Jan 22, 2015
Rebecca

How Fit & Fresh Found Personalized, Scalable eCommerce that Drove Significant Growth

Fit & Fresh has worked hard to bring their unique brand of healthy lifestyle food storage containers and solutions to the wholesale market. And they’ve had a lot of success, finding distribution in big box stores like Walmart, Staples, Walgreens, and Amazon. But with that achievement came the realization that they were ready to move into the direct-to-consumer marketplace. But how?

Fit & Fresh needed to find an eCommerce solution that would easily stretch to meet their unique needs. Their website traffic can explode in an instant because of targeted television appearances and sophisticated promotional campaigns.

On top of that, Fit & Fresh manages a slew of sub-brands that require a lot of customization. They needed an eCommerce platform that could easily handle on-the-fly modifications, fluctuating site traffic, and a fast-evolving marketplace with a minimal amount of management.

Read more about how Fit & Fresh have leveraged their existing wholesale business into a direct-to-consumers online marketplace that has tripled online orders in six months, doubled their YOY sales in 2014, and boosted their SEO traffic by 35% in the Fit & Fresh case study, Refreshing eCommerce.

 

Jan 16, 2015
Rebecca

How PowderHuffer.com Elevated Their eCommerce Sales Model

Skiers trekking across snow

PowderHuffer.com, a boutique online ski store at the forefront of the freeski products market, had a problem. While they were having a lot of success selling in the Amazon marketplace, the eCommerce platform they were employing on their own branded site wasn’t quite up to huff snuff. They needed a solution that would streamline their sales process to help them cut down expenses, eliminate hassles, and increase sales.

For PowderHuffer.com’s owner, Christon Horstman, it all came down to finding an eCommerce solution that could offer reliability, limit merchant processing liability, and lighten the burden on his employees so that they could focus on what they’re really good at: identifying the hottest new freeski gear and bringing it to market.

Find out more about PowderHuffer.com’s transition from a brick-and-mortar store to an exclusively online business, the thought processes behind the steps that they took, and the truly amazing way they were able to increase their sales by 50%, in the PowderHuffer.com case study, Taking Business to New Heights.

 

Dec 29, 2014
Lisa Marie

Lights, Camera, Conversions: 6 DIY Solutions for Increasing Sales with eCommerce Videos


Everyone knows that the value of a picture is worth a thousand words, but do you know how valuable a video can be? For eCommerce, the answer is priceless.

The great thing about eCommerce videos is you don’t have to guess about their effectiveness because you can easily tell exactly how many views they get. How many conversions they drive. How many new buyers they attract. And how much customers love you.

OK, maybe that’s going too far, but you get, ahem, the picture.

And the even better news is that, for sellers of all stripes and sizes, videos can reap incredible rewards. Just search “why include video in eCommerce” for some impressive stats on how adding videos to your site can up your visibility in search engines, humanize your online marketplace, motivate consumers, and up engagement on your website.

You don’t have to hire professional actors or Spielberg to create compelling videos that drive results. In fact, there are a lot of solutions for getting the impact of a video on a shoestring budget. Here are our six favorite types of eCommerce videos, along with tips on how to produce them simply but effectively.

1.   Product in action

Ah, the basic workhorse, the product video. Someone wearing a garment, taking a few steps, and twirling. A chef using a gadget. A gamer at play. A power drill at work.

Along with photos and text descriptions, product-in-action videos give shoppers essential info they need to make a purchase decision. But video trumps the other two in terms of making online shopping relatable and in forging an emotional bond with customers. Essentially, product-in-action videos allow customers to experience the products in a way that allows them to see how that product would fit into their own lives.

Any videos you put on your site need to be high-quality, but they don’t need to be fancy. Zappos helped to pioneer the art of using employees in product videos. It’s a persuasive (and cost-effective) approach, because “regular folk” can appear to provide more of a personal recommendation than a sales pitch.

 

It’s great if you have the budget for professional video production, but you absolutely  can do a terrific job on your own.

Regardless of who creates your videos, use a great camera and professional-level lighting, sound, and post-production. Show the item in close-up and from all angles. Keep the video short, from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. And wherever possible, include people in the videos, even if all you show is their hands.

2.   Product demos

In this type of video, you drill down to show how features work, how to assemble an item, and any other topic that reassures shoppers that, no problem, they can use the product with ease. Think infomercial in brief.

An Ultra Paws product demo video shows how to put on Rugged Dog Boots and includes training tips to help ensure you’re satisfied after the sale. It’s hard to resist the pull of cute dogs frolicking (a great example of video’s power to help you connect emotionally with customers).

