Getting started with selling or advertising on Amazon can be extremely overwhelming. Even if you know ecommerce best practices and a thing or two about paid advertising, you’ll realize that it’s a whole different ball game when it comes to transitioning to the Amazon ecosystem.
New York Magazine reports that by the end of 2018, Amazon is expected to control almost half of the US ecommerce market. The implication is clear: if you’re not selling your products on this marketplace, you’re missing out on on the opportunity to reach about half of the entire ecommerce market!
So what’s a brand to do?
You have two options:
- Try to figure out not only the basics of selling on Amazon (including Amazon Advertising) but how to effectively use your budget to drive a solid ROI on your efforts — all on top of your existing workload.
- Hire an Amazon agency who not only knows the entire Amazon ecosystem but how to maximize your budget on this platform.
If you’re curious about what it’s like to work with an Amazon agency, let us walk you through the process.
The 3 Different Types of Amazon Agencies
Before digging too deep into the process of working with an Amazon agency, it may help to first discuss the differences between the types of firms you could potentially work with.
Here are the three major types of agencies you could work with to increase exposure for your products:
- Broker: Traditionally, a broker helps you sell into big box stores like Walmart and Target. They can help you to negotiate wholesale contracts and figure out logistics.
- Wholesaler: Wholesaling involves having a company buy your products and listing them for you — the company represents your brand on Amazon.
- Advertisers: People who work here come from a marketing/ads background. They’re focused on merchandising/promotion and doing things that will help consumers buy your product.
Amplio represents this last type of Amazon agency and is different from a wholesaler in that you can represent your own brand without having to set up listings on another brand’s seller account. After an engagement, you’re account still exists and you can take a lot of the work completed with you into the future.
Now that you understand the different types of agencies you might work with to effectively get your brand on Amazon, let’s get into the specifics regarding the process to initially get started.
How to Work with an Amazon Agency: First Steps
Working with an Amazon agency isn’t so different than working with a traditional marketing agency, at least in terms of how the relationship first begins.
Here are the basic steps required to get started, so you know what to expect:
- Fill out the Amazon agency’s contact form. Before you can get help with your Amazon campaign, you must first make your needs known! Getting in touch with a prospective Amazon agency is the first step.
- Set an appointment. Once an agency like Amplio gets your request for a free consultation, a business development manager reaches out to set an appointment. The goal is to assess the current state of affairs while providing as much value as possible regarding next steps.
- Audit your Amazon account. If you haven’t started doing anything on Amazon just yet, then there won’t be much to do during this particular step! If you’ve tried your hand on Amazon before — whether through an Amazon agency or on your own — an agency like Amplio can provide a short analysis based on past efforts to determine where improvements can be made. More in-depth audits (what we refer to as “Strategic Roadmap Consulting”) are also available for a fee.
- A capabilities deck and/or proposal is sent. Depending on how much you went over during the initial appointment, your new contact will either send you a general capabilities deck for your team to review or a custom proposal. At any rate, you’ll eventually get a proposal after the agency has enough information to suggest a plan of action. The more time the agency has to learn about your business, the more personalized your proposal will be, so it’s ideal to go through an audit first!
- Proposal review. Based on what they’ve learned thus far, the agency will send you a proposal for how to best work together. This may focus just on advertising or it might involve a more comprehensive Amazon channel management plan (including deliverables such as new listings setup and catalog management). At this stage, it’s up to you and your team to chat internally to determine if what the agency proposes is aligned with your strategy and goals.
- Contract. At least as far as Amplio is concerned, you can always ask questions and get back on the phone with the team to go over your proposal. Once both sides have agreed to terms, a contract is sent. The Amazon agency will detail a master services agreement and a statement of work that outlines specific deliverables and the goals they’re tied to.
- Kick-off call. Once the agreement is signed and the first invoice is paid, the agency’s accounts team will hop on a call with your team to kick-off the beginning of the agency relationship.
- Develop a 30/60/90 day plan. After onboarding has begun, the agency will work on a more detailed 30/60/90 day plan to help you understand next steps.
- Start work. Once everyone is on the same page regarding the best move forward, the work begins!
Not every agency will follow these exact steps but you can expect this exact process when working with Amplio.
From here, your Amazon agency will set regular meetings moving forward to discuss what they’ve done for the month, if they need any campaign assets or input from you, and to plan the next phase of work. At Amplio, we always leave time during planned calls to ask for feedback and take questions.
Final Thoughts: What it's Like to Start Working with an Amazon Agency
The aforementioned process to work with an agency is exactly what you can expect when getting in touch with Amplio for Amazon channel management or Amazon advertising.