Amazon has usurped Google as the place where consumers go to search for products. Nearly 40% of online shoppers start out on Amazon, while only 11% use Google – making it vital for brands to show up at the top of the retailer’s search results. L2’s Insight Report: Amazon Search uses Seventh Generation as a case study to demonstrate how strategic investments can help a brand dramatically boost its search ranking.

As an independent brand with a market share below 1%, Seventh Generation would seem to be in a different league than household names like Tide and Clorox. However, the eco-friendly brand appears in more first-page search results than any other Home Care brand in L2’s Intelligence Report: Amazon 2014. That success came from consistent merchandising investments, like detailed descriptions and on-platform promotions. The brand also joined Amazon’s Vendor Flex program, further demonstrating commitment to the retailer.

Seventh Generation dominates Amazon search rankings

However, other brands have recently copied that strategy, eroding Seventh Generation’s first-mover advantage. In the past year, major enterprises like P&G and Church & Dwight ramped up their Amazon investments, boosting the sophistication of product pages and joining programs such as Vendor Flex and Dash. As a result, Seventh Generation’s search performance plunged across most category terms. For example, in July 2014, the brand controlled 19% of first-page search results for “Laundry Detergent.” One year later, its ownership had fallen to 12% as Church & Dwight brand Arm & Hammer climbed in positioning.

The top spot is stolen

Yet even Arm & Hammer isn’t safe. These listings constantly fluctuate: over the six-month observational period of L2’s study, the top three results for “Laundry Detergent” rotated between six brands. Amid such rapid change, brands face a crucial need to monitor their Amazon presence – an area that will be quantified in L2’s new Commerce IQ.

 

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