Building Your 1P Brand on Amazon, Part 1: Brand Reputation

December 19, 2016

Brands Sean Finnegan By Sean Finnegan

There are two primary methods to selling on — first-party (1P) and third-party (3P).  Selling via 1P on Amazon means that you’re selling wholesale to Amazon, which then sells your products to consumers on the marketplace, as opposed to being a 3P seller and selling direct to consumers.

In this post, we’ll only be discussing 1P. Specifically, we’ll only be discussing selling 1P for brands. I want to share some quick tips that brands can use to ensure that their brand is properly represented on Amazon, their products are in front of the right consumers and those consumers keep coming back.

Let’s dive right in.

Tip 1: Invest in Enhanced Content

A big advantage of being a 1P seller on Amazon is the high level of control over the look and feel of your listings.  Brand owners have a secret weapon to creating engaging product listings with special content that third party sellers don’t: Amazon A+ Content.  

A+ Content is Amazon’s version of “next-level” product descriptions and page details.  It’s HTML-based and can potentially help you achieve a higher conversion rate than traditional third party product listings pages since you’re able to provide more information to buyers.  The more they know about your product, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

As you already know, the right content can make or break a listing, so I can’t stress enough the importance of investing heavily into creating quality content for your 1P listings. This content typically includes engaging descriptions and high-resolution graphics that display your products in an attractive way.  

Another advantage of investing in A+ content is that you can include highly detailed product specifications that will display properly. Traditional listings have limited space for content.

Now, I did mention “investing” in A+ content. Unlike basic product listings, access to A+ product pages comes at a cost. Amazon has multiple packages and options for helping you build and submit your A+ content through Vendor Central.  Weigh these options carefully and decide what’s best for your business and brand presence on the marketplace.

If you ever need some inspiration for creating your own A+ content, I recommend checking out any of Amazon’s product pages.

Tip 2: Familiarize Yourself With the Brand Gating Policy

Amazon has a fairly new brand gating policy, and it empowers brands to be able to have more control over who sells their brand on Amazon.  Gating your brand on Amazon essentially helps you police your own ASINs by blocking other 3rd party sellers from selling on those listings.

This is a substantial step that Amazon has taken to help protect brands from third party sellers “hijacking” listings with their own content, and, more importantly, their own price which often violates your Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP).

Keep in mind that although brand gating significantly helps brands protect their presence on the marketplace, it’s designed to ultimately protect the consumer from counterfeiters.  When requesting brand gating from Amazon, be sure to highlight that you want to ultimately protect the consumer by ensuring that they only receive authentic products directly from the manufacturer.

Before requesting brand gating on Amazon, be sure to have all of your ducks in a row.  You’ll need to make sure that you’ve already registered your brand Amazon Brand Registry through Amazon’s Brand Registry Program before they can even consider your brand gating request.  You’ll also need to compile the list of ASIN’s you want to have gated.

Tip 3: Use Reviews to Build Brand Reputation

As a brand, your reputation is important, and Amazon reviews can either help or hurt that aspect of your business.  Having control over your image and reputation on Amazon does take a certain level of effort, but is certainly worth the time and money.

Make sure your images, descriptions and bullet points are all accurately representing your products.  These can help you avoid negative product reviews.

How do you acquire positive reviews on your Amazon listings?  Just ask!  If you believe a buyer had a positive experience on Amazon and is happy with your product, reach out to them to solicit a review.  Amazon will automatically solicit reviews from buyers, but you can take that a step further by reaching out directly.  There are also third parties that can assist you in contacting buyers for product reviews.
Product reviews and feedback can make or break your brand presence on Amazon, so evaluate your current strategies, and take the necessary steps to build positive brand recognition.

And for more helpful tips and advice on building a successful 1P brand on Amazon, check out the free recording of the first of a four-part webinar series: Amazon 101: Owning Your Brand Strategy!