How
helped shoe retailer Waardijk list 15,000 products onon Amazon in just 24 hrs

+10%
online sales
15,000
products listed in 24h
New market
reached in 1 day
Case

Waardijk is a Dutch online and offline shoe retailer with a history dating back 170 years. The family-run business, once a local brick-and-mortar shoe shop, is recognized for the quality of their products–all made and sold in Europe–along with their exceptional customer service. For the past 7 years, they have been working with the marketing agency Expand Online (a part of Dept) as their trusted partner in online strategy and campaign management. As ecommerce and consumer behavior rapidly evolves, staying agile is essential for retailers. Consumers are shifting away from smaller web shops and towards larger ecommerce sites and marketplaces. Waardijk was aware that this trend could have a negative impact on their business. In order to stay ahead of the game, they need to be among the first to take action. So, together with Expand Online, they decided to start selling on the Amazon marketplace. By taking the initiative as a “first mover,” they would have the chance to work and gain experience with Amazon before it became the norm. As a starting point, they chose to get their products into the German market, via Amazon.de.

Use case: Amazon Marketplace

Number of products: 15,000

Objectives

  • Boost online sales
  • Become a first-move
  • Expand internationally

Challenges

Listing their products on Amazon meant that Waardijk needed a product feed that met the required Amazon specifications and was compelling enough to drive both visibility and sales. That said, Expand Online was facing three major challenges.

1. Feed customization for Amazon Marketplace


In order to integrate the Dutch product feed with around 15,000 different items in the German Amazon portal, Expand Online needed to not only translate the product data to German, but also tailor it to the unique feed specifications of the Amazon marketplace, i.e. field titles, length and format of each field’s content. Additionally, in order to optimize the channel’s performance, the content of the feed needed to be customized based on the way customers search and make purchase decisions on Amazon. This task alone would require the help of IT and waste valuable time and resources.

2. Amazon product identifiers


Every product that is sold on Amazon requires a specific product identifier, namely the Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN). A new ASIN is created whenever a product is uploaded to a product catalog for the first time. For items that already exist on Amazon, the ASIN can be found on the product details page, amongst other relevant product attributes and features. In order to list their products on Amazon, Expand Online needed to acquire and add each individual product identifier number to their product feed. If done manually, this process would be extremely time-consuming.

3. Maintain up-to-date product information on Amazon


Shoppers in marketplaces, especially Amazon, have high expectations when it comes to product information accuracy. If information is missing or out-of-date, they have no problem skipping the purchase. This is particularly true for price & availability. For a large retailer like Waardijk, this meant that Expand Online would need to regularly maintain and update a feed of 15,000 products. Naturally, this was not a task that could be done efficiently by hand.

As these challenges suggest, Expand Online needed to ensure their time and cost investment was kept to a minimum. This would not only guarantee their own ROI but also create customer delight.

Solution

Luckily, being new to Amazon was no issue for Expand Online. Already working with Productsup, a cloud-based solution for managing product data feeds, the challenges listed above were nothing to worry about.

1. Quick and simple feed customization and export


The predefined Amazon feed template available on the Productsup Platform reduced the time it took to structure Waardijk’s feed according to Amazon’s requirements from taking days to just seconds. With intuitive drag-and-drop logic, they simply had to map the columns of their initial feed to the columns of the new Amazon feed. Matching Amazon’s product availability specifications was a simple process. The thing is, Amazon does not simply want to know if your products are in stock or out of stock, the marketplace (or rather its customers) needs to know how long the shipping time will take. Using Productsup’s availability rule boxes, Expand online was able to replaces the “in stock” value with the relevant shipping days, namely 2. By inserting a number above zero, Amazon automatically assumes your item is in stock. On the other end of the spectrum, out of stock products received the number 0 in their respective availability field. To customize their product descriptions for Amazon.de, they first replaced Dutch texts with their own German column translations. Then, they used dynamic placeholders for values from different columns, such as title, material and gender, to compose individual, relevant descriptions for every product to be sold on Amazon.

2. Seamless data synchronization via Amazon Export API


Maintaining up-to-date product information was not a problem for Expand Online, thanks to the Productsup export API for Amazon, which helped them to seamlessly synchronize feed exports to the marketplace. In addition, the API connection allowed them to export only new products or those with changed information, eliminating the need to export the entire feed every time there was an update. This streamlined and sped up the export, and was particularly useful for Waardijk’s large data feed with frequently changing data. Receiving feedback on how the feed is shaping up was equally important. With the API, feedback from Amazon regarding the product feed could automatically be added directly into a dedicated feed column. This could then be viewed inside the Productsup platform.

3. Automatic ASIN fetcher


With the help of the Productsup ASIN fetcher service, Expand Online was able to retrieve and add the ASIN for each product without any manual work. The service automatically requests the relevant ASIN based on the product GTIN, so long as the product already exists on Amazon. This was a very big time-saver for Expand Online.
Based on successful past experiences, Productsup was the logical tool to be used for this project.
Iris van Hees

Results

Thanks to Productsup, expanding Waardijk’s business to a new major shopping channel was achieved without any manual work. Within the first day, Expand Online had prepared and uploaded a high quality feed to Amazon.de and Waardijk was officially selling to an entirely new market. Within the first week, Waardijk had increased their online sales by 10%. With limited prior knowledge of the Amazon platform, manually adapting and exporting the product feed would have been extremely timeconsuming and would certainly not have been cost effective. Now that they have set up their base, Expand Online can focus on Waardijk’s internationalization. Having successfully completed the first step by getting onto Amazon.de, the next country expansion will be even easier.

Not having to manually add products to Amazon eliminated the most time-consuming aspect of the process.
Iris van Hees
Online Marketing Consultant eCommerce

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