A day in the life of an eCommerce Sales Lead managing a major CPG brand.
In 2020, eCommerce retail giant, Amazon, brought in more than $500 billion U.S. dollars in retail sales. This growth proved to be a 43% increase in revenue compared to the $351 billion U.S. dollars generated in the previous year. For eCommerce Sales Leads and Managers, the forecasts are exciting and show that net sales will only continue to grow, exceeding one trillion dollars by 2026. We gather from this data that Sales Managers have great reason to pursue the growth of their products and brands on the platform for the foreseeable future.
In this article, we will cover how vital eCommerce is to Sales Leads and Managers of brands on Amazon, what their day-to-day life is like, what departments they work with, how they approach driving incremental growth and market share for their business, and more.
The Importance of eCommerce to Amazon Sales Managers
Ecommerce has increasingly become one of the top components for any retail brand’s strategy and is a surefire medium to leverage for maximizing revenue across the business. From small to medium-sized online sellers right through to big brands, most companies will benefit from their own online store, where they can sell their products. Today, brands must have a strong presence on Amazon to reach the most potential customers and increase net sales as much as possible.
Sales Managers are responsible for driving eCommerce sales for their organizations. They need a 30,000-foot view of the organization’s sales, operations, product supply, finance, and commerce paired with media campaigns. They care most about ensuring that their entire eCommerce team is equipped with tools to succeed and support sustainable incrementality, profitability, and share growth for the brand’s online presence.
They also care deeply about running goal-oriented marketing strategies and strong Amazon advertising campaigns to drive incremental growth for their business. By optimizing their ad campaigns, Sales Teams can reduce advertising costs and unlock more profitability for each dollar spent on the platform. But to maintain profitability and grow market share for their brand and in their category, Sales Leads and Managers must work closely and coordinate with nearly all departments in their company.
The Day-to-Day Life of an Amazon Sales Manager
Sales Managers often “wear many hats” given the versatility of their job’s responsibilities, so having solid relationships with all internal stakeholders of their business is key to driving success on Amazon. It’s not just about the ad – the role entails making sure there’s enough inventory to successfully execute marketing campaigns, setting up coupons and promotions, negotiating everything, dealing with AMC, setting up a brand-new item on Amazon, submitting all the forms when creating and updating content, and so much more. Only when all those areas are covered, such as content and being in stock, then Sales Managers can give the green light to start activating advertising campaigns.
First, Sales Managers need to work closely with their Content Team – the team in charge of syndicating the content on Amazon and all other retailer sites where they have a presence. This means ensuring that messaging, keywords, images, product listings, and Amazon DSP campaigns are analyzed and optimized regularly to improve conversions and boost overall sales. Another area to stay focused on is a brand’s content quality score. This means how effective the page content is assessed according to the brand’s standard. Usually, brands prefer to have a score of about 90% on all their pages. The three leading key performance indicators (KPIs) that Content Teams regularly analyze in terms of the content score are measured by the effectiveness of images, messaging quality, and star rating.
Another vital department Sales must be in sync with is Logistics and Operations, which is responsible for the supply chain and replenishment of products with the retailer. These teams are essential in responding to all purchase orders and fulfillment within 24 hours after an order is placed.
The Shopper Marketing Team, typically within the Amazon Team at large retail brands, is key to handling relationships with the agency that manages all media on Amazon – including DSP, OTT, and search advertising. Sales Teams should have solid relationships with both the Shopper Marketing Team and the agency working with their content team on nearly all media distributed publicly.
Another department that Sales works very closely with is the Category Management Team, which is the team that reports on the total category performance on Amazon. Category Managers are responsible for analyzing and reporting on not just their own products but the entire category. This team is very important for Sales to be in close communication with, as they’re able to convey insights such as when the market share data for a particular product shows an increase or decrease and what differentiates those products. Sound category and brand management help brands win market share, which is essential for scaling products. It is a direct way to unlock additional funding to drive your business on Amazon. More funding also allows brands to drive more traffic to product listings. For example, a retail brand can place a “Buy Now” button on their products housed within their own website that brings customers directly to the Amazon detail page. Unlocking more funding can help with other campaigns, such as Sponsored Brands ads, which help by increasing brand awareness and keep past shoppers coming back for more.
