The Amazon Playbook for CPG Brands

The Amazon Playbook for CPG Brands

Create, Optimize and Maintain a Product Detail Page

Executive Summary

Established consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands have typically relied on retailers to do the heavy lifting in traditional grocery ecommerce channels, and may treat Amazon like just another retailer. That’s a miscalculation. For many legacy brands, which offer hundreds of products in brick-and-mortar stores, getting started on Amazon can be overwhelming.

Decisions about whether to go direct to consumer or to disrupt the usual retail channels and how to implement an effective ecommerce strategy are all on the table. Marketers often admit they are continually figuring out what works on Amazon, while trying to determine who on their internal team is responsible for overseeing that work. To start, a brand should consider taking ownership of its Amazon product detail page and optimize it for search.

Why do consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies need an Amazon strategy?

It’s not just about sales. Shoppers use Amazon as a product search tool. At this stage, a brand can reap other benefits by setting up product detail pages better optimized for search. A February 2018 survey from ecommerce product management firm Salsify found that 41% of digital shoppers in the US favor searching for products and buying on Amazon. No other method of search, including Google, came close to driving purchases to a specific ecommerce platform.

What influences the purchase decisions of Amazon shoppers?

A March 2018 poll from shopper insights firm Field Agent found that more than eight in 10 of smartphone users in the US said that product images and descriptions influenced their purchase decisions, while three-quarters of respondents surveyed cited product reviews as a key purchase driver. Nearly two-thirds of those polled said customer product reviews had a role in their purchase decisions.

What ecommerce trends are affecting CPG companies?

The food and beverage category in CPG accounts for the smallest share of sales on Amazon, yet this category is expected to see the largest percentage of growth in 2018 at 40.1%. For CPG brands, ecommerce is a path to growth, and Amazon is the starting point.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report walks CPG brands through the importance of the Amazon ecommerce platform, how to structure a team, the elements of the product detail page and how to optimize it.


Patricia Orsini


Caroline Cakebread
Junior Analyst
Lauren Fisher
Principal Analyst
Amy Rotondo
Senior Researcher
Peter Vahle