2019 was a year full of changes for Amazon sellers. 2020 will continue in the same direction. How to prepare for it? How to know what is coming? There are no guaranteed ways to precisely predict what 2020 holds for us. But what if we tell you we collected some tips from the most experienced Amazon experts to help us figure it out? Well, in this blog post you'll find some tips for 2020 you've never heard before.
Experts you will find in this blog post will be speaking at the European Seller Conference 2020 in Prague on March 12-13, 2020. This is the main event for European Amazon sellers where you can meet 200+ sellers and experts from more than 40 countries! Get a new perspective on your business, find out what changes and trends are coming up this year and build your professional Amazon network. This is the place to find it all!
So now let's get back to what our Amazon experts have to say to all of you.
JUMP TO THE SPECIFIC EXPERT:
Get Your Brand Registered
Franz Jordan, Founder & CEO of Sellics
In 2020, Amazon will distinguish more between sellers who have their brand registered and those who are not. It's going to be super beneficial for sellers having their brand registered for a couple of reasons: advertising will have more things such as sponsored brands, sponsored display, advanced content - all of it will be tied with brand registry.
And another thing - I believe Amazon will invest heavily into everything around product protection and one of the requirements will be brand registry. So for product protection and for advertising purposes brand registry will be critical.
Franz Jordan has been active as an entrepreneur in the space of software and e-commerce for over 5 years. In 2014, he founded Sellics as one of the very first Amazon SEO tools. Today, Sellics is the leading Amazon software in Germany and Franz is a well-known speaker and expert in the field of Amazon.
Start Optimizing by Browsing Behaviour
Chris Rawlings, Founder & CEO Sophie Society
Up until now we all thought of Amazon as a search-driven product marketplace. In fact, it's true but you can see what pattern of behaviour Amazon has over the past couple of months - they're trying to drive more browsing behaviour. You can see it with Amazon Live coming out the past year, Amazon influencer pages, and the amount of energy they put on the storefronts. You can also see it with how much more real estate there is on listings for you to click off on the other listings with more sponsored spots.
Amazon wants you to browse all over the place, searching cooler things or things that are more relevant to you and adding them to your cart. They've been taking action to drive user behaviour more towards browsing. So while we all are still focused on the search ranking, PPC search results, keywords that we put in the backend, there's going to be brands in 2020 that will be optimizing by browsing behaviour, not just search behaviour. So think about it in your strategy for Amazon 2020 because this is going to be a huge trend.
With brands reaching out to him for help in figuring out the highly competitive Amazon landscape, Chris Rawlings facilitated over 1,500 product launches and listing optimizations while helping over 400 companies dominate Amazon’s US, EU, and Japan markets, which lead to the founding of Sophie Society in 2019. Sophie is an Amazon service provider built on scientific principles and truth-finding via a constant feedback loop
2020 Is Going to Be All About Trust
Emma Schermer Tamir, Co-Founder of Marketing by Emma
In 2019, we saw Amazon come under increasing scrutiny from many different places and that's continuing into the new year. What that means is that sellers are no longer automatically earning this trust that Amazon had worked so hard to cultivate for so many years. Instead, the responsibility of building and maintaining trust is going to fall more onto brands. So make sure you're communicating clearly with customers, take care of their safety and best interest, have a reputable and legitimate brand image.
I think it's very easy to fall into this trap thinking that everybody should purchase from you. As customers become more and more intelligent and vary, they're going to respond very positively to brands that really have their best interest, event if that means steering them away from making a purchase.
Emma Schermer Tamir transforms her insatiable curiosity into the conversion-spiking copy. As co-founder of Marketing by Emma, she’s helped over 650 businesses from around the world boost their sales and build their brands. Create conversion-spiking Amazon listings and website copy that will excite your dream clients and make them click “Add to Cart” with the Emmazon team!
Pay More Attention to Personalization
Personalization and customization are the best practice to draw a customer to a website at the right time to make an action, which is, in Amazon's case, a buying decision. It means Amazon needs to deliver specific and different content to every customer rather than showing the same thing to everyone. There are some of the factors by which Amazon decides what content to show, including your shopping history, region, browser type, etc. It means they make a decision based not only on the buyer's behavior but also on their cultural and psychological aspects.
What you can do is to make a list of all possible factors that you think Amazon might be changing and everything that they're tracking as well as making a list of what you know about your audience, your product, and brand. Only then you can make a decision on what targeting you need to achieve the best results.
While serving as the Director of e-commerce for hyper-growth startup HEROCLIP, Yev Marusenko launched a first-of-its-kind software to help Amazon sellers innovate in their marketing with FB ads. Recently he launched yet again a unique tool. Through Zontracker and AmzJet, Yev helps hundreds of 7-9 figure companies leverage algorithmic hacks with long-term best-practices.
