Earlier this year, CANOPY Management gave away $35,000 worth of managed services. The lucky winner was John Canetta from Blue Orchards. The team at CANOPY had announced a giveaway contest open to everyone who filled out an online questionnaire that was designed to help us take a close look under the hood of the Amazon-selling experience. Ultimately, this is one of those situations where there are a lot of winners. OK, yes, there’s one big winner who will take advantage of three months of full Canopy Management advertising and marketing services.
That included the following:
- CANOPY Creative Services (Including Full Amazon Optimization and Professional Photography)
- Amazon PPC advertising
- Amazon Demand-Side Platform (DSP)
Still, CANOPY’s main goal was more simple and wide reaching. We wanted to understand what it’s like out there for Amazon sellers working hard to win the Buy Box.
The survey itself was designed to gather opinions and take an overall pulse of what the Amazon marketplace is like these days. — Are most of you using Amazon FBA? What software are you using? Have you dipped your toes into selling on Walmart? Are you advertising off of Amazon?
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Because . . .
CANOPY’s goal, each and every day, is to continue to level up our ability to support and assist our partners. And, we can’t do it without data.
We begin by developing a very clear understanding of our partner’s Amazon business. As an Amazon management agency, that’s step one. When establishing a relationship with our partners, we have the opportunity to hear about their pain points and their goals. Then, we dig deep to see what’s working for them and where their ecommerce roadblocks are.
Unfortunately (for both of us), you’re not all part of the CANOPY Management team (yet). With this survey, our goal is to be able to look over the shoulders of Amazon sellers to get a better feeling of what it’s like out there for the rest of you. That way we’ll be in a better position to assist you when you’re ready to reach out.
Comparing Notes with Amazon Sellers
Any form of entrepreneurship can be lonely. For a third party seller on Amazon’s increasingly competitive marketplace, it can be even worse. That’s why at CANOPY Management, we’re big fans of Facebook groups, ecommerce meetups and conferences. They are all a great way to share ideas, solve problems, and develop a better understanding of the terrain that you’re navigating.
Any hike or bike ride is always easier the second time around. Knowing the terrain allows you to measure your efforts.
That’s the second reason that we ran this Survey/Giveaway. We wanted to find a way to help Amazon sellers understand the terrain just a little bit better.
So, let’s begin with an easy one.
How Many Years Have You Been Selling on Amazon?
Even though it might seem like longer during those conversations with Amazon Seller Central, almost 70% of you have started in the last few years.
Entrepreneurs have been flocking to Amazon’s marketplace. The increase has been exponential. In 2021, Amazon was adding an average of 3,700 new sellers every single day.
So, the next question is another simple one.
It’s clear that being your own boss, for better or worse has been the driving force behind the majority of Amazon sellers.
What Do You Like Most About Being an Amazon Seller?
There are many reasons why entrepreneurs have been drawn to selling on Amazon. But, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. The next question explores the challenges and the frustrations that all sellers face. Want to take a guess what the number one thing that sellers like the least is?
Yep, and you’re not the only one. Amazon Seller Support is at the top of the list.
What Do You Like the Least?
Looking at the figures in the next chart tell me that over 35% of you are generating six figures in revenue a year with another 10% at six figures for a single month. 23% of you are just starting your Amazon selling journey.
In An Average Month, What is Your TOTAL Amazon Revenue?
For an Amazon seller, it doesn’t take long before you hear the phrase, “growing your brand.” Building a strong Amazon brand requires that you do a few key things right and they’re all at the top of the next chart.
It’s really not much of a surprise that leading the list is everyone’s favorite, “sourcing a great product with good margins.” It’s nice to see that almost everything else on the list is what CANOPY Management achieves for increasing numbers of sellers as the industry-leading Amazon agency.
What’s Been the BEST Thing You’ve Done to Grow Your Brand?
Successfully growing your Amazon business rewards ecommerce agility and balance. Maintaining the standards and procedures that got you to where you are now while expanding your brand is tricky. Combining a new Amazon product or marketplace, while continuing your Amazon product listing optimization is a great way to please an Amazon shopper.
When you add an Amazon Store for your brand, A+ Content, and an Amazon agency, you probably want to buckle your seatbelt.
How Do You Plan to Grow Your Amazon Business In the Next Year?
All it takes is an internet search to tell you that tools for selling on Amazon have become a very big thing. After all, with data acquisition and utilization such a growing aspect of business these days, it’s no surprise that SaaS (Software as a Service) companies have found their way to the top of Google’s page one.
What Software Do You Use In Your Amazon Business?
Most ecommerce sellers understand that there’s one very tricky part about selling on Amazon’s massive marketplace. All those customers that you work so hard to satisfy aren’t really your customers. Instead, they really belong to Amazon.
