Insights - Brand & Marketing

Cracking Marketplaces Part 1: How to Scale Revenue

Atomberg, the home appliances brand, has grown its business to a $20 million run rate on Amazon. In the first of our two-part series on selling on marketplaces, we asked Arindam Paul, founding member and Head of Marketing & Strategy, to share his advice for this key distribution channel.

Illustration of different ecommerce actions

Given how critical marketplaces like Amazon are for brand discovery and revenue, there is surprisingly little available about how to scale and succeed on them.

Arindam Paul, founding member and Head of Marketing & Strategy, Atomberg, generously shared detailed advice, based on his own experience of growing the multi-crore brand on Amazon. 

To learn how Atomberg grew their brand across channels, also read this great case study.

Given that Sales = Traffic x Conversion, here’s Paul’s advice on the levers that influence these two critical variables.

How to Increase Traffic 


1. Focus hard on direct search

How can you get potential customers to search for you? 

Paul points out that this is something brands don’t do enough. He recommends that brand teams should start doing this from day one – trying to move up the funnel from conversion to awareness. 

How?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but the solution usually lies in brand building via content, advertising, events, PR, etc. 

For instance, in the early days, Atomberg would advertise on the Facebook and Google ecosystems, which would result in searches via Amazon. In the last two years, they have been more active with above-the-line (ATL) activities, which have resulted in a proportionate increase in searches. “Over time, as we did more brand building, the percentage share of our spends on Amazon went down, though the overall pie has grown”, says Paul. 

Insider Tip: Lookalike audiences are an effective way of reaching new likely audiences on the Meta and Google ecosystems. But for sellers on Amazon, this is a challenge since the marketplace doesn’t share buyer data. Atomberg’s workaround: The company uses email IDs from those who claim warranties on their site to form the base for lookalikes.

2. Be visible in category search

This can be a chicken-and-egg situation. The more you sell, the more Amazon is likely to show your brand in a  category search.

How?

  • Do product mapping correctly so you do not show up for the wrong searches. In Atomberg’s case, this meant excluding irrelevant searches like exhaust fans. 
  • Optimise page content to enhance your chances of showing up in search results. 

“Amazon optimises for purchase, they don’t care who the customer buys from. Make their job easier,” is Paul’s advice.

3. Experiment with ads

Until brand awareness rises, you will probably have to invest in marketplace ads.

How?

Split your ads into the following:

  1. Generic search: High volume, low conversion keywords. For Atomberg, this could be keywords like ‘fan’ and ‘ceiling fan.
  2. Specific generic: Keywords with a high possibility of conversion. Examples for Atomberg are ‘remote control fan,’ ‘IOT fan’ and ‘smart fan.’
  3. Competition: Study competition carefully. Judge their potential sources of traffic and create ads in that context. For example, bidding for relevant key phrases like competitor name+their successful product.  
  4. Your own brand: Insulate yourself against competition using the strategy in Point 3, by bidding for your own brand name, so that your ad shows up when someone searches for your brand.

If you’re on a limited budget, Paul recommends starting with 2, before moving to 1, 3 and 4.

Insider Tip: Study competitor reviews for opportunities to bake into your advertising strategy. For example, specific complaints about competitor products are an opportunity for you to advertise a better or differentiated product

How to Increase Conversion


1. Align operations

Anything less than 48 hour delivery sees a big drop-off in conversion. 

How?

Paul recommends making sure operations are aligned for a 2-day delivery and taking advantage of Amazon’s fulfilment.

2. Optimise page content

This is a critical step with multiple factors to consider.

a. Amplify triggers, solve for barriers

The information on your page must work to tip customers into purchase.

The best way to approach this is to think like a customer and make a list of aspects to cover.

What are the questions they may have before buying? These could be around product usage, warranty, functionality, compatibility, material, etc and are category-dependent.

b. Don’t skimp on quality

High quality images and videos create trust and help your brand stand out in category search. Well-crafted media can be used to overcome barriers and build positive brand perception. 

c. Utilise the limited photo space intelligently 

Amazon allows you to upload 6 product photos. Make each of these work and tell a different story or solve a different problem – do not just upload multiple product shots that don’t offer additional value to the customer.  

Insider Tip: Show the product in use. If short on budget, just create a slide with a bulleted list of benefits.

4. Place content strategically

Most page visitors do not go down to the second scroll to view what Amazon calls A+ content. This is especially true of mobile users. Make sure your content above the fold is complete and compelling.

“Amazon gives you a lot of space to put various kinds of content. It is a matter of intelligently utilising all of these to not just entice the viewer, but pre-emptively answer questions they might have.”

Arindam Paul, Founding member, Atomberg
Optimising page content for conversion

3. Reviews (Number and Rating) 

Reviews is the #1 challenge for global Amazon sellers according to a report curated by seller tool JungleScout. 

Brands have no choice but to address this. According to Paul an increase of 0.3 stars can lead to a 25% improvement in conversions!

How?

Customers look not just for highly rated products, but also the number of reviews a product has. Here are some tips:

  • Buyers leaving seller feedback are more likely to leave a product review
  • Add the automatic ‘Request Review’ button to your buyer order page
  • Ask for reviews from buyers where you have had some interaction, like a service request 

Insider Tip: When Atomberg launched, the team used hand-written notes and packaging inserts with QR codes to direct people to the product page for reviews. Post-purchase emailer flows from seller-central on Amazon, also played a major role in getting more reviews.

THC Case-study on Atomberg

4. Experiment with bundling

If your product category allows for it, try bundling products. Amazon has detailed and strict bundling guidelines and you must adhere to these. Bundles help you create unique offerings vis a vis the competition, increase Average Order Value and allow for trial of new products.

5. Deals and discounts

Paul sums this up this thorny topic: “Discounts are like an antibiotic – good once in a while, but if used continuously can prove harmful. If a brand is always on discount, customers will expect the reduced price at all times.”

Whew, that’s a lot of solid advice for Amazon sellers and it’s all based on first-hand experience, not empty gyan. We hope you also checked out Cracking Marketplaces Part 2: Monitoring the Right Metrics

Take the time to absorb and apply it and let us know how you fare.

2 Comments

  1. Superb. Amazon is one of the hardest things to cracks – so much info and technicalities. This made it easy for me as founder to absorb. Can you also provide suggestions for agencies who can help mid-sized brands?

  2. Solid gold and Arindam is God. We pay an agency monthly retainer and they have never told us any if this

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