Amazon is undoubtedly one of the largest online marketplaces in the world, with millions of customers making purchases every day. For entrepreneurs and businesses looking to sell their products, Amazon provides an unparalleled opportunity to reach a massive audience and generate substantial profits. However, with so many sellers vying for attention, standing out and maximizing profits may be challenging.
In this week’s Seller Hacks Series, we will explore strategies for selecting the best products to sell on Amazon, building a defensive advertising strategy, and how to maximize your profits by doing so. We’ll also discuss the challenges that sellers face in the process, and provide practical tips to overcome them.
Maximizing profits on Amazon is no easy feat. The competition is stiff, and the platform is constantly evolving. So, what are the biggest challenges sellers face when trying to maximize profits on Amazon? Nate Ginsburg, Founder of Seller Plex, sheds some light on the matter.
Challenge #1: Not Knowing Your Numbers
For Nate, sellers often lack clarity when it comes to their financials, and this is akin to flying a plane blind. To tackle this challenge, it’s essential to have an experienced bookkeeper on your team. Someone who can handle the cost of goods and other complicated e-commerce accounting practices, leaving you to focus on growing your business.
Challenge #2: Overspending On Logistics
Freight and logistics costs can be significant expenses for Amazon sellers. However, many sellers often overpay for these services by not shopping around for better rates or sticking to just one supplier. By not exploring other options, sellers miss out on potential cost savings that can greatly impact their profitability. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and ask for better rates, as this can help you secure more favorable terms and reduce your costs.
Challenge #3: Not Negotiating on COG
Sellers also tend to pay too much for their cost of goods (COG). COG is the biggest expense for most sellers, and most of them get rates straight from suppliers without bothering to re-negotiate. If you’ve been working with a factory for a long time, it’s worth talking to them about lowering the price to save on costs. There are other ways to go about finding the best-priced goods, like the points we talked about in this blog.
Challenge #4: Lack of a Good Hiring Funnel
Paying too much for your team is another challenge. Many sellers lack a proper business structure and don’t have the right people in the right roles. To address this challenge, it’s crucial to run an efficient recruiting search and put together a good hiring funnel. By doing so, you can get the right people at reasonable prices and ensure your team is working efficiently.
Challenge #5: Relying Too Much On Promotions
Finally, many sellers pay too much for promotions. While promotions can be a great way to drive sales, it’s important to be mindful of how much you’re giving away and your sales velocity. It’s essential to stay on top of your numbers to ensure that your promotions are not eating into your profits.
Steps To Securing Your Position On Top
So, let’s say you’ve made it to the top page of Amazon. Things are going well for you and you have enough brand credibility that people are actively searching for your product. How do you make sure you stay on top? For Abe Chomali, Founder of XP Strategy, it’s almost natural for competitors to come after your search term when you hit this level. So be very careful! Here are some of his tips on defending your position.
Step 1: Learn About Defensive Brand Advertising
Amazon’s big headline spot is a valuable advertising space that can attract a lot of attention, but if your sponsored prices are cheaper than your regular prices, it can actually hurt your brand in the long run. Make sure your prices are consistent across all platforms and use the headline spot strategically to attract new customers and increase visibility. By investing in learning the craft of defensive brand advertising, you can capture shoppers who are interested in your brand and make sure they’re not diverted to your competitors.
Step 2: Optimize For Mobile
Another common mistake that sellers make is not optimizing their listings for mobile. While most shoppers on Amazon are using their cellphones to make purchases, many listings are still created on desktops with little consideration for how they will look on mobile devices. As a result, product images may not look as good or be as visible on mobile devices. Abe advises sellers to check the mobile version of their listings before approving them to make sure everything looks good and is easy to see.
Choosing the Right Products to Sell on Amazon: Factors to Consider for Success
Once you have overcome the challenges previously mentioned and successfully managed to blog competitors with defensive advertising, what’s the next step? Scale! Grow your product catalog and sell more on Amazon.