 

Be sure to be friendly and authentic. Don’t just hold an item and wave it around, but instead actually use it. Feature real people in real settings, so shoppers can personally relate.

Naturally, any kind of product videos work well on product pages, but don’t hesitate to add them to section pages, search results pages, and blog posts as well, to really help capture your customer’s attention through every step of the sale’s funnel. And what about including links to videos in your email campaigns. According to the 2014 Digital Marketer Benchmark and Trend Report, email subject lines containing the word “video” get higher open rates and fewer unsubscribes than those without.

3.   Expert videos

Here you’re not trying to sell, per se, but instead position your brand as a helpful guide to tricks, techniques, and trends in your industry, such as how to apply makeup, how to rebuild a car, or just about anything that relates to the consumer group you are targeting.

The important thing is to include valuable, practical information.

Cost Plus World Market created a viral sensation with their series of videos on how to tie a scarf. What juicy info do you have to impart that would be equally compelling? Remember, you don’t have to “go viral,” instead the goal is to connect with an audience who could potentially be your future-consumers.

 

Naturally, the principle of sharing applies outside your site, too, for all types of eCommerce videos. Add them to your Facebook site or a dedicated YouTube channel. And encourage consumers to share your videos on Pinterest, Vine, Vimeo, Instagram, and any other social media site they frequent.

4.   Company intro videos

Once your videos start making their way in the world—both on your site and elsewhere—you’ll probably be driving a lot more traffic to your site. That’s in part because videos can help dramatically improve your SEO results, particularly when they’re embedded into web pages and not in pop-ups and include a transcript that can be “read” and indexed by search engines.

Greet visitors with company intro videos that give them a glimpse into your company vision and culture. Feature real employees in your offices or warehouses to give a behind-the-scenes feel. Help humanize the experience for your consumers.

On their About page, the men’s footwear site Greats has an irreverently charming but informative intro video featuring their two founders. Not only do we get a feel for what the company is about, but it also helps build our trust in the company.
Video buyers’ guides are another great way to spark sales and introduce shoppers to your brand and product lines. Gifts for grads, holiday shopping, award-winning educational toys, cool office supplies—the sky’s the limit.

REI has a great guide on how to fix a tire. They don’t suggest specific products, but you certainly could.

 

To make the most of this type of video, build special sales promotions around the products in your buyers guide like email campaigns, sales, or gift baskets.

6.   Testimonial videos

Our final type of eCommerce video is a marketing classic—the testimonial. And all we need to say about this is that sometimes it’s best to let your customers do all the talking.

Consider creating a special testimonials page on your site. A great example of this in action is the retail site Shutterfly. By using testimonial videos liberally in all your online marketing efforts. Seeing that other regular joe consumers have had a wonderful experience with your company and products can help your customers feel more confident in their decision to buy from you.

 

We love creating testimonial videos at Amazon Webstore, and invite you to check out this one and that one and the other one. If appropriate for your brand, include bloopers or casual repartee along with more straightforward talk.

You can produce the videos yourself as we’ve done, or invite customers to create their own. One idea is to run a contest on micro-video sites like Vine or Vimeo for the best testimonial videos and offer up a prize for the best submissions. Or explore the use of a tool like Storybox to embed technology into your pages that makes it easy for customers to post testimonials.

And a few technical tips…

At the outset, be sure to optimize your videos for SEO. Mark video appropriately, and update your video sitemap. Make use of video transcription sites  to make certain the search engines can index the ideas in your videos.

Test your videos to make sure they work seamlessly on a variety of browsers and devices. Your videos won’t achieve any of your sales or marketing goals if they don’t load properly.

Once your videos are up and running, be sure to monitor video metrics—not just the number of views, but also how long they’re watched, how many comments or shares they receive, where video watchers move after watching the video, and how many conversions they drive. Because you can make the most of the power of video by enhancing it with the thoughtful use of data used early and often.

Most importantly, just remember that you know your product the best. Think about ways that you can leverage that knowledge into videos that connect with your consumers, engender trust, and help drive sales.

 

 

 

Sep 5, 2014
Zoey Collier

Amazon Webstore Review: Bandai Namco Games

Bandai and NAMCO, both entertainment companies, combined and enhanced through the new BANDAI NAMCO Games. With a new level of sophistication in entertainment, BANDAI NAMCO Games’ mission is to inspire people around the world and help them enjoy their gaming time to the fullest. BANDAI NAMCO Games moves forward with an unrelentingly passion to take on new challenges as it aims to become the world’s most admired video game maker.

