Dentsu Aegis Network launched Sellwin, an Amazon-focused consultancy, on Wednesday.
The business is made up of six consultants, with access to another 130 specialists across Dentsu’s US agencies for things like ecommerce search, creating product page content and Amazon voice skills, said Sellwin President Travis Johnson.
The consultancy model is new for Dentsu, Johnson said, even though the holding company had Amazon expertise across its agencies.
“What we didn’t have before was an umbrella pulling those skillsets into one offering,” he said.
Sellwin also adds retail capabilities that Dentsu agencies didn’t previously have, like warehousing and fulfillment strategy, pricing and retail negotiations about profit margin.
Amazon prefers vendors use a consultancy model, Johnson said. It means Amazon doesn’t need to match the boots on the ground other online platforms like Google and Facebook have for agencies and brands.
Amazon and Sellwin’s clients also prefer a fixed-rate model instead of giving up a percentage of transactions, the preferred performance marketing and ecom tech model, because it means they keep more if Amazon sales take off.
Brands also work with many teams within Amazon that don’t necessarily communicate, or may outright compete against each other, like a retail promotions team or the Alexa voice group bidding against a brand’s search terms. By consolidating dealings with Amazon into one unit, Johnson said that brands have more leverage in negotiations and can more effectively coordinate efforts across the platform.
Sellwin has 12 clients right now, all preexisting Dentsu brands, including beauty and product companies ramping up Amazon sales. Others, like automotive and financial services clients, don’t have consumer ecommerce practices but still want to use Amazon data for online targeting and work with Amazon on sponsorships or brand integrations like they do with TV networks.
The consultancy’s laser focus on Amazon will eventually broaden to ecommerce marketplaces like eBay, Alibaba, Walmart and Target, where transaction data can be connected to product sales, Johnson said. But Amazon is unlike other US ecommerce and retail players, none of which have media and entertainment channels, music streaming, major search market share, OTT devices or Alexa-enabled hardware.
“Amazon is the biggest challenge and biggest opportunity for many brands right now, so we want to remain focused on that,” Johnson said.