However, with millions of products available on Amazon, how can you make sure that your products stand out and are profitable? Nater Youngchild, Co-Founder and CEO of D8a Driven, share his insights on the most important factors to consider when choosing the right products to sell on Amazon.
Factor 1: Unique USP
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a product is its Unique Selling Proposition (USP). What makes your product stand out from the competition? Is it its rarity, a unique need, or pricing segmentation? By identifying your product’s USP, you can differentiate it from similar products and attract customers.
Factor 2: Overall Brand Alignment
It’s important to stay in your lane when it comes to product categories. If you’re selling shampoos and conditioners, it might be odd to start selling toasters. Instead, consider expanding your product offerings within your existing category before diversifying. This helps maintain brand consistency and customer loyalty.
Factor 3: Operations
When selecting products, consider the ease of sourcing raw materials and producing the final product. Streamline your supply chain with the least amount of touches possible to reduce complications and costs. It’s also important to consider product size as it can impact your ability to use Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).
Factor 4: Profitability
Profitability is a key consideration when choosing products to sell on Amazon. Allocate 10%-15% of your budget to PPC and paid campaigns to activate growth. Additionally, invest in success tools to help maximize your growth potential.
If you’re starting a new seller central business, consider selling consumables. Nater encourages leveraging Amazon’s “Subscribe and Save” program to generate recurring revenue and increased customer loyalty.
Lastly, avoid selling products in controlled categories such as sexual awareness products, CBD, hemp, weapon accessories, and other sensitive items. These products may be blocked by Amazon at any time, leading to lost revenue and wasted investment.
‘Til The Next Seller Hacks Episode!
We hope you gained some insights on protecting, maintaining, and maximizing profits on Amazon. These proven tips will also help keep your business running for a long time. It will be a long journey ahead, but we’ll be right here with you to get you through the rough parts.
Any Wees: Hey everybody, how’s it going? I’m so excited for part three of our maximizing profitability and scalability series. It’s here. If you haven’t caught Part One and Part Two, yet, there are some serious great hacks in those. So check them out, go to email@example.com forward slash blog. And you’ll see the first two parts of the series. And if you’re a reader, you can read the blog. If you like to watch these things, you can click on the YouTube video, which is right there in the blog as well. So be sure to check out parts one and parts two, because there’s been so much covered, I mean, inventory management, and sales hacks, all kinds of cool things. So and Oh, advertising stuff, like so many great things. I think we also had, how choosing the right products from Zondra roof and John Tilly like so many awesome tips in those first two parts of the series. But let’s get to part three. This week, we’re really going to continue this series with some more really, really great tips. And the first one is going to come from Nate Ginsberg who’s going to talk about his top five profitability hacks. And some of these are really easy to do and things that you may not have been doing. And so it’s really awesome to think about easy tweaks that we can make to have more profits in our business. So that’s gonna be awesome. And then ah, Molly’s gonna come. He is an advertising expert. I love having him in the mastermind group. He, when he comes as a guest and talks to us about advertising, it is great. And he’s gonna talk to us about how to make more sales. And these are easy ways, easy tweaks, we can make our advertising to convert more and who doesn’t want to convert more. So watch those tips by age and take advantage of those easy tweaks. And then finally, neither young child and data driven. Neither is a former Amazonian himself. And he’s actually going to talk to us about how to choose the right products to sell and not just how to choose them in general, but the top four factors for choosing the right products to sell. So I know you guys are gonna love this week’s series. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Nate Ginsberg: Hello, my name is Nate Ginsberg, I’m the founder of seller flex. And today I’m going to talk to you about the biggest challenges sellers face when trying to maximize their profits on Amazon. So I’m going to break down the top five things, challenges that sellers face, and as well as some tips on how you can overcome them. So number one, is simply not knowing your numbers. So what most sellers do, or a lot of sellers do is they don’t even have clarity when it comes to their financials. And if you don’t have good bookkeeping done every month that you can review, it’s not even possible for you to maximize your profit because you’re basically like flying the plane blind. And so the first thing that you need to do is know your numbers know your numbers 100%. And the way to do this is get a great experienced bookkeeper who has experience with