Private labeling seemed like the perfect business model for the Amazon marketplace. But has the whole private label ethos now had its day?
Private labeling has long been seen as the golden child of business models for Amazon sellers. It allows you to create your own brand and a unique listing, then use some simple marketing methods to push it to success.
For a long time private labelers have had an open playing field to take advantage of the Amazon marketplace. However, a number of changes and challenges are making it increasingly difficult to prosper.
Competition is higher than ever, the market is oversaturated in many product categories, and it is becoming harder than ever to find new products. This has forced prices down and caused profit margins to shrink. Dirty tricks from some sellers are rampant and, overall, the marketplace today is far more aggressive and hostile than it once was.
In this article we discuss the changes which have most affected the Amazon private label business model. So much has changed, is it still possible to succeed as a private label seller?
Amazon’s efforts to clean up product reviews have sent the problem underground. Fake reviews are still around, but are harder to detect.
This post is by Chris McCabe, a former Investigation Specialist for Amazon’s Seller Performance team and founder of ecommerceChris.com.
Amazon has had a fake review problem for a long time. Up until late 2016, Amazon allowed sellers to give away products in return for a review. Those reviews were “honest and unbiased”, at least according to the disclaimers that reviewers sometimes added.
Back then, many sellers used product giveaways to increase their positive reviews. Amazon’s algorithms acted on the review data, search visibility went up, and buyers bought those items more often. Everyone went away happy, right? Well, at least the sellers did.
Then Amazon prohibited all incentivized reviews, and the problem swiftly went underground. Incentives continued to be offered, but away from the official discount code system, so Amazon couldn’t see the activity at all.
Fast forward to today, and a whole black market ecosystem has evolved. It’s focused on manipulating the Amazon reviews and search ranking systems, using a vast range of nefarious techniques. Amazon’s ban, ironically, has resulted in a fake review problem that makes the old behavior look quaint by comparison.
Independent retailers don’t have to be the victims of Amazon’s success. Here’s how they can leverage their strengths to succeed on Amazon.
These days, as a business, you can’t really afford to not be selling through online marketplaces like Amazon. No matter what you sell or the size of your business, online marketplaces allow you to reach an even wider audience and increase your sales potential by accessing a global, 24/7 consumer market.
You may not have considered Amazon as a viable option for your business. There is a perception that Amazon only caters for low-priced goods from established brands, and ruthlessly squeezes independent businesses.
But Amazon relies heavily on its third-party sellers, accounting for over half of its sales volume. Over the years the Amazon marketplace has grown exponentially into a highly competitive business network with brands and retailers of all sizes. These aren’t suppliers to Amazon, they’re independent businesses selling directly to buyers.
This article is intended primarily for independent retail businesses who have not started using the Amazon marketplace. We’ll walk you through the best ways to leverage your strengths and create a successful strategy for selling on Amazon.
Here’s every way to get more product reviews, from approved programs run by Amazon to prohibited methods that could get you banned forever.
For private label sellers and brand owners, getting positive product reviews on Amazon is crucial. Not only does it give shoppers confidence in the quality of your products, it plays a part in many of Amazon’s algorithms including the ranking of search results and the Amazon’s Choice badge. Reviews are hugely important to the success of Amazon sellers.
But Amazon has fought back against practices which undermine trust in the review system. Its most notable actions include the banning of incentivized reviews, the introduction of Verified Purchase reviews, and drawing up extensive policies on everything sellers can and can’t do. Amazon are being tougher than ever on what’s allowed, and will take harsh action on rule-breakers.
Here are all the different ways you can get Amazon product reviews. Only a few are completely safe, but also rather limited or expensive to access. Others are completely prohibited, but are still being used by sellers who are dishonest, desperate or naive. And many are in a grey area – if you stay within Amazon’s rules you should be safe, but it’s very easy to step over the line.
Here’s what brands need to know about Amazon’s new anti-counterfeiting initiatives: Brand Registry 2.0 and Transparency.
This post is by Leah McHugh, an ecommerce consultant for ecommerceChris.com.
In May of 2017 Amazon released Brand Registry 2.0 to much hype, and rumors around what Brand Registry 2.0 would offer for brand protection.
As with many Amazon changes, there was also a lot of misinformation, leaving many sellers confused or disappointed.
Amazon also quietly opened up their Transparency program in 2017. As early as 2016, they were beta testing this program with select sellers.
The majority of sellers, and more importantly consumers, are still not aware that this program exists, so how can it help protect your brand?