommerce sales in 2020, up 24.3% from the previous year.

Many of the newer DTC brands who have become household names have used highly memorable and creative direct to consumer marketing approaches to gain traction. One such example is Chewy.com, a DTC pet brand. Let’s take a closer look at how Chewy.com advertises, and what we can learn from their pet product marketing approach.

Using a savvy DTC ad strategy to build market share

This Chewy.com ad cleverly targets the new parent demographic. One of the primary benefits of Chewy’s direct to consumer marketing model is convenience — it delivers toys, chews, food, and treats directly to a consumer’s home, in a box.

For new parents, saving a trip to the local brick and mortar pet store is a significant draw. Chewy’s ad shows how its service can ease the burden of new parenthood, often one of life’s most overwhelming experiences.

Chewy’s ad is smart for another reason: It targets a large and growing demographic. Pets are often regarded as “training babies” by millennials, who are delaying the rituals and milestones of adulthood longer than earlier generations. Because younger people humanize their pets and treat them as family members, they are more willing to pay for premium products and services. Focusing on the “new parents with a dog” market is a smart move for Chewy.com, given their passion and willingness to spend.

Chewy’s ads also make an economic case familiar to DTC or D2C brands. This ad stresses that all the products offered by Chewy are not only cheaper than those found in a brick and mortar retailer, they also come with free shipping.

It’s a powerful ad because today’s “pet parents” want to do more for their animals, but they may be constrained by lack of income (a particular problem for younger pet parents). Chewy’s ad maintains that it’s possible to buy the best for your animal by opting for their low overhead DTC model.

Chewy.com also released ads focusing on the ease of the delivery and exciting experience of “unboxing” a collection of dog food, treats and toys; an ad showing how Chewy.com customer service reps can assist with helping find food for dogs and cats who are “picky eaters”; and ads that feature specific owners and their dogs, all enjoying Chewy.com boxes.  

All of the ads are upbeat, brief and colorful and feature lots of testimonials and images of happy pets. Additionally, all of the company’s pet product marketing messages highlight at least one aspect of Chewy.com DTC value proposition: Cheaper products, easy delivery, the boxing experience, etc.

Experience-based advertising and marketing, Chewy-style

Chewy operates on the premise that consumers only share two types of experiences online: Great ones and terrible ones. So Chewy, obviously, strives to generate the former.

The company has drawn notice for sending flowers and condolences to a customer who called to cancel an order after a pet’s unexpected death. The customer was stunned and appreciative and later shared the story on social media.

Chewy is also known for sending handwritten notes addressed directly to its customers’ pets — a whimsical touch that plays extremely well in an era when most of us humanize our animals.

The takeaway

DTC brands seeking to build awareness, attract new audiences, and engage with their existing customers would do well to consider Chewy’s direct to consumer marketing, DTC advertising, and customer service model.

Chewy’s ads are not high concept; instead, they hammer home the core value proposition of the company’s DTC model and show plenty of happy and excited pets.

At Bigeye, we have the experience and expertise to create top drawer DTC ad campaigns such as those created by Chewy.com. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you reach your goals.

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10 eCommerce Marketing Tips to Improve Customer Service

Improving customer service means improving eCommerce marketing in order to retain and attract customers. Learn to improve customer service with these tips.

In recent months, eCommerce has enjoyed an incredible boom. At the same time, consumers also have plenty of choices and the means to research them. While online shoppers tend to demonstrate loyalty to brands they love, a poor experience will encourage them to try another internet shop. That’s why you need to prioritize customer service as a key part of your eCommerce Marketing strategy.

Consider these key stats from HubSpot that illustrate why you need to invest in high-quality customer service:

  • American shoppers who say customer service factors into their shopping choices: 90 percent
  • American consumers who say they’ve switched companies in the past year because of poor customer service: 49 percent

Mostly, it can cost between five and 25 times as much to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Even if you’ve hired a high-quality consumer marketing agency, worked hard to develop your brands and packaging, and done everything else right, poor customer service experiences can keep prospects from making their first purchase and just as bad, prevent a first-time buyer from making a second purchase. 

Ten eCommerce Marketing Suggestions to Improve Customer Service

You can benefit by investing in some fairly simple and affordable enhancements to your customer service. This is true if you market other company’s brands or rely upon direct to consumer advertising.

Consider these tested tips to help show prospects and customers that you care about their experience both before and after you make a sale.

  1. Create a knowledge Base: You can find plenty of software and plugins that will make it simple to add an online knowledge base to your eCommerce site. You might start by answering the types of topics that customers frequently ask you or your existing customer service people.
  2. Show transaction history online: Giving customers the ability to login and see their ordering, billing, and shipping history online will help eliminate a lot of questions and misunderstandings.
  3. Create how-to videos: Posting videos that explain how your website or even some of your products work will help answer questions, increase customer satisfaction, and probably even drive sales.
  4. Create a scalable team: While a lot of these steps can help reduce the number of customer service reps you need, make sure you can handle peak demand.
  5. Offer live chat: According to Forrester, typical live chat sessions can cost up to 30 percent less than comparable phone calls. Some software allows you to use pre-written macros to answer frequent questions, and often, agents can handle more than one chat session at a time.
  6. Develop a multi-channel customer service strategy: Besides offering support on your website, you can also consider it on social media channels. This way, you meet customers where they spend a lot of time. Also, by giving an irritated or anxious customer a place to send a message you may prevent them from venting in a public post.
  7. Use help desk software: Not only can this software help track touch-points, it can also keep different service channels integrated. For instance, you can keep a record of interactions from social media and your website stored in one place.
  8. Offer a 24-7 voice system: Even if you can’t possibly keep somebody online 24 hours a day, you can still take messages that get routed to your held desk software for responses during the next business day. Even in this age of social media messaging and live chat, some folks still like to speak with a live person.
  9. Keep your FAQ updated: Once you get your customer service rolling, you should find that some questions occur more frequently than others. Having those clearly addressed in a simple FAQ should head off a lot of contacts and customer frustration.
  10. Track and measure customer service: If you want to keep improving, you need a way to measure your progress. In addition to tracking the number and types of request, you may want to send out surveys after a contact to give customers a chance to provide feedback.

Even if you initially only provide limited options for customer to get in touch, it’s important to ensure that confused or dissatisfied people have a way to get their concerns addressed. Any growing eCommerce business must attract and retain customers. Poor customer service experiences will turn away customers, even for companies who do a lot of other things right.

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