Softlines is arguably one of the most competitive categories on Amazon. More and more big name apparel brands are migrating to the platform while Amazon steps up its own game with private label apparel brands as well as an influencer-designed line known as The Drop.

But the saturation shouldn’t deter retailers from carving out their own niches in the softline retail category. There are plenty of ways to succeed despite it.

Value Propositions, Content & Beyond

Why should shoppers care about your softline products? No matter what a brand is selling on Amazon–or anywhere, for that matter–it boils down to this singular question. With a clear and unique value proposition, a brand can stand out from the clutter and rise above the competition. The value proposition for Amazon’s private labels, for example, is price and it has led to much of their success to date.

A brand can increase its advantage in the softline category by combining its value proposition with useful content and detailed product descriptions. All three will increase recall and confidence among customers.

It’s worth mentioning, too, the importance of capitalizing on brand awareness. Especially via advertising where the breadth of options available such as sizes, colors and more can be exhibited.

Three More Keys to Success for Selling on Amazon

  1. Maintain Consistency
  • A brand’s Amazon presence should be a reflection of its retail stores, website, social media marketing, pop-ups and beyond.
  • While Amazon does have certain parameters for the category, there are ways an apparel brand can work within them while maintaining consistency and authenticity. 
  1. Build Off-Amazon Organization & Internal Structures
  • Maintain seasonal documents that outline new, updated and “dropped” products throughout the year.
  • Organize staffing documents that outline what stakeholders are in charge of which products and the corresponding information. 
  • Frequently check for updates to key attributes in Amazon’s Vendor/Seller Central. Depending on the size of a brand’s operation, it might be monthly or quarterly.
  • Map every ASIN to a single UPC; recycling UPCs can cause future problems.
  1. Control Variations
  • The customer experience is paramount, which makes it crucial to categorize products in a logical manner. 
  • Combining variations helps to aggregate reviews. However, depending on the product variate and the number of variations in total, a PDP may appear in two different ways. The most successful brands display colors and sizes in dropdown menus.

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of maintaining a catalog from both a merchandising and operational standpoint. By creating consistency, aligning internal teams and prioritizing organization, a brand will be set up for success in the competitive landscape of softlines on Amazon.
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