PURA Soda (Amazon)
PURA Soda (Amazon)

  • PURA Soda, a South African soft-drinks' company, has listed its products on Amazon. 
  • But its CEO found that listing products on the ecommerce behemoth is much easier than actually getting people to buy it.
  • Here are his tips when it comes to attracting attention to products.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za 

Founded less than five years ago, the South African company PURA Soda's low-sugar cooldrinks have now been listed on the US retail giant Amazon, which should provide a significant growth boost.  

Amazon sold $300 billion in products last year - representing nearly a third of all ecommerce in the US.

PURA focuses on drinks that have natural flavours and no colourants, and come in a flavours like cranberry, Seville orange, cucumber and lime, lemon and elderflower, pomegranate, ginger and lemon, and juniper.

PURA Soda flavours
PURA Soda flavours

The company was founded by South African Greig Jansen, who was previously CEO of the East African Bottling Company, the Ethiopian subsidiary of Coca-Cola. He started the company with a team of experienced beverage experts who came from AB InBev, SABMiller, Coca-Cola, Mars and Red Bull.

So far, the small business has expanded to 14 countries, including Africa and the Middle East and the US.

Jansen believes that the Amazon listing will help PURA achieve its ambition of becoming a billion-dollar company.

READ | Staff at this fast-growing South African company are 'fined' when they use the word 'problem'

“When you [start] a business, people think you need to be in a store – which is important – but as you grow, it’s important to grow your presence online. And where better than to be on Amazon?  

But he found that getting listed on Amazon is much easier than getting customers to notice your product on the platform. Amazon sells more than 12 million products.

Jansen recommends spending a lot of time on research to make your listing more visible, and what worked for other companies.

He says it's important to think like a customer.

PURA Soda
PURA Soda

"What I mean by this is that if you write a shopping list… you write the items that you want." This does not necessarily include brands. 

"It’s so important, the way that you identify and word your products. The description of your product needs to tie in with the way that a shopper would search for your product."

Jansen recommends giving a lot of attention to the wording of your product. 

“For example, our product is not just pure soda pomegranate. The tags for our product will be pure soda, pomegranate, but will also include low calorie, low sugar, sparkling soft drink, refreshing, tasty, etc.

"If someone is searching… and you don’t have that in your descriptor, you won’t pop up," he said.

Jansen says the company initially saw little success on Amazon until they hired an external company which specialises in Amazon search engine optimisation and helped to get their products pop us first when their product category is searched.

PURA also found success in paying for advertisement banners that come on top when buyers are searching for competitor products. “It’s about marketing,’’ he said.  

Additionally, Jansen said it is important to have customer reviews as this makes your product "real".  

“Once you’ve had a certain number of customer reviews, Amazon then opens up a number of features to you."

“As a small business, I know it might seem like a lot of money, but spend the money to pay for a professional outlet that can actually help you do these things," he said.  

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