In today’s episode of #tips about tools every Amazon Seller should have access to, we are going to review a very unique product called Smart Scout.
You’re probably thinking, “agh I already have access to all the tools I need, why do I need another one?”
Well, this till the end because this is not just an everyday tool.
Smart Scout is an Amazon tool developed by Scott Needham, a software developer. Scott was first introduced to Amazon by his brother who was having problems selling and Scott offered to build him tools for that. He then joined a while later as a seller too and he’s been doing it for 8 years now.
Smart Scout has the entire Amazon Catalogue downloaded on it and analyzes the data to help both sellers and customers, but mostly sellers to improve their business, depending on the type of seller and business model they use. For example, for Resellers, the Smart Scout tool works to put on multiple filters to find you the best brands you can collaborate/work with. For Private labelers, it places you in the subcategories view which comprises of 42,000 subcategories on Amazon. Here you can see market share and more characteristics about the brands that are succeeding, which can, in turn, help you find out which categories to launch products in to justify investment.
As you all know, I’ve been selling on Amazon since 2007, so I consider myself a guru in this industry, I started selling things lying around my house as a hobby, before all the competition and all the changes and what I can tell you is, Smart Scout is a game-changer for us in this platform.
This tool is also perfect for agency providers like me as it shows sellers how to contact us, as agencies. But also, from a private label standpoint, being able to look at my competition in another way is great, because everyone in private label tracks their competition very heavily, but we can never determine who the actual owners are. However, with Smart Scout’s program and data we have all this disposable at our hands, which is a whole new level of our competition that we didn’t have before.
Smart Scout can view every seller map in every city anywhere in the world. Let me break down the process for you. I used New York as an example, so I pulled out the Seller Map of New York and out jumped data of the top 50,000 Amazon sellers in that City. When you view the data, it shows dots, which represent the size of the seller. The bigger the dot the bigger the more rack in terms of revenue
I’m clicked on several random businesses to illustrate further, and the first one was a private label specializing in designs for health i.e supplements space. Smart Scout was able to show me which other different products they are selling, their estimated revenue on each product, and the buy box for potential opportunities.
Furthermore, you can use Smart Scout to target and filter out the top 100 Amazon Sellers in any city/state, then go door to door and do a survey on those sellers. This way you can reach out and plan your seller meetups, you can link up with other people/sellers near. This allows you the opportunity to study all these different brands. And there are definitely some community-building aspects to this. Cool right? Keep reading, at the end of the article, I am going to leave you guys a coupon code so that you can try out this cool tool for yourself.
To simplify it, Smart Scout is data grabbed from publicly available information and then combined together to create a user interface. So say you want to connect with other brands that have complementary products to maybe set up a collaboration deal. So how can I find other people selling say pet products, specifically, cat products brands?
You can just go to the seller database, go to categories and search for a subcategory with that product. The tool will show you, top sellers, within that category. When I used the tool and search the first products that popped up were your standard cat litter boxes, cat activity trees, cat odor, and stain removers.
However, there’s a lot of different ways to conduct this search. Another feature of this tool is the interesting filters. You can filter and show which sellers are growing year over year, and at what percentage. For example, you can see who’s growing year over year with at least 30% in the last six months.
The tool will also inform you if there’s a risk code. There, you can click on the product’s chart of the seller’s feedback history over the last few years/months. This chart shows if the seller has been climbing or dropping in the past six months or year. When they are up in the 70s it means they have more products, more sales, and more opportunities for people to give seller feedback, and seller feedback is not something that is given that naturally or that often until you start getting some significance under your belt within the industry.
Another thing you could use this tool for is selling your brand. If you are getting ready to sell your brand, you can actually package it up and offer it to your competitors. Smart Scout would be a great way to go about this process as it has a list of your competitors and their contact information, how much they’re selling, and what they’re doing. And remember, if you want to see what other products the brand is selling you can look through by filtering or just click on the seller and browse their offers, look at their estimated revenue, and see more of their information. With this, you can then look up their website, learn who they are, and contact them in different ways.
However, the most important thing about this tool is being able to monitor your competition, being able to see all of their products on one screen and look at what they’re doing as a brand, and then look up their business location.
You’re probably asking yourself, Is this a collection of all sellers on Amazon? Well, Smart Scout doesn’t actually collect all of the super long tail. So if a seller is doing less than $1,000 a month, they don’t bring that into their database. Only when the seller starts gaining traction and becoming an actual contender in the space then they will track their business. The reason being, so many people just launch one product then never use Amazon again. Amazon claims to have a million sellers but really, they have a quarter-million that are actually selling.
A lot of people always say they have seller data but don’t know what to do with it. Well, Smart Scout offers a lot of different ways to view Amazon, like our subcategories tool. And this really takes the 42,000 subcategories of Amazon and creates a browsable experience of that. Let’s look at a different subcategory, say you are searching for small kitchen and dining appliances, it shows you products featured under that subcategory and you can even see how much those products bring in per month. For example, countertop blenders make $28 million a month in that category. And here it shows you that the sellers are bringing in 17%, while Amazon is bringing in 83% of the revenue in blenders.
We are talking about 29 brands, with approximately 100,000 reviews on 111 products. So this means there are a few products here that must be really killing it. For more information, you can either click to view the products or the brand, it’s all up to you. And another awesome thing is you can view how much market share that product has compared to other brands, then you can go into those competitor brands and their product lines. It’s a very fascinating way to look at the data.