E commerce, e commerce, cost of goods, these things are tricky from an accounting standpoint. So it’s really, really crucial that you have someone on your team to handle this for you that has specific e commerce accounting experience, so that you number one, know your numbers. So excuse me, once you know your numbers, ready to dive into the next four levers to maximize your profit. So number two, is the challenge is most sellers are overpaying for their freight and logistics. And so what happens while most sellers do is when they’re arranging their logistics, they just use the first recommendation they get from their factory or from a friend, and they don’t shop around. And so this is really a big opportunity for low hanging fruit to increase profit to your bottom line is simply chopping around to get better freight rates. So this is a quick one is an easy one to maximize some profit that you know for your business. And if you don’t do it, it’s a challenge because you’re gonna make less money. So all right, there we go. Number three. The next challenge is sellers paying too much for their cost of goods. So this one is it’s a bit heavier, it’s can be potentially really, really impactful. Cost of Goods is one of the biggest expense items on your p&l. And so adjusting this can have a potentially huge impact. And so what most sellers do is they get the cost of good rates from their factory and they just To accept them, and or they start working with the factory, make some orders, and they don’t go to renegotiate their cost of goods. And so this is a big opportunity for you to maximize your profit, save money on cost of goods, one of your biggest expense items is by Well, two things. One is if you’ve been working with the factory for a long time, you can approach them about negotiating lower rates, you can ask if you can buy bigger quantities for lower cost of goods. So that’s one thing, as well as again, shopping around a lot of sellers get complacent, they start working with the factory. And they don’t, they don’t shop around to see if they can continue to get better prices. So so that’s the next number three is the challenge is overpaying for cost of goods. Number four is the number four challenge is paying too much for their team. And so I’m a huge team guy, I love my team, I think all of you should have amazing teams to support you and your business. Also, the reality is a lot of people are, they’re paying too much for their team and support. And this comes down to two things. One, they don’t have the right business structure and operation structure. So there, they could have too many people or they don’t have the right people in the right roles. As well as just simply paying more than they need to. And that’s because of a lack of a good hiring process. So what a lot of sellers do is they have a role they think they need to hire for, they just maybe they put a little job description, they pass it around to friends, maybe they posted on their social media, and they just take whatever applicants sort of, you know, show up and they hire them and you know, whatever rates when what you want to do and how to maximize your profit is going to be to run an efficient and effective really recruiting search. And so go out there, get put together a hiring funnel with interview questions, as well as an actual interview to, to, you know, put people through the process to get a lot of candidates to vet so you can get the best ones and also the most reasonable prices. So that’s number four overpaying for their team. And then number five is paying too much on their promotions. And so again, this is this is also a function of a lot of sellers not having clarity on their numbers on their accounting on their bookkeeping is they think when they do a product launch or their or relaunch it is giveaway as many units as they think they need to with no regard to their profit. And you know, these giveaways are very expensive, they have a big impact on your profit. And so the solution is you need to be totally aware and mindful of how much you’re giving away. What are your costs, what are your expenses, you know, what is your projections in terms of your giveaways to eventual sales velocity, what are you going to make that money back and that all you know on the foundation of having good accounting so you have insight into this if you don’t have the good accounting, there’s no way you can know this. There’s no way you can maximize your profit. So again, what most sellers do is they just giveaway giveaway do promotions, in hopes of ranking without discernment and intentionality when it comes to you know be on top of the numbers and the return on on their promotions. So don’t be like that. Be on top of your numbers and for the promotions so you can maximize your profit so quick to review. Five challenges sellers face number one is not having clarity on their financials. Number two is overpaying for their freight. Number three is overpaying for cost of goods. Number four, paying too much overpaying for their team and number five is paying too much on their promotions. Hope this is useful again Nick Ginsberg from seller Plex. We are here to help sellers sell more while working less. If you have any questions comments want to reach out to me or my team. Please do so we’d love to hear from you hope this is useful peace from Costa Rica.
