But does selling products on Amazon make sense for your outdoor brand? The answer to this question depends on your brand’s situation and goals. If you’re thinking about leveraging this powerful platform to boost your outdoor brand’s sales, consider these six pros and cons to selling on Amazon:
Pro: Exposure to a huge new audience of potential customers
With more than 200 million Amazon Prime members globally (and nearly 150 million in the United States alone) — not to mention millions of non-member customers beyond those — selling on Amazon can open your outdoor brand’s offerings to a world of new buyers. Further, according to a 2019 Amazon report, small businesses in the United States sell an average of 4,000 items per minute on Amazon. Clearly, selling on Amazon can offer your outdoor brand a big opportunity to boost its online sales.
Con: You lose control of the customer experience
When your outdoor brand makes DTC sales via its own website, it’s in complete control of the website’s look and feel, the placement of product listings, the checkout process — in fact, the entire customer purchase journey. But when you sell on Amazon, these things are out of your control, so you’re unable to customize the customer experience. Further, since Amazon controls the customer relationship, you’re unable to perform tasks such as capturing email addresses for remarketing purposes and delivering subsequent customer communications, for example.
Pro: Getting started is a fairly painless process
When your outdoor brand sells its products on Amazon, there’s no need to build a website, set up e-commerce capabilities, perform the marketing tasks needed to drive potential customers to the site, etc. And the process of getting launched as an Amazon seller and setting up your listings is a fairly straightforward one, too. So, getting started with Amazon sales presents a significantly simpler path to market for your outdoor brand than creating your own DTC route.
Con: Amazon takes a sizable cut
While the cost of selling on Amazon can vary considerably based on the type of product being sold, the e-commerce giant’s referral fees are considerable. Most stand between 8% and 15%, and the costs go up more when businesses choose to have Amazon fulfill their orders directly, as a result of storage fees and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) fees. To learn more about the costs of selling on Amazon, check out Amazon’s pricing page.
Pro: If you sell a unique product with ample margins, it can be a big win
If your outdoor product is a unique one without a lot of competition, Amazon can present an especially strong opportunity for you — as you can be a clear provider of choice when consumers on the site search for your offerings. Leveraging Amazon’s FBA services can also take a lot of the heavy lifting off your plate when it comes to product storage and order fulfillment. Just be sure that you can maintain enough pricing control to ensure adequate margins that allow you to overcome Amazon’s commissions, as these can definitely add up.
Con: Competition is high
With so many potential buyers up for grabs on Amazon, of course, a lot of businesses are attracted to the opportunity. And especially if your outdoor brand is selling a common product, you’ll be competing fiercely with other sellers to earn the coveted “Amazon’s Choice” badge, to win the Amazon Buy Box — and, ultimately, to land in customers’ carts. To boost your brand’s Amazon success, it’s essential to employ a long-term strategy geared toward doing all of these things by, for example, getting positive customer feedback, fulfilling orders quickly, offering competitive prices and having an updated inventory.
Amazon can present a big sales-growth opportunity for any outdoor brand, but your own company’s specific situation and goals can move the needle in one direction or the other. Before you take the plunge with your outdoor brand, be careful to consider all of the benefits and drawbacks, then move forward with the best strategy for your company.
Could your outdoor brand use the help of a team of highly experienced marketing professionals to leverage Amazon for its sales efforts? At TBA Outdoors, our fully integrated marketing firm boasts a team of seasoned specialists (and outdoors fanatics) who can cover all aspects of marketing — including email marketing, SEO, brand strategy, creative, social media, e-commerce, analytics, public relations and much more — all in one place. And as certified brand strategists, we can also help you with the big-picture adjustments sometimes needed put your outdoor brand on a course to long-term success.
To get started with professional guidance ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost your outdoor brand’s overall performance and identity, contact us today.