Amazon is a terrifying beast. Some compare Amazon with Sauron from Lord of the Rings. When that ring of power comes on, sellers’ opinions become completely irrelevant. We’re here to shed light on the 5 biggest Amazon selling myths around today.
For others, it’s a vampire who will literally suck the life out of you.
But at the same time, Amazon owns more than half of the online market share. So you have to be there!
The possibilities of immense profit are there, waiting to be unlocked… So your best option is to learn to play the Amazon game and win.
Despite Amazon being around for over two decades, and yet, there are still many myths that are prevalent. And it’s astounding how many companies and brand owners are falling for them.
We don’t want you to be one of them.
With decades of combined experience selling on Amazon (earned the hard way), Shannon Roddy and I are here to uncover five of the biggest myths preventing people from winning on the Amazon platform in 2022.
Amazon Isn’t Just “Another Sales Channel”
The biggest mistake that I’ve seen over the last several years is thinking that Amazon is just “another sales channel.” Why is that a myth and why is that so dangerous for companies to believe?
Many company owners or leaders say, “I’m a brand, I’ve been selling to a distributor network!” or “I’ve been wholesaling my products to retailers for the last 30 years, and now I want to be on Amazon.” And their “solution” is to find someone in my company, put them in charge of Amazon, and sit back watching the sales roll in.
We hear some version of this at least once or twice a week (a week, not a month).
The TRUTH is that this doesn’t work on Amazon. If you want to succeed on Amazon, you need to forget everything you know about your decades-long experience in retail or wholesaling.
Amazon is different.
And the key difference is when you’re selling on Amazon, you’re not selling to a person. It’s not just another sales channel.
You’re selling to the algorithm. And so you have to think differently.
This evens the playing field to an extent. Just because you have a massive company and tons of cash doesn’t mean that you’ll beat someone selling a similar product out of their garage. You’ve got to play the Amazon game not the retail game, not the wholesale game, not the DTC game.
Being a Household Name Doesn’t Mean You’ll Win
What we have seen is that smaller businesses and smaller brands are faster to adapt, and the bigger brands tend to be the biggest laggards and fall way behind.
We’re in a day and age where a private label operating out of somebody’s garage can beat out the product of a multinational conglomerate in a category or a specific product because they know how to play the Amazon game better.
So, we have smaller brands and smaller companies allocating tons of resources to Amazon, while the bigger ones are hardly noticing it or paying attention because they think that it’s just another sales channel. Due to that belief, they’re paying a price that is in some cases catastrophic.
“I Have a Household Name Brand; Therefore, I’m Going to Win”
I started selling on Amazon in 2003. There was a time from 2003 until about 2012, maybe, where you could hire a person out of college and say, “Go figure out how to sell on Amazon and make us win.” Those days are over.
And that’s myth #2.
We also hear this twice a week, “I’ve got 80% market share in the brick and mortar stores. And I’m getting my butt kicked on Amazon by an XYZ brand I’ve never heard of. What is going on?! Why is this happening?”
I hear people angry, crying, laughing, and all of the above, saying, “Why is this person operating from a random, small town kicking my butt?”
And it’s because they don’t understand that Amazon is different. They don’t understand that you’re selling to an algorithm, not to a human being.
And frankly, since they don’t understand that, they don’t have the capability, the staff, or the experience needed to execute that brand’s strategy.
Because Amazon is an absolute beast.
Own Your Brand on Amazon, or Someone Else Will
Everything starts with your mentality.
If you’re not thinking about Amazon correctly, you’re not going to be allocating the resources, money, or time to it.
Some people say, “I don’t like Amazon. I hate Amazon. I don’t want anything to do with Amazon. So guess what? I’m just going to ignore Amazon so I won’t have to worry about that.”
Others have the idea or live by the myth that if they sell on Amazon, they are going to lose control of their brand. So in order to avoid losing control of their brand on Amazon, they just avoid going there.
What’s the problem? Amazon owns more than half of the online retail market share (56% to be exact). You have to be where your customers are. Just ask yourself:
- Does my website own half of the online market share?
- Do I have 300 million Prime subscribers who can come to my store and find what they need?
- Do I have a selection of billions of products?
If the answer is no (and most likely it is), you must understand that your customers are going to shop where they are going to shop.
Would you like to have all of those sales or only a fraction of them?
Did Nike Make the Right Decision?
You may know Nike decided to leave Amazon. And they can probably justify it by being a top 10 e-commerce retailer.
They were angry with Amazon and decided that no one would be able to get “official” Nike products there. Still, there are 35,000 Nike listings from random sellers worldwide. And if you ask me, some of them look very bad.
So what is happening? Their brand is still there, just being managed by someone else. Someone who is actually making a profit.
Just visualize this…
People are sitting on their couches, with their Prime app on their phones. They have the option of complicating their life by searching for a product in places they are not familiar with OR they can do a search on Amazon, find the product, buy it, and receive it the next day.
What option do you think they take?
You need to be on Amazon. If for no other reason, at least to defend your brand.
Be sure to check out the full episode to get all the additional insights!