Company Name: Bandai NAMCO Games

URL: http://www.bandainamcogamesstore.com/

Solution Provider: Explore Consulting

Type of Products: Video games

With aggressive goals and timelines to transition from their existing platform, Bandai NAMCO Games worked closely with Explore Consulting teams to ensure Amazon Webstore was the best fit for their business. Explore Consulting worked to understand their business needs and built a custom solution that is both technically complex and visually striking. Additional features include: multi-level cart interactions, custom content display, gated age-appropriate limitations, pre-orders, and support for multiple console platforms including digital fulfillment of Steam Key purchases.

“Under a tight deadline with specific needs for re-launching our online store, we turned to Explore Consulting to help us with our Amazon Webstore site. They captured our vision for the new store design and functionality, provided constant communication, and managed the project with a high degree of professionalism. Working with Explore Consulting has been a wonderful experience and we look forward our continued partnership with them.” – Abelina V., Ecommerce Specialist & Laura Y., Director of Channel Marketing

 

Sep 5, 2014
Zoey Collier

Tips for Holiday Flash Sales Success

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year for both shoppers and retailers. With the continued growth in online shopping, it’s important to start building holiday strategies now.

Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and even Free Shipping day are all among the top holiday shopping days of the year. One way to make the most of these “shop-idays” is to tap into one of the hottest trends in eCommerce by creating secondary sites to support or extend your already successful brand.

  • Flash Sales for short-term inventory liquidation, e.g., to make room for new products.
  • Outlet stores offering discounted products that may be out of season or discontinued.
  • Specialty brand sites that target specific new audiences or launch new product lines

With Amazon Webstore creating a fully customizable secondary site is quick and easy. From a simple countdown timer to a password protected secondary site for loyal shoppers, Amazon Webstore can meet your needs.

Here are a few benefits of starting holiday planning now:

  • Search engine ranking –The sooner you stand up your site, the more time search engines have to crawl and rank your site.
  • Brand awareness – It’s never too early to build your list. Promoting flash sales now can also help avoid getting lost among other similar offers.
  • Time-sensitive sales – The holiday season is a great time to liquidate short-term inventory. Starting now will enable you to plan and schedule these flash sales with ease.

Here’s what other Amazon Webstore sellers are doing:

Home & Cook hired a third-party Solution Provider, Atmosol, to build a flash sale site for a Good Morning America featured promotion. The countdown timer coupled with exclusive password allowed Good Morning America viewers to take advantage of the special promotion without a hitch.

Building and launching a complete flash sales site in record time is easy with Amazon Webstore. Download this case study to discover how one seller drove $7.5M of additional revenue in a five-day holiday flash sale with Amazon Webstore.

 

Sep 4, 2014
Zoey Collier

Amazon Webstore Review: BORSAbag

This post is part of a series reviewing new sites launched on Amazon Webstore.

It all started with a beautiful leather handbag and some rain in New York City. Stemming from the need to protect the leather from getting wet, the idea of BORSAbag was born. BORSAbag’s unique and stylish design aims to equip customers with a quick and easy way to protect their handbags.

Company Name: BORSAbag

URL: http://www.borsabag.com

Type of Products: Totes and travel luggage

There are a few things we like about the new site:

  • Simple elegance. The site is simple, yet elegant. The white on grey background keeps shoppers laser focused on the content. We also really like the simplicity of the navigation: how it works, how to order, and testimonials.
  • Colorful hero images. The colorful, in-use product images displayed on the homepage are a great way to showcase the various styles of BORSAbag. The colors pop and the images capture your interest.
  • Amazon Wish list. BORSAbag includes the “add to Amazon wish list” option on every product listing. This gives customers the ability to add product links and comments to the highly used and visible Amazon Wish Lists and Registries – a great way to potentially drive traffic to your site!

“Choosing Amazon Webstore was easy and essential to me because I want my products available worldwide. Doing business online is the most convenient, cost-effective, and quick way to introduce my products to everyone.” – Diane P., Founder of BORSAbag

 

 

Aug 5, 2014
Zoey Collier

How Cold One Made eCommerce Efficient with Amazon Webstore

Cold One, a leading brand of compression ice wraps for treating muscle injuries, suffered a serious drop in revenue at the outset of the 2008 global economic downtown. Costs related to both their eCommerce site and physical infrastructure hindered their ability to recover.

