Kaspien recently conducted our annual partner survey, where we asked our partners for feedback so we can continue to improve our services. Thanks to their valuable responses, we’ve identified several common questions that we want to address in this post.
Brand exposure comes primarily from strong branding mixed with a strategic marketing plan. When exposure is the primary goal, brands should strongly consider investing in inbound marketing, such as influencer campaigns and paid social media ads, as well as maintaining active social media pages for their brand.
Each of these efforts can increase sales, but their primary function is to increase awareness of your brand and product, expanding your audience, which in turn, grows your sales.
The highest converting ad types are typically a blend of refined ad targeting and retargeting that deliver branded content to relevant audiences.
Outside of influencers and social media, brands could utilize Amazon DSP (demand side platform), which allows brands to advertise on Amazon-owned sites, like IMDb and Audible. Kaspien has seen DSP work as an effective tool for increasing brand exposure, but brands should not rely on it as a direct sales driver. Amazon DSP requires a minimum spend of $35,000, making it a viable option for only larger brands seeking to amplify their visibility.
The above marketing tools are a great start to making your brand stand out in a saturated marketplace by improving brand recognition and audience size. In addition to those inbound marketing initiatives, brands can utilize a combination of paid and unpaid marketing services to improve their SERP placement, traffic, and conversions.
Use Ad Optimization Software
Starting with paid marketing, Sponsored Product ads and Sponsored Brand ads are a natural starting place. Sponsored Product ads are the highest converting ad type on Amazon, making them a valuable resource. However, as seller saturation increases, so too does ad saturation. Our tests show that year over year, the average cost-per-click has increased by 38%, while the average conversion rate has reduced by 36%.
To continue making sponsored ads effective, advertisers must constantly optimize them, adjusting keyword targeting and bids each day so that your ads are always running at peak performance. This process can be done manually, but it is not scalable.
Kaspien’s proprietary bid optimization software, AdManager, automates sponsored ad campaign optimizations at scale. AdManager is among the most complex ad management platforms available and is provided complimentary to all Sponsored Product campaigns run through Kaspien.
Design Listings for Both A9 and Shoppers
In addition to sponsored ads, brands should also ensure that their listings are optimized for both the search engine and shoppers, not one or the other. To do so, listings must include highly-searched keywords in the title, bullets, and product description, while also balancing keyword density with readability. If your listing appears at the top of the SERP thanks to keyword packing, but a shopper only sees a nonsensical string of keywords when they click into the listing, they are unlikely to convert.
Another huge advantage over competitors is great imagery. When browsing the search results page, what do you look at first, the title or the image? If you’re like most online shoppers, the image grabs your attention first.
If you want to increase your listing traffic, you need high quality images that highlight your product features and uses. A single, low-res photo on an off-white background won’t cut it.
Kaspien has in-house photographers, videographers, and designers who can enhance your online presentation. Any assets that they produce for you can also be used on your brand’s social media pages and website.
This pain point is a tricky one because the most effective means to prevent MAP violations occur at the start of a seller-manufacturer relationship by limiting sellers or including pricing policies in contracts.
For brands who are too far along to renegotiate contracts or limit sellers quickly, software like IP Shark or Perispect can be effective tools for channel clean up.
IP Shark is a service that identifies and removes counterfeiters and unauthorized sellers from marketplaces around the world. Kaspien has a referral program with IP Shark, allowing our partners to receive a discount.
IP Shark is effective, but it can be expensive, and it may be more than your brand needs. For brands with more moderate channel cleanup issues, they can utilize Kaspien’s proprietary brand watch software, Perispect. Perispect monitors sellers and pricing, alerting you anytime a new seller enters your listing, if a price changes, or if the seller changes. Through Perispect, you gain access to crucial information for enforcing your MAP policy and protecting your brand integrity.
Like enforcing your MAP, stopping counterfeiters is a laborious process, especially if you have yet to take legal precautions against it. Trademark, copyright, and patent everything you want to protect from unauthorized reproduction, as these will be your primary tools for protecting your brand. Additionally, brands can look into services like Brand Registry, Brand Gating, Transparency, and Project Zero to protect their Amazon channel.
You can read about these services and other resources in our post, 11 Ways to Protect Your Brand Against Counterfeiters, IPR Violations, and Rogue Sellers.
International expansion is a lengthy process that requires an incredible amount of preparation. Before expanding, you’ll need to register your brand and IPR with each market that you plan to enter, and they may already be taken. In certain countries, IPR is based on first to file rather than first to use. To acquire your IPR, you may have to buy it.
You’ll also need to prepare for each market’s sales taxes, tariffs, product testing, registration, labeling, packaging, and shipping. Rules differ by country, even within the EU, and safety testing rarely transfers across borders.
Last but not least, you’ll need to confirm you have the resources for a successful launch. That means confirming sales and distribution channels, as well as determining which marketing services are available to you for each market.
Kaspien can help your brand launch internationally, as we’ve proven with hundreds of partners. But the process takes time, with the full length dependent on the processing time at legal checkpoints and logistical obstacles.
We weren’t able to address all of our partners’ questions in this post. Please reach out to your Kaspien account manager or use our contact form if you have specific questions that weren’t addressed.
For our partners who participated in our survey, thank you for feedback! We will use it to continue refining and expanding Kaspien’s partner services.