Edgenet: Hardline and Automotive Brands Need to Focus on Amazon

Amazon is driven to expand their business in virtually every sector, as evidenced by aggressive moves like purchasing Whole Foods and attempting to go head-to-head with HBO and Netflix. Though the online retailer has seen record growth recently, 90% of all retail sales in the US still happen in physical stores.

Certain product categories like automotive and DIY items (goods that are sold at hardware stores) continue to be purchased primarily offline, but it’s only a matter of time before DIY and automotive brands are forced to rethink their ecommerce strategies. When they do, they can’t ignore Amazon.

Edgenet CEO

Edgenet is a content management company that works with many of the world’s leading hardline and automotive brands. They specialize in user-friendly content management solutions for retailers and suppliers. CEO Steve Proctor knows that Amazon is a hot topic with manufacturers. “I can see across all leadership, they’re all wanting to know how to interact with Amazon more efficiently,” he told content26.

Proctor stresses the importance of creating a customer-centric shopping experience on Amazon.  “For the first time, we’re seeing established brands designating ecommerce budgets to meet the demand of the online market.”

Many brands that historically focused on brick and mortar sales have been slow to adopt forward-thinking ecommerce strategies or invest in content creation on Amazon. Edgenet advises brands to start considering Amazon a priority, or risk being leapfrogged by their competition as the retail landscape continues to change.

Current Amazon Content for Hardline Brands

Content26 analyzed 1300 product pages over 13 hardline categories to get a better idea of what content currently exists on Amazon. We found that only 59% of these product pages currently have A+ content.

The departments with the most A+ content were:

  • Safety and Security
  • Power Tools & Hand Tools
  • Lighting & Ceiling Fans
  • Kitchen & Bath Fixtures
  • Home Storage & Organization
  • Hardware
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Contractor Supply
  • Building Supplies

In these categories, over half of the top 100 bestselling product pages feature A+ content.

The top ten Brands with A+ content on their bestselling product pages are:

  • 3M
  • Command
  • DeWalt
  • Elekcity
  • First Alert
  • Fluidmaster
  • Gorilla
  • Master Lock
  • Stanley

However, just because a product page has A+ content doesn’t mean it’s optimized. This DeWalt page utilizes a single A+ module that offers information about the product but doesn’t expand on information that is already included in the basic content for the product. In fact, the product information paragraph found beneath the A+ content includes important product info the “enhanced” copy doesn’t mention, like the product dimensions and the weight capacity of the toolbox.

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A+ content shouldn’t be added simply to exist in an otherwise empty space. Good A+ content should offer a comprehensive look at a product on the digital shelf, not simply rehash information that already exists on the page.

This page for a Moen towel bar is a great example of how literally any product can be stylishly and informatively showcased online. The A+ content excels in covering the product’s features and benefits in the text while offering a variety of images to create a comprehensive visual understanding of the product. The high-quality, expandable photos of the towel bar on its own, showcased in the bathroom, and with the rest of its product line gives readers a clear understanding of how the product will look inside their home. If you think your product doesn’t have enough intriguing features to warrant enhanced content, look at what Moen could do with a towel bar and reassess your strategy.

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Advice for Brands Just Starting with Amazon

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Put simply by Steve Proctor of Edgenet, “You can’t ignore Amazon if you’re making things to sell.” Most hardline brands understand this but are nervous about expanding to Amazon. Proctor says it’s a more natural progression than many brands may believe.

“I think the really obvious thing is that the content’s already there. Syndicating that information to Amazon, with some outside expertise as to what additional content helps brands sell products, seems like a really natural process.”

To help brands understand this progression, Edgenet is hosting Edgenet Academy in Nashville Tennessee, an event for their customers that will focus on expanding content on Amazon.

For brands that are just getting started uploading and creating content on Amazon, here are some key tips for optimizing both basic and enhanced content:

  • Focus on the basics. Make sure your product titles, bullets, and product description paragraphs are concise, well-written, and provide all the essential product information. Check out our articles “How to Write Essential Product Descriptions for Amazon” and “How to Write Product Titles for Amazon” to help you get started.
  • Expand with enhanced content. Whether a customer buys on Amazon or in a physical store, chances are they’re using Amazon to research your product. When researching online, customers demand detailed information before they will buy your product. A+ content gives brands the space to include all the pertinent details that will make potential customers confident enough to buy.
  • Optimize for search. Inserting the right keywords into both essential and enhanced content will help product pages in the SERP rankings on Amazon as well as external search engines.
  • Invest in Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) to boost discoverability. Once you’ve got your content optimized, advertising with AMS ensures consumers can find your products.
  • Evaluate and Adjust. Content requires upkeep and care. As you learn from your AMS campaigns, adjust your content to meet consumer needs and further increase its discoverability.