Thought Leadership

How can brands thrive in the age of Amazon

While Amazon might be impossible to compete with, what it can’t do is specialise in everything. A series of SEO experts examined how brands can be successful in a new world of search.

Izzy Ashton

Assistant Editor, BITE

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“We’re left with a new world that revolves entirely around the consumer.” Callum Campbell, CEO of Linnworks set out the challenges facing brands when it comes to search marketing at Organic’s latest event. The reality, he believes is, that while “selling is tough…the opportunity is like never before.”

Campbell was speaking as part of an event hosted by Organic to examine how brands can thrive in a search world dominated by marketplaces and ‘super-sets’. In other words, can or even should, brands compete with the likes of Amazon? How does brand behaviour need to shift to accommodate for a marketplace that is, as Joe Ford, Head of Natural Search at Organic explained, significantly more visible than its next competitor. While Amazon has 2,500 visibility points, eBay, the second biggest marketplace doesn’t even have half that while Argos’ visibility, in third place, is 86% smaller than Amazon’s, Ford explains.

Amazon are winning by putting convenience not consumer at the heart of their offering.

Rebecca Steel

In this new world, says Campbell, “consumer expectations are sky high; demand is fragmented.” Consumers are doing their research before they buy; they’re deciding exactly where they want to buy and then they’re expecting their purchase to be delivered directly to them. So how do brands navigate this? Campbell offers three steps. One, own your brand because, as he adds, “in this new work, brand ownership is everything.” Two, define your marketplace strategy. Campbell believes that brands should “treat marketplaces as a marketing channel.” And three, brands need to build operational capability.

Rebecca Steel, SEO Manager at John Lewis fundamentally believes that brands need to “remember there is a consumer at the end of the key word.” As a 150-year-old brand, John Lewis’ biggest day to day rival is Google as pure plays reign supreme. The problem, she adds, is that “Amazon are winning by putting convenience not consumer at the heart of their offering,” something she believes is fundamentally wrong with the system. Steel also revealed that the SEO team are beginning to work more closely with the editorial team to “not just sell but inspire the consumer.”

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SEO Amazon Search