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With ‘marketplaces’ across the world that provide over 5 million sellers with access to a global customer base, it is no secret that Amazon is quickly becoming the powerhouse channel when it comes to retail trading online. However, with such a large number of sellers, comes a strong competitive market and now recent reports show that the volume of businesses vying for the all-important ‘Buy Box’ is fast on the rise. Amazon has recently reported that over 300,000 US based SMEs joined the Amazon Marketplace in 2017 and these businesses are selling to customers here in the UK and across the world. The power of these SMEs is illustrated by the report which also shows that SME sellers account for the sale of half of all products sold through the Amazon Marketplace. This large share of the market has incredible value considering that billions of products are sold on Amazon each year.
The level of increased competition means that Amazon Marketplace sellers need to do more than ever before to stand out from the crowd, attract customers from the hundreds of millions of people who purchase on Amazon, and maximise the sales opportunities with which they are presented.
So what can sellers do to get the edge in this increasingly competitive market? Well, when it comes to trading on Amazon, experts will tell you that getting into and staying in the famed Buy Box is a key way to obtain success. Getting into this box is proven to increase sales for marketplace traders and when it comes to deciding which retailer gains this crucial Buy Box position, Amazon have their own performance criteria that they use.
Although these criteria are made up of a number contributing factors, some carry more weight than others, with the most competitive price one of the elements having a big influence.
However another major contributor to a seller’s chances of getting into the Amazon Buy Box is whether or not they use Amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) or those that have a SFP (Seller-Fulfilled Prime) certification for their deliveries. These are Amazon’s preferred delivery services, with the former being Amazon’s own fulfilment programme that sellers can use for delivering their own orders. The latter are merchants that have an official Prime badge from Amazon by demonstrating the ability to ship orders to the highest level of performance.
When it comes to deciding which seller will be awarded the Buy Box for a particular product, Amazon will look for traders using Amazon FBA or SFP for their deliveries. Therefore, if an Amazon seller is indeed using one of these shipping methods for their deliveries, they can benefit from having their listings heavily promoted by Amazon and only be prevented from obtaining the Buy Box by a substantial price difference. However although using these fulfilment methods clearly offers users a competitive edge with their Amazon trading, businesses should still ensure information is speedily transferred over to Amazon or their SFP merchants if they are to fully maximise on the opportunities presented by being in the Buy Box more frequently.
To assist in this regard, OrderWise facilitates integration to the Amazon Merchant Fulfilment network. This is a direct courier integration so the labels will be produced on despatch of the sales order within OrderWise, with shipping information then accurately exported over to Amazon for fulfilment.
Whilst selling on Amazon is just one part of everyday trading for many businesses, for others this popular online marketplace represents the only route to market. However, all businesses will tell you that when it comes to trading on Amazon, having the right price is often the difference between winning and losing a sale. This is because businesses are often up against multiple traders selling the same or similar items to them, creating a highly competitive trading environment where the sale is usually closed by the company offering customers the lowest price. However that is not the only reason why offering the best price on Amazon is so crucial.
As discussed earlier, the Amazon Buy Box is for many online traders, the Holy Grail of marketplace trading. Amongst the performance criteria evaluated by Amazon when choosing which seller receives the Buy Box privilege are product availability, fulfilment, rates of returns and refunds, as well as customer experience based on seller feedback and response times to enquiries. Also, a big contributing element to the criteria is of course, the product’s price including standard delivery. Although the exact formula as to how these factors are weighted is unknown, there is no denying that price definitely plays a major part.
With this being the case, many Amazon traders will choose to utilise repricing tools in order to stay ahead of their competitors and present consumers with the best price in order to land in the Buy Box for the items they are offering.
With Amazon Repricing tools, businesses are able to ensure that their prices are automatically lowered to be cheaper than that of their competitors, removing the need to monitor other traders and manually adjust product prices accordingly. By using one of these automated repricing tools, businesses are able to save time and also increase their chances of landing in the Amazon Buy Box, making them the default purchase option for customers.
Therefore although there are clear benefits to Amazon traders using these repricing tools, different software providers offer different functionality, and businesses should give serious consideration as to which one they choose to use. This is because without the right controls in place to prevent prices being inflated on Amazon Listings, businesses can find that using a repricing tool can actually lead to profitability being sacrificed unnecessarily on a regular basis. Therefore in order to carefully protect product margins and also capitalise on all sales opportunities, businesses selling on Amazon should look to repricing tools that offer the right balance between automated price management and profitability control.
Providing this perfect balance is OrderWise Amazon Competitive Pricing that enables users to effectively manage their automated product repricing. Available as part of our Amazon Listings functionality, OrderWise users are able to easily state how much cheaper than their competitors they wish to be as well as their minimum selling price, with the option also to choose whether shipping costs are taken into account too.
With many companies trading on Amazon offering thousands of different items and trading through several different accounts, traders are constantly looking for the right back end solution to effectively manage the fulfilment of their online orders and also streamline the creating and listing of their products. Often the biggest problem faced by many Amazon traders is how best to manage the listing of their products in a manner that is accurate, meets Amazon’s product information guidelines and means staff are not sat for hours on end inputting information into Amazon.
Providing this solution, the OrderWise Amazon Listing tool offers the functionality for businesses to easily list items already existing on Amazon or create brand new items to list on Amazon, automate product price updates to stay competitive, receive recommendations for better listing tips and much, much more.
So, with all the evidence pointing to the competition on Amazon marketplaces increasing in 2018, it’s crucial for businesses to take advantage of all the tools available to them in order to keep ahead of the competition and maximise sales opportunities.
To help with this, OrderWise continues to provide a comprehensive all-in-one solution to manage all aspects of trading on Amazon and other sales channels too, both accurately and efficiently.
Existing users can contact our Client Account Management team, and to discuss your requirements call 01522 704083.
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