Shopper Marketing - January 2017 - 43
Besides underinvesting in e-commerce and
Amazon, CPG companies tend to be "too narrowly focused on Amazon as just a retailer,
says Esteban Gamboa, who worked at P&G
and Jack Link's before joining Seattle-based ecommerce analytics firm Stackline as director
of business development. "Amazon is so much
more. Retail is just one pillar."
Spurred by its "customer-obsessed drive to
get closer and closer to consumers," Amazon
has become the fastest-growing media platform in the U.S., Gamboa says.
The platform provides new touchpoints and
opportunities for brands to "get ingrained" in
Amazon media, says Gamboa, pointing out
that P&G once had an entertainment arm and
that soap manufacturers' radio and TV series
sponsorships gave soap operas their name.
Modernizing that concept for digital media
on Amazon could help CPGs shorten the path
to purchase, Gamboa says. "Whereas people
consume media on sites like Facebook when
they're in social mode, people consuming media on Amazon are in shopper mode."
SEO and Big Data
Amazon has also evolved into a default product search engine, often providing people's
first online experience with a brand. Since
brands have the power to improve their ranking and visibility by mastering Amazon's selfservice Seller Central product listing and merchandising dashboard, "Job No. 1 is providing
thorough, up-to-date product data [product
title, description, images, SEO keywords and
metatags, and optional content such as recipes
and video demos] and recognizing it's a worthwhile investment in the future even if it doesn't
affect the next quarter," Bishop says.
The immediate return on investment is the
analytics that Seller Central compiles, provided CPGs know how to glean shopper insights
from the data.
Effective use of Seller Central requires SEO
knowledge, including the specific search terms
consumers use. Too often, manufacturers get
caught up in their own nomenclature. For example, in the shave category, manufacturers
experienced disappointing sales of razor "cartridges" online before realizing that "not a lot
of consumers were typing that into the search
bar," Gamboa says. Sales took off when they
retitled them as "blades" and "replacement
heads," the terms favored by consumers.
Breaking Down Barriers
Amazon Echo, a voice-activated speaker connected to Amazon's Alexa Voice Service, brings
Amazon out of the computer and onto the
countertop. Consumers tell "Alexa" to send
them a product, and she recommends a particular brand and pack variation if none are
This home invasion can be a boon to CPGs,
but from a retailer point of view, these compact, columnar "home speakers" are a formidable threat because they "literally put Amazon in the kitchen, the bedroom and the living
room," says Danny Silverman, head of product strategy at Clavis Insight, a Boston-based
global ecommerce analytics firm.
Amazon's smaller, puck-like Echo Dot speakers come in multipacks so consumers will place
them in every room. "It's the biggest Trojan
horse you can imagine," Silverman says.
To compete in this emerging, AmazonJANUARY 2017 SHOPPER MARKETING