It’s A Trap! Why You Shouldn’t Sacrifice Authenticity on Amazon
How to convert more sales on Amazon by remaining authentic and the reason long-tail, big-risk marketing can have more ROI than traditional campaigns
Brands are facing fierce competition in this ever-evolving ecommerce landscape. More often than not, shoppers do a general product search on Google or Amazon, where hundreds, if not thousands, of brands fight for the sale. It’s a hard arena to win in, and every company is trying to find shortcuts and strategies to give them an edge.
You’ve probably seen some of those strategies — for example, the products with a bunch of random SEO words jammed into the title so that the item appears higher in search. There are plenty more wacky Amazon tricks of the trade that brands have tried. Goal Zero is one of those brands trying to figure out the secret sauce but approaching it in a much different manner. Patrick Keller, Head of Marketing and Ecommerce at Goal Zero, may have finally solved the mystery — but the answer is not what you might be expecting.
“We want to actually find people who their very first search for backup power or home resiliency is on Amazon,” Keller said. “Attracting those people and then working them down the funnel… What we’ve seen is we’re really good at driving the traffic and we’re really good at converting the traffic. Where we get stuck is in that middle phase, the consideration phase, where people are like, ‘Well, geez. There’s 25 different power stations I can look at.’ And we convert some of them, but some of them get spun off into competitors. I think one of the things we’re looking at is saying, how do we actually take that middle consideration phase and almost eliminate it? Can we bring people back from Amazon to goalzero.com, where they learn without all the noise of the marketplace, the myriad of ads, and have them really get the full Goal Zero experience, see our differentiators, see why we as a brand have succeeded, and then bring them back to Amazon to convert?”
It’s a difficult problem to solve, but Keller and his team have been leaning into a strategy they believe will yield results. That strategy is to build brand awareness and loyalty among potential customers.
One of the problems Goal Zero faces is that its products are not everyday items people think about or are even aware of, so educating the customer base is job number one.
“Very few people in the U.S. know what a portable power station is, so you actually have to start a step back and say, ‘Let me introduce you to something you have never heard about, and then let me convince you why you need this anywhere from $400 to $5,000 thing in your home’” Keller explained. “It’s a much longer burn and really, it’s a lot more complicated in how we educate customers.”
For Goal Zero, that education process includes a commitment to long-tail marketing assets and constant testing of content. And ultimately, Keller said that everything they put out into the world has to be authentic to the brand because that’s the only way to win on Amazon or anywhere else.
“One of the things that we got caught up in was trying to play the Amazon game,” Keller said. “As a premium brand, we’d be like, ‘Well, let’s keyword our titles, and let’s try to figure out how we’re going to drive thousands of reviews,’ and all these things that you just felt you had to do on Amazon. We took a step back and said, ‘All of the stuff we do for goalzero.com is going to absolutely work on Amazon. We just have to do it the same way. We have to be ourselves and be authentic to our brand.’ We stopped talking about keyword stuffing and started talking about hey, we’re designed in the USA. Our offices are in Salt Lake City. We give back 5% of our profits to humanitarian efforts. Come check out our social impact and what we stand for as good citizens and stewards. We started talking about who we are, why we’re premium, what we are and what makes us different from the rest of the competition, specifically on these budget brands on Amazon. And we’re starting to see improvements.”
To hear more about the strategies Goal Zero is using to win in the digital world, tune into this episode of Up Next in Commerce.
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