Since 2019, you have been the business manager of the successful bicycle accessories brand AARON. What made you decide to support this very team back then? Tell us something about your vision.
When the founders Hans Mina and Marco Mitko presented me the vision of AARON "to become the most successful bike accessories brand on Amazon" I had to smile at first, but it all made a lot of sense very quickly, as they both bring years of experience in the core areas. Marco looks back on 20 years of experience in the bike business and runs his own wholesale business. Hans is co-founder of a successful marketing agency. The two of them started from scratch and can already show remarkable figures without the support of investors. So far, we are on a good path together - we were able to double our sales in each of the last two years and we are also very optimistic about the next year and want to take off not only in Germany but also on the other Amazon marketplaces in Europe, the USA and the like.
AARON sells products both in its own online shop and on the marketplace giant Amazon. What advantages and disadvantages do you see in each of the sales alternatives and what are your key learnings?
The danger of relying only on Amazon is, of course, the dependency you put yourself in. Nevertheless, it is very tempting for many brands to pursue a strategy that puts a strong focus on Amazon, since the platform has an enormous traffic and the visitors usually pursue a strong purchase intention. In addition, Amazon has almost perfected the processes, especially in logistics, and it is a big challenge to manage this yourself, especially at the beginning. Nevertheless, it is also at the top of our agenda to expand our online shop and to open up further sales channels in order to counteract this dependency.
The challenge when expanding the online shop is to bring traffic to the shop and to convert this traffic. Here we try to orient ourselves on successful shops.
It is much more difficult to generate relevant sales via other platforms such as Ebay or Otto, as these have fewer visitors than the marketplace giant Amazon.
Those who want to sell private label products on Amazon are often confronted with a multitude of instructions, tips and tricks. Which topic would you take particularly seriously?
In the meantime, an ecosystem of its own has formed around Amazon, which includes numerous providers with solutions to almost every challenge of the marketplace. However, even with the support of these service providers and all the tips and tricks that can otherwise be found on the web - from both reputable and untrustworthy sources - there is no way around developing a functioning product that meets the demands of customers in the best possible way. In order to achieve this, customer reviews of competitor products should be taken very seriously, as they can be used to identify which mistakes need to be avoided and what customers want from a product as early as the product development stage. But even a good product alone is not enough. The visibility of a product and the presentation on the product detail page are the core issues that sellers have to master on Amazon.
Once the products are for sale on Amazon, further tasks arise: Product detail pages must be optimized and, if necessary, Amazon Sponsored Ads must be placed. What should sellers be aware of?
Many sellers make the mistake of placing ads before the product detail page is perfectly optimized and spend a lot of money right from the start. Customers click on the ads, but don't convert afterwards because they can't find the information they want on the product detail page.
Therefore, before investing in advertising measures on Amazon, the homework on the product detail page must be done. Here you should pay special attention to meaningful product images and A+Content, because customers are looking for easily accessible information and do not want to read novels.
Higher brand affinity, more traffic as well as the possibility to provide more extensive content - sellers can benefit from these and other advantages when using an Amazon Brand Store. What should sellers keep in mind and which advantages do you see as particularly important?
The Brand Stores offer the possibility to present a brand on Amazon and to clearly present the entire product range. In addition to the product presentation, further information about the brand and the company behind it should be found here, as well as the brand message to be conveyed to the customer. Brands should try to build a relationship with the customer by telling their story behind it and thus pick up the customer and take him into their brand world. Until recently, it was hardly possible for sellers to do brand building on Amazon, but through A+Content and the Brand Stores, there is now the possibility to present themselves to their target group.
Earlier this year, you published the book "Amazon for Decision Makers: Strategy Development, Implementation and Case Studies for Manufacturers and Retailers" published. The book helps manufacturers and retailers develop the right Amazon marketplace strategy for them. Do you have any tips that readers can implement immediately to effectively use the Amazon ecosystem and successfully implement sales strategies?
Like the entire e-commerce, the sale of products on Amazon is very dynamic and there are constantly new opportunities to optimally stage or promote its products. One of the most important points, which we have also written on the flag at AARON, is to immediately test all new possibilities that Amazon offers us. Even if the innovation is not immediately implemented perfectly in the first step, in our opinion it is better to have started incorrectly and to optimize little by little than to want to do everything perfectly and thereby lose valuable time.
It can be strongly assumed that Amazon's share of sales in the entire e-commerce market will increase even more in the future, which is why the strategy should primarily include being represented on Amazon with an optimized presence and not treating this marketplace stepmotherly, as some - even established - brands still do.