When it comes to online commerce, Amazon is the undisputed leader commanding over 47% of all online sales in countries like the US. However, much of this statistic is focused on retail commerce.
However, since 2015, Amazon has quietly garnered a significant chunk of online B2B commerce. Amazon Business, a division of Amazon.com that focuses on B2B, lets sellers deliver products in wholesale volumes to business customers across the country.
As a buyer, you may also benefit from volume pricing when transacting over Amazon Business and can compare offers from multiple sellers before you make your buying decision.
Having said that, it is worth mentioning that Amazon Business is not the only place to reach business customers on the platform. A significantly large chunk of business buyers, they trade in lower volumes and purchase office supplies from the website’s retail storefront.
Reaching your buyers on this platform is as important as establishing yourself on Amazon Business.
Your customers are not just on Amazon
While you may have picked Amazon as your preferred platform to sell, your customers may not necessarily be here. Depending on your industry, your buyer might still be using offline channels or websites like Alibaba to procure their products. In such cases, it may be ideal to set up an account across these other websites too.
Another strategy is to take your sales and marketing over alternate channels and only direct them to your Amazon storefront when they are ready to buy.
For instance, you may reach out to prospective businesses with cold emails or calls to solicit for business and direct them to your Amazon store when they express interest in buying from you.
Create exhaustive user personas and identify the channels that your competitors are targeting and use this as a benchmark while drafting your own marketing plan. This way, if your competitors advertise heavily on Facebook, you may consider increasing your budget for this platform.
It is worth noting that Amazon allows sellers to use their FBA program as their distribution hub while dealing with customers on multiple channels. This is possible with the help of the MCF (Multi-channel fulfillment) feature.
Given the cost advantages of stocking at Amazon, it is a good idea to hold all your inventory in Amazon’s warehouse and allow them to handle all logistics.
Finding customers organically on Amazon Business
There are over 5 million products listed on Amazon Business. Much like the company’s retail platform, the B2B storefront too employs a number of different metrics to gauge the authority of various listings while ranking products.
This includes factors like title relevancy, description, customer reviews, pricing, and so on. Experiment with the title of your products and the description using split testing techniques and also deploy ASO (Amazon Search Optimization) techniques to improve the visibility of your products.
One of the key tricks to a higher organic presence on Amazon is the use of their Sponsored Ads feature. This allows businesses to show up in strategic sponsored ads that show when a prospective customer searches for your products on Amazon.
The reason this works very well is that sponsored ads help you increase sales and customer reviews and thereby allows Amazon to understand your search relevance – these are factors that dramatically improve the visibility of your products on organic search.
Reaching out to non-Amazon customers
As we pointed out earlier in this article, Amazon Business is only a small part of the overall B2B eCommerce industry. It is thus important to go beyond Amazon while reaching out to customers. While you may consider marketing your products on sites like Alibaba, or even over your own website, these channels require extensive investment in educating the customer.
A better strategy here would be with the use of PPC advertisements over platforms like Facebook or Google Search. These channels give the advertiser exhaustive targeting options that allow the seller to micro-target their buyer.
One word of caution here – Facebook and Google can be quite expensive when used as a primary source of customer acquisition. If you are a seller with hundreds of different SKUs, the cost of running these thousands of different variations of ads could escalate very quickly.
To avoid this, it is a good idea to use these platforms purely as a means to capture your target visitors – once you have acquired their email or other contact credentials, you may schedule your subsequent marketing communications over email or other cheaper communication channels.
Even in the absence of a lead capturing system, taking visitors from your ad to a webpage gives you an opportunity to capture them for your subsequent remarketing campaigns. Remarketing ad campaigns over Facebook or Google is a lot cheaper than advertising for keywords. Your advertising costs could thus come down significantly.
Are you an Amazon Seller targeting B2B customers? Share your tips and lessons in the comments below.
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