Originally published on December 6, 2019, updated January 22, 2020
Amazon expert Gary Nealon shares his techniques for diversifying your traffic outside of Amazon in this guest post.
It’s not exactly a secret that Amazon has transformed how we do business.
Today, Amazon is the most valuable public company in the world –and ships a tremendously high number of goods to billions of people around the world.
In fact, Amazon accounts for 43% of online sales – and for many people, especially Amazon Prime users, it’s the place to go when purchasing something. In fact, according to marketing company BloomReach, over half of all Americans head over to Amazon to carry out their initial search for products; choosing Amazon over other online retailers –and even search engines.
Access to this immediate audience, combined with the myriad of tools that it has, makes Amazon a hot place for sellers to be.
Of course, the downside to all of this popularity is that when it comes to selling on Amazon, you’re up against some stiff competition. Everyone has an Amazon storefront these days, and with Amazon’s algorithm prioritizing the cheapest options in search, you’re largely competing on price, which as we all know, can quickly turn into a race to the bottom.
However, another way to stand out and get more traffic is by taking matters into your own hands, and being proactive when it comes to sending traffic to your listings.
Yes, I know, part of Amazon’s appeal for sellers is that it’s easy to set up shop and get started. But the truth is, relying solely on the platform itself for your traffic can be a risky strategy, and could be costing you valuable leads.
Important note: In addition to diversifying your traffic sources to the platform, it’s also a good idea to diversify from the platform itself, to create your own website and start growing your brand apart from Amazon –something I’ll touch on in a minute.
If you’d like to start making more sales on Amazon, then you’ll want to diversify your traffic sources. With this in mind, here’s a look at some tips for driving more relevant traffic your way.
The first step in getting more traffic is streamlining your Amazon storefront, ensuring that it’s fully optimized and ready to draw visitors in. Just like search engine optimization for your website, if your Amazon on-page SEO isn’t strong, you won’t be able to get your products to rank that well, no matter how much you’re doing to drive traffic your way.
You’ll want to make sure the following are optimized:
When it comes to keywords, use the most relevant ones in the product title. Semi-relevant keywords can be included in the backend keywords section in Seller Central. Finally, less relevant keywords and phrases can be used in the product description itself – included in the bullet points, for example.
Another excellent way to stand out and increase your sales on Amazon is by winning the coveted Buy Box. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sellers are a lot more likely to secure the Buy Box, so you’ll want to consider opting into this if you haven’t done so already. Apart from this, there are a number of other things that you can do to help increase your chances of your products getting the place of honor in Amazon customer search results.
Once your Amazon listings are optimized, you can start focusing on sending traffic to them.
Improving your on-page SEO is a great place to start, but don’t stop there. There’s a lot that you can do to send prospects your way.
Here’s a look at some ideas now:
Content creation can be a great way to draw in traffic to your website – or, send traffic to your Amazon storefront. To get the most for your efforts, it’s important to start by identifying your target audience. Know who you’re targeting, and then look to create content that’s optimized for them. Blogging can be a great way to draw in leads and allows you to reach prospects wherever they’re at in the sales funnel. Plus, blog post traffic is compounding, which means that traffic from your posts can increase over time.
Take a look at these tips for starting a business blog.
Email campaigns can be another great way to generate leads. But Amazon doesn’t allow you to collect customer emails. So you’ll need to grow your email list in order to benefit from this. Just another reason to set up your own website! With your own site, you can implement a lead magnet – like a free download, and advertise it with a popup or toolbar notification. If you use WordPress, there are a number of plugins, like Hubspot’s All-In-One Marketing Tool, that make this easy to do. Grow your email list, and you can start sending segmented emails to your prospects.
Another reason to collect email addresses is so you can use them to create targeted social media advertising campaigns – drastically boosting your ad campaigns’ effectiveness! Facebook Ads are an especially effective way to create targeted ads. If you collect your customers’ phone numbers or emails, and your customers have this information connected to their account, you can target them directly with these ads. Once you have a list of emails, you can also use them to create lookalike audiences, allowing you to target other people who are similar to your prospects. Remember, you can't collect emails from Amazon orders, and using contact information from Amazon to re-target is strictly against Terms of Service.
Teaming up with an influencer is a fast way to send relevant traffic to your listing. The great thing about influencer marketing is that it gives you immediate access to an already existing audience that’s similar to your own. Just make sure you find someone who shares a target audience with you. Not sure where to start? Amazon has their own program to help brands connect with influencers.
No matter what sources you’re using to send traffic to Amazon, you’ll want to avoid sending them directly to your Amazon page.
Why does this matter? Simple: all of this outside traffic could influence your Amazon page’s conversion rates, which could negatively impact how you rank in Amazon!
Just consider for a moment the following:
Non-prime Amazon shoppers have an average conversion rate of 13%.
