Build a Successful Amazon Storefront for your Brand
Harnessing the power of Amazon's customer loyalty can provide an incredible opportunity for growth among e-commerce businesses. Listing products on the world's most popular online marketplace clearly comes with the advantage of reach and convenience. However, companies can be understandably wary of losing their brand identity by competing on a site with more than 12 million products and upwards of 350 million products available from all of the sellers on the Amazon marketplace.
Fortunately, joining the online giant as a seller doesn't have to mean abandoning your brand identity. Since 2018, Amazon Storefronts have offered a way for brands to showcase all of their Amazon products to the online retailer's shoppers within a custom-designed and branded store interface. Rather than sacrificing such a significant advantage when selling on Amazon, businesses can opt to create a Storefront that organizes and features their listings in a way that reinforces their unique brand, introduces new products and enhances the customer experience.
Start with a Seller Account
The first step to selling anything on Amazon as a third-party (3P) seller is creating a seller account and gaining access to the platform's selling portal, Amazon Seller Central. Similar to the registration processes for other online accounts that have become ubiquitous in our lives, registering for an Amazon seller account is relatively simple. It requires only the most basic information about you and your business.
While Amazon does offer an individual seller account, it only provides limited access to the full suite of Amazon advertising and reporting tools. In addition, the per-item commission of $0.99 means the cost savings of the individual plan end when sales exceed 40 items per month. Therefore, any business planning to pursue substantial Amazon sales and create an Amazon Storefront to support that endeavor will be better served by choosing the company's Professional Selling Plan for $39.99 per month.
The information required to create a professional seller account will vary slightly depending on the structure of your business but will likely require you to provide:
- Your business address and contact information
- Details about your business structure
- An Employee Identification Number (EIN)
- A mobile or telephone number
- A chargeable credit card (avoid debit cards)
- Identity verification documents such as a driver's license or passport
- A valid bank account number
Once you have completed the seller account registration process, you'll still have one more step to complete before you can begin building an Amazon Store. Establishing eligibility for an Amazon Brand Store requires a company first join Amazon's effort to guard against deceptive sellers or those without the proper authorization to sell branded products.
Join the Amazon Brand Registry
To join the 30,000-plus businesses currently showcasing more than 2.5 million products in an Amazon Storefront, you must first complete Amazon's Brand Registry. The program is open to companies with an active trademark from the United States or one of 18 other countries, the United Kingdom, the European Union, or the United Arab Emirates. In some cases, a pending trademark may also be accepted for registration. Beyond meeting the necessary trademark requirements, businesses must also provide any product category they intend to compete in and a list of where their products are manufactured and distributed.
Unlike creating a seller account, the good news is that there is no fee associated with the Amazon Brand Registry program. Any company that meets the eligibility criteria can join at no cost. In addition, access to the Amazon Storefront feature is not the only benefit of registering a brand with the site.
The primary purpose of the Amazon Brand Registry is to keep brands secure and create a more attractive platform for legitimate sellers. Participating brands have access to powerful tools that allow them to detect and report suspected intellectual property infringement. Amazon also utilizes the information provided by sellers through the program to improve their ability to block violations before they have an impact. Enhanced marketing and advertising options, as well as expanded monitoring capabilities, also add to the value.
Add and Optimize your Product Listings
As an Amazon seller, it's hard to overstate the importance of your products. They will likely be the ultimate driver of your success or failure. But, before you can sell them via an Amazon Store or even protect them with Brand Registry, they will need to be added to the platform as a product listing.
Your vehicle for this part of the process is Seller Central. Products can be added one at a time by inputting the required information for each product or in bulk by uploading a correctly-formatted inventory spreadsheet. The latter can be much more efficient but requires some familiarity with spreadsheets and the ability to adhere to Amazon's required template. An employee or partner experienced with this option can significantly reduce the frustration that novice sellers often face when trying to add new products in bulk.
