Amazon and Shopify are two of the biggest players today when it comes to running e-commerce businesses. Many find Amazon a convenient platform to get started as a seller. While Shopify offers ease of use, combined with more personalization, making it a great platform to build a unique brand.
It doesn’t have to be one or the other, though. A lot of successful e-commerce brands run on both platforms, and have great results by mixing the best part of each.
As a Shopify seller, you may be totally happy with their platform. But in this article, we’re going to go into why it’s a good idea to supplement your Shopify sales by launching on Amazon too.
Why Sell on Amazon?
There’s good reason that so many people are choosing to sell on Amazon. It offers a great platform to get started, as opposed to building a business from the ground up. The process of attracting customers to your store is made a lot easier. Amazon already drives the traffic, all you have to worry about it ranking for keywords.
And it’s not just for beginners. A lot of huge brands with well-established name recognition continue to sell on Amazon, even though they can sustain themselves with their own traffic.
Let’s look at some of the key benefits, in particular for established sellers.
Access to a wide user base
A much-quoted stat, Amazon sees 49% of online product searches. That means, if someone is going online with the intention of buying a pair of sunglasses (for example), there’s a one in two chance they’ll search for it on Amazon.
That’s a huge source of traffic already there, because of Amazon’s huge brand and name recognition. If you don’t sell on Amazon, you’re essentially losing out on half of all the traffic online. Not all that traffic would convert for you, but being on Amazon increases your pool of potential customers.
There are, of course, more fees to deal with when selling on Amazon. But consider the costs of acquiring a new customer. For a Shopify store this might be ads on Google/Facebook, Influencer partnerships, paying for content, etc. Having Amazon introduce you to millions of potential customers each day is well worth it.
Shoppers on Amazon are there for one reason – they want to buy something. That’s great news for you as a seller, as it means your conversion rate is likely to be a lot higher than everywhere else on the internet.
Studies show that, on average, e-commerce retailers convert viewers into sales around 3% of the time. Amazon, however, has an average conversion rate of 13%, which goes up to a massive 74% for Amazon Prime members.
This is why Amazon sellers put a lot of time and effort into optimizing their listings for organic Amazon traffic. Higher average conversion rates mean if you do things right, a better return on investment compared to advertising on other channels.
Easy fulfillment options
One of Amazon’s big value propositions is their Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) service. This allows Amazon to take care of all storage and shipping for you, so you can dedicate more time and energy to other areas of your business. Free two-day shipping is a big deal too and is one of the reasons Amazon Prime members convert at such a high rate.
If you would rather take care of fulfillment yourself, Amazon also allows sellers to do this. So you will be able to use the same fulfillment channels as with your Shopify sales. You can still benefit from Amazon’s traffic channels while retaining hands-on control over your product.
Handling it yourself will save you a bit in fees, although be aware, Amazon tends to favor listings that are FBA. In particular, it is understood to be much harder to win the buy box on Amazon for sellers operating under FBM, as opposed to FBA.
FBM sellers, for the most part, won’t be eligible for Amazon Prime, and the uptick in sales that comes with Prime customers. Some proven sellers who maintain a good standing with Amazon may be eligible, but it’s unlikely for a seller starting out on Amazon.
More traffic sources = more sales
As long as you can juggle them all, it makes sense to get your products in as many channels as possible. The wider your reach online, the more potential customers there are in front of you.
With more fees, margins may not be as high. However, the increased volume and cash flow make up for this. Not to mention, opening your brand to a wider audience and wider recognition.
How to Jumpstart Your Amazon Store
If you’ve worked to build an e-commerce business from the ground up, you might be hesitant to do it all over again on Amazon.
If you have a successful and established Shopify store, you’re in a great position to launch on Amazon and hit the ground running.
Optimize your listings for Amazon SEO
The biggest change Shopify store owners will need to make is becoming familiar with the Amazon search algorithm. On your own site, you’re putting your products directly in front of your customers. On Amazon, you need to ensure your listings can be found in product searches.
Data from Amazon shows 64% of clicks on their search results page go to the first three listings, and 70% of customers will not click past the first page. So for selling on Amazon to be worthwhile, you need your products to rank in near the top for relative keywords.
The first step is to do keyword research. You need to find search terms with a large search volume, which relate to what you are selling. It’s no use ranking high for a keyword that has nothing to do with your product. You will just end up with a low conversion rate – another factor Amazon’s search algorithm takes into account.
Once you know which keywords you want to target, you should optimize the heading and copy of your listing to include as many related search terms as possible, with the main terms in your product title. Maintain a balance of readability and keyword density. Stuffing search terms in a way that doesn’t make sense will turn customers off, and Amazon’s algorithm is likely to notice.
Run external traffic campaigns
Keyword optimization is not the only factor in the Amazon search algorithm. Sales velocity and conversion rate are commonly cited as the two major metrics that affect where your product ranks. So if you want to take the #1 spot for your targeted keywords, you’ll need a lot of sales.
It’s difficult to get organic Amazon sales without already ranking high. So, the best way to get your sales velocity up is by driving external traffic. Luckily, if you’re already running an e-commerce store on a platform like Shopify, you already have a good idea of how to drive traffic.
An effective launch method for a new Amazon listing is to run a promotional campaign. Offer incentives for people to buy your product on Amazon, and you can quickly get your sales off the ground. It may take a cost up front to get rolling, but if successful, the organic Amazon sales you get from ranking high more than makes up for it.
You can offer incentives in the form of a value-add related to your product, such as a free eBook or instructional video – this can work great for some niches. But a method that works for almost every kind of product is discount promo codes. A tool like LandingCube helps you distribute single-use promo codes on external traffic sources (Facebook ads, email marketing), which translate to a big boost in Amazon sales.
Use your existing customer base to create Facebook lookalike audiences
Another reason Shopify store owners are in a great position to launch on Amazon, is they already have a customer base. Most stores on Amazon don’t – they consider sales made from Amazon SERP to be their customer, not the seller’s. Making retargeting and external marketing tough.
You can use Facebook Pixel data (and an email list, if you have one) from your Shopify store to make really effective Facebook lookalike audiences. You can then use this for your Amazon launch campaigns. Lookalike audiences put your ads in front of Facebook users with a similar profile to your past customers. This makes it a powerful way to get seen by people who are more likely to want to buy your products.
An extra step you can do is layering your lookalike audience with an interest in Amazon.com. So your ads will only be shown to those who already expressed a willingness to buy on Amazon.
As an example, we ran a Facebook ads campaign for a women’s pants product, which was launching on Amazon. The product had several years’ sales history on Shopify, as well as an email list. Using this to craft a lookalike audience for a discount promo code campaign, we were able to drop their cost per conversion from over $11 to $2 per lead (the cost of FB ads combined with a 45% discount promo code).
To make as many sales as possible, e-commerce businesses should try to expand as far as possible. That means even a successful Shopify store can benefit greatly from launching on Amazon and getting in front of millions more shoppers every day.
Shopify businesses are in a great position to launch on Amazon and have success in a short amount of time. Run launch promotions, drive external traffic, and use the customer base and targeting you already have in place. Soon you’ll have a powerful, multi-platform e-commerce store.