When To Outsource the Amazon Channel

When you’re a growing brand, you’ve got a lot of things going on. You’ve got sales channels that are accelerating. You’ve got production issues. You may even be dealing with resource constraints in terms of people’s time and capital. All of these are things you’re trying to balance. On the other hand, you have Amazon. Maybe you’re finding success with Amazon, but you’re hearing other things such as how well your partners may be doing, or how much a competitor may be doing in sales through Amazon.

It can naturally cause you to wonder “how is our business doing on Amazon? How can that be measured? What are signs that it’s a successful strategy? What are some of the ways that our team can improve ourselves on Amazon and start to maybe measure some ROI behind that?”

How often do you look at your performance on the Amazon Channel and wonder if you could be doing more? Maybe you’re looking at the resources you’ve devoted to Amazon like time, and dollars and wondering “is Amazon doing everything it can for my business? Perhaps your sales on Amazon have plateaued and you’re wondering if you do have the right resources devoted in the right ways. Knowing the answers to these questions is a great way to gauge whether or not your brand is maximizing all it can be doing on the Amazon Channel.

In this post we’ll cover some ideas on how to analyze how your brand is performing on Amazon and ways you can improve.

How To Understand If You’re Maximizing The Amazon Chanel

The first thing you should look at are your metrics. Take a deep dive into sales numbers, profitability numbers, and your advertising metrics and really drill down into them to see if you can find some benchmark data. It can help paint an overall picture of where your brand is, and give you a way to compare it to others in the same market. The important thing to keep in mind is that all businesses have different goals and measurements.  Don’t get lost in comparing your business to others.

Perform A Thorough Audit

You can do an audit internally. It allows you to measure all those aspects of not only the metrics and the numbers, but also to look at your pages from a customer’s point of view. Ask a friend or family member to look at your Amazon pages and say, “Hey, does this convey what our product is and what it can do? As a customer, do you feel compelled to buy this based on the content you’re reading and seeing on the page?”. You can also do a paid audit. Pay a service provider or an agency to have their team take an in- depth look at your account, and they can look at it and understand how you’re doing with advertising and some of the other Amazon programs available to you.

Ask the person or people that manage your Amazon strategy. Whether it’s a marketing seat or sales seat, ask them how it’s going. By doing all these things, you’re going to have a very key and good idea of where you’re at.

Once you’ve received some of those answers from your team on where you’re at with Amazon you’ll have a better idea of where you need or want to go. You’ll be ready to begin taking the steps that will allow you to optimize Amazon internally. One of the most impactful things you can do is look into Amazon software that’s available through third party providers.  There’s a whole cottage industry built on software that integrates into Seller Central accounts through Amazon’s API. This could be advertising software, or customer messaging software. It could be inventory forecasting, or even unique tools like Helium 10 or Jungle Scout, that analyze what products are doing in terms of sales and volume, but also from a keyword perspective.

Utilizing Software

By utilizing different software, you’ll be able to free up your team’s time from some of the mundane tasks due to software being more efficient and effective in handling those tasks. It’s a great way to save time for your team, allowing them to allocate their resources to other parts of your business outside of Amazon. It can also save you money, especially from an advertising perspective allowing you to lower some of your ACoS (Advertising Cost of Sale) and while raising its efficiency.

What Does Success Look Like?

Even with automated systems in place, you still have to manage the day-to-day tasks. It’s essential to make sure you’re continuing to work on the tactics and the growth strategy and really getting that process down. You still have to remain actively involved in checking some of the metrics, dashboards  and analytics on a daily basis to make sure everything’s in place and working as intended. It’s a great idea to do these things regularly on a weekly or monthly basis.

Understand Limitations

You have to keep in mind the opportunities and limitations of the Amazon marketplace. A lot of that will come with time. Amazon is always rolling out new programs, however, so there will always be changes to the process. Along those same lines, stay up to date with the platform. Continue your education of Amazon. It’s a digital marketplace, and that means it’s always changing. It’s imperative for your team to be dialed in to exactly what is happening with it. Consider things like

  • What are the trends?
  • What are some of the limitations?
  • What are some of the opportunities that can be taken advantage of?

Maintaining these tactics will really help grow your business to the next level.

Keeping Amazon In-House Vs. Outsourcing

Say Amazon is working well for you, but other parts of your business are growing and in need of attention. You’re a growing brand, you’re growing on Amazon, you’re growing outside of Amazon and as things happen, resources become constrained. You’re trying to hire new people, getting people on board, opening up new channels and getting more sales. You don’t want the Amazon-oriented part of your business to become neglected and reverse the hard work you’ve done to get to this point. So, what can you do To be proactive against that?

One of the easiest things you can do is measure the amount of time your team spends on Amazon. It doesn’t have to be an exact measurement, but if you have a member of your team who spends two hours a day on Amazon then you should be aware of that. Measure the time sent on Amazon against your return on investment to make sure it’s financially sensible. As far as softwares go, it’s worth keeping in mind the associated costs, and how that increases as you add more to your list of tools.

Once you have an understanding of your situation internally you may decide the best option for you is to hire someone else to handle the services. You could consider a freelancer that specializes in Amazon, or an Amazon service provider agency type place where it’s a team of experts who specialize in the platform and can help take you to the next level. If you decide to outsource, you’ll want to make sure that the company you choose to handle your Amazon business has the right ideals of your brand and understands your product, your brand, and where you want to go in the direction and strategy. Try to avoid choosing a company that employs a “cookie cutter” approach to handling your Amazon business.

It’s important to keep in mind that in business you can’t be an expert in every aspect. Sometimes you have to find the right partners to work with along the way. Play to your key core strengths, and don’t be afraid to find the proper assistance to bolster the other areas, especially the ones that can have the biggest effect on your business.

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