If you’re shopping for an Amazon agency but aren’t sure if now is the right time, consider this: Consumer spend in ecommerce is expected to grow 18% this year, while spend in brick and mortar retail is expected to drop by 14%. This forecast supports two important trends we’ve seen since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the US:
1) More shoppers are buying more of their goods online.
2) Shoppers who previously did not shop online are now using ecommerce sites.
We fully expect both of these trends will outlive the pandemic, which means that brands who aren’t selling online are going to be at an increasing disadvantage.
Now is the time to sell online, Amazon is the place to do it, and an Amazon agency is one of the best ways to do it. To help you decide if you want to work with an Amazon agency, we’ve prepared a list of the top four considerations and benefits of hiring an agency.
Selling online is challenging. Managing the supply chain, inventory, marketing, listing optimizations, case management, customer reviews, and reporting requires a full-time team. If you don’t have the personnel, expertise, and/or software in-house to successfully manage these programs, it’s far easier to hire outside help. An Amazon agency provides the staff, experience, strategy, and software needed to grow a profitable and secure Amazon business. Furthermore, hiring an agency will likely be cheaper than hiring comparable personnel in-house.
Even if you’d prefer to manage your online sales channel independently, an agency can be a good stepping stone, laying a strong foundation for your online business while you prepare resources internally to eventually take over.
When you work with an Amazon agency, you maintain an inventory position; in other words, you’re the seller. No one else is between your brand and your customers. Shoppers will see that the product is made by you, sold by you, customer questions are answered by your brand, and that can build trust.
Now, how does that work when partnering with an agency? When you work with an agency, they’ll manage the backend of your Amazon channel through your brand’s seller account. This means all their expertise and resources are applied from within your own account, so consumers see only your brand on the frontend of a listing. This is one of the many differences between working with an agency and working with a retailer. A retailer will optimize your listings through their seller account, whereas an agency does so through yours.
Ultimately, maintaining inventory control and optimizing your sales channel through your own seller account results in greater transparency and control. You can access your account to review performance whenever you want. The agency can (and should) advise, but you have the final say on all things.
Getting the most out of your online business requires hours of attention. Amazon is not a “set it and forget it” marketplace. Each ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number – an alphanumeric code Amazon uses to identify each product) requires regular review and management if you want to maximize your sales.
We serve as an Amazon agency for many leading brands with varying catalog sizes. On average, we invest 60 hours per week in channel management for brands with 100 or more ASINs. That time includes inventory management, sales forecasting, customer review management, listing optimizations, paid marketing optimizations, and more. But as a result of investing so many hours on a weekly basis, we drive continual strong growth.
Now, if you don’t have such a large catalog, you’ll naturally require less time for channel management. Just keep in mind that hours per ASIN is not a linear chart. The time commitment per ASIN typically reduces as the number of ASINs increases because, in most cases, groups of ASINs share similarities, so the same content can be adapted to suit multiple ASINs.
One of the most important questions is price. How much does it cost to work with an Amazon agency?
At Kaspien, our agency partnerships start at a $3,000/month retainer. However, if you’re seeking assistance for only specific services, such as marketing, all of our offerings are also available as managed services. Our managed services start at $100/hour.
If you think about it, that means working with an agency is actually less expensive than hiring a full-time employee to run your online sales channel. Furthermore, you gain much more than a single employee by working with an agency; you tap into the collective knowledge of hundreds of professionals and a suite of software (at least, if you work with Kaspien). That expertise, strategy, and automation translates into more sales and greater profitability, to the point where your Amazon agency pays for itself and then some.