Brands big and small find success selling on Amazon year after year, all around the world.
Amazon has been available to British sellers for more than two decades, creating valuable new retail opportunities and sales pipelines for all kinds of retailers up and down the country.
According to the latest Amazon Small Business Empowerment Report, more than 85,000 UK-based small businesses and brands sold upwards of 950 million products via the Amazon marketplace in 2021. That’s a huge volume of goods, shipped out to customers worldwide as a direct result of an Amazon presence.
What’s more, more than 175,000 new jobs were created by SMEs to support their online business on Amazon in 2021 – showing that success on the marketplace can have a real world financial impact for business owners.
Of course, along with those tremendous sales opportunities, the advantages that come from having a ready-made retail and logistics infrastructure at your disposal and a built-in audience of shoppers ready to buy comes one major challenge: competition.
With so many brands, products and sellers all competing for Amazon shoppers, it’s critical to grab hold of every tool and every chance there is to stand out and make your own offering the most compelling amongst your chosen product categories.
Along with perfecting your product listings, selecting high-quality images, gaining good customer reviews, properly targeting your adverts, and knowing how to work with the A9 algorithm to stand out in the search results, there’s something else you can do to elevate your Amazon performance; set up your own branded Amazon storefront.
What Is an Amazon Store?
A store is a branded, multi-page destination within Amazon. Think of it as your own mini website (online store), but rather than sitting on your own eCommerce website domain, it exists inside the Amazon platform.
As with your own eCommerce store, Amazon Stores offer a way to showcase your product catalogue. You can choose your desired product images, create informative product pages, and share selected images and videos – just as you would with a regular online store under your brand’s control.
You’ll also have a dedicated URL on the Amazon domain. You can use this as a landing page to drive traffic from your Amazon advertising campaigns and other marketing efforts.
Visually, your store can be customised to your brand, so it can reflect your established brand identity and display your brand logo. You can also personalise the layout to suit your own taste and preferences with a choice of templates or coding option.
Stores pages on Amazon are more engaging than individual product pages because they feature an intuitive navigation menu, text, images, and video, plus product showcases, best-seller carousels and other features.
Who Needs an Amazon Store?
Amazon Stores are highly recommended for several different classes of Amazon seller. If you’re eligible for Amazon Brand Registry, you should absolutely create an Amazon Store page.
Keep in mind that Amazon Brand Registry requires an active trademark (either text or image based) issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for participation.
It’s best to register as soon as you can as you may face a wait of a month or more for Brand Registry approval. You won’t be able to create your new storefront while your application is pending so plan ahead as far as possible.
All registered vendors, sellers and agencies are able – and advised – to create an Amazon storefront to further drive sales and brand awareness on the Amazon platform.
Likewise, if you’re a brand owner looking for new ways to grow your Amazon business over and above your existing Amazon advertising campaigns, the Amazon Stores tool can help you to achieve your growth goals and scale your eCommerce operations.
We’ll delve into exactly how an Amazon storefront can boost sales a little later, so keep reading.
How Amazon Stores Work
Amazon Stores are your online home from home within the Amazon platform. To all intents and purposes, it’s a multi-page website for your brand which is hosted by Amazon and intended to be visited by Amazon shoppers.
It works in much the same way as your off Amazon eCommerce website might, with a front page, a navigation bar and product listings.
Amazon shoppers can browse your storefront just as they would your own website. They can click on menu options within the navigation bar to view specific product categories and from there, access product detail pages in a very intuitive manner thanks to the way that Stores mirror the traditional website experience.
When the shopper locates a product or products they wish to buy, they can click to add that item or items to their basket and then proceed through the checkout process as normal.
How do Amazon shoppers find Amazon Stores?
It’s estimated that the Amazon marketplace is home to some 12 million items. So, you may be wondering how a shopper may come across your storefront in the face of such an enormous inventory of products.
There are actually two ways that shoppers can discover Amazon Stores. The first is from a product listing. When your storefront goes live, shoppers will be able to click through from any product listing page.
The second way is by searching directly for your brand name in the Amazon search bar. In addition to the standard search results, your brand logo, a banner showing your hero image and a link to your shop will appear at the top of the page.
