How to sell on Amazon as a Wholesaler or Brand owner (without upsetting your retail network)
Find out the reasons why you should be selling on Amazon as a wholesaler or brand, and how to do it without upsetting your existing retail network.
Optimizon works with many B2B wholesale brands and distributors, helping them manage their Amazon activity. Initially, when it comes to selling on Amazon, the main sticking point for the wholesaler is frequently the unknown of moving from the B2B market into the B2C market.
The wholesalers often have long standing relationships with the retailers they currently supply. Understandably, they have concerns that entering the B2C market will cause some damage to those B2B relationships.
However, if managed in the right way, there are numerous reasons why taking control of your brand on Amazon can benefit everybody. In fact, as we’ll see, in many cases, doing so is essential.
Wholesalers selling B2C on Amazon
Selling B2C on Amazon is a common concern for wholesale distributors. How to balance relationships between retailers and move forward with the changing demands of the modern consumer.
As much as retailers have served brands well for many years, the way we shop is evolving at a rapid pace. In order to maintain or grow market-share, a strong presence on the largest Marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, or Wayfair is a must.
Importantly, when it comes to selling on Amazon, only one organisation can claim the brand ownership. That should be you – the brand owner (or primary wholesaler).
Taking ownership of your brand on Amazon is not only a good idea, it is expected. No brand should feel awkward about doing so. If you don’t claim the brand, chances are somebody else will, which can cause various issues.
Brand control on Amazon
Your brands must be represented in the right way to protect the brand identity you have invested in building. You are quite likely to spot your product on marketplace sites where content has been created by your retailers. This content can often be rushed, littered with mistakes, and poor images. It’s likely the content has not been enhanced to ensure the consumer has the best shopping experience.
In other words, content that has not been optimised, which doesn’t communicate your brand message, can negatively impact your brand.
This is the first issue to address. Your brand will benefit from a consistent and high quality shopping experience online. Whats more, your retailers will also see the benefit if they are selling on any of these platforms.
Remember, millions use the platforms not just to purchase from, but to also research and compare products before they buy. Consumers can and make their choices where to purchase. The purchase can still end up being with well-known retailers that have a loyal customer base. However, it is you who is controlling the overall brand message.
If you are prepared to invest in your brand online, your existing retailers should be understanding of what you are trying to achieve.
Online Choice and new competition
Another issue traditional brands are facing is the amount of choice. Compared with traditional retailing, the consumer has everything at their fingertips.
New and up and coming brands have taken advantage of this and built brands up that you wouldn’t traditionally find on the high street. New brands can turbo-charge their growth in online marketplaces.
Having the right content, customer experience and good customer reviews, allows new brands to steal market share from more well-known brands.
Your brands need to be represented correctly and strategies put in place to maintain and grow brand awareness, and market share. Without separating your brand from the rest, your products will easily be lost amongst the vast choice.
A strong brand presence will benefit your retailers as well as your own business.
Increasing sales for both you and your retail partners
The second part of the jigsaw is sales. For years large brands have opened branded stores on the high streets, occupied large sections in stores with shop fits, concessions, exclusive offers etc. Often they are present in multiple retailers in the same area, so competition has always been fierce.
In essence, selling and controlling a brand message on Amazon is no different to opening a branded store on the high-street. Not only does the brand benefit from direct sales, but retailers stocking the same brand benefit from the increased brand awareness.
In other words, selling B2C through online marketplaces gives you the chance to take control of your market and brand, increase margins and be more competitive to grow overall market share (which helps your retailers.
It’s important to remember that if the consumer is to purchase on an marketplace such as Amazon, and you are not represented or optimised, it is highly likely they will purchase from a competitor given the sheer volume of choice in most sectors.
Full stock inventory on Amazon
The other main benefit from trading on these marketplaces is opening up your full stock inventory. Most retailers won’t take your full offer and potentially fall in and out of stock, missing out on sales. Brands selling B2C are likely to grow sales by being in stock and selling more of the items that have traditionally had been slow sellers.
