As one of the world’s most recognized luxury chocolate and confectionary manufacturers, this specialty brand is synonymous with indulgence. Its high-quality products and personalized gift offerings make it the ideal way to celebrate any occasion.
- Increasing Amazon market share while maintaining brand prestige
- Overcoming logistical and direct fulfillment issues
- Supporting sales around key seasonal events and increasing off-peak revenues
- Identify incremental opportunities during slower, historically non-peak periods
- Acquire new customers using advertising strategies designed to attract ‘new-to-brand’ shopping
- Align on-site branding with Amazon best practice
- Optimizing static media with video content to improve customer engagement
97% & 0%gain in sales over 2021 for January
and February 2022
0xYOY Valentine’s day sales for 2022
#0SOV for “Chocolate Gift Box”
Optimizing for Amazon while maintaining brand prestige and quality
With a strong brand position in the traditional in-store high-end confection market, the luxury chocolatier sought to increase revenues through their online sales channels. Despite some limited Amazon campaign successes, the brand realized they were missing key opportunities.
The chocolatier wanted to grow top-line revenue, but not at the expense of sacrificing profit margins. From Caroline Adams’ perspective as Acadia's Senior Strategic Account Manager, the brand was overlooking several low-cost, high-return strategies.
”Their product content was uniform and set-and-forget. They weren’t testing or adapting to the consumer holidays and personal consumer events that amounted to over 50% of their annual sales.”
To improve revenue across the board, the confectioner needed to engage new shoppers, improve off-peak sales, identify new strategies, and advertise on- and off-channel to drive Amazon conversions. Most importantly, they needed to do it without eroding their hard-won luxury brand status or resorting to margin-disrupting discounts.
“They wanted to maintain the quality and excellence of their brick-and-mortar legacy online — to ensure that Amazon shoppers received their product in its purest and most prestige form.”
Correcting direct fulfillment issues
To maintain quality, shipping via Amazon Direct Fulfillment was non-negotiable because Amazon policy prohibited the chocolatier from storing meltable product in an Amazon warehouse. Likewise, shipping in the summer required special handling — constant refrigeration and cold packs direct from the brand — to ensure the consumer received their product in prestige condition.
In addition to these considerations, direct fulfillment presented other challenges.
“Fulfilling directly meant longer lead times than most Amazon shoppers expected and more touch points to ensure the best customer experience. The chocolatier also needed to combat rogue sellers fulfilling through Amazon and trying to profit using the historic brand name.”
Choosing the right team for Amazon excellence
Moving past these hurdles required strategic planning and strong operational support for improved communication between Amazon and the brand’s in-house supply chain function. The brand had already attempted to address its issues with another agency, but, due to miscommunications and management issues, the partnership failed.
Based on the agency’s proven track record for delivering Amazon sales, the chocolatier reached out to Acadia. Acadia’s solid industry reputation and demonstrated ability to “speak Amazon” helped drive the decision.
“They were looking for a new agency that provided top-level client care and support, a true partner and extension to their team. Acadia stood out — they were already following our online content and marketing podcasts for insights and they liked what they saw.”
Optimizing for Amazon — enhancing brand content with video and improved static imagery
Acadia hit the ground running, beginning with a content review in January to ready the brand for February’s Valentine’s day sales. During the review, Caroline and her team realized the company needed to shift its perception of how Amazon worked.
“Amazon is an important business channel you can’t approach like traditional models. Today’s Amazon shoppers have plenty of options — even with their strong brand recognition, we needed to optimize and align the brand’s unique value proposition with Amazon best practices.”
Acadia overhauled the brand’s PDPs and advertising campaigns. This involved improving brand image and awareness with more, higher quality static visuals and video content.
Caroline’s team also helped the brand update their secondary images, filling the Amazon carousel with decadent, enticing images to increase organic appeal. They also introduced video into the chocolatier’s pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns.
To further increase sales beyond traditional peak cycles like the holiday season, Mother's Day, and Valentine’s Day, Acadia focused on promoting the product for weddings, birthdays, graduations, and other consumer milestones and cultural celebrations.
Direct fulfillment — focus on what you can control
To remedy the chocolatier's direct fulfillment issues, Acadia and the brand proactively monitored Amazon’s posted delivery times and notified the Amazon Arc, Transportation Execution (TREX), and Vendor Management teams of inconsistencies that could delay shipments or stretch posted delivery times.
The Acadia team also pinpointed configuration errors in the chocolatier’s Amazon back end that caused their longer-than-average delivery display estimates. Acadia corrected these by properly configuring the brand’s warehousing and timeline settings.
The combined improvements allowed the brand to communicate more effectively with the Amazon teams to improve fulfillment display times.
“Acadia really got out in front of direct fulfillment for the brand. We gave them the additional bandwidth and expert knowledge to get things done.”
To deal with rogue sellers undercutting the brand, Acadia monitored unauthorized sellers and used Amazon's Brand Registry platform to help mitigate the effects of unscrupulous resellers.
“There are many areas outside a vendor's control on Amazon, but there are also many areas within their control. By understanding exactly how the platform works, Acadia helped the brand control those variables and mitigate their pain points.”
120% MOM increase over 2021
With Acadia in its corner, the chocolatier saw phenomenal sales results. Year-over-year (YOY) numbers for January and February 2022 over 2021 showed sales gains of 97% and 120% respectively.
The chocolatier’s Valentine’s day sales for 2022 more than doubled over the previous year.
For its specific keywords “chocolate gift box”, the brand achieved the highest share of voice (SOV), surpassing its closest competitor by an average of 8% MOM for the same period.
As a result, the brand is going all-in with Acadia for the future.
“We earned their trust as a true collaborator and partner to help grow their overall Amazon business. Now we have a new campaign roadmap where we set a longer-term strategic plan and meet even more aggressive revenue expectations into 2023.”