Amazon debuted its Stores capability way back in 2017, so it’s a relatively mature part of the Amazon ecosystem and one of the longer established tools available to Amazon sellers. As such, the features on offer via Amazon Stores have evolved considerably since the early days.
As we’ve seen, setting up your storefront is a lot like creating a second branded eCommerce website for your business. Because Stores are essentially mini websites for trademarked brands, a lot of the features are similar to what you may expect when designing and building a new site for your business outside of the Amazon marketplace.
Although your storefront sits on the Amazon user interface, that doesn’t mean that your branding can’t shine through. Your brand logo appears at the very top of the page, so it should be instantly recognisable to shoppers familiar with your products and brand name.
You can upload a hero image of your choosing. This is a banner that appears at the very top of the Store’s ‘homepage’. Your hero image can function as a banner advert, draw attention to special offers or new arrivals. You can change this image via Stores Builder, so it’s easy to keep it current and seasonal – just as you would your own website.
The hero image is a chance to capture the interest of your visitor and create a sense of need. You may want to try Christmas-themed images featuring gifts and snowflakes during the months of November and December for example, or easter eggs and bunnies in the run-up to Good Friday if you have Bank Holiday deals to shout about.
A navigation bar sits below the hero image. This serves as the ‘menu’, allowing visitors to head straight to the product category that they’re most interested in.
A title text box provides space for a welcome message or brand introduction. You can use this space to tell shoppers what to expect from your storefront on Amazon or share your brand values.
Starbucks, for example, uses this space as an inspirational introduction to the brand, sharing its vision and mission along with an image of its original store to create a sense of history and heritage.
Product images showcase the best of your offerings. These are eye-catching and can funnel the visitor through to a search results style page, which presents relevant products in an easy to scroll format.
The actual features displayed on the homepage of the Amazon Storefront will vary, depending on the type of template you choose (more on that later).
In addition to these practical navigation and layout features, there are additional features inherent to Amazon Stores that make this a very useful tool within your Amazon arsenal as a seller. They include:
Reinforce your brand identity
By its nature, an Amazon Store is a fantastic way to assert your brand identity within the Amazon marketplace. Your logo is prominently displayed and the layout is image heavy, which allows you to showcase your branded products in a visually attractive manner.
As we saw with Starbucks, you can also use some of the practical design elements, such as the hero image or text block, to reinforce your brand values, vision and mission to create a closer connection with your target audience.
Strategically promote your products
Amazon Stores all about individual brands and products. That means you aren’t competing with other sellers for screen space. Once a shopper lands on your Amazon Store, that online real estate is entirely dedicated to the promotion of your products.
Depending on the template you choose (or the design you create – keep reading for details on how to create your own layout!).
You can use product highlights to draw attention to a small number of flagship items with larger-scale photography or opt for a product grid to present multiple items from your catalogue on the same page.
When you set up your storefront, you’ll get a custom URL. Typically, this will take the format of Amazon.co.uk/Stores/BrandName. This personalised branded URL can be used as a landing page for ads and shared on social media, as well as used in your other marketing to drive up sales on Amazon.
A welcome feature of Amazon Stores is the ease of setup. Amazon provides a selection of drag-and-drop templates to choose from, so you don’t need to be a design wizard to create a professional-looking presence.
Engaging, media-rich layout
Whichever layout you choose, storefronts are designed to be engaging and full of features such as images and videos.
As will be very clear by now, Amazon Stores are a part of the Amazon Advertising offering. While not a traditional ad format in the same way as say Sponsored Products or Sponsored Display, they provide many of the same benefits as other ad formats you may run, including the ability to grow your brand visibility and drive more sales from Amazon customers.
That said, it’s highly advisable to combine your Stores page creation with an advertising strategy. This should focus on how to funnel traffic through to your Store and nurture sales. Options for advertising your new Store page include:
- Sponsored Display Ads which can be run both on and off Amazon and include an image, link to the product, star rating and pricing.
- Sponsored Product Ads which appear in search results.
