In the second part of our conversation with the managing director of ChannelAdvisor Australia Simon Clarkson we look at what it will take for Australian retailers to find success on Amazon, and how to get started.
Know the requirements
Before you can begin selling on any marketplace, you need to understand the requirements. For example, different marketplaces have different standards around things like shipping and customer service, which you have to be aware of before you can start to sell and succeed on the platform.
“When you sell through your own site you have the option to set how quickly you send products etc. but marketplaces often set that for you and you have to comply,” said Clarkson. “This can be challenging from an operational and logistics point of view.”
While it can be a challenge to stay on top of the various requirements, Amazon, like many marketplaces, has a lot of resources you can consult before you start—make sure you do.
Look at the landscape
While Amazon is setting up operations in Australia for the first time, it has already entered (and disrupted) other markets around the world. This means there is a wealth of information available about what works, and what doesn’t, for retailers selling on the marketplace. Use this to your advantage.
“What is important to remember is that Amazon may be new to Australia, but it’s not new to the global market,” said Clarkson. “We can look overseas and see what’s working and what we can bring to the local market.”
Use your data
The large numbers of sellers and products that attract millions of consumers to Amazon also make it difficult to stand out. To ensure your products are seen by potential customers, Clarkson said you need to have the appropriate data.
“It all starts with having the right data [and] different marketplaces have different data requirements. That’s where ChannelAdvisor comes into its own—we give retailers and brands the best chance of being found.”
ChannelAdvisor can turn your product data feed into optimised product listings that give you greater chance of being seen by consumers. The company can also help you use your data to grow, by providing insights into your sales history, top performers, inventory, and transactions and trends across the marketplace.
“This is a key factor,” said Clarkson. “It’s not just having your products show up, and having data and insights, but consolidating this information into one portal so you have an overview of how your business is doing online.”
Although the temptation may be to just upload products that sell well on your website to Amazon, Clarkson said you should list a wide range in order to test what works.
“Each marketplace has a different audience demographic, so you really need to list as broadly as possible to get data and insights across the entire product range rather than guessing or assuming [which products will do well].
“Having a broad range also allows you to react quickly to changes in the market. That’s where technology partners like ChannelAdvisor can provide support for retailers to help consolidate data and show you what’s working and what’s not.”
With so many brands competing to be seen by Amazon’s massive audience, it pays to promote your brands on the platform. Rather than taking a scattergun approach with advertising it’s advisable to use the data you collect to pinpoint the best products to advertise to get maximum returns.
“ChannelAdvisor creates data insights around the best products to advertise,” said Clarkson. “We provide a lot of advertising tools to help retailers and brands do promoted listings and sponsored products.”
This will help expose your products to a larger audience and hopefully help you acquire customers who may otherwise never have discovered your brand.
Don’t get complacent
So you’ve started selling on Amazon and things are going well—what’s next? You can’t afford to be complacent, so continue to monitor your operations. ChannelAdvisor can provide insights that will help you continue to grow, including strategies about where you should go next, what the competition landscape looks like, and other channels to market you should consider.
If you missed the first half of our chat with Simon, click here to learn about the three main reasons why you should take advantage of Amazon’s Australian expansion.
Want the latest retail news delivered straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up to the weekly retailbiz newsletter.