The Top Metrics to Care Most About
Another critical part of a Sales Managers job is managing the company’s Profit & Loss Statement (P&L), also called an Income Statement. P&L tells the story of a company’s financial performance by tracking revenues, costs, and net earned profits over a specific time period. This financial record shows a business’s past performance and helps to assess its capability to generate more cash flow in the future. So, it’s critical for Sales Teams to make sure that their product shipment goes through Amazon since that’s what their target sales goals are based on. Working with all key departments of the business, including the media agency, is crucial for Sales Managers to meet their sales target, gain market share in their category, and a few other top metrics we will elaborate on next.
Meeting Sales Targets
Amazon purchasing for 1P sellers is driven by AI and is very difficult for humans to predict. At the beginning of each year, Sales Teams are given a sales target to deliver on that is driven directly by Amazon’s purchase order algorithm. This isn’t an easy task, but forecasting might be one of the most significant pain points for managing an eCommerce business at the end of the day. This may present a different dynamic for vendors and sellers, as vendors are subject to Amazon placing a weekly order, typically on Mondays. For CPG manufacturers, this task of ordering new supplies may be as often as every day of the week (except for weekends), as brands like toilet paper products are in high demand, with people using it every single day. So, Sales Managers must use a forecasting tool to determine what those order sizes look like based on Amazon’s algorithm. It’s essential to have the ability to predict each Amazon order with accuracy. Staying on top of weekly supply orders is one of the top areas Sales Teams care about most, as it directly correlates to meeting their sales targets.
Driving Incremental Sales
Advertising, coupons, and promotions on Amazon can help brands experience incremental lifts during seasonal events, such as back to school, Black Friday, during the holidays, and especially through running good deals and discounts during Amazon Prime Day. With the right timing, creativity, and forecasting, Sales Teams can run high-performance promotions on their products to boost sales and drive even higher profits.
Growing Market Share
There are several marketing strategies to leverage to stay ahead of the competition and grow a product’s market share. One way is monitoring when your competitor’s products become out of stock and then performing conquest advertising on your competitor’s products, which in some cases can prove to be a 30-40% lift in market share for your own products. Other key strategies for growing a product’s market share include using promotions and coupons, such as Deals of the Day (DOTD), Lightning Deals (LD), and Prime Member Promotions (PMP), to name a few.
Winning the Amazon Buy Box is another principal focus of Sales Managers because it directly impacts the sales performance of their product listings, and the total share of that product and brand. You can win the Buy Box by ensuring that your brand has the proper reseller program policies in place, as well as being consistent in carrying out enforcement on unauthorized sellers and off-MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) prices listed by your authorized sellers. Cross-site price matching is a major factor in Buy Box failure or success, and there are competitive intelligence and benchmarking tools to help monitor pricing and all other factors affecting the Buy Box. You can learn precisely how the Buy Box algorithm works by reading this in-depth article.
Preventing Revenue Leakage
A few scenarios can result in revenue leaking from your business.
A third-party seller attaches itself to your variation: When a first-party vendor is selling a 1 and 2-pack of your product, a third-party seller on Amazon can figure out a way to source that very same product to create a bundle of a four-pack. The third-party seller will latch onto your variation and leverage the goodwill of your product as a vendor. The third-party seller’s four-pack of your product provides a better price point for consumers looking to buy in bulk and save money, draining revenue from your business.
Your product variation gets broken out: If your products get deemed by Amazon as CRAP-outs (Can’t Realize a Profit) or are subject to being suppressed pages, the products will be “de-variated.” Sales Managers need to work closely with Account Managers to re-variate the products; however, this task can result in hours of manual labor and lost sales.
Keeping up with your content management on Amazon: If a third-party seller ends up winning the Buy Box, then they own content on Amazon by de facto and can change the content on the product listing. They can change everything from your title, image, bullets, and description. Many third-party sellers who source first-party vendors’ products in bulk from wholesalers will end up selling those products on Amazon at a lower price, which often leads to them winning the Buy Box.
Are you an eCommerce Sales Manager leading a major brand on Amazon? Pacvue Commerce provides eCommerce teams with algorithmic management tools that help maximize sales. This unique set of tools allows brands to drive profitable growth and prevent revenue leakage with Buy Box monitoring, ticketing resolution, and monitoring content for retail brands on Amazon and other marketplaces. Contact us today, and we’ll show you how to manage your brand’s product detail pages, inventory, monitor the Buy Box, send tickets automatically, and more.