For Amazon Prime members, this percentage is 74%!
However, the average conversion rate across all internet retailers is just 3.32%.
This means that there’s a good chance that traffic you’re sending to your Amazon page will drastically send your conversion rates down. For this reason, it’s a good idea to send all external traffic to a dedicated landing page.
Another benefit of using a landing page is it’ll give you a chance to collect email addresses. If you’re not sure where to start, consider using a tool like LeadPages or LandingCube to create your landing pages.
Whether or not you’re having success with Amazon, it’s always a good idea to work on diversifying your storefront as well.
For one thing, putting all of your eggs in one basket’s always risky. Amazon might be the hottest place to sell today, but relying too heavily on any one third-party platform is always risky. If something happens to your Amazon account –say someone opens up a dispute against you or a less-than-reputable seller steals your listings, you’ll be at the mercy of the platform. Should Amazon ends up freezing your account, even temporarily, this move could cause tremendous damage to your bottom line, especially if it’s your only storefront.
In addition to lowering your risk, setting up your own storefront also allows you to grow your brand –something that’s hard to do on Amazon. Having your own website can also help to give you more credibility, which could boost your sales on Amazon. Say a prospective customer is on the fence about a product you’re selling. If they Google your brand or product and see that you have a website, it’ll give you credibility and help to boost their confidence. Your own website can also help to add a layer of protection from scammers, helping to protect you from theft. Don’t forget to register with Amazon’s Brand Registry to make sure you’re the sole owner of your product names as well.
There are a number of third-party platforms and marketplaces that you can sell on and a few different ways that you can go about setting up your own shop.
Here are your three main options:
Each option has its own pros and cons. With your own website, you have complete control, but creating and maintaining an eCommerce store on your own, along with everything from shopping cart functions to inventory management is tremendously time-consuming. On the flip side of this is selling directly on a platform like eBay. With this option, it’s easy to set up and ready to go –no need to create a storefront or spend time on branding. However, the downside is that you’re once again at the mercy of a third-party platform, and won’t have the benefits that come along with creating your own brand, growing your business and cultivating your own customer base.
One of the most feasible options is using a third-party platform like Shopify. Going this route offers a number of benefits. You’ll be able to create your own storefront and branding, but of all of the backend processes, like inventory management and payment processing, are either built-in or available via plugins. It’s fast and effective –the best of both worlds really.
Since Shopify and WordPress are two of the most popular options today, let’s take a look at them now.
Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms today, and it’s easy to see why. With an easy-to-use website builder, it takes no time at all to set up shop. You can also set Shopify to integrate with your Amazon listings.
For a monthly subscription of $29, you can create a fully functioning online shop. Shopify’s shopping cart solution can sell, ship, and manage your products. You can also add products, process orders, and enter store data all from the dashboard. Fast and simple!
Likewise, WordPress is another popular platform for eCommerce stores. WordPress has come a long way from the early days when it was a blog platform, and it’s now estimated that WordPress powers some 30% of the internet! While WordPress itself isn’t exactly an eCommerce website, where WordPress really excels is in the wealth of valuable plugins that are available for it –including many free ones, and many eCommerce ones as well. WooCommerce is one such plugin. This tool is an open-source eCommerce plugin that provides just about everything you need to run an eCommerce shop.
Other third-party platforms that you may want to consider include:
One of the main benefits of using Amazon is that you have access to a flood of customers, all ready to buy. So when expanding into other platforms or your own website, one of the biggest challenges will be generating your own traffic. It’s important to ensure that you have a plan to drive traffic to your website, and you’ll need to be diligent with it.
The above tips on driving traffic to your Amazon storefront (content creation, email campaigns, social media ads, and influencer marketing) can all be used to send traffic to your own storefront as well. So make sure you’re ready to start doing some marketing and advertising or have someone ready to do it for you. Finally, just as you should with your Amazon listings, ensure that your website is optimized to help give it the best chance of ranking higher in search.
At the end of the day, success with eCommerce involves taking a proactive approach, no matter where you’re selling. And there’s a lot that you can do to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your eCommerce shop, whether you’re on Amazon or using a variety of platforms. With the above tips and strategies, you’ll be able to not only send traffic to your storefront, but also diversify your shop itself.
With the right approach, and collecting email addresses from your visitors, you’ll be able to create your own customer base; increasing your sales while at the same time growing your brand. A sustainable strategy that’ll help to set you up for long-term success.
Now, it’s time to get out there and set up shop!
What about you? Are you looking to send traffic to your Amazon shop or build your own brand? What’s the biggest challenge that you’re facing?
Originally published on December 6, 2019, updated January 22, 2020
This post is accurate as of the date of publication. Some features and information may have changed due to product updates or Amazon policy changes.