How Can 1P Vendors Better Position Themselves in the 3P Sea?

Amazon has increasingly become intertwined with the way we live our lives, from retail purchases to grocery shopping, from the way we watch television shows to how we control the music we listen to in our homes. Amazon has truly become a household name.

For brands and manufacturers that previously had access to clientele primarily only through brick and mortar storefronts, this has opened a world of new opportunities. With the immense growth of Amazon, which controlled 44% of online retail sales in the US in 2017 and recently publicizing an astounding Amazon Prime membership population of over 100 million people, more than the entire population of Germany; there is another important shift occurring – the dominance of third-party sellers.

Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, reported that in 2017 the tables turned from first-party sellers being the primary sellers on Amazon and to now third-party sellers controlling more than half of goods sold on Amazon. 

For manufacturers and brands that dispense their products to other distributors outside of Amazon, it’s not uncommon to see these products later listed on Amazon under third-party unauthorized sellers.

Short of changing your vendor distribution strategy or reaching out to the unauthorized sellers individually to request the products be taken down, there is little vendors can do to prevent their products from being listed by third-party sellers. But don’t let that get you down. Now for the good news, there are still ways to ensure your product pages are driving more traffic and higher conversion rates than the unauthorized competition.

Top 3 Methods for Better Positioning Your Products When Competing Against Third-Party Competition:

1. Register for Amazon’s Brand Registry 

Although Amazon’s Brand Registry program has been around for several years, it was revamped in 2017, and has increasingly become an attractive option for brands with a registered trademark to protect and optimize their listings. Enrollment in this program is fairly straight forward, but can be time consuming, as it requires proof of trademark registration, product and brand information, and images of brand logo, products and packaging.

Benefits of enrolling in Amazon’s Brand Registry:
➠Amazon prioritizes registered brands’ detail page information, reducing the likelihood of detail page content being changed or corrupted by a third-party’s content

➠Adding Enhanced Brand Content is shown to improve conversion rates dramatically by offering consumers additional eye-appealing content about a brand’s story and product features

➠Expedited investigation of infringement notifications made by the registered brand – Amazon reports 95% of notices receive action within 8 hours

2. Merging Duplicate Pages

Having multiple sellers listing the same product can lead to search result chaos and a confusing purchasing experience for consumers. By merging these duplicate listings, a vendor can greatly improve the visibility of their product and reduce the chances of a consumer purchasing their desired product from a third-party seller, instead of you.

Vendors can request a duplicate product page be merged with their own product page through ‘Contact-Us’ in Vendor Central. Be sure to verify beforehand that the product is in-fact an exact match and that clear verbiage is used to indicate which ASN page is the desired merger in your Contact-Us ticket.

Keeping up with the constant influx of new third-party listings can be a tedious task, but one that is well worth the time. 

At Retail Data Partners, we regularly search the Amazon marketplace for duplicate products for our clients. Our internal tools help us optimize this process by allowing us to search for large groups of products each time, verifying that the products we find are in fact duplicates, and eliminating the appearance of a duplicate listing by ensuring the merge process is completed accurately. This translates to less sales going to third-party competitors and more sales coming to you.

3. Adding A+ Content

A+ Content is Enhanced Marketing aimed at improving the buying experience and conversions to sales. Think of it as a virtual sales pitch to provide additional information about a number of topics, including product details, installation or assembly processes, warranty information, brand awareness, and why a product is worth investing in. The content can be rich with images, tables, and styled text that you can’t use in regular product descriptions. If you haven’t used A+ Content before, now could be the perfect time to test it out, as Amazon recently extended offers to upload basic A+ Content for free to many of vendors (which can cost $600 per page in some cases).

Choosing which products to add A+ Content to can be equally as important as what goes into the A+ Content itself. Researching the pages of your third-party competition is a useful way of helping determine which of your product pages would benefit the most for A+ Content. Often, third-party owned pages will be lacking this additional marketing component, opening up the door for the manufacturer or brand owner to make their pages stand out from the rest. Compelling A+ Content is key to stopping a consumer from browsing further and closing the deal on the product purchase.

Vendors, as a whole, are usually well versed in how to compete with other brands who make products similar to their own. However, we often hear from vendors that learning how to position their listings above their third-party competitor’s listings is a project many vendors did not anticipate and feel ill-equipped to handle. We understand, and that’s why we make this an area of focus during our on-boarding process for all new clients. As third-party sellers now take the stage as the controllers of more than half of goods sold on Amazon, it’s more important than ever to take the necessary steps to ensure your product pages are the ones driving traffic and converting traffic into sales – and that’s what we’re here for.

For more information on how to position your brand and products on the Amazon marketplace, contact ashley@retaildatapartners.com