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We recently held a roundtable discussion about the challenges Ecommerce leaders are currentl...
We recently held a roundtable discussion about the challenges Ecommerce leaders are currently facing with Amazon and what trends they expect to see in the future.
Our ecommerce, Amazon and marketplace specialist recruiter, Patrick Murray, brought together Ecommerce Directors and leaders from a range of businesses and backgrounds. Although they each came from different backgrounds, their work focuses on Amazon and how to take advantage of the global marketplace to advertise and sell their products.
This created a thorough, in-depth conversation about all things Amazon. Together they discussed...
In this article, we’ll be sharing the experts’ thoughts on the future of Amazon and how to make the most of the platform.
Post-COVID, Amazon looks and behaves differently. Where business thinking and processes used to be agile, there are now increasingly more hurdles to jump through in order to achieve.
Keeping up to date with the changes that Amazon are implementing can be challenging, which is what initially drove the conversation.
With challenges arising from Amazon Account Managers being more system-driven now, the first point of discussion was around how businesses and Ecommerce Directors can empower their teams to do more with the platform.
One key step that multiple leaders echoed is the need to adapt your own business’ practices. For larger businesses, especially, this might involve managing internal pacing and expectations, for example.
Another participant suggested that businesses need to change their mindset in order to mirror Amazon.
“As leaders, we need to change our thinking. Think big, think strategic, think longer term.”
It's impossible to change Amazon and their internal processes, so it’s important to think about how your team needs to adapt and change to mirror their thinking. This is especially important with Account Managers being so controlled by system processes now.
Having tackled this topic in detail, Patrick moved the conversation on to discuss marketing spend on Amazon.
A hot topic in our ecommerce networks at the moment is around how Amazon advertising is impacting marketing budgets. Many are thinking about how to set their Amazon ad budget and whether or not it is as an effective use of marketing budget.
It's important for Amazon Channel Directors and Ecommerce Directors to sell the value of Amazon advertising to CMOs in order to secure spend. To do this, you have to sell the upper-funnel awareness opportunities that Amazon advertising presents your business.
“We’re seeing our brand equity go up in-line with our advertising spend. It goes hand in hand.”
However, the sell will look different depending on your marketing mix. Companies that invest more in their digital marketing efforts tend to be more likely to consider Amazon advertising spend, as it’s easier to re-allocate the marketing budget.
On the other hand, businesses with a more diverse marketing mix might find it more difficult to sell the opportunity of Amazon advertising. This is especially true if your company’s marketing strategy is focussed on TV and out of home advertising, instead of digital channels. In these cases, Marketing Directors or CMOs will have to re-allocate budget from traditional marketing channels or convince the board to increase the overall marketing budget. Something that they may be reluctant to do in the current economic environment.
Additionally, it’s trickier to prove the value of Amazon advertising when there are no other digital marketing channels to compare it against. For businesses in these situations, education is key.
Once you have secured the budget, you need the talent and resources to execute your marketing campaigns. PPC Managers are instrumental to the success of all types of ecommerce teams, including Amazon.
PPC Managers are traditionally focused on Google, with a broader focus on other channels. However, there is an argument for Amazon-specific talent. Patrick asked the experts if they believe there should be a Google marketer and an Amazon marketer in a team?
“The reality is your talent is very specialised.”
Those specialising in PPC have crafted their expertise in Google – they live and breathe the platform – and so there is an argument that they are biased towards it. The Ecommerce Leaders around the table agreed that there should be a distinction between the platforms and that it’s preferable to hire specific Amazon PPC Managers.
From there, the conversation moved on to the optimal team structure for your business’ performance on Amazon.
This is, of course, dependent on each business and where it’s focus lies and so there is no one size fits all team structure. However, it was interesting to hear how different Ecommerce Directors and leaders set out their team structure.
One participant shared how they created their country-based structure.
With a “centre of excellence” in the UK, they built teams of native language speakers for each country they operated in. For this ecommerce leader, it was important to create a localised experience to create the right content and use the right language in order to engage with Amazon effectively.
Being able to leverage an individual’s local and language expertise, allows businesses to get ahead in their respective markets. Having localised teams is key to understanding trends within a country and allows you to write the best Amazon listings for that country.
“Having specialisms within each of the key areas you need to grow Amazon, will help you move quicker.”
From there, they recognised the importance of having different specialisms within those country-based teams.
When it comes to Amazon, you must have a range of skill sets in your teams, including:
While many ecommerce leaders might expect their team members to have a broad skill set, this doesn’t always deliver optimal results. Instead, you should consider employing true specialists into your teams.
By building these teams with an aligned objective and strategy, you will build a more agile, high-performing team. This structure was preferred by this leader than being a “jack of all trades”.
A hot topic across the digital recruitment industry at the moment is AI. The subject has featured in the majority of recent 3Search Events, so Patrick took the opportunity to ask these Ecommerce Leaders their thoughts on the tools.
The consensus among these thought-leaders was that AI is the future. It's a game-changer in the industry, with the thought of being able to automate content and reduce CPC exciting Ecommerce Directors.
However, there was also the agreement that you cannot rely on it - at least not in its present state.
“If you don’t have a person behind it, it’s useless.”
AI tools are helping to make work, such as data analytics and content production, more efficient. However, the human is still required to manage the tools and review the information they produce. This might come in the form of agency support or in-house Prompts Engineers, but, either way, it’s certain that AI isn’t replacing Marketers or Ecommerce Managers just yet.
A big thank you to all of our attendees for making our conversation about the future of Amazon so successful.
One key takeaway from this event was that Amazon is constantly evolving and so the way we interact with the platform must also constantly evolve. We're certain that this will not be the last discussion we have about making the most out of Amazon.
If you’re interested in joining us next time, register your details below.
If you’re looking to hire into your Amazon team, Patrick Murray can help you! Get in touch at email@example.com for ecommerce recruitment support or to find your next job.