Here’s What Fashion Brands Must Consider Before Selling On Amazon

If you’re a new brand, would you sell your product on Amazon?

Brand executives across the world grapple with this question every time they get ready to launch their products online. Retailing on Amazon seems like the most logical step for any new brand to take, given Amazon’s massive customer reach, logistical strengths, GenZ’s preference for the platform and the fact that setting up shop on Amazon takes mere minutes. However, there are significant pitfalls for brands who choose to sell on Amazon that might have a bearing on the brand’s future.

Fake Reviews And A Vulnerable System

It was reported yesterday that Amazon is flooded with fake reviews — the kind that pushes unknown brands to the top of the results. Of the 12,000 reviews that consumer group Which? analyzed, 87% were from unverified purchases! Sellers are gaming the system to get on top and while Amazon claims to have the automated technology to weed these reviews out, the fact remains that marketplaces, especially at the scale of Amazon’s are vulnerable to having their systems gamed. New brands will have it especially hard to come on top.

Brands Don’t Have Access To Customer Data

Did you know that 2.5 million quintillion bytes of data are generated every single day? Data is currency and brands need to actively be front and centre in its creation, its management and its deployment. When brands sell on Amazon, however, they don’t have access to wholesome customer data. In fact, Amazon started giving out data through an analytics dashboard only two months ago and even the data covered in the dashboard doesn’t give a complete picture. As a result, they do not have a comprehensive understanding of their customers. This grasp of who their customer is and what each segment is purchasing is crucial for brands and has a direct impact on their production as well as the brand’s roadmap for the future. How do you decide what to make if you don’t know what your customers are buying?

41% of customers are willing to let go of a brand because of poor customer experience!

Where is the Customer Experience?

Today’s customer isn’t looking for products as much as she is looking for experiences. Did you know that 41% of customers are willing to let go of a brand because of poor customer experience? When a brand sells on Amazon, they are losing their customer relationship to the platform and consequently, they lose the opportunity to become memorable to their customer. On the other hand, brands that sell through their own channels have complete control over their customer’s experience and can customize it to their customers’ preferences.

The Question of Identity

Amazon’s customers are Amazon’s customers. Brands must be cognizant of this. Selling on Amazon makes it impossible for brands to craft their own identity and stand apart from the sea of brands and sellers who already occupy the e-commerce behemoth’s platform. Selling on Amazon might make sense as a distribution strategy, but it will never be a sustainable way to acquire customer loyalty and following. With new sellers added on the platform every day, discoverability becomes incredibly difficult and competitive, especially for newer brands. Additionally, the ease of setting up on Amazon enables the rise of fake goods, which can destroy the brands’ hard-earned reputation.

For brands that are starting out, selling on Amazon might seem like an easy way of breaking into the market. The effortless set-up and the established audience that runs into the hundreds of millions shouldn’t lure brands away from thinking about their long-term future for which they will need control and growth.

And Amazon will give them neither.