- Sponsored Brands Ads to promote your overall brand, which display with your company logo, brand name and up to three specific products.
Measuring the impact of your ad campaigns
As well as the reports available via the Campaign Manager dashboard for each of the ad campaigns you run, you can also access additional data specific to your store’s performance.
Stores Insights provides you with store traffic, visitor numbers and sales figures:
To help you determine how well your Amazon Store is performing over time, metrics include daily visitor numbers, visits, views, units sold, average sales per order, average sales per visitor and average sales per visit.
You can track where your traffic is arriving from, helping you to judge how effective your advertising efforts are. Traffic sources tracked include traffic from Sponsored Brands ads, traffic clicking on a Stores link from product detail pages, and from Stores tags.
Orders and Sales
Total orders and sales are based on purchases made by visitors to your storefront within 14 days of their last visit. Direct sales refer to orders made by shoppers who viewed your page before checking out, while Halo or indirect sales cover all your brand products on Amazon, even those not featured on your storefront.
Amazon Brand Registry
As we touched on above, you must join (or already be a member of) Amazon Brand Registry to unlock Stores capability. Joining the Brand Registry program gives you much more control over your brand presence on Amazon.
It’s free to join Amazon Brand Registry but you’ll be required to provide details about your business. You must also submit evidence of an active trademark as part of the registration process.
With Brand Registry approval, you can perform brand gating to ensure that your brand’s products are only sold by sellers you authorise, rather than third party bad actors. As a result, you can choose to limit your products to sale via your brand’s Amazon Store only.
Amazon Brand Analytics is a powerful analytics tool, available only to Amazon Brand Registry members.
You’ll need to log in to your professional seller account and navigate to Seller Central > Reports > Brand Analytics for access.
Brand Analytics is packed with data that can help you to understand how your brand is performing on Amazon, execute competitor research, understand shopper behaviour and purchasing patterns, identify keyword gaps and much more.
In addition, these insights can help you build more informed customer personas and make data-driven changes to your advertising and Stores strategy for continual optimisation and improvement.
Amazon Stores are a tried-and-tested way to increase your brand’s footprint on Amazon and build your brand visibility.
They can be used to claim a bigger chunk of search traffic, grow brand awareness, nurture shoppers through the buyer journey and enhance your customer experience with features and information not available via standard product details pages.
Customised Brand Destination
Your Amazon Store is specific to your brand. Your brand identity is front and centre, with brand logos, your own brand imagery and a choice of layouts. Customization options make it easy to share brand information not usually conveyed via product listings.
Drive Traffic with Ads
You can create ad campaigns via your Amazon seller account to funnel shoppers through to your store. Just use your dedicated URL as the destination address for your chosen ad format. Options include Sponsored Products, Sponsored Display and Sponsored Brands campaigns. You can additionally use your Amazon Stores URL as the destination address for other PPC campaigns and marketing initiatives you may be running off Amazon.
No Competitor Ads
As Stores are brand specific, you don’t need to worry about sharing the spotlight with competitors; this is your personalised multi-page eCommerce destination entirely dedicated to your brand and your products. No adverts appear on Stores pages, so you can be confident visitors won’t be tempted to click through to a competitor product listing when browsing your storefront.
Stores are backed by enhanced analytics capability, so you can deep dive into a wealth of insightful data. Use Stores Insights in conjunction with Brand Analytics to build a detailed picture of shopper behaviours and trends, compare similar products and benchmark against competitors.
You won’t need to reach for your credit card to get started. This is a free self-service product from Amazon.
Creating An Amazon Store
Creating an Amazon Store is straightforward, but there are a number of steps to carry out before you can submit for publishing.
Creating a Seller Account
First things first, you’ll need an Amazon Seller account. If you aren’t already registered, you can sign up here. You’ll be asked to provide information about yourself and your business, including:
- Your registered address
- Contact information
- Government-issued ID
- Tax information
- Recent bank or credit card statement
Once you’ve submitted your sign-up request, you may be required to provide additional documents or speak to an Amazon representative to confirm your identity.
Amazon Brand Registry
If you aren’t already a member, you’ll need to submit an application to join the Amazon Brand Registry:
- Log into Amazon Seller Central or Vendor Central.
