It might be difficult for anyone to question the marketing skills of Jeff Bezos, who scaled up to be the richest person in the world last year, however, it is obvious that his company Amazon has been neglecting a crucial factor in marketing – social media.
Perhaps Amazon has left it to their affiliate partners to promote their products but that doesn’t seem to be as effective for a reason. Meanwhile, sellers have started considering other options like Shopify to market their goods. The retail market has always been both volatile and unpredictable. It isn’t any different with online retail either.
A couple of reasons Amazon might face trouble in near are high competition on the retail giant’s website, and difficulty in marketing their products, etc.
What kind of social media is marketing Amazon products and how?
Presently, Amazon leaves the job of marketing products to its affiliate partners. The partners usually use blogs and websites to present the products to end users. Think of this situation – a shopper wants to buy sports shoes, but doesn’t know which option is the most durable in the market.
One good way is to check through the reviews on Amazon, however, that is tough considering the number of options available on the website. Any shopper could get confused, and thus they prefer searching something like “top 10 sports shoes” on the web or checking for Journalreview – Marketing for Amazon site. A few of the top results could be of those blogs which have been specifically created to serve as affiliate partners to Amazon and earn a commission by selling their products.
While this model seems good, flaws could be pointed out easily. Amazon is in competition to local markets and thus the price of products matter a lot. Thus, Amazon keeps the price lower than its competitors. To do so, they purchase products from the initial-most dealers, and try create a competition. This helps eliminate many hands in the sale process. These dealers need to pay a certain commission to Amazon since they are managing the shipping charges.
Amazon needs to pay a commission to their affiliate partner since they are assisting in selling the product. Other than this, the dealer needs to make a profit too, and the customer would consider the delivery charges while ordering the product.
Throughout the transaction, every party involved needs to make profit and every party involved is competing with others. Thus, the margin is low for everyone. The real winner is the end customer, however, all other parties start questioning their scope in the industry.
The satisfaction and happiness of sellers is as important as the satisfaction of buyers, otherwise the market cannot be sustained. Ventures like Grofers and Big Basket are in losses because sellers weren’t happy and it is high time Amazon needs to learn.
This isn’t the case with Shopify. They provide an easy solution for small businesses, which are usually hidden while dealing on Amazon. Buyers hardly know anything about the dealer they purchase the product from.
How could Amazon use social media to boost its sales?
While Amazon is the largest online shopping website, many of the less known products on the website remain both unchecked and unsold. for Example. Products like artificial jewelry, incense sticks, etc. are rarely checked on Amazon.
These products and other non-essentials are presented by Amazon during occasional sales as highly discounted options. Yet, their scope for sale is low. The only way to sell these non-essential items is through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
The liability of selling the items could be on the dealers themselves, while they get to price the products higher. In this case, Amazon would save the commission paid to bloggers. This model has been suggested because Facebook users have a different mind-set. They use social media for leisure and would mostly buy products that wouldn’t be useful. For essential products or products of value, they would check Google and compare reviews.
Twitter is another case, where advertisements work in yet a different manner. This type of social media would be ideal for event marketing. Netizens flock to Twitter during political seasons and festivals. Selling caps, t-shirts, and other merchandise related to the upcoming event could be a good idea for Twitter.
The interesting part is that Facebook is quite interested in inviting paid clients for advertisements. Earlier, most of the traffic on pages was organic, however, there has been a recent shift to sponsored posts. This gives serious marketers an opportunity to use it to sell their products directly without tying up with any page, etc.
As social media makes it easy to sell products, it becomes an opportunity for online marketing giants and their distributors. If the team at Amazon becomes complacent, smaller players like Shopify could sneak into the market and it would be difficult to overcome the competition.