While Amazon’s status as the ultimate retail juggernaut is more or less uncontested and not showing any signs of changing (sales are expected to grow by more than 20% this year), there are still companies that want nothing to do with the ecommerce giant.
My Brand? On Amazon? Pass.
Some brands are focused on maintaining an air of exclusivity, and fear that allowing their products to be purchased on Amazon is detrimental to their brand image and integrity. Others figure that the specialized nature of their products is better suited to specialized online retailers (musical instruments and outdoor gear are prime examples of this) and assume that their customers won’t trust Amazon for such purchases. And some brands would just rather not deal with Amazon. Maintaining your business presence on Amazon isn’t exactly a set-it-and-forget-it operation (unless you’re paying someone else to do it).
If you’re one of these brands, we have bad news: Your products are probably already being sold on Amazon.
The Ugly Truth
With the exception of taking action against sellers who are distributing counterfeit versions of your products, Amazon will do little (read: nothing) to help you remove your products from the marketplace if you don’t want them to be there.
If you sell a product, you can almost guarantee someone will eventually try to sell it on Amazon. Under the First Sale Doctrine, if Brand X sells their product to Buyer A, then Buyer A, having bought authentic inventory, can sell the product without restriction. There are some exceptions for warranties and distribution rights, but at the end of the day, Amazon will not enforce those against a seller who is selling authentic inventory.
Why bother if third party sellers are going to sell my product on Amazon anyway?
Shoppers are most likely going to see your products on Amazon. By taking the initiative to get involved in your own product listings, you get a say in how your brand is presented to consumers. Here are just a few of the potential benefits of getting involved in your brand’s Amazon presence:
Convey Accurate Product Information
Building trust with consumers hinges upon their ability to make an educated decision about the product they’re purchasing. By taking control of your Amazon listings, you can ensure that customers will be able to make an informed purchase.
Capture Your Whole Market
For some brands, maintaining an air of exclusivity means staying far away from Amazon, but the reality is that close to two thirds of American shoppers have purchased something from Amazon. With Prime 2-Day shipping options, shopping on Amazon is becoming more and more convenient. The ease of one-stop shopping is not limited to brick-and-mortar—if a shopper can add your product to their Amazon order, it streamlines their purchasing decision process.
Protect Branding and Brand Perception
As a brand owner or marketing expert, you have firsthand experience with the amount of effort that goes into maintaining your brand’s identity. From logos to photos, copy to content, everything about your brand’s image should be purposeful and strategic—this philosophy applies to Amazon, too. Up-to-date imagery, on-brand copy, and accurate product information are all components of your Amazon listings that can drive sales.
Control Brand-Specific Content
When your brand redesigns its logo or updates the photographic assets for an old product line, having control of your Amazon listings would allow you to display that new imagery, rather than being stuck with whatever content a random seller had downloaded from a Google image search. Additionally, you gain the ability to create A+ Detail Pages and Brand Stores to display your brand’s unique identity on the marketplace.
Amazon is a Beast
Managing an Amazon channel becomes increasingly overwhelming as the marketplace becomes more saturated with competitors, counterfeiters, and ads. Starting and maintaining an Amazon presence takes a lot of time and effort.
If you don’t have those resources available, consider working with an exclusive third-party seller like etailz or with an Amazon agency like Marketplace Growth Partners.