So you can jump between the brands and view the products on that brand. There’s still a lot more data inside which you can filter according to all the variation pages, the number of sellers, and then the product page score. If you’ve used other tools this is data we as Amazon sellers have seen before, but it’s just aggregated since Smart Scout has connected a lot of dots for us so that we don’t have to jump onto Amazon, to see things or to learn things. It’s all inside the tool.
Another thing to note is that every product has its own graph and so if you’re familiar with, Keepa, or tools of that sort, Smart Scout brings that view inside. You can view the history of the price of a particular product, whether it has fluctuated or not, view how it’s doing at the moment, and the sales rank it has. If you analyze the graph for the past 30 days you can see some trends. The important thing to take from here is, you can pick any subcategory and filter it to your advantage. An example would be filtering out the brands that have an Amazon stock rate of over 10% in whatever category you like and see the results of all the top brands where you can see whether it’s sold by Amazon or a private Seller. How great is that?
You will also see the brand score on average, if it’s about 6.2 or below it means that they’re not always using all their images, they’re not always, filling out description pages. And it will show you if a brand has a storefront or not, which is kind of interesting to see as it says whether the store is being managed well. If a company has a brand score of 4.4 and no storefront that’s a clear indication that this brand isn’t doing too much with its Amazon business. This means if you’re in the PPC or brand managers space you need to pay attention and look at the business through this lens.
So as you can see, the tool offers benefits for resellers, for private labels, and for service providers, all these different data points that in general, we might not take very seriously as private labelers. But when we have them, and we see them right here in front of us, we think about all the different ways we can use the data for.
On top of this, there are two more features of this tool I am going to talk about and they’re both geared towards private labels. So if you search for a product and a map of all those products appear, when you look closely you can see that there’s a small yellowish/orange-ish circle, that tells you that that is a front-page product, this means this product is in the first page within that particular category. When you click on it, it shows you all of the different products that are bringing traffic to this product. This means that this is a reverse engineer of the frequently bought together.
This information can be used for product targets, or product advertising. You can export the list of products connected to the main front page product, especially if you are trying to compete against that seller, then go head to head with them. You can export this information into Excel and analyze it accordingly, you can see the traffic strength and see how many units the product sells per month and more.
One of my favorite tools used to be Yasi. It showed all the different things that people would buy together but it’s been down for years now which honestly was a loss for me as I used it so much. But Smart Scout is awesome and does way more than Yasi could’ve ever done for me.
This tool was built with the basis of someone who has an agency and wants to show off an insight or something interesting to their clients. You can help show them insight on their products, which is something they themselves don’t have access to, you can tell them you know where they are getting trafficking and where their competitors are also getting their traffic then build out that story. But we as agencies also need advertisers to come in and put this as part of their operating procedure when they’re building out advertising. This is their best link to the advertising feature
And one final feature, the Smart Scout tool also comes with an FBA calculator. What it actually does, is, it’s more focused and designed to help you optimize your products to see if there is an advantage in reducing your dimensions. Say there’s a product that comes in at 1.01 pounds, Smart Scout calculator can show you the tears below, and shows that if if you reduced the product to one pound, you will save 70 cents in units.
This is a great way to figure out if you’re close to a size tear down and 70 cents a unit is actually pretty significant. Especially if you’re spending a lot of money on advertising, you immediately justify spending more. So if there is an FDA calculator out there that’s really focused on improving your perspective of Amazon packaging, this is it, and I don’t think anyone else has built anything like it.
As somebody who in the last year has saved over $10 in Amazon fees on one product just by folding it in a different way and packaging it in a different way, this tool could not have come at a better time. I know some people ask their suppliers to take down the corners of their packaging, just to make sure that it’s not huge.
And I’ve recently heard that people have had incorrect dimensions of their products that Amazon put in and they’ve been getting overcharged for years, without even knowing it. So just being able to look at it from this perspective, I know that when folks in my mastermind group look for new products to launch, we always think about sizing and we think about the cost. And when you’re trying to calculate it yourself, it’s hard to be able to see all the aspects of what it might cost you. So having a tool like this is awesome, especially during product development phases, when you can look at a similar product for reference and the different ways you could save when developing your product, like collapsing it in a certain way or making it fit under a certain weight. Maybe change up the material and make it lightweight.
The tool just plays around with the design and shows you where and how to downsize then shows you your fba fee. So this is very much product development to help you through that process and then by reference, you will have all the standard dimensions that you know you should go for.
As an agency, can you mail advertisements to high-revenue sellers?
The answer is yes, you can go in the seller search, make any filters that you want, and then export, to the full address. There is a lot you can do there. If you want to send out a few 1000 emails, contact Scott Needham for further assistance.
To wrap things up, we discussed the seller map, which is a lot of information on different sellers, different locations, how much they’re selling by the size of their dot, then you can click inside of it and see everything there. And then we went through all the different ways we can look at brands, and the tool has this really cool product map feature where we can see what’s been bought with it, and where they’re getting their products from. And then finally, we discussed how we can all reduce the cost of our packaging, by looking at our competitors, or during product development with this really cool tool.
Alright, that’s from me today, thanks for reading. Don’t forget to like, comment and share, there is someone out there who needs this.
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To get $50 off of your subscription here is my coupon code for Smart Scout: AMYZING
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To get in contact with the developer Scott Needham on LinkedIn: firstname.lastname@example.org. Podcast: Smartest Amazon Seller.
Stay tuned for next week as we share another tool that comes in handy for Amazon sellers.