Why Amazon Product Reviews are Critical to Your Omnichannel Sales Strategy
The answer to this question, in two words: Product Research. How many new products have you purchased recently where you DID NOT do any product research online?
Here’s an exercise, search any product you’re interested in purchasing on Google. What do you find?
(Google search: “selfie stick”)
Invariably 3-4 or more of the top 10 search results will be Amazon.com product reviews. That’s a full 30-40% or more of the top content on the web about your products being generated by search-optimized content from Amazon. This is no accident. Amazon has a vested interest in driving traffic to their marketplace and has conversion metrics around rate of purchase for that traffic.
But perhaps more importantly, Amazon realizes that by displaying average product reviews for the top products, consumers are more likely to leverage their Marketplace for product research. And therein lies the importance of Amazon product reviews and the focus of this article.
The importance of product reviews in a true Omnichannel strategy cannot be understated. Reams of data support consumers ever-reducing level of trust in brands to speak accurately and truthfully about their own products. This is why, regardless of your opinion about Amazon and whether it should be a distribution focus for your brand, you cannot ignore Amazon.com.
Consumers expect and believe that other consumers (i.e. people “just like them”) will produce authentic information about products. Although several major news stories and articles have surfaced recently about inauthentic and paid reviews, there is still trust in numbers, and products with higher quantities of reviews will still generate a higher level of trust in the authenticity of those reviews. In the end, all of this means increased sales for your company.
At Amplio, we have a company core value of “Give Before You Get.” This sometimes means we speak with early-stage brands that are looking to connect with potential agency partners while still defining their go-to-market strategy, and the sales channels they plan to sell through. As astute business owners they’re looking at margin analysis by e-commerce channel---they’re considering Walmart.com, Jet.com, eBay.com and their own .com, and looking to make the best decisions to make their business dream a reality.
Each e-commerce platform has it’s pros and cons, and Amazon is no exception. But Amazon is a marketplace, and if a brand decides NOT to sell their product on Amazon, nothing is preventing another third-party reseller from realizing an arbitrage opportunity and listing your products, even if at a significantly higher price-point than your own .com.
Recall that in the search results featured above (at the time this article is being written) there are no search results for eBay.com, Walmart.com, Jet.com, Costco.com or any of the other online or bricks & mortar retailers making a large push into e-commerce. Amazon is still the king, and shows no signs of slowing.
At the end of the day it may not be all about building consumer trust, but as we continue to see major consumer purchase trends move online, consider the notion that it will become ever-more critical to be at the top of the search results. And as of today, your new customer acquisition strategy will be heavily dependent on what is being stated (reviews/ratings) about your products in the Amazon Marketplace.
We recommend owning the online experience for your brand, and we’ve found the best place for brands to do this is by utilizing Amazon as a sales channel in tandem with embracing the importance of consumer product research. This starts with understanding and accepting the criticality of product reviews/ratings and the shift in consumer online research when making their purchase decisions. Start early, monitor, manage, and take the Amazon Marketplace seriously, and this will increase your odds of success of growing your sales across all channels.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Amazon affects your customer’s purchase decision process, or if you’d just like to have a jolly good conversation refuting any part this blog post, feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.