The virtual roads that Amazon customers traverse today are like an eight-lane superhighway undergoing unending construction. It’s a bright and boisterous path filled with detours designed to take shoppers’ eyes off the road — including glamorous product videos, “unbeatable” deals on competitive brands, and cross-sale bundles at every turn.
With all these potential offramps, navigating a clear course on Amazon can be difficult for customers. It can be even more difficult for sellers to lead existing and prospective customers to their products.
Thankfully for sellers, Amazon Ads recently announced more optimized ways to reach potential customers, with a bevy of new and updated features to its Amazon Marketing Cloud. Announced during the unBoxed 2022 event in October, the enhanced capabilities of AMC starts with a greater ease of use for advertisers through an expanded Instructional Query library. This should make advertising on and off Amazon much less intimidating.
Another highlight was the promise of deeper signal coverage, which should help advertisers better track the efficiency of the customer journey we’re discussing here. Amazon also announced a new tool that helps manage Amazon DSP audiences directly in AMC and new partner certifications, which could help bolster new advertisers especially.
With all of these new capabilities, sellers on Amazon will be able to focus even more on their customer base. But how can you take that focus and make real, lasting bonds with your customers, and help them on their Amazon customer journey? And ultimately, what can you do to transform them from loyal shoppers into true brand ambassadors for your products and business?
The answer begins by making real connections with real people.
With all the noise and distractions on Amazon, it’s easy to forget that behind each sale on Amazon is a real person with real needs; a person who needs help and guidance to make the right purchasing choices.
But how do you build a relationship with someone you’ll likely never meet in person? And how can you help them trust your company and products?
Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman explores this question in his 2003 book, How Customers Think: The Subconscious Mind of the Consumer and How to Reach It. At the time of the book’s publication, online shoppers couldn’t shop on Amazon from their phones and iPads hadn’t yet been invented. Brick-and-mortar retailers still ruled the day.
Yet, Zaltman’s research is applicable no matter the era. He found that building an emotional connection with a consumer begins with the initial conceptual and design processes, which then must be reflected in advertising, sales and go-to-market strategies.
In short, connecting with customers — at every phase of their journey — can help them down the ideal path.
The Amazon customer journey begins with a need, segues into a search, and concludes with a purchase. When that journey happens effectively, you gain brand loyalty and possible ambassadorship. From basic product awareness to five-star reviews, here are the 4 steps you need to facilitate a smooth, uninterrupted journey for your customers.
This stage begins when the consumer realizes they have either a tangible need (such as needing parts for a broken appliance) or a desire (such as a fashion accessory). Fortunately, Amazon is a central marketplace for both needs. During this phase, it’s critical to be informed about top keyword trends so that when prospective customers begin their search, your product has a better chance of landing at the top of their search results.
At this stage, the consumer is looking for options, studying price points, and exploring tutorials, reviews, and product videos. This is the loudest stage of the journey, but it’s also your chance to cut through the noise with the right content, the right product, and the right placement to help consumers choose your pathway to checkout.
To improve your chances of making a good first impression with customers, consider including professionally-produced product tutorial videos and product shots. You’ll get bonus points for having a program that incentivizes existing customers to provide positive reviews of a popular product, as it can help boost your standings in this important stage.
Luckily, Amazon Ads made the creation of these video types even easier with Sponsored Display video creative, which was recently announced at the unBoxed 2022 event. Now available globally, this feature gives advertisers the power to connect on an exciting new visual level, making that customer journey more dynamic - and intimate - than ever.
Here, consumers will look at the top sellers in the category, consider which items are available via a Prime Membership, and narrow the choice down to final options. As noted above, having positive product reviews, product testimonials, and quality product photos and videos can help your chances of making it through the filter. That said, many final consumer descisions come down to price point and availability.
Make sure you understand how your products stack up against the competition to increase your odds of success.
After they’ve narrowed down their options, consumers then choose a product and head to checkout.
Throughout these stages, building emotional connections between the consumer and your product is key. If the consumer has a positive experience, they’re more likely to leave a good review and recommend the product to friends and family.
If they have a negative experience, they’re likely to tell even more people about their experience. That’s why quality customer service can go a long way to help improve customer satisfaction.
So you’ve got a happy customer with a great product who’s willing to share their positive experience with everyone. You may want to consider asking them for a testimonial video, or giving them some free product to share on social media. Connecting with customers authentically is key: The less you have to sell your product and, instead, rely on your good reputation, the better.
Understanding how consumers traverse the Amazon customer journey is key to getting their attention, winning trust, and moving product. Track progress, build rapport, align and adjust, and you can be the digital guide your customers come to know and trust.
If this is feeling like a long journey, always remember it’s “one step at a time.”
The Carbon6 ecosystem of tools can help you succeed at every step; from seller tools that enable you to automate review requests, to free Chrome extension that allows you to improve keyword search results rankings and customer experience, to tools that empower you to source products based on real Amazon data and more. It’s all right here at your fingertips.