If you’re wondering about this, here’s a few things to ask yourself:
- Can our product(s) be effectively understood, sold, warehoused and shipped from Amazon?
- Does our company have other sales channels and personnel (such as brick and mortar retailers, distributors, web sellers, sales reps) that could be impacted by a presence on Amazon?
- Is the inventory we ship into the various channels well controlled? In other words, are the sellers of our products clearly defined or are the products sold by anyone who can call our distributors and “fog a mirror”?
- Does our company have a pricing policy or strategy that keeps customer facing prices within reason across our resellers?
- Do we have customer facing pricing issues currently (without Amazon)?
- Do we have the resources to create an internal “team” to manage a large channel like Amazon?
- Have we protected our intellectual property such as images and trademarks?
- Are we aware of the potential upsides and risks with an Amazon presence?
- Are we able to increase production if our sales velocity spikes on Amazon?
The answers to these questions will not necessarily give you a clear vision of your business on Amazon, but they might help you deeply consider the consequences of doing business on the Amazon marketplace, both positive and negative.
Amazon has made it very easy to get your products on their site and in many cases that’s just fine if you are just selling someone else’s products. But if you own or manage a brand, all these questions are critical to your future on Amazon. Poor planning or a lack of foresight has had devastating effects on many reputable brands. And the cost of the clean-up is high.
Among the most under-considered issues with Amazon engagement is the impact on your other sales channels. I know many sales and marketing executives who receive daily calls from their customers and sales teams because they are “getting killed” by Amazon.
Will your visibility on Amazon poach sales from your other channels? If not, then get started on Amazon now! But if there are going to be issues, better start planning for that and getting realistic about the total impact to both your internal and external stakeholders.
So, plan and consider carefully before you sign the Amazon agreement and start posting your products. Amazon is a tremendous opportunity if managed appropriately and part of a comprehensive strategic sales and marketing plan.
To get the comprehensive “7 Steps to Preparing Your Business for Amazon”, click here.