Jun 08 2017
Compete against yourself for the sale

IRCE: Win the Sale When Going Head-to-Head with Your Own Brand

Jose Niño is the VP of ecommerce and digital marketing at Perry Ellis International, a brand with $3.3B in global retail sales with 24 global distribution offices. He knows how to get the sale. After impressing his superiors with his success on their ecommerce site, they gave him a budget and the associated responsibilities to perform wholesale marketing on Amazon. Put another way, he was asked to pay Amazon to beat him and his ecommerce budget, at the expense of his own direct to consumer sales.

Reframing his fight for the sale

He got over his despair by reframing his struggle to win the sale and externalizing it as a battle between Amazon and Google. Contrary to 2014 trends, most people start their product searches on Amazon, not Google (55% vs 28%!). His main objective was to supplement direct-to-consumer initiatives and align Amazon Marketing Services around hockey stick results.

Next, Nińo provided some compelling evidence to support bidding on branded terms. It’s counterintuitive to bid on products that rank high organically. It would seem wasteful, but when you don’t bid, you lose real estate on search engines to competitors who were bidding on their branded terms (lovingly referred to as “trolls” by our speaker). When Niño’s team didn’t bid, they saw a decrease in direct traffic on their direct to consumer site. What goes for Google paid search, goes for Amazon, too.

Monitoring changes to your amazon search results

Niño recommends staying aware of trending products on Amazon. The algorithm is always changing, and changes to competitors prices will affect your ranking. Imagine being on the third page and suddenly moving to the first. Lots of visibility and equity comes with that, and if you’re not paying attention, you won’t capitalize on it. One product did not achieve above the fold visibility, but when it started tracking in the top position, direct-to-consumer traffic improved 16%. If you don’t monitor, you may wrongly attribute that lift to a marketing campaign, and reinvest dollars in an effort that has no impact to the bottom line. You can also artificially create that traction by investing in impression sharing for products with high potential or a history of performing well.

Lastly, it doesn’t matter how much you spend on AMS campaigns if your Amazon product page stinks. Without callouts, product photography, and upsells you might lose the sale. One note from Niño, “complete the set.” If you’re spending a lot of money, you don’t want to have exit routes to competitors showing up right at the top. The option to add associated products pushes those routes downwards and out of the customer’s eye.

Matthew Rickerby

Head of Marketing

Matt began his career in ecommerce at Blue Acorn over seven years ago. His areas of expertise include persona development, account-based marketing, and content marketing. He has co-written speaking sessions for Bronto Summit, DIG South, GIANT, and Revolve, and received multiple awards for videography, blogging, and copywriting.

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