Off Amazon Growth for your Private Label Business

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Growth beyond Amazon Marketplace

It can be easy to get stuck in the mindset that “growth” in your Amazon business means that you have to add new products, new variations, or expand to another marketplace globally or online.

But there are additional ways within Amazon’s own ecosystem that you can expand your brand’s exposure and footprint and grow your business.

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Merch by Amazon

One of my favorite additions to Amazon’s line-up in recent years. I worked with the team that launched it, and it’s been so fun watching it grow!

The clients who have been able to successfully leverage merch in their business are those who have added t-shirts as an addition to their current product line. For example, if you are selling kitchen accessories, add a line of t-shirts that have funny sayings about cooks and also offer them on your website, along with a branded tee. Nearly every large brand out there has branded merchandise, because consumers buy it.

Ideas for using Merch by Amazon:

  • Add your brand and logo to a tee and make available
        on your website
  • Add a line of tees that are within the same product
        family as your physical products
  • Use images and decor from your product line to
        create matching tees

One thing to keep in mind – the women’s tees are very slim fit. So be prepared for some returns if you’re catering to women buyers.

Associates Program

I honestly think that being an Amazon Affiliate is something every private label seller should be doing. Here’s why: you know your audience and the market for your products. You know your products and what goes along with them through the “customers who bought also bought” widget on the Amazon website. You can convert that customer behavior into sales of products you don’t even own.

Here’s how it works: you have a website, you sign up for Associates, and you embed their links onto your website to gain commissions on what you sell if someone clicks on your advertisement, then purchases on Amazon.

Ideas for using Associates:

  • If you’re selling widget A which is commonly bought
        with widget B, then put the advertisement for widget B next to your
        confirmation of sale page on your website
  • If your product lends itself to tutorials, videos,
        or instructional content of some kind, then link additional accessories or
        products within your tutorial on your website
  • In addition to a website, you can share on Twitter
        and Facebook, so you can expand your reach. Instagram ads can link
        directly to your mobile website, so you can also combine social and
        website marketing

Kindle Direct Publishing (formerly CreateSpace)

Self publishing is another great way to expand your brand’s footprint on Amazon. One of my favorite examples of a solid social media strategy to grow a brand presence is the brand “So Yummy” which started as a Facebook page. Anyone who follows the page knows that there’s new content regularly with clever new ways to make delicious food – desserts, picnics, dinners, and more.

If you’re a brand selling home decor items, then your videos, images, and tutorials for your website showing how to use the item the best way can easily be turned into a self published book that you can link on your website. As can be seen with the content creator behind So Yummy, who now has a best selling cookbook, products to make food can be your bread and butter on Amazon, but the content you make to sell those products shouldn’t go to waste either.

Ideas for using CreateSpace:

  • Write a tutorial on how to use a particular product or tool that is needed for your product, such as a guide on outdoor survival for someone selling survival gear
  • Create a cookbook if you’re selling in grocery or kitchen
  • Create educational “kits” for homeschoolers or other educational venues that work with your product

Amazon Alexa

Alexa, along with Google Home, is quickly becoming a common household item. After all, since your phone is already listening all the time, why not add another smart device to your home to allow Amazon or Google to listen in? All joking aside, voice search for products is becoming more and more important, and so therefore is learning how to leverage Alexa for your business.

To do this, I recommend Storyline, a tool for creating Alexa skills without coding. It’s a drag and drop interface that just requires a bit of patience to learn.

Ideas for using Alexa:

  • Create a game or fun quiz where you place your offer
        at the end of the game
  • Add products to another service or skill such as
        booking a hair appointment, then offering your hair care products upon
        confirmation

Amazon Business

Many sellers are already signed up with Amazon Business, because it’s already in their Amazon Seller Central account. However, quite a
few more aren’t and should be.

Amazon Business allows you to set prices at product volume tiers to take best advantage of your business buyers’ volume purchases. Amazon may also allow for lower commission fees on large purchases, depending on your account setup and category.

Even more cool, you can  augment your listings by uploading CAD drawings, User Guides, and more, as well as list multiple certifications and quality credentials, directly on your detail page. If you are offering a high quality professional version of your product, you can limit it just to business users.

Ideas for Amazon Business:

  • Create sales tiers at 6 units purchased, 12 units
        purchased, etc, for 5%, 7%, or more off per purchase
  • Add your user manual and certifications for your
        business, such as if you’re a woman owned or minority owned business,
        directly onto the Amazon page for customers to view

Honorable Mention: Amazon Services

While it’s not for everyone, it’s worth mentioning that in addition to selling products on Amazon, Amazon also allows sales of services, such as expert setup. If your product line is an outgrowth of your service business, then you should sign up for Amazon Services as well.

For example, I worked with someone who worked in a service related to home goods who also offered products in the same space and professional setup can be offered when those products are purchased.

Amazon has many new lines and offerings they’re expanding
and growing into that can benefit your branded products business, and many of
them don’t require any additional upfront product costs.

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About the Author
I got my first job at Amazon because of my German language skills from my Master’s in History. Take that, people who said I’d never get a good job with my liberal arts degree! I soon learned that I’m not good at taking orders and started my MBA coursework at Seattle University.

I worked at Amazon for 8 years, as a liaison for law enforcement in Fraud/Transaction Risk, a quality and compliance manager in Product Compliance for Amazon Brands and imports globally, and lastly, managing hardware for Website Availability. I love the flexibility that working for clients on Amazon rather than for Amazon affords me.

In my not significant free time, I do fiber crafts such as spinning, crocheting, and embroidery, and I have been in a community band since 2009, playing French Horn, Trombone, or Euphonium depending on the band’s needs that season.

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