Where Do You Stand?
Taking advantage of current and future Amazon Trends 2018 requires first knowing where you stand relative to those trends. To understand that, revisit your business plan.
You must know your goals as well as your key performance indicators (KPIs). If you’ve already established goals, are they SMART goals? In other words, are they:
To help assure your goals are realistic and achievable, and that you are positioned to pursue opportunities presented within Amazon trends 2018, be sure you understand:
- Not only the size you want to grow to, but the size you are growing from
- What the market opportunities are (and are not) for your growth plans
- The seller metrics Amazon (your KPIs) values and how to track them
- How to monitor your progress and make adjustments, at least monthly
If you are not sure how to do that type of analysis, we recommend you find a qualified expert who can help.
* Intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. Fees may be changed by Amazon at any time.
Know the Trends
Once you know where you stand in the Amazon marketplace, you can better plan how to take advantage of the Amazon trends 2018. You may find that you are in a good position to take advantage of certain trends, but not others. Of the following Amazon trends 2018, focus first on what knowledge you can take advantage of now:
Amazon Seller Tools
Last year’s updates to the Brand Registry, which tightened up safeguards against item counterfeiting, included the registering of trademarks owned by manufacturer’s or their authorized resellers. Those who control their own brands have a lot more sales boosting options available to them. Look for Amazon to implement further brand protection safeguards in the months ahead.
Alternately, brand owners can take actions on your own by expressly prohibiting, in their reseller policies, the reselling or diverting of inventory to unauthorized resellers. Brands must then enforce that policy, or course.
Clearly, there is every chance of a branded item being sold on Amazon. Who has control of it is what is at stake.
“By providing a level of exposure to its ‘Back to Business’ promotion, Amazon is clearly signaling that Amazon Business is a priority for the company,” said senior vice president of e-commerce and omnichannel strategy at e-commerce design and development agency Guidance in a recent B2B E-Commerce World interview.
Amazon 3P sellers who are interested in scaling their business, and willing to undergo the more rigorous processes involved with selling B2B to professional buyers, can now register for Amazon Business through their seller accounts.
At its own cost, Amazon has taken the initiative of discounting some 3P sellers’ prices. While this may not negatively impact the margins of those sellers, it can quickly increase sales volume, thereby diminishing seller inventories and placing sellers at greater risk of stocking violations. This all the more reason why Sellers should monitor inventories regularly.
Available to Vendors for years as a promotional option, the coupon system is now available to 3P sellers on Seller Central. They have generally been more successful than BOGO offers, etc., possibly due to great visual prominence.
A third party seller can now include video shorts on their listings in the space above the customer questions and, in some cases, 3P sellers can now add video directly into the main block of images. Product reviews on video will likely become more prevalent.
Headline ads are a recent addition to the Amazon 3P seller side for brand registered sellers.
There seems to be some change happening in the consistency and placement of headline ads and sponsored ads. Sometimes headline ads are pulled in place of sponsored product ads.
Also, sponsored product ads won’t appear on the right side of the screen anymore as Amazon has announced that they are pulling them from that location and placing them inline within the search results page. The sponsored ad could appear anywhere on the page, top, middle or bottom.
Sponsored products will continue to proliferate on Amazon, and perhaps away from Google and Facebook, etc., simply because brands and sellers have discovered ad ROI is better when those consumers are much closer to making a purchasing decision.
Overall, ad algorithms may become more capable of parsing granular data for customer segmentation and the processing keyword data.
Largely a beta program unveiled recently, hazmat products are now being sold by some 3P sellers who have found a way to get in to the hazmat seller program. Specifics such as how to register for the program, and what restrictions there may be are still under wraps as of this writing. The beta testing limitations may be tied to geographic considerations, ie., which fulfillment centers are licensed to handle which specific materials produced locally or regionally.
- FBA Rates - FBA rates recently received their annual adjustment. Generally, as happens with every annual increase, most sellers will be paying more. Amazon now charges the same inventory fees throughout the year, instead of higher prices during the 4th quarter.
- 3P vs Vendor - soon we may be removing the “vs” as the trend is toward parity between the two platforms. Many Vendors are seeking to establish 3P seller accounts in addition to their Vendor accounts to strike a hybrid balance in their approach to the marketplace, and still others are shifting solely to Seller Central. Perhaps more sellers are realizing that, just because Amazon invited them to sell on Vendor Central, it does not mean Amazon views them as a partner.
- Amazon’s Private Label Brand Proliferation - Amazon has its own brands selling in the following categories: clothing, electronics, baby, jewelry, food & beverage and others. Look for Amazon to sell in its own brands in more categories.
- Amazon’s Growth and Additions - Amazon added marketplaces in Brazil and Australia and will likely continue in its global expansion. Amazon has also added Amazon Business to Business purchasing solution.
- E-Commerce growth - E-Commerce is in a tremendous overall growth trend. Amazon is part of that, but is small compared to overall growth of e-commerce. And e-commerce is still dwarfed by overall brick and mortar retail. And as to the Walmart versus Amazon battle, Walmart still has the much bigger piece of the overall retail pie.
Other Amazon Trends 2018
Social Media - Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, in that order, are the most popular and effective in pushing views to Amazon listings - others social media outlets may remain comparative nonfactors in pushing sales to Amazon.
Voice searches - shoppers conducting voice searches for items is more of a theoretical than actual phenomenon as far as trending goes, but it makes logical sense, given the proliferation of household Internet assistants. The theory has the attention of researchers who will be monitoring it closely this year.
Amazon’s explosive growth will likely only continue to accelerate in the years ahead and while the above information covers much of what is trending and what we can expect to see more of, the list of Amazon trends 2018 is actually much more extensive. A few additional things to consider as Amazon trends 2018 include, but are not limited to:
- Changes to the way products are reviewed on Amazon
- More focus by Amazon on the grocery sector
- More focus on the shopping experiences of mobile shoppers
- Bigger brands on Amazon
- Amazon push toward same day delivery in as many markets as possible
- More precise search rankings; SEO honing