Amazon plays a large role in the e-commerce landscape because of its impact on the customer journey. From research to purchasing a product, there are many steps a consumer goes through in order to make that final decision to buy a product, and Amazon has infiltrated every step. This becomes a double edged sword, as you try to drive purchases on your brand’s website. If you are an Amazon seller, how do you establish a relationship with your customers past your Amazon product page?
Amazon has a lot of policies in place that prevent directing customers off of the marketplace and to your website. However, it is possible to get direct purchases from your Amazon customers without breaking the rules. Adlucent will show you how this can be done both online and offline with product bundling, package inserts, follow-up emails, reviews, and Facebook ads.
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01. Keep Customers Wanting More by Bundling Your Amazon Products
First, consider bundling your products on the marketplace and selling individual items on your e-commerce site. Before we go more in-depth about bundles, let’s quickly talk about how they are different from selling multipacks on Amazon. Unlike a bundle where complementary items are packaged together, a multipack consists of items that are the same. Product bundles give customers a preview of the variety of the products you sell, improve your margins on Amazon, and can potentially result in repeat purchases, too.
For example, assume you sell a shaving kit, and you offer three things in that kit: a razor as the primary product, shaving cream, and three extra replaceable blades. Limit to offering individual replacement blades on your website, instead of on Amazon. That way, the customer will have to purchase directly from your site when their blades run out because the ones included in the bundle will not last forever.
What if your customer reaches out to you through the Amazon listing asking for replacement blades? You can let them know that you do not sell these replacement items on the marketplace, which will offer a hint to check out your website instead.
“Hello [Name], thank you for reaching out. Unfortunately, we do not sell [item(s)] individually on Amazon. We will let you know if we do in the future.”
How Bundling Can Increase Your AOV
Another way that bundles are beneficial is through increasing your average order value (AOV). By bundling products, you benefit from increasing the amount of money you make in the marketplace while also increasing your margins to make up for the cost of selling on the marketplace. Mixing a primary product with others will provide a higher AOV compared to selling a single razor.
While it may sound counterintuitive to leave your Amazon customer wanting more, if they want to continue using your product, they will find you. It’s against Amazon’s policy to explicitly lead customers to your website, so you must leave it up to them to Google your company or contact your customer service team once you have best practices in place. Using these tactics, Amazon customers are more likely to make direct purchases on your website.
Winning the Buy Box on Amazon Through Bundling
Often, your competitors or resellers will offer some of the same products as you, but only one seller will win the Buy Box for a particular SKU. Ways to win the Buy Box include offering one of the lowest prices among your competitors, including the price of shipping in the price, and the ability to offer Prime shipping from Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Those merchants who are under FBA will already have more of an advantage compared to those who ship themselves. This is because Amazon prioritizes FBA sellers and gives them the ability to offer their customers faster shipping.
Amazon fees are subtracted from what a merchant makes on a single product, and they may not make the margins needed to be successful in the marketplace. By bundling products, you can price your product fairly and lower the number of competitors you are going up against, creating unique combinations of your merchandise.
Using the example shaving kit we mentioned above, imagine how many competitors are selling high-end razors. Plenty of sellers may compete for the Buy Box with the same SKUs as you. Thinking outside the box and into the customer’s mind will help you beat competitors. One way to do this is to look at the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section. You can get an idea of what other people are looking for, such as shaving gel, a brush, and replaceable blades. Bundling products you know people want can give you a unique SKU that no other seller has and gives you zero competition if you are the only merchant offering that product mix – an automatic Buy Box success.
Amazon Bundling Don’ts:
Although most products can be sold together, Amazon does not allow grouping exclusively multiples of these types of products:
- Video Games
For example, a bundle composed of a primary product like a gaming system can pair with a video game and a controller. However, three different video games cannot be sold together; there needs to be variety in the products.. And, a group of multiples of the same product will always be considered a multipack, rather than a bundle.
02. Use Package Inserts to Establish Value
Insert cards are going to be one of the first things that your customer sees when they open their package, so they should provide some sort of value and guide consumers to take action. Strategically design your package insert cards to motivate your Amazon customers to visit your website in addition to returning to your Amazon store.
Insert cards can encourage customers to:
- Directly reach out to the company with any customer service questions
- Register the product directly on your website for an incentive (i.e. free items, discounts for future purchases or warranties)
- Leave a review for the product on Amazon
- Follow your company on social media
- Take advantage of an Amazon discount code
- View other content your company may have like blogs or instructional videos
What Are the Qualities of an Effective Insert Card?
The goal of insert cards is to make your customers feel valued. Remind them about why they purchased your product in the first place. Write out all the great qualities of the item and how it will help them with the problem they have. Also, listing out some tips about the product will be much appreciated, such as any extra accessories that they could benefit from, links to helpful instructional videos, or warranties they could sign up for to protect their product. Ask them to reach out to you with any concerns they may have by providing a customer service number so they know to contact you directly.
Depending on what products a customer orders, they may think that it is coming from Amazon and not an actual company. In this case, it is best to establish that you are a real business that created this product for someone like them by using your insert card for personalization. The best ways to do this are by:
- Including your company logo
- Thanking them for purchasing from you
- Providing your customer service number in case they have any questions
- Providing your social media handles and asking them to tag you in any photos they take of the product in use
By offering support, you can begin to nurture the customer relationship and spark curiosity about your brand.
