Ecommerce has transformed the way consumers shop, and Amazon has played a significant role in driving this change. Amazon is one of the largest ecommerce platforms in the world and has transformed the way businesses sell their products online.
However, with great power comes great responsibility, and as Amazon has grown, so have the fees it charges its sellers. Today, Amazon is pocketing more than 50% of sellers’ revenue, up from 40% just five years ago.
This has left many sellers looking for ways to outgrow Amazon and reduce their dependency on the platform.
While Amazon has been the dominant force in ecommerce for years, it’s important to remember that it's not the only option out there. Diversifying your sales channels and reducing your dependency on Amazon can help you improve your profitability, and there are several other ways to reach new customers and grow your business.
Here are some strategies to help ecommerce brands outgrow Amazon:
Diversify your sales channels
The first step to outgrowing Amazon is to diversify your sales channels. Don't rely solely on Amazon for your sales. Look for other ecommerce platforms, marketplaces, or brick-and-mortar retailers to sell your products. This can help you reduce your dependency on Amazon and give you access to a wider customer base.
When choosing a new platform to sell your products, it's important to consider the platform's fees, audience, and overall customer experience. You may need to adjust your pricing and marketing strategies to fit the new platform, and you should also consider integrating your sales channels to create a more seamless experience for your customers.
Here are a few platforms that you can consider:
- Walmart: Walmart is one of the biggest marketplaces in the US, and it charges a referral fee of 6% to 20%, depending on the product category.
- eBay: eBay is another popular platform that charges a basic fee of 10% of the total amount of the sale, including shipping costs.
- Shopify: Shopify is an all-in-one ecommerce platform that allows you to create an online store and manage your sales, inventory, and shipping. Plans range from $29-$299 per month, and a 2.9% - 2.4% + 30 cents transaction fee depending on your plan.
- Etsy: Etsy is a platform that is perfect for small businesses selling handmade or vintage items. It charges a 5% transaction fee and a payment processing fee of 3% plus $0.25 per transaction.
- Newegg: Newegg is a platform that specializes in electronics and tech products. It charges a referral fee of 12% to 15%, depending on the product category.
- Rakuten: Rakuten is another large marketplace that charges a referral fee of 8% to 15%, depending on the product category.
Optimize your website for search engines
Having a website that is easily discoverable through search engines like Google can greatly benefit your ecommerce brand. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can increase your visibility and attract more organic traffic to your site. This can help you reduce your dependency on Amazon and give you more control over your sales channels.
Some key strategies for optimizing your website for search engines include:
- Conducting keyword research to identify the phrases and terms that your potential customers are searching for
- Creating high-quality, informative content that incorporates those keywords and provides value to your audience
- Building high-quality backlinks from other reputable websites to increase your website's authority and visibility
- Improving your website's user experience, including page speed, mobile responsiveness, and navigation
Focus on customer retention
Another way to outgrow Amazon is to focus on customer retention. This involves building strong relationships with your customers and keeping them coming back for more.
To do this, you need to focus on providing a great customer experience, offering personalized recommendations and discounts.
When brands build a loyal customer base, they become less reliant on third-party marketplaces like Amazon and can drive more traffic to their own website.
This not only reduces the fees paid to Amazon but also helps brands build a more sustainable business model for the long term.
To build a loyal customer base, you need to focus on delivering a great customer experience. This includes providing excellent customer service, offering a wide range of high-quality products, and creating a seamless buying experience.
Brands can also incentivize repeat purchases by offering loyalty programs, personalized product recommendations, and exclusive deals.
Be smarter with your marketing
To make the most of your marketing efforts, it's important to avoid a common mistake made by many Ecommerce brands: running ineffective, one-size-fits-all campaigns that fail to engage your target audience.
Instead, focus on creating more targeted collections on your site that appeal to specific demographics.
For example, if you sell beauty products like face masks and lip gloss, you could run separate ad campaigns for each product and direct customers to a dedicated collection page for that item.
This approach allows you to drive traffic to the products customers are most interested in, improving the chances of a successful sale.
