How to differentiate the product on Amazon
Building a gap against your competitors on Amazon
You will need to start positioning yourself in a defensive position against competitors as you start to enhance your brand on the Amazon marketplace. A “moat” will protect your business against the competition. Also, it will create desirability for a potential buy out in the future of your brand.
There are many different ways to achieve a business ‘moat’ using Amazon. To achieve a point of difference and distance yourself, you must have the end customer in mind. You must be willing to differentiate your product in the marketplace. Currently, there is a lot of competition. You can’t sell a similar product to others and stay safe. You must keep evolving and improving based on reviews and customer feedback. This type of thought process will keep you a step ahead of your competitors. If you take a contemporary agile business plan approach, as much the tech community has done, it will allow you to adjust to the customer’s wants. If all this is achieved you will not be forced to drop your price and “race to the bottom”.
Understanding your product, materials, and innovation
When you start to source a product, you must understand every process of manufacturing. Understanding the manufacturing process is going to help you in many ways. It is going to help you;
- Negotiate with the manufacturers
- Ensure quality and compliance
- And much much more
For you to start to innovate products, you must first become a design professional. Some product designers will only look at how the product functions. They may not consider how it looks and feels.
Differentiation doesn’t appear out of anywhere
You must understand all the different materials used in making your product. You must know how they feel and how they look. You must comprehend/understand the processes that put those materials together that resulted in the end product.
The next thing that you should study is your customer. If you reverse engineer the e-commerce game you can design a product for the customer rather than the other way around. If you try and find a customer for your product, you will have a much harder time succeeding. A great place to start is the reviews the customer’s place on Amazon. 1-star and 5-star reviews will give you a lot of insight into the product and the things that need to be improved. The questions section is another great place to gather information about the customer’s thought process when shopping and purchasing a product.
The way it would have been done in the past you would have to gather this information in interviews and through market analysis.
How to Improve your products on Amazon
There are many ways in which we can improve and differentiate products. Some can be small improvements by simply adding a feature or fixing a problem. Some of the improvements can come by adding something that is not on other products. You could also make the product better in terms of functionality for the end-user. The aesthetics of the product can also be improved if other manufacturers have not paid attention to the look and feel of the product.
In categories such as electronics, improvements can come many forms. You can get a product to connect with your phone, device or computer. Possibly adding a simple app or adding the ability to connect through Wi-Fi could set you apart. Another technological feature that can be added is light and temperature. A USB plug could be added. Another option is starting to create an Alexa skill to add to the product. Programming an Alexa skill is all open source. Amazon and Alexa are encouraging you to design skills on Alexa.
Packaging and adding value
The environment is a hot topic at the moment. Environmentally friendly products could set you apart or just presenting the package as environmentally friendly could help you stand out. Even camouflaging the product to make it blend with its natural environment could be different and desirable. Getting creative with the packaging of the product can help you differentiate. Adding something to the packaging that can be useful is another easy way. Adding instructions to the product can help consumers assemble or install of the product. Example; The other day I had a battery for my laptop delivered. A screwdriver was needed for installation. When the fan came I had to go out to the store and purchase a specialized screwdriver. This is something that can ‘idiot-proof’ the product for someone like myself. Make it easy to use for the customer to use.
Another way is to join “frequently bought together” products into one simple easy to use the product. You might be able to improve the weight and overall feel of the product. This might include little things like the strength, colors or materials of the product.
Manufacturing & location
Another way for you to differentiate is to change the country that you are manufacturing the product in. Depending on which country you are from, the customer will want to purchase domestically made products or products that are manufactured in specific countries. Can you make your product smaller and the ability to pack it easier for travel?
The quantity of your product or number of products is not something that should be relied upon to differentiate and create a lasting defense against competition. If you only use this tactic you will compete against them on price.
You can refer to another article to help bundle products and come up with bundling situations on Amazon. Bundling should not be the only value add that is placed onto the product because it only creates temporary defensibility. Another option is possibly eliminating something from a product. The elimination could save costs and streamline the process. Or you could scale up that product and make it larger.