The Omnichannel Approach: How Insert Cards Open up the Possibilities
Omnichannel marketing has become ever more important as consumers continue to become more purposeful in their shopping habits, researching products on one device, while converting on another – or in-store! Insert cards in Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) and Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) orders can support a multi-touch approach that brings your retail site top-of-mind. Guiding customers from Amazon to your social media pages is one way to encourage direct purchases. There are no rules that Amazon has against leading your customers to your social media accounts so it is best to take advantage of it by listing your accounts on your insert cards. And, we’ve created a helpful insert template (in a variety of file formats) to help you get started on optimizing your Amazon sales for omnichannel success.
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Just fill out the form at the end of this post.
Amazon Package Insert Don’ts:
- Do not use package inserts designed to solely drive your customers away from Amazon
- Do not offer incentives or bribe the customer to leave a review
03. Send a Post-Purchase Follow-up Email to Your Customer
A follow-up with your customers after they’ve purchased a product from you is the perfect way to develop a relationship and possibly create a repeat customer. Here is an example of an email that was sent to a customer after a purchase of a yoga mat:
In the email above, the company highlights how “this is just the beginning of Yoga Design Lab,” which can spark curiosity for the customer. Messaging like this can motivate a potential buyer to research more about your company and ultimately may lead to a direct purchase on your e-commerce site.
Based on the best practices for feedback emails, you should include the following:
- A “Thank You” to the customer for purchasing your product
- Offer a promo code for when they are buying from you again on Amazon
- Ask for the customer to take time to leave a review
- Leave a link for them to contact you directly if they have issues or questions
- Tips or tricks about the product that would be beneficial
Leave a lasting impression by making the email personal and helpful. Take advantage of the customer's attention throughout the email by offering an incentive, a place to contact you, and tips about the product, and then close by communicating that you value them as a customer. You never know if this will lead to future purchases or them telling others about your product.
Amazon Follow-Up Email Don’ts:
- Do not include a link to your website for customers to view
04. Take The Time to Respond to Amazon Feedback and Ratings
After asking for feedback with insert cards and follow-up emails, take the time to go through your reviews and respond to any customers who were not completely satisfied. Quickly replying to negative reviews is the best way to salvage a relationship with any unhappy customers and show that your team is personable and helpful. A thoughtful reaction can go a long way to reconnect the consumer with your brand and even inspire future purchases.
Why Reviews Make All The Difference
It is no secret that there has been an increase in the buyer power consumers have. They will consistently do research before committing to a purchase. Both in-store and online, people will reference Amazon reviews in order to see what others thought about the product. Having negative reviews or no reviews at all in these moments can really harm your business, especially if you are trying to get Amazon customers to purchase directly from you.
It is important to minimize the number of negative reviews you have, but how? Since online purchases exclude the tangible experiences of shopping, like feeling fabrics and gauging product size, it is best practice to be as transparent and descriptive as possible in your product listings. Take advantage of Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) and the key product features sections of your listings. List out if your product will need an extra piece that isn’t included (like a light bulb), if it takes some time to start seeing results or other FAQ that you know people have contacted you about. Think from the customer’s perspective – what do they need to know to have the best experience possible with my product? And, in what ways can I lessen any obstacles to success?
57% of purchasing decisions made on Amazon were driven by positive product reviews in 2019, according to a survey done by Zogby Research Services. This highlights how Amazon is used as a product research tool by most consumers, which means that each of your listings must stand out against other sellers. Being mindful of your customer’s experience by providing them with all the information they need to know is a step in the right direction. When you receive good reviews, it will help guide other people to purchasing from your brand. 66% of Amazon users use Amazon to compare your products to your competitors’ before they turn to search engines, brand websites, or social media, according to a Zogby survey taken in 2019. The better the content you provide to convince your potential buyers to trust you, the more likely they are to purchase from you directly.
Keeping up with your product reviews has so many benefits. It allows you to speak directly with your customer, help them will any issues they may have, and ultimately gain their loyalty. Responding to negative reviews in an empathetic way and thanking those who left positive reviews will show potential buyers that you are a brand that cares. Management of your reviews is what can help determine if your Amazon buyers will purchase from you directly in the future, depending on how you form a relationship with them now.
Amazon Review Response Don’ts:
- Do not give a link to your website for customers to view
05. Create Custom Audiences for Facebook Ads to Target Amazon Customers
Facebook ads target specific audiences that you build based on your customers' key demographics. To create an audience with your Amazon customers, download a Seller Central report with your customers’ name and address information.
You can find your seller central report by:
- Clicking on “Reports” in Seller Central
- Then, click on “Fulfillment”
- Go to the Sales tab in “Fulfillment Reports”
- Choose “Amazon Fulfillment Reports” and select “Amazon Fulfilled Shipments”
- Choose your date range and export it for Excel
To build your audience, the only information you need is the buyer name, city, state and postal code. When you export your fulfilled shipments report, you can remove all but these columns below. The “buyer-name” column will have both the first and last name so make sure to separate the last name into its own column as seen below.
Next, upload this information to Facebook as a Custom Audience. Facebook will begin to find as many profiles as possible that match the information you uploaded. Although Facebook will not provide you with the actual profiles, because that would go against privacy rules, you will be able to target those users with ads.
Using Amazon buyer data to build a target audience, that is similar to your Amazon customers, is the best way to bring traffic to your own website without breaking any rules. If you want to broaden the scope, you can also test out “Lookalike Audiences,” to target other people who are similar to your Amazon buyers. This will help you attract customers who are not familiar with your product on Amazon.
Although Amazon has a lot of strict policies set in place, there are still ways to play within the rules and get direct purchases from your Amazon customers. By bundling your products, taking advantage of package inserts, sending follow-up emails, responding to your reviews and utilizing Facebook ads, you increase the likelihood of getting your customers to convert on your site.
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