Amazon. Should you in 2018? And how do you make it successful? with top 50 Global Seller Jamie Davidson of AMZ Insiders (episode 141)

Jamie Davidson is the co-founder of AMZ Insiders, where he and his team focus on helping new sellers launch their own successful Amazon businesses. He also manages over $60million in sales on Amazon and $10m on other marketplace platforms, making Jamie a top 50 global seller on Amazon.

Working out your marketplace play for 2018 should be a part of all your planning this month – which is why I’ve invited Jamie on the show – to help you work out the role Amazon might have in your business, and provide some tips on making the most margin from it.

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Getting Started

Jamie was an education executive when he moved from New York to the Atlanta, Georgia area in 2011. By coincidence, his next door neighbor was a software consultant who was buying products and reselling them on Amazon. He and his neighbor became two of the three co-founders of AMZInsiders, with the third partner being a senior manager at Coca-Cola. In 2012, they became involved with fulfillment by Amazon, and things began to take off.

Now AMZInsiders has grown to a global scale, with a team of about 30 in Atlanta and about 100 more employees in China.

Listen to learn the breakdown of tasks handled by the American and Chinese teams.

Amazon Advertising

Although they don’t necessarily do direct marketing for their products, AMZInsiders does do things like giveaways. They try to strike a balance between applying new techniques but not straying from what works best. They also spend a lot of time discussing their brand voice.

Listen to learn how Amazon and marketplaces can be very transaction-oriented.

Deciding Whether a Marketplace Is Right for You

Everyone should consider Amazon or other platforms because the traffic is so massive. That’s where the customers are. However, marketplaces aren’t the best fit for everyone. If you don’t have a lot of volume or can’t produce a lot of inventory, a marketplace may not be the greatest.

You also need to find a way to make your product unique and provide value that the market is looking for. If you can see that there is demand for your product or similar products, it may be a good fit. If your product is more high-end or specialty, it may do better in a specialty store. However, this evolves over time, so keep an eye on it.

Going onto a marketplace needs to come with long-term perspective. It’s not a get-rich-quick game. The first three to six months are more of an investment period, so you need some level of patience. You also need to be able to pay more fees. If you are doing fulfillment by Amazon, Amazon will be collecting their fee so you must be able to generate some volume.

Listen to learn how Amazon is getting better at providing better brand protection, and how that helps sellers unlock additional special features.

Successfully Selling on Amazon

You won’t be able to just put your product on Amazon and see it go. It won’t get enough traction. From the day you launch, the clock is ticking. Amazon has its own algorithms to track how many people are looking at your product and how popular it is. Spiking the algorithm early on will make Amazon take notice and promote your products, which allows you to get better responses with paid advertising. To spike the algorithm, you must have a concentrated focus to get your product ranked and get some traction initially to get it up in front of all the traffic.

Top Tips for Setting up Your Marketplace

Try to do as much as possible manually in the beginning. It is feasible to do anything without a tool, and Amazon has so many tools it can be hard to weed through them all. Those tools can add up and weigh you down. Instead of loading up with as many tools as possible, go into it with the basics, then wait and see what you will struggle with, then find the tool to help you with that. Some things you will want to automate eventually, such as sending customers emails for reviews.

Amazon protects its customers’ emails. Listen to learn how you can and cannot contact them, and how to give the customers incentive to give you their emails.

Top Tips for Sales on Amazon

Plan out your product launch. Turn on Amazon ads. Do your keyword research so you can understand what your competitors are ranking for. Make sure you’re listing your keywords not only on the backend, but also in the title and description of your product.

For the first 20-30 days, give discounts of 90-95% on your product to get sales velocity early on to generate sales volumes, then combine that with Amazon advertising to get some visibility and start ranking with keywords.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Get a best-seller badge on Amazon.

Listen to learn how to research and select your category and subcategory to more quickly become the #1 ranked person in the subcategory to receive the best-seller badge. Hit Jamie up on Facebook or the website to get a .pdf of more tips.

Tool Top Tip

  • Kiwi for Gmail
  • Slack

Start Up Top Tip

Do your research. There is so much free information on things like Youtube and in Facebook groups. Get familiar with things, get a sense of what you are most passionate about, find your best marketplace fit, and put your time into it. Leverage all the free resources, and reach out to people to ask questions.

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