While adding products requires minimal information about each item, optimizing an Amazon listing effectively takes much more knowledge and effort. Of course, producing exceptional Amazon product listings should be a priority for any brand owner pursuing growth and long-term success on Amazon. Effective product listings are built accurately and organized with your customers in mind. They feature detailed information, high-quality images and, in many cases, helpful videos. Check out our recent blog on listing optimization for a detailed guide on creating listings that exceed expectations and convert shoppers.
Once your current inventory is added to Amazon and the listings are optimized for both Amazon's algorithm and shoppers' needs, you're ready to start planning the most exciting phase of this journey: Designing your Amazon Store.
Design your Amazon Storefront for Success
As the face of your products on Amazon, brand owners should be highly involved with creating their Amazon Store. However, it's essential to keep in mind that design and branding are skills and not something to take lightly. While Amazon has gone to great lengths to make Storefront creation simple and accessible to any seller via templates and drag-and-drop tools, the task will undoubtedly benefit from a well-devised strategy and an experienced designer.
Whether you bring in outside help or tackle the design yourself, it's helpful to understand some of the fundamental aspects of the process. It starts with the self-service Store Builder, available through the advertising console.
Amazon Storefronts consist of various pages that feature a brand's products and organize them in a customer-friendly way. Often, the best Stores will have an engaging homepage that highlights the most popular products, while an intuitive set of sub-pages makes it easy for shoppers to navigate through the shop and find exactly what they are looking for.
The pages that make up an Amazon Storefront are composed of content tiles. Tiles can contain text, video, images or product listings. Each page has a header section that features a hero image that remains consistent throughout your Store's pages, a brand logo and a navigation bar. Every page requires at least one additional tile beside the header section, and can only be divided into 20 total sections. In addition, there are further limitations on certain types of tiles used in each section. These per-section restrictions include:
- Four background video tiles
- One product grid tile
- One gallery tile
- One featured deals tile
- One recommended products tile
Pre-designed templates are provided to help sellers balance the tiles used on a page and maintain acceptable design standards, but pages can be built from scratch or the templates adjusted to meet a seller's preferences. Currently, 12 different types of content tiles are available when constructing a Storefront. Many are available in multiple sizes or adjust automatically based on the content to accommodate a vast array of design possibilities.
Of course, there's no shortage of examples to look to when designing an Amazon Store. Most explorations reveal that captivating images and high-quality photography are consistently found in successful Storefronts. Video is also an underused feature that shoppers rate among the most helpful factors when making a purchase decision. At Amify, we've helped many of our clients refine the Amazon shopping experience for their customers. Moby, Stella & Chewy’s and Because are just a few examples of our proven approach to designing an Amazon Storefront that strengthens a brand and moves products.
The Amazon Store Approval Process
As you build your Amazon Storefront, you'll have an opportunity to preview your work as it will appear to customers. The preview function within Store Builder will allow you to review your creation and check all aspects of it for functionality. It's also wise to have other people explore the Store to spot deficiencies or ways to improve. Remember to utilize both desktop and mobile devices during your review process, as you might need to make mobile-friendly adjustments to your design.
Before the Storefront can be officially launched to the public, it will also need to be approved by Amazon. Once the Store is ready for publishing, it should be submitted via the Store Builder. The review can take up to 72 hours, so be sure to account for this when planning your Storefront debut. In addition, if Amazon flags any issues that need to be fixed, you will need to do so and re-submit for additional review. This procedure also applies to any future changes to your Storefront design or new pages that you plan to add down the road.
Amazon Storefront Advantages
Extending your brand onto Amazon and making it easier for shoppers to navigate your online store aren't the only reasons to build an Amazon Storefront. This invaluable tool also allows your company to access data that you wouldn't otherwise be available. Once your online store is active on Amazon, you'll be able to see the platform's Store insights. These reports cover two different areas of shopper data. First, metrics offer a glimpse into the habits and sales conversions originating from visitors to your stores. Specifically, you'll be able to see:
- Visitors - This is the total number of visitors to your store within the selected date range. It is calculated based on daily unique users or devices. A unique visitor can visit more than one page and can visit from more than one traffic source. For this reason, the total visitors by page or source may sum up to a value larger than the total visitors by day to the store or to the page.
