Author: 23 Feb 2023minutes read
Business owners have countless options when it comes to engaging their customers. While multiple options provide opportunities, they also can bring some big challenges for business owners seeking to build and nurture relationships with customers.
That’s where holistic business thinking comes in. When a business owner has the whole view of their business operations, they can more effectively identify and prioritize both the opportunities and the challenges to meet their business goals.
To get a better sense of the challenges and opportunities merchants face in getting a holistic view of their business and navigating omnichannel sales, we got some perspective from Amauri Campos, VP of Marketing and Media with Advantage Unified Commerce, a Buy with Prime Agency Partner.
The following are some of the top takeaways from the conversation with Amauri.
Amauri: The holistic approach to business isn’t just about being available on multiple devices and platforms. It’s about leveraging the best aspects of each sales channel to create a seamless path to purchase—so that shoppers can initiate a search on one platform and complete their purchase on another. We firmly believe that the key to understanding what works in ecommerce is getting a deep understanding of consumer purchase behavior.
A lot of businesses work with a mental frameworks that siloes each sales channel, and each channel gets tracked individually. So direct-to-consumer becomes a walled garden, sales on Amazon.com become a walled garden, brick-and-mortar another walled garden, and so on. It’s clearly important to understand how each channel is performing, but it’s crucial to see how these different channels support and reinforce each other.
Recommendation: Continue tracking the efficacy of all your sales channels, but break down the walls so you can learn and apply best practices across channels to elevate your entire sales engine.
Amauri: Yes, when we look at Amazon.com, for example, it’s becoming more of a discovery playground for brands and products. Brands still want, and need, a direct-to-consumer site to have the real estate to control their brand and messaging, but Amazon is perceived as an end-to-end ecommerce expert. The discovery aspects of Amazon should feed into the shopper experience on brands’ ecommerce sites. Buy with Prime is interesting as it allows merchants to say to customers, “If you buy my products, you'll know you're getting a world-class end-to-end ecommerce service. You don't have to wonder how returns work, you don’t have to worry about shipping times, because you know exactly what you're getting.” Brand stores on Amazon.com can and should support the shopper experience beyond Amazon.
Recommendation: Ensure your brand expression and messaging around Prime shopping benefits are consistent across all customer touch points.
Amauri: Quite simply, getting help. The biggest hurdle for merchants who are considering expanding their sales channels is how to best utilize the resources they have available. So for ecommerce businesses, it becomes a matter of prioritization—do I move from a proven channel to a new, unproven channel? And there are so many options—businesses can run targeted email campaigns, engage influencers, set up referral programs, even start working with direct mail—making that choice of where to direct finite resources can become daunting for many online brands.
Recommendation: Use data and insights to inform resource allocation and prioritization of tactics to drive customer engagement across your sales channels.
Amauri: I’ll come back to Buy with Prime again, because what’s great about it is that it’s not resource-intensive. It’s hassle mitigation for merchants. It allows them to focus on their business rather than directing their energy to operations and logistics.
The learning curve is small for many merchants because they know that working with Amazon can simplify operations. Even more importantly, there’s no substantial learning curve for shoppers—when they see the Buy with Prime badge on a site, they know exactly what they can expect. They know they can purchase safely and securely. And that’s going to help with conversion. The brands we’ve worked with that are using Buy with Prime have seen some immediate success. Clicking on that button is a comfort zone for shoppers.
Recommendation: Use the Buy with Prime badge in your marketing materials to drive shopper trust and confidence in purchasing on your site.
Amauri: We advise clients to first understand the features and benefits of the sales channels they’re using. We try to help them move away from the “walled garden” thinking. Yes, merchants need to look at metrics such as order volume, returns, and conversions of each individual sales channel, but they need to analyze data holistically to determine which channels are driving growth and which ones aren’t. For those channels that are not driving the business forward, merchants need to find ways to use the features of the channel more effectively or consider deprioritizing them.
Learn more about how Advantage Unified Commerce helps ecommerce businesses grow across sales channels.
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