• Rob Stanley

Amazon Predictions 2021 – Trends and Tips for Sellers

Updated: Dec 21, 2020


We collected Amazon predictions from Amazon experts across the industry. After the rollercoaster ride of 2020, what does 2021 have in store for Amazon sellers? In the midst of a global pandemic and record-breaking holiday season, these experts offered their perspective on the upcoming year.



Chris McCabe, ecommerceChris, anticipates Amazon to buckle down on their vetting process.


Amazon's marketplace investigation teams will advance their initiatives to root out black hat operations and will continue to identify sellers using those services in 2021, for the purposes of more aggressive legal action. This additionally leads to more account suspensions for violations of the Seller Code of Conduct policy, due to failing to vet and eliminate third party services for the nature of their practices prior to onboarding them. We've already seen Amazon make some limited progress against black hat or fraudster "services" peddling these tactics, but we expect a much wider expansion of their efforts in 2021.


Jeff Cohen from Seller Labs expects the eCommerce industry to continue to grow as the pandemic rolls over in 2021.


Everyone should anticipate the pandemic to impact their business through most, if not all of 2021. We saw eCommerce take a major leap forward this past year and I expect that to continue in 2021. Transportation/logistics will continue to be a concern for online retailers but will get better as investments in infrastructure starts to catch up with the increased demand. Amazon will continue to reign supreme, but don't sleep on the growth of other marketplaces such as Google, Shopify, and others as they start to chip away. If a brand doesn't have its own website, 2021 will be the year to make that investment. 


Steven Pope, My Amazon Guy, believes sellers can score more as the eCommerce competition heats up.


Selling on Amazon will get harder and more rewarding in 2021. It will require more sophistication, Amazon will put up additional barriers, and we'll see lots of businesses gobble each other up to pool resources. Amazon will launch more ways to advertise on its platform. Sales will continue to grow. I also think Walmart will start to show up and take some market share from Amazon (finally)," predicted


Liran Hirschkorn from Incrementum Digital offers insights into important new marketing tactics for Amazon businesses.


My predictions for 2021 are as follows. From a marketing perspective, Amazon will be putting a higher focus on getting free traffic to your storefront and promoting Amazon Live. External traffic will become more important, editorial content will be more prominent on pages, and the expansion of new advertising types will continue. 
We have seen Amazon test large sections on detail pages highlighting storefront pages
Amazon live has been displayed on detail pages and Amazon wants to foster a more social environment to compete with Instagram/Facebook shops
Driving demand outside of Amazon using influencers, and external ads as amazon attribution starts to function better and that traffic can be tracked. 
More editorial content from multiple publishers will be featured in search results and detail pages, as well as videos from content publishers as videos in detail pages
New advertising expansion, more video ad placements, and as DSP gets an API and automation more brands and sellers using that platform.


Norman Farrar, The Beard Guy, believes inventory management will be a crucial factor in this upcoming year.


One of the most important issues facing AMZ sellers will be and is inventory management. Working with your suppliers to negotiate better terms and help provide better supply chain management. New product launches must have a well thought out and monitored campaign ensuring that you are building sales velocity to help remove the inventory limits. Once they are removed make sure to send in your inventory quickly. Keep in mind, just because AMZ lifts the 200 unit restriction does not mean your product will be received right away.


Ryan Cramer from PingPong Payments


Biggest changes for Amazon for 2021 - Focus on international expansion. With the growing use of Amazon and other ecommerce marketplaces in 2020, expect those trends to continue. Marketplaces in India, Australia, and Germany will continue to see huge growth, creating opportunities for sellers to take advantage of and expand internationally.


Jeff Lieber from TurnKey Product Management highlights recent changes in Amazon's algorithm and how external marketing can be very beneficial.


What we’re seeing with our clients is that Amazon recently changed some of their algorithm factors, one of which is an emphasis on sending external marketing and traffic to Amazon can really help with ranking on Amazon! It can be challenging for physical product sellers to know how to leverage external assets, without feeling like they're cannibalizing their own website sales, but there are creative ways to do so. Another area that we see being big in 2021 is Amazon video ads and Amazon DSP ads, which have extensive customization and retargeting capabilities both on and off of Amazon. At TurnKey Product Management, we have used these strategies to scale tons of clients to 7-figures and beyond.


Amy Wees is an Amazing at Home E-Commerce Consulting agent who offers a great perspective on the importance of branding.


In 2021, Amazon will continue to invest in technologies that merge with social media such as live streams, posts, and more immersive shopping experiences. This will put the focus on registered brands with storefronts and more marketing dollars to spend. To compete on future Amazon, sellers will need to step up their branding strategy or get lost in search as larger brands take up the search page real estate.


Destaney Wishon from BetterAMS thinks Amazon advertising will continue to expand on what they accomplished in 2020.


"In 2021, I expect more creativity, more complexity, and more Amazon Advertising Control than ever before! 
Amazon set the foundation in 2020 when they rolled out increased Sponsored Brand creative capabilities AND allowed us to dip our toes into DSP through Sponsored Display. I don’t think they’re going to stop there, and in 2021 I expect more audience insights and more ways to tell our brands store through Amazon Advertising!"


Troy Johnston from Seller.Tools shares his outlook on the importance of customer experience and data analytics.


