As the owner of a quickly emerging private label supplement brand, your primary goal is to carve out a piece of the market and grow it as quickly as you can. With specialty chains like The Vitamin Shop and megastores like Target limiting their shelf space (and fewer people shopping brick and mortar because of COVID), more brands are forced to figure out how to win on Amazon.
So, no surprise, Amazon now offers more supplement brands than any other ecommerce retailer – like 50 TIMES more! While that fact may be a little scary, there are brands just like yours who break through and achieve huge success all of the time. We work with some of those brands, and so we thought we would share some important insights with you.
How Amazon Private Label Supplements Changes the Game
Although general “big box” and specialty brick and mortar stores still offer strong selling channels, most of the supplement business (both private label and branded) has shifted to online ecommerce retailers (a.k.a Ecomm). Among those online ecommerce sales – the vast majority, almost 80% of sales, are made on Amazon. A staggering number.
As previously mentioned, Amazon offers approximately 50 times more supplement brands than any other Ecomm retailer. This enormous pool of products is broken into three main groups. The first, and largest, are the national brands – totally custom formulations, strong brand identity, and heavy marketing support.
The second are what many call “white label” brands, which are generally individual nutrients or generic formulations that are produced in bulk and sitting on manufacturers’ shelves just waiting for label. A small seller comes along, can buy small quantities of these stock generic formulations, put their own label on it and sell it as their own line.
The third and final is the retailer’s own private label or, as they like to call it, “private brands”. For example, Amazon offers supplements under their own brands, such as Solimo™, Elements™ and technically Whole Foods™ 365 (since Wholefoods is owned by Amazon).
Regardless of which grouping of supplement brands we’re talking about, what’s important to understand is how Amazon has managed to scoop up so much market share. This can be summed up in three main buckets. We could probably write a whole book on each one of these buckets, but we’re going to keep it simple:
- CONVENIENCE. Like any major Ecomm retailer, it’s easier to go online than it is to visit the store. But where Amazon has really rocked the world is with cheap fast delivery. Most shipments are delivered in 2 days or less and, in some cases, you can get the products you order the very same day either through direct delivery or store pickup. Do you own your own supplement brand? Well, chances are that Amazon can deliver YOUR products faster and more cheaply than you can. Pretty crazy!
- SELECTION. Amazon offers a larger selection than you could fit in any brick and mortar retailer. You would need a warehouse or club store to display all of the different private label supplement brands a simple Amazon search provides. It’s the world’s largest product search engine, helping shoppers quickly find and compare products that they are interested in purchasing.
- PRICE. Amazon’s algorithm never sleeps. It is searching the web day and night to ensure that its prices beat all others (including your own website). When that algorithm finds a lower price, it automatically adjusts its own product listings to be lower. As a result, they’ve now established a reputation for being consistently lower than the competition. And programs like their “Subscribe N Save” only serve to further cement that.
OK, so we know Amazon is the #1 Ecomm retailer for supplements which means that there is a huge opportunity for sales, BUT there is also a TON of competition on Amazon so we have to make sure we’ve got a strong game plan to succeed.
Having worked with many successful brands on Amazon over the years, we put together a quick summary of key areas to focus your efforts.
Four “Must Haves” to Win on the Big A
A “nice to have” is something you would really like but it’s not going to ruin your good time if you don’t get it. Like a bottle opener. A “must have” on the other hand……..is more like a big screen HDTV when you’re throwing a Super Bowl party!
So here are four “must haves” in order to win on Amazon.
- Content. In most cases, your Amazon product pages will get more visitor traffic than your own website product pages. Consider that and think about how important the content is on those Amazon pages. Use Amazon’s Enhanced Brand Content features to tell your story on your product listing pages. Speak to the shopper’s pain, offer value-added information like recipes, tips, and other tricks to position yourself as a valuable resource. Amazon has now expanded their shoppable content to include branded video. Make a quick how-to featuring one of your products, and let your future customers get to know you a little bit.
- Connection. Amazon is convenient, but it can also be a bit impersonal. There aren’t many opportunities to show your customers who you really are in that brown box that lands on the shopper’s doorstep. Include some free samples or coupons with every purchase, or a handwritten thank you note. Provide a link to an online survey or a loyalty program they can join. By taking the time to interact directly with these people, getting them involved, and helping them feel like they’re part of “something bigger”, it further cements their relationship with your brand.
- Customization. While Amazon offers a lot of products, few of them are personal to the shopper. In general, most shoppers are just looking at labels and comparing prices. As your supplement manufacturer, we can work with you to create a unique product that feels like it was made just for them and help you explain each of the ingredient choices in detail. You can also utilize Amazon’s capability to “bundle” products. A product bundle is two compatible products sold together (like protein and aminos). Offer several different product “bundles” for your various consumer types (such as women or athletes).
- Community. There is a huge opportunity to leverage social media and other online forums in a personal way to build a community around your brand. You have an opportunity to identify who your customer will be and target them directly. Provide original and engaging content that they will care about, and respond to their questions and reviews on the Amazon platform so that you create an engaged community. Again, that Enhanced Brand Content feature can be leveraged to invite people to your own social community.
Turns out Amazon is quite a bit like the massive jungle it was named after. A vast world of wonder and excitement, yet incredibly dangerous if you don’t know you’re way around.
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