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Brands Look to Crush Third Party Sellers on Amazon

Brands are playing catchup on Amazon, and as they look to control their product pages, they’re going up against third-party merchants. A recent post details strategies brands are using to win the Buy box and get the sale.

Analytics firm for consumer goods brands Clavis Insight recently published, “How Brands Can Win the Buy Box Against A Third Party Seller on Amazon.” The author of the post says the company works with some of the biggest names in the world of retail, all of whom are looking to dominate on Amazon. “One of the most persistent concerns we have seen across product categories is how these brands should combat a third party seller.”

It notes that third-party sellers don’t need to invest in brand integrity – “Often their primary goal is to sell and to sell fast.” But some third-party sellers can also probably relate – many sellers also complain about how their colleagues can mess up a product page, for example.

The Clavis post suggests some strategies for brands to suppress third-party merchants from appearing in the Buy box, and it may help merchants to understand what they are going up against as companies increasingly look to take control of their brands on online marketplaces.

The post describes tactics such as ASIN merging (or “product twisting”) and creating product variations. “There are two important concepts to keep in mind when trying to beat out a third party seller on search position. The first concept is combining your own product variations – different scents, flavors, colors and sizes – onto a single product page at Amazon. Combining product variants on one main page allows consumers to easily browse and purchase multiple derivations of the same product.”

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And ASIN merging is combining duplicate product pages onto the brand’s own product page. “Amazon does not like to see duplicate pages in search results, but it is up to brands to report and merge the appropriate ASIN in order to remove them.”

You can find the full post on the company’s website, ClavisInsight.com. It may be eye-opening to some merchants who struggle with rivals to learn they must also compete with brands; others may already understand the competition brands pose on Amazon.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.