Build Your Mastermind Team
Tomer Rabinovich, Amazon Expert & Consultant
I would recommend building a core valuable professional mastermind of 4-6 members that can support you and be part of your “team” without being present in your company. This professional network can inspire you with new ideas, promote you as a group to be exposed to important content and give you solutions for problems that come up. Building a fruitful friendship which can push you forward to achieve your goals. In a sole business and in an often changing environment, it can help you push your limits and hold you accountable. Don't underestimate the power of a mastermind.
Tomer Rabinovich started selling on Amazon 3 years ago with no background in online sales while developing his own tactics and strategies.Since last year he started traveling the world while masterminding with some of the biggest sellers on Amazon. When not working, Tomer spends most of his time with his wife and newborn son. Tomer started traveling the world while speaking at various events and at the same time learning from some of the biggest sellers in Amazon.
What Impacts Amazon Sellers in 2020, IP Protected Products, Amazon Beta Programs
Shane Oglow, Co-Owner @ prReach.com
There are a few things happening at the moment that could affect Amazon sellers. The first thing that I'm keeping an eye on is coronavirus. There are many questions around whether workers in China will get back to work after Chinese New Year and how manufacturing and shipping be affected. Either it's overdramatised or not, the situation will have an impact but we don't know yet at what cost.
Another thing is how Trump's administration cracking down on counterfeit goods will impact Amazon sellers. These new regulations might end up putting Amazon on the hook for policing counterfeit goods. It can end up in many different ways but maybe there will finally be some forward movement dealing with the fraudulent products from predominately Chinese sellers?
The next thing I'm looking at is the development of unique intelectual property (IP) protected products. To me, creating products with various measures of IP protection is the clear choice. It takes longer and costs more but the protection allows sellers to set themselves apart and have less copycat issues.
Also, in 2020 I'm looking forward to continuation of Amazon Beta programs. I love these programs because the early adopters usually get the benefit for the lower cost - it's like when PPC or DSP first rolled out. You can really leverage your business by using these programs, so keep an eye out and take advantage of it.
Shane Oglow has been an Amazon seller since 2013 and was fortunate enough to realize early success by building his first brand to over 1 million in revenue in just over a year. Since that time he’s continued to not only sell and grow on Amazon and other marketplaces but has been active in training literally thousands of Amazon sellers, primarily in the past through the highly successful Amazing Selling Machine program and continues to be a regular monthly contributor to Amazing.com as host of their “Amazing Updates” program.
Track the Effectiveness of Your Storefront
Marcin Chaszczewski, Founder & Consultant @ Amazing Work System
2020 is the year of browsing habits and patterns, brands and storefronts. Speaking of which, do you track the effectiveness of your storefront? Do you actually design your storefront to cross-promote other products from your brand? Thankfully, we have the data on the storefront and also the data about your visits to your ASIN listings.
From the storefront analytics, you can get all the visits to your storefront. Then you can gather what percentage of people visited your storefront from your listing. If you do send traffic to your storefront from outside, you might have the data here as well so you can subtract this data and calculate the percentage of people who came to your storefront directly from the listing.
This number can vary from 1% to 3%. However, it's important, because you can get up to 60 % conversions from your store visits. So if you look at the conversion rate, the data that you have from your storefront analytics and then you look at the conversions from sessions to visits to your storefront, you will see you end up with around 1% from your sessions to your storefront sales.
So as the other experts mentioned, 2020 is the year of customer behaviour on Amazon as well as the pathways of how they interact with Amazon listings and pages. So keep tracking every change you do in visual designs or listings and see how they work because you can affect those percentages to your benefit.
Marcin Chaszczewski is a serial entrepreneur, brand owner and active Amazon seller from Poland. As a happy father, with his “family first” approach, Marcin helps sellers start systematizing their online business so they can spend less time on operations and more time with their loved ones. Spoke on stages in China, Ireland, and his home country. You may have heard him on podcasts like “FBA all-stars “, “Global From Asia” and lately “Truth About Exists” where he dives into the story of selling his first Amazon Brand.
Always Keep Your VA Updated
Gilad Freimann, Founder & CEO of VA Academy Philippines
If your super talented VA will not be updated about changes in Amazon, he/she will be left behind. And your business too. On the other hand, if you will teach your VA about these changes the second they are announced, and make sure your VA will immediately apply them to your account, then your Amazon store will be one step ahead of everyone else. Because no one else will do it so fast.
Example? Have you heard about the new release of "Amazon posts"? Is your VA updated about this feature and is already writing for you killer posts that appear on your competitors listings? If your answer is "No", then this should be your thing to improve in 2020... Be ahead of everyone else. Use your VA to give you this edge!
From the very difficult and frustrating personal search for the perfect virtual assistant in the Philippines, Gilad Freimann started the Virtual Assistant Academy (VAA). It’s the world’s only company specializing in virtual assistant services specifically for Amazon sellers. In addition to running the VA Academy, Gilad lectures at various conferences, conveying his knowledge of how to work with virtual assistants thus maximizing the results in an efficient and enjoyable working relationship.
Start Selling on the Dutch Market
Jana Krekic, Founder of YLT Translations
In 2020, try to sell on the Dutch market. I think this is going to be a super hot market on Amazon this year and I would always recommend somebody to go there and try it out. It's very important who gets there first so it might as well be you.