Another technique for high quality marketing is to create a seamless and personalized shopping experience. This includes using data and analytics to understand customer behavior and preferences and tailoring your website and marketing efforts accordingly.
Brands can also use retargeting ads and abandoned cart emails to re-engage with customers who have shown interest in their products but have not yet made a purchase.
By making your marketing more product-focused and customer-centric, you can boost your conversion rates and drive long-term growth for your business.
Try collaberative dropshipping
Collaborative dropshipping can be an effective way for ecommerce brands to outgrow Amazon and reduce their dependence on the platform.
Collaborative dropshipping involves partnering with other ecommerce brands to offer each other's products on their respective websites. This strategy allows brands to expand their product offerings without the need for significant investments in inventory or marketing.
By working together, brands can share the cost of customer acquisition, making it a cost-effective way to grow their businesses.
Platforms like Carro can facilitate collaborative dropshipping by connecting brands with each other and providing a streamlined way to manage the logistics of the partnership.
Carro allows brands to list their products in a shared network, making it easy for other brands to find and add them to their own stores. As well as enabling brands to find products and stores that they would like to work with.
The platform also provides tools for automating shipping and fulfillment between both stores, which helps ensure a seamless customer experience.
By leveraging collaborative dropshipping platforms like Carro, ecommerce brands can expand their reach, increase their product offerings, and reduce their reliance on Amazon. This strategy can help them build stronger relationships with customers and gain a competitive advantage in the crowded ecommerce market.
Use social media to build your brand
Social media platforms offer a unique opportunity to connect with your customers and build your brand. By creating and sharing valuable content, engaging with your followers, and running targeted ad campaigns, you can increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your ecommerce site.
To start, identify the social media channels that your target audience uses the most, and focus your efforts on those platforms. For example, if your target audience is primarily made up of young adults, you may want to focus on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. On the other hand, if you're targeting a more professional audience, LinkedIn may be a better choice.
Once you've identified your target platforms, start creating content that resonates with your audience.
This could include product demos, behind-the-scenes footage, customer testimonials, or educational content related to your industry. Be sure to engage with your followers by responding to comments and messages.
Leverage email marketing
Email marketing is a highly effective way to nurture your existing customer base and drive repeat purchases. By building an email list and sending targeted campaigns, you can keep your customers engaged and informed about new products, promotions, and other updates.
To start, use pop-ups and other lead magnets to encourage visitors on your site to sign up for your email list. Once you have a list of subscribers, segment them based on their interests, behavior, and other factors, and send targeted campaigns that are tailored to their needs.
When creating email campaigns, be sure to focus on providing value to your subscribers.
This could include exclusive discounts, early access to new products, or educational content related to your industry. And be sure to test and optimize your campaigns over time to improve your results.
Partner with influencers
Influencer marketing can be a highly effective way to reach new audiences and build your brand. By partnering with influencers in your niche, you can tap into their existing following and leverage their influence to promote your products.
To start, identify influencers in your industry who have a large and engaged following, and reach out to them to see if they would be interested in partnering with your brand. When working with influencers, be sure to establish clear expectations and goals, and provide them with the resources they need to promote your products effectively.
When selecting influencers to work with, be sure to prioritize engagement over follower count.
An influencer with a smaller but highly engaged following can be more effective than one with a large but unengaged audience.
Focus on customer experience
Finally, one of the most effective ways to outgrow Amazon is to provide a superior customer experience. By delivering exceptional customer service, offering fast and reliable shipping, and providing a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience, you can differentiate your brand and build a loyal customer base.
To start, make sure your website is easy to navigate and use, and that your checkout process is fast and intuitive. Provide clear and detailed product information, and offer free shipping and returns whenever possible. And be sure to respond to customer inquiries and issues promptly and professionally.
By prioritizing the customer experience and focusing on building long-term relationships with your customers, you can create a sustainable and profitable ecommerce business that doesn't rely on Amazon.
At the end of the day, the customer will decide who prevails in the long term. The good news is, by being focused on the customer, online stores can quickly stand out against the juggernaut of Amazon. This process takes time, but consistent focus and daily effort to do this list will lead to freedom from the fees in the months ahead.