Abe Chomali: Hey guys, this is Abe Chomali with XP strategy. And I wanted to take a couple of minutes and help you out with a couple of common mistakes that I see that sellers make. I work with sellers of all sizes from small to enormously large. And I work with brands in most categories of Amazon. And it’s probably safe to say that I see certain types of things happening pretty frequently and I wanted to point a couple of those out. So hopefully if you see them in your accounts, you can work on improving those and helping out your sales. The first thing I wanted to point out was that most shopping on Amazon happens on cell phones, but most listings are created on desktops. How does that affect you? If your listing looks good On the desktop, but does not look as good on your phone, you’re going to lose out on sales when people come to your product. And it does not resonate or doesn’t communicate the benefits you’re trying to point out. What I see frequently is that images don’t look as good on a phone as they do on desktop. And especially when it comes to text, text that looks good on your laptop screen or on your desktop screen ends up being microscopic and hard to read. On when it comes to yours much, much smaller cell phone. You Galaxy users might have like 19 inch screens on your cell phones, but that’s not most of us. So what you really want to do before approving an image, you’re really going to want to make sure before proving a listing, you’re going to want to make sure that you’ve checked that on your phone. And it communicates the things you want to communicate really, really well on your cell phone. So that’s the first thing that will help improve your conversion rates. And of course, once your ad has done the work of bringing the shopper to your page, the listing is what turns the shopper into the actual sale. So make sure those listings are solid. The second thing I wanted to talk about is making sure you invest in brand defense advertising. Hopefully, once you’ve had a few products start to sell significant amounts, shoppers are going to start to search for your product directly. And they’re going to start to search for your brand directly, especially if you’ve got a good brand name. Once that happens, and once your product is popular enough for people to start searching, it is almost a given that the competition is going to start advertising against those terms trying to take sales for that search volume. What you’re going to want to do is make sure that when somebody looks for you, and looks for the search terms that you’ve heard the brand terms that you’ve turned into popular things, you want to make sure they end up buying your product, you might initially think that hey, they’re looking for me anyway, for sure I’m going to make the sale. But that’s not always the case. Across the top of the page, Amazon has a big banner headline spot. And the first four results are sponsored ad results. And sometimes there are even more ad spots than that before you even see the first organic spot. So if a shopper looks for you, and everything they see at the top of the page is competitors. And some of those competitors might have a lowball price or some extra thing that they’re offering, it is possible for you to lose at least some of your sales to those competitors. Don’t let that happen. Block them out. Make sure you’re number one organic, which is going to likely happen anyway for your brand. But make sure the top of the page is filled with your products. You’ve done the work of building the brand. Now do that last piece of work to capture those shoppers who are interested in you. Hopefully those two pieces of advice help. there’s anything else you need. You can find me all over the internet. Thanks, guys.