- Visits - This is the number of visitors who arrived from a traffic source or visited a page within a single day (A visitor can visit from more than one traffic source and visit more than one page)
- Views - This is the number of page views your Storefront receives.
- Views/Visitor - This provides the average number of page views per visitor to your brand store.
- Views/Visit - The average number of page views per visit to a Storefront.
- Sales - This is the estimated total sales generated by store visitors, in dollar amount, within 14 days of their last visit.
- Units sold - It is an estimate of the number of units purchased by store visitors within 14 days of their last visit.
- Orders - This estimates the total number of orders placed by store visitors within 14 days of their visit. Orders contain one or more units sold.
- Units/Order - This tallies the average number of units sold per order.
- Sales/Order - This displays the average dollar amount of sales per order.
- Sales/Visitor - This calculates the average dollar amount of sales per visitor.
- Sales/Visit - This reports the average dollar amount of sales per visit.
Amazon Store insights also track how visitors are finding the online store. In some cases, the accuracy of this data will depend on your ability to utilize source tags within your digital marketing plan. Data on the sources of your Store's visitors can help a company evaluate current marketing efforts and provide direction for new initiatives. Within Store Insights, data is divided into the following four categories:
- Amazon Sponsored Brands - Traffic from Sponsored Brands ads on Amazon
- Amazon organic traffic - Traffic originating from your brand link on Amazon product detail pages
- Your tags - Traffic originating from your store's source tags
- Other sources - All other traffic sources not categorized
While Store Insights are specific to the performance of your Storefront, it's not the only data accessible to Amazon brand owners. Participation in the Amazon Brand Registry program opens the door to Amazon's Brand Analytics, making even more relevant information available to guide decision-making.
The data provided in the Brand Analytics dashboard comes via four types of reports. These include Amazon Search Terms, Market Basket Analysis, Item Comparison and Alternate Purchase Behavior, and Demographics.
The Amazon Search Terms report provides a numerical rank for search terms and, more notably, the percentage of sales and clicks for the top three items that result from each search term. The report can also be used to identify the most important search terms based on an Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN). As a result, it's an excellent tool for determining appropriate keywords when optimizing product listings and scouting your strongest competition for those search terms.
Market Basket Analysis allows brand owners to see the other items that are purchased in conjunction with their products. The value of this data can be limited depending on volume and shopping habits, but it can be a helpful resource for finding potentially complementary products.
Reviewing Item Comparison and Alternate Purchase Behavior reveals the top five items shoppers viewed in addition to a brand's product listing. While you can't use this report to view another brand's products and its chief competitors, you can use the list generated for your products to guide your Sponsored Products or Sponsored Display advertising. In addition, the ASINs of competing products identified in this data can be uploaded to a Product Targeting Campaign for these types of ads.
It's always helpful to know who is buying your products. The Demographics report does just that for Amazon brand owners. It provides a breakdown of age, household income, education, gender and marital status based on the Amazon account used to purchase a product. This is similar to the data available from a direct-to-consumer website utilizing a Facebook Pixel but may be less accurate due to households that share an Amazon account.
We can create an Amazon Storefront that tells your story
Building a successful Amazon business is hard work. A proven partner to help you navigate things like an Amazon Storefront, A+ Content, Amazon FBA logistics and account health can be the difference between flourishing and frustration. Consider the difference Amify can make for your company.
We know how to build a brand name on Amazon, and our record backs that up. Our team of more than 60 experts has helped drive $400 million in sales and average 100 percent growth for our clients in the first year after they turn to us. Contact us today to find out how we can help do the same for you.