In 2011, as an act of survival, Cold One completely changed its structure by moving its online presence to Amazon Webstore and integrating Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon services. This decision enabled Cold One to unload its expensive warehouse, improve management visibility into company finances, and ultimately increase revenue while reducing expenses.

Today Cold One is experiencing growth in sales worldwide, managing expenses for greater efficiencies, and enjoying a far healthier bottom line than even before the economic downturn.

“Now that it’s all in place, with the implementation we’ve got — by letting Amazon manage almost all of our entire business — I just couldn’t be happier with the decision.” – Rob Goodwin, CEO and Founder, Two Cool, Inc.

Watch this video to see how Cold One made eCommerce efficient with Amazon Webstore.

Download the full case study here.

 

 

Aug 4, 2014
Zoey Collier

Amazon Webstore Review: Woolly Clothing Co.

This post is part of a series reviewing new sites launched on Amazon Webstore.

Built on the foundation that “great things happen when you feel amazing,” Woolly Clothing offers an apparel product line that fits every day living. From socks to shirts, Woolly Clothing aims to equip their customers with the incredible comfort and performance of merino wool.

Company Name: Woolly Clothing Co.

URL: http://www.woollyclothing.co

Type of Products: Outdoor apparel

There are a few things we like about the new site:

  • Simplicity. We love the simplicity of the site. There is no clutter or guesswork. Navigating the site is easy and it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.
  • Powerful hero images. The colorful, in-use product images displayed on the homepage are a great way to showcase different product offerings. Overall, the site does a great job of using eye catching images to highlight product features and to reinforce core brand messaging.
  • Amazon Prime love. Woolly Clothing puts Amazon Prime front and center on their site. They’ve highlighted Amazon Prime in the header of their site and all products are eligible for Amazon Prime shipping. Not only does this increase customer trust, but it can also drive more sales.
  • Passion for merino wool. Woolly Clothing believes in their products and it shows. Their entire product line is made of merino wool and they even have a top-level navigation item, “why merino wool,” that outline the benefits of the material.

“Amazon Webstore gives us a way to manage our online business, for both woollyclothing.co and amazon.com, on one single platform. It provides the advantages of Amazon Prime shipping to everyone who shops with us – a huge bonus! The store design and merchandising tools are intuitive and the support network makes it all pretty easy to learn.” - Michael K., Co-founder of Woolly Clothing Co.

 

Want to see your company featured here? Email zcollier+stories@amazon.com and tell us your Amazon Webstore story.

Jul 7, 2014
Zoey Collier

How Anaconda Sports Increased ROI with Amazon Webstore


Anaconda Sports, a leading and established sporting goods dealer in the United States, wanted to simplify the management of the company’s eCommerce website and reduce the cost of driving traffic to it. The time, effort, and expense Anaconda Sports spent to manage an aging eCommerce infrastructure, combined with high and growing costs for online advertising, was eroding the company’s bottom line.

To solve this problem, Anaconda Sports turned to Amazon Webstore to build a full-featured online store that is efficient and easy to maintain, and used Amazon Product Ads to advertise to Amazon.com shoppers—getting more than three times better conversion than with their other online advertising.

Now the company has optimized its online advertising, enhanced customer service, and built an efficient, flexible eCommerce environment that helps it bring in more revenue and increase its return on investment.

“With Amazon Webstore and Amazon Product Ads, we are reaching more shoppers, generating more revenue at a lower cost-per-click, and earning a much higher ROI,” says Rob Meyer, Director of eCommerce at Anaconda Sports.

Learn more about how Anaconda Sports grew their business with Amazon Webstore.

Jul 7, 2014
Zoey Collier

Amazon Webstore Review: Maison Drake

This post is part of a series reviewing new sites launched on Amazon Webstore.

Launched in 2007, Maison Drake began as a passion for superior quality and selection in baby products. With Amazon Webstore, Maison Drake continues to grow its business today by focusing on the latest trends in baby products and providing superior customer service.

Company Name: Maison Drake

URL: http://www.maisondrake.com

Type of Products: Everything baby and child.

  • Navigation made easy. The featured brands and featured categories help customers discover the breadth of product assortment they have to offer.
  • It’s simply beautiful. The site is beautifully designed—the colors, hero images, and overall design look professional and fit their brand story.
  • There’s no guesswork. With the promotions and contact information highlighted at the top of the site, customers don’t have to hunt for promotion codes or how to find help with an order.

Want to see your company featured here? Email zcollier+stories@amazon.com and tell us your Amazon Webstore story.