#cooltooltuesday – Amazon Hack with Camelcamelcamel

Amazon can be an incredibly strong channel for online retailers to pick up additional revenue and turn over product. In fact, last year the ecommerce giant earned almost $14.1 billion from commission on other merchants’ sales. If that’s just Amazon’s cut, small retailers looking for big-level exposure have a golden opportunity at their feet.

Challenges for retailers

Of course, like anything else, selling on Amazon doesn’t come without its challenges. One obstacle: many Amazon merchants use dynamic pricing as part of their merchandising strategies, and as many as 20% of all online product prices change at least daily.

Predicting other sellers’ behavior is the obvious first step for staying competitive, but professional tools for tracking price fluctuations can be cost prohibitive for many small ecommerce retailers. Keeping up with price trends can scare off small online businesses with barebones staff. Enter camelcamelcamel.

What works for you, works for me

Camelcamelcamel is an online price tracker that’s intended for consumers, not retailers. Users can set up price alerts for when an item drops and access charts that illustrate a product’s price fluctuation over time. Although it’s meant for consumers, the zero-price tag, optional registration, and user-friendliness are ideal for small online stores fighting tooth-and-nail for Amazon’s buy-box.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to get on the board with Monopoly. MSRP doesn’t stand a chance on Amazon, especially during the busiest shopping season of the year. Check it out:

Up to par with pros?

Since it’s not made for retailers, you should expect to find some functionality missing from the tiny online app. For instance, you can’t import an inventory list from your site.

Luckily, there’s a way around this particular flaw – importing an Amazon “wishlist” serves almost the same function. You can then set price alerts and have them delivered to you via email, privately OR publicly on Twitter, or on an RSS feed. Price alerts contain pricing and seller information as well as links to the Amazon product page.

You can also add “The Camelizer” extension to your browser to view price history charts without leaving your Amazon product page.

Final thoughts

Although this cool tool gives the little guy a leg up on big competition, Amazon can still be a tough place to sell and is not a solution for all online retailers. Not only are you competing with other merchants; you’re also competing with Amazon itself. Pricing wars are an easy way for brands to loose value in the eyes of consumers and retailers often mistake Amazon as a good vehicle for customer acquisition. (It’s not.)

Still, until Amazon has a total monopoly on all of its products (pun very much intended), many small e-retailers can reap a hefty return with the help of a few choice tools.

Ripen Services

Sometimes small businesses need big help. Take your online selling to the next level with the marketing services at Ripen. Whether you are looking to spruce up your PPC management, expand email marketing, or improve SEO ranking, we have the tools to nurture your brand.


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