Taking Control of Brand Equity on Amazon, Part 1

Losing control of content on Amazon results in product misrepresentation, unhappy customers, and ultimately, brand erosion. For premium brands, it’s a nonstarter.

There are two primary avenues for controlling your brand story and presentation on Amazon – on product listing pages (including A+ Content) and through brand storefronts. You care about how your brand is represented in every other channel and medium. Amazon should be no exception. In part one of this two-part series, we’ll look at why (and how) to make the most of your product listings on Amazon.

Are Third-Party Sellers Impacting Your Listing Health and Harming Brand Equity?

A product listing or product detail page (PDP) is where a customer first discovers a product on Amazon. This page is a shared space and can include one or more offers from sellers (via Amazon Seller Central) or from Amazon directly (Amazon Vendor Central). By shared space, we mean listings are not “owned” by the brand or any one seller, nor are they static pages. In fact, if 3rd party sellers (authorized or otherwise) are selling your products, listings will frequently – and often incorrectly – be changed. That means, with every additional dealer, the risk increases that suboptimal content is contributed and listings become corrupted. Generally, Amazon does not stop or limit 3Ps from contributing content; this falls to the brand owner, or an agent like Montaro, to monitor, identify, and fix.

Delivering a Consistent Shopping Experience Wherever Consumers Choose to Shop

Even for brand owners selling exclusively through their own Seller Central account, listing details and design matters. Premium brands care about presentation and brand equity on their DTC website and on other online retailers. Why not Amazon? Marketplaces are notorious for being difficult to control – whether costly in terms of time or dollars. But brands leave a lot on the table when listings are left corrupt and unoptimized. The immediate and most obvious impact is that conversion rates and ultimately sales will be negatively impacted as shoppers lose trust in the product or purchase decision because of issues or gaps in the listing. But the follow-on effect is that shoppers may lose trust or respect in the brand itself over time — because of poor presentation in the channel, or because the products they receive in the mail aren’t what they were expecting due to listing issues (wrong size, color, style, or design, missing information, inaccurate information, etc.). The average Amazon shopper won’t notice the fine print on a PDP that shows the seller on record is a third-party seller, not the brand. Nor will they see this as a valid excuse for poor brand presentation or performance. Digitally native shoppers expect the premium brands they shop online to be consistently represented both on and off Amazon – that’s critically important for customer loyalty and trust. As a premium brand, you always ensure your DTC website is beautifully designed and optimized. The same should be true for your Amazon listings.

Optimizing Your Product Listing Pages and Taking Control of Your Brand

We’ve compiled a list of 10 tips and best practices for ensuring your PDPs are on point:

  1. Product information should be consistent with your DTC site. You want to avoid creating confusion or conflict for shoppers, especially considering that 74 percent of consumers start their online shopping searches on Amazon.
  2. Prioritize benefits-focused information (i.e. what the product allows you to do), rather than exclusively feature-focused details (e.g. it weighs 20 oz) in product bullets. When adding information ask yourself, for example, is 20 oz good? Bad? Why does the consumer care? What value does this add to their purchasing decision?
  3. Ensure bullets are keyword optimized to improve product performance in the Amazon algorithm. This will boost product visibility, sales, and PPC advertising performance.
  4. Use helpful imagery. Evaluate what the consumers’ pain points are, or what their purchase criteria/decision is, and use the available image spots to address them. Is sizing or fit a concern? If so, sizing charts, lifestyle images, or on-body images can be helpful to incorporate.
  5. Shoppers love video! According to Brightcove, 76% of consumers and 85% of Millennials say they’ve purchased a product or service after watching a video.
  6. Be thoughtful about SEO. No one wants to see a product filled with irrelevant keywords. Be intentional and precise when designing the product title. 
  7. Comparison charts are a great asset for customers when comparing and contrasting similar products.  A well-designed comparison chart helps brands highlight key differentiating features to inform consumers to make the best decision, in a concise and efficient format. They also help you spotlight the full product range, rather than risk losing the shopper to a competitor.
  8. Include A+ Content on every listing. A+ Content has been proven to boost conversion rates by 3-10% (or more!). This is your free space to focus on brand storytelling, product differentiation, consumer education, and to showcase the full range of products you sell through an interplay of text and images. (Added benefit – It also pushes Amazon recommendations from other brands further down the page.)
  9. Use the A+ Content templates provided by Amazon to provide relevant product details to help drive the purchase decision. Especially when it comes to bigger purchases, customers want to get as much information as possible about the product they are considering spending a large sum of money on.
  10. Use bullets, images, and A+ Content to answer common customer questions about your products. This avoids confusion and misaligned expectations, giving your customers the feeling that you are addressing their concerns before they could even voice them!
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Increase in shopper conversion by adding A+ Content to your listings (Amazon)
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of e-comm purchase failures are the result of missing or unclear product info (Nielsen Normal Group)
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of millennials say they’ve purchased a product or service after watching a video (Brightcove)