Nater Youngchild: Hi everyone, we’re gonna dive into the important factors to consider when choosing the right product to sell on Amazon. today. I’m Nater Youngchild, the CEO and co founder of data driven carbon six portfolio company one of the newest carbon six portfolio companies. And I’m a former Amazonian I spent a few years at Amazon in the consumable categories. So as we dive in, I’m gonna start with the four primary factors we want to consider when choosing products to sell on Amazon, and then we’ll go over some bonus topics at the end. I’ll go through the four and then we’ll dive into each of them. Number one is unique value. Proposition number two is overall brand alignment. Number three is operations and number four is profitability. Okay, number one unique value proposition. This really comes down to why is the customer going to buy your product versus the other options, they have to fill their needs customers buy products, because they have a need, the product solves the need. There’s really three forms of unique value proposition. There’s either they need, I don’t know, big brim hat because they’re in a sunny place so that their eyes are, you know, they don’t have too much sun in their eyes. And there are no big brim hats available on Amazon. So one form of unique value proposition is that there are no other options you’re going to be introducing to the marketplace of products. That is the first option. Rare but possible if you do enough customer research around what customers want rare though, because most people have probably considered many, many products. The next one is called nuanced need. And this is where, let’s say you want to sell trashcan. And you see lots of trash cans on Amazon, lots of trash cans with lids, lots of trash cans without lids, but you don’t see a trash can with a lid that has a hinge where the where the lid can come off but still stay there and hinge back on. And so there’s that nuance that you’re bringing that unique value proposition of the nuance form of unique value proposition to your product to bring to the customers. And then the last one, the last form of unique value proposition is pricing segmentation. So this is let’s say there’s all kinds of eco friendly shampoos and conditioners on the market and you really want to sell an eco friendly shampoo and conditioner and you notice says that all the eco friendly shampoo and conditioners on the market are about 50% higher price than every other non organic and eco friendly shampoo and conditioner. And so if you can find a way to get an eco friendly shampoo and conditioner to market that’s not 50% higher than regular, not eco friendly shampoo and conditioner. If you can bring it into the price segmentation of regular shampoos and conditioners, that’s another opportunity of a unique value proposition, right you’re delivering them a product and you’re giving it to them in the form of a pricing segmentation that’s unique, and ideally will give you the opportunity to earn sales. So those three forms are, there’s no other option, you are offering a nuanced option to the options out there. And number three would be pricing segmentation. Okay, so those are our unique value propositions that we work through. Next overall brand alignment when it comes to picking products on Amazon, which products to sell, we want to make sure that we’re not just picking random products that we’re finding good deals at trade shows, we want to make sure that as we sell products on Amazon, at some capacity, we’re building a brand. So let’s say we’re already selling shampoos and conditioners, and things are going okay with those shampoos and conditioners, we’re building a relationship with those customers to put a product in a customer’s home is is a big deal. It’s a it’s a it’s a very intimate relationship between the seller and that customer. Ideally, you’re selling a product, then hopefully we’ll get to the bonus topic of consumables of why it’s good to sell products that people buy over and over. But before we go there overall brand alignment, the idea is, if I’m selling shampoos and conditioners, and it’s working, I don’t want to shift all the way over to say, I don’t know, towels, I might think that they’re both in the bathroom space. But I have this, I have customers that view my brand as as delivering them value within shampoos and conditioners. So I need to continue to leverage that value as I build that brand in the path that the customer will allow me so I need to start selling maybe travel size of that shampoo and conditioner may be transitioned over to body wash would be eventually deodorant, maybe eventually I can sell my sell the customer that I’m going after all the products in their bathroom all the way to the towels on their towel rack. But to make that leap as a big, you won’t be able to leverage all of the effort you put into building relationships with your already pre existing shampoo and conditioner customers. So making sure that you’re cognizant of the products you pick, that they’re around that they’re that they’re going to make sense to a consumer that they’re building a brand and the brand makes sense to them. Also, side note, it’s a big deal to build a brand, it’s a big investment time and money. And so maximize that investment by staying in your lane. And as you want to expand your lane, expand it one lane at a time. Okay, number three operations. And this one comes down to kind of some of the nuts and bolts. The idea here is, let’s make sure we’re not picking products that have raw materials that are going into that make the products that are super scarce, you want to make sure we’re picking raw materials that are available, maybe even available and cheap. If possible. We want to have simplified ingredients, we don’t want ingredients, you know, that can only come from, you know, say Madagascar, or you very, very unique, and sometimes complicated geopolitical impacts on our ability to source the raw material that goes into the actual product. Number two