It’s e-commerce month here at Passion Digital, and there is no bigger name within that space than Amazon. As such, there’s been a significant rise in the number of businesses established to help brands negotiate and form relationships with the e-commerce giant and help give their products the best chance of being seen by potential customers.
We reached out to Rupert Staines, the co-founder and managing partner at Maze-One, Europe’s leading online marketplace consultants, to explain a few things. The company was founded in Amsterdam in 2019, and has since expanded to over 40 online marketplace specialists in offices in Copenhagen, London, Stockholm and Oslo.
Read on to learn more about how Amazon’s relationship with brands works, what companies can do to boost their visibility on Amazon and other e-commerce platforms and Maze-One’s role in all of this.
Maze-One describes itself as a “marketplace expert”. Can you tell a bit more about what that means in practice?
Staines: At Maze-One, we help brands build better relationships and drive sales through Amazon and other online marketplaces, like Dutch platform Bol.com. We work with over 120 brands of all sizes, from household names like Unilever to smaller start-ups that are just starting their journey into the world of e-commerce.
Consumer interest in online marketplaces like Amazon has grown exponentially over the last 12 months. How much of this is down to the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated lockdown measures?
Staines: It’s fair to say that COVID has accelerated the demand for e-commerce. Consumers have become increasingly comfortable with shopping online, and it is estimated that these platforms will take a 65% share of the market by 2025. However, e-commerce media has long been a rapidly growing sector around the world — in Europe alone, there are over 300 online marketplaces. Unsurprisingly, Amazon is the leader, accounting for 25% of European e-commerce, and has been growing their offering significantly for many years.
What kind of developments do you see for brands in the e-commerce space?
Staines: Online marketplaces represent a new and significant sales channel for brands of all kinds, particularly as an increasing number of consumers begin to use them. They provide the convenience of shopping online, and offer choices and comparisons across multiple products and categories all within one easy-to-use platform.
Brands are already actively developing their direct to consumer (DTC) strategies, and marketplaces are complementing this by improving the UX of their platforms to provide simple and streamlined customer journeys. A rising number of online marketplaces are also following Amazon in creating PPC-style media, which can help brands’ products to be discovered more easily.
Some brands have already made the move to Amazon. For those that are already selling their products through an online marketplace, is there still room for improvement? How do you help your clients to increase sales?
Staines: At Maze-One, we take an à la carte approach to supporting our clients. The majority of our clients are already active on Amazon, to varying levels of success. We understand the full array of tools they require to succeed, with specialists on hand who can help both vendors and sellers across all areas of their Amazon activities.
Our team helps businesses build and optimise the most appropriate content for each platform, analyse customer journeys and drive huge increases in sales and market share through the range of advertising tools available. Critically, we aren’t just brand experts but digital experts who understand brands and the data and technology that underpins platforms like Amazon.
If you could only give businesses one piece of advice when it comes to making the move to Amazon, what would it be?
Staines: With help from our specialists we have developed a great webinar series about The Basics of Amazon, so we don’t want to give away too many of our secrets and would encourage any brand to sign up! However, ultimately, our advice for brands who want to be successful on Amazon is simple: you have to be committed to the journey.
The first brand registry seminar will be on Amazon Brand Registry, and takes place on Thursday 15 April at 9am GMT.
Thanks to Rupert from Maze-One for answering our questions! If you’d like more information about other ways in which your brand can get in front of the right people, get in touch with us today.