Coming into 2021 I see sellers really struggling to know who their customers are. Especially as Amazon PPC gets to be more complex over time with various ad types, reporting, etc, and buyer-seller messaging eroding over time. Amazon is going to continue to 'own' those customers and sellers who pay to play won't really get the engage, build loyalty, and more effectively support these customers. To address this challenge head-on brands need to be thinking about how they can get more customer data (pre and post-purchase), engage with them more, and really aim to own the buying experience as much as possible to remove too much of an Amazon dependency - ironically this is what also gives sellers the control to realize important Amazon-specific objectives like ranking, reviews and more.


Michael Jackness from the EcomCrew predicts some big changes to the storage guidelines as Amazon continues to grow its infrastructure.


2020 was a year of insane growth for Amazon and I don't see that changing anytime soon. It appears that Amazon's biggest issue at this point is growing its footprint (warehouse space) to keep up with demand.  With that in mind, I think Amazon is going to make some massive inbound and storage changes in 2021.  That could manifest in the form of higher storage fees, more inventory space restrictions, or restricting new items.  Either way, it looks like the good old days of being able to send in unlimited amounts of inventory are a thing of the past.  


Bob Schneck is a lead instructor for ALGO Online Retail who believes 2021 will be a big year for sellers who play by the rules.


At ALGO we believe 2021 will be a big year for smart North American based sellers. We have seen Amazon do more to protect and support legitimate sellers in 2020 and we expect that trend to continue into 2021. With more people shopping online than ever before and Amazon taking steps to further support sellers that know and follow the rules, we believe sales and profits will continue to grow for North American based sellers.


Sajag Agarwal from Movley advises sellers to focus on their branding and supply-chain operations if they want to be a leader in their marketplace.


Amazon 2021 will be all about branding. As the marketplace gets more saturated, selling unique, customized products will be critical to differentiate your brand from the next. The companies that can master the supply-chain side to be able to constantly release improved products will stay competitive and lead their respective markets.

 

Mina Elias, the CEO of MMA Nutrition LLC, predicts Amazon will strengthen its chokehold on the eCommerce industry.


I think a few things are going to happen in 2021 for Amazon: First of all, I believe they are gaining a much bigger market share than they originally had. This is due to Covid, which was a catalyst for people switching from retail to online, simply because of closures and people not wanting to be outside while there is a virus. Any other online retail that was trying to catch up with Amazon will struggle a little bit because no one is really as set up as Amazon is for this specific situation. So, Amazon is definitely catching the beginning of a massive wave.
On top of that, I believe that Amazon is turning more and more into “pay to play”, and that the Amazon advertising platform is behind and catching up to the Google advertising one. From my perspective, we are going to see better and better analytics, there is going to be pixelation and retargeting in the future, and I definitely feel that Amazon is working in many ways to improve the customer’s journey further than it is now, by things like a recommendation based on habits and browsing history. It’s not long before we see Amazon attaching to our browser and searches, and then showing us ads that might not be relevant to our specific keyword search, but are relevant to our off Amazon search history. 


Emma Schermer Tamir runs an Amazon copywriting service called Marketing by Emma and touches on some topics mentioned above.


Competition is fiercer than ever and trust levels are low. To skillfully deal with these challenges, thoughtful branding is a must and Amazon agrees. Recent updates and beta programs make it clear that a trendy product, the latest tricks, or aggressive advertising aren't enough. In 2021, you need to build a brand if you want to succeed.

Jana Krekic from YLT Translations top advice for growing your Amazon brand in 2021 is - go out to international marketplaces.


By the end of 2020, the e-commerce market in Europe is anticipated to be worth an astonishing £638 billion, and it is believed that this number is going to steadily increase throughout 2021. In the last couple of months, we have received a record number of inquiries for international expansion and I think now more than ever, sellers will want to get ahead of their competitors by expanding to other marketplaces. latest tricks or aggressive advertising aren't enough. In 2021, you need to build a brand if you want to succeed. We heard rumors that Poland is also going to be on Amazon’s map next year as a part of the PAN-European program and I would definitely advise you to take some time in Q1 and do thorough research on other new marketplaces where you could score big.


Colin Raja from India Sourcing Company


I believe the biggest change Amazon is going to face in 2021, is the way in which they allow sellers to rank products. Previously, a seller would employ a "spike strategy", where they would do an insane amount of giveaways to rank a certain keyword. Now, Amazon has caught up with this trend and is de-throttling these keywords to the 32nd place, in what is called the "32 glitch" issue. So, some traditional ranking services will become redundant and sellers will need to find another way to launch.


Andrew Waber from Teikametrics


Old habits die hard, and for a lot more Americans than one year ago, online shopping has become that type of regular ritual. Even assuming brick-and-mortar shopping becomes a more realistic option for most consumers in Q2/Q3 2021, a large percentage of consumers will turn more often to online marketplaces they have come to trust over the past year. Sellers and brand owners will once again need to remain nimble as they manage appropriate inventory levels, advertising strategies, and launch new products. 2021 is going to look very different than both 2020 or 2019. The companies that adjust best to changes as they happen (rather than relying on ‘priors’), are going to be in a better position to succeed.


Amazon sellers have a lot to consider going into the new year if they want to grow their Amazon business. Here is a recap of the topics and insights that were mentioned in this article:

  1. Follow the Amazon Seller Code of Conduct policy

  2. The eCommerce industry will continue to grow as the pandemic rolls over in 2021.

  3. Increase of Amazon Advertising

  4. Possible changes to storage limits

  5. The Importance of Branding

These industry experts touched on a variety of different components to consider as the new year approaches. They think it will be a rewarding year for the sellers who adapt to the changes Amazon makes as it grows. Thank you to all the people who contributed their 2021 Amazon predictions to this article!


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