Which stage in the Marketing Funnel are Amazon shoppers?

This sounds like a question which should have a straight forward answer, in a very short space of time…initially.

Then you let the implications of the question set in and the complexities of the potential answers start to sink in.

Why is this even important?

Well, if you’re sold on the idea that leads need different type of lead nurturing content at different parts of the sales funnel, then the importance will be clear. If not, there’s a topic for another article – lead nurturing with content to deliver sales and marketing messages.

Think about it. Shoppers on Amazon could be at different stages of the marketing funnel when they land on a listing. They might know they need a “Garlic press” and they’re sold on the benefits of having a Garlic press. What they’re actually looking for is content to help them make a decision at the end of the funnel to make that purchase.

Add to the dynamic that you don’t own the marketing funnel, Amazon does. In this particular case, where the buyer knows what they want, you’re delivering “end of funnel” marketing messages alongside a bunch of other direct competitors who are just a click away from the buyer.

On the other hand, the buyer could be browsing, not sure whether they want anything other than an “impulse buy” or even “a gift”. In a typical sales and marketing environment where you have the ability to communicate with the customer directly via different media, you could nurture these buyers, convincing them that a Garlic press was a perfect impulse buy or gift for that matter.

In the Amazon era, where customer data isn’t readily available, communication via different media pre-purchase lacks targetting (at best). Add to that, even if you could nurture and convince them a Garlic press is the right thing to buy, you’ve still got to convince them to buy YOURS over another product listed “only a click away” on the Amazon website.

What are the implications of this really?

Think about your product listing page on Amazon. Based on the 2 above scenarios (2 of a potential many) how do you select what messages you should be delivering within your listing?
After all, “If you try and speak to everyone, you’ll speak to no-one”

There may seem to be another answer. Provide content (read “Marketing Messages”) which convince the Amazon shopper why they should buy your Garlic press over someone else’s. This isn’t a bad idea, however in practice it appears to have significant limitations. Typically this leads you to pick on very specific “features” of one product vs another, as the benefits are practically the same, or emphasisers like “More” or “Higher” creep in.
In the worst case, it starts to look like you’re talking negatively about competitor products.

So what the hell is the answer?

Watch this space…