Launching Your Amazon Brand on Shopify – 5 Things to Consider

This blog post is contributed by Sarah Pink. Sarah is an e-commerce growth consultant who has worked with 7 and 8-figure brands for the past 10 years. Her expertise is equipping brands to scale both on and off Amazon. 

Launching a Shopify store is an excellent way for brands to diversify revenue. Brand owners looking to expand their reach while pivoting away from a third-party platform like Amazon should consider this their first step in implementing an Omnichannel strategy. However, there are several things you should consider before integrating Shopify into your digital strategy. Here’s everything you need to know about getting started.

Embracing Shopify Fundamentals

There are well-established best practices for Shopify that sellers who are new to the platform can use as a guide. For instance, optimizing page load times can improve user experience while boosting conversions. This translates to greater sales volume and better margins off Amazon.

Key Areas of Focus

Additionally, strategic initiatives can help improve customers’ perception of your brand and drive increased traffic to your website. These include:

Content Marketing

Besides choosing a paid advertising strategy, content marketing is one of the best ways to direct customers to your Shopify storefront. Consider developing a robust content plan to support the launch of your site and follow up with a content distribution strategy that considers where your potential customers spend their time online.

Virtual Showrooms

Many experts predict that interactive media is the future of e-commerce technology. Help your business stand out by creating a virtual showroom in which shoppers can peruse your product offerings from the comfort of their homes.

Competitive Fulfillment

Fast, stress-free shipping is essential to customer satisfaction. Whether you opt for the Shopify Fulfillment Network or utilize a third-party logistics provider, shoppers must receive their orders on time, consistent with the options they are accustomed to through Amazon.

Shopify Theme/Web Design

In addition to fast load times, the layout of your Shopify store should be accessible and easy to navigate. Visuals should be crisp and professional to reflect the quality of your brand. You only get one chance to make a first impression.

Testing and Maintenance

Testing and maintenance may be the least sexy of the Shopify fundamentals, but they are exceedingly important. Invest in your online store by regularly testing its performance on desktop and mobile. From there, you can make the necessary adjustments to ensure customers have a smooth, seamless purchase experience.

Each of the above should factor into your planning prior to the launch of your Shopify site, as overlooking any best practices could prove detrimental. It isn’t all on you; many founders elect to assign these functions to an employee or outside service.

[Editor’s note: Are you curious about the current state of e-commerce and what that means for you? Get the insight you need from FE’s report: The E-commerce Industry Is Booming – What Does That Mean for Sellers?]

The Long-Term Benefits of Shopify

Whether you hire in-house or engage with a third-party agency to grow and manage your Shopify store, you know your customers and products the best and therefore it is imperative that you stay involved to achieve the best results. Greater sales volume and increased margins require dedicated attention and follow-through.

The benefits to your business are well worth the effort, though. Omnichannel brands with diversified revenue streams can achieve better performance and are often more valuable than brands that are pure FBA businesses. Marketplaces like Amazon allow for more of a “set it and forget it” approach, but sellers pay for that convenience in reduced profits.

A Shopify store provides greater analytics and increased insight into many areas of operations. Consequently, your brand can become more adaptable and less dependent on a singular sales channel that is beyond your control.

[Editor’s note: Understanding the e-commerce business model and setting yourself up for success, in the beginning, is a key to lasting success in the online retail space. Learn more about the different e-commerce revenue models: A Guide to E-Commerce Business Models and Revenue Models]

Customizable Solutions to Fit Your Needs

The various support services available to Shopify store owners enable you to set up your website based on your preference. Many developers specialize in Shopify and can assist you in setting up product pages that convert and rank well in search engines.

Most importantly, Shopify is the leading D2C e-commerce platform. There is a wide assortment of tools and plugins to enhance your storefront, creating a superlative purchase experience for your customers.

Own Your Customer Data

Owning customer data is a critical part of building an enduring brand. Amazon precludes sellers from accessing this information, so many FBA businesses struggle to cultivate an audience and encourage shoppers to complete additional purchases.

However, you can avoid this pratfall by selling direct-to-consumer via Shopify. The platform grants full access to contact details and other valuable metrics. By retaining this data, you will be able to continually fine-tune your strategy while making informed decisions that will strengthen your brand and increase revenue over time.

Better Brand Building for Your Business

Executed properly, your brand’s Shopify store empowers you to cultivate a strong brand identity by creating an engaging site that can rank well in search engines. The result is increased traffic and improved perception of your business which can help you earn and retain more customers.

Moreover, investors tend to favor companies with multiple sales channels because they are:

  • Inherently less risky
  • Not dependent on one platform
  • Adaptable and scalable

This is especially important if, like many e-commerce sellers, you may want to step away from the business to pursue other passions. Shopify helps position your brand for success but can also factor into a future strategic exit.

Shopify’s Role in Exit Planning

A Shopify site can certainly help you grow revenue, but it also increases the overall value of your brand. Thus, incorporating Shopify into your digital strategy is an effective way to prepare for a successful sale while improving the business. Investors are notoriously risk-averse, and an e-commerce brand with diverse revenue streams is considered more stable than a single-channel business. Stage your company for a successful transaction by following the age-old idiom: don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

[Editor’s note: If you’re planning an exit, or simply curious about what the process looks like, read the E-commerce Business Exit Planning Overview so you’ll know how to best prepare for the exit process.]

While Amazon-based assets have proven valuable as investment vehicles, the marketplace and its participants are still subject to policies set by the e-commerce giant. By contrast, Shopify allows for more measured and predictable growth independent of Amazon.

It’s wise to consider the future potential of your brand in the context of a transition to a new owner. If you were looking to acquire one of several successful e-commerce businesses, wouldn’t you want to go with the safest bet? Don’t wait until you decide to exit to start planning. Launching a Shopify store will help you see short-term returns and ultimately pay off in the long term.

How to Get Started on Shopify

Once you’ve decided to diversify revenue by selling on Shopify, all that remains is to build your site. Many experienced web developers and consultants are available to assist in this endeavor, but Shopify also offers an in-depth video tutorial to help you get started. Always observe best practices and regularly review your site to ensure optimal performance. When utilized correctly, Shopify can be a powerful tool, and many sellers have taken their businesses to the next level by successfully pivoting off Amazon to sell on their own website. Remember, Shopify is a long-term strategy that can improve your business over time. If you are deliberate in your decision-making and allocate the proper resources to the channel, it can pay dividends for you and your brand.

An e-commerce store is an investment in your brand’s future. Moreover, given the potential return on investment, it’s hard to think of a better initiative for the time and money.

[Editor’s note: Find out how much your e-commerce business is worth, and if now is a good time to sell.]