Last week’s Baby Show brought an impressive array of strollers, swaddles, and baby bottles to the Anaheim, California convention center. With 300 exhibitors, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) trade show gave parents and industry insiders a sneak peek at the products which will line store shelves in the year to come.
“It’s where stores like Target and Walmart come to review products and buy new things,” JPMA Executive Director Kelly Mariotti told the Orange County Register to explain the importance of the show to baby brands.
While the 5,000 parents who attended the public portion of the event might indeed buy their next stroller at Target, the digital shelf also loomed large for attendees.
Millennial Shoppers Demand More from Brands
The importance of the digital shelf should come as no surprise, given the importance of online shopping to Millennial parents. The Baby Show’s keynote speaker, Jeff Fromm, noted that marketing to Millennials requires brands to shift their outlook.
“Millennials can go 30 minutes without water,” Fromm remarked in his talk. “They can’t go 30 minutes without WiFi.”
For U.S. Millennials, Amazon ranks as the most relevant brand, Fromm said. And when they’re researching products, they’re increasingly turning to Amazon. Over half of product searches starting on Amazon.
How Baby Brands Can Succeed on Amazon
Yet with more than 1 million baby products for sale on Amazon, how can brands reach shoppers?
I believe that creating a winning strategy on Amazon requires baby brands to focus their attention on content. Wes Grudzien, the founder of Ezonomy, and I argued in favor of a content-centric approach in our Thursday morning session to Baby Show attendees. We broke this strategy into three areas.
#1 Manage Your Content
At the JPMA Baby Show, attendees could be seen folding and unfolding strollers, touching the fabric, and even plonking down their children for a test drive. Shopping online is different. If you’re shopping for a stroller on Amazon, you can’t test it out before you buy.
Content is what helps us “experience” the product. Does it fold with one hand? Will it fit in your trunk? Can it continue to be used into the preschool years?
Every successful Amazon product page has all the information a shopper needs to decide if your product is right for them. That starts with the essential content (titles, images, bullets) and continues down to the enhanced A+ product descriptions. As Wes noted, a product page acts as your Amazon sales person, so you should equip this page with the information a shopper would need to click the Buy button.
My favorite example of great essential content is the Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy. The title is succinct yet descriptive. There are multiple images of the musical toy being held by a tot, making it easy to understand the size. In addition, the first bullet tells you that this plays “baby friendly classical melodies.” So you know what type of music you’re getting.
#2 Get Your Products Discovered
There are two ways baby brands can get their products discovered on Amazon: organically or through paid search. It’s important to understand how Amazon determines relevancy. Many factors go into whether Amazon will place your product on the first page of a search result. Amazon’s search algorithm looks to indicators such as product title, sales volumes, and availability to determine whether to rank an item.
Brands have control over some of the factors that determine relevancy. Other factors are out of a brand’s control. So what if you can’t rise to the top of Amazon’s search results organically? That’s where Amazon Marketing Services comes into play. This pay-per-click tool allows brands to buy their way to the top of Amazon search results.
All of the attendees at our session had heard of Amazon Marketing Services, but from the questions we go, it seemed that baby brands remain confused about how to best manage this tool.
#3 Leverage Product Page Insights
Our final advice to Baby Show brands was to pay attention to user reviews. Nearly two-thirds of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. It’s important to remember to take the insight gleaned from reviews and put them back into product page content. This is a simple yet effective way to make sure consumers understand your product before they buy.
Takeaway: You Can’t Win on Amazon Without Content
As I walked the floor at the Baby Show, the attendees I spoke to were adamant that Amazon was their most important sales channel. I believe content will help many of these brands succeed on Amazon.