Once products are selling, building up sales history and reviews on core products is key. This data helps consumers make buying decisions and gives confidence. Once products are listed this information will build up over months and years. As time passes your products presence will become stronger. Increased or consistent sales tells Amazon to push your products up the listings.
With retail evolving so quickly, brands must learn to adapt and protect themselves. They need to ensure their products are visible and competing where consumers are choosing to shop and browse.
Existing retailers will understand your desire to list your full product range; especially if they aren’t.
Selling B2B with Amazon Business
Aside from getting full brand control on Amazon, and increasing exposure to your brand online, there is another very good reason for selling through Amazon. Amazon Business.
Amazon Business is a B2B version of Amazon’s consumer arm. It allows wholesalers and brands to not only sell B2C, but also to sell in bulk to businesses and retailers.
Not only can you sell B2B and B2C in the same place, Amazon Business gives members free ‘storefront’, credit control tools, VAT invoicing and access to a vast sales platform.
As a B2B seller, you will be offered multiple benefits including exclusive pricing options for customers, tax, invoicing and credit control features, plus analytics. You won’t waste time chasing invoices, putting together quotes and creating VAT invoices.
Amazon Business is relatively new to the UK, but it’s among the fastest growing arms of Amazon. The company has invested heavily in European teams to support B2B business growth.
Now is a good time to sell via Amazon Business in order to get ahead of the curve, and get a head start on your competitors.
FBA – Fulfilled by Amazon
Brands and wholesalers often make the most of Amazon’s ‘FBA service’. This is where wholesalers send their items in bulk to Amazon warehouses. It’s even possible to have stock sent directly from your supplier or manufacturer to Amazon.
All sales will be ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’. In other words, they will be picked and packed by Amazon and delivered to the customer the very next day. This is the same for B2C sales via Amazon or B2B sales via Amazon Business.
Not only does this reduce your handling time and costs, but it also keeps Amazon customers very happy by ensuring they receive their orders rapidly.
It’s no wonder that many brands and wholesalers make use of the FBA system when they compare costs with packing and distributing in-house. It can be highly preferable to send one bulk delivery to Amazon rather than multiple small deliveries to retailers and customers scattered all over the place. Many brands and wholesalers selling exclusively through Amazon never even touch their products.
Key Takeaways: How to sell on Amazon as a wholesaler
As a brand or primary wholesaler, it’s important to take control of your brand on Amazon.
This isn’t only essential, it is expected. None of your retailers can complain about you registering as the brand owner on Amazon, because that’s exactly what you are!
New brands are stealing market share by having the right content, customer experience and positive customer reviews. It has never been more important to represent your brands correctly and grow brand awareness. Without separating your brand from the rest, your products will be lost in the vast choice found within online marketplaces.
Controlling a brand message on Amazon is no different to opening a branded store on the high-street. You will benefit from direct sales, but retailers stocking the same brand will also benefit from the increased brand awareness (and increased market share).
The other main benefit from trading on these marketplaces is opening up your full stock inventory. Most retailers won’t take your full offer, or will avoid stocking the low sales items.
There is also the added benefit of selling on Amazon Business to consider. Now is a good time to get in on the platform, before your competitors do. You can potentially open up a whole new network of retailers. Finally, you can benefit from selling B2C and B2B in the same place with Amazon Business.
How to sell on Amazon without affecting your retailers
Given the reasons above, it’s well worth considering selling on Amazon as a brand owner or wholesaler. You may meet a little resistance from your retail network, but the pros outweigh the cons in a rapidly shifting retail environment. It’s also nothing that a little client education won’t solve. Speak to any concerned retailers directly, and explain to them what you are trying to achieve:
- It’s important and essential that you claim and control the brand on Amazon.
- You are investing in the brand message, which you hope will increase sales for everyone.
- Your business is seeking to promote its full stock range, which isn’t stocked by many of your retailers.
- Your brand would like to expand into new markets to increase our overall market share.
If you would like assistance with claiming you brand, optimising your brand message, or any other Amazon related issue, please get in touch with the Optimizon team. Our experts will be happy to help and answer any specific queries you might have about selling on Amazon.