Still, selling on Amazon is where you want to be. There is no other place where you have such a captive online-shopping audience.
However, there comes a time where Amazon sellers decide that scaling up might involve taking advantage of external traffic to build their customer base. More importantly, off-Amazon traffic gives sellers an opportunity to build email lists at the same time.
But, how many Amazon sellers are really taking advantage of this?
Do You Drive External Traffic to Your Amazon Listings?
The previous pie-chart shows that 58% of you are not taking advantage of external traffic in your scaling efforts. Let’s look at how 42% of you are bringing unique eyes to your Amazon listings.
From the responses, it appears that there is an ever-growing list of ways that an Amazon seller can use external traffic to build their ecommerce brand.
How Are You Driving External Traffic?
Over the last year, the bulk of ecommerce conversations could be split three ways, PPC, Amazon business aggregators, and selling on other platforms. From a quick peek at the following chart, I see two main things. Walmart still has a way to go before it’s even in Amazon’s rear view mirror, and that there is a growing number of ecommerce options for sellers.
What Other Marketplaces Do You Sell On?
Amazon says themselves that “only ten dollars a day (in PPC ad spend) can help increase sales!” Allowing Amazon to make financial decisions about how you spend your ad dollars might feel a little bit like entrusting the care of the canary to the cat. Still, Amazon Pay Per Click advertising has become THE way to launch and grow your business.
So, Amazon sellers, what are you spending?
In An Average Month, What Do You Spend On Amazon Ads?
It’s clear that there’s really no middle ground. As you can see below, the majority of Amazon sellers are either very happy with their paid advertising, or not happy at all. That tells me that those of you who are using it effectively are reaping the benefits. Those that aren’t are probably struggling. Unfortunately, when it comes to advertising on Amazon, there’s a substantial learning curve to navigate.
On a Scale of 1-10 (10 Being the Best), How Happy Are You with Your Amazon Paid Advertising?
If Amazon advertising was a swanky club, picture DSP (demand-side platform) as the extravagantly decorated tables behind the velvet rope.
CANOPY has written about the impending loss of Amazon sellers’ ability to access third-party tracking.
Amazon knows what people are buying and searching for on their site. By using DSP you can leverage Amazon’s powerful data and unmatched targeting capability to reach customers wherever they are online — from browsing their favorite news sites to watching tv from their Amazon Fire stick.
Are You Using Amazon’s Newest Ad Type, DSP (Demand-Side Platform)?
In an Average Month, What Do You Spend On OFF-Amazon Advertising?
The chart above seems to reinforce one common theme associated with DSP. Amazon demand-side platform does appear to reward an upgraded level of investment.
The last chart is something of a microcosm of selling on Amazon. While two of the suggestions, “starting with as many SKUs as possible,” and “drive external traffic” might pertain to sellers with higher level skills, the rest of the advice is ecommerce 101.
Which of These Answers is the Best Advice for a New Amazon Seller Looking to Find Success?
- Use a launch strategy to rank for keywords
- Pay to have your listings professionally optimized
- Vet your suppliers well
- Only start with one SKU
- Pay top dollar for high quality photography
- Don’t drive external traffic (focus on Amazon)
- Pay an agency to run your PPC
To be honest, we couldn’t say it better ourselves. It’s clear that our respondents are a pretty clever bunch. And, like CANOPY Management, they’re looking to get better every single day.
This Could Be Your Competitive Advantage
One thing shown by this seller survey might be exactly what you need to take the next big step with your ecommerce business. For Amazon sellers looking to level up, take a moment to identify what the competition is NOT doing!
Based on this data, your competition is probably not driving external traffic, selling on other marketplaces, using DSP, or taking advantage of an Amazon agency. This might be the perfect time to use one or all of these strategies to your advantage.
I hope this information will help you have a better understanding of how your Amazon business relates to the larger ecommerce ecosystem.
As always, CANOPY Management is here to help.
CANOPY Management’s team leverages experience from across all corners of the Amazon industry to help you scale your business and gain market share. This allows you to keep your hands on the wheel of your Amazon business while at the same time benefiting from the wealth of experience and expertise of the CANOPY Management team.
CANOPY Management is a “full service” marketing agency for Amazon sellers, and our team consists of former Amazonians, multi-million dollar sellers, and award-winning experts. When you consider the ways in which CANOPY Management is able to help you grow your Amazon business, you’ll know why.
- Strategic Growth Planning
- Listing Copywriting Optimization
- Listing Photography
- Product Videography
- Advertising Management
- Customer Service
- Demand Side Platform (Amazon DSP)
- Amazon Posts
- Full Service Management
- Amazon Review Aggregation
Are you looking to expand your income stream, or transition away from your primary career? It’s a new year and with the growth of eCommerce, now is a great time to reap some benefits yourself!