Will Marketplace Pages Supplant Traditional Brand Websites?

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Will Marketplace Pages Supplant Traditional Brand Websites?

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Amazon’s a busy place. The marketplace is more saturated than ever with offers all grasping for the attention of consumers.

Launching on a marketplace platform as an emerging brand or an SME isn’t plain sailing, and a traditional website can sometimes feel like a smarter business decision as other sellers flock to Amazon.

But with the wealth of tools available on marketplaces, sellers can quickly climb the ranks to sit alongside their established competitors. That frees time to focus on the most valuable asset an online seller can have: good customer service.

This doesn’t mean traditional websites should go the way of the dinosaur, but both parties are better suited at different points in the customer purchase journey and therefore should be used for different purposes.

Scaling on Amazon

Brands can scale on Amazon for a relatively small sum, especially in comparison to the costs of building website authority on Google, which drives just a fraction of the same traffic.

Sellers on the platform also needn’t splash out on web designers. Its A+ content gives brands room to play with the layout of their landing pages and pepper them with rich imagery and video. A striking format helps shoppers who are after a quick browse on their commute, for instance.

Businesses can also use this to formulate bespoke profiles that replicate the quality of their websites. This way, customers know that the brand has authority and can be trusted to protect their interests.

That’s because all too often, copycat sellers find their way onto search pages. While a lower price point might steer a purchase, a negative experience with lower quality products will deter people from investing in the product - or even the category - again. Brands need premium positionings to show why they’re worth the extra penny.

The overheads that come with launching a website can be challenging; web hosting can set sellers back a significant chunk. But Amazon takes those costs on itself, giving brands spare income to invest in marketing strategies that will grow their businesses, like sponsored display ads and retargeting.

Google and Amazon serve different purposes, so communicate differently

Phoney reviews on Amazon are a problem within its own ecosystem, but they’re also spiralling into social media and are now almost impossible to police. While the 5-star rating will always be a bonus, the value of a review in making a purchase decision will dwindle as it becomes harder to authenticate.

This is where the distinct brand voice comes in. While websites are more effective in engaging with customers on issues like refunds, vouchers, and things that can be solved by a chatbot, Amazon enables personal relationships with customers.

For example, sellers can respond directly to reviews, driving loyalty from their existing customer base and reassuring newcomers erring on the side of caution. They can also make the purchase journey easier by sharing answers to common questions on their landing pages.

Amazon isn’t alone in helping to foster relationships. Digital and social commerce platforms have used the pandemic to drive connections with shoppers avoiding the high street.

One case in point is Italian fashion brand Motivi, which has opted for store associates to host its livestreams, rather than influencers with little connection to the brand. The personal touch will always win.

Why traditional websites and Amazon platforms aren’t mutually exclusive

A traditional website identified through Google and an Amazon landing page complement each other in a customer’s purchase journey, but they serve different purposes. Brands must recognise how shopper habits differ on each.

Shoppers are more likely to pen a category into Google’s search tab and then browse reviews on third-party platforms to narrow their choices down. Google sits at the upper end of the funnel.

A brand’s traditional website therefore needs a strong SEO strategy - and to know what keywords its competitors are using - to capture a shopper’s attention.

But by the time a customer comes to Amazon, they’ll have a robust idea of the brands they want to buy from and will likely be vetting reputability and comparing price-points.

This is where brands must take advantage of Amazon’s A+ content to ensure that - even if their products are more costly - shoppers will get more bang for their buck.

But it’s not the end for brands who didn’t make the wishlist. Taking advantage of Amazon’s ASIN targeting platform allows sellers to advertise on an established competitor’s page.

Amazon landing pages and old-school websites are used for different purposes by shoppers. But for brands looking to scale, marketplaces like Amazon provide the fast, cost-efficient route to developing a profile that guarantees experience and care beyond the platform.

A traditional website should be positioned as a showroom, introducing shoppers to the brand and its suite, while Amazon is a deeper dive into products that incentivises them to ‘add to basket’.

Of course, all with the added benefit of marketing on a global platform that attracts 197 million users a day.

Matt Howes is client partner at Amazon e-commerce specialist agency melody

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Will Marketplace Pages Supplant Traditional Brand Websites?

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