As the years have gone on, the web has not become a more trustworthy place to do commerce.
If anything, the problems which bedeviled the early internet — malware, high friction purchases, difficult transaction processing, and uncertain delivery times have only become worse as eCommerce has become more accessible to smaller companies through easier to use and cheaper software.
The proliferation of eCommerce options has given customers more options
Platforms like Shopify, Woocommerce, and Etsy have all made it much easier for people with something to sell to hang a shingle on the web and start selling.
This ease has had upsides and downsides for online commerce as an industry — it’s meant more competition as the space has become more crowded. While people may be less frightened of having their credit card information stolen thanks to more secure online cart technologies, they have become increasingly wary of the claims made by online advertisements and your marketing copy.
Listing on Amazon gives your brand an implicit endorsement
Selling on Amazon whether as a primary channel or as an additional channel helps merchants to associate their small brands with what the Reputation Institute called the most trusted brand name in America in 2015 — Amazon itself.
People trust Amazon to handle the hassle of commerce at a distance. With reliable delivery, high standards for packaging, and reasonable shipping prices, it’s much easier for the typical online consumer to make a purchase on Amazon than most other places.
No digging through your wallet necessary
To boot, because the customer will probably already be logged into Amazon and have their credit card information shared there, you can avoid the frequent online conversion break point of having customers punch in all their credit card and address information. Especially for small merchants with a tight budget, that means dramatically improved online conversion rates. Larger online sellers can afford to pay for more traffic and weather out low conversion rates in a way that smaller merchants can’t.
People also know that when reading Amazon reviews that all the accounts belong to Amazon customers. That doesn’t make the review system immune to all abusive practices, but it does make it marginally more trustworthy than the review systems on other ecommerce platforms and marketing channels. The verified purchase system can also boost the credibility of reviews by demonstrating that the reviewer actually purchased the product that they’re writing about.
Why vendors sometimes overlook Amazon and their enormous customer base
Many sellers overlook Amazon when they’re starting out. They may have a fixed idea of becoming a retailer for products manufactured by other people. They may be frightened of giving up control to Amazon or other retailers. They may think that they have a better chance of building a cadre of loyal customers on their own store. Meeting all the requirements of the Fulfillment by Amazon program may seem too daunting.
The reality of contemporary eCommerce is that it’s just plain easier to make sales with lower friction on Amazon than anywhere else on the web. Unless you already have an established web and social media marketing engine in place — and even if you do — it’s going to be easier to convince people to trust you and to try out your product on Amazon than anywhere else, even for high priced or specialty products.
Selling on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should neglect marketing through other channels, but if you’re looking to earn easier sales, there’s no better place to start online.