within operations, we want to make sure that we’re cognizant of limiting our supply chain, really, what that means is, we want the least amount of complications and the least amount of touches possible to go from the raw material that’s in the dirt or whatever’s coming to then make our product, we want to make sure that the least amount of touches implies possible making sure we’re not, you know, sourcing resin for the plastic on this country or on this continent. And then, you know, putting together the product with these ingredients on these two other continents. And then somehow they all have to get to China and then packaged in a processing plant, and then airship over the least amount of those touches that we can have and the most amount that we can pull out of our supply chain, the better. It’s going to open us up for long term success and long term avoidance of disruptions that can come at all of those touch points. And then lastly, on operations, we’re going to look at product size. At the end of the day, you know, to be successful on Amazon, you’ll either go straight to FBA, or you’ll eventually be selling on FBA, FBA being where Amazon has taken all your products housing them their warehouse, as customers buy them, they ship them off to the customer, so you get the product to the customer. As you do that we have to be considered we have to be considerate of the fact that Amazon doesn’t just have unlimited shelf space, they have a finite amount of fulfillment centers, and those fulfillment centers can only hold so much products at a time. The bigger our product is the bulkier it is the weirder shaped it is the harder it is to get into a box. The more fragile it is, the more complicated it is the more leakage that it can produce or damage that it can produce, meaning the least amount of other products and go in the box with it. As we think about those applications. At the end of the day, Amazon is trying to build their business. They can’t build their business without sellers. But they build their business on the backs of sellers and they’re cognizant of, they need simple. The more products they can put in one box, the better, right, that’s multiple products, sharing the cost of that box, the cost of the human putting it in the cost of the conveyor belt, running it down the cost of shipping it to the customer. And so the more Amazon can limit those costs, the better. So just being cognizant of relatively speaking, the smaller less complicated size, less chance of leakage and break ins products that you can sell on Amazon, the better. Doesn’t mean you can’t sell. You know, we have great clients a data driven one that sells really awesome, warm a peanut butter that’s in a glass jar that as you can imagine peanut butter can leak with oils, glass can also break. But they’re very successful on Amazon, they over deliver in value to the customer so it can be done. But limiting those complications makes it a lot easier on you as you as you journey into the Amazon space. That’s next and last we have profitability, so profitability on Amazon, we just need to be cognizant of the fact that Amazon takes 15% Off the top when we’re selling as a seller, Amazon, we also have cost going into a way to get the product to Amazon. And then Amazon charges us for getting the product to the customer. And there’s two other buckets that’s important for sellers to keep in mind. One is PPC and promotional budget, making sure that we have at least 10 to 15% of our planned sales are going to be available for us to spend on PPC and promote promotion budget so that we can continue to activate growth. And then the last one being making sure that we have budget for the all of the success tools that we want to use to help us drive that growth on Amazon. It’s hard to do alone. It’s hard to do with just the ideas in our head. And there’s really powerful tools out there nowadays that can help us really maximize growth. So making sure we have some budget in our p&l for that as well. Lastly, I said two bonus topics. The two bonus topics are if I was starting another seller central business today, I absolutely wouldn’t touch a category if it wasn’t consumables, because there’s so much value in consumables with Amazon starting and really ending with the idea of I have inherently the opportunity to drive lifetime value with customers, I can sell a product that they use they needed again a month later, they need it again three months later. And I can start to leverage Amazon’s program called Subscribe and Save where customers can subscribe to a product and they get a discount but it comes to their house every month every three months. Whatever their cadences of usage, it’s a very powerful program. It also makes it so you don’t have to advertise that customer run promos to that customer anymore as well. And lastly, I want to avoid controlled categories on Amazon such as sexual wellness products, CBD hemp weapon accessories,
those products can be complicated when, when when when Amazon can shut some of those categories down from time to time they suppress search. It’s a rough go at it, I would avoid those. So those are my two bonus topics. So lastly, important factors to consider when choosing the right products to sell on Amazon. unique value proposition alignment with your brand. Operations complications, profitability, and the two bonus topics. Pick consumables if you can and really try and avoid the controlled categories such as sexual wellness, drugs. Sorry, CBD hemp and weapon accessories. Awesome. Hope everyone has a great day. Look forward to seeing you around.
Amy Wees: Well, that was awesome. Thank you so much, Nate and Ade and Nadir for your really, really great tips. I hope everyone has enjoyed the series this week. We have one more week to go Part four is coming up next. So I can’t wait to see you guys there and we want to hear from you. Let us know what other questions you have and what your favorite tips have been. And yeah, we’ll talk to you guys soon. Have a great week.