Navigating the Amazon Effect: Why Your DTC Brand Needs to Be Where Your Customers Are

I talk to brands all the time who are weighing the pros and cons of diversifying their sales channels. One of the most frequent debates we encounter when talking to founders is whether venturing into Amazon’s marketplace is good or bad for direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales. Let’s dive into this.  

The Amazon Question: To Be On or Not To Be On?  

Launching on Amazon is a significant step. It’s like opening a shop in the busiest mall on the planet. Yes, you might worry that this will overlap with your DTC sales. Or that it will degrade your brand equity. But let’s pause and consider the bigger picture – a sale is a sale, no matter where it’s made. And let’s face it, not all consumers want to buy from your website.  

The Overlap Illusion  

The concern that Amazon will cannibalize your DTC sales is valid but can be an illusion of competition rather than a reality. Customers shopping on Amazon often differ from those who prefer to buy directly from a brand’s website. Some are loyal to the convenience of Amazon, with its fast shipping and vast selection. In fact – there are 163 million Amazon Prime members in the U.S. Other shoppers seek the authenticity and exclusivity of buying directly from a brand. By being both on Amazon and maintaining your DTC presence, you’re not choosing one over the other; you’re simply expanding your reach. Meet your potential customers where they are.  

The Unclaimed Territory  

If you’re not on Amazon, it’s essential to recognize that your competitors won’t hesitate to fill that space. It’s a territory that’s up for grabs, and if you’re not there to claim it, someone else will. I can almost guarantee that your competitors are buying your branded search terms if you are not on Amazon. This decision isn’t about surrendering to the eCommerce giant; it’s about strategically placing your brand in the line of sight of millions of potential customers.  

The Customer’s Journey  

Today’s customer journey is no longer linear. It’s a web of touchpoints across various platforms and channels. Some customers may discover your brand on social media and research it on your website but ultimately make their purchase on Amazon because that’s where they feel most comfortable shopping. The goal is to be present at all these touchpoints. Be where your customers are shopping.  

Our Amazon Philosophy at Cincy Brands

At Cincy Brands, we believe in a balanced approach. While we champion the unique value of DTC relationships and the brand loyalty they foster, we also recognize the power of Amazon’s marketplace. It’s not about choosing one channel over another; it’s about integrating them to work in harmony.  

In Conclusion  

The bottom line is that the digital world is vast, and customer preferences are diverse. By embracing both Amazon and DTC, you’re not diluting your brand but amplifying it. You’re making it accessible. You’re meeting your customers where they are, and that’s the ultimate win in today’s digital marketplace.  

Remember, the question isn’t whether you should be on Amazon or stick to DTC. The question is, how can you strategically use both to grow your brand?  

At Cincy Brands, we own a portfolio company, Vitabox, that can help you sell on Amazon. We also offer Amazon FBA prep and bundle services for eCommerce brands. We’re here to help you navigate that journey and make the most of every sales channel available to you. Let’s expand your, reach together.

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