How Australian Retailers Can Prevent Amazongeddon.
It has been said the Amazon could officially arrive in Australia by November 24th to coincide with the Black Friday online weekend spending.
According to the doomsayers, Amazon’s launch in Australia will accelerate growth in the online retail market resulting in reduced growth and turnover in some shopping centres. This could lead to lower retail rents as retailers rationalise and demand for retail space decreases. Most analysts predict that electrical and appliances will be hardest hit with Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi the most likely Australian local retailers to be negatively affected.
However, clothing and footwear could also be under fire as beginning this month Amazon is scheduled to undertake three fashion shoots per day, five days per week, at secret locations across Melbourne.
In other markets, Amazon sells other brands’ clothing label as well as its own private label clothing, including men’s and women’s basics, business attire, children’s wear, and a recently launched sportswear range.
Amazon Australia has registered trademarks in Australia on brands including AmazonBasics, which sell mass market products covering everything from electronics to kitchenware.
So what should local retailers do to prevent Amazongeddon?
If you try to fight Amazon or Ebay for that matter, on their terms you will struggle as they have website authority due to world-class backlinks and high domain authority. Amazon with their enormous advertising budgets are experts at building brand exposure which leads to more branded searches in Google. Branded searches can be a huge trust signal for a website.
So website authority combined with branded searches makes these global brands an SEO supremacy, allowing them to publish duplicate or thin content and still rank highly.
However, the good news is you can fight back and with some SEO stealth tactics even beat these e-com giants at their own game.
Step 1: Niche Down
These larger sites are competing across many different categories and they don’t have the ability to reach the level of dept that a niche site can. When you niche down, every page on your site is about the same topic, for example, a site that specialises in outdoor and camping supplies, this makes it very easy for Google to determine what your site is about camping.
This combined with everyday SEO best practice (which we can help with!) will ensure you have put your best foot forward in the e-comm online battle.
Step 2: Long Tail
Niching down will also help you to rank for those longer tail keywords which is something that the e-com giants don’t do well. Using the outdoor and camping store example this might be “cold weather sleeping bags”, this search has little or no Australia competition except for the Adwords advertisers – who should do some SEO and rank free for this term.
If you sell these type of sleeping bags ensure you optimise the product description for these sorts of long tail searches, this will also help you rise above the duplicate product descriptions that appear on other sites.
When doing or having your digital agency do your keyword research look for keywords that have a clear commercial intent. Although sales volumes will be lower for these longer tail keywords conversion rates (purchases) can be much higher.
It is also worth sometimes adding a geo term or city name eg sleeping bags Melbourne as this will limit your competition from the bigger sites like Amazon and Ebay.
Tip: Don’t compete for high volume search phrases drill down into your products figure out your ideal customer and create content to hit them with.
Step 3: Topical Relevancy
Considering that over 50% of keyword queries are unique and even search engines have not seen them; information retrieval relies on contextual relevance to determine a pages quality score determined by the domain authority.
So using the outdoor and camping store example you might try to rank for informational type content for example “best sleeping bags for summer” or “best down sleeping bags australia”.
Topical relevancy differs from keyword research, with keyword research you only focus on keyword search volumes in a particular market eg Google Australia or maybe Sydney if its a more localised business.
With topical relevancy, your primary focus should be to help users solve their problems or to find what they were looking for, even if they don’t know what that is yet and even if the keyword doesn’t have search volume.
Step 4: Backlink Strategy
Backlinks have been an important part of online marketing for a long time now. For those that are asking What is a backlink? A “backlink” is created when an external 3rd party website links to your website.
Backlinks if done correctly can help improve your website’s traffic, rank, reputation, and even relationships. If done incorrectly backlinks can lead to a Google Penalty as happened to Interflora a couple of years back.
Successful brands should incorporate backlink strategies into their overall marketing strategy, building links on sites not only with high authority but also meaning to their personas.
There are a variety of methods that can be used to increase a website’s backlink profile. You need quality content, with something valuable to say in order to earn your backlink.
If considering a backlink campaign or outreach campaign it is best to talk to a reputable digital agency such as Flarecom Digital Marketing first rather going ahead of yourself and buying a heap of dodgy links on a site like Fiverr.
If you can’t beat them join them – Start with Selling on Amazon
If all of the above seems to difficult there is always the option to sell your own products on Amazon. Amazon offers a range of selling plans and price points to suit a variety of business sizes.
Amazon’s vast influence and presence make it an appealing platform for retailers who want to take advantage of the site’s unmatched volume of traffic. At our Sydney digital agency, we work with many clients who are exploring the decision to sell on Amazon. If you’re considering whether or not Amazon is a viable channel for your brand, here are some things to keep in mind.
Amazon SEO Requires On-going Maintenance
Search visibility is the key to success on Amazon. According to Amazon, a search is the number one way users find products on their platform, so in order to have success on the Amazon platform, you need to invest in optimizing your listings.
Just like regular SEO, Amazon product listing optimization requires constant upkeep. You can’t simply set your product listings, forget about them and expect the sales to roll in.
Similar to regular SEO, Amazon has created its own ranking Algorithm for retailers with the intention of gaining maximum visibility of their products. However, understanding the Amazon algorithm for your Amazon SEO strategy is necessary for all retailers who are looking for high volume sales on Amazon. That means paying close attention to product titles, keywords, product information, and quantity and quality of reviews.
Optimizing your product listings on an ongoing basis is critical to obtaining enough search visibility to move your products. This is something which we can help business out with as we have recently launched an Amazon Product Optimisation service that looks after all the hard work for you, more details can be found here.
Selling on Amazon is a personal decision for every brand, and it’s important to weigh all the factors before jumping in. In terms of getting your product out in front of an enormous new audience, Amazon presents a major opportunity in Australia. But Australian retailers that aren’t able to compete on price may face challenges in the Amazon marketplace. It’s also worth noting that success with Amazon is similar to success in any other channel in that it takes both time and expertise to manage it properly and optimize it fully.
However you choose to move ahead, it’s important to keep your overall business goals in mind and stay focused no matter which you choose.
Flarecom Digital Marketing is everything you’d expect from a smaller digital agency: accountable, autonomous, flexible and personable.
We work across all the main business sectors: retail, finance, charity, travel and b2b. Our work for some of Australia’s leading brands is recognised for challenging the market, driving innovation and accelerating business performance.