Jana Krekic is a certified translator and Amazon listing expert. She is also the founder of YLT Translations who is very passionate about her work. She has had over 4 years of experience with various 7-figure Amazon sellers. Jana was also a business development manager in one of the biggest Danish online e-commerces for 8 years where she had gained a lot of experience with online businesses. She doesn’t only lead the team of 42 people, but also completely understands e-commerce and Amazon sellers.
Use Attribution For External Traffic
Lazar Zepinic, Owner of Sellers Alley
One of the most important things is driving relevant traffic to your listings. From now on, your PPC can affect your product listing in a negative way if you're making lower conversions, comparing to average in your niche. Always check your organic ranking for keywords when you're doing PPC.
And when it comes to this, attribution is very important. You need to make sure you're driving external traffic and one of the great things about attribution is that you can use different platforms and channels to drive traffic. Keep in mind - your traffic needs to be relevant. Check your audience through Google Analytics and send that traffic to your product listing.
Another thing you need to be fully aware of is headline search ads (sponsored brand ads). Have in mind that since December last year, you are allowed to advertise using sponsored brand ads only with 2 products. So if you have some campaigns that had more than 2 products and some of them were paused just because you went out of stock, go to your headline search ads and double-check your spendings - make sure you're not spending money for no reason!
Lazar Zepinic has been a PPC Specialist for 9 years, worked mostly on active advertising platforms with some of the biggest brands in the world including Samsung, Sony, and many others. He has worked with 7-9 figure Amazon sellers and has experience in optimizing multi-million accounts on both Seller Central and Amazon Advertising platforms.
Be Careful Expanding Outside of Amazon
Carina McLeod, CEO @ eCommerce Nurse
It's always highly recommended expanding outside of Amazon partly you want to spread that risk - Amazon can pull the plug at anytime and that could be quite dangerous place to be. So it is important that you spread your risk but you need to be careful. If you want to expand outside of Amazon and sell on other platforms, then there's less risk because you still maintain control of your products and pricing. However, if you decide to start selling through other retailers, a distributor or another wholesaler, this is when you need to start being careful. Otherwise, your product will end up by being sold by them, they will become a seller on Amazon and possibly start competing on pricing. Be aware of your distribution strategy and make sure you're working with someone you really trust.
Trust is really important here because you can't control retail pricing and what a retail does but you can always make an agreement where both sides set their selling territory and does not compete with one another. It's highly recommended to hire a lawyer who can arrange a contract between you and your retailer and advice you on what you can or cannot do.
Carina McLeod is an Ex Amazonian, eCommerce consultant and founder of eCommerce Nurse and Vendor Society. Carina has spent the last 14 years working in the Amazon space, the first 7 years within Amazon Vendor Management and the last 7 years helping sellers and vendors grow their Amazon business in Europe and North America. Carina loves sharing her years of Amazon experience with others through webinars, workshops, conferences, podcasts and blog posts. She has been a guest speaker at seller conferences in Europe and the United States including the Prosper Show and writes various articles on all things Amazon for several Amazon seller service providers.
Prepare for Increasing Competition
Anthony Cofrancesco, Amazon Conversion Optimization Expert
In 2020, you’re going to see a huge increase in competition, not only from big companies deciding to get into Amazon but also increasing competition around the world – not only North America, not only European sellers but also people from Australia, China and other continents. I think it’s gonna be a real big threat.
The second very important thing is going to be content, specifically around sellers who are “brand-registered”. There are many cool things how you can build your content: PPC video ads, unlimited number of videos on your Amazon storefront or your listing. These are the things to consider in 2020.
Anthony Cofrancesco is a former Operations Manager at Amazon who quit his job in 2018 to relocate full-time to Manila, Philippines to help scale Virtuous Graphics. Anthony has grown the company from 8 to more than 30 full-time creatives in under 8 months while also doubling revenue. Anthony is an expert in business development and client relations and has spoken on numerous occasions within the Amazon community including Global Sources, StartUp Bros and ASD.
Beware of Fake Webinars
Beware of commercials masquerading as webinars. I've noticed an uptick in the Amazon World of people herding individuals together with explosive claims "WE FOUND A NEW STRATEGY TO TRIPLE YOUR GROWTH" only to then speak vaguely about said strategy and leave you with absolutely no actionable option at the end of the webinar except to shell out money for their service / software / product / genius.
When you're watching things just ask yourself "Does this sound like this person is helping me or selling me?"
Phil McCarty has been making Amazon software for five years. He is the founder of PPC Prophet and Amachete, and was the first person to generate accurate sales data for Amazon Japan.
Join us for the main event for Amazon sellers in Europe!
If you want to find out more what trends are coming in 2020, network with 200+ sellers and experts from more than 40 countries, join us for the European Seller Conference 2020 on March 12-13 in Prague - it's a great opportunity to learn from industry experts and meet fellow Amazon sellers!