Amazon is, no doubt, the biggest online selling platform in the world. Actually, it is much bigger than it looks. It has 13 marketplaces and more than 300 million registered users. This is Amazon’s competitive advantage.
The retail giant has produced hundreds of millionaires. It has helped many online entrepreneurs and small business-owners grow their business and reach new heights of success. But, being a successful Amazon entrepreneur is not as easy as it looks. There are more than five million sellers across all Amazon marketplaces around the world. The competition is stiff.
To win big in the Amazon selling game and gain a strong competitive advantage, you must have the right strategies. You must not only understand your potential customers. You should also seek to understand your competition – their motivation, strategies, strengths, and weaknesses.
How to Be One Step Ahead of Your Amazon Competition?
To achieve massive success as an Amazon seller, you must stay one step ahead of your competition. The following tips can help you gain massive competitive advantage:
Tip #1: Do A Detailed Competitor Analysis
In marketing and strategic management, competitor analysis (CA) is the process of assessing the weaknesses and strengths of potential and current competitors. It’s often called competitive analysis.
Competitive analysis helps you understand your competitor. It can help you expand your reach and increase your market share. It can help you create an effective brand positioning strategy and eventually become a leader in your niche or industry.
Here’s how you can do a comprehensive competitor analysis:
Know your competitors.
It’s hard to beat someone you don’t know. This is why you should take time to get to know your competitors. Search products that are similar to yours on Amazon and make a list of your direct and indirect competitors.
For example, if you’re selling hiking bags, you should not only list down sellers who also sell hiking bags. You can also include laptop backpack sellers on your list as they can be your indirect competitors, too.
Categorize your competitors into various levels, including:
These sellers are your direct competitors. This means that they are either selling exactly the same product as yours or they are targeting the same market.
These competitors sell something that’s a bit similar to your product. They are either offering a high end or a low end version of your product. For example, let’s say that you’re selling floral dresses for a reasonable price. This means that your primary competitors are brands like H&M, Forever21, and Mango. Your secondary competition could be high end brands like Marchesa, Roberto Cavalli, and Emilio Pucci.
These competitors include businesses that sell products that are related to yours. For example, if you’re selling yoga pants, your tertiary competitors are those selling sports bras.
Identifying your tertiary competition comes in handy, especially when you’re planning to expand your business later on.
2. Track your competitors.
Once you’re done with your list, check out and track all your competitors. You can use Google alerts to find out what people say about them.
Check your competitor’s product detail pages to know what they offer and how they position their products on Amazon. You can also check out their social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) to see their best online practices.
How detailed and interesting are their product description? What’s their writing style?
What information do they include in their product description? Did they miss anything?
Do they give away newsletters to build their email list?
Do they have a blog?
Do they offer promotions and discounts?
What’s their “call to action” strategy? Are they direct and aggressive? Do they use layout and positioning to market certain products to the customers?
3. Check the customer’s customer experience.
To find your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, you must identify your competitor’s market positioning strategy.
Visit their product detail page (and website) to see why customers buy their products. Ask the following questions:
What customers are purchasing from them? Do they buy your competitor’s products because of price, experience, or brand value?
What makes your competitor’s products unique?
What makes their products different from yours?
What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses?
To obtain as much information about your competitors as possible, you have to the following:
Sign up for your competitor’s newsletter. This will help you see what kind of content they’re giving to their customers.
Read their blog.
Follow their social media accounts to see how they communicate to their customers.
Purchase the product so you get to see the kind of customer experience they offer. Take note of their shipping process and packaging.
Abandon the checkout process so you’d see their follow-up process.
4. Check your competitor’s sales data.
You can check your competitor’s ASINs to see the product’s sales trends. Looking at your competitor’s sales data helps you monitor the product demand, seasonality, and sales trends.
Amazon doesn’t disclose sales data, but you can check reviews to estimate your competitor’s sales. You can also use various tools like Jungle Scout to generate your competitor’s sales data.
You don’t have to watch your competitor’s every move like a hawk. But, conducting competitive analysis on a regular basis can help you win big in the Amazon game and keep you one step ahead of your competitors.
Tip #2: Do An Amazon Review Analysis
Before you start selling a product, type a related keyword on the Amazon search tab. For example, if you’re planning to sell headphones, you can type the general keyword “headphones” on the search tab. Check the first five results.
If you look at the image below, you’ll see that the top result has 1,791 reviews.
The next product has over 400 reviews.
This means that the competition is quite stiff and the existing top sellers are pretty hard to beat. This means that there’s almost no product gap.
To avoid having to deal with almost unbeatable competitors, make sure that your top 10 direct competitors have less than three hundred reviews.
Reviews not only measure customer satisfaction. They also measure sales performance. To maximize your profit and increase your market share, you have to consider the following factors:
Amazon Best Seller Rank – BSR is an indication of product demand. Remember that your main goal as an entrepreneur is to earn as much money as you can. One of the fastest ways to achieve this goal is to sell a product with high demand.
Number of Reviews – If the top sellers in the product category have low reviews, this usually means that there’s a product gap. This means that new sellers can still enter the market to close that gap.
Tip #3 – Check Your Competitors Pricing Strategy
A lot of sellers drive down their prices during holidays and paydays to maintain their Buy Box share. They constantly engage in price wars to win the Buy Box game.
To keep yourself one step ahead of your competitors, you have to understand your competitor’s pricing strategy. You must accurately estimate their floor price and see how low they can go.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to participate in price wars to increase your Buy Box share. You just have to set a reasonable price, produce a high quality product, ship on time, and offer a great customer experience.
Tip #4 – Check Your Competitor’s Optimization Strategy
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process of using strategic keyword placement to increase a product’s visibility in the Amazon ecosystem.
Check the product pages of your competitors and observe their keyword placements. If most of your competitors don’t have a solid optimization strategy, then there’s room for you to gain competitive advantage.
Tip #5 – You Must Have A Strong PPC Strategy
PPC allows you to drive more traffic into your product detail pages and gain more sales. To outperform your competitors, you must create a solid PPC (pay per click) strategy. Use manual targeting to avoid repeating same ads. You must also carefully organize your campaigns and use long-tail keywords. These keywords are more specific and can attract customers who are already at the bottom of the sales funnel.
If you have a huge seller catalog, you should create various ad groups based on relevant keywords. Let’s say that you’re selling “shoes”. In this case, the keyword “shoes” is relevant to all your products. But, the keyword “women’s shoes” is only applicable to some products.
It’s no secret that the retail giant was named after a jungle. But, the truth is, it can be a dog-eat-dog jungle. The competition is stiff.
To win the Buy Box game and achieve massive success as an Amazon seller, you must know your competitors.
Knowing your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses can strengthen your market positioning strategy and help you gain competitive advantage.
Contact us and we can help you create strategies that can help you beat your competitors and join the Amazon millionaires’ club.