- Confirm the name of your brand.
- Upload proof of your trademark.
- Select the product categories you operate in.
- Choose applicable countries.
- Submit your application.
Creating Your Store
Now the fun part! You can create your Amazon Store following acceptance to the Amazon Brand Registry. You’ll need to be signed in to your professional seller account and have Seller Central. Click on the ‘Create Store’ option open to begin building your Store.
Adding Your Brand Name and Logo
Your first task is to input your brand name and upload a copy of your brand logo. You’ll need to provide your logo in the size 400px x 400px.
Choosing a Design for Your Homepage
You have four design options for your Store homepage. Amazon provides three customizable templates or, you can begin with a blank page and design your own layout. If you go with Amazon’s drag-and-drop option, no technical coding knowledge is required.
The three options are:
1. Marquee – created as a gateway page filled with product and category images.
2. Highlight – to spotlight specific products with larger imagery.
3. Grid – to display a larger number of products with images, pricing, and star ratings.
You can change your chosen template later, if you decide that you’d like to experiment with a different layout.
Text tiles within the pre-designed templates provide a space to share compelling information about your brand or products. This could include a quality promise for example, an introduction to your brand heritage or product or category information.
All templates provide ample space for brand and product imagery to be uploaded. There’s also a hero image which sits at the top of each Stores page.
Video files add an extra layer of engagement and interactivity to your storefront and product pages. Video tiles require both an image and a video. When viewed on a mobile, the video will play in full screen. On a desktop device, the video will play inline with the content.
You’ll need to select the products you wish to sell via your Store. You can do this via the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) or by entering keywords. If you choose to display your inventory in a product grid, your Store will showcase four products per row for those viewing on a desktop and two products per row on mobile. This option includes an ‘add to cart’ button, which is clickable even without going through to the product details page.
Customising your Amazon Store
There are plenty of ways you can make your Amazon Store your own.
You’ll first build your home page – as we saw earlier, you can choose from one of three pre-designed templates or, create your own layout. Once the home page is perfect, with your logo, a hero image and navigation all set, you’ll need to work on creating the other pages within your Store.
The user experience is important here, as you want shoppers to easily navigate through your product catalogue. To ensure you don’t get bogged down in page creation, it’s useful to first list out your category pages and then, the product pages you’ll need.
Content tiles provide context and can be used to convey specific messages to your audience. You have a choice of tile sizes, including full width text boxes and can make your content stand out by using bold and italics.
As well as plain text boxes, you can also use the image with text tile to create an eye-catching graphic. This allows you to overlay text on an image or, display an image next to a piece of text. These are entirely customizable, with the ability to specify the text colour, link, placement, and alignment.
As noted above, if you’ve already got products live on Amazon, the process of creating your products pages is quick and easy. Just search for the ASIN or type in a keyword to bring up your relevant products. If you don’t have product pages created because you’re a new seller, you’ll need to upload them before you can finish your Stores build.
Previewing Your Storefront
Almost there! You’ve put a lot of work into creating your Amazon Store. From choosing your layout and creating content tiles, to deciding on images and creating a user-friendly navigation system, you’ve likely spent a fair bit of time on your first Stores page. There’s just one crucial step left that you shouldn’t skip. That’s previewing your storefront.
The preview function shows you your Store as it would be displayed to a genuine Amazon shopper. This is your chance to test your design, pick up on any mistakes and make last-minute edits. Consider asking a few independent parties to browse your Store in preview mode and get their feedback before submitting for final approval from Amazon.
Submitting Your Store for Review
When you’re happy with your Store, you’ll need to submit it to Amazon for a final review. Once approved, it will go live on the marketplace and be visible to shoppers.
Amazon Stores are a fantastic tool for sellers keen to up their brand awareness and grow sales. The additional tools that come with Stores, such as Brand Analytics and Stores Insights, can create rich pools of data that allow you to understand Amazon shoppers and trends in a much deeper way.
If you’re ready to get started, contact ClearAds today. We’re experts in creating high-performing Stores to elevate your brand and grow your Amazon business.